A monstrous wave crashed over the boat, throwing even more water over the two girls, though they were already so wet that it hardly made any difference. It brought them to a creaking, juddering halt. For a few seconds, they were tossed around in the broken water and rain hammered into the open cabin. It was obvious that the little boat couldn’t take much more of this. Soon it would be capsized… or simply torn apart.
The taller of the two girls was huddled at the bottom of the boat, desperately clinging to a wooden bench and whimpering in fear. Her eyes were fixed on her friend, wordlessly begging her to give up on this mad adventure and return to land.
But the short, slight girl still stood, impassively, at the wheel, the steel of her deep blue eyes giving a hint of the determination with which she was driving them onwards. Her balance was steady, in spite of the wild pitching of the boat, and she didn’t even seem to have noticed the chaos all around her.
She eased the boat back around, taking them steadily onwards, towards the heart of the storm… towards the heart of the violence. She knew, as she had never known anything before, that this was what she had to do.
Yet another wave hit, shattering one of the cabin windows and showering them with splinters of glass. Now they were exposed to the full force of the storm as the wind picked up lumps of water and smashed them onto the girls like blocks of solid fury.
Still the girl at the wheel barely flinched. She flicked her hair out of her eyes and peered ahead into the churning blackness, reaching out towards the island that she knew had to be there.
Then, with a surge of excitement, she felt a presence. It was overwhelming; way beyond anything she’d ever known before. She eagerly stared out into the blackness and, even though she couldn’t see anything, she knew it was there… high above them and coming in at an incredible speed. As it drew closer, the violence of the storm seemed to recede.
The taller girl knew it was there too. She stopped whimpering and rose to her knees to face it, her eyes wide with terror.
The girl at the wheel eagerly scanned the sky but she couldn’t make anything out through the swirling blackness.
Then, suddenly, it exploded into sight.
And, as soon as she saw it, she knew that this was what had been pulling her towards the island. This was where her whole life had been leading.
This was her destiny.
I hereby acknowledge the ideas that my younger daughter contributed to the formulation of this novel. They include a school of dragonology and a leading character, called Katie, who is not particularly nice.
© GarethN 2009 - 2021