The Absolution of Sorrows
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 585
Lance watched in horror as the puppy spun around and over the wheel of the silver Ford Falcon as it braked suddenly to avoid the dog. Moments before, the puppy was running happily with its new owners, a ten-year-old boy, and his eight-year-old brother. In the excitement of the game, the puppy jerked the lead from the boy’s hand and ran onto the main road, thinking the shouts where part of the game.
“No...” Lance whimpered, tears welling up.
The boys cried as they carried the broken and battered body of the little terrier back to the footpath. Lance took an old towel from the boot of his car and brought it to the boys to wrap the shivering dog in as the boy’s father ran to them from a couple of houses down the street.
“Here,” Lance said softly. “This will keep him warm until you get him to the vet.”
Lance felt the pain and sorrow of the puppy, who knew it was dying, its internal organs ruptured and bleeding rapidly and bloating his small fragile frame. Tears streamed as the empathy consumed Lance, both from the puppy and the two boys who watched their pet of two days dying before them.
“You poor thing,” Lance said, gently patting the puppy on the head. The dog looked at Lance and whimpered, sensing that Lance felt his pain. Peace gently rolled over the puppy as all of its pain and sorrow transferred to Lance.
“No, no, no,” The boy’s father said as he picked up the puppy and shook his head. The puppy licked the man’s hand then stopped breathing.
Lance shook with the intensity of the dog’s feelings and emotions, but knew he had to help the boys as well. He reached out both hands, and the boys took them.
“He’s gone to a better place,” Lance said, helping the lads to their feet.
The boys rubbed their noses and wiped their eyes, the tears quickly stopping when the sorrow left them and entered Lance. Lance shook and trembled, overwhelmed by the intense feeling from not only the puppy, but also now the two young boys. He knew he would have to transfer this energy soon or his body would not cope and his heart would give up. He quickly walked away, heading towards the large Jacaranda tree in the front yard of the home behind him.
“I’m so sorry,” Lance said as he leant against the tree with both hands.
His hands glowed red as the emotions flowed violently from his flesh into the old tree, shaking both Lance and the thick tree trunk. With a sharp snap, Lance was flung backwards onto the concrete footpath. He watched the black veins run out from his deep hand impressions burnt into the bark. The marks spread out like thick black tendrils until they reached high up the trunk and ran along the branches four meters from the ground.
“I’m sorry,” Lance said again, seeing the grand old tree half dead now. “You should live though.”
Lance walked home, not bothering to get the milk and bread he went to the shop for. He was too worn out from drawing the suffering out of the three to worry about breakfast now.
“At least I can control this power now,” he said to himself. “Almost killed me absorbing the sorrow of people just from watching it on the news or reading about it.”
The Absolution of Sorrows
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