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
“But we have to get Tom!” Nyla protested, a little too loudly. The Clef cringed as her voice echoed conspicuously down the passages.
“We can do it later,” Chere told her again, speaking slowly. She was trying to keep her patience, trying to answer Nyla, even though all she could think about was the potion in the little glass vial. “The people that took him away thought he was an ordinary sword. He’s probably in the armory.”
“Then let’s go get him!” Nyla said, stamping her foot. She was being very difficult. “We have to get Tom!”
“We will, Nyla!” Chere insisted, trying to keep her patience. She fingered the contours of the glass nervously, trying to decide what to do.
“He’s a real person, you know! He’s not just a piece of metal, a thing!”
“I get it, okay?” exclaimed Chere. The strain of the conversation was beginning to take its toll. She squatted down so her eyes were level with Nyla’s. “But if we don’t find Vival,” she said as softly as she could, looking Nyla right in the eye, “Tom isn’t going to do us much good.”
Nyla turned away, not wanting to face Chere, but there wasn’t anything else to look at.
Nyla became indignant. With a last stab at communicating her fury, Nyla glared back at Chere. “Tom isn’t just Vival’s sword!” she said, trying, by speaking slowly and making her voice crisp, to sound as much like an adult as she could, to stare down Chere. Chere did not flinch away from Nyla’s gaze, and did not answer her directly. After an endless moment of silence, Nyla looked away, disgusted.
Chere, having felt as though she had won the battle and lost the war, tried to reassure her. “We’re going to get Tom,” she said.
Now it was Nyla’s turn not to answer.
“We must hurry if you are to defeat him!” the Clef was urging, tugging gently on Chere’s arm. “The Lich King has ordered your recapture. I must bring you to him myself before anyone discovers you!”
“And that’s why we have to be quiet,” Chere explained to Nyla.
Nyla crossed her arms. “I’d be quiet if we went to find Tom,” she muttered.
Chere contained the explosion that went off within her mind. Fortunately the Clef’s tugging was gentle and insistent enough that it distracted her from the argument. Quickly as they walked, the Clef stepped in next to Nyla. “Repeat the fingering combination to me again,” he said.
“I’ve already done it for you nine times!” exclaimed Nyla, trying to keep her voice down. She did not want to hurt the Clef. He had been very kind to her, and she had really enjoyed holding the Vee A’La.
“Forgive me,” said the Clef, dipping his head a little as they walked. “You are very bright, and have learned so quickly. Yet I must be sure. You will have only one chance to play the passage. Even if you were to get a second opportunity, the instrument itself would not survive the strain.”
“No, I’ve got it,” insisted Nyla, nodding. She took the instrument from him, feeling a little tingle as she held it. “This is what we’re calling Do, that’s the note the first string makes when you don’t push down on it. Then go up the string, Re, Mi, Fa…fingers here, here and here…” Nyla showed the Clef by putting her fingers directly above the spots on the string where she would be pressing down. “Then you change to the next string, which makes So when you don’t push on it, and finally you put your finger here on the second string to get La, which is the note I have to end on the make the instrument say its name.”
“Yes,” agreed the Clef, looking satisfied but not entirely relieved. “And what is the order and way in which you must play these notes?”
Nyla sighed heavily, and she repeated a string of notes to the Clef, pointing at each one as she did so.
“All right,” said the Clef, wiping his brow. “Now we must attempt to gain entry to the Lich King’s throne room. I believe I can sneak us in, but you must follow close behind me and say nothing!”
The Clef dimmed his light and led them further along the passages. As they walked, Nyla fretted. She wanted to stop the Lich King, and she cared a lot about what happened to Vival. But she also knew Vival could take care of himself. Tom was just a sword! He couldn’t go anywhere unless someone took him there.
Nyla thought back to her life in these caves. She had had plenty of time to wander around when she had worked for the Overreacher. She had been to the Armory before. Once they got to the throne room, she considered, she might be able to figure out how to find it herself! She could slip away and rescue Tom before anyone even knew she was gone. Then she could slip back and defeat the Lich King and even throw Vival his sword.
Everyone would be mad at her at first, she thought, but afterwards they would probably be really proud!
It was lucky that they were in the dark and being so quiet. Chere and Clef would never notice. Nyla looked around and nodded to herself as she recognized the passage they were in When the Clef reached the door which led to the throne room, he turned to Chere. “We are here,” he said. “This will bring us somewhere behind the throne. If we act quickly enough…” Then his breath faded as he looked over Chere’s shoulders.
Startled, Chere turned around. When she realized that Nyla was not behind her, she grew very angry at herself.
“Where has she gone?” cried the Clef, trembling.
“To find Tom,” Chere muttered. “Stubborn kid.”
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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