Three Word Wednesday : Amaze, Frail, and Sacred
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Joshua stood looking out at the sunset. There had been meetings with men pounding fists and expounding on opinions about right thinking and he was tired of it all.
He wasn’t really. He was just very tired this night. It would be better in the morning. He just needed sleep. He should go home. His wife was there. The house would be silent. Claire would be silent. The house had become a sort of sacred shrine to Ryall. Claire blamed him, of course.
There was no choice. What could he do? He would have lost everything he had worked for and in the end it wouldn’t have helped Ryall. As a member of the Guild, the only thing he could do was send the boy away. It was the right thing to do. Still. Ryall had been their only child. He missed his boy so much. He couldn’t think about that now. He had responsibilities and obligations.
After the last war, rebuilding was a long and difficult ordeal. Much of our infrastructure was destroyed and many of the greatest minds were gone taking vision and knowledge with them.
Small pockets of community became little strongholds at first. As they repaired and rebuilt, they began to barter with others and smaller groups joined together.
In past times, society had revolved around people – the individual. What’s good for me, what makes me happy. The frailty of the old system caused it to fall apart. That kind of selfish thinking led to war. No one wanted more of that.
They needed machinery to rebuild. They needed dirt movers, machines to help with construction, protection from the weather, ways to travel, ways to feed ourselves. Men with talent and ability taught others with aptitude and the Mekaneks Guild was born.
The Guild was necessary. Joshua was given power and responsibility. Sending Ryall away was the only way to protect him.
The Guild meetings today were about The Solution. That was actually what they were calling it. The Guild was discussing the ReBorns problem. They wanted to formulate a policy, a plan. They wanted order and mechanical answers that they could understand.
“People expect us to keep them safe. These ReBorns are a threat.” Guild member Thomas was pounding the table with each syllable for emphasis. “If we can’t control them citizens will think we can’t control other things, like our work and the machines. They will start to doubt us!”
“And what, Thomas? What will they doubt? All citizens care about is their own lives and that we keep the city together, and speaking of that, maybe we could get back to discussing our jobs.” Joshua said calmly.
Joshua had to walk a careful line. He hoped that if Ryall was with the other ReBorns, they would stay out of sight.
Ryall and Kystel were to go out after dark. Ryall was still amazed that he had found someone like him. Flying was the biggest rush of his life but so much better with someone to share it. He didn’t know Kystel was a flyer when he first met her. He just knew she was alone and needed help. It happened that way. The gift manifested itself and families sent them away. Some parents turned their own kids in. No one knew what happened to the ones who were turned over to the Mekaneks, but Ryall promised himself he would help as many as he could.
“What are you thinking about?” Ryall didn’t hear Kystel walk up behind him.
“I was thinking about the others out there like us.”
Kystel smiled at him. “We’ll find them. Like you found me.”
They heard the sound of the others returning. They came in carrying canned food, more parts for Ralph, and Sloan held out a newspaper. Ryall looked at him and took the paper. On the front page the headline read Mekaneks Repair Sabotage!. The article went on to accuse ReBorns of sabotaging the water system that fed the city and kept steam engines powering the city. There was a picture of two Mekaneks under the article. Ryall threw the paper on the floor and walked away. Kystel watched him go, puzzled and bent to pick up the paper. She read the article.
“Why would anyone sabotage the water supply?” She asked.
“Kystel, it’s a bunch of lies to make people afraid of us. It makes it harder for us to go out because normals will be watching for us and wanting to turn us over to the Mekaneks.” Sloan sounded disgusted.
“I’m going to go find Ryall.” Kystel thought he seemed more upset than the article warranted.
She found him up on the roof. He was looking out over the city. “Are you ready?” He asked her without turning around.
“Yes, if you are.” She stood beside him, watching him. He was pale and shaking with anger.
“Let’s go.” He climbed up on the parapet and held down his hand to her. She climbed up next to him and grinned. They both dove and it was just like she remembered. The silence except for the rush of air. The lightness and the complete joy of it. Ryall soared above her and she wheeled around and followed, watching his dark silhouette in front of a bright moon. Whatever had him twisted up would loosen it’s grip in this sky, that much she was sure of. He darted down again with her right behind, heading east across the city. He pointed a little to the south and she nodded and they changed direction. He was steadily dropping and as they got closer she could see a long ditch with pipes running along the edges. It narrowed when it got to the city proper and branched off in all directions. He waved at a section that had a bridge going across the top and they came down softly in the darkness.
“This is where they say ‘ReBorns’ caused damage”. She looked around but there was nothing amiss that she could see. “I don’t understand!”
Ryall nodded. “Exactly.”
“So it really was just lies. I saw your face after you looked at that newspaper. Is that what made you so angry?”
Ryall turned away. Kystel tugged on his arm. “Come on Ryall. I can tell it really got to you. You can trust me. I want to help.”
He turned and looked at her. “I trust you Kystel.” He said tiredly. “It’s just that I recognized one of the men on the front page.”
“You knew him?” She asked him.
“Yeah I knew him. Very well. He’s my dad.”
“Your father? A Mekanek? Wow, I don’t even know what to say.”
“The others don’t know, but it looks like I’m going to have to tell them.” Ryall was about to say something else when they heard a noise. Out of the shadows came two guys swinging pieces of pipe. Ryall yelled for Kystel to take off and as they leapt for the sky, a pipe connected with one of Ryall’s wings. He grunted but kept going. They headed up and back north and west. Kystel could see Ryall was having some difficulty now so she stayed as close as possible. They should have known better than to go to the place mentioned in the newspaper. They weren’t flying very fast and Kystel prayed he would make it back to their building. Finally their roof was visible. She landed with Ryall right behind her, but not his usual graceful move. He came down hard and rolled to the side, his wings folded around him. He laid still for a moment and gritting his teeth in pain, told Kystel to get Emelia.
“Will you be okay?” She didn’t want to leave him. He was helpless. He couldn’t fly and he couldn’t walk down the stairs with his wings like that. He was shivering now.
“I’ll be fine. Just hurry.”
“I’ll be right back!” She ran down the stairs to Emelia’s room and pounded on her door.
“Whatever it is, can’t it wait til morning?” Emelia griped.
“Emelia, it’s Ryall. He’s hurt! You have to hurry” Kystel was frantic.
“I’m coming. Hang on.” the door opened and Emelia emerged wearing a leopard print robe and slippers. “Don’t look at me like that. Come on.” Emelia pounded on the room next to hers on the way. “Come on Sloan, I need you!”
Kystel lead her up the stairs to where Ryall lay moaning.