Tuesday 21 October 2014

Written Fireside - Of The Storm - Part 8...

I'm taking part in a Halloween flash fiction with some fantastic writers. If you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, here are links to catch up on "Of The Storm" before reading part 8, my part!

Cover created by Aileen Harkwood

Part 1 by Lori Connelly

Part 2 by Aileen Harkwood

Part 3 by Elise Forier Edie

Part 4 by Paty Jager

Part 5 by Ciara Gold

Part 6 by Traci Douglass
Part 7 by Angela Campbell

PART 8...

Amaya followed Makani along the dark passage, her sister’s hand firm on her wrist. Makani held her wedding ring held aloft to fell any guard that appeared before them. As they progressed the air seemed to lose its cold dampness and instead began to spark as if with electricity. The fine down on Amaya’s neck and arms stood on end. They were close. She could feel it. When Makani glanced back at her she could see her sister felt it too.
 Sudden doubt flooded through Amaya.
‘I can’t do this,’ she blurted, shaking her head. ‘I don’t remember how. I’ve spent so long trying to forget the past that I can’t just recall it all at a moment’s notice.’
‘It will come to you,’ Makani said. ‘When you need it.’
The sense of calm she evoked was so un-Makani-like that Amaya found herself shaking her head in wonder. Was this what true love did to a person?
‘Don’t overthink it,’ Makani said. ‘It’s not about reading spellbooks, Amaya, or remembering those childhood lessons. It’s about being yourself. That part of you that you’ve tried so hard to shut out – you just need to let it in.
As they rounded the next corner Amaya felt Tasaria’s presence in the crackle in the air before she saw her. Makani stepped boldly into the room. Whatever Blaike had done to her, it obviously included making her reckless. Tasaria smiled a mocking welcome, as if she’d been expecting them.
‘Not going for the element of surprise then?’ Amaya stage-whispered after her sister. ‘I was thinking maybe we’d approach from behind, move with a bit of stealth…’
‘She already knows we’re here,’ Makani said. ‘What would be the point?’
Amaya looked past her toward the queen. The Torc encircled Tasaria’s neck and a spike of anger rose inside her as she caught sight of it. It was not her property and it was not her right.
Her gaze slipped sideways to the corner of the room and she caught her breath. Blaike and Bri were shackled and surrounded by a line of fae guards. Her heart clenched as she saw Bri’s twisted body on the stone floor, his eyes closed, his silver hair lying limply across his face, its lustre dulled.
Please don’t let him be dead. 
The possibility brought utter despair so complete that she felt its weight would bury her. Only now did she realise her true feelings for him. Now when it was too late.
‘At last,’ Tasaria said. Her eyes flashed coldly. ‘Waiting is so dull. I do believe Brishan is losing the will to live.’ 
She waved a hand at Bri’s prone body in the corner of the room and cackled triumphant laughter.  Amaya’s heart sank like a stone. Then as she watched, as if he had somehow read her mind, his eyes fluttered open and widened as they met her gaze. He was alive. The relief was immense. With it came a burst of angry determination to take back what was hers.
She glanced away as Tasaria beckoned.
‘Now the chant, my dears. If you please.’
‘The Torc is our birthright. Not yours.’
It felt like her voice came from far away. Makani nodded agreement beside her.
‘I’ll take that as a no,’ Tasaria sneered. ‘Good. It’s no fun when people give in.’ In an instant she held up a hand and a surge of power flew toward Amaya and Makani in a glittering blue stream from her palm.
Without thinking, without calling on any childhood memory, acting purely on instinct, Amaya held up her own hand, and from it poured a counter-stream of magic. The fae soldiers scattered, caught off-guard by the speed of Amaya’s reaction before they could intervene. She felt the kickback in her shoulder as her magic hit Tasaria’s head on and then she closed her eyes, the better to focus on inching the burning stream back toward Tasaria bit by bit.
The power had been there all along, just waiting to be picked up. She marvelled how it had come when she needed it. She had suppressed it with human normality, hiding all aspects of her otherness. Yet this was who she really was. She’d been denying her soul. Had she ever felt as alive as she did now? So complete? No, there had always been a sense of something missing. She’d been the one that has shut it out. Just as she’d shut out the connection with Bri, yet on some deep visceral level it had always been there, simmering away.
Makani stood shoulder to shoulder with her, held up a hand and sent her own flash of magic to join with Amaya’s. The queen’s strangled cry of anger and fear only served to spur them on until their combined power held her frozen in a blaze of light. Amaya held up her other hand and the Torc flew from Tasaria’s neck. Amaya caught it neatly.
True to herself for the first time, standing with her sister, victory felt within reach.