I've been talking about "Warriors of Aralan #7" for a while now, and so I'm really excited to reveal three important things about it with this post:
1.) It has a name: Healing Scars.
2.) The cover! (That book-shaped image just to the left of this text).
3.) And a little tidbit of of the story itself in the form of an excerpt.
I'm hoping to release Healing Scars to Amazon later this month, but until then, here's the excerpt. Enjoy!
Update: Healing Scars is published, and can be downloaded off Amazon.
Though Mercy was perplexing, a lazy day at her special fishing hole turned out to be a pleasant experience. Each of the three children caught several fish, and Ben kept two of his biggest to bring home. About midway through the afternoon, Benjamin suggested swimming.
Impulsive as Mercy was, she eyed the choppy water doubtfully. “I don’t know if it’s safe.”
“Can’t you swim?” Ben asked, a challenge in his voice.
Mercy stood up indignantly. “Of course I can! It’s just that daddy said to never swim near waterfalls because they can push you under.”
Had Kenan been quicker to speak, no one might have gotten wet that day. As it was, Ben found his tongue long before his friend. “That’s not a very big waterfall,” he said scornfully, gesturing at it. It was true—but it wasn’t a very small one either. And then, without further ado, Ben flung himself into the water.
Mercy dithered on the bank for a moment, setting her fishing pole and line straight, and then she followed with a much smaller and less enthusiastic jump.
Benjamin broke the surface again, flinging his wet hair out of the way with a roguish grin. “Come on Kenan, the water feels good.”
Kenan sat down slowly and dangled his legs in the water, shaking his head. “I think I’m all right here.” It wasn’t that he couldn’t swim—he and Ben had spent many summer afternoons doing just that—it was that, like Mercy, he wasn’t entirely sure swimming there was a good idea.
Just then Mercy came up gasping for air, and Ben burst out laughing. Her dark brown hair usually formed a perfect frizz all the way around her head, mirroring the spunk of the girl it belonged to, but when wet it went completely flat, draping, soaked, around her head and neck. “What?” she asked, frowning.
Benjamin splashed her. “You look like a drowned rat!” he exclaimed, laughing so hard he went under.
When he came up again, it was to a skillful jet of water in his face. “I do not!” Mercy retorted crossly.
Soon Mercy was pursuing Ben around the foaming pool, and both hurled insults freely. Though perhaps Benjamin’s motives hadn’t been entirely pure when he called Mercy a drowned rat, their insult war became a light-hearted competition.
Kenan stood up and watched their progress anxiously. “Aren’t you getting a little close to the waterf—oh!”
Suddenly Ben felt himself tugged under with all the power and might of hundreds of gallons of water, and the breath was crushed from his lungs. Bubbles escaped from his mouth, and his wildly kicking feet collided painfully with a sharp rock on the bottom. He could see nothing but murky dim greenness, and panic gripped his heart when he could hear nothing but the dull roar of the waterfall churning the water into thousands of fine white bubbles all around. For one horrible second everything went still and quiet, and even though his lungs still screamed for oxygen he no longer cared. But suddenly he was propelled upwards by the current and broke the surface with a mighty gasping of air. Light, sound, and colors all came as a shock to his senses, and he felt Kenan’s hands grip his arms and haul him out onto the bank
Everything still seemed far-off and misty, like a rapidly-fading dream, but the sensation of Kenan patting his cheek and yelling at him brought him out of it. He blinked groggily at his friend, who looked caught halfway between anger and fear. “Benjamin, you fool! I thought you were getting too close to the waterfall, but—” he stopped suddenly, and an expression of horror crossed his face. He turned slowly to look at the pool, and then back at Ben. His face was ghostly white. “Mercy hasn’t come up yet.”
Benjamin sat up immediately, the sudden motion causing him to retch water and wince as he rediscovered the injury to his foot. He was surprised when he saw the sheer amount of blood oozing from the wound. He tried to ignore it, though the breath caught in his throat. “Mercy was pulled under too?” he asked, voice hoarse.
Kenan was up and pacing back and forth on the bank like a caged lion as he scanned the water. “Oh this is bad! So, so bad!” He whirled on Ben suddenly, furious. “Yes, she was pulled under! You both went under at the same time!”
Ben groaned and lay back, covering his eyes with his hands. Perhaps now would be a good time to pray to his father’s God. No sooner had the thought crossed his mind than he heard Kenan doing that exact thing. “Lord, help us,” Kenan groaned. “We’re just children—Ben didn’t mean to drown Mercy.”
Almost instantly one outspread hand—then another—and finally Mercy’s head—broke the surface, and if Ben had made a loud noise sucking oxygen into his lungs, she was even louder. Kenan put both hands on his head as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and she paddled feebly to shore, spitting water. “No, you’re right,” she grinned weakly at Kenan as he took her hand to pull her out, “There aren’t any giant eels down there.”
As she flopped on the bank alongside Ben, chest heaving for air, they compared battle wounds, and she sat up. Of course Benjamin had a sizeable cut on his left foot from the rock it had encountered underwater, but Mercy had her fair share of scrapes and bruises to show for the experience. After they finished, Mercy threw herself back down on the bank, arms outspread in dramatic celebration. “We’re alive!”
“At least until our parents kill us,” Ben muttered.
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 closer to Jesus. Feel free to look around, and enjoy your stay!