Okay… so much for my plan to give you one of these each week. *shrug*
I fail a lot this week… though in my defence I have a lot on my mind.
Anyway, next excerpt, written on… Thursday I think, when I was catching up to my own mini target to beat last years word count. Not quite made it yet, but I’m VERY close now. ^_^
Oh and I’ve totally been cheating. Since figuring out rhymes for the stupid elf slows me down something rotten; if I’m sprinting, I’ll simply write what I want him to say normally with intent to go back to it at a later date. So… don’t be fooled, this elf may not speak in rhyme but it is the same one from the last excerpt.
Alyssa pulled her fingers out of her mouth, releasing the breath she barely realised she had been holding. “What happened?” She whispered. “I was right under his nose; how come he didn’t see me?!” The ugly green elf smiled a huge smile, bowing low until his ears scraped the floor. “I have much magic, Princess,” he boasted, “Illusions I can perform of the highest kind. He would never see what I did not want him to see.” She sagged against the stack of filled cages. “Well thank you. I owe you. He looked so angry! What does he want you so badly for?” Valerian opened his mouth to explain but got no further than an exhaled breath. Myst reformed from a puddle in the corner of the room and was practically dancing from foot to foot. “You must return to your room!” She cried. “He’s going to your room!” Alyssa felt a sudden flood of cold rush through her body. “But I’ll be fine, surely? He wouldn’t suspect me?” “We were supposed to lock you in! If he finds you are gone, he will know. Then he will suspect many things. We will all be in danger. Maybe even you, Your Highness.” A lump of something horribly like fear wedged at the back of Alyssa’s throat. She swallowed it down with effort. “I’m never going to beat him down there; there’s only one way. How am I going to do it?” Valerian slipped passed her, crawling up onto the window sill and peering down. “You have wings,” he said lightly. “Fae fly fast, as I understand. Why not fly down?” “Excuse me?!” Myst brightened abruptly. “Yes, he’s right! If you fly down you can beat him. Fly through the window and down. Zephyr can guide you.” “But- but I can’t fly!” Alyssa waved her hands frantically but Myst was already gone. Zephyr swirled into place from the crack beneath the door, reforming rapidly from his customary mist. “You can, Your Highness and you must.” Brisk and business like, Zephyr hurried over to the window and threw himself out of it. With no effort at all he hovered in the air, drifting up and down slightly on warm updrafts. “It is simple. Wings are for flying and you have to use them. There is no choice now; please hurry.” She looked down at Valerian. “Please tell me you’re not serious. Fly?!” “Its that or be caught, Princess.” A terrified wail rose up from the floor. It sounded like Myst. Zephyr held out his hand. “Please!” Encouraging cheers and shouts came from the captured pixies and, through it all came Verbascum’s clear, calm voice. “Faeries fly. Any faerie touched by my dear cousin Lilly is destined to touch the stars. Go!” Shaking, Alyssa climbed onto the window sill, crouched on the narrow lip of stone like a trembling, fleshy gargoyle. The courtyard far below swam before her eyes and she leaned sideways into the open frame. At eye height a pair of sparrows wheeled and danced, effortlessly navigating the air and they danced in play. “I can’t do this.” She moaned. “I can’t! I’m just a woman; a secretary. I file paperwork. I make coffee. I’m not supposed to fly.” “A Princess can do anything she desires!” Before Alyssa could do more than gasp, she felt two tiny hands shove her hard in the back. She tumbled from the window with a blood curdling scream, spinning over and over and the castle wall raced passed her face and the ground rushed closer and closer. Zephyr followed her down. “Fly my lady, you must fly! Use your wings, please! Use them; they are there! They are yours!” Air clawed at her skin. “I can’t!” Her hair flapped wildly, tangling in her ears and face. “You were born with them, Your Highness, it is just like walking! Please you must try or you will die!” Cold wind raced up her arms and legs as the skirts of her dress billowed wide. “Please, Alyssa!” Alyssa scrunched her eyes tightly shut and spread her wings, throwing out her arms at the same time. She flapped like she had in the wash room, without really understanding how, knowing only that the action was as natural and simple to her as stepping off a ledge. Ironically. The sudden cessation of movement jarred her back and shoulders and Alyssa couldn’t help but shriek once more. Then Zephyr was right in her face, pressing a hand against her mouth and pointing around the side of the castle. “That way!” He hissed, clutching her neck now, pressing himself close like a limpet. “Quickly.” Tears of relief streaming down her face, Alyssa followed the instruction. With careful flaps of her wings she spiralled upwards when Zephyr indicated a window was too close or down for the same reason. She traversed rapidly around the side of the castle until she saw a window with three water sprites hanging out of it, hopping up and down and beckoning frantically. “He’s on the steps!” Myst shrieked, putting out both hands to grab a handful of Alyssa’s skirt. Alyssa hardly had time to be grateful of the assistance before the sprites bundled her through, mercilessly shoving, pushing, poking and prodding until she and the rest of her voluminous dress made it through the narrow window. She fell to the floor with an unceremonious thud just as the sound of a key in the lock touched her strained ears. Biting her lip, Alyssa leapt to her feet and smoothed down her dress as best she could, trying to ignore the tickling and wriggling as the sprites dived between her skirts. Alyssa turned to gaze out the window, cupping her chin nonchalantly in her hands and adopting a relaxed slouch. The door opened. “Alyssa!” “Oh!” She spun around, feigning surprise, tangling a hand in her hair to cement the act while simultaneously hiding the windswept curls. “I didn’t hear you come in.”