Thursday, September 10, 2015

The King's Challenge #42

TKC 42

People trample each other in their rush to leave the city. Tears fall as I watch the desperation from the clock tower with Damin at my side. He no longer beats the alarm. Mud and water rises in the streets now; everyone knows there is cause for panic.

I gasp as I see a child vanish beneath uncaring boots. A moment later I am thinking of Attis. We must get to the boy! Frantically I clutch at Damin, screaming at him.

He grabs my hands. “Calm, Lyra. Please. If we leave here, we run the risk of being trampled. Attis is a bright boy and will know to stay put.”

Yes, true. Attis is a survivor. I breathe in deeply to still my heartbeat to an even rhythm. “What of your Alyssa?” I whisper.

Damin releases my hands. Grimacing, he stares into the roiling streets. “She will be with others of her kind. The rich always have an escape plan.”

That is no doubt true as well. I say no more.

“Lyra, the creature you saw, what was it?” Damin asks. I think he seeks to distract me. Mostly he wants to distract himself, though.

“Slime and mud, hanging from under the bridge. I think now it may be akin to what happens to you. You see emotions as images. What I see may be warnings.”

“Thank the stars for that or we would not be above it now.”

“What are you seeing?” I ask him.

“Coils and scales. Snakes of terror, in shifting colours.” Damin closes his eyes. “I do not know how to shut it off. There is too much.”

The warmth erupts in my chest. My hands glow. “Look at me.” I place my hands on Damin’s cheeks. “Just keep looking at me … until they go away.”

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