Blackened Skies Met Us…

Aaaaand….I’m done!  Now I’m caught up. Phew! Actually, this one was really fun for me. The prompt for this video was:

“Take the following sentence as a beginning of a story/scene of a story and write for 15 minutes – ‘Blackened skies met us as we approached the capital.’ ”

The moment I read the word “capital,” my retro fantasy novel Prism World jumped to mind, so the story segment I wrote is part of that series of stories. Actually, this is the beginning of a short story I have been meaning to write about how Leif and Lightning got their first child, their son, James.

Blackened skies met us as we approached the capital. A moment later, broad, heavy raindrops began to spatter our windshield, and Leif frowned as he flicked on the windshield wipers.

“A gloomy day for a gloomy city…” he muttered.

I glanced over at my husband briefly before turning my attention back to the scenery outside. Most of the debris from the battle we had fought a couple months prior had been removed, but I could still see the charred remains of the buildings that had been hit by mortar fire from the old government’s tank rounds. Flashbacks of that day sifted through my mind. Rain… It had been raining then, too. I could still see Blade’s face in my mind. It wasn’t something I could tell Leif, but I always thought of Blade. I wished that things had been different. I wished I had not had to kill him. I loved Leif, but I had loved Blade, too. In a different way, though. Not the way I loved my husband. It wasn’t something I knew how to explain.

I glanced up as Leif pulled our car to a stop in front of a tall building in the center of the city. Patski was already standing in the doorway, a dark black umbrella in hand, smoking a cigar as he watched us step out of the car.

I listened as the muddied gravel crunched underneath my feet. Leif appeared at my side a moment later, holding an umbrella over my head. It was something he did frequently. Said something about it being a requirement as a gentleman. I still wasn’t sure what that meant.

“Talk to me, Patski,” Leif said as we joined our comrade in front of the silent building. “What is it you think Lightning would want to see?”

Patski flashed us a wry grin, drawing in another breath from his cigar before motioning for us to follow him inside.

“We’ve gathered all of the Phantom children we could find,” the older man explained as he led us down a darkened hall.

“They’re here?” I questioned.

Patski nodded.

Well, they were obviously Phantoms, then. The whole building was silent as a tomb. Only our footsteps broke the quiet.

“And you thought we should visit them?” Leif mused, raising an eyebrow at our companion.

“Hmm…” Patski shrugged. “I doubt you would mind. But that’s not really the reason I called you.”

“Then what was it?”

Without a word, Patski led us into a darkened room. There were cribs here, each one holding a tiny form. I paused to stare at the figures in the cribs, frozen to the spot. It was the first time I had ever seen a baby before.

“These are all of the Phantoms aged newborn to 1 year,” Patski explained, throwing his cigar out in the hall and stepping further inside. “I called you because I thought Lightning might be interested in one.”

“Me?” I questioned, looking at the man in confusion.

“Yes,” Patski nodded, pausing next to a cradle in the far corner. “A boy, 2 months old. We found his pedigree. His father was your old friend, Blade.”

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