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.


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