Friday, May 27, 2016

Flash Fiction #200 -- Escaping Somewhere Else, Part 35: Escape

(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. . . .

Friday, May 20, 2016

Flash Fiction #199 --Escaping Somewhere Else, Part 34: Desperation

The moment I saw Edmond bit Potilia's ankle, I knew all hell was about to break loose.  Her scream of shock and surprise came with a blast of power that radiated outward like an atomic blast made up of rainbow lights.  The ghost creatures that had been hovering nearby all disappeared in the intensive magic.
If I hadn't been in the protection of the magical shell that had also trapped me, I think I would have been dead.  Lord Cayman had thrown up a shield that shattered the magic that came at him, but I wouldn't have been able to cast such magic.  With a frantic turn of my head, I looked for Edmond and found that he stood behind the cover of my protective shell, hunched down as though he could melt through the floor.  Some of his fur had been singed, but finding him protected gave me hope.
Lord Cayman hadn't waited for the wayward magic to end before he leapt in for the attack against Potilia.  His magic drove her back -- once, twice -- but the third time she stood her ground and the fourth attack did little more than send a dusting of pretty light against her.  She smiled and limped forward.  Her ankle bled.  Edmond needed to get out of here because this wasn't going to end well.
I had expected Lord Cayman to do better, but now I realized he had been trapped in this light for a long time.  It drained power; I could feel the power leaving me in a little trickle and wondered how that kept the city floating.  I supposed I was going to have a long time to find out.
 Lord Cayman backed up, his hands lifting, but I saw worry in his face.
"Go," I said.  "Go while you can!"  He glanced my way and looked uncertain.  He shook his head.  "Go!  Take Edmond!"
He took another step back.  Potilia smiled but it was not a friendly look.  This was a woman who took great joy in overcoming others.  I didn't want to think what she would do to Edmond.  If Lord Cayman couldn't get him, maybe I could pull him in with me.  Keep him safe for a while longer.  Hope for another answer.
Lord Cayman backed up again.  I saw resignation in his face and he poised ready to move again as Potilia came closer.
"The boy will do," she said with a dismissive wave of her hand in my direction.  "Go while you can, oh Great Lord Cayman.  Leave here -- but I won't let you open a door to help others escape."
"I --" He sounded uncertain.
"You cannot fight me.  And you don't have to."  The magic at her fingers danced in a pretty patterns.  "Go now.  I will not give you another chance."
He stood for a moment, then started to turn, his shoulder's slumped, his head down --
Potila glanced my way, her smile bright and predatory --
Lord Cayman spun, grabbed her arm and shoved her forward into the wall of light.
"Out, Mark!"
She must not have realized I could get out.  I saw a look of shock and dismay as I leapt backwards.  Then she came at me, her emotions changing to rage.  She reached to try and grab me by the neck, but I was one step out of the light and tripped over Edmond, which probably saved my life, though I fell hard enough that I hit may head and saw lights --
No, that would be magic.  I scrambled up  again and saw Lord Cayman shoving the woman's arm back into the circle and enclosing the prison with another wall of his own.
Potilia screamed and reached out towards Lord Cayman.
And the city began to fall.
I yelped, but so did she as she spread her hands and caught hold of the magic again.
"So, here we are," Lord Cayman said.  "You have choices, Potilia.  You can step out and try to kill us, of course, but then the city falls and I'll guarantee that Mark and I will survive it.  You might as well, but your city will not.  Or you can stay there and keep your city in the air . . . Or choose to carefully lower it back to the ground where it belongs.  I leave that in your hands.  Mark?  Oh, and do grab that cat."
I had already started to pick up Edmond.  The cat was looking rather smug again.
Potilia screamed as we hurried away.  I glanced back when the city dropped a few feet, but she got it in hand again.  She looked at me and the rage in her eyes hit me like a blow.  Lord Cayman caught hold of my arm and pulled me away.
In a hurry.  I realized, suddenly, that we didn't have a lot of time to get away.  I knew she was taking the city down and once it had settled, she was going to come after us.
Ellin and the rest of the fae still fought off the griffins.  I'd forgotten that problem.  The creatures appeared more frantic now, so they knew what the city going to ground meant.  I wondered how Potilia had kept them happy.
Nothing else moved in the city.  I thought it had been a beautiful place once.  Even now, the light caught the buildings and they glowed with a magical beauty.  But I thought of a term I remembered from school.  Cenotaph. This was a monument to others who were long gone.
The thought of school felt odd, as though that had been someone else.  In all the time since I'd left, I hadn't thought about math and history . . . Or about what the others thought when they learned I'd killed Tommy Creston.  He'd been truly a monster, but no one else knew it.
That life was over.
But I still had to survive this one.

To Be Continued. . . .
994 Words