In my father's day, the seas were not so safe. Enrollment dropped and schools closed as more and more women with the healing touch decided just plain Mending was good enough for them. I would have gone, I would have given anything to go, but my father forbade it with his dying breath.
"The Empire, she's turned her back on us," he moaned and, God forgive me, I hushed him with a nervous glance to the window.
My father laughed bitterly. "Who'll report me? Who will they report me to? There hasn't been a Legion ship through here in months. The Relayers know it, they're pulling their people from the Isles."
He laid his head back on the pillow with a weak cough and I brushed his white hair back. I could feel the pain in his limbs, the ache in his lungs that we both knew was beyond our skill to Mend.
"They've forgotten us, Acacia. We're on our own and we've grown so soft." His colors were roiling so heavily it frightened me. Thick red flecks of anger fought for dominance with a poisonous yellow cloud of fear around his head. I took his hand, willing strength into the few blue and violet tendrils remaining.
Suddenly his fingers clenched mine. "You take care of yourself."
His aura morphed into a chartreuse and puce checkerboard pattern, and I knew he was almost gone. A burst of lime green specks told me he had more to say. I leaned in close, lest I miss his dying words. He struggled to open his eyes and whispered, "I forbid you to enroll in the Physical Academy."
I thought, "Shit!" But then I realized that his halo cloud had turned the black of death, and thought, Screw him; it's my life, and med school's a great place to meet guys.
Opening: Sarah Hawthorne.....Continuation: Evil Editor