I’m still staring when beside me a Joseph man’s scream turns into a gurgle. He claps a hand to the dagger in his neck and drops out of the saddle, and I’m staring straight into the iron face of a Coyote. His sword is coming my way before I can react; it rings against my breastplate with a force that makes me reel in the saddle. Tariq rears, squealing; I get a grip on myself and on my hilt and block the Coyote’s next blow, bringing Tariq back down to all fours. The Coyote takes the parry easily and turns it into a wind, but the motion makes my shoulder scream pain –
My hands are flying across the keys, sweat trickling down my back, the story flowing from my soul to my fingertips… then my cellphone rings, the funky tune that inexplicably makes me think of James Bond breaking through my train of thought. I blink, coming back from the action-packed world of my YA fantasy novel. It takes a moment to drift out of the imaginary mind of my hero Sir Flann Hildebrand, courageous fighter of evil and succourer of the innocent, and back to being Firn Hyde, a small and quite ordinary teenager-aspiring novelist who is incidentally terrified of speaking to strangers, especially on the phone.
I fumble for my unicorn-sticker-festooned Samsung and groan. It’s an unknown number. For a moment I dither, but it might be something important, like someone telling me I’ve won the Lotto or something. So I answer.
“This had better not be another of those machines that sound like people,” growls a voice that sends a jolt all the way up my spine. It’s a voice I’ve never heard before, but its echoes ring with a strange familiarity in my mind. Deep, gravelly, with an edge of sarcasm sharper than the speaker’s broadsword.
It can’t be. “Uh, nope. Firn speaking.”
“Thank goodness. Shea’s wonderful cotton socks, girl, I’ve been hunting for you all day.”
“For me?” My voice rises to the usual unflattering squeak. No one will ever talk about Shea’s socks, wonderful or otherwise, because Shea was a hero who doesn’t exist and lived in a country that doesn’t exist.
“So I’m told. I have a small problem on my hands right now, and I’m told I need your help with it.” The voice snorts, a sound so familiar that despite my bewilderment it brings a smile to my face.
“Is there an echo in this room? Shut your mouth and listen. I was born probably, oh, about six hundred years ago. I’ve no clue what I’m doing in what I’m told is the twenty-first century. Thing is, there’s a war on right now in Arishea, where I belong, and I bet the filthy Bahaduryans sent me here to get me out of the way. And I need to get back. Now.”
I know the answer to my question, but I hardly dare to breathe it. “Who are you?”
“The name’s Sir Flannery Hildebrand, and you call me Hildebrand. Flann, if you must. I’m told you know about me.”
The Daily Prompt inspired this one, but then again… which writer doesn’t secretly wish their hero would give them a call? 😀 I had fun with this. Now it’s your turn: Do you have a favourite fictional character, your own or someone else’s, that you wish would phone you? Do tell!