Wordcount: 403 words
Knights Before Bishops
Wendy had just enough time to grab the flute before the coppery coils of whatever had crashed through the roof started tearing through the walls of the inn’s second story.
“Wendy!” and that was Gray, pushing through the panicked traders, sword out and looking unnaturally calm.
“Get Riley!” She yelped and tripped over part of the ceiling beams as one of the coils brushed against one of the support beams sending the floor shuddering beneath them.
“She’s already outside,” and that didn’t make any sense because she knew they girl had been two beds down from her just a second ago, hadn’t she? But Gray was already helping her up and away from the brunt copper coils.
“What is that?” They backed all the way into a corner of the room and still she could only make out the undulating ropes of copper scale that had flooded the hallway.
“I think–” he dodged a cascade of shingles as the thing hit another support beam, “I think it’s a sea snake. Bit big though.”
Wendy shot him a panicked incredulous look, “A bit?”
“Aye, a bit.” And he was grinning, as if a pile of snake roughly the mass of a school bus was something to laugh about. “Why not whistle him back out to sea then?”
“We’re nowhere near the sea!”
“Point.” He grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the way as the right side of the building finally gave into the flailing assault and collapsed with a disturbingly soft whumping sound. “Let’s get outside then, more room to think.” She wasn’t sure how he found the path down through the wreckage, but moments later they were safely outside. The thrashing motions were weakening, but there was a good chance the snake would collapse the rest of the inn before it ran out of air.
“You were right.” Wendy jumped as Moonstar suddenly appeared behind them, glowing softly in the moonlight.
“Right about what?”
“They moved it here.”
“Oh.” She looked from the unicorn to the snake and back. “Can you put it back?”
“Play me a tune and we’ll see I remember the words.” There was laughter in his voice, but his eyes were the wrong kind of blue again and the little bone mask was a bright bite of pain in her chest. She raised the flute, entranced by the reflections. “Play me the sea.”
And she did.