04-06-2012 03:27 PM
Show a character moving from one place to another. Make the mode of transportation a clear and strong presence through sensory detail. Show the ways in which the character inhabits and interacts with the space. Is he on a bus, his conversation with a friend interrupted by the loud screech of breaks at every stop? Is he on a bicycle, the wind a sharp cold on his still-damp hair?
04-06-2012 11:33 PM
The livid glow of fire stained the sky kissing the back of Bella’s cloak as it snapped like an angry serpent in the wind. She kept her eyes fixed front, knowing if she looked back she would never make it to South Kettering. From the resonating bellows and subsequent wails of pain, it was hell on earth erupting in her wake, Nog at its heart. The beast was unleashed. She held tight to Rue, her lips moving in a brilliant whisper, the cadence whipping through her head. Her heart pounding out the beat like a drum of war. Her voice rose to a cry of passion, of pain as she began to sing:
Aquasai, Songs of the Ocean and Heart of the Seas, Weaver of Water.
Flamandari, Voice of Flame and Light within the Shadow, Weaver of Fire.
Of the Spirit.
Of the Echo.
I call out of the depths.
Heard me. Heed me.
Wings of Water.
Talons and tongue of Flame.
Heft the Voices.
Stolen by the Fading.
Renewed and breathing,
Fly out fast and far and strong.
Flooding the world,
The bleeding Vale with the lost Songs.
A trickle of awareness traced down Isabella’s spine as the words broke free of her heart. She was laying her soul, everything bare as she cast caution to the winds. Focusing her reeling emotions and culminating rage on the songs, the weaves billowing up like a cloak in her wake, Bella felt the flow of power surging through her veins. This was the pulse of a true Darkkin Rage, controlled elemental glory that flew where she could not, attacked without mercy. Struck hard and deep and true.
This was her legacy and she let it soar. The elemental weave dragons lifted free of the smoke and the sea foam, a twining, silken army carried on silent wings. Banking hard they formed ranks and followed Bella’s directions, flanking and assisting the feared Chimaera in his struggle with the Hell Hound packs. Ghosts and forgotten they went winging into battle, no blood or lives to lose. Nothing to risk and everything to gain. Such were the songs of the Lost.
With her weaves cast and flying hard, Isabella settled deep against Rue’s powerful, flexing shoulders. His heart beat a heady rhythm against her knee and he stretched into a dead run. Holding nothing back, he reached deep throwing his paws out in a stealthy, whispered stride. It was almost like flying but for the tiny plumes of light snow cast up by his massive, surging bounds. The sea wind strengthened, tugging at the hood of her cloak. Quickly she tucked the flailing ends beneath her knees to reduce drag. Rue sprang forward, pressing harder than ever before.
Between the huge alpha’s pricked ears Bella spotted a thinning in the trees. It was Dagger Cove. The wind was a frosty kiss against her ears, her hair flying wild and loose down her back. Her fingers ached with cold, but her blood burn and her eyes glowed as Rue picked up the pace, holding nothing back. His heart and paws pounded in a manic hum as he ran, by memory and instinct alone, so fast were they moving. Sight counted for little. It was by smell and touch he was guided, just as he was all those years ago on the first fateful run.
Trees and shrubs lashed out from all sides seeking to grab at Bella and Rue, but he pressed on, heavy branches snapping like twigs as he plowed through. The game trail here was almost nonexistent; even the argent form of the fabled unicorn would have been hard pressed to keep pace with tireless dire wolf. The silver bells on his harness rang out in a ghostly refrain as he set up for the leap. Blowing hard he settled deeper into his stride as he pulled in a last desperate breath. Isabella's knuckles were white from her death grip on the leather encircling Rue's chest. Ahead the stars shone through a gap in the trees. Far below the sea called a reply to the voice of the bells.
One foot struck and held. Two touched down. Three pressed hard. Four feet lifted free of the ground. Another massive bound. One foot, stretched. Two feet, dug in. Shoulders flexed and muscles bunched. Power gathered. It was a dark gorgeous cadence, beating out in the black heart of the forest. Rue’s ears were pricked and ready as he bore down upon the thinning edge of the trees. Two more strides and they would be at land’s end. Bella drew a deep breath in and put her faith in the wolf.
Time wheeled, stretching into a finite pinpoint of light as Rue pulled a savage burst of speed from the deepest reaches of his seemingly relentless reserves. The harsh salt-tanged wind rushed over the pair, a flood of ice and virga, as massive paws clung to the treacherous stones. One final stride and Rue gathered for the leap. His huge haunches gathered coiling like a giant spring compressed to the point of destruction. This was a raw, primal power. Pure physical strength that had nothing to do with the elemental songs. It was the ancient surge of adrenaline and reckless courage that carried men through war and ensured successful hunts. This was will power.
Bella clung like a limpit to the plaint leather, burying her face in the downy fur of the great beast as the edge of the cliff rushed to greet them. Like the water currents she controlled, Isabella, flowed with Rue's immense, quicksilver stride as he launched himself into the breach. The wind ruffled fur and disarrayed curls as the wolf stretched full length into the jump, extending paws and legs as far as they would reach. Whippet thin and tight as a drawn bow, he capitalized on the streamlined power that had carried them this far.
Streams of virga whipped out in ghostly tendrils, chasing Isabella's reeling symphonies. Rue's huge, snow shoe like paws, grabbed hold of the nearly invisible lifeline, and tossed them on farther and faster. One more touch, a mighty pressing bound and the world stilled for the blink of an eye as Rue flowed into his second and final leap. He was a wraith passing over the roaring surf far below, Bella, a shadow's refrain hidden in the lee of his path. The stony edge of the far cliff face was a breath away. One paws caught, a second held, the third dug in, the fourth pressed, building speed. The forest rose up around the pair once more.
Isabella felt the slight jouncing of Rue's gait as he clambered up the far side of Dagger Cove. Lifting her head, she cast a last speaking glance over her shoulder now that they were more than three quarters of the way to South Kettering. There was nothing that could touch them now and Rue knew it as he lengthened out into his distance consuming run.
The light of the fire brushed the young Darkkin's small face as she held out hope that Nicholas had made it through the mayhem. The wind was fresh and clean, blowing in from the sea, stripping away the cloying scent of blood and smoke. It was a clear shot through the border wood to Kettering, but Bella's heart remained in the Vale.
"Be safe. Be wise." She whispered to the rising breezes. The stars shimmered, smiling down upon her as they had never done before. As the clouds cleared, the moon soared free, casting an argent light across the deep shadows. It was as if hope had drawn a deep breath, renewing the relentless climb from a chasm of darkness. Bella's mirrored eyes reflected the amorphous light as she watched the constellations flash and weave between the skeletal branches of trees they rush by.
The silver ringing of Rue's bells was a brilliant fey born sound that raced with the wind, heralding their harried approach to the Loreborn village of South Kettering, whose lights were now visible upon the horizon. As if in reply to the song of the Dire Wolf's run, the bells of the village chapel rang out, deep and true, a clarion brass voice that rousted the sleeping inhabitants of Kettering from slumber. Lights flared in several windows as disgruntled Lores poured out into the icy night, curious to know the source of the alarm.
An old woman, her snowy hair in a thick braided rope nearly touching the ground, was the first to spot the weary shadows drifting out of the surrounding forest. The two parties emerged from the winter black woods about a quarter mile apart, but there was no mistaking the size and breadth of the Talonstone Dire Wolves. A flash of silver and the billowing haze of a distance fire riveted her attention. That unique silver flare Miss Maude would have known anywhere, it was a dark memory fixed in her mind. A terrible night nearly sixteen years gone.
"Saints and stars preserve us," she whispered to the air. "Isabella!" She shrieked her slippers silent on the snow as she began to run. She hollered back over her shoulder. "Marcus. Lewis. Hugh. Wake up! It's Miss Isabella. She's alive!"
04-07-2012 12:08 AM
Mode of Transportation: Dragon Wings...
With no time left to waste, Valonar severed the connection, focusing on the matter at hand. There had to be a way of stopping Naiki. The problem was finding it before she not only took out Nog, but injured the hundreds innocent bystanders, as well as herself. She was one of the fastest fliers in the history of the Darkkin, and her fury only lent impetuous to her frenzied flight. Even with her shifting abilities running hot and full, there was no possible way she would be able to pull out of her dive in time to avoid smashing into the earth.
She would be lucky to escape with a few broken bones. Nog and anyone near him would be lucky to escape with their lives, if there was anything left to escape from, that is. It was going to take every skill he possessed just to catch her, let alone stop her. With his stone-hewn features set in a mask of grim determination, he relinquished control to his draconic side and went into a steep dive that would bring him in underneath Naiki's even steeper trajectory. She had the head start, but he had sheer size and the control of air on his side.
Valonar's massive, glittering golden eyes drifted shut as he let the waves of the world's symphonies overtake his mind. His gigantic burnished gold wings pulsed again and again, finessing the air currents. Every flicker of the massive membranes brought him a little closer to his quarry, but she still too far ahead for him to get a visual lock on, had his eye happened to be open. Instead, he focused on her spirit pulse that was shining brighter than any star in the heavens. Waves of violated anguished lashed his senses as he followed her course. Short of an earthquake there was little that was going to keep Naiki from her target.
A flutter, the slight adjustment of a sleek shoulder and he veered to the right, slicing through the gale that was gathering behind Naiki. Water vapor sheared off his wings in great streaming jets as he pulled his wings in tight, tucking them close to his lean torso. His nose was pressed into the air current and his neck flexed this way and that as he fought to bring the threads of his symphonies together. One wing. Another and another...Up, down, up, down...His heart pounded in his chest he pressed harder and farther than ever before, reaching deep for reserves he never knew he had. His forefeet were plastered to the sides of his heaving ribcage, while his hind feet were stretched tight, streamline along his tail.
Where Naiki was a light, slim dagger of lithe speed, Valonar was a rapier slitting the air and clouds surrounding him with an eerie grace. He used his greater weight to his advantage, allowing the natural gravity of his earthen symphonies to pull him down. The deep bass voices from the bowels of the world took wing, jettisoning out in great streams of green, brown, and molten gold to embrace their weaver.
The elusive, eerie threads of the aerial voices were much harder to lay hold of as he tucked in even closer to the icy winds whipping around him. As the voices of the zephyr, the mighty north wind, the song of the southern breezes, and the eastern gales seared across his senses, Valonar realized there was at least one thing capable of catching Naiki, even if he wasn't able to. The very air that carried her.
Once more he checked her position in conjunction with the location of Talonstone and Nog. She was dead on sight and her speed was unprecedented. She was completely perpendicular with the ground, her wings moved with liquid smooth strokes to keep her momentum going. One pulse...two ...three
...four...forward, back...over and over again.
The massive gale that had been hovering, threatening to explode all day once more shivered with the gathering power of Naiki's seething melodies. The storm head boiled behind her like a hound upon the heels of a hind. Forward, back. On and on. The pulse of the storm caught hold of his senses, the rhythm of his heart. Water and air in a chaotic whirling rage. Her heartbeat became his, each wing stroke, every muscle flex...Until they were one. Mind, body, and soul while they remained separated by nearly a mile of maelstrom clogged air.
He was in her head, at the very core of her symphonies, the tip of his tail flipping back and forth like a metronome keeping time with her songs, his talons tapped along his ribs, marking the pulse points of his. With the two sets of symphonies firmly in his grasp he finally began to work with the melodic threads. If this was to work, it was going to require every ounce of skill and grace he possessed. Brute force was not an option, even if he could have outflown her. His plan was fairly simple, but timing was critical. One wrong move and it would all be for naught.
Plunging his mind into the massive vortex at the centre of the gale, Valonar took advantage of the latent power and speed of the winds created by the storm. Long, elegant streams of chilling air currents spiraled out in all directions, but he focused solely on the ones chasing the liquid symphonies Naiki was weaving. Air followed water like a river flows to the sea. The jet streams of air and cloud became an extension of his feet and talons as he reached out with his songs. Streaking out and twisting down in a circling, multidirectional spiral, the vaporous fingers traced along the flame-cloaked hide of his mate. His voice whispered over and over in her head, a lover's words, a hypnotic cadence intended to slow and seduce her rampaging thoughts.
As he sang to her, serenaded her as she deserved, Valonar slowly and cautiously began to bring his silken net of air threads in closer. Little by little, the threads caught, tethered. The weaves were still slack, but he now had a physical, if elemental, hold on her. He sang to her from the depth of his soul, laying all the agony, the pain, his own crippling shame bare before the eyes of her soul, her savage raging heart. He called to her to accept his surrender, to complete the bond they had started so long ago. All the while he continued to work his silken net of air currents closer and tighter. He was doing something he had never thought possible. He had set aside logic and was flying, acting on sheer blind hope. It was a path he had never trod before and he prayed it wouldn't lead him astray at this critical hour.
Naiki's overloaded senses howled in protest as she worked against the thickening air and the disturbing songs in her head. She recognized Valonar's serenade, his courtship melodies that he had spun across her dreams, but there was a layer to these that those earlier versions lacked. There was an openness about them; their refrains were purer, crisper, sharper. These were honed to a cutting edge, a edge that sliced through all else. The shadow. The doubt. The blinding, all consuming rage. In the depths of the symphonies, he had concealed his heart. His anguish, confusion, the tide of shame for his past actions all came tumbling across the bond threads. He was laying his soul open before her soul's eyes and her righteous anger.
His shields, his shadows were whipped away. She held the power to crush his heart within her talons. Recognition of the nearly suicidal level of trust shook her to the very bottom of her seething soul and aching heart. Her fury driven wing strokes faltered slightly as the air around her assumed the consistency of freshly set jelly. She heaved a labored breath and tried to press through it as her mind worked to assimilate Valonar's sudden, unexpected actions. If she lost focus on his declaration, she would lose him completely, driving them both into madness.
A sudden, almost savage gust of wind caught her along the leading edge of her right wing. She skewed slightly, forcing her off the perpendicular intersect line she had been following. She fought to correct her course in the soupy atmosphere and the boiling clouds. As she struggled against the seemingly possessed elements, a second stream of air caught the leading edge of her left wing. The sudden shift in air pressure and currents jolted her even further off course. She battled to realign herself, but even as her wing unfurled for another downward stroke, a third breath of air traced across her overheating, silken hide. It followed the line of her tail, underbelly, and torso, quickly wending its way up to the very tip of her nose before oozing out along the length of the leading edges of both wings.
She baulked and slewed heavily, pulling hard to the right as she sought to escape the slipstream. Her flight rhythm stuttered, her lungs heaved in fear as the third ghostly air current clung to her like a possessive lover's hold. The slipstream's grasp on her tightened, her fear mounted. Valonar's songs shivered and slipped. She reached for their fraying edges with her tormented heart, fearing above all else that she could loss him to the Void. It nearly impossible for her to hang on. The songs, Valonar's heart quivered in her spirit's faltering grasp once more. She almost lost her hold and in that moment she knew, she had to let something go. Valonar or the potent, intoxicating power of a Darkkin rage.
A roar, clear and bright as a silver trumpet, rose above the swirling expanse of Naiki's furious symphonies as she finally voiced her choice to the world. Her senses were reeling from the emotional overload as her hold on reality nearly fractured. Her hunter's lock on Nog slipped as her furiously pulsing wings tripped over a stroke in the seemingly possessed slipstream. She reached out heart and soul for a tangible hold on something, anything, as she struggled to regain her bearings. Out of the chaos came the voice she knew better than her own, the most beloved sound in her dark and wheeling world. Valonar was with her, in her head, in her heart, the very wind beneath her wings. He was the slipstream she was fighting against...
Her clarion call rang out once more as the grip on her rage broke. Pulling in her fatigued, struggling wings, she went into a roll, following the flow of the warming air currents. She shifted within the wind stream's grasp, flaring her wings slightly to steady her twisting trajectory. A massive updraft of warm air caught her unfurled wings and lifted her free of the suicidal dive she had held just a moment before. Fire tinged membranes stretched thin and tight as Naiki turned into the current and the river of Valonar's gathering songs.
Trailing in her wake was the huge storm that had been threatening to erupt all day. Now the very air shimmered with the power the clouds struggled to contain. Naiki's eyes opened flashing like silver lightning against the gloom as she looked upon the true breadth of the gale for the first time. The howling rage of its symphonies was the collective voice of a hundred generations of lost souls. It was a power, a coming tide that would not be silenced and it would give the Darkkin the cloak of invisibility they needed in order to find the lost shard. Few would be foolish enough to venture out in the face of its wrath, but she and Valonar had little choice.
Just as she had purged the wounds that had been poisoning her soul for so long, now the glade, the land, the air itself, could not longer hold all the poisons poured forth by the Dark and its minions. Thunder rolled over her senses in a deep bass rumble, a growl of warning. Lightning ignited within the bowels of the clouds, searing her eyes. Naiki blinked to clear her vision as another form came flying out of the very middle of the enormous wall, trailing water vapor like a cloak. Green so dark it was nearly black and patinaed gold flickered in the uncertain light. Valonar.
His enormous golden wings sliced through the choking atmosphere with breathtaking ease; he was stretched as long and tight as a hunter's bow and soared like an arrow, dead on target. The shoreline burst from the fog as a fleet of waves rose in the wake of the heaving air currents. No longer still and anticipatory, the Bay of Oban began to teem with suppressed power, frantic to be released. The symphonies of the Darkkin pair had awoken the ancient powers that had drifted into oblivion and now those powers were fighting to break free of the Dark’s all consuming hold.
Valonar battled to break loose from the storm’s hold as he finally caught sight of Naiki. His wild, desperate plea had worked. When forced to choose between her rage and his heart, she had chosen him. For the briefest of moments, he knew the pinnacle of boundless joy, but it wasn’t to last for very long. The maelstrom was gaining in power as Naiki’s songs swelled to unbelievable dimensions as she emerged from the cloud bank a huge storm swell following in her wake. She was still moving at a breakneck speed, but her trajectory, skewed by his net of air threads was still dangerously erratic. She was a fiery blade of retribution aimed at the very heart of her beloved glen.
Snaring the swirling threads of his aerial gift, he went to work reeling in the slackened net of air currents he had eased about Naiki in order to break her tangent line. Surprisingly she didn’t fight against him or the symphonies drawing her away from the shoreline and into his flight path. A flaming fury of lethal grace, she flowed like water with the slipstream that now held her captive. Her huge wings fluttered every now and then to keep her aloft, but she was letting the weave do the work. She had given herself over to his heeding for the time being, knowing she was completely out of control, blinded by her unquenched anger.
The leading edges of the storm teased her wings and tossed her onward, closer and closer to Valonar with every passing moment. He, meanwhile, had taken advantage of her acquiescence and let his earthly songs unfurl. The stones upon the shore began to shiver and bounce, several boulders broke loose and tumbled into the sea, as he worked his weaves along the cliffs, searching for a fissure. Even with his air net drawing her in, he still wasn’t going to be able to reach her in time, without more help. He needed thermals, but Scotland, locked in winter’s bitter hold wasn’t a place to find them. He would have to create his own.
The basalt islands that made up the archipelago of Scotland’s western coast told him a tale he need to know. Volcanic activity had created the region ages ago, but the traces of the superheated liquid rock still bore testament to the proximity of the magma pools. All he needed was a fissure and his symphonies would do the rest. Little by little, like water eroding away the stone, Valonar’s songs pierced the dense bedrock. The weaves and refrains welled and flowed, a river of power that slipped into the smallest cracks. It went deep, deep…Into the bowels of the volcanic stone. Slowly, both the crystalline bedrock and the songs began to warm.
Then in the furthest reaches of the black, with only his songs as a guide, Valonar found what he was looking for. A fissure, barely more than a hairline crack in the stone, but it ran from the surface all the way down to the molten soup that had formed the shoreline. It was far enough away from Talonstone and the glen to avoid harming the innocent and still close enough to take advantage of. Time was of the essence, he didn’t have the luxury of subtleties. If he was going to act, it had to be now or never.
04-07-2012 12:09 AM
Flight of the Traveller...(Continued...)
With a savage burst of strength, his refrains swelled to their greatest heights, forcing the tenfold weaves into the invisible gap. The world heaved and shivered, groaning as a small vent began to open. Pebbles and sand slithered down the shoreline and into the sea, sending up tiny plumes of water. Ripples spiraled out in a chaotic web across the surface of an already teeming sea. There appeared to be no rhyme or reason to the maelstrom on the surface, but beneath the shifting land and buffeting waves, Valonar had found a course. Unfortunately the fissure flowed out into the Bay of Oban. Any heat released by the magma vents would be instantly cooled by the frigid seawater. He couldn’t do this alone.
Naiki was relaxed within the confines of his air weave; between her velocity and his own air manipulations, they were drawing to each other like a pair of lodestones. It was only a matter of moments before they connected, but it was time they didn’t have. He needed her help now. Once more his thoughts were in her head, his songs spinning his request. “Naiki. Listen closely. I need your help, if we are going to prevent a collision with the mainland. Are you with me?”
“Yes…” She replied. “This entire knot is my fault. If I hadn’t lost control…”
“Stop!” Valonar’s words sliced through the waves of emotion threatening to swamp her. “This isn’t going to help. You’re a Darkkin, a Dragon born shifter. You are not always going to have control of your bestial side. That is why we have the Tribe. Each other…Bella, please! Hold on. I’m almost there, but I can’t do this alone.” He felt her spine stiffen as a steely resolve rose like the incoming tide. She held the fear, the self recrimination at bay, but just barely.
"My songs. Can you feel them? The earth weaves, tracing the bedrock of the Bay..."
Naiki set her senses wide, running full and hot as she released her death grip on her own weaves. Her mind plunged to the bottom of the bay, honing in on the single, fire bright filament shimmering in the great blue green symphony that was the sea. It traced a barely discernible path across the pewter gloom of the bedrock melodies, but it was there. "Yes. I found it."
"Good." Valonar replied. "Hold onto it. I need you to push back the water covering the fissure...We need the heat of the magma running beneath..." He didn't need to extrapolate any further. Naiki locked onto his intentions like an eagle onto its prey. Her great silver eyes drifted shut as she hefted the trailing ribbons of her symphonies once more.
Drawing in a breath of glacial air that seared her lungs, she shifted within the confines of Valonar's net and rolled to the left, drawing up tight and thin...a living blade of amethyst in the midst of the gale. The roll altered her trajectory ever so slightly, reducing drag and increasing her velocity to a nearly lethal level, but she was going to need the speed, the power if this mad plan was going to work. Naiki's nose was still just shy of being perpendicular with the horizon, but she had brought her wings and spine parallel to the sea cliffs and the fissure. She was right on target, a sword poised to cleave the heaving, angry waves. With a great keening wail, she released her song aloud for the first time.
She opened her eyes, knowing this was a precision strike she and Valonar were about to execute. She needed to see beyond the weaves into the actual waves. Naiki caught a glimpse of the great green shape that was Valonar closing in from behind nearly half a mile below. His wings gleamed like liquid gold in the dying light of the day as he strove to reach her in time. "Tristan?" She queried across the connection, "Are you ready?"
She felt was rush of adrenaline and a riskless giddiness flare across their bond link as he replied, "As ready as I'll ever be...On the count of five launch your weaves. I'll be a butterfly's breath behind you. One...two...three..." His voice faded as his heartbeat picked up the cadence; Naiki's own heart synchronized with his, continuing the count. "Four...five!"
A wail more haunting than that of the legendary banshee rang out above the storm and everything suddenly went eerily still as though tike itself had frozen. The two dragons hung suspended in the brewing gale, trapped between heaven and hell, a cataclysm closing in around them as Naiki focused her songs. It was a massive, tight wall of melodies, refrains, countermelodies, and chords condensed into a single, whirling blade that she wielded like a huge, elemental sword. It followed the line of the fissure as she traced along its length, the very tip of her wing the guiding edge. The waters of the bay bowed beneath her weaves, peeling back and away from the fissure and the seabed, itself. Two enormous walls of water billowed up on either side of the chasm she opened. The Red Sea had once seen such a display and now the ocean again yielded itself to the hand of a master.
Like a sword plunged into the flesh of a foe, Naiki's weave struck with force and precision, bringing secrets long hidden into the light. Valonar's breath caught in his throat as he watched the sea rip itself open, laying the seafloor bare. It was a graveyard of shipwrecks and ancient stones, split down the middle by a single, burning filament of light. The fissure. Boom...boom...boom...boom. Valonar's heart thundered in his ears as he found the main refrain and zeroed in, his eyes fixed on the micro-chasm.
Naiki's weave was holding, but a song this complex was dangerous to try and maintain for too long. He caught the driving rhythm of the naked sea stones and the fluid chorus of the molten that flowed below.
He hefted his own symphonies like a wedge and hammer. Melody and countermelody, spinning in opposite directions and brought them to bear along the length of the fissure with every ounce of power he possessed. The result was immense and instantaneous. Unable to withstand the overwhelming forces driving down upon it, the seabed and the bedrock fractured, bursting wide open along the fault line. Superheated air and molten lava erupted into the sky. Valonar folded his huge wings and rolled, protecting his softer underside from the oncoming wave of heat. High above him, Naiki mirrored his move. With brilliant undersides bared to the stars and storm, they began their dance.
Naiki's fire symphonies flared and rolled, streaming down like a silken fish net to ensnare the treasured heat, while Valonar worked in tandem to channel the air, up and away from the mainland. A few tugs at his symphonic strings, pulled the newborn slipstream in the desired direction. It was aimed and the target was waiting. Naiki spread her wings and held them lax, no longer fighting against the pull of gravity. They rippled up on both sides, great pearly banners, rimmed in flame.
Valonar slid into the burning slipstream and shifted until his nose was once more aimed at the sky before he spread his wings to their full extent and let the thermal do its job. The hot updraft flung him toward Naiki like a bullet from a gun and fragmented her suicidal trajectory, sending them both soaring toward the highest reaches of the twilit world above. Like a pair of lodestones, they drew together,
Valonar, who at nearly twice Naiki's size, caught her plunging form with an otherworldly grace. His great golden wings flared high and wide like the sun drenched sails of a galleon, enveloping Naiki. His powerful forefeet drew her in close, pressing her flaming form tight against his burnished underside, their massive hearts beating as one.
Naiki didn't struggle against Valonar as he pulled her into a breath stealing embrace. Her wings folded down with barely a sound, locking in the heat of the fire weave that still shimmered and blazed across her deep purple hide. Here in the glacial heights of the upper atmosphere, the liquid fire and its embracing heat was as welcome as a warm blanket on a winter's day, but frigid temperatures currently engulfing the two dragons were far colder than anything Britain had ever encountered. With naught but icy air and a silver spangled expanse of heaven to greet Valonar's superheated thermal, there could only be a single predictable result. The heated mass of air collapsed on itself and billowed out in a gentle cloak of virginal clouds and enormous snowflakes that drifted languidly after the dragons, extinguishing the burning cloak of dragon fire that had enveloped Naiki from nose to toes.
So with the crystalline flakes and the virga, Valonar and Naiki returned to the realms of mortals, leaving the ethereal heights behind. Amethyst, hyacinth blue, midnight darkness, and countless shades of amber, red, and indigo stained the sky as the Qvaishini bonded pair, began their much more controlled descent. Riding the leading edge of the looming squall, they adjusted course and set their sights on Talonstone and the ancient nemesis, who claimed to hold a vital key to breaking the Dark's hold on Oban. With a graceful roll, Valonar once more released Naiki from his possessive hold, well knowing she was no longer a danger to herself or others. His monstrous wings of hammered gold stretched out to their widest extent as Naiki followed suit not five meters below him. She was a deep indigo shadow with phantom's wings drifting in his wake, as they finally drew within sighting distance of Talonstone.
Below them, rising like a great flaming flower out of an evergreen sea, was the Witching Tree, its leaves aflutter and branches bouncing in the freshening winds, as though it approved of all that it had seen. So onward flew the Darkkin pair, Naiki's rightful fury, now a distant, frightening memory. The latent songs and old magic permeating the vale shimmered and glistened like an eerie fog as they closed in on their destination. The old stone built house with its ancient gardens and glittering windows seemed to beckon its prodigals home. A huge crowd, every denizen of the vale was gathered on the front lawn, their eyes fixed upon the roiling mass of clouds and the far distant, dancing form that were Valonar and his Lady.
05-15-2012 05:19 PM
There's so much here, Darkkin! Lines like this stood out to me most:
"A flutter, the slight adjustment of a sleek shoulder and he veered to the right, slicing through the gale that was gathering behind Naiki."
I appreciate how you capture the fine articulation here--how very little movement can make a significant difference.