A #microfiction for anyone who needs to ask for help sometimes…
The screams were so loud they echoed round the firmament. Loud enough to make the cherubs worry that the crystal would crack. Loud enough to make the hosts feel guilty for ignoring it.
But still they did, and continued with their tasks, trying and failing to drown out the sound with their chorus.
It echoed through the earth. Earthquakes were recorded that should have shaken continents, yet the earth never seemed to shake. But those close to the earth - the druids, the ancient, those near to death - were seen to burst into tears with no apparent reason.
But no-one looked into the occurrence any further.
And deep down in a place that could not be called dark, but was still the opposite of dark: a creature shrouded in a hood unwrapped the swaddled nothing from around it and stirred. It did not open its eyes, for it had been a long time since there was anything for it to see, but it moved in a way that suggested it *perceived*.
And, without in any way appearing to move, it began to follow the string made of screaming back to its source.
When it arrived, there was a feeling of weight and effort, like great metal shutters being lifted up hand up despite its rusted mechanisms. And the thing in the hood opened those things that were almost like eyes and it *saw*.
It was a rocky place. A barren place. A place of washed out sepia like an old, weathered photograph.
And there, stretched out against the coarse landscape, was *her*. It was not so much that she was *chained*, as it was that the topology of this place had been built around her wrists. Behind her, her great wings were pinned to the rock by a thousand tiny stalagmites.
It must have taken generations for the earth to trap her so. She had been there for less than a day.
“Why do you scream, so?” The hooded thing did not seem to speak, instead the words simply *were*, all of a sudden and all at once: a complete sentence hitting the ear like an asteroid.
She simply kept screaming.
The hooded one did not move, but still she felt something touch her cheek gently. It was less of a feeling of touch or contact, as it was the precise memory and experience of comfort.
The agony did not stop. But she suddenly found she did not care to scream.
“I am-” she gulped down a great lungful of dry, scratchy air. “I am sorry if my screams disturbed you, stranger.”
“I am no stranger to you.”
She gulped and licked her lips and felt the sting of cracks like geography in her flesh.
“Still, my … friend. It cannot be a pleasant thing to hear. Do you know I once sang the crystal spheres into their place?” She laughed a little and felt it ripple torturously down the stretched mess of her. “Now just these ugly screams…”
“You think they’re ugly?”
“Of course.” She looked at the hooded figure as if they were stupid. “They’re *screams*.”
“Pain is only your body asking for help. Screams are just a plea for aid with all the frills stripped away.” Suddenly, she felt something give behind her and own of her wings whipped free, dangerous as a torn cable. “Asking for help is one of the most beautiful things you can do.”
She felt her other wing give way and spring sharply back through the squealing air.
The pain was excruciatingly gratifying.
“I will sit with you a while.” The hooded creature announced. “And we will see how it is we can help.”