Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chapter 12: Water

   As they flew, Ardan watched the earth below turn green. It was green as far forward as he could see, until the mountains began to take over the horizon. He studied the ground. He'd never seen trees of this shape. They were impossibly tall with thick branches, heavy with leaves.
   Fulkar flew with the wind, and it swept him close over the tree tops. The leaves were shaped like stars and once he even caught a glimpse of an animal he had never seen before. It was so graceful. It was thin and tall, on four legs that were long, as were it's ears. There was a herd of them, like gazelle, but bigger. They raced swiftly through the trees, winding and diving through the trunks. He gasped when he saw them and Rheto leaned over to see.
   "Those are deer. They are much like the gazelle that the hunters bring back, but they are larger and with bigger horns. They cannot be tamed like horses, but they are very beautiful."
   Ardan only nodded, watching as the herd slipped from view into a deeper part of the forrest. As they neared the mountain they passed over a great expanse of water, and as they reached the far side, Fulkar began to drop again. This time Ardan prepared himself for it and was not so caught off guard as to lose his breath.
  They dropped down onto sand, only it was like no other sand that Ardan had ever encountered. It was dark gray with small black and white pebbles running through it. He sifted it through his hands. The grains were larger, it was heavier in his hands, but most different of all, it was cool to the touch. Ardan stood staring over the great water, his eyes wide, his mouth in a pensive line.
   "This is a lake," Rheto told him, answering his question before he asked it. "It is a medium-sized body of water. There are also seas, which are bigger, and oceans, which I could never describe in a way which would allow your mind to dream of them. They are like the desert stretching many weeks journey and leading to unknown lands." The water was a deep blue. Deeper even than Fulkar's darkest scales. Fulkar shook his body free of the ropes and then plunged head first into the water. His whole mammoth body was enveloped by the water. All that remained were rings of waves. Rheto too leapt into the water, splashing and diving until he was as sleek as a diving bird and half his normal size.
   Ardan sat down in the strange cool sand and let it seep between his fingers. He had never been afraid of water before, but now, with this water, he was. He wanted to leapt into as Fulkar and Rheto had, but he couldn't make his body perform the action. What if it swallowed him whole?

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