The Alley Healer
Writer/Model: Luna Lark
A cool mist, the stir of crickets—ingredients for a lonely early autumn night in Richmond. A young woman crouches by the James River canal. Chimera, robed in black, and clutching a small bag, kneels on the sidewalk. She grits her teeth as tiny pebbles and glass scrape her knees. All scraped up, she is filthy.
Suddenly Chimera puts down the bag, eyes locked on the water. She plunges her hands into the canal and withdraws a frog. One of its legs hangs at a strange angle. The frog struggles, so Chimera squeezes it more firmly. She brings the frog closer to her face and inspects its lef. After pinching it slightly, she furrows her brow.
Chimera reaches into her bag with one hand. As the frog continues to struggle (less so now), Chimera pulls out a tiny splint. She places the frog on the ground and begins tying its leg to the splint. Once she has completed the task, Chimera puts the frog in a pouch knotted at her waist. It blends in with her dress.
Chimera gets up and starts patrolling the area for more animals. Each time she hears a rustling, she perks up. A couple minutes later, she stumbles across a fluttering month on the ground.
Again, she kneels on the ground. She is, after all, the alley healer.