Flash Fiction by EJ LeBlanc
The aviwyrm took no joy in her flight this night.
Her long body undulated through the air, carried aloft by millions of golden scale-feathers flickering in the moons-light. Each scale-feather was a tiny, thrumming, angry wing, flapping in a blur to rush her away from her home.
She moved as she sounded, like a mourning ghost through the starry sky.
Her dozen fists clutched in frustration tight against her body. How could he? How could he not see?
She would never forget the look in her lover’s face as he cast her from their den.
How could he do this to me? To our family?
Her silver eyes dropped radiant, iridescent tears, tears which disappeared into the thick, puffy clouds. Her mouths opened in a bellowing, piercing roar that shook the clouds and clashed against the many ancient towers piercing them.
She saw her favorite tower in the distance, like a giant aviwyrm shooting straight up towards the stars above a sea of clouds, and she made her way to it.
Higher and higher she went, until all the towers below her were like moths before the flame of her fury and pain. She found her perch, a platform jutting from near the tower’s apex, almost like an aviwyrm’s right eyelid, and coiled herself there tightly, as a sobbing spring.
The cries came from deep within her, the hurt and anger and pain coming out in great torrents of sound and tears.
She remembered how he had once loved her. How he had fought for her. How his talons would feel against her scale-feathers as he caressed her. How his teeth would nuzzle her behind her head.
Her tail lashed out against the walls of the tower, thwacking and thwacking against it. Her scale-feathers hummed in sync with her cries, a thrumming metronome of misery.
And it was then heard – and more importantly felt – them coming. Humans.
Her head whipped up and to the right. They were in their warcraft, tiny creatures in their little egg-like flying machines. The machines sprouted blue flames, and she could see the humans inside them, looking at her with desire.
She roared, opening her mouths wide. Then she closed her upper mouth, grew her cheeks wide, and she spit at the warcraft closest to her.
The gelatinous projectile spread in the cool air, forming into an acidic blanket which caught three of the egg-shell craft.
The blue frames from the craft flickered and died as the egg-shells fell through the clouds below. She heard the cries of the humans within them and both of her mouths smiled, forming a full circle of sharp teeth around her face.
The other craft spread apart, circling the tower and now approaching her from every angle but the tower itself.
One of the craft she felt approach her from below and to her left, beneath her perch. She lashed her tail like a whip at it, slicing through it with ease. It exploded instantly. She felt its warmth bathe her tail, and, despite her anger, sighed with pleasure.
Her coiled body sprung like a fanged snake into the sky. The humans tried to avoid her, but she caught one craft with her front-right fist, and then whipped her lower body around to catch a second with her back-left fist.
Clutching the craft tightly, she passed them along from one talon-hand to the next towards the center of her body. As she did so she turned to another egg-craft, seeing that they were trying to flee and perhaps regroup.
But she would not let them get away, for her joy was gone.
She smashed the egg-craft together until they were rent and broken, ripped them apart with four of her arms, and let them fall to the clouds below.
She had intended to begin moving on the fleeing craft, but she noticed one of the humans from the egg-craft she had just smashed was still alive, and he was climbing her fourth-right arm, just above its elbow.
She stretched out with her fourth-left arm, intending to splatter him against her flesh. But he jumped away, spitting blue flame against her flesh, blue flame which carried him away from her reach.
Instead of splattering him, he blew her fourth-right arm off with a powerful beam of white-hot light.
The pain was incredible.
What was that?!
She screamed and recoiled, and even as she did so her fifth-right fist’s claws slashed through the man, cleaving him in two.
The other egg-craft had regrouped and were now firing the same white-hot beams at her, beams she could not evade.
The beams pierced and ripped her flesh.
She spat and clawed and bit and whipped.
And then the humans were fleeing again.
She was so very tired. And so hurt in every way.
So she gritted her teeth, drew upon strength from deep within her, and chased the monstrous humans who had done this to her. They would surely die this joyless night.
She saw most, if not all, of the egg-craft had been hit by her spit. They were no longer shooting at her. And she was gaining on them.
As she drew close to the egg-craft, they dove to the clouds below. She followed in pursuit, white blood from her wounds trailing behind her.
The craft disappeared in the clouds. Perhaps they thought to escape her, as she could no longer see them. But she could feel them, as certainly as she could feel their terror.
So she ripped the remaining egg-craft to shreds. All but one. She was almost upon it when they broke through the cloud ceiling to the dimly lit world below.
It was then she felt others rising. Thousands of egg-craft lifted from caves lining the surface. Some detached from tower bases. One craft, the largest she had ever seen, seemingly filled to the brim with humans and metonians. It launched more craft at her.
Her eyes grew wide with surprise and fear. I must warn him. I must warn them all!
She hurled herself towards her home, towards her love, with everything she had.