story promptHere is Day 11’s efforts – and believe me, it really was an effort! Between a sniffly nose, coughing fits and almost dozing off, I managed to get this piece written…

The dying phoenix flickered with a deep red light, lines of black highlighting his feathers. It reminded Gianna of the embers of a fading fire. She couldn’t help but be entranced by the sight. She had never seen a phoenix, let alone the rarity of a dying one.

She kept out of sight amongst the deep brush of the forest. She thought she should be sad that his life was ending, but knowing that he would be reborn as a new phoenix took that away. It was a miracle, not a tragedy – a miracle she was so very lucky to watch.

The phoenix had woven a nest of twigs, grass and fallen feathers which it now nestled into, breathing shallowly. The black streaks were spreading rapidly across his body. Gianna knew it wouldn’t be long now.

Soon, the black covered the bird’s entire body, only hairline cracks of red glowing beneath. The glow slowly faded until he was midnight black, no hint of the magic fire to be seen. A moment later, flames burst into life, completely engulfing him. They crackled loudly, shooting high, singeing the leaves of the tree above the nest.

The flames were short-lived, dying out into a pile of ashes in the nest. A happy shudder ran up her spine. It was so incredible to watch. The baby phoenix would appear from the ashes in just a few moments.

Voices reached her sensitive elfin ears. Humans! She swiftly climbed an oak tree nearby. Getting into the higher branches, she scanned the area. Flashes of colour could be seen between the foliage. For a moment, as the humans passed through a clearing, she caught a better glimpse of them.

Her blood ran cold.

A sorcerer was among them. Not only that, but he was using a tracking sphere, a magical crystal ball that showed a desired object’s location. They were headed straight for the phoenix.

She gritted her teeth. They were after the phoenix! It was so vulnerable at the moment, they would have no problem capturing it and using it for their own awful purposes.

She couldn’t let that happen to the innocent creature. Swinging her bow off her shoulders, she dropped down to some lower branches, making sure she had a clear view of the phoenix’s nest. Nocking an arrow, she kept another two ready and trained her bow at the point of the forest where the hunters would appear.

Their voices were very close now, excitement ringing clearly in their tones. She scowled as she heard them bragging about all the money they would make off the phoenix.

The sorcerer came into view. Gianna drew and released the nocked arrow, aiming for the trunk to his left.

Startled, he yelped and dropped his tracking sphere. It rang softly as it cracked against a sharp stone. Gianna grinned. Try using that again to track a defenceless creature.

Her second arrow took off one of the hunter’s hats, pinning it to a tree behind him. He ducked involuntarily, shouting at the others. They all looked around wildly, trying to find the source of the attack.

In a blur of movement, two of them headed for the phoenix’s nest. A warning shot was enough to stop one of them in his tracks, but the other charged ahead.

“You give me no choice,” she muttered to herself. An arrow slammed into his leg. He screamed and collapsed.

Gianna hopped nimbly down from the tree and trained her drawn bow at the intruders. “Leave now and I will spare you.” Honestly, the thought of actually killing someone nauseated her, but they didn’t need to know that she couldn’t do it.

One of them helped the injured man to his feet, half-carrying him away. They threw dark glances back at her. She had a feeling they might come back and try again. Hopefully, the phoenix would be long gone by then.

She turned to the nest. The pile of ashes stirred, a small beaked head poking out.

She drew in a sharp breath as the hatchling shook himself off and spread his tiny wings. They glittered in the sunlight, shining an iridescent azure colour.

“A blue phoenix!”

This could change everything…

Thanks for reading, hopefully I will have more energy tomorrow! 🙂

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