From Within

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Writing prompt: As a child he'd been told

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

As a child he’d been told to be wary of the rails. Altes had heard their words. He even tried to listen. Yet he always returned, fingers curling about cold metal as he peered into the clouds below.

The clouds drifted, a grey screen between Altes, his city, and those who walked. That world seemed unhurried until suddenly it was not.

Altes stood at the rails when the contraption broke through their barrier, screaming louder than the hunting falcon. It rose higher. And higher. Steaming black clouds behind.

Breaking into pieces, Altes saw her drop from it. She screamed shrilly, full of a young one’s terror while learning their wings. But she one had no wings.

Diving from the rails, Altes fell after the form. Dark hair streamed long about her face, and when she saw him, she didn’t reach out. Instead, her eyes and mouth went wide.

Altes grabbed her from the air and back winged. Her fist struck his shoulder. His chest. His arms.

“Do you want me to let you fall?” He chided her, turning his face away before she could strike him there.

“I-I” she stuttered. Altes was grateful when she stopped striking him. Instead, she buried her face against him and clung.

He landed beyond the rails, gentle and smooth. She shoved herself away the instant she saw the ground. “Where am I?” she demanded.

Altes would have answered her, but beyond her the others gathered, scowling at the wingless one. Which to answer first?

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Be sure to check out the other Wednesday Words authors’ take on the prompt.

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