Dark Misery

Dark Misery, Children's Stories

 It came silently, and without invitation, the dark sickness spread to every village and hollow in the region; Folksburywoods was no exception. Many wonder why there is no cure as the dead are laid to rest. The wise woman Ursula doesn’t have the answers the people want. Ursula admits nature wanders its own course and understands it takes time. A mysterious figure appears in the woods on a cold and rainy day. His dress causes new fears to erupt throughout the forest. Wearing a mask of the plague healers of old, the stranger offers cures for the sickness at a price many find hard to meet.

 From his cart, the Healer produces devices that spark, glow, and hum like angry hornets, telling the sick they are the tools of science, not the fabled magic of the past. The stranger examines the ill with his devices and then prepares brightly colored potions, which work wonders as relief flows through their wearied bodies. The Healer promises full recovery in days as long as they keep taking his potions. The Wise Woman is troubled by how the Healer uses fear to control the forest folk and decides to challenge his methods. The Waldvolker mocked the wise woman, saying she is stuck in the past as they move closer to the ways of the Healer. As more folk fall to the illness or fail to recover, many also question him.

 In a desperate move to retain control over the village, the Healer blames Ursula for the sickness and says she is an agent of dark forces. The Waldvolker may have fallen to the Healers sweet tongue and rejected folk medicine; they could not accept casting Ursula as a force of darkness.

 Led by the elders, the Waldvolker chases the Healer from the village. Ursula again tends to the village sick as they slowly regain strength and return to their daily lives.

 Weeks later, a traveler passes through and hears the story of the Healer from the forest folk. The woman relates similar tales about a mysterious figure in sick villages who claims to have remedies for the dark sickness. He abruptly vanishes once the money is gone or is chased out for his deception.

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