Last time on Shattered Irons, Foren, rider of the horsebat Alfons and one of the world’s most accomplished nappers, awoke to the trouser-changing sound of his entire world turning upside-down, rending into pieces, and floating away on the wind.
His duty, limited as it was, was to watch over one of the four massive chains that tethered the floating mountain Atumar to the ground. Not that he minds; it’s a good place for a nap. Unfortunately, that nap was cut short when the ancient chain broke and the mountain began to drift…
Shattered Irons: Part 2
Foren wanted to run, to shut his eyes, to put that image out of his mind and go back to the world of five minutes before, when he rested comfortably on the sweet-smelling grass and tussled with Alfons. But, as his corner of the mountain climbed higher and the distant peak took on a decidedly eastward tilt, he only managed a single thought that was not laden with all manner of expletives.
My mother is going to kill me.
It was a silly, almost absurd consideration among the greater implications of the broken chain, but the numbing grip of shock held tight around his mind and had yet to let go. He just stood, mouth agape, staring up at the ever-tilting mountain Atumar.
He had to tell someone. Send a message. Find help. Fix the chain. Something.
A pathetic chitter and nudging at his back broke the cycle of futile thought and brought him back to some semblance of sense, though he doubted it would do much good. He looked back at Alfons, who lay low against the grass behind him, squeaking and shuffling his folded wings. The horsebat whined and fluttered his wings, and Foren scratched behind an ear to calm him.
“It’s not your fault, Alfons. You didn’t do this,” he soothed.
But the question remained: why did this happen now? The mountain had been tethered since long before people had settled the valley, and none of the chains had ever shown any signs of weakening.
He raised a hand to shield his eyes from the intense glare of the sun, now clearly visible around the tilted peak, and peered at the length of chain hanging from the edge of the mountain. From such a great distance, Foren could make out few details, but he guessed that the break had been at least a hundred and thirty feet off the ground. Assuming someone had done damage to the chain, there was no way up other than astride a horsebat.
None of the Juvesper he knew had reason to release the mountain, at least as far as he was aware. And none of the Walkers, those without horsebats, could reach so great a height. That is, not unless they had discovered some alternate means of flight that they had thus far kept to themselves.
Too many questions. Foren’s head spun, and none of the possibilities looked at all pleasant. With a heavy sigh, he mounted the saddle affixed to Alfons’s back and took up the reins. “Well, I’d say just about everyone within a hundred miles knows that something happened. We’d better get back before someone sends for us.”
Alfons whined again, but he obeyed easily enough, leaping into the air and streaking toward the distant village at the barest squeeze of Foren’s thighs. Even at such a distance, Foren could already see the tiny black dots the made up the horsebat cloud swarming as the Juvesper Assembly took to the sky.
Every one of which seemed to be headed in his direction.
And thus we conclude part 2 of Shattered Irons. Check back next week for part 3. Me, I’m as interested as anyone in finding out what happens. I’m not much of a pantser when it comes to writing, and the randomization of the story dice really shakes things up.
So, what did you think of part 2? Do you like where the story is headed, and do you have any ideas of where it may go? Let me know in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this story tidbit, please Like and Share on your social media of choice, and be sure to come back next time for Flash Fiction Friday: Shattered Irons Part 3.