The Iron Writer Challenge #19
2013 Iron Writer Summer Solstice Challenge #19
500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements
A sugar glider
A Francis Raymond
“Gliders of the colony! Mark this day!” proclaimed Magog. He stood on a branch of the colony’s primary home tree, arms outstretched, membrane of fur draping down to his feet.
In front of the sugar glider, perched steadily on the wide tree branch was an open casket. Inside, another glider, similarly marked as Magog, lay still.
“My father,” Magog announced, “former King of the Colony, champion of the High Races, rests in peace. Now that I am King, I declare the dangers of the High Race too great. We are retiring the Boom-Ay-Rang and terminating the races.”
Buried in the crowd, Loda listened. And fumed. His tail twitched. His claws dug into the tree limb he stood on. The crowd cheered. He watched as several gliders mounted the Boom-Ay-Rang to the tree trunk above the casket.
More cheers. Everyone knew the danger of the races and a growing movement tried to stop them. Not Loda. His life was devoted to Boom-Ay-Rang study and the High Race. He knew its origins, beginning when the Boom-Ay-Rang was left by the visitors. Tall creatures with fur only on their heads who visited in Loda’s father’s father’s time and left it behind.
Loda watched every race. Winning was rare. Racers launched off a cliff instead of safely gliding from tree to tree. The goal was to fly further than the Boom-Ay-Rang, and glide back before the Boom-Ay-Rang returned. Losing often meant a long and deadly fall.
Winning required skill in the air and knowledge of flight. Loda spent his youth learning to feel the pressure difference between the under and upper sides of the airfoil created by the membranes connecting his hands and feet. HHe studied the Boom-Ay-Rang. He could reliably predict its flight path based on the air at the moment of launch.
Loda kicked the creature next to him, a smaller version of himself.
“Rint, this isn’t happening! I’ve spent too long studying. I must have my race!”
Rint stared at him and blinked. No one else heard Loda’s blasphemy.
“Did you not hear Magog? There’s new law. They’ll banish you from the colony!”
Rint’s warning was ignored. Loda was already planning how they would get the Boom-Ay-Rang, load it in the launcher, and race. He’d add his mark to the graffiti of past winners covering the Boom-A-Rang. Rint would go along. He never said no to Loda.
On the fourth night after the funeral, with only a single moon in the sky providing light and most of the colony in torpor, Loda and Rint maneuvered the Boom-Ay-Rang to the launch pad overlooking Death Canyon. Loda took his place in the launching spot next to it. He shivered. This was his first time this close to the ledge of the Canyon.
“I’m ready” he said, looking straight ahead. Rint held up his arm, his own arm flaps hanging down.
“Three. Two. One,” he shouted, lowered his arm, and launched the Boom-Ay-Rang.
Loda pushed off the cliff and glided into the moonlit night.
It was the first week of summer and Kate was already tired of playing Barbie’s with her little sister, Callie. One more time of hearing how Barbie wasn’t dressed right or “that’s not something she would wear to this occasion” and she was going to scream. Thankfully, Kate had been digging around in the attic and found an old boomerang. She hadn’t played with one since she was a little kid and thought that it would be fun to teach Callie.
They decided to go out to the open field close to the woods, that way they wouldn’t break anything if lessons went bad. Kate threw it a couple of times and then walked Callie through it; she was ready for her first try.
Of course! Callie threw it straight into the woods…well if you called throwing it 10 feet behind you straight. They had to go find it, so they set off to find it in the dark, uninviting woods…at least it was daylight outside.
Kate had to keep telling herself that there was nothing to be scared of, that everything was going to be fine. They would find that boomerang and get out. Well, all of those thoughts just stopped when she saw Callie running up to a casket that lay covered in graffiti under an old, dead oak tree. How ironic, Kate thought.
Why was there a casket in the middle of the woods? That was just too weird for Kate to even think of an answer. She wanted to get out but Callie wouldn’t have it. Callie was already opening up the casket before Kate could stop her. To her surprise the only thing that was in it was an oversized sugar glider. This keeps getting weirder. They watched as the sugar glider flew deeper into the woods. That’s it for me, Kate told herself, and Dad can just ground me for losing that dang boomerang. With that final thought Kate grabbed Callie’s arm and turned to leave.
All of the sudden there was a rustling sound right behind them, where the casket lay, open. Kate was too scared to turn around and see what it was so she tried to keep walking; however Callie had no fears what so ever. She turned then let out a gasp and clung on the Kate’s leg. Just keep walking and whatever it is won’t bother you. Don’t acknowledge it. Kate had to tell herself something logical or she was defiantly going to lose it.
Since walking away wasn’t an option with Callie gripping her like she was, Kate turned around and was surprised to find a boy about her age standing two feet away.
He was tall with dark brown hair and a pair of eyes that looked like shinning emeralds and in his hands he held their boomerang. Kate stood there just staring at the handsome guy in front of her, with her jaw dropped and everything. She was awakened from her stupor when he said,
“I believe this is yours.”
An Epitaph for Mickey
A Eulogy For Ang
“The thug life didn’t choose Ang, leader of the Boomer Gang, he chose it. He chose it ‘cos it was what he had to do. He rallied us together under his cause – our cause – making us stronger ‘n we would’ve been elsewise. Since then, the Boomers have thrived, have grown to rule the streets.” The speaker stood tall behind the podium, delivering his speech. A gathering of this size was dangerous, and already, bloodthirsty men and women pounded at the doors and plate-glass windows, shrieking their protests. Those who had braved the savage streets to sit at the broken pews shifted nervously, but respect had to be paid to their former fearless leader.
A black and grey rodent, Ang’s pet and unofficial mascot of the Boomers, sat atop the casket left of the podium. Its big, black eyes stared sadly up at the speaker as he continued. “Across the city, Ang has been a bringer of ‘ope, clearing out safe ‘ouses for the Gang in new areas previously out of reach. He led us into an age of prosperi’y, setting up fronts and expanding our interests further ‘n we had ever imagined. But that was before the Rotters moved in.”
Some of the gathered mourners hissed or murmured their hatred. One spat on the wooden floor. “A war broke out, right on our doorstep, but Ang din’t flinch. He showed us what we was made of, and led us out into the streets to protect our turf. We fought, and many of us died, but Ang kept us strong. Even when we thought we was lost, Ang kept us looking t’ward that distant light of ‘ope. He was only nineteen, but I believed in him because he saw more in us ‘n we saw ourselves. He showed us the strength in our hearts.”
The speaker wiped at the corners of his eyes and looked around at the ragged mourners while he composed himself. “Even when the walls were pain’ed with Boomer blood, Ang never lost ‘ope. Erry time we did, he’d just flash a smile, ‘n tell a joke, an’ we was right back up again, fresh for a fight.”
The protesters had grown in number, undoubtedly Rotters looking to deliver a decisive blow to the Boomers. Their pounding on the building shook it to its foundation. Many of the Boomers readied their guns. Some near the back took up positions flanking the doors in case of a successful break in.
“I offer a final toast for Boomer Ang.” The speaker raised a beer and a Colt 45. “May he never come back.” He put the gun against Ang’s head and fired, ensuring that he wouldn’t. “Awright, let’s honor him the best we can, by showin’ these Zombie bastards the kind of men we are.”