Saturday, May 2, 2009
SINS Excerpt #2: A REAL CLIFF HANGER!
“Blazes!” Edenstorm gaped at the black storm that rolled in like dense smoke, flashing lightning and driving a waist high wave straight at them.
God, what had he done? How was he going to get her out of here? She was right; the cave would trap them and drown them. But the cliffs around the cave were unscalable. They could climb a few feet, but no more. The only route to the top was across sand that had already been flooded.
But the water would recede with the wave.
“Up the cliff,” he said. He grabbed her waist and shoved her up the rock face.
“We can’t climb that,” she protested.
He hauled himself after her, seconds before the next wave slammed against the rock, dousing them with the spray.
“When it recedes, jump down and run for that rockfall.”
“They’re not stable. We can’t get up there, either.”
“It’s the only place we’ve got. Maybe we can get up high enough for now.” He waited as the wave lost power and receded until it was shallow enough to jump into it.
He leaped down, but she hesitated. He grabbed her waist and lifted her down. “Come on! There’s no time to waste!”
She ran through the shallow water near the base of the scarp. He ran behind her, his eyes on the next wave coming in like a cliff of water. They had to reach the rocks before it hit or the sand would disappear beneath their feet, and they’d be helpless against the undertow.
“Run!” he shouted, as if his voice could make her run faster.
They splashed their way, each step slowed more as the water deepened, pushed inland by the oncoming giant wave. Only a few more feet to the rock slope. To seaward, the wall of water rolled toward them. He hoisted her into the air and thrust her up onto the rockfall. She climbed like a spider and wedged herself between two boulders. Behind her, he gripped crevices in the rock and started climbing.
The wave smashed against him, tall as his face, washing him away and banging him against the rock like a mere twig in a wind storm. One hand clung to a precarious hold, but the other was torn free of the rock and dangled uselessly. His footing vanished, tossing his legs with the surge. The rucksack hung like a boulder on his back, pulling him down toward the violent sea. He swung himself around as the wave receded and found a grip for his feet as he climbed higher, but a second surge rolled over him, submerging and whirling him, tossing him like jetsam in a storm. His last grip on solid rock washed free.
An odd calm descended on him as his doom rose up to meet him from beneath the waves. He’d always known his end would come to him in a fight, but he would not give in to it until his last chance was taken from him.
He’d done his best, she would make it… He would wash away to sea with the receding wave… It was the end and he had done his best…
Dangling by one arm, his legs driven in the force, first landward then seaward, he couldn’t breathe beneath the wave, but he had done his best… Had done his best, would be at peace with it… She would be safe…