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
“I can’t see you,” said Vival.
“Yes you can!” exclaimed the voice, as if Vival were having a joke on him. “Now quit wasting time. Do you want to get out of this cave or don’t you?”
Vival did. Walking gratefully towards the light as though it were a spring of fresh water, he allowed himself to open his eyes to the painful brightness. It was day outside, and the sun was shining directly on them. Nyla stood at his side now, covering her eyes.
Slowly their sight recovered. They stood at the crest of a vast leg of the mountain, one of many that extended out and down to grab at the earth with crushing fingers of stone. Between the fingers and beyond them was the canopy of a vast sinister forest which sizzled with a haze in the brutal sunlight. Mount Ingdred rose up suddenly from its depth, smaller and more jagged than the mountain they were on. Beyond it were lesser crags of rock, and even further out, the endless indifferent expanse of ocean.
“All right,” Vival said. “We’re out. Show yourself.”
“What are you talking about?” argued the voice.
“I want to see who’s been helping us!”
“Then look in your hand!”
Vival looked down at his hand, expecting to see a sprite or something perched upon it.
“You still can’t see me?” asked the voice, incredulous. “You’re looking right at me!”
“He didn’t say look on your hand,” Nyla exclaimed. “He said look in it!”
Vival dropped his sword on the ground and looked at his open palm.
“Ouch!” cried the voice.
“It’s the sword!” cried Nyla. “Can’t you tell anything?”
Well, he would have figured that out eventually. Annoyed by her criticism, he watched as Nyla picked up the weapon. A little too hefty for her to manage, its point sagged towards the ground in her grip.
“Say! Nice hands!” the sword said to her. “It’s great to be held by someone without those horrible calluses for once.”
“Thanks,” replied Nyla, smiling.
“Do you use lotion?”
“So you just saved our lives?” Vival asked the sword.
Nyla, still balancing the weapon as best she could, stared balefully at him. If the sword had had eyes, it would no doubt have been staring at him too.
Nyla looked at the sword. “What’s your name?” she asked.
“Tom!” it cried.
“Tom?” Nyla repeated, frowning. “Whoever heard of a sword named Tom?”
“What’s wrong with Tom?”
“It isn’t very…metallic?” Nyla shrugged.
“Well, my full name is Tom the Incredibly Lucky Sword. Is that better?”
“No,” Nyla muttered.
“Give me my sword back!” Vival snapped, snatching it from her.
“Hey! That’s no way to treat a lady,” admonished the sword.
“Thank you!” remarked Nyla, glaring at Vival.
“What’s your story?” Vival asked, regarding the blade up and down its length. By all accounts it seemed a fine weapon.
“I’m an enchanted blade from the Burnished Era. I’ve been locked in the treasury of that mountain for a thousand years. I was forged by Baldwin the Magnificent and endowed with my communicative abilities by Vennirificous, a great sorcerer from Madinglaster. I…”
“What are your powers?” Vival interrupted.
“I can talk!”
“Obviously,” Vival sighed.
“And it’s been so long since I was able. Nobody in that mountain has spoken to me since Baldwin was skewered by the Witless King in the First War. I tried to let them know what I could do, but everyone thought I was a ghost. They threw me in the treasure pile and locked the door, and there I stayed until that big ugly man pulled me out. Terrible, I tell you. Not another enchanted treasure in sight…”
“Do you have any other abilities?” Vival demanded.
The sword considered. “You mean besides talking?”
“I can cut!”
“Okay, I know you can cut. Do you have any other magical powers?”
Again, the sword considered. After a pause, it spoke. “Define magical.”
“What else can you do?” Nyla cried, now exasperated herself.
“Well, I’m very charming,” answered the sword. “I’m a good talker, if I do say so myself, very convincing. You might say that my ability to charm people with my speaking is a form of enchantment…”
“You might,” muttered Vival, trying to put the sword back in its sheath in the hopes that this would shut it up. Unfortunately, he had not been handed a sheath. Just the sword.
“Who are you?” the sword asked.
“Look, could you just stop talking for a while?” Vival asked it.
“Can I? Can I stop talking? I haven’t spoken in a thousand years and you want to know if I’m capable of not talking? You actually think—“
“Snuff it!” Vival snapped, “or I’ll take you to another treasure-trove and leave you there.”
That silenced the sword. In fact, Vival felt that the sword was being even quieter than before it had first spoken.
After the silence had gone on for a few seconds, Nyla spoke up quietly. “I think you were too hard on it.”
“Too hard on an enchanted sword?” Vival exclaimed, incredulous.
“What if nobody had talked to you for a thousand years?”
“Wouldn’t bother me much,” replied Vival crossly. “Now. Let’s talk about you.”
“Thank you, little girl,” the sword spoke up quietly.
“Sword!” cried Vival warningly, waving it out over the mountainous drop.
“I’m quieting, I’m quieting,” grumbled the sword.
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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