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
A line of soldiers and cowled figures who must have been priests came from the door. As they emerged like ants from an anthill, they formed a phalanx facing the door. The last to arrive was a boy with a large tarnished trumpet who, having just exited, stopped with his back to the door, put the instrument to his lips, and blew an unearthly note upon it which lasted for a long time.
When the last of the echoes of the trumpet’s note had died away, the boy stepped aside and bowed deeply to the doorway. In the darkness of that space an outline could be seen even before the light of the torches could reach it. The outline remained ghostly even when it had emerged into the round space.
“Oh, no…” Vival said, as if answering the question frozen in Sherluck’s horrified mouth.
The Lich King took only a second to regard Vival through its empty sockets. With a gesture of its bony finger, it signaled to several of the soldiers. Before Vival could react he found himself and his companions surrounded, swords held threateningly at their necks.
“R….” Vival spoke quickly, trying to say the Lich’s name. But his mouth was wrapped in a ghostly filament that filled it and turned his words to sand.
“No…” whispered the Lich King. “You will not speak my name again, hero.”
Before Vival could react, he had been seized by two of the largest of the soldiers and was dragged away from Nyla. The girl, screaming, tried to hold on to him, but other soldiers came and seized her and Sherluck.
“You have done me a great service,” whispered the Lich King to Vival. “Freeing me to rule my kingdom again. It has been so long.”
“No!” Nyla shouted. “You were just supposed to defeat the Big Ugly Man! Not take his place!”
The Lich King did not look at Nyla, but he responded to her. “Who better than I? Now I can restore my Kingdom to its former glory. We shall retake the land on the other side of the sea. Once again Veer Isle shall be the heart of a great Empire.”
Vival looked sick, but he could not speak. Tom was pried from his hands and taken away. “Where are you taking Tom?” Nyla demanded.
The Lich did not answer her. “Escort them to the dungeons,” he whispered, “And keep them there.” Turning away, the Lich King shambled back through the dark doorway. Vival was dragged after him by two soldiers. The door closed as if nothing would ever open it again.
All but three of the soldiers had stayed behind to watch Nyla and Sherluck. “Let’s go,” said one of them, wrapping his hand around Sherluck’s arm.
The arm turned to water which did not flow towards the ground but shimmered midway through the air. The soldier gave a horrified shriek, pulling his hand back and shaking it. The other soldiers gaped at Sherluck, transfixed by his sudden transformation.
Now in the middle of the floor stood an astonished Chere.
For a moment, no one moved. Chere was the first to speak. “I can’t believe it,” she cursed. Then, in a few brief glances, she took stock of her situation. Spying Nyla, she grabbed her hand. “Come on!” she cried, running directly towards one of the astonished soldiers who, still unrecovered, backed away and tripped over his sword hilt.
Nyla was both glad and frightened to see Chere appearing suddenly. “How…”
“Don’t ask questions!” Chere cried breathlessly. “Just run! They won’t stay scared long!”
“But I can’t see!” Nyla cried, as Chere pulled them through an open doorway which led to another long, broad hall.
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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