In “The Healer,” a short paranormal suspense story in a collection of horror stories for teens, a teen girl heals people–but discovers someone is trying to kill her and others using a similar power.
As with much of my writing, I draw on my experiences of pain and healing from child abuse to create fiction that speaks to me–and, I hope, to many others.
This was my first short story that was published–by editor Peter Carver.
There are a ton of great authors who’ve contributed to this collection: William Bell, Joanne Findon, Kathy Stinson, Gillian Chan, Anne Laurel Carter, Sylvia McNicoll, Diana Aspin, Priscilla Galloway, Wendy Lewis, Jamie Bastedo, Sylvo Frank, Louise Wadsworth, Alison Lohans, and myself.
And the stories are just as varied. There are stories that slowly creep up on you, and stories that grip you right away. Ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and the paranormal all appear here.
If you like fantasy or horror, I hope you’ll consider checking it out–from your library, local bookstore, or online bookstore.
Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice, 2007
Read an Excerpt from The Healer:
The stench of death fills my nostrils. It is sweet, cloying, overpowering. But it is not from the woman I am laying my hands on. The cancer that has been eating away at her liver is almost gone; I have been drawing the blackness up inside me, transforming it into light. I can feel her body working now to repair the damage. No, the smell of death is from someone else. Someone nearby.
Even as I send my mind out, searching the crowd, the pain begins, the way it always does when death is near. It starts at the soles of my feet and rises up my body, tearing at me, drawing the pain inwards, stretching upward until it fills my head, until my skull is throbbing with it. My skin tightens, my veins shrink, my mouth goes dry.
I have never told anyone how much it hurts me when death is close, never told anyone how I want to scream, how I want to do anything I can to end the pain. Never told anyone how it makes me want to wrench the dying back to the side of the living. I have never told anyone, because I’m afraid they’ll think that’s why I heal people. I am afraid they’ll think I’m just selfish. I heal people because I have to. Because I can’t bear to let anyone die–not like I did my sister. I heal them because I wouldn’t like myself if I didn’t try.
My hands are hot and trembling over the woman, the energy transforming from me to her. Death is piercing at my skull, but I can’t let the woman go, not yet. I have to make sure the cancer doesn’t return.
Waves of grief pass through me, but I shut them out and focus. I draw up the light from inside me and pour it into the woman’s abdomen, giving one last surge. My skin feels like it is cracking all over. Death is near, very near, and it is in someone small.
I let the woman go and stagger backward.
“Thank you!” the woman cries, her cheeks rosy, her eyes bright with happiness and relief. Her face is so different now, the lines of pain smoothed out, the gaunt look gone. I feel myself grinning at her, warmth filling my whole body. There’s nothing so good as the feeling of saving someone’s life. It’s brief moments like this that I feel glad for my talent. Blessed, even.
Don't want SCARS to end?
From award-winning author Cheryl Rainfield