Disclaimer : remember, any characters you recognize aren't mine.

Burning Bridges


"Sister Helen! Sister Helen! Come quick!" The six year old's shrill voice cut short her meditations like hacking the end of off a loaf of bread. She sighed and rose to her feet while tucking away her rosary.

"Sister Helen!" the sound of small feet raced towards her as the owner of the voice came barreling around the corner, barely missing her as the child spotted her and tried to stop.

Wearily she responded to the loudest child in the orphanage. "Jaime, how many times do I have to tell you not to run or shout in the church? Go sit still in the corner and say one rosary of prayers as your punishment after you tell what is wrong."

Only slightly abashed the young boy bounced on his toes as he reported. "Sister, Father says to hurry! He found a guy knocked out on the steps a the church! He said ta bring hot water an' bandages an' the first aid kit! I seed 'im! He got blood on the steps!"

Helen was forced to interrupt the child's excited chatter. "Jaime, calm down. Now where did Father Maxwell take the fellow he found?"

"He moved 'im inta the hall Sister! He sent Ami ta get an old paper ta keep blood offa the floor!" still bouncing the small child continued to chatter at her until Helen told him, quite strictly, to calm down, sit quietly in the corner and say his rosary. Then she left, moving as quickly as she dared to fetch the items Father Maxwell needed to tend the injured stranger.

As she neared the door, hands full with the requested items, she got her first glimpse of the man Father Maxwell had rescued. Why, he was little more than a child! The young man couldn't have been more than fifteen of sixteen years old, and he looked so innocent. It was no wonder the Father had decided to help him.

The first thing she did after depositing her load of medical supplies next to the Father was to calm down the audience of children crowded into the hall. "Alright children, quite down and move back, don't crowd so close that Father Maxwell can't help the poor boy." As the children moved back, still whispering to one another, she saw the amount of blood matting the boy's hair and puddling on the papers under his head and wondered if he might not need more help than they could provide. "Father, do you think we should call a doctor?" she asked.

"No need," was the deep voiced reply, "head wounds tend to bleed profusely even when the damage is relatively minor like this." Father Maxwell seemed to be somewhat amused by all the attention their impromptu guest was gaining. "He only managed to split open his scalp and give himself a concussion. He didn't crack is skull or damage himself elsewhere, but I don't envy him the headache he will have when he wakes up. Sister, why don't you prepare an extra pallet in the boy's dorm for this young man when he wakes up." As the deep vaguely amused voice tapered off, the owner's attention shifting fully to the task at hand, Sister Helen wondered once again what a Priest of his abilities was doing in the slums of L2.

AN: this is the end of 'Burning Bridges', the story will continue in 'Demon's Angel' as soon as I get something written that I'm willing to post. And to the people who have reviewed this story and especially those who made helpful suggestions and brought irregularities to my attention, you know who you are, thank you.