Avaria

They were just stories... Or so I thought.

My grandmother used to tell me stories when I was younger. Stories of people living in the clouds, watching over the rest of the world. They were the most wondrous tales; filled with flying men and magical ships that glided through the sky like a boat through water, or a skiff over the sand. I sometimes sit at my window, looking over the rolling desert of my home, imagining what it would be like to sail beside the birds.

Would the ride be smoother than sailing the sands? Would it be terrifying to look down at the world from so high, or would it be exhilarating? How must it feel to see men flying beside your ship, as if birds themselves?

But such tales are merely fantasy. As great a storyteller as she was, my grandmother was never truly rooted in reality. Her eyes always seemed to be looking at something that wasn't there, something that existed only in her mind.

------------------(The world needs to be fleshed out here. A page or so establishing the norm.)------------------

Thoughts of my grandmother and her stories often find me when I'm out here on the sand. As the wind tangles my hair and grains of sand click against my goggles, I can hear her voice. I can almost see the flying men, almost hear the sizzle of magical fire.

"The veil has been crossed." My head whips to search for the voice as the winds pick up. The howling in my ears is nearly deafening, but I hear the woman speak again. "She is trapped I'm afraid."

My feet do not hold me as the skiff slams to a halt, momentum pulling me forward. I skid through the grass, clumps of dirt collecting in my mouth. Grass? My arms are under me in an instant, pushing me to a sitting position. As I spit out the dirt and grass I take in my surroundings. Gone are the familiar white sands I have lived in my entire life, replaced with a meadow of green grass and yellow flowers. Where am I?

The skiff is ruined. It lies half submerged in the dirt. My mind can't process the speed I would need to be going for that to happen. Yelling echoes around me and I realize I've only noticed the skiff and the ground. My eyes dart around as the fighting comes into focus. Fighting. There is an army of dark skinned men and women battling against a small group of men in midnight black armor.

The armored men are swinging large swords that crackle with flame and lightning. What sort of technology could do that? Whatever it is, it's effective. I'm paralyzed as I watch the dark skinned people die in droves. They don't stand a chance against those weapons.

Then he is standing over me. One of the men in armor has his sword inches from my face. My heart hammers in my chest as he shouts something in an unfamiliar language. I'm pretty sure I've emptied my bladder, though it's hard to tell since most of my body has numbed. He shouts again.

"I don't," I'm quivering, having a hard time speaking. "I don't understand."

"You speak Myndorian." His voice is much less intimidating now that I understand him, though his armor is still terrifying. "A slave perhaps?"

I try to reply, but the words are caught in my throat. He lowers the sword and grabs my arm with his gauntleted fist. It hurts when he drags me to my feet, and my knees keep buckling as he pulls me behind him, but something in my mind screams at me to keep up. He drags me through charred and split bodies to his comrades. The smell of their boiling flesh makes me heave. He does not let me stop to finish. He drags me forward as the vomit splatters against my shoes.

The other armored men laugh as we near, speaking in the unfamiliar tongue. My captor shrugs his massive shoulders and replies in a noncommittal tone. Whatever he said, I get the feeling it was crude. The helmets may hide their eyes, but I can feel them leering at my body now. An odd time to be self conscious I guess, but I suddenly wish I'd covered more when I left this morning.

The End

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