North Dawn Rising

by mystery-thriller author Mark David, imaginator of The Elements

You can sign up for the occasional Elements newsletter, follow Mark David on Twitter @authorMarkDavid. You can read more about his fiction on The Elements homepage or here on medium.


A scene based on a dream — being used and developed in a book of the same name… photo courtesy of P. Fabian.

Though it was the beginning of a new day, it was a bleak place to die. Some said the gods of old favored such a place though he couldn’t imagine why, all grey, cold and so wet, peaks of mountains capped in fog, ice and snow. These islands in the far North where lands melted and trees were non-existent, all of it disappearing once again, lost to clouds so dark that new day returned to night. The realization of a word called storm, the plane bouncing, battling against a headwind, pitch of the engines rising and falling. The pilot fought a fight against the gods, desperate to hold onto the last vestiges of control, swaying one way, then the next. He had known this before, the comfort of familiarity obliterated by that sudden, steep and violent lurch to the right, taking the plane and is passengers away from the alignment with the runway, wings rising, dipping steeply, too steep, losing altitude quickly.

It was if someone had lifted away the veil of darkness, wings slicing through clouds that had seemed so thick as to be impregnable. A glimpse of ocean, a flash of blue-white, breakers like so many small white horses taller than houses crashing against basalt.

He registered the screams from the passengers, shaken out of his reverie to look into the face of fear, scared people losing control sitting in seats, children crying, mothers frantic. Businessmen with closed eyes, pretending this wasn’t happening to them. A groan of motors, flaps extending steeply downwards, to their maximum extent. A vain, desperate measure of a fight for survival and all the time wing tips bouncing and shuddering, the expectancy of disintegration. No warnings, no explanation. Nothing other than this. A sound, fast. Felt. A trail of smoke torn apart. A flash of fire and then it was gone. Whatever it had been. And the plane was turning back, wings rising in opposition to where they had been before.

He felt they were back on track, the rise and fall of waves close now, so close as to make them truly terrifying, the biggest waves he had ever seen so enormous as to make any appreciation of the scale of the ocean vague and meaningless.

A bump, so hard it felt like they had hit the ground. One of the overhead luggage doors swung open, upwards, a coat and an item of hand luggage falling down to the floor, hitting a male passenger on his shoulder. Another bump even more violent than the first, people screaming, louder now ocean near, waiting to accept their carnage with open chilling arms, swaying, then the moment when the pilot eased back, engines calming waiting for the crash.

Ocean turned to surf and surf tore at rock. Rock eating grass, grass becoming… fire, a trail of debris, a glint of metal amongst the thick black smoke telling them this is hell in the cold, frozen North and all around them the wind that never died. It wasn’t their fire, another fire, wreckage but wreckage from what? Strewn across the fields, fields becoming asphalt ripped apart and burning with the remains of fuel and unknown combustibles, the engineering feats of man reduced to litter, like scraps of tin foil soiled and sundered. And soon, you will be one of us lying scattered, some still, some running around in flames. For tomorrow, there can never be another severnaya zarya rost: a north dawn rising.


by mystery-thriller author Mark David, imaginator of The Elements

You can sign up for the occasional Elements newsletter, follow Mark David on Twitter @authorMarkDavid. You can read more about his fiction on The Elements homepage or here on medium.

If you want, contribute to developing the collection Stories To Imagine, working with elements of the imagination from the real world.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.