The following is an except from my fantasy novel, Quietus: Book Two of The Elemental. I hope you enjoy it. And if you are an author and would like to post an excerpt or guest blog on my site, please contact me through the “About Me” section.
It took them three more days to reach eastern Zena. The tall, lush green grass blew in the breeze. Small, agile birds darted out of the Grasslands, flying high and then diving at the insects that lived on the wild flowers. The birds scattered at the sight of the dragons, chattering angrily. Lina looked at the pink, yellow, blue and purple flowers that stood out among the green grass. She could make out creatures native to the Land from the Lope, a creature the size of a horse but with horns, to the small grass hare. The Land seemed so peaceful. Everything was as it should be. This was how she remembered her homeland. Lina smiled, her eyes trying to take in all the sights in the fading daylight. How she had missed living here these past few months.
As the sun sunk lower in the sky, Lina began looking for this barren area, knowing that they must be getting closer. Her eyes swept over the Land. Finally, in the distance, she saw a darker area. It grew larger as they approached. Her eyes widened as she took in the large stretch of brown dirt which was growing even larger with every second as they advanced toward it.
“There it is!” she said silently to Tosh and Zoot. She glanced behind her, but Taylor and the others had already seen the area.
The stretch of land had to be at least a league wide. The dry brown dirt stood out in stark contrast to the thriving green grassland around it. Lina felt tears threatening to spill down her face as she looked at her beloved homeland. How could this happen, she thought.
Calm down, Lina, Tosh said. You need to be thinking clearly.
“But Tosh! Look at the Land! What has happened here?”
I do not know. We will find out soon enough.
Zoot began to circle closer, and Lina guessed that he planned to land on the dirt field. She could barely stand to look at the carcasses of the Grassland animals that lay in this barren area. Zoot had scarcely landed before she slid to the ground, her feet thudding on the dry dirt. She was unprepared for the void feeling. She had grown accustomed to the constant power the elements provide her and feeling them all around her. Now in this desolate, sterile place, she felt nothing, no welcoming energy from her surroundings. There was nothing to connect her with the Land. It was like suddenly going blind. Lina shuddered.
She barely noticed as Taylor, Tosh, Tell and Cash dismounted Zoot and moved next to her. Lina, still reeling from the absence of energy, looked around, her eyes full of tears. The ground was hard as if all moisture had been drained from it. Taylor kneeled down and picked up a handful of the dry dirt. Even the worms and insects were missing from the dusty soil. Lina involuntarily shook.
“There isn’t even part of the roots left,” Taylor said. He threw the dirt down in disgust.
“What could have caused this?” Lina asked her voice breaking as she felt overwhelming despair. She turned toward Mac, Kiana, Kline and Kemp. A mix of fear and panic showed in their faces. Lina didn’t know if they too felt the missing connection with the Land as she did. The Land felt so empty, so desolate. She did not think she would be able to handle this lack of connection.
“What…?” Kiana began and then broke down crying.
“How?” Mac said a strange expression on his face. “How could this have happened?”
I think that is what we need to find out, Tosh commented from behind Lina.
She nodded. Tosh was right, she thought as she attempted to ignore the powerless void. But Lina didn’t know where to begin. She looked at Taylor for help, but his gaze remained on the dry soil.
It’s getting late, Tell said. Maybe we should wait until the morning when we are all fresh and ready to face this.
“I don’t think I will ever be ready to face this,” Lina said, shuddering at the thought of staying near this desolate place. “Tell, is right. Let’s find a place away from here to set up camp. We will start searching tomorrow for the cause of this.”
The other Elementals nodded in agreement and then climbed back on the black dragon. Zoot launched himself into the air. Lina stared at the ground, still shocked to see the change to the Grasslands. They settled down in the green grass half a league north of the affected area to set up their camp. But even as the sun finished setting, Lina couldn’t help but stare in the direction of the devastated Land and wonder what they would discover tomorrow.