TITLE: SUMMER THUNDER
GENRE: YA Fantasy
How long is the fall down to earth?
I lean against the fence that marks the drop from the floating city to the desert below, digging my fingernails into the wet wood. The city rests drowsy behind me, golden spires and cobblestone roads cloaked in morning mist. My legs shake underneath me. I fidget with my fingerless, scaled gloves.
It’s morning already.
And the smell of blood is still so strong.
I should have left hours ago, but I couldn’t leave my room, couldn’t stop scrubbing. Hot iron blooms in my nostrils as if the sticky red liquid is still smeared across my face, my clothes, my palms.
But it isn’t on my skin. I’ve washed myself pink. It can’t be there.
Gravel scrapes behind me. I curl my wings snug against me, gripping the fence tighter and looking around.
Once someone finds the corpses, once they know I’m gone, I’m dead. And yet, here I am, not ready to leave the people who would kill me. My fingers itch for the sabre I left behind.
They’re coming this way. They’re going to spot and capture me if I don’t move. Sweat beads on my forehead.
I lean forward, stretching my wings slowly so the soft stained-glass feathers don’t make sound —
Something grabs the collar of my shirt. Hot, moist breath brushes across the nape of my neck and through my shorn hair as I’m yanked backwards.
I scream and grab my dagger. But I know it’s useless.