Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 01 - "The Islands"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

sounding the alarm

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2008-09-05 - Updated: 2008-09-05 - 712 words - Complete

“I don’t like the looks of those clouds,” said Ian as they stood at the entrance to the tunnels where the main supply cache was kept. “We should call it a day.”

“I think you’re right,” Robert replied. He had seen how much the sky had changed in the last hour or so, and he knew that on the Ocean, the worst storms tended to blow in hard and fast, often with little warning. He had sent Ron to go check on the children a little while ago, but he had not yet returned. “We should go check on the ships and help the village prepare. This storm looks really—”


Ian looked over to see his daughter sprint out into the clearing, Lance hot on her heels. Robert and Angus saw them as well, the former immediately dismayed by the absence of his son.

Cleo ran right into her father, shouting, “Cyexians! In the graveyard!” then, almost as an afterthought, “Dad! Come on! Max is still back there!”

For she was now filled with dread certainty that he was in terrible danger.

“What!?” Ian and Robert blurted in almost perfect unison. Then Ian immediately demanded, “This isn’t a joke, is it, Cleo?”

Though both of them could already tell, as only parents seemed to, that this was not another one of her practical jokes.

“Where?” Robert asked.

“In the graveyard!” Cleo replied, still breathless. “The one with the tree! Max stayed back to watch them, but now I think he’s in trouble! We’ve gotta hurry!”

“Slow down, Cleo,” said Ian, gently grabbing both of his daughter’s shoulders to calm her. “Is Max in trouble?”

“I don’t know,” she said.

“I don’t like this,” said Lance. He admired his friend’s courage, but now felt like a jerk for letting him stay behind alone. “I should have stayed with him… Where’s my dad?”

“He was out looking for you,” Angus said crossly. Many people would never have pegged him for Robert’s brother; the two of them were as different as night and day. Lanky but deceptively strong, with lean, angular features and long, raven-black hair, he was indeed the hard man his brother described him as. It was his cunning and no-nonsense attitude that made him so well suited to watching Layosha’s borderwaters, and it was that same mindset now kicking in with trouble looming ahead on the coming storm. “Now that leaves three of us. How many were there?”

“Eleven. That I saw.” Cleo could barely contain herself, she was both excited but afraid for Max. “What do we do?”

“You,” said Robert, “are getting out of here. Ian, take them to the comm station. Things may get ugly.”

“But we wanna help,” said Lance. And meant it.

“No, you’re still too young,” said Ian. “Come on, Cleo. Robert and Angus can take care of themselves. If I see Ron, I’ll tell him to go warn the village.”

“Angus,” Robert told his brother, “go tell the others, just in case. While you’re at it, see if you can organize a search party.” He also feared for his son, and it was all he could do to focus on the here and now. Though he and Alida had talked about such things, the tangible danger Max might be in now rendered their discussions moot and tritely academic. “And try to keep it quiet. I don’t want them to know we’re coming.”

“Right.” Angus handed his brother his own power rifle, then turned and headed for the village.

Robert now stood alone, power rifle in each hand. The storm gathering, both within and without. To keep his mind from going over and over Max’s possible predicaments, he tried to think about the old days. In spite of the dangers, he found part of himself still loved the thrill of a good challenge. But he reminded himself that in order to prevail, a warrior must remain focused on the battle at hand, so he instead occupied his mind by turning it to strategy.

In all his rushing thoughts, it never occurred to him that he may have just seen his old friends for the last time.
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