Happy Story Monday everyone! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend and that a bright week is ahead of you. Would love to hear your stories some time, so feel free to send them my way. The good, The bad, The ugly. Click the Contact Me icon at the bottom of this post and pour out your heart, make me laugh, or inspire me.
The August Newsletter is also out and about. Don’t forget to click the Newsletter icon after this post to sign up and get your copy! My sci-fi short story “The Grid” is making its debut in this newsletter!
Until then, enjoy the story (this continues The Oracle story I started back a bit. Read the last entry here):
The storm came without warning. Furious wind and pounding rain assaulted Aimee and the Sheriff after they had reached halfway up the mountain. Chunks of ice pelted the dark rock all around them. The sparse grass was flattened or uprooted by the melee of rain and ice. The short Joshua trees and bushes were bent, some snapped beneath the wind. None of it touched the two travelers. A bubble of light surrounded them, but it flickered.
“We’re going to need shelter soon,” Aimee said in a weak voice. “I won’t be able to hold this for much longer.”
Sheriff Connor nodded without a word. He scanned the side of the mountain above them and off in the distance. “There. I see a cave over there.”
They climbed. Slow. Aimee stumbled and the protection she wove over them broke. The immediate pain of ice and rain pierced through her cloak and dress. She fell to the ground and huddled beneath her cloak. The sheriff let out a groan as the rain stung his face and hands. Within a moment, the protective circle of light sprung up and pushed away the storm.
“Come. Lean on me.”
“Thank you, sheriff,” Aimee whispered.
“David. Figure you can stop calling me sheriff all the time,” he grunted.
Aimee’s mind swirled and her steps faltered. She couldn’t concentrate. So weak. So hard to keep the protection against the strength of the storm. The darkness was angry. So angry. Why was it so angry? Why was it afraid?
She fell again and the circle of protection flew from them, but the sting of rain and ice did not come. With blurry eyes, Aimee rolled to her back and looked around her. They were in the cave. The sheriff sat down beside her and let out a breath deep and profound. Before she could say anything, before she could think of anything to say, exhaustion took control and sleep stole over her.
Time was lost to her and it felt to Aimee that her eyes had just closed when they opened again. Light flickered on the shallow ceiling of the cave over her and a shadow moved within it.
“You awake?” a gruff voice asked.
A familiar voice, but she couldn’t make her mind piece together why it was familiar. She couldn’t figure out where she was at all.
“Oracle?” the voice said with an uncertainty.
Everything flooded back to her. Lauren taken by the darkness. She and the sheriff were climbing Tocatta to find her. An unnatural storm assailed them, and now they hid in a cave. Somehow, the storm stayed outside of it. That didn’t seem right. What kept it at bay? She turned her body onto her side and could see it rage outside, but it stayed outside. Aimee rolled again and looked at the sheriff.
“Don’t ask me. Figured it was you keeping it out,” he said in answer to the unasked question played on his face.
“The One,” she whispered.
“If you say so,” the sheriff said.
“How long?” Aimee tried to sit up, but her head swam and she lay back down.
“Only a few hours, not long. I’m not sure what happened. Know that storm out there isn’t natural. Isn’t anything I’ve ever seen. Guess that’s why it exhausted you.”
Aimee nodded with eyes closed.
“Will we find her through this?” he asked.
Aimee opened her eyes again and felt her dizziness lessen. She looked out into the storm again. Would they be able to find her? The path was so unclear, but it moved them forward and up the mountain. What would they find after that?
“Yes, we’ll find her,” she said. She hoped she sounded assuring, but doubted it. “We’ll find her.”
And the storm raged.
~Remember, this is a copyrighted creation. See my notice in the sidebar. I would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below and on Facebook. ~