I particularly want to express my thanks to Laurel C Kriegler who has been the creator of SFFS and primarily responsible for the group - thank you for putting up with our madness over the years! Here is a bottle of champagne for everyone - unfortunately only virtual!
My final snippet is the ending of Sorrel Swordless, a short story in which our brave heroine found herself confronting a large, hungry and dangerous horror. Again I'm grateful to Laurel for allowing me to break the usual sentence count so that I can conclude the tale! In the previous snippet, here, the creature struck out as Sorrel scrambled out of the lake onto her 'plane...
The glass side windows of the Swan shattered. The ruzdrool shrieked again, its high-pitched whistle sounding more like a steam train than a living creature. Dark blue ichor was dripping from deep gashes in the tentacles. It struck at the Swan again, driving its spines into the glass. I stared at it blankly, before realising what it was attacking. It had seen its reflection in the large sheets of glass, and had believed it faced the most deadly of all opponents – its own kind. A third assault broke the glass over the top of the cockpit, and then the giant ruzdrool tottered back on its stilt-legs, backing away, two of the tentacles severed. Ichor was pouring from the ruined flesh, and the ruzdrool clearly decided retreat was the better part of valour. It picked its way up the slope, past the bushes where Kelhene was still lurking, and moments later was out of sight.
By then I had scrambled over the top of the fuselage, evaded the broken glass, and swung down and into the cockpit. I had the coronet on my head a moment later, but my potential target had vanished.
The cockpit hatch opened again, and Kelhene scrambled inside.
'You all right, Sorrel?' At my affirmative, she sank into her seat with relief. 'Can we fly with this much damage?' she asked anxiously.
I nodded. 'it didn't smash the front windscreens' I said with relief. 'So long as I keep our speed down, we may get a bit winded, but we can fly.'
'What happened?' she asked. 'Why did it attack the 'plane?'
I grinned. 'For once, something actually listened to me – it picked on someone its own size.'
As always, comments welcome... and on that note, I bid SFFS farewell, with grateful thanks to everyone who has been a part of it over the years!