By Mike Cooley
Copyright 2012 by Mike Cooley
Larissya was holding her dying grandmother in her arms when she felt it. The lump in her left forearm was moving! She looked up weakly and smiled. “It is time, Larissya,” she whispered, and handed her the blade.
“What are you saying?” Larissya asked, looking down at her ancient, gnarled face.
“You must remove the crystal,” Althea answered. “It must be removed while I live. It must be removed now. Hurry, before the others arrive.”
Larissya looked at the antique qualarm blade, its handle wrapped with a golden band. The lump under Althea’s skin was glowing and restless. It had been there since Larissya could first remember—since her childhood.