Adain knew the moment they let go of his arms he might crumble to the floor. How long had it been now? Six months? Seven? Had he really not taken a single step since then?
The scars on his legs would be there forever, though the rocks did not scrape his shins so much as crush the bones. How had the merics healed him? No twelve year old boy should have survived such a cave in.
The mean meric, whoever he was, he was gone. Now there was only the quiet man and the large woman who came to him. “Time to try again, boy.”
Every day it was the same. They lifted him from the scratchy old mattress, carried him over to the adjacent room with the damp smell, the single torchlight and the bars on the sides of the wall. Every day they held him, asked him if he was ready, and eventually he nodded. Every time his arms held him up on the bars. And every time he put the slightest pressure on his feet, the pain struck so hard he crumbled to floor.
“Are you ready?” the quiet man asked.
The other two let go and Adain’s hands gripped the bars. He closed his eyes.
He remembered what the stranger said to him all those months ago, when Adain told him he might never walk again. “Prove them wrong,” he had said.
He put pressure down on his foot. Pain, yes, but bearable. More pressure. Again, bearable.
He took in a deep breath. “For you, mother,” he whispered.
Adain took a step, and he did not fall.
(The word prompt today was “Walk.” Adain is the main character from my book, By the Light of the Moons)