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no ordinary girl, dema
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Mohana


The aunts tried to encourage her to settle on the sofa with a nice cup of tea, but Mohana couldn’t sit. She paced wildly, twisting her hands, ignoring every attempt at sympathy and reassurance offered her. Even in her state, she hadn’t missed that the aunts had avoided answering her question. What do they do with the people they take? What will they do to my sister?

Once a pace, Mohana’s reflection flashed in a wall-mounted mirror and she caught a glimpse of herself. Her strawberry blonde hair had fallen out of his plait and hung loosely over her shoulders, swept back by the wind. Her usually fair face was flushed with cold and emotion and her cheeks were tear-streaked. Scrambling around between lizard and human forms had taken its toll on her clothes, which were muddy and ripped in places. Her shoulders were tense, her cornflower-blue eyes feral, the limp which should be in her step masked by a desperate absent-mindedness. How would Mohana stand that reflection if Zohar never came back? How could she bear looking into a mirror for the rest of her life and seeing her missing sister?

When the first shouts came from outside, Mohana bolted before anyone else in the hatefully calm sitting room had a chance to react. She wasn’t listening; wilful misperception made her hear yells of joy, her sister’s triumphant cry, the clatter of her irritating pegasus’ hoofprints. It wasn’t Zohar.

It was the oncoming storm.

The shouts turned to screams. Mohana barely had time to register the crackling lightning and swirling black clouds before she was ripped from the ground and hurtled, spinning, into the air. Her own scream was torn from her lungs, whipped silently away in the deafening roar of the thunderous weather. Time became irrelevant. It may have been months or only seconds before she crashed back down again, the upper half of her back slamming hard against an unforgiving surface, her legs still free-falling. A second after that, she smashed into the ground.

Face-up, lying on the hard, paved ground, Mohana could not even find the bring herself to groan. Breath had not yet returned to her lungs, and she struggled to draw it. From this angle, she could see that she had been deposited mid-air by the storm, which had now vanished. In her descent, the upper half of her body had hit the roof of a barn or stable block before she hit the ground. Although her throbbing back told her otherwise, this was probably a good thing: it had both slowed her descent as well as altering the angle at which she fell, ensuring she hit the earth bottom-first instead of head-first.

The sky looked wrong, but it took her a minute to work out why. It was still blue, but… the wrong kind of blue. Deep blue, flexible, flowing. Was that… was that water? A ceiling of pure water above her head?

Footsteps beat the ground with urgency. Mohana struggled to find her breath.

“Zohar?” She gasped, ever hopeful.
image by Robin Orchard at flickr.com



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