Jeremiah moaned and clutched at his sheets. He couldn’t feel his legs from the knee down. Up to his waist they tingled. At his waist he felt almost unrelenting pain. It occurred to him that he couldn’t seem to move his legs. Ordinarily he would be worried about this, but he was in too much pain to care at the moment.

Finally he passed out, whether from the fever or the pain, he wasn’t sure. When he woke the pain was gone, but so was all sensation in his legs. He could almost feel his waist, but not to any great degree. He opened his eyes to an empty room.

He managed to get into a seated position and looked down to see that his aura was gone nearly from his waist down. It seemed to have stabilized, however. Biting his lip, Jeremiah forced back tears. Crying wouldn’t help. He was probably paralyzed, but at least he was alive.

“Thank you, Lord, for my life,” he whispered as the door to his room swung open. A grim-faced healer entered and he smiled wanly. “I already realized that I’m paralyzed,” he said.

The healer nodded and said, “The likelihood of your aura ever expanding to cover your legs is very slim. You’d best think about your options from here on out. You’ll probably need some assistance, at least at first.”