Anne’s No Rules Friday 11

Poem inspired by Jen’s The Flight.

Take-off

We race into the wind
It twists my loose hair into raven knots.
My sciathán‘s hooves beat a rhythm
Against the packed earth.
Thump-thump
Thump-thump
Freedom is a heartbeat.

My mount’s warm and sturdy
Her muscles bunch under my thighs.
Heather and clover dance
Through the air.
Snap-snap
Snap-snap
Kyanite’s feathers unfurl.

We leap into the sky
I twine fingers through her ivory mane.
Mist cools my face in a caress
As we rise higher.
Thump-thump
Thump-thump
Our hearts beat as one.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for Julie’s No Rules Friday in two weeks.

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Jen’s No Rules Friday

Flight

Birds have hollow bones. In numbers, they make shapes like shadows that live. A murmuration. That’s what it’s called. The word sounds soft, like whispers, heartbeats. Those birds turn air from nothing into something solid, something with weight like a hand on my shoulder, like my name on your mind. Something light, something heavy. I’m not going anywhere with this but to say that everything is light, and everything is heavy, even when it seems like nothing’s there.

When Worlds Collide by Jen (an April Fool’s Extra)

*Go here and here to read the origins of this story*

Firefight

“Gemma, lift!” Grace’s voice cuts me from somewhere near sleep. I thank the stars for that, because the sea is heavy on my flight feathers, misting my face with cold and salt. She swoops down to catch me in her wake and drag me up, away from the surf.

“You scared me to death,” she says. I laugh, though it’s not funny. “Only half a mile to go, looks like.”

“Where are we going?” My voice falls to the sea like lead. Grace looks over her shoulder at me and drags the air with her wings, slowing to let me catch up. She doesn’t answer, just taps me with her primaries as she flies. The sun is an idea on the horizon, spitting pastel pink on the trees we fly for. Her feathers are ash and blue in the waning dark, and I want to curl up next to her and smolder forever.

We touch down on sand that leads to woods, hiding our wings from the unknown. A river narrows into the woods, bubbling like questions. We find a hollow near the river, and I’m asleep before she can kiss me goodnight.

Pounding wakes me, rhythmic and fast.

Hooves. I reach out, catching nothing but leaves. Panic swells hot in my chest.

“Grace?”

“I hear it,” she says above me, tree branches obscuring her. “Come up here.”

I reach her branch and let the leaves envelop me. The pounding shakes our trees, but slows.

“Centaurs,” I say. Her eyes are widen. “We’re in Omnia.” We traded the abuse of one land for another, for all the talk of Omnia is of the death in their mines and their king’s dirty dealings with other lands.

These men wear his crest. They’re formidable Percherons, all hulking muscle and dappled gray. A pair of them pull a cart while two more guard the flanks.

“Stop here,” one says. “I want to check her.”

“She was stupid to run,” another laughs. A steel centaur pulls a tarp off the cart, and my skin prickles. What I thought was cargo is one of their own, bound and gagged. Her midnight coat fades into a torso that’s more bruises than skin.”He won’t have her for a daughter. I hear the wolves want her as a pet and are willing to pay.”

“Maybe we could play with her first.” They laugh again, and I can’t see straight.

Grace’s nails dig into my arm as her wings spring from her back, rustling leaves. Her eyes scream injustice. I know that look on her face, I saw it through the bars of my own prison on Maderas. I let my wings fall from my back, and I’m proud of her. There’s good in the killer and firebringer our land made us out to be.

A twig snaps. A centaur girl below us is golden and fierce in the morning light. She trembles, eyes focused on the cart. Her body screams in a silent way and I know her, too. She is us.

I jump from my perch and land soft next to her.  Grace shadows me, hands telling and soft on my hips. The Halflinger girl doesn’t flinch, but takes us in with knowing glances.

“Is she yours?” I whisper.

She nods, fire in her eyes.

Sparks fly from my fingertips. “Let’s go get her.”

~*~*~*~*~
A/N: Happy April Fools! I hope you enjoyed our mash-ups. We were inspired by last month’s Craft Discussion: World Building.

 

 

 

 

Happy Cimmerween! From Julie

Cimmerween!

Feathers

Attilles warned me of the destruction the leggers would bring to the land. As I fly south, smoke from their dying fires chokes me. The sky is still deep gray, though if I squint I can see the hairy sleeping bundles. I have a few more hours to find his body before they wake.

I left the roost yesterday evening when Threnody, the hen from Kouhmar settlement, told me Attilles was dead. His blood feather is in the pouch around my neck. When I try to picture Attilles, Threnody’s gray face looms before me instead, and her words:

“He seduced me. I didn’t know he had your feather, Rai.”

She tried to touch my hand, and I nearly slashed her with the knife I’d readied for myself. Instead, I left. A warrior’s body should be cremated, so the soul can fly…

continue reading …

Jen’s No Rules Friday

I’m taking a page from Audrey’s blog and posting a teeny little flash fiction that has since grown exponentially.  I think it’s really fun to say a lot in very few words.

_________________________________________

The Flight

We were running.

Onyxʼs wings stretched out on either side of me, all black velvet over sinew and bone, immense and strong. His hooves beat the ground and I thought it should crack and splinter where they fell. I could feel his breath as my own, and the air we exhaled made stark vapor hang in the morning air. We were almost to the cliff, but they were gaining on us.

“Lilah! Stop!”

We ignored them.

“Easy,” I whispered to him. His ears pricked forward, leading us in the right direction. The drop off was just ahead, and the wind picked up as we cleared the trees. It tore away the shouts from behind, making them seem harmless. They were far from it.

Onyx slowed a fraction as we neared the outcropping, and he gathered his muscles for the jump, coiled tighter than a cobra. This wasnʼt some steeplechase fence, it was a twenty-one story wall of rock, with nothing below us but death. I gripped his ink-dark mane in both hands, knotting my fingers in it as if that would keep me firmly on his back as we danced through the air. Weʼd flown before, but never pursued by those who would love to see us fall.

A glance back showed the lead horse on our haunches, his neck snaking out, savage teeth ripping toward us. I kicked him in the face as Onyx screamed his defiance, spread his great wings, and leaped.
And even though I could lose the bond Iʼd risked my life for, lose everything, it was worth it because there was no sight as beautiful as a Pegasus spreading his wings. A grin split my face as sweet air rippled over Onyxʼs feathers and his wings caught a thermal, lifting us.

Shots peppered all around.

I screamed.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for Anne’s No Rules Friday next week. Follow us on Twitter to get updates and news.