An eerie encounter

Here is another extract from my second Siskin and Valderan adventure, Rise of the Homrihans.

Our heroes have stolen a boat and found shelter on an island. They have been given food and sleeping quarters by the Lady Delydd, although she warns them to expect strange events to take place during the night.

Valderan woke. His heart was beating fast. His breaths were short and sharp, whistling through his teeth. For a moment, he did not know where he was. Then, from the darkness, Siskin’s face appeared. It floated in the air, disembodied, a will-o’-the-wisp dancing before his eyes. He placed his hands on Valderan’s shoulders. The night felt very cold. Valderan reached for his blanket, his bedding, only to find it had dropped to the floor, out of reach.

Siskin’s eyes were wild. He spat as he spoke.

“Wake up. Wake up.”

“What’s happening? What’s going on? I feel very cold.”

“Keep quiet. Come with me. I think the Gods have come.”

Dragging him from bed, Siskin pulled Valderan to the door. They opened it and went out into the cool night. Valderan’s feet were bare. He felt the dew cover his feet. His arms were covered with goose bumps. Ahead of them, …

The world had gone mad. Noises shook the air. The temple stones were expanding and contracting, scraping against each other. Waves rolled on the Antaline and slopped against its banks with large, flat slaps.

But the noises were nothing compared to the Gods who came down.

Lights streamed in all directions in impossible colours. Some were pink, others orange. There were jets of blue, as clear as ice. Others were bands of red, bright like berries but glowing with some weird inner energy. There were metallic rays too, and vertical beams that shot up and down with a blinding light that burnt the back of the eyeballs.

Tumbling in all directions, the lights rolled around them. Some shot along, horizontal with the ground and then sped through the forests, leaving a faint trail behind. More rarely, lights trickled nearer the ground, never touching the earth. When these beams came to some obstruction, like a tree, a ruined pillar, or a man, they would whip around, spiralling up to the heavens.

In the middle of it all, in the heart of the temple ruins, Delydd and Laghan prayed. They were on their knees, screaming, with their arms outstretched to the sky. It seemed like they had lost all sense of who they were. Their eyes were blank, their mouths a gaping hole. Delydd’s hair span around her in the wind.

Horrified, Valderan staggered back. He tried to say something to Siskin, but not a word could be heard. Their ears were buzzing with white noise.

He remembered nothing more. Perhaps he collapsed. Perhaps he had dreamt it all. Perhaps the Gods themselves had closed his eyes. Whatever happened, Valderan slipped away into sleep. He saw nothing more that night.

(c) 2012


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