Archive for May, 2010

The ashes of what you once were

Dagny smiled faintly at Sindri. “It feels like a lifetime ago,” she whispered. Then she shook her head and added, “Not that I’d ever forget it, but… it’s less painful now.”

Sindri licked her cheek, earning a surprised chuckle. “You’re a different person now,” he said. She could never be the same person she’d been before the whole trouble with the traitor and the mairs had begun, but she wasn’t that person either. Not anymore.

I am remembering you

The noble shifted, uncomfortably, under Leif’s intense stare. Yori decided to take pity on him. He cleared his throat and touched Leif’s shoulder. “Captain Muller,” he said, his voice soft, “is something wrong?”

Leif shook his head. Still staring at the noble, he said, “Have we met, my lord?”

“I – I should think I’d remember meeting someone like you,” the noble said, shaking his head with surprising force. “Indeed, I’m certain we have not met.”

“Strange,” Leif murmured. “I remember meeting a deiva with that mark on their cheek before.” A strange smirk touched his lips and he said, “Perhaps you have a brother?”

“Or you are mistaken,” the noble said, a bit too quickly. “I have no brother and I have not met you.” Then he turned and stalked away. Before Yori could ask about it, Leif had turned on his heel and headed off in the opposite direction.

From cloud to tumbling cloud

Yori spread his wings and glided upward, riding a thermal until he was far overhead. It was so quiet – so peaceful. It was easy to forget what was happening on the ground below. However, he knew he couldn’t do that.

He dove through the clouds and dropped onto the head of one wolf, then swooped upwards again to repeat the maneuver. Each time, he came out of the low, tumbling clouds and caught a wolf completely by surprise. Then he landed beside Rune and Xander. “Are you two all right?” he asked, a bit breathlessly.

I dream in my dream all the dreams of other dreamers

“This is not good,” the little lieutenant said, as he glanced around. They were utterly surrounded by the wolves. He grimaced at Yori and Rune. “I’m sorry for dragging you into this.”

“We’re not down yet,” Rune said, sending an arc of light at the nearest wolf.

Xander shook his head in dismay. “There’s no way we can fight them all off and help isn’t going to get here in time!”

“Well, then,” Yori murmured. “The wolves will have to help us fight off their comrades.” Then he inhaled slowly. His eyes glowed and, slowly, the corpses of the wolves they’d already killed, rose and formed a defensive line around them.

“That’s… like something out of a nightmare,” Xander murmured.

“You don’t know the half of it,” Rune breathed.

What brought us to this

Yori glanced over at Rune and smiled. All the captains from both Sylvanis Patris and Vidheim – both the Snow Lions and the Sky Maidens – were gathered there. “Can you believe it?” he whispered. “Just a year ago, we were bitter enemies and now… we’re one country.”

“A lot has happened,” Rune said, nodding. He’d lived through the entire conflict, from the beginning of the war, through the massacre that had made it go cold while each side focused on fighting off the mair, through those battles, through the revelations that had finally allowed the marriage in the first place. Now, with the mair – if not defeated, at least no longer a significant threat, he was looking forward to a time of peace for the first time in his life.

They’d gathered with that thought in mind. Then Eisa slipped into the room and slipped over to Yori. She whispered something to her captain and his smile faded. He looked over at the commander of the Snow Lions.

“Sir,” he said, his voice faint. “There are reports of giant wolves in one of the nearby territories. The people on the border are requesting aid from us.”

Leif sighed. “Once more into the fray?” he said, arching an eyebrow.

I write it out in verse

“What’s wrong, Leif?” a soft voice whispered.

Leif looked over his shoulder and grimaced. “Yori,” he said. He chewed his lip for a moment and then shook his head. “How do you remember all their names?”

“The deiva lords?”

Flushing slightly, Leif nodded. “There are so many of them. I can’t keep them straight,” he admitted. “You never seem to have that problem.”

“I made up a silly poem for each of them,” Yori said, chuckling softly. “Sort of like limericks.” His eyes squinted closed in amusement. “The Commander would surely not approve.”

Leif bit off a laugh. Two lords were approaching them. Smirking, he said, “Let’s hear theirs and I’ll tell you if it meets with my approval.”

No more dreaming of the dead

Dagny leaned back against Sindri and sighed softly. “Sometimes, I feel like he’s just going to… show up and drag me away with him,” she said, her voice faint. She looked up at him. “Does that make any sense?”

“Sure,” Sindri said. He nuzzled her gently and added, “He won’t Dag. He’s gone on to his next life – if someone like him gets another life.”

Nodding, Dagny closed her eyes. She focused on the feel of Sindri’s arms around her and the peaceful garden in which they were sitting. Sindri was right. She was safe, at least from the man who haunted her nightmares.

Somewhere sunshine burns

It was so dark that Yori felt tempted to make sure his eyes weren’t closed. He moved forward slowly, afraid he’d knock his ankles on a stone if he tried to move too quickly.

He paused for a moment and tried to pick out the sounds of his friends’ voices. All he could hear was the constant dripping of water all around him. Sighing, the soft sound echoing in the darkness, he started forward, his hands outstretched. Water sloshed with each step he took.

It was cool, any other time he would have been grateful for that. He knew it wasn’t anything like cool above. The last few days had been blisteringly hot. That was part of the reason they’d gone caving. His hand hit a hard, immovable surface and he stopped.

The wall was cold and wet. Touching it was like running your hand along polished glass. It was a stark contrast to the sharp stones he was trudging over. He’d never thought of being underground as having a smell. Maybe it was the stale water he smelled. It had an earthy aroma that penetrated and permeated so much that he could almost taste it.

My eyes flew open

Sindri was nearly asleep when he heard something. It was like wings fluttering. The cat in him said, “Bird!” His eyes flew open and he let out an almost feline chirp.

Sitting up in bed, he heard the fluttering sound again. “Hm,” he said. His brows furrowed and he slipped out from under the blankets.

On tiptoes, he slipped out of the bedroom. He followed the fluttering out to a porch that overlooked the brook near the barracks. There, out on a stone in the middle of the water, stood Captain Hummel.

“Oh,” he said, sighing in disappointment.

Captain Hummel turned to him and titled his head to one side. His wings stretched and folded and stretched and folded. “You’re up late,” he said. “Is something wrong?”

“No,” Sindri said, shaking his head. He turned away and trudged back inside. So much for giant, tasty birds. Gryphons weren’t too tasty – at least not for cats.

Love and fear in a house

Sophie waited until Paul had gone, then she looked up at Runecaster. “What am I going to do?” she breathed. Tears welled in her eyes and she shook her head.

Sighing, Runecaster wrapped her in an embrace. “Don’t fret, my dove,” he said. “I’m not leaving you to face this alone. I will not let him hurt you.”

While he held his mate, Runecaster’s mind whirled. There were a few options, but the only acceptable one was to escape. If they could get away, then she would be safe. There was no other way.