I'm going to post "Under Wicked Skies" here to see what people think. It's being sent out to publishers to be reviewed for publication soon, just like "Flee." No previous knowledge of my shapeshifters should be required to enjoy UWS.

So, that said… enjoy!




September 17th

Callie watched in shock as her best friend threw an uppercut directly at the violet-haired woman's chin. Elsa's blow connected firmly and with a slick crack, which made Callie wince.

Marissa stumbled backwards from the blow. For a moment, Callie was certain that the violet-haired Preyer was going over the edge of the high balcony. She wished it, and hoped it, but Marissa caught her balance as she slammed into the rail. The woman hissed and lunged back at her attacker.

Callie loomed in the distance as she watched Marissa's kick be blocked without so much as a look of distress from Elsa. She then tried a punch to the smirk on Elsa's face, to which Elsa merely stepped back.

Elsa punched her palm downward into Marissa's fist to block the strike, and then stomped her heel on the woman's foot.

At that, Marissa was livid, and Callie couldn't help but draw forth a smirk of her own. Marissa gave it one last shot- a strike at Elsa's collarbone with a straight hand- but was for a third time denied.

Callie could barely follow the action. With what seemed like one smooth motion, Elsa had blocked the strike with her forearm, grabbed Marissa's wrist, and had slid her arm behind violet hair. Another move later, Marissa was flipped to the ground, flat on her back.

Elsa accented the take down with a fist to Marissa's chest before stepping back to see if the Preyer could take any more.

Choking on her own breath, Marissa crawled away. She barked an order to Callie with what little breath she could gather. "Dornamo, you fight her!"

The secret little smile on Callie's face disappeared with a sigh. She knew why Elsa was here. She would not fight her friend, and told as much Elsa in a soft whisper.

Callie's comment was rewarded with a tinge of pain. Elsa hadn't seemed to hear her, and instead had sent the back of her hand to Callie's face.

As Callie recuperated from the shock, she heard Elsa's growled words, "You have to."

Callie didn't understand what was going on. Still keeping her voice down- so that Marissa would not hear while she licked her wounds- Callie asked, "What are you doing?"

Elsa took hold of Callie's shoulders. At first, Callie thought it to be a friendly gesture, one that meant the rouse was up and that she could go home. When Callie found Elsa's knee slammed into her stomach, however, she pushed that thought out of her mind. She pushed away the idea of going home as well when Elsa quickly shoved her backwards.

Screw politics, Callie thought bitterly. Maybe Elsa didn't understand. Maybe soft tones and head nods weren't working. She yelled, "I said I'm not fighting you!"

This time Callie received a kick powerful enough to twirl her halfway around. She felt Elsa's body crash into hers, and the two of them were forced to the ground. Elsa rolled until Callie's back was on the ground; Callie rolled until Elsa's was.

At length, they both slammed into the balcony railing. Callie was pinned.

Elsa glared harshly. Her wild green-gold eyes were filled with an intensity that frightened Callie. She growled, "Stay down!"

"Good idea!" Marissa exclaimed from behind them. The next moment, she kicked Elsa in the ribs. There was a certain look of glee upon her pale features.

Elsa began to stand with pain aching in her side; Marissa had done a bit of damage to her ribcage. She was wobbling slightly, and Callie saw that Elsa's hands were pining for the railing a few inches away.

Before Elsa could find her footing, Marissa sprung forward with another kick. The kick was more centered than the one to Elsa's side and the full force sent Elsa into the wooden railing. Her back met with little resistance, and the bars cracked the instant the young fighter hit.

"No!" Callie cried out.

She hurried to her feet as Elsa crashed through the balcony railing. Horrified, she remembered that they were over three hundred feet above harsh rocks and breaking water…