Avalorien

A snippet from the Avalorien novel

Suddenly, the world around them slowed to an ominous crawl.  The air became as thick as water and Josh found it incredibly difficult to move.  A high pitched and eerie scream pierced through the thickened air like a thousand hot needles stabbing painfully at his ears.  The earth around him shook while rocks, twigs, soil and even the rain drops were now rising slowly upward as if gravity had shifted skyward.  This strange new power was emanating from Noralei who was only fifty or so yards away from the bloodthirsty hordes of Naragoth charging toward her.

Achaius planted his feet into the dirt with incredible agility, halting his rescue attempt and turned sharply toward the group instead, sprinting directly at them with a renewed sense of urgency, waving his hands in a gesture that seemed to be ordering everyone to run like hell, while yelling inaudibly as the shrieking noise drowned out every other sound around them.  For the first time in their journey, Josh could see nothing but fear in Achaius’ eyes.

Josh turned toward the others and saw Matt struggling to keep Kris from running in Noralei’s direction.  Josh reached around and grabbed Kris by the strap of his backpack and pulled.  Kris was heaving and yelling with such incredible fervor, it was only a matter of time before Kris would break free and run into the fray.

“Kris! We have to go!” Josh yelled, but again, nothing audible came out.  The rumbling and shrieking noise was so intense now that he couldn’t even hear himself scream.

Achaius reached the group in an instant and grabbed Kris by the arm.  The burly man pulled them with relative ease toward the cliffs edge.  Kris stopped fighting them for the moment but there was still a rage in his eyes that could have melted ice.  Josh looked down toward the giant waterfall then followed it to the river below.  It had to be at least a hundred feet or more to the river. There was nowhere to go. It was an impossible jump.  No one would survive it!

Achaius looked at the group who was now looking to him for some kind of rational instruction, but Josh’s heart sank as Achaius made a gesture with his hands that was now telling them to jump.  Everyone stood motionless looking at him stupidly.

“Are you freaking insane!?” Josh yelled inaudibly at Achaius while shaking his head.  Achaius made the gesture again and again with a bit more intensity, but again the group just stood shaking their heads frantically.  Achaius sighed inaudibly then looked back at Noralei and then back at the group.  He shrugged his shoulders at them, waved, and without hesitation, he jumped off the cliff. 

The group stood stupefied.  They looked at each other one by one, then back down into the clearing where they had left Noralei.  A bright white light was now emanating from the very spot where she had stood moments ago and the shaking and shrieking was intensifying.  The group looked at each other one more time, and then turned toward the cliff.  There was no time to think this through.  It was apparent, either they jump and maybe survive another day or they stay and die from whatever it was that was coming from Noralei.  Reluctantly, the three of them took a few steps back from the edge and with a running start, they jumped over the cliff together.

The End

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