Quiet

*cannot believe how behind I am… sorry!*

A-Z April Fantasy Flash Fiction, part 17. Character: Jaé

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Quiet

The ocean was quiet this time, as we flew northwards again, and our wings made no sound to disrupt the silence. It was the calm before yet another storm; towering clouds darkened the western horizon, but they were still far. ShaRo flew in front on a straight and unwavering path, impervious to occasional buffeting gusts of wind. I could not resist plunging in and out of the ocean. The gently rippling surface invited me to shatter it. There was no more boundary between sea and sky, I could fly, even breathe equally in both, and though the water pushed my wingbeats more than the air did, it was nothing my strength could not overcome.

“Are you enjoying yourself?” ShaRo asked with an amused grin the next time I flew beside him. I replied with an enthusiastic nod and twirled away again. For some minutes he still held his course and ignored my frolicking, but it must have been infectious because the next time I shot out from under the water’s surface, I caught him in the middle of a wild yet perfect barrel roll. I tried to imitate him but the result was nowhere near as skilled and elegant.

The carefree mood of this flight was soon besmirched as we spotted the enemy shores on the horizon. We were on a new mission, that would take us all the way to Larōbe and the ‘Nōrian royal palace. There was an elaborate operation in place to infiltrate the palace and take the king and his associates hostage. There were already two of our people inside. We were to be the reinforcements, along with another pair who were lying low in the city, and were to follow once we were inside.

The first two had gotten in by letting themselves be captured. It had been a gamble, but a successful one; It was common knowledge that the ‘Nōrian king liked to see prisoners captured directly from ‘Naira, and so they had been brought to the palace. There, one of them escaped and hid himself, while the other, a young girl chosen for her deceptive talents, let herself be brought to the king. According to the latest intelligence, she had succeeded in touching the heart of a certain High Ambassador Perandes, who had insisted on keeping her, and raising her within the palace. She was to signal us further information when we arrived.

As the land loomed below us an we passed Escaton castle without incident, I followed ShaRo, descending towards a rocky area. There we would wait for the cover of darkness, before completing the last part of the way to Larōbe.

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Killer

A-Z April Fantasy Flash Fiction, part 11. Character: ShaRo

Please do read the previous parts! This is a continuous story. :3

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Killer

Guards ran at us from all directions. Their heavy boots thudded on the stone courtyard floor with each footstep, their breaths heaved the air this way and that, their pulses gallopped, the blades of their pikes cut through the air with subtle whistles. I waited patiently for them to close the distance, their slow, mortal’s strides stretching far into time. I saw Jaé grow impatient beside me, she could not yet stand her ground. Her drive to fight, the ever-present beast, was new to her, and was trying its wings. She launched into attack, growling like an animal.

“Alarm! Vampires!” Someone screamed, as Jaé reached the first guard. She was on him before he could even swing his weapon, catching his neck and breaking it in one smooth movement. What followed was a glorious massacre. Jaé was a relentless killer, spurred on by the monster’s instincts that were still new to her. She would of course have to learn to control herself later, when we returned home, but now I made no effort to stop her. There was no better weapon than a wild, young vampire.

I watched Jaé leap from one man to the next, and they were slammed into the ground by the throat, one by one. It was always the same brute, simple move; it showed that Jaé was new, and had no experience. She relied only on the physical advantages my bite had given her. The agility to dodge the flurry of pikes, and the strength to end the pathetic mortal lives with a single throw.

She barely left anything for me to do. The few guards that did reach me, died cleaner deaths than Jaé’s victims. I used my claw, a sword-like, natural weapon that could be extended from behind my fingernails. I would show Jaé how to use them later. Against the weak ‘Nōrian humans she was already more than well equipped, and no matter their numbers, we were no match for them. I slashed out at the two last remaining guards that had not yet fled, or been killed, while sidestepping a pike stab. Both of them collapsed to the ground, separated from their heads.

An odd silence descended on the castle. We stood in the middle of a bloodstained mess. Jaé seemed to come to her senses and she looked at me, her eyes golden nowke mine, expectant and curious, though also somewhat confused.

“Come, NiikKaShi.” I addressed her by her designate Flag. “Let’s go home.”

I spread my wings wide, and with three powerful beats I already cleared the battlements and soared above the ocean. I did not need to look behind me to know she followed; her wings whipped up a magnificent windstorm.

Clouds

A-Z April Fantasy Flash Fiction, Part 3. Character: ShaRo

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Clouds

The world always looked so different, as seen from heights of the sky. Despite the long years of my life, I have never grown bored of it. I suppose I’ve always, quite literally, had my head in the clouds.

ShaRoOuNaiGo they called me, Soul in the Sky. As a border patrol, I spent the overwhelming majority of my time soaring up here on glorious, dragon-like wings, that sprouted from my back. I landed only every few days to report, or if there arose an urgent sighting. As a vampire, this was no unusual feat, and I had been doing this since I turned sixteen. That was thousands of years ago.

Today, the storm clouds, towering high into the atmosphere, and obscuring the landscape below entirely, masked the unfolding of history that had been forced into motion.

The ‘Nōrians had been mounting an army. We had responded with preemptive assassinations. War was declared. The barely 50 years of peace, shaky as it was, collapsed and crumbled into nothingness in a matter of days. Still, 50 years was significant; since many milennia, it was the longest we’ve lasted. I knew, I remembered. There had never even been a mortal lifetime’s worth of peace between us.

A flurry of lightning scurried from one tower of cloud, across to another, and folding my wings, I quickly ducked out of its way. It was not the best idea to fly so low in such weather, but the mission demanded it, and I had enough experience to cope. Today I was to deviate from my usual patrol, using the cover of the clouds, and fly into their airspace to scout the preparations of their forces.

I was nearing the enemy shore. Changes in the air betrayed the land mass. I abruptly retracted my wings, so they disappeared in my back, and launched into a freefall descent, through the thick carpet of cloud. Clouds only looked like soft wool, I had learned on my first flight. They felt like a wet veil when flown through, and left one thoroughly drenched. Nearing the belly of the clouds, I unfurled my wings wide to catch my fall.

The sight that awaited me below was astounding, almost surreal. I saw not the deep blue ocean, but a white sea of sails. The entire ‘Nōrian fleet, it seemed, was on their way southwards. I had never seen such a fast and extensive mobilisation. I wagered nobody ever had. 300 ships, I estimated, and wasted no time to turn back and make haste with the distressing news. To hell with stealth, and designated patrol paths. I stretched my wings as far as they would go, accelerated wtih forceful wingbeats, and whipping up a windstorm behind me, shot into the beginning downpour of rain, riding the roaring wind of the storm, back towards my homeland.