The Girl With The Bow

Book One in the Nyla Series

Adam Cole

Part Twelve

(C) 2013, 2016 Adam Cole

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

He felt a sudden constriction around his wrist where he was holding the sword, and then the tightening of a loop of rope below the crosspiece. He was now effectively tied to the sword, but the rope was also keeping him from sinking. With a sudden burst of energy, he seized the rope with his other hand and pulled himself out of the water.
Nyla was there in the boat, having tied the severed end of the rope to the mast. She had somehow managed to create a loop and toss it over the sword. Now she was pulling on it and, although she didn’t really have the strength to haul Vival overboard, the Friend was a sturdy enough anchor that Vival was able to wrangle himself, and the sword, on board.
The sword fell to the bottom of the boat with a dull thud and Vival fell next to it, gasping for breath. Already a light rain had begun to fall, courtesy of the hospitable climate of Veer Isle. Vival thought that this didn’t bode well for the rest of their trip.
“I guess getting wet isn’t the worst thing after all,” Nyla said to Tom the Sword.

Almost as soon as they left the lagoon, the rain picked up. Everyone was already soaked to the skin, so the drizzle, cold as it was, didn’t particularly horrify anyone at first. “It rains a lot on Veer Isle, I think,” Vival explained. “Once we get out to sea we should hit sunnier skies.”
The rain responded by instantly getting denser.
By the time Vival had pulled out the sail he had to wrestle it in a stiff wind. “This breeze is good, at least!” he shouted. “We’ll make good speed through the drizzle.”
The rain seemed to take issue with being called a drizzle. It fell harder, and Nyla bent her head. “Just hurry up,” she said.
If Vival thought getting the sail secured would ensure a quick departure from the island, he was quickly to regret his assumption. The wind was not kind. It seemed to change directions constantly. Nyla watched her rescuer struggle for a moment. “What’s wrong?” she called.
“Nothing!” Vival replied, trying to make it appear as if everything was going his way. Unfortunately, the wind wasn’t cooperating. Still, Vival was used to adversity. It was all he knew. And no wind, no matter how stubborn, could prevent him from moving the boat. He was a competent sailor and he soon had them loping off away from the rocky shore of Veer Isle.
Yet it took all of Vival’s skill to keep abreast of the changing direction of the wind. Within minutes he found himself exhausted and confused. Looking down at Nyla clutching her friend the Sword to her chest, he tried to smile and put on a brave face, but the young girl was not convinced. The boat was rocking mercilessly with every change of direction, and she was sure she was soon to be floating, or sinking, in the vast waters along with the sharks.
“Now don’t worry!” yelled Vival. “This kind of wind is very strange and can’t keep up. It must be just bouncing off the rocks of the island. Once we get away…” He didn’t finish, for another gust nearly swept him off the deck. “By the Horse!” he cursed. Regaining his focus, Vival wrestled with the sail and the rudder once more.
The island had gotten a little smaller, but the wind had risen to a more alarming pitch. The rain was now coming down in sheets and Nyla couldn’t even look up. Vival was determined to tack against a gale that seemed to be pushing them back towards the land. He adjusted their direction again, but found that he couldn’t keep it up. It was as though a large, invisible hand were fighting with them, working them back towards the shore.
“I can get us out of here!” Vival insisted, but Nyla could barely hear him.
“What?” she shouted.
“I can…” Vival responded, but his voice was taken away by the wind.
“Just get us back to land!” Nyla yelled.
“I can…”
“Just take us back!” she shrieked.
Unable to bear the screaming of both the wind and the girl, Vival grunted angrily and turned the boat around. It moved quickly towards the land, like a dog finally given its own head.
“Turn, Vival, turn!” cried Nyla, terrified, as the rocks of the shore came on them suddenly.
Vival turned, but the sloop had moved more quickly than he had anticipated, and the driving rain had impaired his depth perception. Swinging the bow around so quickly that he almost overturned them, Vival held onto the side of the boat and leaned across the water to keep them upright. The boat did not flip, but there was a terrible crunching sound and a lurch so wrenching that Vival nearly lost his grip.
“What was that?” Nyla screamed, her eyes wide.
“I’m guessing that was the hull of the ship being torn into pieces by the rocks of the island,” the sword piped up cheerfully.
And so it was.
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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