28. Darklings, Death, and Drinks

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"It means, Ashley, that you're dying." Max says.

I stare at him for a few seconds, then stare some more. Max shifts uncomfortably under the force of my stare, but I can't do anything else. It feels as if I'm frozen, and my mind is totally blank.

What is the correct way to act if someone tells you you're dying?

Should I cry, yell in anger, faint in disbelief, or maybe just faint cause I'm tired?

"Oh for crying out loud!" Becky exclaims, stomping over to Max's side. She comes to a stop right next to him, jutting her hip out, and is it me or did Max just straighten up?

"Say something!" Becky demands, looking me straight in the eye with a scowl, but I can also see a hint of concern. Is Becky worried for me? That's almost too good to be true.

I think about her demand, looking down at the ground and clearing my throat, finally I look up and open my mouth.

"Your shoe's untied."

Becky's expression goes blank.

"My what?"

"Your shoe." I say, pointing at her tennis shoe. "It's untied."

Becky is suddenly overcome with a look of murder, staring down at me with vicious intent. She takes a step forward, probably to strangle me.

Max puts an arm out, stopping Becky.

"Go easy on her. She's most likely in shock."

Becky pauses but eventually backs off, looking only slightly irritated. Hmm, what we're we talking about again? Oh yeah, dying.

"How long does she have to live?" Becky asks quietly, seeming to read my mind and ask the question before I could open my mouth.

"I don't know." Max admits sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head. Humans are more complex, they're body systems a little different. It was hard enough attempting to heal her. I definitely can't get a read on her."

"Then what the heck are you good for?" Becky mutters, and the look of hurt that flashes across Max's face makes me cringe. I look sympathetically at him.

"Don't let it get to you. She's only yelling because she's concerned. Becky has a knack for showing the opposite of what she's feeling "

Max flushes while Becky scowls.

"Do not!" She yells, giving me an icy cold glare.

I'm about to retort when suddenly the hammer in my head makes a sudden appearance, and I let out a gasp of pain, hands going to my head.

"Now what's happening?" Becky asks, more of the worry and panic showing in her voice.

"I could only heal her for so long. The longer time passes, the more painful and frequent these migraines will get." Max says somberly.

"Can't you do anything?" Becky asks, looking down at my pain stricken face.

Max thinks for a moment, before his eyes light up. He pulls a small bottle out of his pocket, what it was doing there, I have no idea.

"Drink this." He says, holding it up to my lips. "It'll make the pain go away." I start taking small sips, desperate for the pain to end.

"What is that?" Becky asks, curious. "Some kind of medicine?"

"Nope," Max says cheerfully, watching as I finish off the entire bottle. "I stole it from my father. It's Lecic."

"Lecic! You idiot!" Becky exclaims, snatching the bottle away from me, but I've already finished it. "Why would you give her Lecic? Just one sip is enough to get a full grown man intoxicated."

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