Leanne was given a picture prompt from Pinterest by Ana. You can find it here. Her story tops out at 995 words. Here you go!
“White Bird” by Leanne
A sharp crack echoes through the trees and into the sky. I stop midstride and stop singing. People don’t hunt in this pathetic patch of forest, but that defiantly sounded like a gunshot.
I glance around the small clearing, and into the trees beyond. There’s nothing and no one.
“Let me go.” The voice is soft but fierce.
There’s a sudden gust of wind that sounds like a scream. Another gunshot and suddenly there’s a boy crouching in the clearing as though he just jumped out of the sky.
He doesn’t look friendly. His skin is pale and his clothes are black. I’ve never seen him around here before. He gets to his feet slowly, and looks around.
He catches sight of me, and turns. I don’t move.
“So, you brought a friend?” He says, looking right at me, but I don’t think he’s talking to me. His eyes are a deep brown, and there’s a touch of a smile on his lips.
“Leave the human out of this.” The first voice says again, and then I see her, a girl slowly standing up in the grass. She’s as pale as him, but with hair the colour of the edge of a sunset. She’s small and fragile, but with something like steel in her eyes.
“She can see us.” the boy says.
“Humans can’t see us,” the girl says in a slightly scornful voice, glancing at me.
The boy raises an eyebrow, the same smile tilting his lips, walking toward me carefully, like I’m a wild creature.
I don’t like how this is going.
The girl’s gaze slips off of me and onto the boy, several paces in front of her now. She stands quite still, holding her hand out to him, her eyes closed. He moves closer to me again, making a soft soothing noise that does nothing to calm me.
I step back.
He lunges forward and grabs me.
A blast and a flash of white, and both of us are torn into the sky.
I can feel the empty air beneath me, the leaf strewn ground below that, and he’s still gripping my arm, his hand warm and sticky from sweat, my heart beating far faster than I ever thought it could go.
He yells something, and a gust of wind throws us both to the ground. I land on my hands and knees, the impact pulling me from his grip. I roll over quickly, and get to my feet.
The girl and the boy are both standing facing each other, one hand reached out to each other, almost touching, but the space in-between in blazing white. Both of their faces are cold and hard as they glare at each other.
They seem to have forgotten about me. I make a dash for the trees and drop to the ground behind some bushes, hidden. I lay still for several long moments, but there’s not a sound from the clearing. Air slowly returns to my lungs, and I inch up to sitting, peering through the foliage.
They’re still locked in their silent, intense battle, but the girl looks to be losing. She’s on one knee, and I can see sweat glistening on her face. Her glare has cracked into more of a grimace.
I watch, unsure of what to do. Unsure of what is happening at all. I should help the girl, she looks like she needs it, but she just tossed me into the air, and what can I do anyway, against the powers they have?
Her leg trembles and she’s on both knees now. I stand up, slide my backpack off my shoulder and pull out a book.
He smiles now, and lets his hand drop.
She falls down.
I throw the book at him, for all the good that does, and run toward the girl. She’s lying on the ground, eyes closed, paler than ever. I crouch beside her, not sure what to do, if she’s actually hurt or not.
The boy screams.
I jump to my feet and turn around, and almost fall back down.
The book has exploded. It’s lying on the ground, pages open, streams of black swirling out of it, attacking the boy. He’s screaming, raising his arms to protect his face, but the black—it looks like inky words—swirls in a vortex around him.
The girl stands up and holds my arm, staring at the sight intently. She reaches out her hand, flashing white light, but it merely deflects off of the words.
He’s fading. The words tighten around him, and he appears to give up, falling to his knees. He’s already translucent at the edges.
His eyes meet mine, and they are wide and afraid.
Then he’s gone. The words swirl for a moment longer, and then gently flutter back down to the pages.
The air holds still, suffocating in the silence. The girl lets go of my arm and picks up the book. I stand still, blinking, not all the way believing what happened.
“It’s your journal,” the girl says, flipping through the pages and handing it back to me. “That’s why it worked.”
I take it from her. “What happened to him?”
The girl shrugs. “I don’t know. I don’t know why it happened at all. You’re not supposed to...” she stares past me into the sky and waves her hand. Four birds appear; not real birds, white outlines of them. They flutter around her head.
I stare at her. “Who are you?”
She meets my gaze, frowning slightly. The birds tug at her hair. “I’m the Impossible. He was the Nothing. Who are you?”
“I...” I don’t know what to say.
“Here.” The girl slides a thin band off her finger and shoves it into my hands. “Take this. If you see him again, call me. I’ll be back.”
I take the ring.
She smiles slightly at me, and then whispers up at the white birds. “Carry me away.”