Swallowing Darkness – Chapter 37: Nailgun Unmassacre

Chapter 37 begins with Merry reaching whoever it was who had been calling for her while dying. Surprise, it’s not one of her men at all. It’s one of the National Guard soldiers sent to protect her: Dawson.

Merry isn’t sure what to do for him and prays to her Goddess for help. Of course, the Goddess immediately answers with her flower petal calling card. Everything goes dark for a bit, and then Merry wakes up in Dawson’s arms. He’s healed and back to full health, but she’s still covered in nails and other shrapnel. At Merry’s request, Dawson helps her stand up, and that is when she notices other soldiers strewn about in the grass, near death.

Dawson kept a steadying hand on my good arm, and let me lead us through the trees. The fighting was a distant sound of guns, the flashing of lightning, and green fire. The fire meant that Doyle was still alive. I wanted to go to him, but another single pink petal fell onto the front of my coat. In that moment, more than any other before it, I trusted in the Goddess. I trusted that she would not have me save the soldiers and lose the men I loved. I prayed for courage enough not to falter or question. My reward was another body on the ground.

So Merry lays her hand on the soldier’s wound and prays to the Goddess to help heal him. Then she feels a lot of pain, and when it clears, the soldier, Brennan, sits up, holding one of the nails that had been embedded in Merry’s body.

So they continue, the now fully healed men helping Merry through the forest to each wounded soldier. As she heals them, her nail wounds start closing as well.

This is how the rest of the chapter goes. Merry finds another soldier to heal, she heals them, they all question how it is they’ve been healed, Merry’s nail wounds continue to heal, etc… There’s like 4 more pages of this repeated. Merry learns that it was Cel who was attacking the soldiers, reopening wounds they received in previous battles. This enrages Merry, but she knows she needs to continue her task at hand: attempting to heal all the soldiers wounded trying to protect her. She only has a few nails left embedded in her body. The chapter ends with her wondering how she can heal all the wounded.

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