I am so excited to continue with my Nightling’s Tale. This is so much fun to write. Eerie and dark, my favorite kind of writing. *mwah ha, ha* I hope you enjoy this flash fiction piece that is slowly turning into something more tangible.
This is not a perfectly edited piece and is meant as an inspiration to fuel my imagination, but please, any and all critique is welcome! Below is the picture prompt from which this story first began. Also, if you haven’t caught the first half, I would love for you to check it out. A Nightling’s Tale
Flames licked across the harbor, the runoff waste from the city serving as fuel and setting the waves on fire. Their tongues searched for a prize less salty than the ocean currents, taking a liking to the flavor of a nearby street seasoned with sawdust. Martha knew the buildings would lite like matches in a matchbox. Chicago’s core was built upon the corpses of a thousand trees. It burned, entombing those who could not flee fast enough.
Martha stayed to the rooftops. If she ventured to the ground she would likely lose the Nightling in the chaos. She’d admit, his sudden appearance, along with the flames was unexpected and had jolted her senses almost useless, but she soon pinned him in the crowd. Her orders were direct, sent from Sinclair himself: detain the Hunters until they revealed their purpose in the new land.
She had seen with her own eyes why the Oligarchy dared send them. And with their death at the hands of this Nightling, it was imperative she did not let him escape. What made him the focus of breaking a century-old truce?
She watched as he strolled through the streets, unconcerned with the bustle of screaming folk scurrying around him like fleas, his evening jacket billowing in the force of their movements. He tapped his walking stick on the ground in the rhythm of his steps, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he walked into another’s territory. Or if he was aware, he did not care.
He sunk deeper into the heart of her city. She’d have liked to widen the sneer on his lips, her hand ever gliding to the daggers strapped to her ankles. But she was determined to prove George wrong. She could follow, and complete, orders. She eased the desire for blood and pursued.
She vaulted across rooftops, gliding on the burning current permeating from the whirlwinds of fire at her back. She watched as he snaked through alleys and scoured empty buildings, stopping on occasion to delve in the night air. Her stomach churned. She knew he was tracking and if he were a Nightling from London, she also knew what he was hunting.
The Nightling turned onto an open street and was lost amongst the pedestrians. She decided to vacate the security of the rooftops to pursue on foot. The search was too important for technicalities. Casting a glamor would take the time she lacked. The concrete ledge was warm under her hands. She transferred her weight to her palms and vaulted her legs up above her. She stood like this only a second to admire the orange inferno carving up its meal and speeding right for her, before flipping over and launching herself through smoke filled sky. A party of young woman ran wailing at the sudden and frightful sight of her as she hit the ground. She paid no mind. Her lungs expanded, inhaling the toxic air. Letting the smoke fill her until the scent of putrid death was at her nose.
She found him.
Children wailed on all sides of the streets, orphaned or abandoned, she did not know. She could not help them, she was charged with another purpose, and to stay meant a disaster greater than the rage around her. She whispered a blessing and folded it in a kiss before blowing it in the breeze, hoping it would find at least one. Then she fastened her attention to the one responsible for their misfortune.
The scent deepened; she was gaining ground. She had to find him before he fed. She couldn’t guarantee his life if caught with his prey. Another block and she spotted him. People raced around, children and possessions in their arms, dressed in nightgowns and evening wear. Yet he dressed in formal wear, a top hat adorned his head, and he continued to saunter, a whistle on his lips. She was close enough to impact a fatal blow, but she restrained. She walked in his wake, listening to the tune of his song. Ember and ash encircled her feet, kicked up with each step, sending the duo waltzing across the starlit sky in unison with the Nightling’s song. He whistled the chorus three times before she realized how familiar it was. And it wasn’t until the Nightling sang that she knew the reason behind the Oligarchy’s bold decision.
“Death and shadow am I, do not head my way;
Born of the night, but vanish by day;
No rations I have, but the heart of man.
I am the creature, run if you can.
I’ll catch you alive, and drink you whole;
Then leave you to fester, a shell with no soul.
I’ve come to feast; I will not leave a man.
I am the creature, run if you can.”
to be cont . . .