Wordcount: 528 words
Summary: Please note, this is currently a very rough draft. There will be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, flat out contradictions, and uneven characterization and pacing. (Content is also subject to constant change as I take an editing chainsaw to the story.)
The Second Storm
Four days after they had started to recover from the first storm the horizon turned black again. They didn’t need any other hints to know that another nasty storm was coming their way and fast. Everyone started packing as best they could, but there were too many injured and sick that would not be able to move themselves.
“Can we make it bigger?” May asked Omen as the winds started to pick up, just a faint echo of what they knew was coming. “The shield we made, can we make it bigger?”
“I don’t know, I—“
“Do you think we can’t or do you know we can’t?” She pressed him. There was no time and nowhere to hide. “If we have more people can we make it bigger?”
They had not planned on telling the elders anything about their shield, but there was no choice now. Omen looked back and forth between her and the storm, nervously. “We can try.”
“We have to.”
It took more effort than she had though to convince the elders to let them try. In the end they only got some of them to agree, the others were already heading out, fledglings and hatchlings in tow.
The humans were even more reluctant, but there were some who could not move, could not run this time and so they ended up with those who could not leave and those who would not leave. It was enough, Omen thought, to keep the shield up long enough to save them.
They waited through the winds and the rains until the storm was strong enough that it swept up limbs and threw them. Then they reached out, foxhawk to foxhawk, and formed the circle again. They tried the riders, but after a few faltering starts, left them out. They made the ring too unstable to maintain, much less draw from.
They formed as small and as tight a group as they could. Foxhawks standing over humans lay flat or crouching beneath them. They had a wall of sorts, but she doubted it would hold back the winds for long.
The shield went up and those not in the circle fell silent, asleep or scared she could not tell, all of her attention was focused on creating and maintaining a wedge between them and the storm. Unlike the first time, she did not try to cover them completely; just enough of a shelter up and over to match what the winds were throwing at them.
They did well for a bit and then the storm rose up, seemingly targeting them. Winds changed direction, debris came in waves, the rain came down in torrential gusts and she was worried those on the ground would drown. But she matched the winds, even and they grew tired, and deflected the worst of the debris.
In the end the storm gave out and they dropped the circle, everyone tired and panting and scared out of their minds. They had done the impossible. There was no such thing as magic, no such things as answered prayers, yet here they were.
She only hoped the groups that had fled had done as well.