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Flash Fiction #1: Bird's Eye

My writing buddies and I have been talking about getting back into writing Flash Fictions like we used to do some time ago (on a more regular basis.) We finally formulated a plan to make this happen and now get to dazzle you with our writing skills (please don't burst out bubbles, okay? ;)  .) I present my story below and you can find contributions from Melissa here and Blodueudd here. Happy reading!

Bird's Eye, an original short story by Jackie Lester

Kara stood with her back to the gate. Her senses were already heightened, now even more so since initiating the connection with Breen, her crow. Her normally hazel coloured eyes blazed with a light so bright, it blocked everything in front of her. It was always a little disorienting at first but she quickly adjusted to her new vantage point, looking over the town through the eyes of her bird.

She peered down through the trees, looking between the bare branches for any sign of movement. There was nothing discernible.

Breen had reported back to her this morning that chatter from the market indicated howls had been heard here for the last several days. Towns were dotted around the market, each one walled by a ten foot wooden fence meant to keep the creatures out. It didn’t always work which was why she was here tonight.

Kara’s unit patrolled Cangrol vigilantly. Regardless, there were never many days between one battle and the next. Kara had sent Breen to the base camp earlier, a note tied to his talons to inform the unit there was a threat here. She knew they would be later in arriving but with the silence in this small town, she wondered if she’d wasted their time.

Breen’s vision swept from left to right slowly. He was a meticulous animal and she loved him for it. The bird caught a movement and focused closer. It was just a bramble down below, caught in the breeze. Kara was about to cut the connection and restore her own vision before entering into the town proper when a noise began not far from where Breen was perched. Fog rolled in at the same time, blocking Breen’s view. The sound got louder, less a howl than a screeching “ka-ka-cha.”

Kara cut the vision stream, sending Breen a mental warning to be careful and call out if he saw the threat before she did. She adjust her layered leather and metal armor, prepping her crossbow. She took a deep breath to steady her nerves and prayed to the pantheon for their safety.

The thing squealed its horrible noise again. It was still doing it when a second, separate voice added its own bleating, creating a horrific cacophony. Kara held her crossbow out before her, her second weapon at her side ready but not yet engaged. She turned into the town, intending to follow the noise and deal with these beasts quickly.

The sound abruptly stopped. The suddenness of the cease felt oppressive as Kara strained impotently to see through the fog. Panic began to rise in her, sound and sight now removed as useful tools, scent not far behind, a foul odour hanging in the hazy air.

Kara stood motionless, willing something to happen; to give her some idea of how to defend herself and get out of this alive. She even held her breath to avoid making any noise of her own. When she felt something brush against her, passing fast on her right side, the air flew out of her lungs at the same speed as her crossbow was pushed into action by her finger. A whoosh followed, the arrow making contact with a satisfying “argh” as it hit its mark.

A thump to her left side told her where the beast had landed and she edged over carefully to shoot another bow into it to make sure it was dead. A solemn wail came on the air, its volume decreasing as the second creature retreated.

She took in a few greedy breaths, believing her work was done for tonight at least. The thing made no more sound as she’d shot the arrow into its head, indicating it was dead after her first shot. Lucky, that, but she’d take it.

A rustle beside her had the crossbow back up and ready in an instant. A man walked out of the darkened fog, his long black hair shiny even with no illumination. “You could have shot me, Kara. That was careless.”

His words came out harsh but he smiled giving Kara a hug. “You’ll just have to learn to fly a little faster next time then, Breen.” She laughed and hugged back. “Let’s go see if we can catch the rest of the unit on the road. There’s more of these things out there.”

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
MelLHay
Apr. 30th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
Oooo, now this is so good. You've had lots of practice with school. I'm so out of the habit. I like Breen. And sounds like a dangerous job. Nice!
seolmara
Apr. 30th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks :) Not sure how much came from anything I've learned though. Might've forgotten it all by now...lol.
blodeuedd83
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
I see that you are all beast hunting, cool story :)
Yay for us being back
seolmara
Apr. 30th, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
Hehe, Melissa and I did have similarities though I hadn't figured out what the creatures would look like :p

I love your pic, btw!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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