Friday, June 24, 2016

Flash Fiction #204 -- Escaping Somewhere Else, Part 39: Potilia


I was damned tired of falling and all the things that shoved or pushed me.
I yelled and saw Ellin sailing down -- at first, I thought he'd fallen as well.  Then he moved slightly to the right and caught hold of a flying horse that had suddenly appeared. In a couple heartbeats, the horse swept in under us.  Ellin had his arm out, and I saw the glitter of magic in his hand as he grabbed hold of me.  I simply held as tight to Edmond as I could.
Ellin and the horse swept past, missed, turned again in and grabbed hold of my arm, swinging me around behind him.  The horse made a sound of protest when I landed hard on his back.
"Sorry," I said.
The horse neighed in answer, and we ducked under the bridge and hovered there like an over-sized hummingbird.  I caught my breath.  Edmond appeared to be hyperventilating. 
"You okay, Edmond?" I asked.
"I am going to bite off the ear of the next person -- or thing -- that tries to push us off of something.  I do not fly."
"Yeah, I'd be happy to stay on the ground, too," I said.
Above us, the battle still raged.  I couldn't see anything, but I could feel the magic -- and see the pieces of the bridge being torn apart.  Potilia yelled something, and it seemed the entire world shook with her anger.  I feared the fae were being killed, and from the look on Ellin's face, he thought the same.
"What do we do to help them?" I asked.
"He said to save you.  I cannot --"
"What do we do?" I repeated.  "Because if they fall, I'm not safe anyway."
Ellin accepted that logic.  I hope it didn't put him into danger with Lord Cayman later, but right now I only worried that we might not be able to do anything at all.
"We need a distraction," I said.  "And I think I'm the best one.  If you can get me behind her --"
"That is not safe," he said.  "That's not even remotely safe.  I can't --"
"All we need is a moment to draw her attention."
"She already has power in her hands.  She can --"
"She has to turn first, right?" I said.  "I suppose she could blindly toss magic off in my direction, but I don't think that's what she'll do.  And the others are going to act quickly the first chance they get."
"Yes," he agreed.  It was a reluctant agreement, but we didn't have time for more discussion. 
The horse must have understood as well.  He moved under the bridge. I could feel when we passed beneath Potilia.  Even here, with the bridge between us, the wind was strong, and the magic was nearly overpowering.  Ellin gave a slight gasp, but we sailed through and out the other side.
"Up here," I said.  "Edmond, I would rather --"  He bit my hand.  "Ack.  Never mind."
"A bit more help for Edmond," Ellin said.  I wasn't certain what he did when he brushed his hand over the cat, but I nodded my thanks.
Then the horse flapped up to the side of the bridge.  I reached up to pull myself up, and Edmond used me as a ladder and climbed up first.  I scrambled up to join the little fool.  Of course, we were both fools for being here so I simply pulled myself up and laid flat taking in the sight of Potilia.
She had grown taller, glowing with lightning everywhere.  I couldn't see the others beyond her, but I had the feel of their magic, and could even sense the frantic worry as they tried to shield now rather than attack.  I also realized that Lord Cayman was not going to hide behind the shield.  I had to act quickly.
I had a little magic of my own, but I could feel one power growing as I saw the others in danger.
I didn't even stand -- which probably saved me.
And they did.  All of them.
Only Potilia recovered first.  She spun and didn't see me right away.  However, as she turned, so did her storm, so that winds and lightning flashed out across me.  I frantically turned to get hold of Emond -- but the wind caught him, and he sailed off into the sky, howling in protest. 
I couldn't reach him.  And by the time I turned back, Potilia had found me.  Her lightning moved with a flick of her fingers, but not to kill.  Ropes of power tied me to the bridge as she stepped forward but I could lift my head enough to see her face.  The magic the others had been using had all died when I stopped them.  I didn't think they were going to recover fast enough, which meant I had done something truly stupid all the way around.  We were all going to die.  We were --
Other magic?
I felt a surge of power coming from the area where Lord Cayman and the others stood, but I didn't think it came from them.  I didn't know what was going on this time.
"Get away from him!" Maggie shouted.
Something hit Potilia hard in the back of the head.  It did not put her down, but she howled in anger, and that meant nothing good for my cousin.  I shouted and tried to pull free, but the power burned at me.  The wind had grown worse, too many things caught up in the debris.  She had lost control, and that wouldn't help the rest of us.  We had to do something fast --
And that something turned out to be Edmond.
Edmond with wings.
He sailed right in on Potilia's winds, circled with a flap of his long, bat-like wings -- and then landed on her shoulder and bit her ear.
The magic went wild.  I thought we were all going to die.

To Be Continued. . . .
998 Words

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