Sunday, November 28, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-Eight

So close. This is the last excerpt before the win, which I am expecting a day early (ie: tomorrow). Enjoy and I wish all my other NaNo cohorts a good finish in their dash for the 30th.

Peace and Writing Love,


* * *

The Shattered Darkness
Chapter 15 excerpt

The boat inched forward as if caught on a wake. Something was pushing them. They rocked for a moment and the bow shifted left slightly.

“Keep it straight, Sen.” Issy’s hand tightened around Senic’s. She scooted closer to him and lay her head against his.

The boat drifted on, the front taking its course now. The cavern opened to a wide chamber, the canal feeding into a vast lake. Knolls of grass existed on various islands that sprouted from the lake, the flowers from the other plain growing here as well. Gerad looked to the cavern ceiling as they drifted through the water. He could not keep his mind away from what Melana would have thought of this journey. After a short ride in silence, each of them looking to different areas of the lake, a larger wake rocked their starboard side. It was a minor splash at fist, followed up by a series of larger, more violent shoves. The green water sloshed onto their feet and boat bottom, drying as it had on Kyona’s hand. The wakes came from all directions, thrusting their boat unnavigable as Senic and Issy toppled over on each other.

“What’s happening?” Kyona asked.

“I feel something ahead,” Issy said. “It’s really strong.” She leaned away from the bow as the water continued to spray over the sides. She whined and put her head on her brother’s shoulder. “It hurts.”

“What do you feel?” Aroth asked.

“I can’t think right,” she cried. Senic also cried out, putting his hands out ahead, trying to hold off their pain.

“Something is pushing on me. A bad headache.”

“It is the domain’s defenses,” Aroth said. “Hang on, this is about to get rough.”

The water began to bubble and froth. Their boat spun in the foam and quickly took off across the lake, speeding by the small land dots and missing them barely. Giant upsurges of water stabbed into the air around them as they passed, as if siege engines were bombarding fire around their vessel. The green rain sprinkled down and they entered another cavern, the lake thinning off into a river again. The stinging water spat at them from the bow as they tore across the surface, and the children ducked low to the bench, gripping it.

“Don’t lose track, kids,” Aroth yelled to them. “This voyage is still under your control. Think through it.”

“It hurts!” Issy cried. “Make it stop.”

“Focus, Issy,” Kyona said.

She reached over Gerad, sitting on the boat floor with the kids and held them steady.

Gerad glared up ahead where a split in the river appeared. “Quick, Issy. You can do it. Help your sister, Senic.”

Although they continued to whine, the boat trembled, fighting to take both directions. It rocked wildly in the twins’ mental battle to take them down the right path. The river flooded into the boat now, filling too quickly to evaporate.

“Right,” Issy called, her brother repeating it almost on top of her. They rose up on their knees, taking their hands to the bow. The boat struggled for a second longer before they careened to the chosen path.

“Keep at it!” Aroth demanded again.

The children continued to call out the directions as they just came to the multiple paths the river opened at. The skimmed the side of the cavern, riding the wall as one of their choices came too late. The water continued to fill the boat.

“I see land ahead,” Kyona said. “A bit more, kids.”

Their screams became unbearable now, the pressure finally touching Gerad, also. The front of the boat sunk, mere yards from the shore the opened before them. The water weight inside the vessel took over and the bow dove under. The river gushed at them and they each went beneath the surface.

Gerad tossed and spun, blowing air through his mouth and yelling. His eyes bolted open, a green rush in his face and bubbles being thrown at him. He saw Kyona sweep ahead of him and he attempted to grab her, but she had wrapped herself around Issy. Senic was nowhere to be found. He spun over in the torrent, Aroth seemingly unconscious and being dragged at the rear. He heaved in, water entering his throat, but he burst out of the river with his next choking breath. They thudded onto the land with a flood tossing them ashore. He hacked and slammed his hand against his chest to spit up. Kyona rolled onto her side, Issy held in her arms with one hand covering her face. Splinters of wood exploded behind him as the boat found the shore. He wobbled to his feet, staggering to Kyona first. He pulled Issy off her and then took her up. Aroth came from behind, falling to the grass next to him.

Aroth took in an exhausted breath and looked up. He stared around. “Where’s the boy?” he asked. “Where is Senic?”

Gerad scanned the shore and gasped, stepping forward. “Renikarr, no,” he said in a prolonged breath. Senic lay face down in grass not ten steps ahead of them. He did not move.

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"Little by Little, One Goes Far." -- J.R.R Tolkien.

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