Possibility’s End

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! This month I decided to pick today for the holiday flash fiction. Enjoy the special story!

The age was ending. Yeassi ran, the Rafni stick tucked beneath her arm. The ground churned at her feet and the sky twisted about her. She staggered beaten sideways by a particularly fierce gale compounded with the stone turning to sand beneath her feet. Wrenching her hand from the quickly hardening ground, Yeassi forced herself up. She could not be late.

The inselberg rose above the chaos ahead. Visible, but not near enough. Yeassi scowled and forced herself back into a staggering sprint.

Possibility was a word that had haunted her tribe for the age. Possibility when two worlds had collided, each potent in their innate powers. Powers which combined to from something stronger than the pieces. But power could only hum in unity for so long. One world had gained dominance. That world had not been her own.

Dust parted revealing a group of men ahead. Yeassi skittered to halt, tucking the Rafni against her chest.

Eyes turned toward her. The words rumbled as they washed over her. Starlings. Had the worlds diverged so much that the tongue was lost to her? If so, she still understood as they pulled knifes from their belts. The metal was poor compared to her people’s crystal blades but still cut.

Turning Yeassi darted to the side. She could call on the Rafni’s power. Creating plates of air to rise upon with each step. The humans wouldn’t be able to follow, and she’d reach the inselberg quickly.

And fail before she reached it.

Each generation since the worlds crashed had pooled their power into the Rafni. Power today those alive prayed was enough. Yeassi could only guess how the ancestors had known their world would be the one to diminish. Perhaps they hadn’t known, only feared. Possibility was a fearful word which cut too many directions.

The wind struck Yeassi sending her stumbling again. A hand clamped on her arm, her skin growing paler around his fingers. Turning she struck out. The Rafni racked against the leather breastplate the man wore, creating a scratch, a grunt, but nothing more.

Her shoulder screamed as he stepped backward, using the movement to wrench her with him, throwing her past him and into grip of another. They closed around her. Yeassi yanked her arm free and dropped to a crouch under the swinging arm of a man.

She thrust the Rafni into the dust swirling above the ground out of her sight and screamed. Her voice wrenched at the power lines ebbing and flowing about her. The power danced under her call. A moment strong then gone.

The men stumbled away from her, exchanging looks. She darted forward, but they closed the gap she’d created. She retreated to the center of the circle and scowled at the men.

Her world’s possibility couldn’t end here. Not in a circle that she couldn’t understand, nor would they understand her. Hadn’t dominance granted them enough? The nearest, bulky and ragged, stepped forward.

A cry broke the air, surer than her cry. Yeassi turned, drawn by the strength there. A tree stood nearby; leaves stripped but branches still strong. Upon a high bough a griffin glared down at the men. Again, it screamed, knowing that they saw him and willing them to hear. The blades turning toward the beast said they did not, but Yeassi did.

“Let my sister pass.” The demand was followed by the griffin scrapping its claws over the branch, shredding wood. “We will not surrender more.” Other forms appeared behind the first griffin, more of her flight.

Arms clamped around Yeassi, pulling her backward and away from the beasts, even as the rest of the men approached. A gale surged against the ground throwing dust over the man and her, blinding her. She twisted in the grip as howls filled the air and the screams of men.

The man holding her screamed and his grip fell away. Twisting, Yeassi struck the man with the Rafni across the temple and he wilted. A griffin stood where he’d been and lowered his head tucking in his wings. “Let me carry you.”

“Gladly cousin.” Yeassi approach running her hands through feathers to furry and mounted his back. Mounting the griffin, she felt the ground fall away and the sky crash against them. The griffin cried, releasing its power in a wash to force the sky back and let them through. No wonder they had approached on foot.

Metal tore through the griffin’s wing and the cried change from power to pain. Rafni clawed at the hook lodged in the wing and turned to see a chain and a man on the ground holding the chain. The griffin tribe still fought around him, but more men had appeared from the dust. Her kin were outnumbered. More men were coming.

Her griffin’s scream weakened, and the sky pressed against them. Yeassi grasped the Rafni and drew it to her mouth. Drawing in a breath she pulled power with it and screamed. The chain broke, and the man fell to the ground. Screaming, though softer now, her griffin soared through the air.

A scream, but one of simple force. She looked to the skies and prayed she had not drawn to much as they soared to the inselberg. The sky pressed against them and the griffin screamed. Yeassi pressed the Rafni to her back and cried out. She couldn’t draw its power, but she could add her own to the griffin’s.

The islet filled the sky before them and the griffin clawed the rock, holding stone long enough for Yeassi to scamper from his back. She scampered over the stone and looked to the vortex swirling in the sky and the single world forming there.

Raising the Rafni to her mouth, Yeassi screamed. Her cry for a world that did not wish to die, that had not wished it for generations. She screamed and prayed it would be enough to release man’s world to space and save her own.

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