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Book One of the Tales of Menel Fenn
By KD Nielson
E-Book (available as PDF files)
About the Author
A young girl who is washed overboard from a raider’s boat and caught in a violent storm. The girl awakens in the cabin of a father and son. With no knowledge of her past she has a vague glimmer of a name, Darcy.
That late summer storm was the worst one that anyone could remember in twenty years. Ships of every race and description were wrecked, some to vanish utterly, their passengers and crew never seen again. Fishing fleets were decimated, villages erased, swept into the wild stormy seas. The Northlander’s raiding fleet was caught in the tempest. Frenzied ocean waves brought the hungry denizens from the depths, possessed waves brought tragedy. In the torment that followed, feeding was good. Waves towering as tall as some of the trees crashed onto the shoreline. Devastation ranged from the tip of theScorpionIslandin the far north to the Land Bridge leading to theKingdomofJasperin the south. On theislandofOsey, the trees on the plains and forest were thrashed into a frenzied dance as the torrential winds tore among them. Some of the weaker, sickly ones were torn asunder. Their splintered and broken remains littered the landscape. After two days of death and destruction, the dark foreboding sky still angry, the sinister tormented clouds were no longer torn apart by the lightening and thundering rain. Two men were picking their way carefully along the rocky coastline. The sea still besieged and endangered everything that moved along the shattered, devastated coastline. They moved warily in the rain, for to get too near the threatening waves would find them sucked out to sea and drowned, or smashed against the jagged rocks. They also knew if any debris was to be found it would have to be now. Any later and the hungry waves would drag the wreckage out to entomb it in the abyss. The older man carried a canvas bag over his shoulder. He was a tall and big, a man of the sea. His thick black unruly hair whipped about in the wind. He wore a leather tunic and woolen pants. The hard boots came to his knees. His piercing blue eyes, etched with crow’s feet, took in every detail. The younger version of the man poked through a shattered and wrecked wooden hull. Only fourteen years old, he stood close to six foot. He could work the rigging on the fishing vessel as good as any adult. Like his Father, the son had the brightest blue eyes, which twinkled in constant mirth. He picked up some bits and looked at it critically then threw them back into the surging water. He was about to move on when something in the next breaking roller caught his attention. He peered intently for a minute; he could see what looked to be a body clinging to wreckage. He threw down his burlap bag and hastily dropped to the wet sand, furiously pulling off his boots. He jumped to his feet and charged into the sea, taking great bounding leaps. His Father, seeing his son moving, raced around to where he had left his gear. “What is it Jeremiah?” he shouted between cupped hands. His son’s reply was torn away by the howling wind. The sea was already surging rapidly past the Father’s worn scuffed boots. The large man could see Jeremiah struggling with something in the heavy swell. A large rogue wave broke, smashed down on one side of the debris, forcing up the splintered side of the wreckage. The boy hung on to it and the limp bedraggled body for dear life. The flotsam rode the swell of the threatening wave, hovered momentarily and then flipped, dumping them into the freezing surf. Jeremiah instantly thrashed to the surface, coughing and spitting salt water. Immediately he dived under the heaving surf and seconds later reappeared holding the body. In an instant, the Father tossed his sack aside and plunged into the swell in a haphazard, comical fashion, made his way to his son. A big wave caught the boy and overbalanced, the youth fell. The towering man grabbed his son by the scruff of his shirt, hauling him to his feet and grabbed the arm of a spread-eagle body rolling, limp in the surf, a girl by the amount of hair spilling out around her. With hardly any effort he dragged them both to the relative safety of the beach. The boy lay gasping for breath, seconds later he vomited the seawater swallowed when he went under. His Father had the girl on her stomach, working her shoulders up and down. Nearly a full minute went by, in which the boy began to despair that she had drowned, when she coughed violently, throwing up a number of times. At the first sign of life, the man turned her on her back and held her shoulders as she was sick all down her clothing. The raging sea smashed over the three of them; the retreating swell dragging at their numbed bodies. “It’s time to go! Grab our gear! I’ll bring the girl!” He had to lean over next to his son, before his bellowed instructions could be heard. The boy nodded his understanding and staggered to his feet; he quickly found his boots and the two sacks. With effortless ease, the Father picked up the girl and leading the way, quickly left the greedy sucking sea behind them. The journey to the cabin stretched interminably. The cabin was only a quarter mile away, normally the walk was covered in minutes, however, this night was anything but normal. The boy clutched his arms about his torso, the howling wind tearing at him, bringing tears to his eyes. The wet clinging clothing was freezing and his teeth chattered violently. It got so bad he picked up a small stick and put it between his teeth fearing they would shatter. Even his Father, a giant among the fisherman of the village, was struggling with the girl’s weight. Jeremiah felt like crying out when the lights of the cabin came into sight. The boy dug deep into the last reserves he had and hurried past his struggling Father and opened the sturdy wooden door. His Father trooped inside, the boy slammed it closed. Instantly the quiet assaulted them. His numbed mind took seconds to understand they were no longer under attack by the elements. “Get your gear off Boy, before you catch your death.” He had already put the girl in the boy’s bed that lined the wall. Without any thought for her modesty, he quickly stripped her and tucked her under the warm down feather stuffed quilt. He quickly stoked up the fire and soon had it burning brightly. Jeremiah couldn’t help but stare at the unconscious girl. He had never really seen a girl with no clothes on close up. He had seen his mother in the lake bathing once, but he had been so embarrassed he didn’t want to remember anything. She had died last year ago. A tear welled up at his mother’s memory, but he quickly fought it back. Sometimes when his Father was alone, he would cry by himself. “Jeremiah, shake yourself Boy. Get some warm clothes on and then get some broth.” The man knew they would be wet and cold when they returned, so he had a big pot of thick broth simmering while they were gone. “Father, will she be alright?” his eyes lingered on the unconscious girl’s face. His Father thought about the adolescent body he had hastily undressed. She was close to Jeremiah’s age. She had good muscle development and her body wasn't malnourished. Her clothing, while a simple leather tunic and breeches, were well sewn. He bet a year’s catch the girl was from a wealthy family. “I can’t see any reason why not. You did a brave thing tonight Son. You could have easily been swept out to sea.” The storm returned with renewed vengeance and hammered the inland nation throughout the rest of the day and into the night.
About the Author I am a 51-year-old American now living in New Zealand since I immigrated in 1985. I originally came here in 1979 with the US Navy as part of Operation Deep Freeze. I spent seven years in the navy and did seven deployments to Antarctica. I have drawn on my navy time and experiences on the ice for some of my stories. Since the earthquakes here in Christchurch and in the aftermath with all the thousands of people made unemployed when hundreds of buildings were destroyed, I managed to find a job a year later working as a security officer at a hospital. During this time I have been able to spend much more time on my greatest love, telling stories. I have drawn on my experiences from the 7 major earthquakes and the 10,000+ aftershock, and used it as material for an authentic storyline in one of my books. I am married to a lovely English woman, a schoolteacher and we have three sons. To see more of my work go to http://www.theworldsofkdnielson.com/ KD Nielson
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