The Blue Woman and the High Wood
Book Two in the Nyla Series
(C) 2018 Adam Cole
Published by Nuncici Press, an imprint of Adam Cole Works LLC
It’s howling intensified. It would not be subjugated to the minor. It was the fundamental, it was the normal.
It was the truth.
So Nyla played a third note, a harmony on the harmony. It turned the interval into a chord. With a little thought, she discovered there were many such notes to play, many choices for a third note. She could make the interval of the wind and the High Wood joyous, or sad, or mysterious as she saw fit. She had a choice for how she would respond to these feelings.
A choice. What was the choice now? How had she handled the storm in the past?
She remembered. She remembered something. Something blue.
The blue woman.
As Nyla played, even with her eyes closed, she thought she saw the sea. And far out upon the waves near the horizon she imaged a blue light, bright like the blue sky against the black clouds, gleaming and sparkling, lighting up the dark.
The blue woman came through the water unimpeded, untroubled by the sea or the waves or the wind, as if she was the solid thing and all this world was nothing but a dream. Nyla saw her clearly with her eyes closed, though the sea was far away and the woman just a luminescent dot. Nyla kept her eyes closed as she played, afraid to open them, afraid it would make the music and the woman vanish again.
She was so beautiful, that translucent blue goddess, growing larger, more awe-inspiring, by the minute. Despite her great size, her face was childlike and appealing, curious, gentle. The long braids that hung from her head swayed far over the waves as she walked, as if, though above the surface of the waves, the woman herself traveled under a different kind of ocean that extended as high as the sky.
Though the water did not touch her, she seemed to be standing on the bottom, so that as she approached the shore she rose from the depths like a colossus. Her eager eyes took her face left and right as she searched for the source of the sound, the beautiful string note that sailed above the drone interval of the storm and the High Wood. Then, in a heart stopping moment, her open eyes met Nyla’s closed ones. She smiled.
That smile of recognition, of fondness! Nyla felt so close to this person, though she had no memory whatsoever of who she might be. The brightness of the blue coming out of her face, like an internal lantern light, made it difficult to really see her features.
Nyla heard people screaming over the storm. She could not see them, could only see the imagined scenario of the woman approaching from the distant shore, but she had a sense that perhaps what she was imagining was real, was actually coming to pass, and that the blue woman was now visible to everyone. The woman came closer.
Now in Nyla’s imagination she stood behind the bonfire, though that must have blown out long ago in the storm, and all the people were gone. The blue woman was significantly reduced in size, as if she maintained the same relative size as she had come close. She stared plaintively at Nyla, wordless, unable to ask a very important question.
It was only Nyla on one side of the fire and the woman on the other. The clearing was bare. The sound of the storm had faded to a dull whistle far in the distance, as if it belonged to another world, one behind the closed door. “Who are you?” Nyla asked, and she heard her own voice clearly.
The woman smiled, the way one might smile at a baby that has made an appealing sound. But she did not answer. She seemed indecisive, unwilling to move or to give over any kind of signal.
What did she want, Nyla wondered, as she heard the sound of the storm and the High Wood far, far away, maintaining their drone. The third note remained to be played on her Vie A’Lyn, any chord she wanted, any take on her situation, any way she wanted to paint this picture.
Was the woman a threat? No, of course not.
Was she real? Hard to say.
Were they related?
Nyla certainly felt so. She wanted so badly for the woman to answer her, explain the connection. But no sound came from the woman, only the pitiful look of a speaker that wants to explode with the silence that is forced upon them. Her eyes were full, her lips sealed, her blue cheeks trembling with the air behind them.
“What do you want?” Nyla asked.
The woman did not answer. She couldn’t, Nyla figured. Otherwise she’d obviously be asking for it. She didn’t really know, maybe, or she wasn’t allowed.
It was up to Nyla to figure it out.
Nyla stood up and began walking around the fire towards the blue woman.
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More about The Blue Woman and the High Wood
Now that Veer Isle was secure, it was time for the hero Vival to take Nyla to see the Sand Witch. Accompanied by Chere/Sherluck and Tom the Incredibly Helpful Sword, Nyla and Vival board a ship bound for Zen.
But trouble begins as soon as the ship leaves the harbor. A terrible storm comes up. The sailors want to throw Nyla from the ship. And rising out of the ocean is the mysterious Blue Woman.
Adam Cole is an author and music educator in Atlanta, GA. He has written numerous books and stories for children, as well as a number of adult and non-fiction titles including Motherless Child and Seven Ways the World Can End.
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