Chapter 7

Written by: Donna McTavish

This time it proved more difficult than slipping a sphere into a coat pocket.

The last tinge of orange was being chased from the sky as the sun dipped below the horizon. That, at least, was normal, she thought absently. She was standing on a slab of grey rock speckled with lumps of green and gold that flashed like cats' eyes. Below, a wide grassy plain patterned with shadows stretched lazily to the horizon. Clumps of grass were billowing in the air, their scarlet leaves reaching upwards like hungry flames.  A river of molten silver, its banks smooth and stained deep violet, carved a path into the far distance. A memory stirred and she remembered a coat that she had seen in a museum that had belonged to a king. In the fading light she could make out a dome, its sides pulsating with gold light and a small hooded figure hurrying towards it. It was unlike anything she had seen but she was not surprised to see it. She knew what she would find when she got there. As if she had been there before, she thought.

What happened next was unnerving. The air began to vibrate and solidify until she felt it envelop her in a grip from behind while in front it split and rolled away. It moved like a hungry animal and butted and pushed her from side to side and then she was falling. If this was stage 3 training, she didn’t like it one bit. Her neck was throbbing like a drum beating violently inside her body, filling her head with sound. And then, when she thought she couldn’t stand it, they appeared beside her. Their long bony fingers touched her face and she heard their creaky laughter. They were looking for something. She held the silver spheres in her hand and immediately the fingers disappeared and the world was silent.

She opened her eyes slowly. A wall of clear glass rose in a curve from the ground and disappeared into the twilight. Beyond the wall, the light was brighter and she could see the young woman moving along a narrow path. Emily kept her left hand in her pocket, holding the spheres tightly. As she reached with the other hand to touch the wall, it became soft and she was able to tear a hole big enough to walk through. The woman was still ahead, walking more slowly now. Emily felt herself tugged forward. She was almost close enough, but when she reached forward with a sphere in her hand, the woman turned and Emily watched as a grey film crept over her neck and covered her face. Her skin cracked and furrowed and a creamy mist covered her eyes. Her body bent and shriveled. “You’re too late,” she whispered.

*****

Inside the control room, Layla and Rob exchanged glances. Task three was not going well. It was time to show Emily what the silver spheres could do.

 

Comments

This is a stunning chapter. I loved 'their scarlet leaves reaching upwards like hungry flames. A river of molten silver,..' such wonderful imagery and then the end with Layla and Rob acting like God's directing Emily. The whole chapter was visual and compelling. Then the end left the next writer with some direction as this story starts to conclude and loose ends get tied in. Wonderful to read such mastery of language.
Oh, I agree. What beautiful description, Donna. Excellent chapter.
This is a beautiful chapter, Donna. Your descriptions are fantastic! I can't stop re-reading! Thank you for this wonderful piece of work.
Thank you for your kind comments. This is a genre that I am unfamiliar with so it was a challenge. The Story Mint really is a great tool for encouraging writers to move beyond their comfort zone.