Friday, June 18, 2021

Microstory 1650: Breathe Freely

There are two types of voldisil in my universe; natural-born voldisil, and kenvoldisil, which are given their spirit abilities by regular voldisil. We actually say, though, that the voldisil passes on their spirit. This sort of thing doesn’t happen often, because it comes with a price. Losing one’s spirit is not like losing one’s soul. They may sound like synonyms, but it’s more like the spirit is part of one’s soul. Not everyone has one, but if they do, they can’t lose it without also losing their lives. Most of the time, when one chooses to create a kenvoldisil, it’s because they’re dying anyway, and they believe their spirit has more work to do on this Earth. They just have to hope that the person they choose is worthy, and will use the abilities wisely. Landis Tipton is one such kenvoldisil, but he did not just receive one spirit; he received five, and not because he was deemed worthy, but because he was the only choice. Five voldisil friends were all attacked by a powerful and angry sixth voldisil, and they knew that their time was up. They ran off, looking for a new group of five to take up the mantle. Unfortunately, it was a late hour, and they were in a sparsely populated part of town, so they only managed to find Landis. Still, they had to do something, so with their final breaths, they drove their spirits into him. They didn’t even have time to explain to him what they were, what he now was, and what he was meant to do with his new gifts. Separately, the abilities had many great uses. They were fit for a team looking to do some good. Combined, the applications were less useful, so he really just focused on one. Landis now had the ability to see someone’s regrets, smell their health, hear their desires, feel their pain, and taste their lies.

Without a team, Landis didn’t know what he was supposed to do with his life now. Should he become a therapist, and help people overcome their problems by knowing their regrets and desires? Could he become a human lie detector, helping the authorities catch criminals? Or should he diagnose medical conditions, and relay that information to medical professionals? Well, what he realized was that the original five voldisil probably weren’t using their spirit gifts in the best way possible. They were helping one person—or maybe one small group—at a time. He wasn’t even sure whether they knew that their abilities could be reversed. When he looked at someone, he could witness events of their past that they wished never happened, but when they looked into his eyes, he could show them their potential. Their voice could tell him what they want, while his voice could comfort them, and make them feel satisfied with their lives. He could sense pain, and take it away with touch. He could taste lies, but also force them to tell the truth. But the most important ability he now possessed was the only one he ended up really using. His nose could detect health, but his breath could heal. Once he discovered this, everything changed. He sat down, and made a plan, and then he carried out that plan exquisitely. He first approached the wealthiest man in the city who was publicly known to be presently having health issues. He made a deal. Give Landis a thousand dollars right now on the chance that Landis could heal him, and then the rest of the million dollars once the oncologist told him he was cured. Of course, the man was hesitant, but a thousand bucks was nothing to him, and he had tried everything else, so he might as well give it a shot.

A few weeks later, Landis was a millionaire. He didn’t just spend the money on fast cars, and small-portion food, though. He asked the man to reach out to his other sick, but rich, friends, and got himself a few more million dollars, and then Landis bought a hotel. He cleared out all the guests, hired a growing team, and started a foundation. He brought in people one by one. They literally stood in line, and waited their turn to be healed. He didn’t always charge them, though. Much of the pre-work that needed to be done involved looking over every patient’s finances to determine which category they fit into. The rich people paid, the less rich people didn’t pay anything, and poor people actually received money. It was just free money that Landis gave them, along with the cure for what ailed them, from an account that was funded by the wealthiest of patients. As word spread, the operation was able to expand. A security team maintained order in the ballroom. A video played in the entertainment room, explaining to people what they were here for, and why it worked the way it worked. Just about all his staff members lived in the hotel, which was why he chose it in the first place, instead of a gymnasium, or something. It was a complicated, and extremely efficient program, which served to cure literally millions of people over the course of several years. He didn’t do much but work. Someone came into the room, he breathed on them, and then they left to make room for the next one. He worked for about ten hours every day, stopping only to use the restroom, and eat. In the evening, he had a nice dinner, enjoyed an hour-long massage, then started his nightshift, which was... Well, it was different. Let’s just say that certain women were...interested in...seeing if his abilities could be...passed onto a new generation. Landis took this part of his job seriously, and was doing it for all the right reasons, but he didn’t apologize for not hating it, nor for screening the candidates personally. In the end, Landis saved billions of lives once researchers were able to replicate his healing abilities—and only his healing abilities—for mass production. He was inarguably the most important voldisil in our history.

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