Nathaniel paced nervously as he waited for the doctor to finish. When the man finally came out of the examination room he froze. The man looked grim. He was obviously unhappy.

“She’s sick… it isn’t just a little thing, is it?” he asked softly. “It… it isn’t going to go away, is it?”

“Her aura is literally tearing itself apart. It won’t be soon. She could hang on for another ten years, or even longer. There’ve been a lot of strides made in auric strengtheners and the like but… I’m sorry. There just isn’t much we can do,” the man said softly.

“We… we just… our second boy was born this past spring. Are you saying that she might not live to see them grow up?” Nathaniel sighed and looked away. “Did you tell her?”

“With this sort of illness, stress tends to exacerbate an attack. I thought it best to wait until the attack had run its course,” the doctor said softly. “Would you like to tell her? She might take it better from you. We’ve got her on a course of auric stabilizers now. That will alleviate the symptoms.”

Nathaniel closed his eyes and nodded. The doctor sighed in relief and left the waiting room silently. Technically it was part of his job to break this bad news; but he was young. It was all together likely that his wife was the first terminal patient the doctor had ever had. Nathaniel nodded to himself and headed into the examination room.

“What did the doctor say?” she asked softly.

“You’ll be fine,” Nathaniel said. “He just had to put you on auric stabilizers and strengtheners. Just rest up and you’ll be just fine.”