Part Seven of my Latest Free Serial
Breaking Ground is a Darkeningstone novella – it's a standalone book: a bonus story. I'm presenting it here in weekly parts. Each part on this site is tagged ‘breaking ground' so you can find all the published episodes easily. I'll add a link at the end of this episode. I hope you enjoy it.
Burlic stood at the edge of the lake. He looked to his left and his right, scanning the shore, taking in the lush, green reeds that softened the line between water and solid earth. He closed his eyes for a moment and listened to the gentle shush of the reeds in the breeze. Finally, he gazed across the water and watched the sunlight flicker on the surface. His sharp eyes picked out the faint ripple from a fish dimpling the surface as it fed. He took a deep breath and released it in a long sigh. Yes, he thought, this is the place. He knelt and dipped his hands into the clear water, rubbing them together. He watched the dried blood soak away from his skin, clouding the water. He reached for the pouch at his belt and pulled out the two talismans. Carefully, he unthreaded the remains of their braided straps and dropped the scraps of leather onto the ground. The straps were not important, they held no power. He turned the talismans in the light, once again admiring their perfect roundness and the skill in their carved markings. What power did the patterns hold? What spirits were they dedicated to? Burlic sniffed. I’ll never know, he thought, but it doesn’t matter. When it came to it, they hadn’t been strong enough to protect the men who had worn them.
He took one talisman in each hand and, holding them gently, he dipped them into the water. He turned his hands over so that the talismans lay in the palms of his hands, and uncurled his fingers. He rubbed his thumbs over the talismans, until the delicate patterns were pristine.
Burlic smiled. The time was right. He rose to his feet, looked upwards and took a deep breath.
“Here at the joining place,” he called, “I bring the strength of these men.” He stretched out his arms in front of him. “These men were my enemies,” he said, “but they died bravely.” He looked back to the talismans and placed them both in his right hand. “Shades, I call on you.” He drew back his arm, and looked out across the water, picking out the right place. “I call on you,” he yelled, “to let them pass.” And in one smooth, powerful action, he hurled the talismans over the lake. The smooth discs span and whirled in an arc, catching the light, then fell, tumbling through the air. They slipped into the water at exactly the same moment. The two small splashes sparkled and were gone. Only ripples remained. And Burlic stood perfectly still and watched until the last of them had faded away.
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If you prefer to read on Wattpad, you can find Breaking Ground here. I've been adding a cast of characters on Wattpad, e.g. I've cast actor Tom Hardy as Burlic.
On this site, you can see all the published episodes with the following button:See all published episodes of this free serial
If you'd rather get the whole novella in one go – as well as the full-length sequel – and all for free, please click on the following button:Get the full story and the full-length sequel for free
Or find Breaking Ground on amazon – the ebook is free:
Tom Hardy – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/the-revenant-tom-hardy-says-sean-penn-was-originally-going-to-play-his-character-john-fitzgareld-a6832976.html