Hours later, Cyclone awoke with a jolt. Despite having so little sleep and being conscious at an unnatural time, she felt immediately alert, heart pounding, a terrible wave of dread chilling her to the core. Her head darted back and forth. It was pitch black and completely silent.It’s nothing. Stop it. Dammit, I hate the night.
A fierce, whistling wind suddenly blasted through the forest. In an instant, Cyclone’s (admittedly) poorly constructed nest disintegrated, sticks and twigs sent flying. Cyclone opened her wings just to thrown back first into the side of her tree, the wind pinning her down, chilling volleys of fat snowflakes slapping into the hapless bird. She struggled in place momentarily in a blind panic.
Before she knew it, she found herself unpinned but fluttering blindly through the pitch darkness. One moment she was tangled in a dead bush, the next she was scraping along the ground, then she would be blown through the air again. It was a wonder the Swellow hadn’t broken any bones, something she would have prided herself on if she could actually think straight. As luck would have it, Cyclone found herself wedged beneath what seemed to be tree roots. At the very least, they provided some shelter from the blizzard. Cyclone shoved herself deeper under the roots, climbing along the the shallow slope of the earth until she could push herself no further. She would just have to wait this storm out, it seemed.
Did the ground just shake?
It happened for just a moment. Then again, stronger this time. It took a moment for Cyclone to realize what these rhythmic vibrations reminded her of. Foot steps. Whatever behemoth these belonged to appeared to be getting closer to where Cyclone was sheltered. Just her luck.
“Hey! Hey, Sorbet’s going in the wrong direction! Over here!” someone called out.
From beneath her hiding place Cyclone saw a red glow coming from somewhere outside. Despite her intense fear, Cyclone treaded carefully from beneath the roots, curious to see where this light was coming from. Her blood ran cold. Bathed in a hellish crimson light stood a massive beast, taller than any tree in Creeping Forest. Its grotesque, reptilian face contorted into an angry snarl and it let out a booming, earth shattering roar.
Cyclone had seen enough. She made a mad dash back beneath the roots and, once again, wedged herself in as much as she possibly could. That terrible roar still lingered on, permeating the earth, shaking the trees. Cyclone squeezed her eyes shut. Before she knew it she burst into choked sobs as hot tears dribbled down her face, a shameful act of weakness.
Was this some kind of punishment for not leaving Creeping Forest with her family all those months ago? They were probably safe and warm in Sonata Forest while Cyclone sat freezing and terrified out of her mind in the wake of some gruesome hell-beast, bawling like a pathetic hatchling. She hated everything. She hated her family, the weather, those other birds, how every day was a constant struggle to survive, and she loathed that fearsome dragon. Most of all, she he hated how weak and helpless she had become.
"Fight and Flight" written by