By Enola Jones

Ezra lay in the bed in the clinic, his mind whirling as he tried to sort out this new, confusing hand fate had dealt him.

It seemed as though his oasis had become a quagmire, sucking him further and further into despair.

Now he was blind. Blind because of a bullet graze. His head rang and he just wanted to see.

He wanted to see the sunshine, the sky, the horses, the people… hell, right now even the dusty roads would have looked wonderful!

But all there was -- was blackness. His hands fisted in the thin coverlet as he realised he recognised the feeling in his throat.

Ezra was drowning – suffocating. Alone in a dark morass with no way out.

A patch of warmth caressed his forehead, alerting him. He did not startle too badly when the warm hand landed on his forehead. “Nathan?”

“Yeah, Ezra. It’s me.” If he was startled by the use of his first name, it didn’t show in the healer’s voice.

“I want to go home.”

“I can’t let you outta here yet. Your head’s still too injured.”

Ezra felt his eyes close. “When?”

“A day. A week. I just don’t know.”

“I feel trapped, Nathan. Trapped.”

“We’ve got your back, Ezra,” Nathan said. “All of us.”

“Nathan – will my sight come back?”

The silence was the last straw. Ezra barely had time to pull away from the hand and curl up before his control broke and the hot tears started to fall.


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