The Exodus

“So, this is it,” I said, looking out over the ruined landscape.

My partner hovered beside me, but didn’t speak. Understanding what I was going through.

Two hundred years ago, Oakenfell had been a quiet court, with none of the grandeur of Argentwood or any of the larger settlements on the mainland. Two hundred years ago, I had moved here, after graduating early at the age of 473.

Two hundred years ago, before the war.

I tore my gaze away from the brackish water that now filled the lake, damage that no glamour but Time could overcome, and watched instead the pitiful line of refugees leaving the remains of Oakenfell—people like myself, now stripped of their homes. The fallout from the destruction of the command center in the southern downs had blighted the entire island.

“But why, mother?” I caught a young voice and turned, adjusting my wings to avoid blowing dust and residue at my partner.

“They sent us a bomb. Do you know the word ‘bomb’?” the mother answered, pulling the child forwards by one small hand. The child nodded. “There hasn’t been such a force to hit Terranea since the prehistoric asteroid.”

“Did the Enemy send that too?”

I caught a painful smile flash on the mother’s face. “Fairies hadn’t evolved yet. It came from Sol.” The child looked up, bright wings buzzing with the sudden effort of staying aloft in a new position. There was a sudden glimmer—the telltale sparkle of fae—and the child was suddenly encased in a pink bubble, floating above the mother.

Heads turned all up and down the line of emigrants, and gently—not abruptly, not nervously—the mother popped the bubble and brought her child back down. “No, sweetie,” she said. “Not anymore.”

“But why?” the child said again.

The watching eyes were more wistful than angry, though a few bitter souls turned to look back towards the hill that had once been a home.

“The Treaty. ‘Never again,’” the mother quoted.

The murmur spread up and down the line of refugees. “‘Never again.’”

I’m not entirely happy with this piece as is, but this is what it came to be, and the point it decided to end itself at. Which is strange, because it doesn’t entirely stand alone this way. Hm.

One of Lily’s main motivations for starting NaCreSoMo is to encourage people to expose things to the world that they might otherwise keep private, and to get used to receiving feedback (and giving it as well). I’ve decided that one of my directives for this month will be to try many different forms of Creation, rather than sticking to my usual challenge fare (poetry, and written pieces in general). There will still be plenty of poems, I’m sure, but we’ll see if I can branch out a little from that.

The inspiration for this short story vignette comes from randomly browsing webcomic archives when I should be doing something productive. I hadn’t yet picked a medium for today’s Creation when I came across this:

(Dinosaur Comics) Giving us magic overnight would destroy us! IN FACT, maybe that's why fairies themselves are so rare: when they invented magic, they nearly destroyed themselves with the sudden, unpredictable and corrupting power! / The few survivors dare only use a handful of protective spells: immortality and flight! / Yes! And the magical fallout means they can't ever go home again!! I always thought I'd never say this, but... "I really want to read a novel set during the Fairy Magic Civil War". Wow. Life surprises you sometimes, am I right?

I’d seen the comic before, but today it struck me as a nice challenge. Not the whole story, because I don’t have time for that and don’t have an idea, really, how to write it, but at least a vignette from the world where this actually happened. Which, um, is apparently a world in which anatomically-questionable dinosaurs are the dominant sentient species, and yet there was another asteroid in prehistoric days??


Part of NaCreSoMo; join us!