The Broken Man by Brandon Jones

The Broken Man by Brandon Jones

Author:Brandon Jones [Jones, Brandon]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2020-04-07T22:00:00+00:00

Chapter 23

“Apologies, Reverate,” Master Roetu said, unwrapping the bandages on Josen’s hand. “What exactly did you say you did to your hand?” He looked up at Josen, clear white eyes standing out stark against his dark Jurdish skin. Kafele Roetu had been the Oak family surgeon as long as Josen could remember, stitching cuts and mending broken bones since Josen was a child. Josen found his gaze oddly comforting. Roetu had already cleaned and bandaged Josen’s cuts and bruises from his fight with Deferate Vimelle. Josen had been surprised when Roetu asked if he wanted him to take a look at his hand. A cut on the back of his head required six stitches, and his nose had needed to be re-set—God’s tears, that had hurt. In comparison, his hand felt positively splendid. He had forgotten all about it.

“I thought I might have broken it, but it’s feeling better. It got caught between two barrels this morning while I was working,” Josen said. He had rehearsed the lie in his head all day, knowing the question would come eventually. It was close enough to the truth. “I heard something pop when it happened.”

Master Roetu looked back down to Josen’s hand, mouth flat. “I see,” was all Roetu said.

After a moment inspecting Josen’s hand, both visually and with his own gentle hands, Roetu stepped away to rummage through his bag sitting on Josen’s bed. Josen relaxed back in his chair. “You are sure the popping sound came from your hand, and not from the barrels in question?” Rotue asked.

Josen thought about it for a moment. “Fairly sure. It happened fast.”

Roetu frowned slightly as he lifted Josen’s hand again, this time with a bandage in hand. He prodded gently at Josen’s hand again, frown deepening, before beginning a wrap above his wrist, stabilizing the hand.

“Is something wrong?” Josen asked. It was never a good sign to see a surgeon frowning at a part of your body.

“No, not wrong. Well, not bad wrong. Just strange. Your hand is healing well.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I can feel a fracture along bones in your hand,” Roetu said, pointing. “Here and here. But based on the swelling, and way the break is healing, it looks more like you broke it three, maybe four weeks ago.”

“That can’t be right. Maybe I didn’t actually break it?”

Master Roetu shrugged. “Maybe,” he said. “But not particularly worrying as long as it is healing wall. And it is. It is healing nearly as well as if I had set it myself.” He placed the extra bandages back in his bag and pulled out a smaller, paper sack. Josen recognized it immediately.

“Candy?” Roetu offered, holding out the bag for Josen, who laughed.

“Aren’t I too old to be bribed with candies?”

“Are you saying no?” Roetu raised an eyebrow.

Josen grinned and fished a few of Roetu’s signature hard ceral candies out of the bag. They were exactly how he remembered them—the color of burnt caramel and a similar taste, but more earthy. They were delicious.


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