Ath makes a choice that sets events twisting around his life.
With book 2 of The Bow of Hart Saga, more characters get point-of-view scenes. One such character is Athson’s father whose in quite a dire predicament. In this early scene, he’s finds something and is forced to make one choice around which the lives of many characters in the book will revolve.
The rumble of collapsing stone faded to groans and squeals from the mass of surrounding rock. Ath half-gagged, half-coughed dust and grit from his throat. “Hello?” His hoarse whisper echoed ahead. An open passage. He checked his limbs by feel. Cuts and bruises, but nothing broken.
Ath crawled, but his chain pulled taut. His hands fumbled along the metal links. Who had held his chain last? Was it a buried troll? He felt around for a stone with a rough edge and enough weight to break the metal.
His hand passed over an object. Ath touched it. Rough edges, cold metal with teeth. His heart thudded. A piece of a file. He grinned. With this, he could escape.
Ath started scratching a link, his movement fast. He should make it quick, lest trolls come searching. Where could he go in this place? Where was a door? The questions slowed his fervor against the hard, thick chain.
Ath paused. He hid his short file in a pocket, a vast treasure. His hands trailed back along the chain. A large chunk of rock lay on it, and he slid it away with effort. He continued on along the chain. Rock fell near him. Ath cringed and covered his head with his arms. Silence settled around him. Just settling rock. Still, best not to linger longer than necessary.
He searched along the length of his chain. He touched a hand and drew back with a gasp. He touched it again. It was warm and felt human. Ath sat back with a groan. “Corgren!” He coughed, and it sounded like a shout in the silence of the tunnel. Ath trembled a moment, frozen in place.
Key! Did Corgren have it? He scrambled to the wizard and went through his pockets. Nothing. Ath pounded his leg with a fist. After a few moments, his frustration ended. So, it would be the file or nothing. He reached for his pocket.
Ath froze again. If the wizard woke, he would take Ath’s prize. Then what? Ath felt around for a heavy rock. He’d have to kill Corgren and then use the file. He felt for the wizard’s bald head and lifted the rock with both hands.
Rock tumbled in the blocked passage as the corridor quaked.
The file might take too long. Ath’s face contorted with the effort of holding the rock. If it took too long, he might be buried. He grunted. Who cared if Corgren died?
Athson’s voice, now a man’s voice, flickered in his memory. Defiance. Had he survived? If so, he’d need Ath’s help.
Ath needed to escape Chokkra, and someone needed to lead him out. He needed the file—and Corgren—to escape. How, he didn’t know, other than that they had used him against Athson. He’d use the file little by little and break loose at the best opportunity. Preferably when Corgren took him to bully Athson again to get the Bow of Hart. He tossed the rock aside, his arms trembling. He’d help Athson at the right opportunity, and that would come in time.
He searched Corgren for broken limbs and found nothing but a bloody knot on his head. Ath dragged Corgren away from the rock, out of the choking dust. The chain clinked with his movements. He progressed with the arduous proficiency of a blind man. He felt for obstacles, lest he fall, until the occasional sound of settling rock faded.
Corgren coughed and groaned. He rolled over in Ath’s grasp.
“What are you doing? Where am I?” Corgren shoved Ath weakly away.
Ath stepped back. “There was a collapse. I pulled you away.”
Corgren hissed in pain. “That’s a nasty blow.” He went still and then pulled Ath close. “Why did you save me?” A trembling grasp reached for Ath’s throat. “You tried to kill me. This head wound.”
Ath struggled with Corgren. “Please, no! It’s the chain. We’re attached. I don’t think the trolls survived.” He waved his hand in a vague approximation of the collapse.
Corgren’s grasp loosened. A weak laugh echoed in the tunnel. “I suppose you want some thanks, some reward?”
Ath scrambled away. “No. It was just that rock kept falling around us.”
He heard Corgren rise with prolonged grunts. He pulled on the chain. “Well, since you want to live, come along.”
Ath followed. He squeezed the file in his pocket. He’d be ready if the time came. He shook his head. When it came. He coughed to cover a laugh. The file blazed like a candle of hope in his mind. When…
About the Book
An Arrow Against the Wind is book two of The Bow of Hart Saga and is available at all retailers. Just click the cover below to use the universal link to find out more about the book at your preferred e-book vendor:
About the Author
P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. His first novel, The Bow of Destiny was named 2016 Book of the Year by Fantasia Reviews and is the first book of The Bow of Hart Saga. The sequel novel, An Arrow Against the Wind, was released in April of 2017. The third book of the series, The White Arrow, is due to be released during the Fall of 2017. P. H. Solomon also authored the award winning short story, The Black Bag, which won best published short story at SCWC 2012. P. H. is also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).