The Girl With The Bow

Book One in the Nyla Series

Adam Cole

Part six

(C) 2013, 2016 Adam Cole

Published by Nuncici Press, an imprint of Adam Cole Works LLC

They did not see the battle behind them, but they saw its effect in the it wrought upon the underground world. As they emerged into the central cavern, looking over the vast stretches, they saw thousands of people running every way, crying and screaming. Periodically a terrible crash would emerge from the mouth of the tunnel where Vival and Nyla stood, and everyone would freeze for a second. Chunks of stone were falling from the ceiling, narrowly missing scampering pedestrians.
“You’d think they’d be happy now that they’re free,” Nyla muttered. “Which way to the tunnel out of here?” she asked in a louder voice.
“I don’t know!” replied Vival. “I was dopey when I came out. I have no idea which way to go!”
“Well, you didn’t think that out very well, now, did you?” Nyla cried, putting her skinny wrist on her hip.
Groaning with exasperation, Vival dragged the girl along a path that skirted the huge cavern while bellows of rage and deafening crashes continued to punctuate the chaos. Having few options, Vival went up, following the lip of the ledge that snaked around the inside of the cavern. Before he could go very far, a chunk shook loose from the walls and crashed just in front of their feet, smashing the path in front of them and carrying it down, down, down to the cavern a thousand feet below.
Vival and Nyla gaped at the hole that had formed in front of them while the booming grew worse. Finally Vival said to Nyla, “Can you jump?”
“Can I jump?” Nyla repeated, looking at the thousand-foot drop.
“Okay,” shrugged Vival, “I didn’t think so.”
“You go on,” said the girl, ducking her head in. “I’ll be okay.”
“What?” exclaimed Vival. “No! I’m taking you with me!”
The girl’s face softened, though she did not look directly at Vival. Many thoughts seemed to cross her mind, wrinkling her face with emotion.
“Look,” Vival said. “It’s not far. I’ll toss you.”
“You’ll what?” The girl’s face hardened again, and her fist came to her hip.
“Or…” Vival hastily said, “I’ll jump across and you can follow me, and I’ll catch you.”
“Mister,” said the girl, “You’re crazy!”
“We have to get out of here!” Vival said, “And I can’t think of anything else with the roof crashing down.”
“Okay,” said the girl, biting her lip. “Toss me.”
 “What? Are you sure?”
“Well, I’m not gonna jump!” said Nyla. “Just…” Her voice got so quiet that it was almost covered by the noise. “Just don’t miss.”
“I promise,” said Vival, looking in her eyes. She did not look back, but she nodded one time.
Nyla handed Vival the dagger that she had used to stab the drum. With a deft flick of his wrist, Vival tossed it across the chasm where it clattered on the ground. He hurled the sword quickly after it. Nyla watched him with dread, knowing that she was next.
Vival picked the girl up in his arms. She was not light as a feather, but Vival soon found a solid way to grip her. “When you hit the ground, just roll towards the wall,” he said.
Nyla nodded again, quickly and quietly.
Vival flexed his muscles, took two steps behind him and swung his arms back. With a short gallop and a heave, Vival threw Nyla into space across the small gap. Like an experienced tumbler, she soared over the drop, fell to the ground and rolled to the wall. Vival watched, pleased with her performance.
But there was no time for self-congratulations. In an instant, Vival had leapt after her. He barely cleared the chasm, his feet scuffling on the edge of the path. Regaining his footing in a panic, he threw himself on the ground next to her. She looked up anxiously but seeing that he was beside her, Nyla’s eyes softened and she smiled a little bit.
Vival put his hand on her shoulder. “Are you okay?” he asked. Nyla nodded. “Then let’s go!” he entreated. But Nyla had taken a deep, horrified breath.
Far up the path, a huge boulder that had been dislodged from somewhere was bouncing around the lip towards them at a terrific speed. Grabbing the sword and dagger, Vival’s muscles all tensed, ready for action, but there was nothing to do.More about The Girl With The Bow

When Vival, Knight of the Fittest, risked his life to rescue the princess from Veer Isle, he never thought he’d be the one who needed to be rescued. And to make matters worse, the girl he was helping didn’t want to leave!  The first book in the Nyla series introduces Vival, Knight of the Fittest, Tom the Incredibly Helpful Sword, two mysterious island dwellers named Cher and Sherluck, and Nyla, the mysterious girl with the bow.

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 The Speed of Darkness and Seven Ways the World Can End.

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