Alone. The forsaken lied in solitude on his cot in the medical ward. The only noise present in the otherwise bleak room was the intermittent candle’s wax dripping down into its accompanying bronze dish at his end table.
Adeline, his sister, was out there, yet he couldn’t do a thing. It had been thirteen years since he last saw her freckled face, and his mind raced with dozens of apologies. What could he say to her that would truly make this all right? How could he reassure her that everything would be okay despite everything that’s happened? He closed his yellow eyes, laying his head back into the brunt of the pillow in an attempt to sleep, but after hours, he could find no respite.
The doctor rolled over onto his side. No bones could be heard cracking. That’s a good sign. The forsaken extended his dry, grey hand outward, wrapping his fingers around his weathered, hardcover prayer book.
A small smile escaped the man as his gaze fell back to his nails with the motion. Even if they were plastic, he cherished them. But soon, his smile would revert back to a solemn frown at the sight of his fingertips, burned away from his own vile acids and toxins. Did he truly deserve forgiveness? He shook his head, dispelling away the thought.
With a slight grunt, Jonathan tested his mobility. He pulled the book toward him, but his hand began to shake. The torture was too much. He was still weak - Weaker than he had ever been in both of his lives, but he pressed on. “Come on…” the forsaken growled as he steadied his arm with the other hand. Despite his efforts, the prayer book slipped from his grasp and THUD on the floor. The dull sound was proof that he was helpless still.
He inched his way to the edge of his bed, reaching a hand downward to finally retrieve the text. His red cloth strip of a bookmark had fallen out, and he rolled onto his back once more with a dry groan. The forsaken ran his fingers across the inlaid silver lettering on the book’s cover: Codex of Scripture 3rd ed. - Authored by Columban V, Caspius Greenleaf, and Alonsus II. A soft, tingling sensation pervaded through his rotten, discolored fingertips, but whether that was a result of the text or Lestuu’s treatment was unknown.
He knew the book was not enchanted. It was only a collection of historical and spiritual writings. The forsaken felt a sense of strange calm as he hugged the text against his torso’s stitched Y-incision. He stayed like this for a few minutes, shutting his eyes to simply enjoy the peaceful feeling before opening the book to a random page.
1: We are inherently unworthy, simply because we are Human.
2: And, all Human beings--aye, and Elves, and Dwarves, and all the other races--are flawed.
3: But, the Light loves us all the same.
4: It loves us for that to which we can, in rare moments, rise.
5: It loves us for what we can do to help others.
6: And, It loves us because we can help it share its message by striving daily to be worthy, even although we understand that we cannot ever truly so become.
7: This is grace at its most pure and most simple.
The chapter elicited an odd, choking feeling at the depths of Jonathan’s esophagus. Why could a simple text bring more emotion and feeling out of him than his fellow sentient beings? He continued to hold the text, and a sharp burning feeling erupted through his hands. The forsaken howled, dropping the book into his blankets as he scurried away from the text and rolled over away from it.