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image from the book The Brittle Sea

Book Two

Darkness

She woke with a start and gulped for air. She lay on her back, her mind a blank. Tears welled in her eyes as she opened them to an ebony darkness. Panic plucked at her heart and suddenly attacked her mind. Her hands gripped convulsively, coarse wood scratched her fingers. She had no thoughts, only raw fear.

Branches scraped against a window pane and suddenly she realised she didn’t know where she was. The last thing she remembered was a ship, the cold, the ice, the brittle sea. Then the thought slipped away into the darkest recesses of her mind, to sit there, elusive, waiting to tantalise her waking moments with unknown and unremembered images and thoughts.

She lay on a rough pallet in an empty room in a home, her home? Her mother’s… Her mother, she remembered a face and then it too withdrew, back into the darkness. Pain and misery engulfed her, she feared she was alone, abandoned by somebody, not knowing who she was or where she was. She moved her legs and realised she was shackled at her ankles, unable to free herself from the pallet. Was she a prisoner, is this a jail?

She woke with another start and felt nothing but exhaustion. She must have fallen asleep while she vainly pulled her shackled ankles back and forth in a weak attempt to free herself. She gave up and realised it was still dark. There was no sense of time., she had no sense of time, didn’t even know what time of day it was let alone what the actual day was. She tried to raise her weak body up on one elbow but fell back as pain shot through her body. It was then she remembered being pregnant and her hands shot down to feel her stomach. ‘My baby!’ she cried weakly. Her baby was gone, she knew it was gone, just as she knew she had been pregnant. But that was all that reality would allow her to know, that she had been pregnant… but was pregnant no more. “Richard,” she said with a sob and then wondered who Richard was. All was confusion, images, were there, faces suddenly appeared and then disappeared and then her mind was a blank.

Her long hair was slicked with sweat. She pulled the curtain of wet hair from her face. A sudden noise made her eyes dart toward the window. Tree branches thrashed against the dark window pane. Then a small shaft of light as a creaking door opened, a tiny crack of flickering lamplight. The opening grew bigger and then the light was stifled by a small figure. Someone was stood… in a doorway!

“Good,” an old woman’s voice said, “you are awake.”

“Da,” she said weakly and then the light was gone as a creaking door was shut and at the same time her mind closed and she fell back into a delirium.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

This is a first draft, so please forgive spelling & grammatical errors. Context and characters may change between now and the final publication date.

When published as an eBook and paperback at the end of the spring of 2019, this book will be the first in a trilogy: The Brittle Sea, The Brittle Land and The Brittle Sky.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here