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  • He was a reluctant saint. People on the street called him healer. The rest of the world called him schizophrenic.

    Neil didn't enjoy his gift. It took so much out of him. He had to sleep for 48 hrs afterwards. He hadn't always had the power. He discovered it when he accompanied his friend Bobby to the nursing home. Bobby wanted to see his granny. Neil left the two of them to visit, walking down the fluorescent lit hall to the water fountain.

    Neil heard a girl crying quietly. A mournful, pitiful sound, like the sound of a wounded bird, the sound of a young heart's despair. Neil slowed down to look inside the room.

    Emily was paralyzed. At fourteen, she had been thrown off the back off a motorcycle, in an accident that had killed her father. She was paralyzed from the neck down. She had to be fed, to be washed, to be turned. The only independent thing she did was cry, and she did that a lot. Her mother didn't come to visit as much as she used to the first year after the accident. They had run out of things to say.

    Emily looked at Neil, tears glistening in her big blue eyes. Neil heard her voice in his head though she hadn't spoken aloud. "Help me," she said. Slipping inside the door, he pushed it part ways shut and walked towards the girl in the bed. When Emily looked into his eyes, Neil felt his heart melt away, coursing through his blood, pulsing in his fingertips. It was then that Neil received a word of knowledge. He knew what he had to do.

    "Who are you?" Emily asked.

    "I'm Doctor Jesus. What's wrong with you, Emily?" The girl looked away then, ashamed of her infirmity. "Everything," she whispered. Neil pulled back the blanket and sat on the edge of her bed. His hands were hot now, throbbing with heat, pulsing love for the poor injured child.

    In his head, the pictures swirled. The accident. The girl. A broken neck. Neil scooped Emily up in his arms, caressing her small wasted frame, so light, so broken. He held her next to him, placing his hand on the back of her neck. It was working! His fingers had eyes that could see bones fusing, knitting together, spinal cords reattaching, wasted muscles regenerating. Emily gasped. She could wiggle her toes. First her big toe. It moved. Her excitement building she wiggled her fingers and laughed.

    "What are you doing!" the nurse demanded. She rushed towards Neil, grabbing him by the arm and yanking them apart. Emily fell back on the pillow, laughing. Neil, wrenched away, slumped to the floor, energy spent.

    When the police interviewed him, Neil told the truth. At first, the cops thought that he was trying to sexually assault the girl, but after speaking to Neil, they wrote him off as crazy. They delivered him to the State Hospital and he was committed. Neil was kept there for several years. His only visitor was the girl. Emily never missed a Sunday.

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