CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SIX
“Will it hurt?” Honey asked.
“It might,” Abi said. “You let me know if it is too much and I’ll stop immediately.”
“Let’s we start with your hands, as you suggested?” Abi said. “I know that Liban did an excellent job giving you ‘more’ flexibility, but what if they were whole again.”
“That would be great!” Honey said.
“Good. We’ll do one hand at a time. You can stop at any time,” Abi said. She gave Honey a warm reassuring smile. “Now, close your eyes.”
“Have you done this before?” Honey asked.
“A few times,” Abi said.
Honey wasn’t sure if she could ask for examples so she didn’t say anything.
“For a man who was at war for more than 3,000 years, my darling Fin has few physical injuries,” Abi said.
“He’s a fairy,” Honey said with a shrug.
“He cannot use fairy magic to put on an arm or a leg,” Abi said with a grin.
“I will stop at any time,” Abi said. “You say the word and it’s over. You can use your science. Deal?”
“Deal,” Honey said. “Can I watch? Ever since I was a child, I have trouble closing my eyes to people.”
“Yes, I see,” Abi said. “Hmm …”
Abi snapped her fingers, and Honey’s head dropped forward as if she were sound asleep. Abi gave a nod.
“Mari,” Abi said.
The fairy Mari appeared.
“She has chosen to let me help her,” Abi said. “I will need your assistance.”
“Of course,” Mari said.
Abi grinned at Mari. Abi and Mari had spent thousands of human years trapped in Queen Fand’s Queendom. They were fast friends.
“She does not trust fairies,” Abi said.
“It’s those fairy envoys,” Mari said.
“They’ve really soured these humans to your entire kind,” Abi said. “Even to Fin and Edie. I will speak with Fin, but it’s something to be aware of and change, if possible.”
“Yes, Nelson has made a few remarks as well,” Mari nodded.
“I told her that I would work on her hands first,” Abi said. “Would you get them for me?”
Mari went to where Honey was sitting. She laid Honey’s wrist out onto the table. In attempts to get some movement out of her hands, Honey had had a number of surgeries on her hands. Abi clucked at the scars.
“When you’re ready,” Mari said.
“Let’s start,” Abi said.
Abi’s hand went over Honey’s wrist and arm. Honey’s arm became soft, like butter. It swelled to nearly grotesque proportions. Abi pointed her finger to Honey’s wrist where it was closest to her pinky finger. Spinning from some unseen screwdriver, a screw came out of her wrist. And then another. Abi moved down Honey’s wrist clearing it of screws. She pulled a long, thin plate from the hand, which she set on the table next to the ten screws. One at a time, she set them onto the table in front of where Honey was sitting.
“Please stand behind her,” Abi said. When Mari moved, she added, “Put your hand on the base of her neck.”
“As you wish,” Mari said.
Abi turned over Honey’s hand so that her palm faced up. Abi placed her hand over Honey’s so that the palm of her hand touched the palm of Honey’s hand. A minute past and nothing happened. Mari took a breath to say something when Honey’s entire hand and arm started to jerk.
Honey’s hand and arm pulsed with seizure like jerks twice more.
Abi took her hand from the palm of Honey’s hand. The swelling in Honey’s arm dropped immediately. Honey’s had looked completely normal.
“Back away, I’m going to wake her up,” Abi said.
Mari nodded and moved to where Honey would not be able to see her.
“Honey?” Abi asked.
Honey opened her eyes and looked at Abi. She blinked.
“You nodded off a bit,” Abi said with a soft smile.
“What happened?” Honey asked.
“I used the opportunity to work on your hand and wrist,” Abi said. “I took these screws out of your wrist and this metal plate.”
Honey turned to look at her hand. She closed her eyes and opened them in disbelief.
“It looks … I mean …” Honey said. She leaned forward as if to whisper, “Normal.”
Honey nodded and Abi grinned.
“Of course,” Abi said. “Try it. Make sure it works.”
Honey opened and closed her fingers. Her thumb made and easy journey into a fist. She rotated her wrist ease and without any pain. She shook her head in disbelief.
“But the nerves!” Honey said. Her hand moved instinctively to her neck.
“Yes,” Abi said. “I woke them up, as well. They had forgotten that they needed to heal,” Abi said. “You may have some spasms or fleeting moments of pain. They are rejoicing in the opportunity to function.”
Honey nodded. Her hand went to her face. It tried to pick up the fork but the instrument fell through her fingers.
“It may take a while for your hand to regain some strength,” Abi said. “I am sorry.”
“Who cares?” Honey asked. “Strength will grow!”
Abi grinned at Honey’s words but Honey didn’t see her. She was too caught up in looking at the movement in her hand.
“Just incredible,” Honey said. “Can you do the other one?”
“Of course,” Abi said.
“BUT …” Honey said. She gave Abi a knowing look. “Can I control when you put me to sleep?”
Abi looked a little embarrassed.
“And, can Mari come out?” Honey asked.
“How did you know?” Mari asked as she moved forward.
“You are wearing the perfume we gave you,” Honey said. “The one M.J. got in Africa that smells like limes.”
Mari mouthed “Sorry” to Abi. But Abi shrugged.
“We should not have tried to fool you,” Abi said.
“I understand why you did,” Honey said.
“I am only here to help,” Mari said. “I’m not doing anything. At all. Just holding you up.”
“Thank you for that,” Honeys said. “Okay …”
She put her other hand up on the counter.
“I’m ready,” Honey said.
Abi snapped her fingers and Honey was asleep again. She leaned forward to look at the hand.
This was clearly Honey’s non-dominant hand. Honey had had no surgeries on it. The hand was locked in a fist.
Abi touched Honey’s hand with a feather light touch. The hand naturally opened. Not understanding what was wrong with this hand, Abi shook her head.
“Show me,” Abi demanded of the hand and arm.
A red light shone at Honey’s elbow. Abi turned Honey’s arm over and saw a straight scar. Honey’s nerves had been severed. There was nothing any human could have done to help her regain function in this hand. Abi nodded.
“Anything else?” Abi asked.
“There’s a light at her neck,” Mari said.
Abi got up and walked around to look at Honey’s neck. She touched Honey’s neck.
“Will you remove her clothing?” Mari asked.
“As you wish,” Mari said. With a snap of Mari’s fingers, Honey was naked from the waste up.
Both women gasped. Mari’s hand instinctively traced the lines of scars and surgeries.
“What are you doing?” M.J. asked from the doorway.
He had a handgun in his hand that was pointed to the ground.
“Honey has asked for my help,” Abi said. “She wants to be whole again.”
“We’ve just returned for a meeting that would do that,” M.J. said, evenly.
Abi looked at M.J. and returned to look at Honey’s back.
“Answer me,” M.J. demanded.
“Do you have a question?” Abi asked.
“What are you doing?” M.J. asked.
“I have answered that,” Abi said. She walked around Honey again. “Now, you cannot kill me. Mari can be killed but she comes for a line of warriors who have been at battles for thousands of years. They move like air. You will never see her coming. She will likely kill or maim you before you get a shot off.”
Abi looked at M.J. for a brief moment.
“Do put the weapon away before you hurt yourself,” Abi said.
M.J. gave Abi a kind of trance like nod.
“Now, you are welcome to watch,” Abi said.
“What are you?” M.J. asked.
Abi sighed with irritation. Mari stepped forward.
“She is the representative of the planet,” Mari said. “She is creation and holds the power of the planet.”
“Like those cherub things that healed Jacob?” M.J. asked.
“Let’s say that they work for her,” Mari said.
“At my request,” Abi corrected.
Abi touched Honey’s back.
“She has asked for help and healing,” Abi said. “She is ready to let go of what happened before and move to wholeness. We have already worked on her hand.”
Abi gestured to Honey’s healed hand. As if transfixed, M.J. moved forward to touch the hand. He held it up to his eyes and scanned the skin.
“The scars!” he whispered in awe.
Mari pointed to the screws and plate.
“You took those out of her?” M.J. asked in the same whisper. He pressed on her palm and her fingers curled.
His face made a “Wow” expression.
“You did this?” M.J. asked.
“The weapon?” Abi said.
“Oh, right,” M.J. said. He put on the safety and set it on the kitchen counter. “May I watch?”
“You may watch, but do not interfere,” Abi said. “I did not realize that she had such an extreme injured.”
“She hides it well,” M.J. said.
“Jill must be very powerful to keep her here,” Abi said.
“She’s very stubborn,” M.J. said. “She’ll take the tiniest gift and grow it into a fortune.
“She is amazing,” Abi said. “I may need your help holding her up. That is what Princess Mari is here doing.”
“Not eating cake?” M.J. asked.
“I was celebrating with Honey,” Abi said. “We had cake and some champagne.”
“Okay,” M.J. said. “I’ll do my best.”
“That is enough for me,” Abi said. “Shall we begin again? This hand should function. There is a scar at her elbow?”
“She broke her elbow when she was a kid,” M.J. said. “Or her dad broke her elbow. It got infected. She didn’t have insurance so she was really sick. I took her to the free clinic, and they installed a drain. She took her pills and I cleaned it every day.”
“This makes sense,” Abi said. She nodded to the elbow. “There is infection there.”
“Oh,” M.J. said.
Abi looked up at him.
“She has an underlying infection,” M.J. said. “They’ve never been able to figure out where it is coming from. She takes a lot of antibiotics. Every day. Her biggest fear is that Maggie will get sick. She freaked out when Maggie had a fever.”
“What do we do?” M.J. asked quickly.
“You could hold up her elbow,” Abi said. “Bend her forward.”
Mari bent Honey forward so that her head was on the table. Abi put her hand on the elbow. The skin opened showing the bone. She ran her hand over the bone. A tiny speck of yellow formed near the bone. It began to grow in size.
“I am picking up pieces of the broken bone,” Abi said. “Now, I ask them to rearrange themselves into wholeness.”
Abi smiled when the elbow became whole.
“These bacteria,” Abi said softly. The yellow speck was now the size of a quarter. “Yes. Thank you for your service.”
She snapped her fingers and the yellow disappeared.
“Are they dead?” M.J. asked.
“I sent them home,” Abi said. “There’s still …”
Abi pointed as another yellow pool began to grow.
“Where is it coming from?” M.J. asked.
Abi didn’t respond so M.J. looked at Mari.
“From pockets in her body,” Mari said. “She has a lot of metal inside?”
“Holding her back together,” M.J. said.
Mari nodded toward Abi. She released another quarter sized yellow pool. This continued for two or three more rounds. When no yellow appeared, Abi ran her hand over Honey’s body.
“I believe it is gone,” Abi said. “At the very least, these antibiotics should clear up whatever remains.”
“The bacteria will die,” Mari said.
“They knew the risks,” Abi said, mildly.
Mari and M.J. gave Abi a long look. Clearly, when Abi spoke, the entire world should respond.
“Okay,” Abi said. The skin on Honey’s elbow reattached. “If you can hold her at the neck.”
Abi placed her hand over Honey’s. Honey’s hand began to seize and jerk.
“What are you doing!?” M.J. asked.
“I am restarting her nerves,” Abi said.
“Healing them,” Mari said.
“You’ve seen this before,” M.J. said.
“When she gave me back my hand,” Mari said.
“Your …” M.J. said.
Mari held up her hand and wiggled her fingers.
“We need to wake her,” Abi said. “Our agreement was just for her hand. Please back away. It’s too much for her to wake to you.”
“But!” M.J. said.
“Either of you,” Abi said.
Mari touched his arm and they moved away. Abi woke Honey. Groggy, Honey opened and closed her eyes. Abi saw something and snapped her finger again.
“Hey!” M.J. said.
Abi pointed. There was a puddle of bacteria on Honey’s tongue. Abi snapped her fingers and the bacteria disappeared. She woke Honey again.
“What happened?” Honey asked.
“Your husband came in,” Abi said, nodding in M.J.’s direction. “He was concerned.”
“M.J.?” Honey asked. Her head rotated so easily and freely that she could only whisper, “Wow.”
She glanced at Abi, who smiled, and then to look for M.J. He leaned down to kiss her. She rotated her head in his direction and he grinned. They kissed.
“How is Sandy?” Honey asked.
“Out of surgery,” M.J. said with a nod. “Her head hasn’t swollen as much as they thought it might. So she doesn’t need to have the scull surgery. The plastic surgeon is coming to see her for her nose and cheek. She’ll have more surgery tomorrow.”
“This is great news,” Honey said.
“Jill has been with her since she got out of surgery,” M.J. said with a nod. “Her dad showed up. You know, O’Malley. He had her moved to a private ICU. You would have laughed. They’ve been kind, but pretty gruff with us. He showed up and was like, ‘This is my daughter!’ and suddenly everyone is scrapping and bowing.”
“Why would that be?” Abi asked.
“He’s a big donor to that hospital,” M.J. said. “He’s donated money for the new hospital and then held a big fundraiser. They were going to name a building after him, but he thinks that’s dumb. Maresol brought these wonderful pastries and coffee. They took Charlie and the teens back to their house. Delphie, too.”
“Maresol and Delphie are lifelong friends,” Honey said.
“Yes, I just learned that,” M.J. said with a grin.
“So Sandy is well?” Abi asked.
“As good as could be expected,” M.J. said. “There’s no guarantee, but it seems like she will heal completely.”
“That is wonderful news,” Abi said. “Those hospitals are wonderful.”
Honey reached up with the first hand Abi had healed. He did something he hadn’t been able to do well since they were children. He took her head.
“Try your other hand,” Abi said.
Honey looked down at her hand and blinked.
“It’s perfect,” Honey said.
She opened and closed her hand. Letting go of M.J.’s hand, she clasped her hands together. She weaved her fingers together and held them out in front of her.
“Wow,” M.J. said.
Honey simply beamed.
“I apologize that you were out for such a long time,” Abi said. “You had a fairly severe infection.”
“Yes,” Honey said. “They don’t know what that’s about.”
“Your elbow,” M.J. said. “Remember when your dad punched you and you fell? Broke it? Got infected?”
Nodding, Honey looked up at him.
“It was still broken there,” M.J. said. He nodded to Abi. “She fixed your elbow and cleared out the infection. Try to move your elbow.
Honey slowly moved her hands toward her and away.
“Wow,” she said. “That’s just amazing.”
“That is probably enough for one session,” Abi said. “Especially the first session. I know that you have to be up early to get to work. Why don’t you two take the rest of the champagne and cake? You can see how those hands work a bit in private.”
Honey blushed, and M.J. gave her a sly grin. They made polite talk until Abi told them to go.
With the cake on her lap, Honey took one last look at Abi before rolling into her apartment. She felt such overwhelming gratitude of the creature named Abi, who had helped her and for her life. She sighed.
“You okay?” M.J. asked, putting a cork into the champagne.
“Just grateful,” Honey said.
M.J. tucked the champagne into their refrigerator. He took the cake from Honey and put it next to the champagne. He pointed to the smaller bathroom and Honey nodded. He always got ready in the other bathroom to allow Honey to get ready in the bathroom off their bedroom.
She rolled into the bathroom and hefted herself onto the toilet. She marveled at how well her hands worked. When she finished, her newly fixed hand easily flushed the toilet.
Laughing to herself, she brushed her teeth with abandon as her hand could now hold a toothbrush. She went out into the bedroom. Her hands easily worked to undress her and put on her bed clothes. She was almost done when she heard M.J. gasp.
“I know!” Honey said. “Look at how great these hands work.”
She turned to look at M.J.
“You’re standing,” M.J. whispered.
Honey looked down at her legs so fast that she almost lost her balance.
“Can you …?” M.J. asked. He held out his arms.
Honey easily walked into them. They laughed until they cried.
Denver Cereal continues next week…
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