What a long and eventful weekend this has been. I barely spent any time at home. In my defense, it was to get out and away from the sick child and boyfriend. Dave was fine with the beginnings of symptoms and Colin was finally recovering from his bout with the flu.
If anyone was wondering why there were three posts so close together, then this one, it’s because I was catching up. Friday has been just one of those tiring days and I ended up making dinner. Saturday, I was out of the house most of the day then today, I spent my free time working on these posts.
Onto the excerpt! This one is taken from the very clean version of How the Kiyrie Got Their Wings. I chose a small section where StormCloud, a Kiyrie, and Drake, a dragon master hunter (also called hyunitarrii in the Kiyrie language) finally come together to bring about the first evolution in the Kiyrie species. They are mortal enemies. He could easily kill her and yet, the Fates decided they were the perfect candidates for their experiments. There is no dialog in this story. Just the thoughts of some omniscient being showing the story.
StormCloud wanted to be alone and in silence. She didn’t want anyone to know what she was thinking. As much as it hurt her to do so, she wrenched her mind free of the communal link her people, the Kiyrie, shared. Immediately she felt an upwelling of sorrow fill her soul and imagined a heart wrenching scream as the depressive shock rise.
For many weeks, she lived alone in the deepest, darkest parts of the northern forests; hunting and gathering her own meals while avoiding the hunters. With each successive week she kept herself apart from the others and the mental link severed, she grew weaker and her hunts less successful.
During self-enforced exile, she couldn’t stop thinking of Drake. He was hyunitarri, the best hunters in all the realms and he was dangerous to her and the rest of her kind. The very thought that some higher force wanted her to mate with him made her shudder in fear and dread. She’d rather fall from a mountain cliff than be close to a hyunitarri of any kind.
Two months passed without either Drake or StormCloud spotting one or another. It was chance brought them together again and not a moment too soon. The Kiyrie, weak from hunger and the loss of her mental link with her people, lay unconscious on the forest floor, sprawled as if she had fainted in mid-leap. The Earth, always caring for the creatures she created, covered her with the underbrush and leaves until StormCloud awakened.
Drake, tracking a deer for his own meal, stumbled upon her. At first, all he could see was a single paw and the tip of her tail among the leaves and underbrush, laying unnaturally still. Curious, he moved the leaves and forest litter aside and gazed at her sleeping form. Her fur was dull; it no longer had that healthy glow that made the Kiyrie so prized, and she was thin, her breathing very shallow. Once again his hunter’s oath and his heart warred with each other. He could kill her so easily and collect a smaller reward for a less than perfect Kiyrie. But his own honor wouldn’t let either side win. She was too weak for his heart to follow through with what it wanted, and taking a defenseless prey brought no honor or challenge.
He lived for the thrill of the hunt. This elusive prey was in no condition for any kind of hunt. Though he wanted to turn and leave her to the forest predators, something made him stop and look at her longer. Drake couldn’t deny the pounding of his heart was of a different kind of fear. For someone who has been alone all his adult life, he couldn’t stand the idea of not having this gentle and vulnerable creature near him.
The very thought was interrupted by the darker, more carnal, side of his being, telling him that the Kiyrie was nothing more than prey and a few gold coins at the Temple in any condition. He shook his head to rid himself of the thoughts of kindness, but they would not be silenced. Their voices grew louder until he was shouting at the forest and holding his hands to the sides of his head as if to block the turmoil in his thoughts.
Panting, he fell to his knees and stared through unwelcome tears at the slowly dying feline. He was life was slipping away and he knew it. He could feel the hope of a brilliant future fading quickly and the eyes of his ancestors boring into his mind and whispering of the honor he would lose if he didn’t help her and fulfill his destiny. After a long, drawn out sigh, he looked around to see if anyone else was there who could take care of her. Seeing no one, he gently picked her up, tilting his head at the soft, weak, whimper as she was lifted.
He carefully carried her to a clearing then spread his wings and took to the air. The flight was short, a slow glide over the tree tops to where his own hidden oasis was located. He landed many miles away in a rocky area at the border of the kingdom where the rocky foothills began. During his short flight, he debated with himself to drop her and let the denizens of the forest finish her off. But as the idea started to take root, something else pushed the idea away and left in its place thoughts of something far better in the near future.
While he was opening the portal to his lair, StormCloud awakened, dull gray eyes gazing up at him. At first, she didn’t recognize who he was. When realized who was holding her she thought surely her life was going to end right there. Weak as she was, she shivered and a soft mewl escaped her parted lips.
When he looked down at her, her head rolled against his shoulder and he could see the fear in her eyes as well as her soul giving up and trying to stay alive. Their eyes met again. Time stood still as the universe and to a halt and their souls met once again. His bright and strong spirit reached out to her, bolstering the growing weakness in her and pausing the slow slide into eternal darkness.
StormCloud shook as she looked into Drake’s eyes then fainted once more, unable to cope with the strong feelings growing inside her. Concerned, the dragon carried her into his lair and placed her gently on the simple bed he had. Drake made sure she was comfortable before lighting a fire. There was little he could do. He was a hunter after all, not a doctor or healer. While she slept, he ventured out to hunt.