Archive for March, 2009

Cass (End of Book One)

Posted in Cass on March 31, 2009 by jeereg

“Why is the bird still here?” grumbles Cinder.

They watch Jo’s adopted eagle preen itself.  “It’s cute,” says Cass.

“It is an idiot.”

“Hey,” says Jo.  “Can we focus on, y’know, the terrible idol that nearly got us all killed?”

Cass instinctively puts a hand on the statue in its sling.  “We should get moving.”

“Fine, whatever.  Where are we going?”

“The Vale.  It’s where I’m supposed to take it.”

“Who the hell contracted you for this thing, anyway?”

“That,” says Cass, without looking at him, “is a long story.”

“Who – no.  Cass.  Not her.”

“Let’s just go.”

They do.

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Simon

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on March 30, 2009 by jeereg

Talim won’t tell them how he got the ashes.  Doesn’t matter.  They pile into Craig’s van, and they’re at the bluff in thirty minutes.

There’s a brief technical discussion, then Viola puts the little urn into its sling.  “So, wait,” says Paula, who flew in from Denver for the service.  “He had you guys build this thing?”

Luther shakes his head.  “You kidding?  He built it.  Like, months ago.”

“That’s-” Paula starts, and then chokes on tears.

“Here we go,” says Lauren, and pulls the crank.  The trebuchet unfolds, swings its lazy arc, and sends Simon’s ashes to the moon.

Jo

Posted in Cass on March 27, 2009 by jeereg

Jo fires his captured bird like a bolt past the tumbling dragon, pulls a wide fast arc below Cass, and catches her with a couple of hundred feet to spare. Cinder’s wings unfold, she gives a startled roar and nearly flattens a farmhouse.

Cass has her arms around his neck for a second, and then there is an awkward moment.

“Oh,” she says. “Hey.”

“Hey.”

For a second there is nothing but the whoosh of wind and the swish of the bird’s wings.

“Thanks for saving -”

“No problem!”

Whoosh. Swish.

“Hey, so maybe we should land?”

“Oh. Right. Hold on.”

Clock On!

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on March 26, 2009 by jeereg

Jan and Cyril are going Clock Climbing!

They are nestled into the bottom of the V in the VI, waiting for the second hand to swing around again.  When it gets here, they’ll sling a loop around the end and see if it’ll carry them to the IX.

“Where’d this wall of giant clocks come from, anyway?” says Cyril.

“I dunno,” says Jan.  “Clockslide from the Clocky Mountains?”

“Um.”

“You’ve seen the signs, right?  Beware of falling -”

“I got it.”

“Here comes the hand.  Clock and roll, baby!  Clock out with your cock out!”

“Oh now that’s a bit much.”

Cinder

Posted in Cass on March 25, 2009 by jeereg

The howling goes on and on and Cinder screams along with it, roaring out the fire inside, thrashing against the bonds of air and darkness that stretch from some eternal distance.

And then it stops.

She remembers herself, but even before she’s back in the air, the thought rips across her: Cass.

The dragon twists, takes in the scattering birds and the blood and stink of magic, and dives, dives towards the two dots dwindling through the clouds.

Too far.

She can see the earth, opening wide to meet them.  They’re running out of air.

She’s too late.

And then.

The Cave

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on March 24, 2009 by jeereg

The cave is nestled in a naturally formed alcove in the valley wall.  Stevie can’t figure out why none of them had found it before.  This should have been his first hint.

He brings Kara and Theo to the opening the next day.  They think it’s cool, too, but nobody wants to go in.  “Did you bring a flashlight?” asks Kara.

“Yes.  I’m not an idiot.”

“Ok, well let’s -”

“The batteries are dead.”

There is a brief argument.  And then Theo thinks he hears something.  “Hello?” he yells into the cave.

His voice, unmistakeable, bounces back: “Hey-ey, what’s up-p-p, bro-ro-o?”

Cass

Posted in Cass on March 23, 2009 by jeereg

The green blinks away, and several things happen at once:

Cinder roars and veers, a guttural, bestial sound unlike anything Cass has ever heard before.  Jo flings himself from her claws, arms outstretched, a knife in hand.

The thing on the end of her sword, squeals and claws for her, but Cass manages to heave it bodily to the right… just as the spell from the other thing’s wand hits, and sends them both into the air.

The other birds dive and scatter.  Cinder thrashes in the air, fire everywhere.

And Cass is falling, with no one to catch her.