The Callindra Chronicles Book 2 – The Rise of Evil: Chapter 34

“Oh.  Well, make the best of it while you can?”  She said, “Just because the Wind does what I ask it to sometimes doesn’t mean it listens every time.”

“We’ll take as much advantage as we can.”  He said with a grin and released a rope.  A third sail caught the wind with a snap and The Flounder seemed to leap over the water much faster than a ship of her size and shape should have been able to.

By the end of the first day they had covered most of the distance to The Whalebone Islands.  On the way, they’d discovered that the archipelago was a collection of perhaps a hundred tiny islands surrounded by treacherous reefs and plagued by capricious winds.  There were few safe places to drop anchor close to any of the islands and Gill wasn’t willing to risk The Flounder.  Once they got closer they would be reduced to rowing the Longboat he kept onboard.

At highsun the following day they passed between a pair of islands that were nothing more than pillars of stone that towered several hundred feet into the sky and Gill announced that they had crossed the barrier reef that surrounded the islands.  Brightly colored fish darted away from the ship, not used to the unfamiliar shadow she cast as she sailed over their frigid home.  Callindra hung onto the railing, looking down with avid interest and a smile on her face.

“Look at that one!  It’s bright orange!”  She shouted, pointing a finger down at the water.

“Callindra, could you maybe step back from the edge?”  Cronos asked, “If you fall in I don’t think we can turn back to get you.”

“Relax Cronos, since when have YOU become the worry wort?”  She laughed, “Look that one’s bright blue!”

She turned to look at her brothers, smiling and laughing.  That’s when the sides of the pillars slammed into the ship.  The Flounder ground to a stop, flinging everyone but Tryst off their feet.

Tryst watched in horror as a stone fell from above, crushing Callindra to a bloody pulp on the deck.  Cronos twisted, trying to get out of the way as the deck of the ship slammed into him, pulverizing his body against one of the pillars.  The ship groaned under the pressure and his other companions and family were pitched into the chill waters of the Sea of Swords.

He turned, trying to find a way to escape, and as the walls slammed closed on him, he grabbed onto a rope, cut it with his belt knife and swung out barely swinging free of the stones before the mashed the ship into toothpicks.

Blink.

Vilhylm saw the pillars begin to slam together and looked around with careful deliberation flung a grapnel up towards the clifftop high above.  He climbed up the rope just in time to avoid the slabs of rock meeting, but lost sight of the ship except for broken fragments of wood fell to splash into the ocean below.

Blink.

Cronos saw the stones begin to move and sprang into action.  He whirled his hands and waves of Power coursed from his hands, hurling him up and away from the ship.  Even as he tried to find a way to help the others, the ship was crushed into kindling, his family with it.

Blink.

Vilhylm roared in fury, growing strong and leaping forth in a futile attempt to stop the walls from smashing together.  He struggled against the inexorable force of the stone, feet digging furrows into the decking.  All the power he could summon wasn’t sufficient to keep the inevitable from happening though.  The stone pillars continued to grind together, crushing Vilhylm, the ship and his family.

Blink.

Callindra summoned all the force she could as the pillars began to fall.  Drawing so much power into herself that her entire body shook with it.  Drawing Brightfang, she swung him in a circular arc and blasted Wind out in a torrent around her.  Rising off the deck of the ship and spinning faster and faster she screamed in desperation, trying to shove the walls back and the ship forward at the same time.  It was close, but at the end the power was too much for her sword.  Brightfang exploded into a shower of steel shards and without him to help her channel it, the wind itself tore her and her family into bloody shreds.

Blink.

They were sailing towards the twin pillars and Tryst grabbed Gill’s arm.  “Wait, we can’t go in this way.”  He said, his voice tense.

“I saw such horrible things.  Such awful things.”  Callindra said, “What I did was unforgivable.  Unforgivable.”  She was sitting with her back to the mast, holding Brightfang and running her hands up and down his length.

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