When I was nine, I first found out I had magical powers. From then on, I tried to keep my emotions intact, becoming who I was today. Around the time I turned twelve, I found out another side of my powers. I could use them, when calm, to heal any other living being, that included even inanimate organisms like trees. Over the years I had healed many animals, usually stray cats and dogs. I had never tried to heal another human being until the day I turned sixteen.
Even though it was four years ago, I can still see that day as clearly as if it had just happened.
One of my classmates had told me of a cherry blossom tree on the outskirts of town that was beginning to die. Of course, after school, I went to where the tree was located. It was in worse condition than I had realized. On the edges of its exposed roots, I could already see the decay starting to set in. I sighed, feeling sorry for the tree. Petting its bark, I smiled sadly at it.
“I’m going to try to heal you, okay?” I whispered to it. Beneath my palm, I could feel it reaching out to me, as if begging me for relief. Closing my eyes, I breathed in the essences around me and pushed ‘myself’ into the will of the tree.
There was a trick to healing trees and animals. Each being had it’s own will, and in order to fully heal it, I had to use my own will to search the wounded for whatever was afflicting it. This meant, that I would use my own soul to search the other. When I detached my soul from myself and pushed it into the wounded, I could feel everything it felt. Whether it was pain, sorrow, resentment, I could feel it all. With animate objects, like cats and dogs, I would actually get their most recent memories transferred over to my soul. It would be like watching a movie play in my head. I could see their life through their eyes, feel everything they felt. It was a wondrous experience that I was unable to describe.
As I transferred my soul into the withered cherry tree, as if in a dream, I saw a vision of a tall man, his long hair was a sparkling silver that glinted in the moonlight. His eyes were the deepest blue possible and they seemed to change color with every breath he took. It was only for a second, but something seemed to pass the man, and suddenly, he was gone, but whatever had passed had hit the tree. That’s what had caused it to begin to wilt.
Knowing the cause of the problem, I sent my soul in and began to undo the magic that was resting within its bark. It took around an hour before the bark began to show life once more. I was able to push out all of the magic, but, once I returned to myself, it left me exhausted.
Slumping against the tree, I felt it’s soul give me it’s gratitude as it’s leaves rustled and provided me some shade.
“Thank you.” I smiled, my eyes still closed and my back against its trunk. I swear I heard it’s soul respond, ‘No. Thank you.’ But, as I was exhausted of my strength, I could barely even feel the tips of my fingers. Happy the tree was healthy once more, I drifted off into sleep.
What happened next was something I would remember for the rest of my life.
Since my soul was still connected to the tree, even as I slept, I felt it rumble in aggression which was the reason I was jolted awake. From within the forest, I could faintly see a tall figure approaching. As it got closer, I noticed that the figure was actually a man. He was tall, almost seven feet in height it seemed. Clutching his arm to his side, I noticed blood was streaming from a wound across his shoulder, it was so deep, it rendered his arm completely useless.
His hair was flowing wildly around him, as if it had a mind of it’s own, the color was reminiscent to moonlight striking a calm sea. It was a bright silver with flakes and streams of light blue. The eyes that latched onto mine, were a bright red with dark purple flecks.
This person was the one I had seen within the memory of the tree. He projected his will as if it was an entirely other being. It beat upon my skin, trying to latch onto my soul.
Startled, I pushed back, my own magic creating the tattoos onto my skin. This time, as my powers condensed, I noticed that along my right wrist, was a pattern that looked almost like a cherry tree. This was another oddity of mine. Whenever I healed, I somehow was able to keep a part of that organism’s soul as my own. It was like an exchange for being healed. I had no idea what all those pieces of soul could be used for.
Pushing my soul against this strange man, he seemed to blink almost infinitesimally, and then all his power pulled back even as he moved forward toward me. I was so terrified that I couldn’t even move. When the man reached me, I became even more confused. He plopped down next to me, looking just as exhausted as I was. From this range, I noticed just how bad his wound actually was. His skin had completely separated all the way to the bone, if it had gone any higher, he probably would have lost his head.
My fingers itched to heal that wound. That striking red against his pale skin might have been beautiful, but, I felt my soul cry out in pain for him. Without even realizing what I was doing, my fingers lightly touched the edge of the wound. The mysterious man said nothing, just watched me as my tattoos spread across my right arm and traveled all the way up to my neck.
Tentatively, I prodded the edge of his soul with mine. Unexpectedly, when our souls touched, nothing happened. I was expecting memories of his past or some sort of vision. But touching his soul did nothing. Confused, I glanced up at the mysterious man. His eyes were closed and he had a slight grimace on his face. I pulled away, afraid I was hurting him. His bright eyes opened and stared into mine.
“You’re fine,” he whispered. His voice was just like his looks, mesmerizing. It was smooth and crisp like a rainbow after a summer’s rain. When I made no other moves to touch him again, he sighed softly. “I watched you heal this tree earlier.”
Astonished, I stared at him. I had not felt the presence of anyone else when I had been healing the tree. Just how long had he been there?
He chuckled lightly, as if he read my mind. “I was the one who originally caused damage to this being. Once I finished what I needed to do, I decided to come back to make sure it could still live.” His eyes were like bright coals, sparking and emitting heat as they stared into mine. “But a child like you beat me to it.” He whispered, his head tilting slightly as he looked me over. With his eyes wandering from my toes to the top of my head, I suddenly felt a sense of danger that hadn’t existed before. I shuddered at the feeling.
“Who are you?” I asked tentatively, afraid of the answer and yet wishing for it like a man who had been without water. He smiled mysteriously and closed his eyes.
“Try it again,” was his only reply, “you did not hurt me.”
Now cautious, I lifted my hand back up and touched the back of his hand lightly. I didn’t need much contact to heal, but there needed to be enough distance between us in order for our souls to touch. Almost afraid of what would happen, I sent out a strand of my soul again.
Again, there were no visions, but this time, it felt like the connection of our souls had gotten stronger. I sent out my soul, searching along his veins to find the beginning of the wound. I tried not to flinch as I felt the power of this man in his veins. It tried to consume my soul, weaving around it, touching it, but even though I knew, at that moment, that I could be eaten alive, that power never engulfed me.
My consciousness was probing along his wound until I found it’s beginning. From the bottom of the neck all the way to the edge of his armpit was completely flayed open. The first thing I did was repair the cracks and fractures in his exposed bones.
The damage was more sever than I had originally thought, if this had been a normal human being, at best, they would lose their arm, worse case scenario they would have died. But this man was very obviously alive, his powers felt like flames against the fingertips I was using to touch him. As my powers vowed through him, my tattoos began to spread even farther across my chest, barely stopping at the edge of my chin.
I could feel the man watching me but clenched my eyes shut, focusing on the healing process. The time it took to fuse his skin back together, without leaving any blemishes, was far longer than any healing I had ever done before.
I had, it seemed, used too much of my power because I could feel every inch of my skin crawling with tattoos. The writhed under my skin, etched into my veins. I was sure that the only thing on me that had yet to turn black were my eyes. This was an indicator that I would lose control soon and that I would not be able to minimize the backlash to those near me.
Without even saying anything, after I healed the man, I jumped up and ran into the forest. There I knew of a rock encased cave where my powers could rampage and not harm my surroundings. I had used this cave before, the very first time I had ever lost control. The inside of the cave still held the claw marks and damage from all my other explosions. That was my only downfall, I could not contain my power perfectly and I could lose control over it without notice.
Upon reaching the cave, I ran all the way into the darkest depths. My skin tingled before I felt my tattoos begin to manifest and pull away from my skin. It was as if they were alive, trying to find their real forms and make their original souls whole again. I clenched my teeth and my fists as I huddled in the corner. Tasting blood, I realized I had bitten my lower lip. I breathed out, trying to stay calm.
Then, I heard a soft click.
Whipping around, startled, I found my eyes straying to that mysterious man. His hair was pulled up into a ponytail, leaving his face completely visible. The click had come from the sound of his soul connecting to mine, once again.
The two of us stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity before the man moved a step forward.
“Stay back!” I screamed, my tattoos twisting around me, condensing into solid form.
I didn’t want to hurt him.
“You won’t hurt me.” The man whispered, moving forward at the same steady pace. He had read the terror on my face. I squeezed myself farther into the corner, wishing for my tattoos to shrink. To disappear.
Then…he reached me.
Slowly, as if trying not to startle me, he lifted a hand and, with one long finger, he touched the middle of my forehead, as soft as a feather.
“Condense.” He commanded in a mysterious tone. And the unthinkable happened. My tattoos listened.
They shrank at the touch, popping like a balloon to settle on my bones once more. My tattoos may have dissipated but, the backlash was still there, numbing my mind. As my eyes closed, I saw that beautiful figure smile. That smile was like a lover’s embrace, and my soul instantly calmed.
“Sleep,” was the last thing I remember hearing before my eyes finally closed.
Resurfacing from my memory, I looked at the clock. It was time to leave. I stood up, walked to my bedroom door, looked around my impersonalized room and turned my back to it.
I walked out of my former life and left my mother behind.
New adventures awaited me. Apparently whether I liked it or not.