The Girl With The Bow
Book One in the Nyla Series
(C) 2013, 2016 Adam Cole
Published by Nuncici Press, an imprint of Adam Cole Works LLC
“Quick,” said a voice that seemed to come from nowhere. “Take a right.”
“What?” called Vival to the voice. He looked around for its source, but could see no one.
“Go right!” insisted the voice.
Looking right, Vival saw a small opening in the wall. Gesturing to Nyla, he scrambled through, tugging the girl frantically after him as, just inches from their feet, the huge stone hurtled by.
What remained of the hole began closing as the avalanche which followed it poured thousands of smaller stones down. The light from the opening went out like a candle being quickly extinguished. It was completely, utterly dark.
Vival and Nyla sat, bemused, in the cavern whose dimensions were impossible to determine. Vival could have sounded it out with a click of his tongue, but he was unwilling to make any noise at this point for fear of bringing the ceiling down on them.
“Keep moving!” the voice came again from right in front of them. “Move forward,” it insisted.
From the sound of that voice, Vival deduced that they were in a very narrow passage. Having nothing better to do than obey their savior, Vival took the girl by the hand and led them in the direction the voice requested.
“Now right,” said the voice. “Right here!”
Vival turned right in the dark and did not strike a wall, but entered an even colder passage which felt as though it had opened up considerably.
“Now stop when I tell you,” said the voice after a minute. It was always right in front of them. “Stop now. Now! Okay, reach up with your hands. Feel that shelf? Pull yourself up.”
“Hey, what about me?” came Nyla’s voice.
“Wait until I get up there,” grunted Vival, “and I’ll reach down and pull you up.”
“What if it’s too high?” complained the girl.
Ignoring her, Vival hoisted himself up to the invisible ledge on faith and found himself lying on solid ground. Rising to his knees he was struck soundly and painfully on the top of his head. Crying out and seizing his scalp, he scraped his knuckles on the unforseen ceiling of the passage. He screamed again.
“There’s a low ceiling,” warned the voice, “so watch your head.”
Grunting in agreement, Vival lay back down, trying to negotiate the sword that was buried beneath him. Finding it difficult to turn in the narrow passage, he began wondering how he was going to make it around to help Nyla up.
“Hey!” cried the girl from behind.
“Now don’t worry!” called Vival. “I haven’t forgotten you.”
“Hey!” exclaimed the girl. “Hero!”
“Relax, princess!” Vival cried. “I’m not leaving you. It’ll be—“
“Move forward!” Nyla’s voice came suddenly from behind. “Move forward! I can’t get in with you blocking the entrance!”
Vival’s jaw dropped. “How did you…”
“I climbed the wall next to us. It was plenty rocky. Now move!”
Worming forward, Vival left enough room for Nyla to squeeze in behind. “Vival,” she said.
“You got smelly feet.”
Vival’s answer was cut short by the sound of the voice, slightly muffled. “Keep moving forward,” it said. “This passage goes for about ten minutes. In a couple, you’ll be able to stand up. I look forward to that.”
“Why?” said Nyla. “You behind his feet too?”
“That’s enough!” protested Vival. Quickly, he began inching his way along the bumpy passage, still completely baffled by the darkness. After a while, they were able to stand up as the voice promised.
“Ah, that’s better,” said the voice, no longer muffled. “Now keep moving forward.”
Vival was beginning to wonder about their friend. He had heard no one besides Nyla climbing up. Was their helper a demon of some kind? A friendly spirit? A dwarf that could move soundlessly through subterranean passages?
Vival saw images in his mind, strange shapes and faces. At first he thought the images were tricks of his mind, played upon him by the darkness, until he realized that light was entering the cavern.
“I can see!” yelled Nyla.
“Me, too,” said the voice.
Quickly, Vival looked around. But there was no one in sight except for Nyla and himself. “Where are you?” he asked.
“Right here!” said the voice.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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