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
In fact, to her horror, the Lich King was as immovable as a statue. Until, that is, he decided to move. He raised his arms, pulling Nyla off the floor so that her legs dangled. Even worse, now her face was only a couple of centimeters away from the Lich King’s rotting teeth. “I don’t think so,” he hissed, the force of his whisper as loud as a shout in her ears.
Nyla screamed with all her might right in the Lich King’s face. The scream had no more effect than a feather batting on that deathless monarch. Not even laughing, he raised her a little higher so that her eyes were level with his. Looking into the depths of those eyes she saw a dim red glow as if far, far away down a deep tunnel. That glow increased now, as if it were a fireball coming quickly towards her. She held her breath, but could not close her eyes or turn away.
Yet in that instant the Lich King had forgotten something very important. With a crash from above, the Clef collided with the King and Nyla. The Lich, already controlling one-hundred of his subjects, had failed to maintain the spell over the Clef and, in his falling trajectory the Clef, keeping his wits about him, tried to pry the instrument from the King’s hand as he fell.
Of course the fall had no impact on the immovable King, but Nyla was torn from his grip by the weight of the little man. Scuttling away into Chere’s protective grasp, she watched in horror as the Clef, now holding tight to the bow and instrument, struggled where she had just been.
Enraged, the Lich tried to hurl the Clef from him. But the Clef’s grip was too strong and he would not let go. At last, the King cocked his terrible bony arms and threw the Clef, instrument and all, against a far wall. He flew at great speed across the room, as though he weighed no more than a small stick. Nyla cried out in fear as the little man hurtled towards his and the Vee A’La’s death against the merciless stone walls of the cavern.
But there was someone there to catch him. Vival had judged the trajectory of the throw and deftly caught the Clef in his own massive arms, Vee A’La and all, before he could strike the wall. Only Vival had not reckoned on the force with which the Clef would be thrown. The impact knocked Vival against the wall so hard that his own skull seemed to twist from the impact. Vival, Clef and instrument collided with the cavern wall with a terrible crash.
The furious Lich meant to pursue the thrown body of the Clef, but a quick look around reminded him that he must expend his energies elsewhere. Once he had given up his grip on the instrument, his “army” had begun to falter. Already a dozen of them were dead. The Lich’s eyes flared bright red as he summoned his power to battle the mercenaries himself.
The ceiling had begun to shake with the force of the Lich’s rage and, for the second time in a week, Mount Ingfier trembled, causing everyone in that room to panic. Fist-sized rocks began to fall from the ceiling. The chandelier plummeted and smashed against the floor once more, leaving the room in almost utter darkness. All that could be seen now were the Lich’s eyes, red like glowing coals.
Following the pull of Chere’s hand, Nyla groped her way to where Clef and Vival might be lying. All around came the sounds of stones smashing right next to them, shattered fragments stinging their legs, arms and faces like mosquitos. The Lich’s eyes floated like buoys in the darkness, watching the screaming multitudes as they came in and out of his control.
At last Chere and Nyla reached the wall where a tapestry trembled with the force of the battle like a frightened thing. “Where’s Vival?” Nyla yelled. Chere did not answer, but her best guess pulled them along the wall.
When they tripped over Vival and Clef’s of bodies, Nyla almost wept with relief. Her fingers caressed her friend, brushing across his face as she felt for the Vee A’La. Vival still said nothing, either unconscious or still held by the spell of the Lich. The Clef was also silent, and Nyla felt no resistance from him as she pulled the ancient instrument from his protective embrace.
Light was appearing intermittently around the room. The Goon and some of his minions were using torches to guide in their attack. Now Nyla could see the instrument in her hands through a dim, smoky yellow light. It looked okay, not broken, although the second string was still missing.
Nyla put the Vie A’La to her neck and held the bow up. The instrument was still warm to her touch. It was weeping, crippled, but it yearned to be played.
She fingered the passage she had practiced with the Clef. Her hands forlornly pressed upon the empty wood of the fingerboard at the place where the broken string had been. If only the string were still there, she could complete the melody and banish the Lich.
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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