A huge imbrangilae landed in the square, and several more landed in the streets, filling Renaissance with creatures practically everyone despised. More hovered above, their freezing breath chilling the air.
“They’ll kill us,” Alejandra whispered.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I replied. “Killing is the least the imbrangilae could do.”
She shook my arm.
“Estant,” my father called.
The largest imbrangilae roared.
“I apologize for our past disregard of the treaty.”
“You . . .” Estant rasped, in a horrible, ripping voice that should never have come from something living, “. . . have broken that treaty more times . . . than we imbrangilae remember. Your history lies in the dead . . . forms of imbrangilae . . . who we trusted to you.”
“I know, Estant,” my father murmured.
“Humans must pay the price . . . of their actions.”
The crowd was quick on the uptake.
“Kill them all!” someone shouted.
“Burn them!” screamed another. “We won’t die!”
“SILENCE,” boomed Estant. “Did I ever mention . . . dying?”
“It was implied,” my father said mildly.
“I will not have your . . . insinuations. What I propose . . . is a trade. We imbrangilae . . . want five of your . . . offspring.”
An outraged woman cried, “They want our children?”
“We want to train you . . . to understand us. I know we are ugly by . . . your standards. But with knowledge, perhaps . . . we can come . . . to an alliance, however tenuous.”
“Estant,” my father said, “do you realize what you’re asking? To send children to your lairs, to live with your kind?”
“Yes. Humans killed seventeen imbrangilae . . . in the past century. Is that not . . . fair? We would never . . . kill one of you.”
“I volunteer,” I said. “I will travel to your home.”
“You . . . volunteer?” Estant rasped.
“I do, too,” Alejandra declared.
“Two,” the imbrangilae said. “There must be . . . three more.”
I turned to see twins emerge from the crowd, a sister and brother, identical except for a long scar down the girl’s face.
I knew them. Outcasts, forced to scrounge in alleys for food. I’d tried to speak to them, but they’d spurned me, expecting to get bullied or tricked.
“That will do,” Estant said. “Forget the fifth.”
“They’ll die!” a man shouted.
“We won’t,” I said. “We’ll be just fine with the imbrangilae.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I trust Nabil.”
I don’t think he understood our speech, but Nabil shrieked.
“Then we have an agreement,” Estant roared, rearing. “You humans will . . . forget this day, as you forget . . . everything else. But there will . . . be a time when you must remember . . . and do not overlook the detail the imbrangilae could kill you all.”
He took off.
“Good luck, Corey!” my father shouted, as Nabil walked up.
I jumped onto Nabil’s back as Alejandra awkwardly hoisted herself onto another imbrangilae.
The twins, I had to notice, were more graceful.
Nabil lifted up and soared into the clouds, but not before I peered back down at Renaissance.
Such a small place.
I couldn’t wait to see the rest of the world through the imbrangilae’s eyes.
(580 words. For some reason, Word counts all the periods in the ellipses.)
- The misfortune is resolved/accepted. (check)
- Relationships mend/are torn asunder.
- The final event becomes another secret for generations to come. (check)
- There is a new arrival in town.
About the REN3 Blogfest:
Hosts:Stuart Nager at Tale Spinning, Damyanti Biswas at Daily (W)rite, Lisa Vooght at Flash Fiction, JC Martin at Fighter Writer.
The “rule of three” is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –WikipediaB. How does the Rule of Three work in this blogfest?
The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest, where we’ve created a ‘world’, the town of Renaissance, and challenged you to create a story within it. The story will feature 3 characters of your creation, who will be showcased on your blog on 3 different Wednesdays or Thursdays, following the Rule of Three. The 4th Wednesday/Thursday posting you’ll have the culminating scene.
C. What is the Shared World of Rule of Three? Welcome to Renaissance.
Renaissance is an outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes pass through or beside it. The desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once-lush forest lies to the East and South. A large river runs through the forest, but it is not close to the town. Mountains are to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or real. Closer by are the smaller hill chains that fed the mining, creating caverns and passages underground.
The town has had a number of identities throughout its history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to its Ghost Town standing); a town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more. At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power-players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here. Everyone has a secret. Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay.
And so ends the Rule of Three Blogfest--which I'm going to miss, because I've had an awful lot of fun writing my posts this past October.
-----The Golden Eagle