The Silent Cove
Chapter 8 Part 2
Happy Friday, fantasy readers! Here’s Chapter 8 Part 2 of Saving ForeverLand.
If you didn’t get a chance to read the previous chapters, remember to check those out. I’ve included the links below:
The ground around her was stone, with huge cracks running down the center. It looked like an earthquake hit. And the trees - or what was left of them - they were burnt to the ground, mounds of black ash. There were no people around that Sarah could see, but before she could explore any further, Josh and Omor appeared behind her and the swirl of light disappeared.
She spun on her heel, glaring at them both. How could they take me here? But then when Sarah saw the looks on their faces, she knew that they were not prepared for this scene either. Josh’s eyes were wide with fear, and Omor’s jaw dropped as he frantically looked left, right, up, down, apparently
searching for the source of the mass destruction.
“I-I” Josh stuttered. Then he glared straight into Omor’s eyes. “What happened?!”
“It was all normal earlier today,” Omor said, confused. “I have no idea what could have done this, except…Hadoo?” Sarah could tell that Omor was terrified of the possibility that Hadoo could have been here - his whole body was trembling.
“We have to investigate,” Josh commanded. “We have to find proof that this was Hadoo before we bring the information back to Elozar.”
“What do you suggest?” Sarah asked, trying to prepare herself for what would come next.
“Let’s split up.” Josh pointed out to the left. “Omar, you head that way toward the Black Bridge and I’ll go by the Silent Cove.”
Sarah, confused by the terminology, stood silently, waiting for further instruction.
“Sarah,” Josh continued, “I know that you don’t know much about The Edge, but I need you to go on the right side of this stone platform.” He pointed forward and to the right of where they were standing, toward what seemed to be a never-ending field of rock. “We call it The Stage.”
“What am I looking for, exactly?” Sarah asked, hoping she didn’t sound stupid.
Josh looked at her differently than he had last night. He was serious, devoid of all emotion. “Signs of a struggle, remains, things that could have been dropped…anything really.”
He gestured in the direction of The Stage, guiding Sarah in the direction of her new mission; she took the lead, and as she began to walk into the never-ending darkness ahead of her, she turned back and watched Josh and Omor go their separate ways.
It was like the two centaurs just faded away, no longer in Sarah’s line of sight. She took a deep breath and urged herself onward.
Her eyes were pealed and she walked slowly, careful not to miss a clue. She needed to pay attention to every detail. So far, the landscape was barren on the stone platform that they called The Stage. Yes, there were cracks in the rock, but other than looking like an earthquake hit the area hard, there weren’t signs of a fight - yet.
Sarah felt like a detective, searching for any clue that would lead them closer to the source of the destruction, but after several minutes of quietly tip-toeing down The Stage, she noticed the fear take over her mind. I don’t even know where I’m going. What if I get lost and I can’t find Josh and Omor? What if I’m trapped in The Edge forever!?
Then she tried to talk sense into herself. I’m fine. I’m a Protector. I have a job to do, and Josh and Omor are counting on me. She had a new resolve to find what they were looking for. Sarah picked up a pace a bit, straining her eyes to look at every inch of the area when she finally noticed something.
She didn’t see it, but she felt its presence, like jumping into a cold pool on a summer day. She knew this feeling. There has to be a portal somewhere close. Now, she had to locate it and somehow figure out who conjured it and
where it goes to. Sarah wasn’t feeling too confident, but she had to give it her best try.
She followed the cold - that’s all she could do, she supposed. The path on The Stage had forked in several directions throughout her search, so she wasn’t quite sure where she was in relation to where she started, but it was like the portal was calling her, leading her exactly where she needed to go. Down the path to the left, under a stone arch, over the giant crack in the ground…she was running on autopilot.
The swirl of rainbow light appeared out of nowhere. One moment the rock wall in front of her was solid, and then she turned around, and there it was. How long has this been here? Something felt off about this. Sarah had the odd feeling that someone was watching her. She nibbled on her thumbnail as she considered her options.
I could try to retrace my steps and find Josh and Omor, but they didn’t really tell me how to find them again, which now that Sarah considered it, seemed odd. The only other option she could see for herself was to investigate the portal on her own. Should I go through it? No - that’s crazy. I have no idea where this leads. But, another side of her countered, what if this was her mission, her destiny? Sarah wanted so badly to fit in somewhere, to find her place, and what if getting to the bottom of this was the way to do so?
“Josh!” Sarah called into the expanse behind her. “Josh!? Omor!? Where are you!?” She didn’t entirely know what she was expecting, just praying for some sort of answer, screaming like a child lost in an amusement park.
She waited a minute, but there was just silence. No response. Now what? Sarah took a tentative step forward, eyes on the swirling light. Where will this take me? She wondered. Heart pounding, she looked left and right, and realizing there was no one there to save her, she took a leap of faith into the portal. The familiar burn ran from her head to her toes as The Edge of ForeverLand disappeared from her sight and darkness took over. She felt the portal hugging her tightly and she kept her eyes squeezed shut until she was suddenly released.
Josh continued to make his way to the Silent Cove. The ground was bare, not a trace of life left on this side of The Edge. He jumped over the large crack in the ground just in time - if he weren’t paying close enough attention he would have ended up stuck down there. Looking down into the darkness below, Josh ran his hand through his hair, trying to calm his nerves. It’s fine.
We’re going to figure this out. He tried to assure himself. Continuing forward, Josh began to make out the outline of the rocks from the Silent Cove ahead. The sun was setting, but there was still enough light to see the ripples of the water dancing along the surface before him.
And then he heard it. Like a white noise machine, the humming was emanating from the edge of the cove. Josh had never heard this before. He’d been on The Edge of ForeverLand hundreds of times before, but something was different.
Josh was in a trance-like state. He was aware of his surroundings, but it was like his legs were carrying him forward on their own. What is this magic?! He even tried to resist the pull of this unknown force, but could not fight it. Despite telling his feet to stay put, he continued to move toward Silent Cove. He finally realized the irony - the cove had always been silent and now there was suddenly noise. This went against all he was taught in his training. He was both terrified and curious as to where the humming would take him.
His shoe touched the water at last. Apparently, he was walking right into the water. We were always told never to enter the water of the cove. He thought frantically. This can’t be good.
A few steps farther and the water was up to his calves - his jeans soaked, his feet slipping against the sand below. In an attempt to regain his balance, Josh moved to take a step forward but was surprised when his foot wouldn’t budge. Then, the sand began to spin, like a tornado. Before he knew it, Josh was being sucked below the surface of the water, into the sand. He struggled against the mysterious force but to no avail. This is the end, he thought as his face finally got pulled beneath the surface.
Omor made it to the Black Bridge but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The land over here looked the same as usual - plants and trees in their normal spots, not a leaf out of place. But then it hit him. He was halfway over the bridge and it felt like he hit a brick wall. It didn’t necessarily stop him from moving forward, but the next steps Omor took required immense strength, even for a Centaur. This has to be a sign. Keep moving, he told himself, dragging each leg forward, and then right when Omor reached the other side of the Black Bridge, the force was gone. He could move like normal again, but even so, he knew something was off. Sensing strong magic nearby, Omor scanned his surroundings for anything that stood out. Nothing to his left, right, or up, but when he chanced a look down below the bridge where it was
usually an empty valley, the Centaur couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Josh!?” Omor saw the young bender look up and meet his gaze. A wave of relief crossed Josh’s face, though Omor wasn’t sure why. The scene below did not look good. Josh, along with all the other timebenders who normally guard The Edge, was down some hundred feet below him, and while Josh looked as if he was free to move, all the others were straining against something. Are those chains? Omor squinted to get a better look and noticed that the chains were glowing, much like a portal. He didn’t waste more time thinking about it. Instead, the SpaceBender created a portal on the end of the bridge that led him down to the imprisoned citizens of ForeverLand. Prepared to fight whatever was down there, Omor stepped through the swirl of light and the Black Bridge was empty once again.
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