He’d been traveling since he could remember – since he was able to walk. His parents had been nomads and he was the same. All his people were. The idea of staying in one place for longer than a profitable festival bordered on terrifying.

Now he scowled down at legs that refused to support him. He could move them but the healers thought it likely that he would never walk again. He couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around what was happening. It was as if his legs had minds of their own. One day they had simply rebelled and he had found when trying to climb out of bed that he couldn’t stand.

The healers had assured him that soon he should be strong enough to wheel himself about in a specially made chair but he knew that the strange malady spelled the end of his days on the road.

Town roads were paved and well maintained. The roads in the countryside – the roads the travelers used – were notoriously poorly kept; full og ruts and holes in the dry season and mud in the wet season. Wheeled chairs were not meant for such terrain and he knew it.

Martin closed his eyes and leaned back against the crisp white sheets, ready to cry. He felt trapped by the stone walls of the infirmary and knowing he’d probably never leave this town again made the sensation worse. He looked outside and watched the passersby as they went about their business, unaware of the gift they had to simply walk around freely and unrestricted.

He turned away, not wanting to torture himself any longer. If only he knew why he couldn’t walk, he might find a way to regain the ability. He closed his eyes again, this time in prayer. Perhaps, someone knew more about his condition than the healers in the little town. Perhaps there would be help for him. For now he could only wait.

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