Archive for the Cass Category

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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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.”

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.

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.

Cinder

Posted in Cass on March 17, 2009 by jeereg

There is a howling in the dream.

Cinder’s vision blurs with it, this terrible reverbration.  She is transposed – the sky and earth, the battle-birds and their riders, the struggling thief in her claws, all gone, frozen away into time.  They are replaced with lights like comets, their trails splitting off into threads of possibility.  Cinder has a moment to take in the dream, to learn what she can.  They’ll win this fight, but it won’t be their last.

She cannot see Cass.  Her light is blurred with the statue’s.  It glows terribly.

In the distance, the great darkness howls again.

Cass

Posted in Cass on March 13, 2009 by jeereg

Down.

She flies at the lead bird; its rider turns just before she hits home.  Cass catches the edge of a pale face, dark eyes, teeth, before they’re joined.  Even after she lands, they keep falling.

A flurry of feathers, cloak, steel.  Something bites into her side, below the edge of the armour.  She grabs hold of a leather strap around her opponent’s shoulder, yanks.  A burst of flame from Cinder.  Blood.

The statue comes loose of its sheath at the end of the leather strap.  It bursts green. There is a sound like the tolling of a cracked bell.

Cass

Posted in Cass on March 11, 2009 by jeereg

When Cass was very small, her father would pick her up and spin, his arms raised, and tell her that one day she would fly higher than the birds.

He’s faded into a pattern now – dark hair, broad chest, a thick moustache – but his smell remains: sawdust and potions and smoke.  He had never wanted her to be a Maker.  He’d just wanted her to be Cass.

This is what runs through her mind when she flings herself from the back of a dragon, sword raised, ten thousand feet from the ground, towards the cloaked figures on their vicious birds.