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The Healer

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Today is born a seventh one, born of woman, a seventh son, and he in turn a seventh son. He has the power to heal; he has the gift of the second sight. He is the chosen one. So it shall be written, so it shall be done. – Lyrics from Seventh son of a seventh son by Iron Maiden.

 

Eleven-year-old Jamie was out playing ball by himself. He had been fighting with his brother until his mom scorned him. Jamie is the older brother and his mother told him he should know better even though he insisted that his brother had started it so to the great outdoors Jamie went.

Now his football has come to be stuck up a tree, a tree just a few feet past the garden wall and there was no one around to help Jamie get it back. Jamie began to climb and when he thought he was high enough he stretched an arm out towards his ball but couldn’t quite reach it. He lost his footing and came down hard, landing flat on his back.

Through the living room window, Jamie’s mum could see her son fall. She screamed and rushed out to his side, lifting his head and upper torso on to her lap.

‘Help, somebody, help me!’ she shouted out in a panic, for her son is unconscious. In a slightly quieter voice, she continued ‘Oh my god, he is not breathing.’

A man approached.

‘It is alright madam, I can help.’

Not knowing how to react and at the same time hoping for a miracle she raised up her own arms to give the stranger some room. He knelt and placed one hand on Jamie’s head and the other hand on Jamie’s chest. The man’s eyes began to roll to where only the whites were showing as his eyelids remained open. After fifteen seconds or so the man’s eyes returned, and he would look directly at the boys’ mother.

‘Your son is going to be just fine.’

The man stood up and began to walk away before the boy’s mother could in any way react to anything that he had just done, Jamie began coughing, and pretty soon his mother would begin crying. The man was long gone before he could be thanked.

*

Norman didn’t cry when he was born. In fact, he rarely cried at all. Being the youngest of seven brothers in one way ensured he had nothing to cry about and in another way was cause enough in itself. Growing up, it was always clear that Norman was at least just a little bit different. He could predict things before they would happen, like telling one of his brothers to answer the household telephone just before it would begin to ring out.

When it did ring the phone would be for that particular brother, but Norman wouldn’t sound like he was predicting something, it was more like he could already hear the phone ringing and wondered why the relevant person wasn’t already answering it. It was kind of an instinct that he knew who should be answering the phone.

It was on the day of Norman’s fourteenth birthday when it was realized to some degree that there was a lot more to him than there had seemed to be, for it was on this day that two things would happen. First of which happened when Norman had been sitting on the passenger seat in his father’s car along with his dad Norman senior and also with his sixteen-year-old brother David. David played with a local football team and they would be on the way to a game at this particular moment in time.

As they made their way to where that Saturday afternoon game was to take place, a sparrow crashed into the car windscreen and came to a halt on the bonnet. When the car came to a halt Norman felt compelled to get out and pick up the bird. He cupped his hands together and after a matter of seconds the sparrow turned over from being on its back and took flight. It had been clearly injured perhaps even dead, though when Norman junior was done with what he was doing, the bird flew off as if nothing had happened at all.

The second event of significance on that day took place during David’s football game. A hard tackle broke David’s ankle. The incident had been an accident and the injury was clear to see. Like with the sparrow, Norman felt compelled to intervene. He was unsure as to what he was about to do but was indeed compelled to do it all the same. Again, it was kinda like instinct.

Yeah, it was more instinct than anything else when Norman approached his brother placing his hands onto David’s ankle; Norman’s eyes began to roll. After only a matter of seconds, Norman’s eyes returned, and David no longer felt the agony that accompanies a broken ankle. With surprise etched on his face, David stood up and began to walk as if he had not been involved in any sort of a tackle. This is odd… So very odd.

*

Many years came to pass. Norman had been on his way to see David when he came across the boy who had fallen from a tree. When the brothers met, they hugged.

‘I could have come to you,’ said David.

‘No, you couldn’t. Besides, it has been a long time since I have been home.’

‘Anyone see you come into town?’

‘No,’ Norman hesitated and continued, ‘well there was a boy not far from here…’

‘And you helped him, didn’t you?’

‘Well yeah, I had to.’

‘You know they will be coming.’

‘We have to get to dad.’

The two brothers got into David’s car and began to make their way to the town hospital.

‘They will be waiting at the hospital too you know.’

‘Yeah, they will and that is why we are not going to the hospital.’

‘What?’

David was confused. He had never been able to get his head around Norman’s abilities.

It was clear at that football game all those years ago to those who attended at the side-lines that the tackle definitely broke David’s ankle. The initial reaction to what Norman had done was shock soon followed by cheering and clapping when David stood up and began to walk. Surely some sort of divine intervention had come to show itself on a local football field.

It was later that day when Norman and his family would be confronted. The town they lived in quickly became divided once word spread of what Norman could do. Division created two groups. The smaller of which were those who wanted their own miracle, people either being unwell or injured themselves or were close to someone else who was unwell or injured.

The other and larger group was comprised of townsfolk who feared the worst. These people felt uneasy knowing that within their town lived a boy with one and possibly more powers, and this group wanted to rid the town of the boy once his power could be proven. If he could heal others so easily then could he just as easily cause untold harm? Such a thing could not just be allowed to happen nor could they wait to find out what might come. These people felt they had to act.

Norman had always been quiet, shy, and soft spoken, never got into trouble of any sort. His six older brothers always stood up for him and each of them got into many fights. Each time one of them often came home cut and bruised, Norman would use his ability and heal them so whatever may come they will remain a strong unit.

Unfortunately, things would get so difficult that it was decided that Norman would move in with his eldest brother who had a home in another city and when Norman did this, things quietened down at home. His family back home ceased experiencing physical and verbal trouble once Norman left.

‘If we are not going to the hospital then where are we going?’ asked David.

‘I am not sure yet,’ was Norman’s reply.

It was Norman senior that the two brothers were trying to get to. Norman senior’s condition had become critical. His time was running out and it was thought that he may not survive the night. Local media had been waiting by the hospital to which Senior was a patient within, waiting on the arrival of the ‘miracle healer’, some of whom felt that their stakeout was a complete waste of time refusing to believe that such a person could exist, but if he did then why was he taking so long to come see and save his father?

Using his power of second sight to gauge the best course of action Norman told his brother to take the next left. With media surrounding the hospital and both groups of townsfolk expecting the arrival of ‘the healer’, it was logical for the older five brothers to go get their father and then split up. Each brother knew that healing was not the only thing that Norman could do and wherever their father would be taken to, Norman would find him.

Five brothers, five vehicles with two other brothers in a sixth vehicle. Dad is in one of the first five, splitting up would divide followers. Which brother was bringing father to the miracle son? Where would they meet? Norman Junior would know.

Indeed, Norman would find his father. He also knew that the timing of his arrival was working against him. It would only be a matter of time that it would be discovered that Norman senior was no longer in the hospital and indeed with one of his sons.

The early evening sky had been darkening for a little while now as Norman had David turn into a field which at first appeared to be empty. Out from among the trees to one side of the field came the eldest brother Kenneth, carrying Norman Senior who at this point was extremely weak. All the brothers had now gathered together by the time the youngest two brothers reached their father. Norman knew that time was slipping away from him; he could feel that it would only a matter of minutes before a crowd would gather having possibly tracked his or his father’s whereabouts.

Norman knelt at his father’s side as he lay on the ground almost lifeless. He placed both his hands on his father’s torso. This was not going to be so easy for him. It was so much more than healing an injury or reviving life. It was also ridding his father of the cancer that had run right through his body. The eyes once more began to roll, and the whites showed. It was taking time. As life returned to the father, the son was being drained, so much so that when he let go of his father, Norman Junior collapsed.

By this time townsfolk had indeed begun to gather at the field. Only a few of whom were willing to join or protect the brothers. The rest were gunning for blood. Norman Senior got to his feet easily enough but for his youngest son to get to his own feet would be more of a struggle. Blood trickled from Norman’s nose as his brother David helped him up.

With all the fuss that ensued, no one noticed that there was a gun among them until a shot had been fired. Silence followed the gunshot and Norman Junior now lay completely flat on the ground. The fired bullet hit his body. The brothers felt helpless, but they were ready to stand together and defend their brother. From the back of the crowd came a woman to stand alongside the brothers who stood over where Norman lay.

This woman was the mother of the boy who had fallen from the tree earlier in the day.

‘What the hell are we doing here?’ she shouted. ‘What are you all afraid of?’

Looking at Norman she continued ‘all this man wanted to do was help his dying father and you people punish him for it. You banished him as a child and when he returns as a man you try to kill him? Just a few hours ago my son Jamie fell from a tree and was not breathing, if it wasn’t for this man laying here my son would be dead right now. This… This is how he is repaid?’

This woman knelt down, kissed Norman’s forehead, and thanked him. A single tear rolled down Norman’s face. Had any of this right here been a moment that he had foreseen?

 

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