Sky Queen: a snippet.

There on the clear-pebble lakeshore, Tabitha sat and stared into nothing. A sad gaping loss. She didn’t understand. Felt a sweet blissful down; backtingles from the cold wind. Sad warm softness in her muscles, and empty eyes. Blinking. Watching countless glass pebbles catch the murky light from an alien sun, as if they all had tiny glowing souls of their own. Red hair tossed in the breeze. Looking out at another world she hadn’t evolved from. The cold hyperteal lake; tide swishing and lapping on the stones. Vast distant mountains wreathed in ragged cloud. Mothbirds fluttering past; ghostly daybats. Nothing here for her on this world, and no escape. The musclesoft hum faded down, and the cold wind came back to chatter her teeth. Weak, tired, sore. She couldn’t even lie down, the parched sickness rushed up so hard and fast. Throbbed in her head until all she wanted was to sip and slurp and gulp and gasp at the clear cold blissful lake right there before her. The poisoned lake that made her retch and sting, and spun her world and drained her out even more. Tabitha only realised she’d lain down again when the dizzy sore sickness came back to haunt her.
‘I can’t stay here,’ she mumbled to herself. Gulped away the sick feeling. Felt her tongue stick and peel against the roof of her dry mouth. Pushed the ground away, and staggered unsteady to her feet. She hadn’t let her own world beat her, she told herself. She wouldn’t let this one. There was something moving there, she realised, in the corner of her eye. The dark shape, slinking. Hunting her. That same gasping feline snarl. Slowly, without turning, Tabitha touched her hand to the glass knife at her belt. Gripped it hard. She heard its huge paws, so slowly, so quiet, on the pebbles behind her. Could smell its oily fur on the cold wind. Felt those ice-blue eyes staring, murder-intense. A massive blackblue spectre at her back.
‘Not this time, you creeping fuck,’ she mumbled to it, sliding the knife from her belt. Heard that gaping ghostly banshee snarl behind her. Tensed, breathed. Pounced.

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