Tie Fling Ranger who suffers from nosebleeds -Areanna

Meticulous tie fling Ranger from the now dry swamp who suffers from nosebleeds
I had added profanity to this for a different terrible minds challenge. It did help me punch it up a bit, but I decided to take out the profanity because it is really not my writing style. This is one of my favorite flash fiction stories. Captain Hank Myer, Areanna, and Captain Hank Myer are continuations of it.



You wouldn't know it from my current location of standing on the sidewalk looking up at skyscrapers, but I am from the dry swamp land. The swamp was long gone years before I existed, but a fossil of a sea creature I found in the desert waste land is always in my pocket. My hand clasped the shape and touch the spiral curve moving my finger along its bumps. Wherever I wander, this bit of my home is in my pocket.

A small creature at my left shoulder says, "Tie fling, you can't stand here. Everyone can see that you’re a tie fling.”
"What the -halfling. There are..."

"Must I explain. Your height!  You’re at least a half a head taller than everyone around you. And, your stillness. No normal human is still, at least not in the city. Come this way before there is danger." His nose twitched with every syllable. By his stature and twitching, I guessed he is a mole halfling who, I was once told, rarely come out in the day and prefer the city sewers.

"No way. I’m not going with you. If you are so observant, you'd know I am a sky pirate ranger waiting to join my ship." I sniff at the beginnings of another bloody nose. Whenever I am the least bit agitated, I get one and this creature is agitating.

"Damn. A girl, a girl ranger. Never heard of such a thing," he walked around me looking at every inch of my six foot-eight-inch frame. I was taller than the human men around me and my meticulously tailored ranger uniform didn't fit the dress on the city streets. I was standing out while standing too still.  

"Girl, you’re catching the eye of everyone who passes. You know, in the city of Vusilla, creatures are not allowed on the streets between eight in the morning and eight at night."

"Then, get away from me, creature, and go back into your hole," I pulled out my hanky and placed it under my nose. In a pinched nasal tone, I continued. "You’re attracting attention by circling me. Shove off."

"Come, you must come with me." He stopped circling and looked at me pleadingly.

"No," I hissed wishing the ladder would drop and I would be rid of this creature. I tilted my head to let the blood drain down my throat instead of into my now soaked hanky. "Yaldit, it's eleven. Where's the ladder?"  

The ladder appeared when the mole halfling yanked on my coat and had pulled me three feet from my spot. I shoved him with the hand not pinching the bridge of my nose and with the same hand grabbed the ladder. The airship's bow was peaking through the cloud bank towards the top of the skyscrapers. I placed the one bloodless corner of my hanky in my mouth hoping that this placement would catch any blood before it hit my clean shirt and started to climb. The sky ship also rose taking me further from the ground, the mole, and the world of men.

“I command you! Don’t leave," shouted the mole halfling. He jumped and grabbed the last rung of the ladder. I shook the ladder and hoped he would drop.  

The blood would gush if I tilted my head down, so I kept my head up trying not to be covered with blood, again. The mole climbed below me as he puffed a breath with each rung he ascended. When I reached the bow of the ship, Rasnalph waited with a clean wad of cloth.  

I grabbed the cloth as I swung on the ship.
“Rasnalph.” I spit out the bloody hanky and put the fresh one to my nose. “There’s a mole on the ladder. Where's the captain?”

The mole halfling hoisted himself on the ship.

Before he answered, the captain greeted the mole halfling.

"Glad you're aboard, Bissbort," said the Captain shaking the mole halfling's hand. I stopped myself from asking the questions crossing my mind when Bissbort looked at me. He gave a barely perceptible shake of his head and implored me with his eyes not to say a thing about what happened on the ground.

Yaldit was at his post watching the ground through a brass telescope, "The land of men is oblivious to what's really going on as usually. Well, at least in the city, they are. We almost tangled with men picking up Samige in the farmland."

"Good to have you back on board, Areanne. Who's the shorty?" asked Rasnalph.

The captain announced, "This new crew member is Bissbort and he will be directing our mission to and through the land of fog. His commands are my commands."

No way, the annoying halfling mole.

Bissbort hooked his thumb through his faded green vest, puffed out his chest and announced, "The mission is of utmost importance and this crew was specifically chosen for this task. That is... except for Areanne." He pointed his stubby finger at me. "You will get back on the ladder and descend. We hover over the building of Rock and Cross for your immediate departure."

I stood staring at Bissbort not believing what I was hearing. Rasnalph, my friend of nine years, shoved me towards the ladder. Without a word, I climb back on the ladder, descended, and kept my head tilted back.  

A group of six men in black suits surrounded me when I jumped to the ground. My mind blanked. I leveled my head and held the rag Rasnalph had handed me to my nose. It soaked through with blood before I could pinch my nose in hopes of stopping the bleeding.

"This way," was the last sound in my ears before blackness took over my vision.
I hit the ground.



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