15 Min sprint feat. DRAGONS

"Again."

Zeke threw the practice long sword toward me and turned his back. For about the 100th time, I caught it and turned my back as well, heading to the starting mark on the ground. No matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t get the technique down that he was trying to teach me. I felt like a failure, I was supposed to remember this. It used to be second nature to me, but centuries in a human body had set me back to the point that the children knew more than I did.

I slung my braid back over my shoulder and gripped the heavy sword two-handed. Closing my eyes and taking a deep breath, I focused on the past, on what memories I could bring forth. I could smell the sweat and blood from a battle field, hear the clang and cries of opposing warriors clashing weapons, and hear the errie quiet once the battle was over.

"Are you ready?"

I nodded and took another breath, turned and rushed toward him, bringing my sword down toward his while I let out a fierce cry.

1281

"The dragons are asking for a meeting mi’lady. E’gregr is just outside of the circle waiting for you."

I nodded and picked up my cloak and buckled on my sword. I didn’t think I’d need it, but I knew the dragon chieftan wasn’t happy with me, or with the army as a whole. The battle plans we’d previously gone over had fallen through completely the day before, resulting the catostrophic outcome. Many soldiers, fey and dragon alike, would not be going home to their families and it was all my fault.

I squared my shoulders and walked swiftly toward the edge of the encampment where E’gregr stood waiting. His normally blindingly blue scales were dull with blood and sweat and his eyes held a fresh haunted look I’d not seen before.

10 Min word sprint

It was dark again, I had no idea how many hours or even days had passed since the last time they dragged me out of my little room. My clothes were starting to look really shabby and I didn’t even want to see my reflection in a mirror. I knew my hair must have been sticking up in oily tufts and thought of makeup I’d been wearing was long gone, probably leaving me with dark shadows under my eyes. I tried to keep my head low so these glamorous people didn’t see my face, but it was useless. I could hear their whispers and laughs every time I passed by them.

For someone who was supposed to be revered in this society, I was being treated like a nasty dog. I didn’t understand what they wanted from me, I was just a junior accountant at a shitty firm. I was nothing special, and definitely not a “warrior” like they kept referring to me as.

The two guards dragged me into Mathus’ chambers again and deposited me into one of the chairs in front of the desk. Mathus was standing behind the massive oak thing looking at some maps spread out

(I cut off mid sentence, sorry)

Pasta prompt

"Do you know what I miss most about being human?"

"Your humanity?"

"Nah, I’d sort of given up on that long before you showed up. No, I miss food. Specifically pasta."

"Pasta? Out of all the things you can’t have or do anymore, you miss eating pasta?"

"Hey, don’t judge me. There’s something about a pasta dish that is just…fresh. You can make it as complex or as simple as you want. Hell, there were some nights that I would come home from work and all I had was a bag of cheap noodles. Throw some butter and salt and pepper on them and you’ve got yourself a fine meal. It’s fucking glorious when there’s garlic pesto around.
Ahh, I can taste it now. I can tell you the three best cheeses to use in tortellini, I can put spinach and mushrooms together with bowtie pasta and make a salad. Vinegar and some sugar make a wonderful dressing for the corkscrew pasta with some shaved veggies in the mix.
So yeah, I miss pasta.”

Canada prompt

The darkness inside the hood was absolute and slightly suffocating, but I could still hear the voices around me. The woman with the heavy accent was somewhere to my left and the quiet man was just in front of me. I lay as still as possible to see if I could catch their words, but it was all in a language I’d never heard before. The younger man who had been so hateful wasn’t around as far as I could tell, until his voice breathed into my ear.

"They’re deciding now where to drop you. See, when you started your change, you shot all our careful plans to hell so now we have to regroup. Your little stunt is going to cost precious hours we don’t have."

I felt him move just behind me and tensed my shoulders as his hands ran over the deformed stumps sticking up from them. Whatever those were, they were still growing, however very slowly. I tried to pull away from him, but he grabbed the hood and a handful of my hair and yanked me back against him.

"Oh no, you’re not moving from this spot. I don’t trust you at all, no matter your status or title in the coven. For centuries, we’ve fought the wars while you’ve been lives your cozy life as a human. You haven’t earned anything just yet."

His grip tightened and I could swear I felt strands of hair pull free from my scalp. I tried to suppress a whimper, but a faint noise escaped my lips only making him pull tighter. He had my neck back at a horrible angle and I thought for a moment he was going to break it, but the man with the quiet voice stepped over to us.

"Zeke, let go of her now. She is by law your commanding officer and you cannot treat her like this."

Zeke dropped my head suddenly, throwing me forward making me lose my balance and fall.

"She’s nothing! Look at her! A fat human with no warrior experience! That’s all she is. She is not my commanding officer, she is not the Raven!"

I heard him stomping away and tried to roll and sit up, but I couldn’t gain my balance and sort of flopped on the floor pitifully for a few moments. A hand gripped my right shoulder and pulled me up to a sitting position. The quiet man leaned in to whisper in my ear.

"While Zeke’s attitude is deplorable, he is right. You are currently nothing and you are going to have to prove yourself and soon."

From Zeke I felt hot anger, from this man I felt a cold wrath swirling just beneath the surface. Of the two men, he was the one I was afraid of. He was the one who would cause me the most pain.

"Mathus, we have news from the delegates in Montreal. Do you wish me to prepare her for them?"

Heels clicked on the floor as the woman came to stand next to us. Mathus released his grip on my shoulder and instead pulled me up by the arm.

"Yes, take her. She needs to be cleaned up and made as
presentable as you can. I do not want Ehira to think we’ve cause her discomfort in any way.”

Kidnapping Scene

The day was finally done, no more papers to sort, no more angry callers to placate, no more anything. All I wanted was to go home and curl up with my dog and drink that bottle of wine in the refrigerator. I entered my time, shut off the computer and walked away from the whole mess.

As usual, I was the last one in the building, making me walk a little bit faster in the dark and quiet. I’m not afraid of the dark, but I’m not a fan of it either. If I can’t see, I start getting really mad. Some sort of irrational reaction to having one of my main senses taken from me.

However, it does heighten my other senses, specifically hearing.

The noise sounded like a soft scratching sound, like when Lily pulls her nails along my carpet, but then escalated to loud dragging and a faint voice with a thick accent. Somewhere to the left and behind me, there was someone pulling a heavy item across the floor. I froze, I couldn’t do anything except stand there and strain to hear any words that were being said.Another voice joined the heavily accented one, this one a little louder and more middle-of-nowhere tone.

"Look, just pull him in here and we’ll come back and deal with him after we have her. He’s out cold, we don’t need to worry as long as we lock the door and take his phone!"

Frank. They must have knocked out the elderly security guard, and judging by pronouns, I was next. That prodded me to action. I ducked into the nearest door which just happened to be my supervisor’s office. I sent up a silent prayer, (Thank you Craig for not locking your door this weekend). If I got out of this alive, I’d buy him coffee for a month.

I didn’t shut the door completely in case the sound of the latch alerted the two of my location. In a little crouched position, I moved behind Craig’s desk and peaked through the window at the shapes headed toward my office. Who the hell were these people? How did they know I’d be here alone, (dumb question, Ainsley, everyone knows you have no life) and why me?

"She has left her office, we are too late."

The heavy accent belonged to a woman and she seemed only slightly phased that I wasn’t where they thought I would be.

"Fuck! We have to find her. We’re not letting her get away, there’s not enough time to set another date for this."

The other voice, a man, started going from office to office, busting open door regardless of locks and flipping on lights to find me. He was still on the other side of the floor, but at the pace he had going, he’d be to my hiding spot in about two minutes. The woman was checking each cubicle, making sure there was no one hiding under  desks there. I decided to make a split second decision. I pulled out my phone and dialed 9-1-1. Why I hadn’t done it earlier, I didn’t
know.
“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

"My name is Ainsley Sears. I work at Amcorp Finance on the 5th floor. There are two people, a man and woman who have done something to the security guard and are now going office to office looking for me."

"Okay, where are you now? Are you in a safe location?"

"I’m in my boss’s office, but the man is going to each one and turning on lights. He’ll be to me any second. The woman is going through the cubicles."

"I have officers on the way. Did you get a clear look at either person?"

"No, I just know the woman has a heavy accent, something European, and the man doesn’t really have any accent. He sounds younger, mid-twenties."

"Okay, ma’am, stay on the phone until officers arrive, try to remain hidden. If there is a closet or something to hide in, move to it."

"There isn’t. I’m under the desk, but you can see under it from the door."

I heard the door swing open and the light flick on. I closed my eyes tight and put my phone on the floor beside me, hoping the dispatcher on the other side would hear everything. Foot steps quietly made their way around the desk and stopped before me. I could see his knees and half of his thighs. He stood still for a brief second before leaning forward and putting his hands on the edge of the desk. I thought he hadn’t seen me, but he suddenly shoved the desk backward, it must have weighed nearly 500 pounds, and stared down at me. I caught a brief glimpse of blonde curly hair before his fist came down to meet my jaw.

*

"I’ve got her! Quick, give me the hood."

"What did you do to her, Zeke? There is blood from her nose, she is not to be harmed!"

"Same thing I did to the guard; she’s fine."

Zeke dragged the woman out of the office and out into the main floor and started going through her pockets, looking for her phone. Amilia went back into the office and picked up the little black phone she’d left on floor.

"Here, this is what you are looking for I believe. There is a voice coming from it, a man I think."

Zeke stood up and snatched the phone from her hand, placing it to his ear.

"Hello, I’m assuming she called the police. Shh, no don’t worry. She’s just fine. We’re not here to hurt her. We’re here to take her home."

He placed the phone on the carpet and ground his boot heel into the delicate screen. Glass shattered and plastic bits cracked, leaving behind a pile of debris that might have resembled a phone at some point.

Amila shook her head and went back to Ainsley. She wasn’t much, definitely not the warrior they had been told about for centuries. This woman was short and heavy set with close cropped brown hair. The Raven from the scrolls was always described as tall with black hair to her waist. She was supposed to be lean and muscular, not soft and out of shape. However, Mathus had been tracking this woman for years and if he said this was the Raven, then this was the Raven.

Zeke came over and made sure the hood was secure and her hands were tied properly before picking her up and slinging her over his shoulder with a slight grunt.

"Gods, she’s nothing like what we’ve been told. I hope Mathus has some sort of explanation for this. If this woman is our commanding officer set to lead us to the final battle, then she’s hiding some skills very well."

The two set off toward the exit, but they could see flashlight beams peaking into the door way. The human police had arrived.

"Fuck, we’ve got to leave out a window. I’m going to need your help in flight with her."

Amila nodded and stepped back, freeing her wings. She took Ainsley and let Zeke do the same just as the police came into the room.

"Freeze! Put your hands on your heads and slowly turn around!"

The two paused for a brief second before nodding to each other and sprinting for the nearest window.

"Stop! I said stop!"

Shots rang out, shattering the glass a moment before Amila and Zeke hit. They leaped into the darkness and with strong wing beats, took off for the roof.Officer Dave Kent of 16 years on the force lowered his weapon and went to the window ledge, looking into the sky. He turned to his partner, Robbie of about 5 days to make sure he had seen the same thing.

The two cops, one veteran and one rookie, stared into the night with their mouths slightly open. Winged kidnappers. This was new.