Friday, December 15, 2017

Fiction Friday Excerpt

The last few days have been really busy, plus I’ve been a little under the weather. I didn’t want to miss this post since I already missed my Wednesday post, so I’ll cut to the chase. This week’s excerpt pretty much follows last week’s. Our intrepid heroes have escaped the Children of Lavan and keep going.

Excerpt - Lost and Found

“I can’t believe we escaped,” Sara said, dropping her pack to the ground.

“I can’t believe we entered at the same spot we exited,” Nathan said. At her curious look, he added, “How else do you explain finding our packs again?”

“Nathan,” she said slowly. “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I could swear that just when I thought the watchers were going to catch up to us, the Myste shifted and swept the closest ones away.”

He hesitated, then said, “I don’t think you’re crazy, I thought I saw the same thing too. And think it was like it...reached for us, bringing us to safety.”

“What do you think it means?”

He shook his head. “I have no idea.”

The grove they sheltered in had nothing more ominous in it than a family of rabbit like creatures who bounded off across the plain to a different grove. Small birds twittered and chirped in the trees, and the wind made a shushing sound in the long grass. Nathan and Sara finally felt able to relax.

The first thing they did was check the food situation. The bread and fruit Patience had supplied them with, what seemed like a lifetime ago, was no good and they tossed it aside. However there was still plenty of dried stuff, and cheese sealed up in wax. Their water bottles, unfortunately were nearly empty and they chose not to waste what little they had trying to stew anything. After feasting on one of the cheeses and some dried fruit, Sara changed from her gown into her own clothes and felt immeasurably better.

The sun began to lower in the sky and after building a small fire from twigs and broken branches they found scattered around, they sat close to one another and watched the sun set. It was spectacular, as though putting on a show just for them.

The night was warm, but not unpleasantly so, and they slept cuddled up to each other beside the fire. The sky remained clear, the weather pleasant, and the only insects were the ones heard in the grass or buzzing around the fire. There was the call of some kind of hunting beast, but it was far enough away that it didn’t worry them unduly.

“What do you think?” Nathan asked in the morning. “Should we stay here another night? Or keep moving?”

“I know you don’t believe the Children of Lavan have any experience travelling the Myste, but I think I’d feel better putting a couple more worlds between us. Besides, we’re getting low on water.”

The next world was a grassy plain stretching away in all directions. In one direction there was the faint outline of a mountain range, the opposite direction a glimmer of what could have been some large body of water, but it was too far away to warrant travelling to. Between the two were mile upon mile of waving grass.

Next they found themselves on a long, narrow peninsula. The crashing water was at least a hundred feet below them, with no way to get down to it. There were, however, fruit trees along the leeward side of the cliffs.

Nathan picked one of the fruits and his face lit up. “It’s pira fruit! Kelvin and I could practically eat our weight in it when it was in season back on Trellian.”

They were careful not to overdo it, not wanting to make themselves sick, but it made a welcome addition to their supplies. Sara also discovered a variety nut trees growing nearby, and after watching a group of squirrel like creatures to see which nuts they ate and which they rejected, she was able to gather a respectable amount, using a piece of her formerly white gown to carry them in.

“At least it turned out to be good for something,” she told Nathan with a grin.

After a day on the peninsula, the crashing waves became a little tedious, and they really didn’t want to have to swim for it if the Myste moved, so they moved on again.

This time they emerged from the Myste into a powerful storm. The wind took their breath away as they were lashed by a cold rain. They were thoroughly soaked in seconds. The rain made it hard to see - there was no lightning to light up the landscape.

“There,” Nathan said, shouting to make himself heard over the storm. He pulled Sara along with him towards whatever it was he’d seen.

It turned out to be a stand of trees, some kind of pine with branches that dipped down to the ground. Under other circumstances Sara would have protested taking shelter under a tree during a storm, but there was no thunder or lightning, and while it wasn’t completely dry underneath the fragrant branches, at least they were somewhat sheltered from the wind.

“Well,” she said. “You said to keep an eye out for water. Now all you have to do is find some way of collecting it.”

“We can just wring it out of our clothes,” Nathan said ruefully.

They spent an uneasy night in the meager shelter of the tree. The storm didn’t let up at all, in fact Sara was sure it was getting worse. All of a sudden there was a booming crash, then another, then another. They looked at each other.

“We’ve got to get out of here,” Nathan said.

The crashes were getting closer as they crawled out from under their protection. The rain was definitely coming down harder as they raced to the Myste, which fortunately had not moved during the night.

“Now this is more like it,” Sara said, when they emerged in a warm, pleasant, wooded area. The trees were a mixture of hardwood and softwood, diffused sunlight streaming down through their leaves. Flowers were growing freely on shrubs between the trees as well as coming up from the ground itself. There was the chorus of birds in the trees and only a hint of a breeze.

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