The Long Way Home - Chapter 1

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The Long Way Home

by Twimper

Libraries: Adventure, Fantasy, Original Fiction

Published on / 10 Chapter(s) / 1 Review(s)

Updated on

Caught in the middle of a raging storm Samber finds her self blown off course and on to an adventure!

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Chapter 1, Chapter 1 - The Storm

The storm hadn't been all that bad at first. Just a bit of rain and wind, nothing Samba and Paca couldn't handle with ease. But what had started as a stiff breeze had quickly grown into something monstrous. Sheets of rain fell heavily from the sky. Howling winds had begun to batter them from all sides. Paca's large size was enough to let him cut his way threw the chaotic air currents but they threw Samber this way and that. Like a leaf caught in the pull of a stream, she was a natures mercy.  Just keeping herself upright became a battel let alone make any headway against the Gail. She and Paca had made the flight home from the cliffside meadow at least a hundred times before but tossed and turned by the winds Samber quickly lost all sense of direction and then in an instant, she had lost Puca in the swirling darkness. Fear gripping her heart then. She had called out to him but her voice was snatched away by the storm. Above her, the moon vanished behind dark churning clouds plunging her into further darkness. Fear, like she had never felt before, had gripped her then and she had panicked. No matter how loudly she had called to him or how hard she pumped her wings she hadn't been able to find the black Harpia. Panic rising ever higher, Alone, soaked and tossed and turned she finally had the sense to land, she could wait out the storm and find her way home when it cleared. But when she had descended threw the haze of the storm all she had found below her talons was dark churning water. The sea boiled as if some great monster writhed under the surface. Wave at least twice her height reached up from the inky blackness as if trying to grab at her feet and pull her under. So it was that Samber ended up spending the night awing, desperately trying to find a place to land and escape the storm. She had found no such place just more dark water. It was more luck and determination than flying skill that kept the little corva from a watery grave that night. With wings getting more and more tired she battled on all night. The worst of the storm passed by the time light began to colour the horizon with yellows and reds. The sun revealed white-tipped waves from horizon to horizon. The sight filled her with despair. Her wings felt heavy than they ever had before but onwards she flew, after all, what choice did she have? The colourful morning sky gave way too day as she flew over endless waves. 
 
She was beginning to give up hope of ever seeing land again when she spotted it. A thin, dark blotch on the horizon. The blotch grew wider and taller as she used the last of her strength to wing her way towards it. A dark cliff rose out of the sea skirted by a rocky beach. Even in the full light of day it was a harsh looking place. All dark grey slate but she didn't care. It was land! it was rest! Maybe even food if she could muster the strength to find it. 
 
Samba's Landing couldn't have been called graceful. It was more a crash and slid to a halt than a landing. Pebbles jumped and clattered around her as her feet cut two small gullies up the beach in her wake. A flock of nearby gulls scattered noisily in alarm as she pitched forward on to her front. Wings spread wide, it almost looked as though the colourful corva was hugging the beach. For a moment she just lay like that. Too tired to even fold her wings or clamber to her feet. Her feathers were a bedraggled mess. Stuck together with sea salt, bent and broken by the winds. She looked half-dead laid there and she felt half-dead. She also felt thirsty and hungry beyond belief. It was her hunger and thirst that made her move.  
 
With an effort, the little dragon-bird gained her feet and folded wings that felt as if they were made of lead over her back. To her right, at the cliff's foot, a clear pool of water sat, a small stream trickles down the beach and disappeared into the shale. Quickly Samber made a beeline for it and observed the rest of the beach while gulping down beak-fulls of cool freshwater. The beach she had landed on was long and thin, it was somewhat bleak-looking thanks to the dark shale it was made of. The cliffs too where dark and looming, giving the place an overall cold and unwelcoming feel. Alonge the length of the beach where a shattering of small fishing boats. All of them had been dragged high above the tide line and flipped upside down so as not to fill with rainwater. Pile of fishing equipment, nets and crab pots were dotted between the boats. Dozens of Small wooden huts huddled together in groups of twos and threes as though bracing for the next storm. Some of the strange little huts had thin tendrils of smoke rising from chimneys and curling up into the grey sky.  
 
Her thirst sated it was hunger that next clawed at Samber's insides. She didn't have the strength to go fishing so instead, she started to pick threw the tangles of seaweed and driftwood along the high tide line. She was so hungry that she would have happily ate the sand fleas that seemed to hide under every piece of seaweed. But they were too small and nibble for her to catch. Instead, she plucked the crabs and even the dead fish from the debris. She was accustomed to a much higher quality of food back home but at least this was something. Methodically working her way down the beach picking scraps from the tide line she longed for the comforts of home. A warm fire. A dry nest. The sand bath pit. There she would have been given grate slabs of fresh river fish, not these half-rotten morsels. If she hadn't been so hungry she would have turned her nose up at the smell as she picked up and flung seaweed aside. The tiny crabs hiding under the seaweed was hardly worth the effort but it was at least something. Tossing anther unsatisfied small crab back in her beak her mind starting to play tricks on her. For a moment she could have sworn that she could smell her human cooking fish over a fire. She had never liked it cooked but the humans ate it that way. As she uncovered anther crabs from it's hiding place the smell drifted past her again.The smell of cooking fish it was getting stronger! It was then that she knew it wasn't a fabrication of her mind longing for home. Dropping the now rather vexed crab she lifted her head and took in a large lung full of air. Turning her head slightly she did it again trying to catch the direction of the smell. It was the strongest in the direction of the small wooden huts. Fish and wood smoke scented the air and it was comeing from the hut. 
 
Climbing her way up the loose shale to it she stopped just short of the hunt tilted her head and studied it. It was a short stout structure the timbers it was made of where twistest, wethered and discoloured. She wasn't sure now that the cooking fish was inside, but how was a stryx meant to get at it? Cautiously she lifted a foot and raked her talons down the weathered wood. It's left three deep scars in the wood. It wasn't a strong structure it seemed. She could brake into it. Lifting her foot she tried usering her talions again, this time putting a little more force into the action. One of the planks gave way with a brittle snap. A bellow of smoke poured out from the newly formed gap. It curled upwards into the blue sky carrying with it the strong scent of cooked fish. Cawing in excitement Samber peered in threw the white haze and saw them. Grate slabs of white fish hanging in neat rows. Mindless of the choking smoke still pouring out the hole and rising around her, she quickly poked her beak threw the gap and snatch up as many sides of fish as she could. They all seemed to be threaded onto thin sticks but that didn't hinder her much. She either ripped them from the sticks or dragged the stick with her. Some of them snapped as she pulled her prize threw the gap into the fresh air and set about devouring them. Mouthful after mouthful of partially smoked fish disappeared into Samber beak. 
 
It didn't take too long for the smoke pouring out the hut like a smoke single to attract humans. Samber didn't pay them any attention even though they started to yell erratically and waves things over there heads. If they wanted some fish they would have to wait till she was done. She had found the fish after all, so it was her's and she planned to eat as much as would fit in her stomach!    
 
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Words 1556 - 7.5AP
Background - 2AP 
Biorythum (diurnal) - 1AP
scarveging - 1AP 
suvivlist - 1AP 
 
Total: 12.5AP  

 

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