Finding Gratitude, Part 24

It dove. Lightning didn’t work, so it was down to bulk. It swooped low, its wings tucked in, legs ready to strike.

I rolled out of the way, way too easily. It was testing us, trying to see if we had real strength. When it knew we didn’t, it would attack. I needed that to happen.

“Alley!” I shouted. Lady Violet and I ran for the nearest little side-way, barely large enough for Violet and I to run together. Certainly not big enough for a wyvern to fly in.

It scratched at the mouth of the alley. Screeched, and tried to tear the passage open.

“We safe for now?” Lady Violet asked.

The wyvern shot lightning out again. I shouted a spell, a wall of force breaking the lightning apart. It cast again, and the wall shattered.

“Just catch it!” Violet shouted.

“I can’t!” I cried back. “The thing’s too strong for my staff. One more, and I’m done.”

“One hit, and we’re all done.”

There was another screech. The wyvern turned, confused. Darkling barreled into its wing, her own claws flashing. She bit and scratched, trying to pierce the membrane.

The wyvern bellowed, and swatted out. In seconds, Lady Violet was on its back, stabbing down with her blade. She swung from one of the back spikes, holding on for dear life as the sword flashed against the yellow scales.

I dove in, grabbing at one of the legs. I decided to go hot, green fire licking at its talons.

The wyvern screamed. I knew what it must have been feeling. For years it was the big bad, untouchable. Suddenly some little pinpricks of girls were hurting it. It was impossible, inconceivable. It needed to go away.

And it did. With a flap of its wings, it cleared the alleyway and headed for the sky.

“Hang on!” I shouted. Hang on? What was thinking, we needed to get off before…

And we were on it, flying above Gratitude.

I snuck a peek down at the ground. What I saw was people. In the middle of the day, crowded around the ruined section of the city. They looked up at us, some in awe, others in anger. I could have sworn I saw Merryl, just sighing and giving a wave. Then I had to focus on not dying.

Darkling tumbled from the wing. She screeched, and spun away from the responding bite. She kept up with us, trying to keep on the wyvern’s left wing. If it flapped too hard, it risked losing altitude. Meanwhile I kept shooting fire up its belly, and Lady Violet hacked from above.

It was too much. The wyvern shot to the spire, and landed on the crumbled top. It shook and lashed out, sending us flying. Lady Violet and I scrambled, and found purchase before we could fall off the edge. We were back on our feet, and ready.

The wyvern paced back and forth. Back on its familiar territory, its enemies before it. It eyed us, and readied for another strike.

“Orders?” Lady Violet murmured.

“Don’t fall,” I said, and struck out with force.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

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