Friday, January 8, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday

The Flight of Rac’na

The birds rose in a wave and the little boy stopped, attention rapt. They looked more like a giant wing than their individual counterparts. Beautiful, yes; also annoying for the delay they were causing. What was it about flocks? Rac’na couldn’t understand why they fascinated her little brother so. He would never fly.

“Come on, Ef’nel. We’re going to be late to class if you keep stopping to gawk at the sky like a baby.”

“I’m not a baby, Rac! And what do you care, anyway? You hate your teacher.”

“It’s not Sha T’lata I hate,” she replied crossly.

“Well, I really like Sha Vrock and I still don’t care if we’re late. It’s not every day the birds flock so close to the school,” he persisted. “You’re no fun, anymore.”

“You’re right, Ef. I’m sorry. I know how much you adore them.”

“Thanks, Rac,” the boy replied in pleased surprise.

She didn’t often concede to his whims; when she did it was heartfelt. Rac’na really did love the kid. He deserved better than her constant grumpiness of late. The thing annoying her was not him but the scholastic setback she faced at Tellnek Village. While she missed big city excitement with her sophisticated friends, needlessly repeating infantile lessons stung the worst.

The young sorceress should have had her first flight by now. At that thought Rac’na turned her golden eyes up to the sky. A piece of her heavy heart lifted at an inspired notion. Perhaps if she applied herself they would accelerate her to the next class level. Even in this backwater town her family’s proud matriarchy should have plenty of influence. Her father had simply been too busy establishing trade to think of it. She smiled toward the heavens for the first time in a long while.

“Who’s gawking now, baby?”

His tease shook loose the last of a lingering torpor. Poisonous vexation slipped away like water off feathers. Swatting her little brother’s arm, Rac’na giggled uncharacteristically. She decided in the moment to become that fun and silly sister he used to know. Her first flight could be delayed for another year for all she cared. Ef’nel would never be eleven cycles old again. She needed to enjoy his youth before her hormones matured and they were separated by more than age.

Often, transition to full-flight status temporarily mutated a simple girl into a terror to her kin. Was solemn and moody how Rac’na wanted to be remembered after she and her sibling were forbidden contact?

The answer was a resounding no. Sometimes the young woman’s actions during the manic phase created an impossible rift on their own. She would do her best to safeguard against that. Rac’na swerved from their path, letting whim guide swift, lightened steps. She called for him to chase her and darted toward a nearby park.

As she ran, Rac’na heard her brother’s cry of excitement and alarm. Why did his voice seem so scared? Why would it be muffled?

“Ef?” She turned to look back and screamed, “Ef’nel!”

“Rac! Save me!”

With horror, Rac’na realized that these weren’t the harmless flock they’d thought themselves to be admiring. These birds were the fierce flesh-eaters. These were Naroc. What were they doing this close to civilization? It didn’t matter at the moment.

Before the girl could imagine a plan to help him, she felt her feet lifting from the gravel walkway. Rac’na looked down and realized that she didn’t need spells to reach the sky. Her love for her brother had done that. She soared, ecstatic in her newfound ability. Raging hormones guided her vicious beak and dagger-like talons.

The Naroc who failed to escape fell before her terrible wrath. Red speckled her snow-white plumage as she settled to the ground. Where once had been a sinister congregation was now nothing but gore and feathers. Ef’nel lifted one huge quill in awe. Then, ecstatically, the young boy raced behind his sister’s straight flight for home.

A woman now, Rac’na was still his big sis. He could hardly wait for the praise of Sha Vrock and his classmates. First, though, he looked forward to a grand celebration. Ef’nel hoped to stuff himself on Rac’s honeyed brittle. Her joyful song promised him all he could eat.

~the end~

Author's note: I saw starlings flocking on my drive home one day. The next thing I knew, Rac'na came into existence to fight them off. Please let me know what you thought of my whimsical tale. And happy Friday!

8 comments:

  1. Holy crap, Darla, that was awesome. Very, very nice. I loved reading about these two.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Nikki! I don't know where they came from. It's funny how a flock of birds inspired this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like science fiction a lot and look forward to wearing 3D glasses for your next story.

    Gerry the K

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gerry, that's a wonderful compliment! Thank you. I appreciate the feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I will preface this by saying I am not generally a fan of sci-fi, and go on to say that you may have changed my mind with your beautifully written tale. I want you to turn it into a book, then a series, just so I don't have to say goodbye to these guys. Well done!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Allow me to preface my comments with one important fact: I am not generally a fan of sci-fi. Let me then go on to say that you may have changed my mind with your lovely tale. I want you to turn it into a book, and then a series, so I don't have to say goodbye to these guys.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I apologize if I double posted, but I didn't realize it would take time to post and so I wrote it twice, but they are similar love notes!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Liza, you really made my day. Thank you very much for the kind encouragement!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. Hearing from readers adds immensely to my joy of writing!