Ababil -- Arial Attack

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4 of The Bestiary A battle to save the Holy Land!

The Bestiary

Ababil -- Arial Attack By: Tyvara

Eerkes, leader of the Ababil forces, flew high over the battlefield. Below, his army of giant predatory birds lay siege to the elephant warriors sent to destroy Mecca. From his height the birds appeared as small triangles moving in perfect formation across the desert. Beneath them, the elephants were smaller, like grey ants trumpeting their displeasure as they scattered from another Ababil attack.

At this height Eerkes could speak and hear the angels better; the screeching Ababil, or the ear-shattering blasts from the elephant's trunks did not drown their words.

Eerkes hovered between two clouds, flexing his five digit feet with agitation. Why do angels always have to make an entrance? I know they're coming, but still they insist on theatrics.

Thanks to the telepathic link he shared with all Ababil, he could hear the voices of comrades crying out, only to be suddenly silenced, marking their death. His kind suffered down there just as much as they succeeded in pushing back the fierce elephant warriors. The Ababil may have the sky and the rudimentary magic they could produce with their feet, but the elephants had weapons. They did their damage.

Right as Eerkes wanted to fold his wings up and dive down to join his army, a flash of lightning sparked between the white clouds ahead. The lightning grew, jumping among the puffy clouds until finally landing on the cloud beside Eerkes.

With a fierce crackling the lightning etched out the shape of a tall figure, then filled that shape with more lightning until the details of an enchanting titian woman came into focus. Her large, red curls like spiraled rays of pure sunset, trailed down to her knees and contrasted against her white robes.

When she fully materialized, she dusted of the excess sparks from her robes and smiled at Eerkes. "Thank you," her voice echoed with the songs of a thousand angels, "for waiting so patiently."

She wears the Devine voice. Eerkes bowed his head.

"We have brought the spell to defeat the usurpers of Mecca. We trust that your armies can accomplish the task." Her gentle tone implied the faith in her words.

Eerkes nodded. "Our duty is to fulfill the will of God and protect Mecca."

The angel leaned forward and beckoned to Eerkes with a single finger.

He tilted his head in her direction, and she brought her mouth to his ear.

No words left her lips, but they filled his head with arcane knowledge. His mind reeled at the sudden influx of information. A headache formed between his eyes, the pain forcing his eyes closed. In an electric wave, the ache rocketed through his skull, down the back of his neck into his shoulder blades, and through his wings, climaxing when the painful shock arched across his keel and down into his feet.

When Eerkes opened his eyes again, the pain vanished as if it never existed. The angel too had gone. Angels, they make a scene even when you can't see them.

Following the instructions he'd just been given, Eerkes looked down at his feet, reciting the incantations he'd just learned. Within their grasp grew a large red-clay brick, hollowed out and filled with a powder he'd never seen, but now knew. Clutching the brick to his stomach, he folded up his wings, diving down to the desert below.

The triangular shapes of the other Ababil grew larger by the second. Wind whizzed through his feathers muffling the sound of rushing air to a distant roar. Everyone, scatter!

Their telepathic link brought each Ababil from their attack, pulling up and outward; their shape, as Eerkes dove, appeared as an inverted conic display pinpointing his targets -- a large group of elephants armed with flaming arrows.

Before they could change their targets, Eerkes opened his wings, whipping his legs from underneath as if he were snatching a camel from the sky, but instead he released the brick filled with powder. It spiraled down into the sand as Eerkes pulled upward. When the brick hit, it exploded into fire with a boom, sending huge balls of flames spinning across the ground. Shards of red clay splintered into infinite pieces, scattering across the elephant army like a swarm of knives.

As Eerkes beat his wings in long full strokes, he gained altitude, the fires barely singeing the tips of his tail-feathers. The heat still intense against his underside as if he'd been roasted.

Once beyond the reach of the elephants' weapons Eerkes shared the arcane gift sent from the heavens, passing on the secret through their linked minds.

The other Ababil took that knowledge and went after the invading army with knew vigor, flinging exploding bricks at their enemies until the desert blazed in a wall of fire.

The elephant warriors who survived turned from their trek toward Mecca, galloping across the sand back to their own land.

A victorious screech arose from the Ababil as they pursued the retreating elephants, flinging clay bricks at them as a warning never to return.

Eerkes surveyed the sight, watching his armies fight off their former attackers. Their triumphant elation filling his head with the success of his army. Below him the sand sparkled with spots of glass, reflecting the setting sun behind him like sanguine lakes. The sharp smell of burnt elephant and melted sand filled his nostrils. With Devine help and our skills in magic, we saved the city of Mecca. We have fulfilled our duty to God this day.

The End


Author's Notes:

A nice short flash story. Very little is in the book just that the Ababil are a race of enormous birds from the Koran, who, with clay bricks, drove back an invading army of elephants, sent by the king of Yemen. This is supposed to have happened in the year 571 when the prophet Mohammad was born.

I haven't read the Koran, because it's supposed to be hard (apparently it must be read in the original Arabic to really understand it). So I made up what the Ababil looked like and the details of the red-clay bricks.

Thanks for reading.