Adam continued to swim backward, starting at the vast expanse of Ocean before him. Ramata’s head popped up above the surface of the water, startling him. Ocean flowed in and out his ears and nostrils, mouth and throat. Adam choked on fresh gulps of crisp air and spat out gooey blood and salty water. He heard the sounds of his own tortured gasps inside of his head and then Ramata’s voice came to him:
“Adam, come home, please come home. There is a world here and your time above the water is long past. Sesre had to leave the water behind, Adam. She’d changed forever. Change is neither bad nor good, Adam, it just is.”
Adam was now above the water, staring up at the sky while the sun beamed down upon him. It killed him to breathe, but he chose to keep at it, tears in his eyes, one painful, labored inhalation at a time, for just a while longer, long enough to whisper, “Goodbye, Mom and Dad.”
Before taking one final, painful breath of the salt-tinged air, Adam turned back to the islands. He lowered his mouth into the water to ease his hurting lungs, but left his eyes above the water. As he scanned the island chain, he thought he saw something – something gray and wispy rising high to the very sky above. A column of smoke! Impossible.
The noonday sun filtered down through the surface onto Adam’s back. He relished the familiar taste of Ocean; a taste that reminded him of impossible things, of hope and change. The taste of Ocean reminded Adam of life. The column of smoke reminded him of life yet still to live.
END BOOK ONE
Well, constant readers, that’s the end of the first book in The Waterwood Cycle.
Thanks for accompanying Adam, Spot, and Ramata throughout the year while I delivered the book. I hope to write the second sometime this year (but can’t say that I’ll present it in this same way). At any rate, I appreciate any time you took out of your day to read this site.
Have a happy New Year and, don’t forget, my latest book is available for purchase here.