Here is an excerpt from my young adult eBook, Branwen's Quest (Warriors of Aralan Book 1). Liked this? Branwen's Quest can be downloaded here! ------------------------------ Branwen knew nothing for several long seconds that seemed to last for an eternity. She was falling, always falling, into darkness. She had no voice to scream. Suddenly all four of them plunged into deep, black water. Branwen stiffened as the icy chill took her breath away and instantly soaked every inch of her. She fought upwards desperately and her head broke the surface right next to Quintin's. To her amazement she could see this because the torch—which she had dropped early during the fall—had miraculously landed on a narrow strip of rocky land at the edge of the sluggish underground river they had fallen into. Even though it had dropped from such a height, it continued burning. The water began making Branwen shiver because it was none too warm, and her teeth chattered as she looked around her. "Wh-where are th-the others?" she asked Quintin, completely forgetting all her hostility towards him for the moment. Before Quintin could reply, she saw two more heads break the surface of the water not far away and relief flooded her chest. No more words were spoken just then, because everyone knew they needed to get out of the river and onto land where the torch gleamed as their beacon. Suddenly Branwen heard Edyth give a little gasp. "Ah—ahhh—s-something t-touched me," she said, voice quivering because of the icy water. Silas's voice sounded soon after as he attempted to reassure her. "It was probably just weeds—oh," he drew in a sudden sharp breath, "—that, that wasn't a weed." Branwen tried to push the fear of what might be lurking in the water out of her mind and concentrate on the warm glow of the torch on the far bank of the river. All this failed when she felt something slimy, cold, and sinuous like an enormous snake brush against her leg. Every legend she had ever heard of supposedly extinct giant eels came rushing back with terrible force. The stories had always been told as if the monsters in them had been dead for hundreds of years because brave heroes had slain them; much like the stories of epic battles between dragons and knights, or sea monsters and sailors. But did some of those huge eels still exist? Fear pumped cold through her veins, causing her to swim faster. Branwen heard Quintin give a sudden muted noise that was somewhere between a grunt and a gasp, and she knew he had been touched by the creature as well. Branwen thought horribly that if there was an eel down there it probably didn't get much to eat, so four people would be a welcome meal. Finally her numbed fingertips grasped the sharp edge of the rock path where the torch lay, and she heaved herself out of the water, a dripping mess. Quintin was right beside her, and Branwen's trembling hands picked up the torch before the water pouring off the two of them put it out. She carefully blew more life into it, and scooted back as far from the water's edge as she could to make room for Silas and Edyth. Perhaps they would make it out safely after all. Silas hauled himself out of the water first, and had turned to help Edyth, when the young warrior—her hands already on the rock edge where she had put her spear—uttered a short scream before being dragged abruptly under, her mouth filling with water. Silas grabbed wildly for her wrist and succeeded. He held on with all his might, and Quintin scrambled for her other hand. For a split second Edyth's head resurfaced before being tugged back under again along with both young men. Branwen's jaw fell slack with shock and she leaped to the edge after quickly laying the torch on a convenient shelf of rock in the cliff wall. A few feet below the dark water's surface writhed a pale, wriggling, muscular mass which left her in no doubt about the existence of giant eels. Through her terror she instinctively grasped over her shoulder and her seeking hand closed over one water-logged arrow. She froze. There were no others. They had fallen out upon impact with the water. Never before had her last arrow counted for so much. If she missed the eel, Edyth, Silas and Quintin would never see the light of day again and would die in this black place.
Welcome to Katelyn Buxton Books! I'm a Christian author and blogger, with a passion for writing stories that are not just enjoyable, but also lead people to Jesus. Feel free to look around, and enjoy your stay!