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Tainted faith

By @Reading_Queen

Tainted Faith

I waited for my informant to show up at the small cafe we had agreed to meet at. Staring out the window I looked at the heads bobbing up and down on the street.

Sighing, I looked at my watch. 10:30 am. I’d already been waiting for a half hour and my patience was wearing thin. There were other leads I could chase after for this case, but so far the informant was the one who seemed to have the most information.

Bending my head to stare at my lap, my short brown hair fell over my face like a veil.

“Excuse me?” a voice called.

I looked up, slightly startled. I hadn’t even noticed the eight year old girl approach me. She carried two cups of tea with her, one halfway finished and the other full.

“Can I help you?” I asked politely.

“Are you Miss Howard?” the girl asked, her eerie green, wolf like eyes flickered nervously.

I nodded and added, “You can call me Alexia if you’d like.”

The girl shook her head and hesitantly smiled as she took her seat. “Um, I heard you were looking into the deaths that have been happening all over the city. I think I could help with the investigation.”

I arched an eyebrow at the girl, “You’re my informant?” The girl’s brows furrowed, and I figured she didn’t understand that word so I reworded it, “You’re the one who wanted to meet me?”

The girl’s eyes lit up as she understood and she nodded happily. Pushing over the full cup of tea she said, “I got you some tea.”

I took it, looking around the room quickly, though I didn’t see anyone watching us. I looked at the girl again, she was much too young to be here on her own, much less have the money to buy tea. “What’s your name?” I asked.

“My name is Sophie Dale,” The girl said as she watched me intently while absentmindedly playing with her long blond hair.

“Alright, well where are your parents Sophie?” I asked before taking a sip of my tea.

She didn’t get a chance to answer though before I was staring down at the cup in shock. As soon as I took a sip I knew it was poisoned. The sweet taste of unicorn horn powder mixed with chimera venom overpowered the taste of the herbs in the tea. Alone my magic would have flushed the chimera poison out of my system, but everyone knew that when mixed with the potent power of unicorn horn dust it was a deadly mix that could not be cured.

Other than the two of us the cafe was empty and the workers were in the back so no one was there to witness the crime. I looked at the girl eyes wide, I was already starting to struggle for breath and knew I only had five minutes.

“W-why?” I choked out.

She bit her lip looking conflicted, before saying, “It was the only way. I just want to be cured, and big brother said that he could cure me if he had a little more time. I just want to live like everyone else again.”

“C-cure?”

“I have Lycrigrph, I don’t really know what that is, but big brother said that it means I can’t stay around other people for more than an hour or two otherwise I’ll hurt someone. I don’t want to hurt anyone, he says he can find a cure for me, but you could stop him. So, if I get rid of you then I can be like everyone else!” Sophie answered.

Lycrigrph had no known cure, my mind was able to recall that as I drew near to death’s door. Doctors and scientists had been trying to find one for years now and Sophie’s older brother claimed he could find one for her?

It seemed so unlikely that I couldn’t help but feel pity for her for having such blind faith in her brother.

“I should go, I’ve almost been her an hour and I don’t want to risk hurting anyone else.” Sophie stood and started walking away but paused and mumbled, “I’m sorry,” then she continued.

I struggled to watch her figure move away as my head fell onto the table. I tried to open my mouth to say something, call for help maybe, but my functions were already mostly shut down and all I could do was stare at a point I couldn’t see anymore as my life ended.

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