(Just a quick note to point out that this is Flash Fiction #200. That means a few crazy things. First, it means I've done these every Friday for 200 weeks in a row. At 208 I'll have done them for four years without a break. Second it means that I have somewhere close to 200,000 words in flash fiction stories. Pretty funny for something so short!)
Ellin and the other elves were, I think, a little shocked to see Lord Cayman come out of the building. Actually, they were seriously shocked. I could tell from the moment of silence as the entire city trembled.
"She's mad," Lord Cayman said with a wave of his hand back to Potilia. We had better get clear of the area."
"Yes! Yes, of course!"
I kept hold of Edmond and rode with Ellin while my father rode with someone else. Good. I didn't need that kind of distraction right now. Before we had left the ground the city began to slowly drop downward.
"I had hoped it would take her longer to make that decision. We need to ride quickly," Lord Cayman said.
"Fly here. Fly there," Edmond mumbled. He buried his head in my jacket.
We moved with the wind, out over the sky and towards the distant rock, but before we'd gotten a quarter of the way over the sky, and long before the city had settled to the ground, a massive storm began to brew behind us. I glanced back to see the clouds billowing up and lightning dancing through them.
Having grown up in an area with storms at least as bad as this one, I knew one thing for certain.
"We need to get out of the sky!" I shouted as the thunder rumbled louder. "Between the winds and the lightning --"
And lightning flashed past us, so close that my skin felt warm and my finger's tingled. I wondered if the others could shield us against it, but I saw Lord Cayman look back at the storm and start heading for land. The others followed. Ellin gave a nod that seemed relief to me.
The horses found a relatively flat, large area. By now the winds howled around us. Ellin grabbed my arm as I slid off the horse and I wasn't certain if he was worried about me being blown away or if he wanted a little extra weight to hold himself to the ground. The horses disappeared immediately, gone to somewhere safer than this storm.
The rain started; not a nice sprinkle of water but a torrential downpour that soaked me in a couple heartbeats and even made it hard to breathe. Ellin still had hold of me and I could see others darting ahead of us, heading for ruins that at least had walls, if not a roof.
At the doorway I looked back. The clouds had grown like mountains behind the glass city, which I saw clearly for a moment before the storm swept in around it again. It was not coming down too slowly, at least.
Once out of the wind, he wondered what they were going to do now. They didn't have much cover here, though one of the fae spread a shield over part of the area and held off the rain as well.
The thunder shook the world. We wouldn't be here for long. I started looking around for ideas -- and suddenly realized that for the firt time in quite a while, this was not in my hands.
I found it unsettling. I didn't know these people. I didn't even know Lord Cayman who had done at least one thing that had annoyed me back in Elsewhere. With that in mind, I did not put Edmond down.
They began mapping out what to do. What it would take for Lord Cayman to make a door and all of them to get out of there.
"I have to find the others," I said. They looked at me, eyes narrowed. "Maggie, Davis, Lord Snow and a bunch of people stuck here who joined with us. I'm not going on without them."
"Ah," Lord Cayman said. "Of course not. You are a Protector and they were in your care."
"Not to mention that they helped me and I'd do the same for them," I replied. Protector was not really part of this at the moment.
"But --" One of the fae began.
"I will make the door for you," Lord Cayman said. Did I hear the faintest hint of disdain in his tone. "Can you find them?"
"I think they are still on the bridge."
"Good," Ellin said. "The safest place for them to be and the easiest for us to find, providing we can get clear of this mess."
None of the others suggested that Lord Cayman open a door for them, though a few didn't look happy. And really, I understood that feeling. I was more than ready to get out of this reality. I had not, though, asked where we would go next. I didn't want to worry about it yet. I needed to concentrate on here, and right now surviving here meant hoping this storm would stop getting worse. The rain was starting to build up into puddles and moving streams and the wind still howled.
And something else howled.
"One of Darman's creatures, I think," Lord Cayman said. A sword appeared in his hand. "No doubt after Mark still."
Other swords appeared. I wondered if I would ever learn that trick. I wondered if I would ever be fae enough. I didn't like that feeling.
"Careful!" Edmond suddenly shouted. "Biters!"
He tried to burrow under my arm and I grabbed at him and shoved him under my shirt just as a swarm of the small black insects swept over the wall and the others yelled.
To Be Continued. . . .