New girl here...just fourteen and loving it...this is the very first part of my trilogy
The tern flew silently over her territory, soaring freely above the ice and snow far below. Glistening mountains of crystal protruded from the ocean’s deep waters, and the icy breeze whipped against her outstretched wings as she soared across the freezing tundra.
Smoke drifted across the sky. The smell of burning wood was fresh in the air and muffled sounds came from the distance. Her keen eyes spotted dark shapes on the ground. Curious to find out what they were, she circled lower. The air ruffled her feathers lightly as she descended, eyes closed in silent bliss.
Suddenly the wind changed, the snow below her whipped up into a gale until all she could see was white. The air pushed against her and something seemed to be pulling her back. She could feel pressure on her wings, like they had hit an invisible barrier but she persevered, wanting to reach her nest before it was dark if the storm was going to get worse. The air seemed tense and it scared her. It scared her to think something as powerful as the wind could be apprehensive, as if anticipating some strange occurrence, contracting its cosmic muscles, bracing itself for some unknown attacker and she didn’t want to be around when it happened.
Her nest was just beyond the shapes on the ground, if she could only make it that far, the air was buffeting her violently now. Her eyes tried desperately to focus on some recognisable shape in the swirling snow; she found the dark shapes on the ground and flew lower so she wouldn’t loose sight of them. As she approached she realised, with a start, that they were a huge congregation of humans. Other birds had spoken to her in fear when they mentioned humans. No creature was as notoriously deadly, with weapons made of dead bird’s feathers and frosty, unforgiving blades. As she flew nervously over their camp her keen eyes spotted one human taking something from her back, placing it in a wooden frame and…an arrow! After giving a strangled cry she twisted her body and beat her wings furiously, pushing skywards into the snow so the arrow wouldn’t find its target. She heard the deadly rush of the weapon speeding towards her. She turned sharply. One look behind told her the arrow had changed direction and was still on her tail and gaining. The dark shapes on the ground, the things that had shot at her, couldn’t be humans, for not even humans, deadly though they could be, could bend the will of a weapon in flight. Panic threatened to completely overwhelm her, she felt her heart beating rapidly in her chest and she was shaking. Her attackers weren’t humans. They were witches. Fear consumed her as the arrow drew closer still and she realised that there was no escape.
Suddenly she felt the searing pain against her neck and as blood started trickling down her back she knew there was no hope. Her wings no longer beating she fell towards the Earth like a stone, all she saw was black as she become aware that the wind had stopped. A cold silence filled her head and the pain washed over her as she willed her life to end. Eyes closed in agonising defeat the only small mercy was that she was dead before she hit the hard ground.