For this story, it is Calcifer's job to do the disclaimer

Cal: Russa does not own HMC


Howl plunged towards the mountains, spinning out of control. A trail of black feathers marked the path of his fall, until there were no more.

Howl wished with all his heart that he could see Sophie one more time, but he knew it was impossible. His chest burned, keeping the wizard from concentrating enough to cast a spell. The trees spiraled nearer and nearer.

Howl resigned himself to death, closing his eyes tight. He crashed into the slope hard. The breath whooshed out of him, and he heard more than one crack. The wizard was engulfed in fiery pain, until he wished for death.

The last thing Howl saw before losing consciousness was a dark shape looming above him.