Tuesday, June 3, 2014

24 - The Bone Horse Flowed in Place

For a long moment the two stood, facing each other, unmoving. Then Alissa snivelled.  Then she bawled, wailing like a lost child.

Amardad held her arms open, hands out and the nine-year old flung herself at the Lainz woman, just as Mom, One and Hara all screamed “NO!”

The bone knife that appeared in the little girl’s fist caught on Amardad’s veil.  The woman folded around Alissa and the bulging, struggling veil swayed back and forth eerily like a sandsheet wrapped around its victim. 

The bone horse opened its jaws and the groan across the bands of leather in its throat was loud enough to make people cringe back, though Kyrus and Ilax somehow made their warbirds stand.  It slammed its hooves around Alissa who was still wrapped in Amardad’s arms and veil, invisible.

Mom landed on the bone horse’s back in one leap and began dismantling it, flinging individual bones as far away down the road as she could, to keep them from merely re-attaching themselves.

Ky finally managed to get Tzar under control and turned back looking down at the continuing ruckus at the gate.  He leaned into the flight stick, one arm reached up to his fist, knotted in the feathers under Tzar’s chin and the warbird made distressed noises but leaned with him into the dive. He wasn’t sure he was going to be able to do anything effective but at least he wasn’t being carried away into the sky at high speed.

He felt code wrap around him even though he couldn’t take an instant away from the real world to look and see what was happening.  Amardad was alive and demanding enormous amounts of energy, from everyone. He couldn’t tell if she were hurt.

By now dust from the bone horse and Mom’s struggle made everything nearly invisible at the gate.  The bone horse wasn’t hitting Mom, or moving away from its protective stance, all it was doing was trying to squirm bones out of Mom’s reach so that the skeleton flowed in place, trying to lock around Mom’s legs and carapace so she would stop ripping bones away from it and throwing them into the desert.  The already tossed bones were rolling and hooking up with one another, or skidding sideways through the cream and red striped sand to try and get back to the main body.

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