There is a flash fiction challenge going on and I’ve decided to join in. A picture is posted for inspiration and then writers take it from there. This is the first time I’ve participated, I’m usually far too long winded (or is it long written?) to write flash fiction. But as I stared into the eyes in the picture, I knew exactly who she was to me and what story I needed to tell.
The rules and the challenge are HERE on Miranda Kate’s blog. Feel free join in, the more the merrier.
She soared through the night sky, her ever watchful eyes on the worlds that existed around her. Some of the sights lifted her heart, others stabbed her with grief, but free will kept her from interfering in most of it. Exhaustion beat at her body and for the briefest of seconds, her faithful wings faltered, the glossy blue-black feathers shimmering in and out of existence.
Her time grew short. Nothing could stop the forward motion of life’s clock. Not even she. And though she’d seen more millennia than she cared to remember, she wasn’t ready yet. She neared death with no successor in sight. The descendants of her children were scattered, and none held a tenth of the power they would need to assume such a responsibility. Merely attempting to touch the flow that moved through her like a river—the flow that was the beating heart of the worlds around her— would kill them instantly. How could she let herself seek the end she so desperately needed if there was no one to stand in her place?
A glance showed her consort, watching her warily from his flight path next to her. He hadn’t missed the flicker of her feathers. Though he’d seen the same number of years as she, and hungered for rest as deeply, the concern shining from the black of his eyes was all for her. So many thousands of years he been unfailingly by her side. Her mate, partner, protector, and deepest love.
Her vision of the worlds went black. Her consort’s alarmed cry cut through the night, but she could no longer see him. Instead, when light returned, she stood in another time thousands of years in the future. Before her, stood a young woman whose eyes shone with determination. A battleground, trampled and bloodied, surrounded her. The girl was an odd mix, a blend of races that shouldn’t be and yet that’s exactly what was needed. It was a powerful combination and this girl, with the dark one standing near, was who she searched for. She would be strong enough.
So many years in the future though…
Her eyes snapped open. She laid in her consort’s arms atop a mountain peak in the mortal world as the first hints of dawn faded the velvety black on the horizon to a deep indigo. She gazed into his face. “I have found her.”
He breathed a sigh of relief. “Where?”
“When is more accurate. I fear there is only one way to reach her, to make it that long.” She sighed sadly. “It will require I sleep almost as deeply as death until I sense her birth. It will seem to the worlds as if I have abandoned them, but there is no other course.”
“It will throw the worlds in chaos to be left without your guiding hand.” He frowned and she could almost see his mind going over the consequences of such an action, feel the apprehension through their bond. “The different realms will war until only one stands if not for your restraining influence.”
“Then I must separate them. I will tell my Watcher of what I have seen so younger generations will be prepared for the girl’s coming. Her mix will create an unpleasant stir among those of the realms. The lessor gods will know her for what she is, but they will know better than to interfere in any way. The battles she faces will be her testing ground.” She extracted herself from her consort’s arms and stood. “If she prevails, she will be the next.”
“Where do we go from here?” he asked.
She glanced at him before forming the raven in her mind again. “I begin by bring the veils down between the worlds. Once everything is settled, I will rest deeply.” She turned to him with a tender look filled with the love she knew flowed along the bond to him. “You do not have to wait for me. Nothing will harm me in my death-like sleep. All will be well.”
“I will remain by your side always. In life, in sleep, and in death.”
She smiled and then shifted back into the raven and took to the sky, renewed energy staving off the lurking exhaustion. She could do this, would do this, and there would be a successor.