Latest Edit for Heritage Lost- The White Tower
Bad news!!! The editor I hired will not get back to me so I am stuck re-editing the book for the millionth (feels like) time. Anyway, I am only going to post a little of it. I will post more on my website when I get it up and running. I just switched providers and I don't want to clog up the forums.
Trouble at sea
"Furl the sail!" The Captain shouted the order as he fiercely gripped the wheel. His jaw clenched with the strain of keeping the ship pointed into the swells- knowing that if they lost their bearing they would certainly lose their lives. The storm raged on, and the sea hardened captain stood fearlessly against it. He had fought storms before- had stood on this very deck as they lashed on him with all their fury- and he wasn’t going to let this one send him to the bottom.
His knuckles turned white as the rain ran in rivulets from off of his weather-beaten hat. Yet with an almost insane grin he cackled and cursed the storm- daring it to bring its best. To see him you would have thought he had lost his mind. But he couldn’t help it, he loved the sea, even when she rose up and punished him for daring to trespass into her watery depths. Lightning struck close by him, the thunder cracked like a cannon as the large swells that surrounded the little ship lit up for a moment- then darkness plunged in again. He leaned his head back and cried out another challenge. For the moment he was winning- for the moment.
He felt the wheel shudder and in response gripped it harder as the ship rose and crested another monstrous wave- time seemed to freeze as the wave passed under it. Then, free of its restraints, the ship plunged downward and crashed into the next swell. The captain collided into the wheel as the ship almost came to a standstill. Down below, water surged across the deck and men were swept off their feet. They fought to grab anything secure. Most found something- a few didn’t. As if in defiance, the ship once again broke through the sea and surfaced. The water receded from the deck as she valiantly fought through the trough and began rising on the next wave.
"Furl the sail!" The Captain shouted the order again- this time in anger. His smile had vanished- his arrogance had been mellowed by the last wave. This storm was different somehow… bigger… alive. He grew more serious, a small tinge of fear began to intrude into his thoughts.
Below on deck, Dieter fought to let go of the railing- but his hands seemed frozen, refusing to release his only link with safety. His eyes widened as he watched where the boiling sky met the watery mountains circling the ship. We can’t survive this! He thought. His hands clutched even tighter as he began to shake. This wasn’t supposed to be happening! He had too much to live for! He fell to his knees and pressed his face up against the wooden rail as a child would his mother. Closing his eyes he thought longingly of home- as if by longing alone he could escape the impending doom.
For a moment he could almost see his home: the table was set, the family was together in the castle, his father was cutting the steaming venisen...
His father! Dieter’s eyes shot open at the familiar memory. What would his father think! Here he was the oldest son, and nobility at that, clutching the railing like a woman! True he wasn’t a sailor, and still not twenty years old, but he wouldn’t die a coward. No-one may ever know what had happened to him, but he would die like a man.
He ripped his unwilling fingers from the railing and began lurching toward the mainsail where a group of sailors wrestled with the canvas. The deck pitched wildly and it was all he could do to keep from being pitched to the deck. He reached the mainsail and found the task almost complete. The sail was furled and all they lacked was to tie it securely. But suddenly, a sudden gust of wind wrenched it from their hands. Dieter was thrown to the deck as the force of the wind filled the sail with a loud snap. He looked on in horror as the ropes holding the white canvas sail to the mast strained until they looked no thicker than his little finger.
Above at the wheelhouse, the captain watched all this as it happened, but there was nothing he could do. The strain was too much. The mast first bent under the strain, and then a few moments later it gave way. At first it seemed to fall in slow motion, and then as it gained momentum it fell faster- finally pitching over the side and crashing into the water. The ship suddenly lurched hard to starboard as the rigging from the snapped mast jerked at their moorings. Again the captain was slammed against the wheel, but this was so sudden he had no time to prepare himself. His forehead rammed into the wood with a spray of blood and bone, then he fell heavily to the wooden planks. He had lost his final fight with the sea.