TITLE: THE DYING CITY
GENRE: YA Fantasy
My first memory is of running.
It was hot daylight, and the air was choked with dust. My tiny legs burned with exertion as my feet pounded against an earthen track. I was terrified, although of what, I don’t know.
Sometimes I think that moment shaped every moment to come. My life began in a burst of speed and fear. I was never safe—but at least I was fast.
I’m flying down another dirt road today, but this time I feel certain of myself. That confidence comes partly from the horse beneath me. I named her Starlight in a fit of whimsy, although she’s a plain bay dun with lopsided ears. She’s strong and lean and loves to run, and on her back, I’m no longer a creature bound to earth, but something with wings.
I let out a whoop and give the mare her head, standing in the short stirrups while we gallop down the path. I nudge her off the track, into the grass, and pull an arrow from my quiver. The grass doesn’t slow her, but it’s short here, the silvery stalks only reaching to her knee. The fox is a barely visible streak of brown in the distance, but as I sight down the arrow, I know it’s mine.
The beat of hooves behind me softens as my companion’s horse also plunges into the grass. He’ll be too late, though. My arrow is already singing through the air. It strikes the fox in the side.