Changelings in Paris

Stephen's Clarity

She Was Beautiful...

1. You remember the first time you caught her, how she felt in your arms, how her breath quickened as you drew her close. She was beautiful, everything you’d ever wanted. You climbed with her into a room where you made love. You fell asleep holding her in your arms, her hands pulling yours close. You remember the smell of her hair, like lavender and something you couldn’t place, but it smelled like what you imagined a rainbow would smell like. She shifted in her sleep, waking you up, but you didn’t mind, you’d just shift with her.
After a while, you don’t know how long, she flew away again. You followed her, knowing that eventually you’ll catch her, and that reward will be so sweet. She turns, shapes her head from that of a magpie back to a human for just a moment, and blows you a kiss. You speed up.
2. A noise cracks through the room, waking you from a deep slumber. It takes you a moment to identify it, when you realize it’s a rifle. Tricia transforms in front of you and begins flying away, up, calling for you to follow her. You quickly do, climbing up towards a library. More shots are fired, one narrowly misses you, flying past your leg. Above you, you see Tricia’s wing clipped. She falls down toward you, you catch her and push on upward, climbing to the other side of the platform. A panther snarls at you, you hit it’s head and continue up.
In your ear, Tricia whispers “I love you”, and she falls into unconsciousness, returning to her humanoid form as she loses control over her magic. The platforms become more unstable, shaking and shifting. Tricia is losing blood fast, you can feel it running down your back. You have to get her safe soon or she won’t make it. You have to get her out of here. You can get her out of here.

3. Your breathing is heavy now, they’re catching up. Tricia’s breathing is shallow and she’s still unconscious. You have to put her down, readjust your grip, take a breath, maybe put a bandage on her wounds. As you let her go for that moment the platform shifts and Tricia falls down.
You can’t look down. If you see her corpse you’ll have to admit that she’s dead. You can’t do it. Tears falling down your face, you continue to climb, your eyes stinging. They’ve set something on fire. Maybe that’ll hide you. Silently you plead with the smoke to hide you, to keep them from finding you.
From beneath you hear a scream- Tricia’s scream.

4. Her shrill screams follow you. “AHH! NO! Don’t hurt me. Please! Don’t! I’m sorry, take what you want of mine!”
Gunshots ring out and bullets whiz by you. Birds fly around you, protecting you, but nothing can protect you from her screams, which have stopped being words. The birds fly toward the hunters, and a door appears in front of you. Tricia stops screaming and yells “GO! just go. I’ll be fine.”
The door swings open.
“I love y-AHHHHH” she cuts off into a high pitched scream.
IF HE TRIES TO RUN BACK TO HER: You are pushed by an enormous panther, and fall through the door.



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