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Chaos Storm

July 15, 2014

It had been many hours, since he had been trapped within the small Shelter. The building was crowded by the mules, nervously stamping their feet, loudly braying their unease, and ripe with the stench of their droppings. The boy huddled in a corner, knees drawn up to his chest, arms wrapped tightly around them. He trembled as the Chaos Storm lashed the Shelter with its fury. He flinched at each massive explosion of thunder. Lightning strobed wildly in the tiny window casting weird shadows around the dark room. The heavy stone walls shuddered as the fiercely gusting winds wailed and howled, tearing at the structure.

Zain Kutayen gently fingered the spot on his left arm that had been gashed by a flying splinter of wood. He knew that he’d been luckier than some of his companions. The Chaos Storm had struck without warning, cutting through the Exploratory Corps like a scythe through grain. Zain had seen a swirling funnel reach down and grasp the half-ton wagon Nekha Kalmon had been perched on, lift it into the air like a feather and toss it aside to smash to smithereens against the unyielding earth. Juova Vorvrak had been standing beneath a tall tree, when it and he were bisected by a spinning blade of metal. Modge Trydress was racing for safety when he stepped on a seemingly solid stone and was sucked down into it. He had time for but a single despairing scream before disappearing.

Zain had reacted as he had been so mercilessly drilled. Grabbing the halters of the mules and running for the nearest Shelter. He had pulled them inside, fastened them to the heavy staples embedded in the wall, slid the door shut, and dropped the bar engaging the protective shield. He could feel its steady, comforting hum through the floor. His stomach growled, numbly he fumbled a piece of journey bread from his pack and wolfed it down. He took several deep swallows from his canteen before recapping it and carefully settling it aside. The Chas Storm raged on. Exhaustion claimed him and Zain drifted into a restless sleep.

The sudden silence woke him. Stiffly Zain stood, his entire body aching from the numerous bruises he had received and hobbled to the little window. He peered outside. Bright sunlight glared in his eyes. He lifted the bar and slowly edged the door open. Cautiously he emerged. Bright, clear blue sky greeted him. The ground as far as he could see had been scoured bare to the bedrock. Only the Shelters remained intact.

“Zain is that you boy?” Captain Dokas Gukka yelled across the distance.

“Yes sir, I’ve got the mules with me!”

“Good job lad! Come help us sort things out.”

The final tally was grim, over twenty of the team had vanished without a trace, three were mortally wounded, five were walking wounded, and all of their supplies except for what the mules had been carrying were destroyed. Regretfully Gukka ordered their return to Pyrefort.


500 Words in response to Finish That Thought #2-2, Special Challenge: Change the weather as the story progresses. One weather change minimum.

  1. I really enjoyed this piece. There are some beautiful descriptions, and I was sucked right into the story ๐Ÿ™‚

    • emilykarn permalink

      Thank you very much, I enjoyed writing it. It’s actually a prequel to “The Discontinuity”, I’ve included a link to it at the bottom of the post.

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