FFC 3/1/2020

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.


Poetry Book Collaborator
Super Member
Feb 12, 2005
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They leapt before the airship had finished settling onto the sandbar, desperate to escape the screaming of girders twisting and crumpling around them. As they plunged one by one from the stern cupola they saw, very briefly, that the witches and ghosts that had chased them so relentlessly were still clinging on; with eyes bright as tigers’ eyes, with claws like polished bone sickles deftly opening great fluttering tears in the cow gut lining of the ship's gas bags. Then they hit the shocking coldness and sank, the breath pushed from their lungs by the weight of the black.

They struggled, twisting blindly, turning to the light that rippled above them… purple into magenta, into violet; unnatural, alchemical colours rolling with the waves as the ship was peeled down to its bones, like the last seconds in the life of a paper sky candle. And when they pushed desperately for the surface - those few among them who still had to strength to fight against the iron-weight of soaked greatcoats and flooded boots - they breathed in the furnace heat, like a kiss from the dragon's beak that filled their throats with fire.

And still, somehow, the fisherman's son-turned-soldier lived. Lifted and thrown down by the cresting surf, he crashed into solidness and held it dearly, his fingers clawing deeply into wet sand. He dragged and pushed himself further up. He rolled over and lay there while men ran about, screaming hoarse to be heard against the roar of the inferno and the steady crackle of ammunition cooking off. High above, the fairies who had killed them all still flitted about in formation, will-o-the-wisps fading against the pre-dawn sky.

It all seemed so far-away all of a sudden, so unimportant. For the first time in three days, with the cold waves gently lapping at his knees and the burning ship not a hundred yards away warming his face and hands, Jory slept.


Aaaaand ran out of time again. Not so much a story as just feeling my way into a first scene, I suppose.