MidReal Story

Healing the Enemy's Heart

Scenario: A woman running into injured orc in the woods she desided to path him up
Create my version of this story
A woman running into injured orc in the woods she desided to path him up
I was running through the woods, my heart pounding in my chest.
I could hear the sounds of battle behind me, and I knew that I had to get away.
I had no weapon, no way to defend myself, and I was terrified that one of the orcs would catch me.
If they did, I would be dead.
I was a healer, and they hated healers.
They hated all humans, but they especially hated those of us who could heal the sick and wounded.
I stumbled over a root and went sprawling on the ground.
Pain shot through my ankle, and I bit back a cry as I struggled to my feet again.
I had to keep moving; I couldn’t afford to stop.
If I did, they would catch me for sure.
I forced myself to keep running, even though every step sent agony shooting up my leg.
The sounds of battle were growing fainter now; it seemed that I had managed to put some distance between myself and the fighting.
The forest was dense here, the trees growing close together and their branches entwined with one another.
It was hard to see where I was going, and I had to keep my eyes on the ground to avoid tripping again.
But I could hear the orcs, and I knew that they were still close behind me.
I couldn’t afford to slow down.
My heart was pounding in my chest, and I was gasping for breath.
I was tired, so tired, but I had to keep running.
I had to get away from the orcs.
The trees thinned out a little, and I could see a clearing ahead.
If I could make it there, I might be able to lose them.
The sounds of battle were growing fainter now; it seemed that I had managed to put some distance between myself and the fighting.
But that didn’t mean that I was safe.
The orcs were still close behind me, and I could hear the sound of their heavy footsteps coming through the woods.
I redoubled my efforts, running as fast as I could.
But it wasn’t fast enough.
A shadow fell over me, and I saw a huge figure emerging from the darkness—huge and hulking, with green skin and sharp tusks that gleamed in the dim light of the clearing.
My heart froze in my chest, and for a moment, I felt as if I couldn’t breathe.
An orc, right in front of me—I’d run right into it!
I tried to turn and run the other way, but it was too late.
It reached out and grabbed me, its huge hand closing around my arm like a vise.
It was so strong; there was no way I could break free of its grip.
Terror washed over me, paralyzing me for a moment; all I could do was stand there, shaking like a leaf in the wind.
Orcs hated humans, and they especially hated healers like myself.
We were the ones who could undo the damage they caused, who made it possible for their enemies to rise again and fight them once more.
If this orc decided to kill me, there would be nothing I could do to stop it.
But it didn’t kill me; instead, it pulled me closer, and I saw that its expression was not one of hatred or fury, but rather, pain and exhaustion and fear.
It was wounded, I realized, its huge body covered in blood and grime, and I could see that its shoulder was mangled and torn.
It was an orc warrior, and it had been fighting a battle—one that, from the look of things, it hadn’t won.
I’m a healer, I said as I came closer, my voice shaking.
Let me help you.
The orc stared at me for a long moment, and then it nodded, releasing my arm and gesturing toward its wound.
I stepped forward and took a closer look at the injury; it was bad, very bad, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to save this orc’s life or not.
Image for story eCac
Image for story eCac
The orc’s huge form loomed over me, its massive muscles rippling beneath its green skin like waves on the ocean.
Orcs were known for their brute strength and savagery; they were warriors through and through, born and bred to fight and kill, and many of them took a grim sort of pleasure in the pain and suffering they inflicted on others.
As a healer, I’d always found them rather terrifying—so different from the delicate balance of life I sought to uphold in my work, like some sort of dark shadow come to snuff out the light.
The orc’s face was harsh and angular, its sharp tusks jutting out from its lower jaw like knives, and its eyes were yellow and catlike, staring at me with an intensity that made my skin crawl.
But even more disturbing was the creature’s stench—a noxious blend of sweat and filth and something else that I couldn’t quite identify.
It smelled like death, I realized, and I felt a wave of revulsion rise up in my throat as I drew closer to tend its wounds.
The orc seemed to sense my hesitation; it growled at me softly, baring its teeth in a silent warning.
But I didn’t let it stop me.
I opened my pack and pulled out a small knife and a roll of bandages.
Then I began to clean and dress the orc’s wound as best as I could, doing my best to ignore its rancid odor and the way its hot breath washed over me like a fetid wind.
It was a deep cut, and it had clearly been left untended for far too long; by all rights, the orc should have died of infection days ago.
But it hadn’t; somehow, it had managed to survive.
And now it was up to me to save its life.
When I was finished with the orc’s wound, I carefully packed up my supplies and started to move away.
But the orc reached out and grabbed me again before I could go more than a few steps.
I’m not going to hurt you!
I shouted at it in a panic.
To my surprise, the orc let go of me and staggered backward a few steps before collapsing to the ground.
I stared at it in shock for a long moment, trying to make sense of what had just happened.
Had this orc been running from the battle, too?
Was it so badly injured that it had simply lost the strength to go on?
Or was it luring me into a trap, playing on my sympathy to get me to lower my guard so that it could kill me more easily?
I didn’t know, and that scared me more than anything.
I needed to get away.
I needed to find my friends and get help.
I needed to get out of these woods before it was too late.
But when I turned to go, my ankle gave out beneath me, and I fell to the ground.
Pain shot through my leg, and for a moment, I was too stunned to move.
The orc was lying motionless beside me, its labored breaths coming in short, ragged gasps.
I wasn’t sure if it was dead or just unconscious, or if it had attacked me or if it was simply too weak to stand.
Image for story eCac
For a long moment, I lay there in the darkness, trying to control my breathing as the world spun around me.
When the worst of the dizziness had passed, I managed to pull myself into a sitting position and take stock of my surroundings.
The air was eerily still, and all around me, the sounds of battle had been replaced by an unsettling silence.
I could see no sign of my friends, but in the dim light that filtered through the trees, I could see the orc lying motionless on the ground a few feet away from me.
I shuddered as my gaze fell on its massive form, barely visible in the darkness.
I should have been terrified of this creature, but instead, I found myself feeling something else entirely.
Guilt, perhaps, for leaving it behind.
Or confusion, for not knowing what to do next.
Or maybe even pity, for this poor creature whose life was hanging in the balance.
Why had it spared me?
Orcs were known for their hatred of humans, and healers were their favorite prey; they considered us their natural enemies because we could undo the damage they caused in battle.
So why hadn’t it killed me?
Had it been too weak to finish me off, or too proud to take advantage of my vulnerability, or too stupid to recognize me as a threat?
I didn’t know, and that scared me more than anything.
I needed to go, but something stopped me.
I needed to help it, but something held me back.
I needed to make a decision, but something was keeping me from doing so.
I’m not sure how long I sat there in the darkness, torn between my fear and my compassion, trying to figure out what to do next.
In the end, it was my healer’s instinct that won out.
With a shaking breath, I forced myself to get up and start moving again, doing my best to ignore the pain that shot through my leg with every step.
The world spun around me as I tried to walk, and for a moment, I was afraid that I was going to pass out again before I could get to safety.
But with every step that I took, I got stronger, and after a few minutes of slow, careful walking, the world had stopped spinning so violently around me.
The orc was lying motionless beside me, and for a moment, I was afraid that it was dead.
But when I reached out to touch it, its hot breath washed over my hand like a fetid wind, and I knew that it was still alive.
It had been waiting for me all along, and now it had me right where it wanted me.
Dizziness washed over me as my fingers brushed against its rough skin, and for a moment, I was afraid that I was going to pass out again before I could get away.
But somehow, I managed to stay on my feet long enough to make a quick assessment of its injuries.
Its breathing was slow and shallow, and its pulse was weak and thready.
Its skin was hot to the touch and covered in a thick layer of sweat.
Image for story eCac
It was in bad shape, there was no doubt about that.
I could barely see it in the dim light, but even as weak and helpless as it was, it was still more than strong enough to kill me.
If it wanted to, it could crush my throat with one blow, or snap my neck in two like a twig.
I knew that, and yet somehow, its helplessness only made it feel more dangerous.
Its eyes were closed as it lay there on the ground, and it gave no sign of being aware of my presence.
But its breaths were slow and labored, and its grip on its axe was slack and loose.
It was too weak to move, and too hurt to fight back, and part of me almost felt sorry for it.
With a shaking breath, I forced myself to take one small step forward, then another, then another.
My ankle burned with pain as my weight came down on it, and spots swam before my eyes, and my head throbbed as though it were about to split in two.
But somehow, despite all that, I managed to pull myself together long enough to take one more step, and then one more after that.
I could see it now, lying there on the ground like some kind of wounded animal, its massive form looming over me like some kind of horrible nightmare.
It was so big and so strong and so terrifyingly alien, and I knew that I should be afraid of it.
I knew that I should be running as fast and as far away from it as I could.
But somehow, I found myself moving closer to it instead.
Its armor was stained with blood and filth from the battle, and even in the dim light, I could see how pale and waxy its skin had become.
It had been hurt badly, and its wounds were still open and bleeding.
A thick layer of bandages had been wrapped around its chest to help stop the bleeding, but blood was still seeping through them in several places.
Its tusks were sharp and white like shards of broken bone, and they stood out against its grimace like two terrible fangs.
Its axe lay beside it on the ground, and even though it could have reached for it at any moment, the orc had given no sign of wanting to pick it up again.
For some reason, the sight of that axe lying there on the ground struck me as being almost unbearably sad.
A wave of dizziness washed over me as I stared down at it, and for a moment, I was afraid that I was going to pass out again before I could make up my mind.
I could barely see it in the dim light, and I could barely smell it over the stench of blood and death that hung over the battlefield like a thick, choking cloud.
But even so, I knew that it was there, lying just out of my reach, waiting for me to make up my mind.
It was so big and so strong and so terrifyingly alien, and I knew that I should be afraid of it.
I knew that I should be running as fast and as far away from it as I could.
But somehow, I found myself moving closer to it instead.
Its eyes were still closed as I crawled up to it on my hands and knees, and its breaths were still slow and labored as it lay there on the ground.
It was still more than strong enough to kill me if it wanted to, and I knew that better than anyone else.
But for some reason, that didn’t scare me the way that it should have.
222
519