Ruby Red and Gentilberry Green: A Fantastical Romance - Part VIII

in #fiction6 years ago (edited)

This is the eighth part of an ongoing serial. Here are Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and Seven. Updates every two days.

She’d fallen off a horse once. Old Blinker had gone crazy for just a split-second, bucked and reared like an unbroken stallion, and tiny Anne, nine years old, had flown straight off his back like a bag of onions.

For a moment, she had almost appreciated the feeling. Tumbling through the air in her dirty riding-dress, Da yelling in shock across the whole paddock… it was all so strange. Marvelous. This wasn’t meant to be happening at all. Old Blinker wouldn’t hurt a dog. Didn’t people die, falling off horses?

Then she’d hit the grass, tumbled, and broken both wrists. There hadn’t been much thinking after that.

This was like that, only worse, because the ground was nowhere in sight. She’d opened the door to the shower (whatever that was), tripped, and now she was falling through something that looked very much like the sky, new green dress clutched tightly to her chest, the air whipping and thrilling through every single one of her teeth.

Aware that she was completely and utterly white, Anne stared very hard at her new scrunched-up dress and willed something to happen. She thought harder than she’d ever thought in her life, until her face was almost pink from the strain and the roar in her ears turned to a pounding thrashing roar. She knotted the ropes in her mind, twisted the pulleys, made new and fantastic shapes…

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The world refused to budge.

“I swear,” she screamed, her words lost to the wind and the fabric in her face, “if I take more than ten minutes to die, I’m going to haunt your pasty face, Necristo!”

“You called, Miss Gentilberry?”

She peeled the dress off her nostrils. Next to her, coattails completely composed, was the sorcerer himself, fidgeting as if he were still standing in the doorway, and not falling alongside her at terrifying speed. Even his top-hat was still on.

“What… what is this?” she managed, turning an iridescent shade of red and slamming her skirt into her legs. “Why are you here, you godforsaken moron?”

“I, well, thought you might know what you were creating,” said Necristo guiltily. “I didn’t think that you might, ah, send yourself tumbling into nothingness.”

The blood left Anne’s face as quickly as it had come. A distinct impression blared its way through her air-addled mind, informing her that she now looked as if she were trying to bite a lemon in half. She tried to glare at him, but only managed a terrifying, sickly glance, as if she were a viper with its skin sagging off.

“Fix it,” said Necristo hurriedly, pulling his thumbs out of his pocket. “Yes. Of course.”

He made a ginger pass at her hand, looked nervously up, then stared awkwardly at her face for several seconds.

“Scytherathon’s stew,” groaned Anne, before snatching his hand and folding it tightly in hers.

#####

His touch was like ice without water. It was cold as snow but dry as sunbaked leather, and when she looked, bewildered, at his ruby eyes, she saw nothing in their depths. No spark, barely any soul. Only a lost, dying ember, waiting, hoping…

Searching…

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Much better than a ring of feather fall. It's a personal rescue.

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