What Will You Write #2 – Precipice (Entry)

This is part of the ‘What Will You Write’ activity found here. The prompt for this one is in italics below, while my own addition is after it in plain text. I really enjoyed the last one, and this one is a lot of fun for me to.

Here we go! 🙂

Ferd opened his eyes, his head throbbing. Scrambling up to his feet, he remembered the rock slide. That was no accident, he thought. Someone tried to kill us. Us. Where is Cassia? He couldn’t see through the dust, but she had to be there.

“Cassia!” he shouted.

“Ferd?” The faint voice came from the direction of the cliff. “Ferd! I can’t get up!”

Ferd edged his way to the precipice and looked down. Through the dust, he saw Cassia. She held onto a branch over the chasm. He reached for her, but she was too far away.

“Is that you?!” Cassia called again. “FERD!”

This shouldn’t be a problem for her, Ferd thought as he scanned the ledge he was on for anything he could use to help Cassia. Why isn’t she simply using her powers? The few stones that lay scattered around him would be useless in helping her.

“I’m up here, Cassia!” He shouted down to her.

“FERD!” Cassia shouted again, “FERD! I can’t see! Where are you?!” there was sobbing to her voice. “Why won’t you respond?”

“I’m above you, Cassia!” Ferd shouted again. “Don’t you hear me?”

“She can’t hear you, Guardian.” The dust that continued to fall around him formed swirled on to the ledge next to him, quickly forming a creature of stone and flakes. It stood on four legs constructed of dirt and stone. Harsh spikes of mud and pebbles sprouted from its back. The face was vaguely canine with two opals for eyes and rows of hard stone for teeth. “I’ll let her sound reach you, but I’m stopping yours from reaching her. It’s remarkable how well dust can absorb sound.”

Ferd glared at the creature. The Cryx were known for two things: their ability to control the earth and their malevolence. The pebbled face shifted into a vicious grin, “You’ve failed and she will die.”

“You’re blocking her power somehow, aren’t you?” Ferd reached to his hip for his sword only to find it missing. It must have fallen out when they had tumbled from above. “Let her go.”

“Oh, it’s not my power,” the Cryx’s voice was a gravelly, grating sound. “She’s just…afraid.”

“Of falling? She can’t be. She knows her power can save her easily.” Flight was one of the first powers that a Wordsmith mastered. “You lie!”

“And you assume.” The creature roared. “Your arrogance is HER undoing! Watch!” The creature raised one of its paws and slammed it in to the ledge that it and Ferd stood upon. Below, a tunnel opened in the cloud of dust to show the branch that Cassia held wobbled as the tree it was attached to began to pull loose of the earth that held it. Cassia screamed as the dust cloud resumed its natural shape, obscuring the roots and a clear view of the Wordsmith.

Fear twisted Ferd’s stomach,“You monster!” he lunged for the creature. The dust and stone separated and he tumbled through harmlessly. “Stop this game!”

“Return what you stole!” the beast growled back. “Or watch your Wordsmith die!”

Fury mixed with confusion as Ferd regained his feet, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” he found his voice even as his eyes searched the ground for a weapon.

“Return them to me or I will recover them from your broken corpse.” Stone re-arranged themselves, making the beast’s fangs elongate out of the constructed muzzle, “Or the corpse of your Wordsmith!”

“FERD!”

The desperation in her voice called to him. He had no idea what the Cryx was talking about – they hadn’t taken anything from the mountain. The beast was clearly mad. His inaction was going to lead to her death – something he would not be party to.

And so he took action.

A few steps helped him forward, past the Cryx and to the edge. He pushed against the ground and launched himself down, tucking his arms to his sides, he began to freefall toward the dust cloud containing Cassia. The wind whipped around him as he sped toward her – if she could not hear him, then she would see him descend.

He realized his mistake only moments before reaching her. The cloud of dust was of Cryx origin which meant that the beast still had control. An immense pain tore at him as the dust ripped at his flesh, tore through his tunic. A sharp stake of earth stabbed in to his side as he exited the cloud above Cassia. The Cryx wasn’t going to let him escape.

Drops of his blood fell on her golden curls as he fell past her. He saw her emerald eyes widen in surprise and fear. “FERD!”

He rolled in the air so that he was facing Cassia in his descent, his arms spreading as if he would embrace her one final time. He would not see his end coming, only the new beginning he had desired for so long painted against a blue sky and the golden light bouncing off the mountain. If he was going to die, at least the Wordsmith would have a chance at living.

The pain in his side became more intense as the stake drove itself further in to him. The light above him colored itself with that pain, and then darkness as he lost consciousness.

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