Cancer: Prologue

By Alexandra "Xand" Baker

Markyl walked away from the mess hall silently, his once shining dark green eyes now dull, and trained on the ground.

I sighed, watching him avoid everysmurf he passed expertly as he had done for the past two years since the deaths; I feel guilty for thinking such horrid thoughts as I wish, now and then, that he had never been born. .. No smurfling, especially at such a young age, should have to go through such sorrow.

It's surprising that he even stays in the village!

Even after those days, he lives in his mother's old mushroom and surrounds himself with her music, locking himself away only to come out for meals and then go back to his lyrical den.

The last time he spoke to anyone was a horrible day… long after his mother fell ill.

The memory of that day is painful; despite the sun and fine weather, and smiling faces of smurfs and the few children playing around, awful news would be brought upon Streaky.

She had come to me that afternoon, showing me strange bruises on her ankles and shoulders, "I don't understand how I got them… I haven't done anything that would inflict these injuries."

"When did they appear?" I asked, inspecting her arms as well.

The smurfette shrugged, "yesterday… but more have appeared only now."

"Just now?" I raised my brows, "Which ones?"

She pointed to a couple on her ankles, "Those weren't there when I went to breakfast…" nervously; she tucked a lock of her curly multicolored hair behind her ear, "Papa Smurf, d-do you know what's happening?"

I looked into her apple green eyes, "Not yet… I'll come get you when I smurf something."

Streaky nodded, biting her lip, "Alright…"

She sat by the tree in an exhausted way, feeling drained from walking a few mere feet to the river.

Closing her eyes and leaning her head back against the tree, she mumbled, "What's wrong with me?"

"A lot of things", a voice in the treetops replied.

Streaky smiled, "Touché"

"Wow, something is wrong with you… you didn't even object!" Aiko raised her blonde brows, "Hey… what happened to your wrists?"

Streaky bit her lip, "I'm not too sure my self…"

"What do you mean by that?"

"I didn't hurt myself… they literally just appeared Ai." She tugged her sleeves up to cover them.

Aiko shifted in her perch, "Fine. We'll say that."

I felt nervous and a little guilty… at least Brainy wasn't here to make it harder to tell her the news; her life was endangered after all.

She came in, eyes wide and followed closely by Grouchy; he was most likely worried about the bruises as well.

"Hi Papa… so, what's going on?" she chuckled nervously.

"I hate what's going on." He stated, giving her a slightly worried glance.

I nodded to two chairs, pulling up a third, "Please have a seat; I have news but you're not going to smurf it my dear."

Her body went rigged, doing as she was told, Grouchy giving her hand a comforting squeeze.

I took a deep breath, "Streaky, before I tell you, have you been feeling tired? Perhaps drained from walking short distances, or dizzy?"

She nodded slightly, "Yes… I've been feeling this way for a few days now, but I could get through the day. For the past two days I turn in early."

Stroking my beard I asked, "Have you been coughing at all? Smurfing a little disoriented?"

She nodded again, a worried gaze in her eyes.

I sighed; now certain that she had what I feared.

"I hate Smurfing disoriented… Papa Smurf, what's going on?" Grouchy asked, his eyes flashing.

"Streaky… I'm sorry but, you have Leukemia... and by the smurf of it it's hitting hard." I said, trying to tell her gently… a hard and sad thing to do when you're telling someone that they are dying.

She just stared in shock, her bottom lip trembling as she took in the news; Grouchy looked at her in fear, saying nothing and squeezing her hands in an effort to re assure them both.

"I will try to find a cure." I added truthfully, "I know there is one; but if there's anything else I can do…"

Streaky shook her head, "N-no… I just…" tears rolled down her cheeks, "I-I'll hold out as long as I can."

After telling her of the cancer's progress, and what to expect, I gave her a small capsule of pain killers, "Don't use them until you're feeling the pain… Please my dear, let me do something."

But she merely smiled sadly and thanked me, insisting that she could wait.

As they left, I knew that the progress of her illness was quickening by the days…

Streaky Smurfette didn't have much time left.