When the plague came to our town, I learned I had a special talent; a rare skill come down from the Ancients. Direct to me.

I could be with the worse of them; the miasma and stink of close death hovering over them as they lay on their palettes.

I plaited lavender into my hair so I might breath clean, when they did not. I wore my frocks short so as to not drag in whatever filth maybe upon the floor.

I did not flinch, nor sicken. I found my duty in the fever houses, hovels, manors and castles. Plague cares not if you are high or low born. Whether you writhe on fine linens, or sweat on tattered sheets.

All wanted me with them, families pleading for my attendance. I took no ducats, thick or thin. All I asked was to be paid in kind: perhaps a meal of bandy bread and fry meat. Or a an unsullied apron. Or a place to sluice the corruption off meself.

I was needed, you see, for as they gasped out their last breath, I saw their soul, their spirit as a translucent bubble. Some were so clear, I could see clean through. Others, so dark, no light prismed.

As I caught each one, my face strange reflected on its surface, all transgressions passed through my hands. Arms raised up to the sky, I said the enchantation, weathered away now on the standing stones, asking for mercy, for absolution. An amnesty from all that weighted them down.

Alas, not all bubbles ascended on soft zephyrs. Some burst; some stretched and distorted like tree limbs in a storm; some merely hung above their heads, shrinking, shriveling like the corpse below.

But for some, well, I am forgiveness in a smock and high apron, moving among the dying.

written in the raw, SOC, writing outta my head for mlmm tale weaver: forgiveness. (forgive me the sin of rusty writing skills)