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 like my storm! When we tried to get away. Only it’s yours!”
“Highboy! What are you talking about?”
“Didn’t you say a storm tried to keep you? On that island? I think it followed you here! It found you, maybe!”
“Are you sure?” Nyla demanded, though inside, she knew. She knew he was right. It felt the same, the same as it had on the ship. Instead of waiting for an answer, she screamed, “Well what do I do? I can’t go back to the island!”
But if Highboy responded, she could no longer hear him. The howling of the wind had reached such a fever pitch that it blotted out all sound, all sight. It was a maelstrom of sand, wind and weather that could not be pierced with the senses. Nyla was left only to retreat into herself for whatever safety she could find.
She was cold, now, desert cold, from the inside. The wind had exposed a cavern inside her, had blown away the debris that covered it, and the cavern was deep and hollow. Thinking of that space, curled up into a little ball, she felt empty herself, devoid of a core.
She had no value to speak of. Her friends were not her friends, not interested in her for who she was, only who she might be. Once they got their answers from the Sand Witch, all relationships would be off, Vival would go his way, Cher and Sherluck would find new places to change. And these people, the Just, she might as well have been her instrument that could play itself, for all they cared. They had a use for her. That was it.
And why should anyone care for her? She was selfish, secretive, cruel to her friends. She took every chance to make jokes at Vival’s expense. Who was she, really? Just an annoying child with a single talent. She looked across the lines of sand whipping past her eyes and she imagined Vival free of her, off on a quest of his own, smiling up in a crisp morning at the wonderful sun beaming down from above the mountain slopes.
The wind was howling its awful note. Worthless. Selfish.
But there was a harmony.
Somewhere in that maelstrom she heard a second note, higher and thinner than the first. It offered a counter to her despair, modulated the ideas she was having.
She was selfish because she had always had to take care of herself.
She was secretive because she didn’t want to share information she couldn’t be sure of.
She teased her friends because they were her friends. They knew her. They loved her.
She turned her head and saw Highboy playing the single note on the High Wood. For what purpose she couldn’t have said. Maybe a thought of his own, a way to comfort himself from despair he might also be feeling in the midst of this enchanted storm.
But with his note came the possibility. She closed her eyes. And there it was.
She took the Vie A’Lyn in her hands.
As always, she could not feel it, but it followed her nonetheless, turned where she turned it, responded as if held. She found a bow in the air and gently brought it down across the string on Highboy’s note. It amplified the harmony, made it dominate.
The storm pulsed briefly, then screamed.
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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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