A Flower’s Petal
Ryold dreams of the day he got his lance, his instructor’s smile, the hum of his bird’s wings.
He comes to with a jolt, on his back on a flower’s petal, feet from the ground. His bird, unridered by the swarm, is nowhere to be seen. Above him the battle rages, his fighters stabbing at an ever-thickening cloud of wasps. They’re going to lose. Below him, the broken bodies of bird and bug and man litter the ground.
His flower sways, and he scrambles for a hold. He looks for the disturbance; his heart swells.
The Squirrel Rangers have arrived.