Character Pieces, Fantasy, Home

Face the Storm

She ran.

Half blinded by the rain that poured down from the heavens, the gods sad attempt to drown her. She fought for every breath, tasting copper and ice. Her clothes and hair stuck fast to her flesh, dragging her down and making her heavy footfalls even louder.

Slap. Her feet pounded against the concrete, splashing up water as she continued to run. Everything else fell away as she focused on moving forward (keep going, don’t stop, don’t even pause, or it will catch you), her pulse thundering in her ears. She dared not look back, did not even think about the thing that she knew was following closely at her heels.

It was times like this that she wished she still had the powers from her youth.

Without warning, images of years past, flashed across her vision.

The first time she discovered her powers, her Father’s pride and her Mother’s concern. And the immediate anger that befell both her and her Father once she was safe.

Showing off for her Aunts and Uncle during a family reunion. Uncle Ernesto’s beard catching fire.

Coming home late at night, standing in the doorframe, her dates blood dripping onto the floor. “So, the date didn’t go well?” The loud smack that followed as her mother slapped her Father’s arm. They’d unfortunately had to burn her dress.

Waving goodbye as she set off to make her own mark in the world.

Rushing home to find—

Her foot caught, and she stumbled, shaking out the memories. Thinking about anything other than; keep moving, keep going, remember to breathe, drained reserves she didn’t have.

Inhuman cries sounded even louder behind her, and immediately she sung her gaze around, searching desperately for a way out, or at least, somewhere she could hide out and catch her breath.

There! Finally, she spotted an offside road. A half-choked cry of relief forced its way past her lips as she discovered a last small burst of speed to pull ahead, removing the phantom feeling of teeth at her heels, and turned into the mouth of the street.

Only to pull up short at the end, realising too late, that what she mistook for another street, was instead, a dead end alley. Like a punch to the gut, her breath left her, and immediately, she spun on her heel, attempting to both stop, and turn and rush back out.

She accomplished neither. Instead, as she turned, her feet slipped on the drenched stone, and she fell to her knees. She bit her tongue to stifle her cry of pain as her knees scraped across the ground, just barely managing to get her hands under her to avoid faceplanting.

She swore, mouth filling with copper as she fought to get to her feet once more. But it didn’t matter, she was out of time. At the mouth of the dingy alley, a large shadow stretched towards her. Still, she did not raise her head, sharp icy claws clenched around her wildly beating heart, and for a moment, she could not breath.

And in that moment, with death hanging above her, more memories of her childhood filled her head.

Her Mother’s warmth, her encouraging smile as she taught her to weaponize her words.

Her Father’s bright eyes surrounded by laugh lines, his calloused hands guiding her gently as he trained her. How they had wiped away her tears as she slowly lost her powers.

“Hold your head up high,” They’d told her. “You are strong. Stronger than you know.”

Then, all at once, her figure slumped. A bitter laugh fell from her lips, and for a moment, her predator faltered. She lifted one hand, and slowly, plunged it into the pavement, stone parting like water. And out of the earth, she drew a sword; bright silver, engraved with burning words, the blade that had been passed down for generations.

Her parents’ tearful gazes as they presented it to her. The smiling sobbing mess they were afterwards.

She stood, knees trembling, and from under the heavy curtain of raven hair, she smiled. Bright eyes flashed as she raised her head, feet shifting as she fell into a familiar stance. Fingers curled tightly around the glowing sword, shining brighter than the sun.

“Well,” She called, voice echoing as she rolled her shoulders, a smirk stretching across her face. “Guess I’m going down fighting too.”

She charged.

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