Abby and the Cloud

Once, Abby was swimming in Lake Turkana. As she splashed and paddled about, a green log floated up. She climbed onto the log, and it started to sink. Being a logical person, Abby tried to pull on it, not wanting to sink. Suddenly, the log exploded out of the water and floated up and up into the air. Then it burst through the clouds and floated, bobbing up and down and occasionally sinking below the clouds, as if it was in water.

Abby looked down and nearly fell off the log. The ground was MILES below, and Lake Turkana looked like a puddle. She stopped looking down, afraid she might throw up. Turning her attention back to the clouds in front of her, Abby was surprised to see: People!

“Hey!” she called, waving frantically. “I’m–” Her cry was cut off as the log dipped under the clouds, resurfacing with a surprised and spluttering Abby.

“Hey! You there!” A strange man’s voice called, and then strong arms grabbed her shoulders, pulling her out of the clouds.

Abby gasped with relief as her feet landed on solid wood–well, as solid as could be expected on a roiling sea of clouds. Wait–this was WOOD! Looking around, Abby realized she was on a ship. A man was pulling her log out of the water, while another wrapped a blanket as warm as sunbeams and soft as moonlight around her shoulders. But there was something odd about these men. It took Abby a moment to figure it out–they had wings!

The strange cloud people laughed at her startled expression. But what surprised Abby even MORE was that the men spoke ENGLISH. “We’d better take her to the capital,” a tall cloud man said.

The others nodded their agreement, and one of them trotted down a steep, short set of stairs, returning several moments later. “They’re sending a dragon,” the man told them.

Before Abby could fully comprehend what he had said, a dragon appeared right above them. She shrieked. The men, ignoring her frightened protests, took her arms and lifted her onto the dragon, instructing her to hold tight and close her eyes. Abby obeyed, and there was a rush of screaming wind that seemed to nearly rip off her head. Then she was tumbling from the dragon’s back onto marble. It took several moments for her to realize the roaring in her ears was laughter.

Face burning from embarrassment, Abby scrambled up. A crowd of cloud people were watching her, not to mention several pegasi, dragons, and some lion-eagle things (griffins, she later found out). The laughing stopped as a tall, white haired women stepped forward.

“Greetings, land-child. Welcome to–” The woman’s greeting was cut short by a sound like two mountains crashing against each other. Everyone froze.

A man with gray hair stepped toward the women. “Quickly, my queen! It is you The Cloud seeks!”

The queen hesitated, then nodded and leaped aboard a brilliant white pegasus. The winged horse sprang into flight, winging rapidly toward a gigantic pearl-white building. The whole city erupted into chaos with her departure.

“Run! It will kill us all!” someone screamed.

“No! We must stay and fight!” Someone else protested.

Abby was bumped and jostled by the frantic crowd, and would have been crushed if the dragon she had just ridden on hadn’t scooped her up onto it’s back. The dragon twisted around and handed her something: the log. Abby’s eyes fell on an abandoned carving knife lying on the marble street. A plan began to form in her bewildered brain.

Quickly, she got to work, cutting and scraping until she had a sizable–though green–club. Turning, she saw several mean-looking dragons advancing on the panicked people. With a grim smile, Abby leaped off the dragon and charged.

The carving knife flashed out, and blood sprayed. The club flew in a deadly arc, and a dragon crumpled to the ground. Opponent after opponent, slash after swipe, the land-child fought her way forward until she was right under The Cloud.

And what a cloud it was! Big as a continent, roiling like a stormy ocean and rippling with grey, dark grey, and black. The wind tugged her in all directions, and Abby had to fight to stay upright. Lightning flashed, and her club splintered into a million sharp pieces. That gave Abby an idea.

Quickly, she found a suitable stick, pulled a few hairs from her head, and gathered some broken glass. Hands swift with terror, Abby tied the last knot and aimed her new bow. The glass pointed splinter struck the heart of The Cloud, and with a loud whoosh and a rush of wind….

…the evil cloud erupted in a shower of droplets.

As the people cautiously crept out of their hiding places, the queen landed in front of Abby and opened her mouth to tell the land-child how grateful they were. Whatever words she was about to say, however, was lost to Abby as there was a loud whoosh of wind,  and the green log appeared in her hands.

Instantly Abby began to sink. As soon as she was out of the clouds, she was in free-fall. With a splash she landed in the water, clinging to the log and being stared at by five enormous crocodiles. Abby punched one in the nose and hit another with the log. The three remaining swam away in a frenzy, and Abby paddled back to shore and took a shower.

And that is what happened, once when Abby was swimming in Lake Turkana.



This story is fictional. Any connection with real people, places, creatures, or events is completely on purpose.

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