Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Briefs: Take Flight Part 4

 
I hope you enjoy this week's update to my contribution to the Wednesday Briefer's flash group. The lot of us, which varies week to week depending on life, muse, and the evil sprites of computer glitches (yeah, the stories I could tell right now, lol) post short stories or weekly updates to a serial story, between 500 and 1,000 words from a list of prompts. I played a little loose with the prompt I chose from the photos Julie provided, but I think you'll get the gist.

Happy Reading!


 


Take Flight Part 4


“Get out.” Birch couldn’t believe Sayer was there. The shock of his appearance after four years of silence, not knowing where his friend was awful. It had taught Birch to be wary. People didn’t really care, not his parents, not his best friend who abandoned him when he promised he’d always be there, so trusting strangers wasn’t something he’d been prepared to do.

Loneliness had haunted him, as it had every summer he’d spent the majority of his time alone, with no end in sight. Sayer was gone, his parents moved and he hadn’t even been given their home phone number. He’d come back to his hometown thinking to find some anchor.

Maybe some speck of hope inside him had thought if he came home, Sayer would come back. That missing part he’d felt ache like a phantom limb would be healed.

But it hurt worse. The boy Birch thought was his best friend, the one person he’d thought cared enough to share everything with him, had been lying all along.

Birch pointed at the door. He refused to look straight at Sayer.

“Get out!” His voice cracked when he repeated his demand.

Sayer shook his head. He licked his lips. “I can’t,” he whispered.

Now he wouldn’t leave.

“Fine.” Birch stormed out of the room, thundering toward the stairs.

“Birch, wait!” Sayer came after him.

His breath came in harsh gasps and his chest hurt. Birch wouldn’t wait. He couldn’t hear this, whatever it was, and stay sane. He’d leave.

“Please, Birch, stop. Open the box, please.”

Birch stopped at the top of the stairs. The small gold box was still clenched in his hand. He threw the gold box at the … fucking faery … who would not leave him alone. “And you can keep this damn thing, whatever it is.”

Sayer gasped and dove for the gold box before it could hit the floor. He caught it and slid on the hardwood floor. Birch jerked away from those flared wings, but not before the smallest whisper of a touch from the bright edges of the flared feathers brushed against his skin. His heel slid over the top stair and Birch’s arms wind-milled as he tried to catch his balance.

It wasn’t enough and he tumbled backward. The wind was knocked out of him as he slammed against the edges of several stairs. He rolled, one shoulder crunching hard as he landed on it. Pain shot through his head as he slid sideways and hit the wall. He was almost to the bottom when one of his legs caught.

Birch screamed when his leg snapped. He jerked to a stop, one leg wedged at an obviously broken angle through the spindles on the stair railing. Birch moaned; his head spun and his stomach threatened to turn inside out. The pain consumed him so much he could barely breathe.

He was going to pass out or vomit, or both.

***

“Birch!” Sayer couldn’t stop his beloved’s fall. He watched, sick with fear, as the small blond man toppled down the steps to get away from him.

“No, no, no.” He raced down the stairs when Sayer’s leg became trapped and stopped him near the bottom of the steps. “Birch!”

His beloved’s eyes were clouded with pain, his face almost as pale as Sayer’s. He was gasping for air, hiccupping sporadically as he struggled.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you.”

He was such a fuck up. Sayer deserved to have his gift thrown back in his face, and he knew it. Tradition, what he was, and the way the worlds worked … he’d had little choice, but maybe he should have chosen differently. His people had needed him, but the pain inside Birch’s eyes could not hide behind his fury completely.

He’d failed his beloved, the human Sayer couldn’t live without. If only he could fix it ….

All he could do was try.

Letting his arms fade to a whisper of a breeze, Sayer slid them under Birch’s body. His magic could cloak his beloved when they left but first he had to get him outside. That meant untangling him from the railing.

“I’m sorry.”

Birch screamed when Sayer lifted him up and slid his body sideways so he could pull the broken leg out of the railing. Birch went rigid before his whole body went limp and he passed out. It made it easier to pull him out and maneuver him into a solid grip against Sayer’s chest.

“You’ll be okay,” Sayer murmured into Birch’s hair as he cradled the smaller man. It was harder still gripping the gold box, but he couldn’t let that go either, so it took some work to get the back door open. Finally managing it with a sharp gust, they were on the porch. Another breeze shut the door behind them and then they were off. His body swirled into mist, cupping and supporting the limp body of his beloved.

The forest ringed hill wasn’t far from the town. A shimmer of magic protected it from the attention of the mortal humans who couldn’t see beyond the physical. Their dim sight saw nothing but more forest; Sayer saw an eternal spring surrounded by fragrant blossoms that nodded under a soft sun that warmed the air currents they floated on toward the portal that lined the slit in the veil between their worlds.

Touched by his feather, Birch could have seen this too but he remained unconscious.

***

“Croll!” Sayer flew through the open balcony doors into his bedroom. His shout rang through the palace. “Haverlseen!”

There was only one person he could trust with the box, because there was no one he’d trust with his beloved, not even their best healer.

Croll’s grin disappeared as he stared at Birch. Sayer held out the box. “I need you to protect this.”

The normally jovial man bowed. “It would be my honor. The amulet will not leave my hand, until you beloved can receive your gift.”

TBC
Sorry we didn't move forward more in the plot of the story but there are quite a few tidbits in this scene I hope you enjoyed to flesh out their world and relationship ... and a few hints to maybe make you want to come back next week for more. In the meantime, check out the other great flash pieces written this week!
 
Victoria Adams
MA Church       




Nephylim    



 
 

11 comments:

  1. first thing I thought of was - Oh that so not good that the picture you chose to use was the broken leg one :-) Then when you wrote Birch screamed when his leg snapped - - I cringed.
    Tweeted
    oh yea, aren't spammers a pain in the you-know-what.

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    1. Nope, not good! Poor Birch took a tumble down the stairs. Not original maybe, but sooo painful. Sorry to make you cringe, but glad the description was effective. lol I do hate spammers, *sigh* but get them a lot.

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  2. I am flashing this week -even though my name isn't on the list.
    http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com

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  3. Lovely! I'm keenly interested in this story, moreso than the last to be honest. I love a good fantasy. : )

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    1. Me too, LOL! I like contemporary, but blending in fantasy with contemporary is even better. It's fun!

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  4. Of course there's enough to make me come back. That chapter made me shiver so much. The sound of snapping bone went right through me. I can't stand that sound, so thanks for that :) I love the idea of the flower circled spring that humans can't see. I'll be back next week to see what happens next for sure. I'm very intrigued by the amulet. I'm presuming it allows Birch to see the fairies amd their world

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    1. Oh, there's quite a lot to tell about Sayer's reaction to Birch and his refusal of his gift. Sorry for the bone sound, it is pretty gnarly and nasty. I'll definitely have more next week! I'm so excited they're at Sayer's home.

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  5. Man, you had to go break Birch's leg. And badly, too. :( I'm most curious about why Sayer was so frantic to catch the box with the amulet. Maybe it was just a reflex, but there might be a bigger reason. I love the magical details, too!

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    1. Yeah... sorry :P Julie's the one who picked the image :P I just flashed on the perfect scene from it. I'll definitely explain the amulet and the rest of the magic of my own version of the fae world!

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  6. Once again you seem to have placed me in a position to both love and despise Wednesday's. I love getting the newest addition to a increasingly wonderful story and despise that I have to wait a whole freaking week to get more.

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