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
“Now you do exactly what I say,” Vival said. Nyla nodded, looking down worriedly at the drop. Vival had her get down on her stomach and back over the cliff. Nyla’s eyes closed involuntarily as her feet kicked uselessly over the drop of about seventy feet below. “I have the rope tied around me,” Vival said, “And I’m very well braced on this stone with my foot. I won’t drop you. Just hold tight to the rope once you let go of the cliff…”
“Let go of the cliff?” Nyla shouted, and her fingers clutched the grass like claws.
“Yes,” Vival said, gently prying them away. Nyla screamed and dropped a foot. You’d have thought she’d fallen all the way to the water, except that her scream didn’t get any quieter.
When she was done screaming, Vival leaned over, still holding the rope. “You okay?” he asked.
“Just get me down!” Nyla snapped, unable to bring her eyes up from the precarious drop below.
Slowly, Vival began lowering the rope, hand over hand. For a little while he heard nothing and, if his muscles hadn’t been bulging to manage the weight, he might have wondered if she was still there. But at last he heard her voice coming from over the lip of the precipice. “Vival! The wind’s blowing!” she cried.
It was true. A slight breeze had picked up. No doubt the rope was swinging somewhat.
“How far down are you?” Vival called.
“About a third of the way,” she answered.
“Well, just hold on, and don’t move too much.”
“But these rocks are sharp and the wind is blowing me into them!”
Vival gasped for breath. Talking to her while he lowered her down made the whole thing twice as hard. “Don’t move!” he yelled. He redoubled his efforts so as to lower her more quickly.
“Not so fast!” Nyla shouted. “It’s making my stomach sick!”
Vival felt the rope swaying, felt the subtle pull of it against the lip of the cliff, heard her cry out each time she felt herself flying out over the severe drop.
“Maybe I could just climb down from here!” she called out.
“No!” Vival yelled, but his voice was faint from exertion.
“I can’t take this much longer!”
And then the rope went slack. Vival flew backwards against the grassy bank, his feet propelled over his head, as the weight on the rope vanished. There was a piercing scream that echoed through the canyon, and then silence.
Vival raced to his feet and peered over the cliff. There, in the boat, Nyla scrambled to right herself. She had fallen right into it, and apparently had not fallen too far. The tattered remains of the rope lay in the water where the sharp rocks had shredded it.
The wind had picked up even more, and the boat with its struggling passenger was rocking and veering wildly in the deep waves of the lagoon. Nyla was having difficulty righting herself, and the rope that connected the boat to the sharp cliff walls was straining. Vival wondered if it would last long enough for him to climb down to her.
It didn’t. With an audible snap, the rope split and the boat began drifting. In a few seconds it would either smash into the rocks or work its way out to sea. Nyla was on her stomach now, peeking over the side, gazing terrified at the mounting waves.
Vival pulled Tom the Sword from off his back. “You’re not really afraid of water, are you?” he asked.
“Why?” replied the sword, nervously.
Without answering, Vival pointed the sword into the air, took a quick glance into the available water, and hoped for the best. With a bound, he leapt off the cliff, pointing the naked sword straight at the deep water, and, at the end of an elegant dive, plunged into it. He had missed the boat by only a few feet.
He came up considerably father away, still gripping the sword. Already exhausted from lowering Nyla to the boat, Vival tried to keep his head above water as he looked around. But the sword was considerably heavier in the water when added to the weight of his clothes and he went under. Struggling, he breached the surface again, but it was no use. His arms were tired, the weight was too much. With a resigned sadness, he sunk a third time beneath the water, his sword arm the last part of him to submerge.
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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