From Imaginary Ripples · Stories

Fragments I: Kahlia

Fragments is a collection of unrelated stories that I started writing, never really finished, and probably never will.

With a weakening grasp, Kahlia clung to Yves’ mane as he galloped across the open field. His hooves carved a path through the grass as he stretched his stride harder and faster than he had ever sprinted before. Barely conscious, Kahlia battled to maintain her one-handed grip on Yves’ mane, whilst her other hand vainly struggled to staunch the flow of blood from her belly wound. Sensing her life slipping slowly away, Yves renewed his valiant struggle to carry her to safety. His mind raced with terror and desperate conviction. Though he had lived many of Kahlia’s lifetimes before they bonded, he could no longer envision existence without her constant companionship. Part of him wanted to curse himself for letting her be wounded so, to blame himself for her death, but the better parts of him shouted down his darker demons. She was not yet dead he told himself, he could yet save her life. All he had to do was get her to the temple of Isayyla, the Goddess of Winter and Icy Death. She would surely exact a high price for the deed, but Kahlia had led them deep beyond the tamed lands, and no other temple was close. With a shrill whistle, an arrow flew past Yves’ head, missing him by mere millimetres. Yves looked for trees, or rocks, anything to hide behind, to lose their pursuers, but he saw naught but endless grass. Kahlia had slipped into unconsciousness on his back, and he could not fight the pursuers without throwing her. Desperate to save her life, he redoubled his efforts to flee, whilst trying to awaken Kahlia across their telepathic bond.

Kahlia was floating in black nothingness; it was a peaceful slumber, an oblivion of thought and physical pain. She became dimly aware of an urgent calling. Someone was shouting to her, calling her to help. Dazedly, she strove to answer the call. She fought to rouse herself, and slowly became aware of the rhythmic pounding of hooves on the ground, of the grass that whipped by, of the dark shapes that chased her. Some part of her realised that she would die if she did nothing to stop them; that she would fail at her mission, that she would condemn a friend. Feebly she drew on what few reserves she had left and summoned a voice from deep within her. It resonated across the open field, stunning some of her pursuers with the mere idea that such a powerful voice could come from such a small, crumpled, wounded woman. Those that stumbled in their pursuit out of confusion and surprise were the lucky ones. At first Kahlia’s voice was incoherent, a simple throb of meaningless sounds as she struggled to control herself. Slowly coherence formed.
Rhodanthe Agais Tor Impresa Nirs Huras! Iseana Sigaras Tor! Iagos Limisan Tor!
The words tore from her chest and power flowed in their wake. Momentarily startled by Kahlia’s plea, Yves hesitated before he realised the power and destruction that was about to descend. Leaping ahead, he avoided the first wave of destruction by barely a hairsbreadth. A ghostly apparition sped from where Kahlia had been. With impossible speed its ghostly sword effortlessly cleaved the closest pursuers in half. Those that were behind turned and fled as the ethereal figure gave pursuit.

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