Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Quests of the Silver Knight – A Sneak Preview

You know by now– the progression of the Silver Knight sequel has been slow going this past year. However, we are nearing Christmas and a time of giving, which means I intend to provide you all with a snippet from the manuscript thus far (how kind). Picking up the action in 1455 and moving forward to 1459, this chronicle has Jack travelling farther afield than the fields of south east England. Journeying on Queen Margaret of Anjou’s order to the northern wastelands of Northumbria, to the castles of the Midlands, Jack also crosses the Channel and it is from this episode that I have decided to extract a small section for you…

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Then, just as he neared the apex of the rigging, only feet away from the central mast, there was an almighty crash as the ship lurched between the onset of a huge wave and the powerful counter-force of the sea as its undercurrent almost took the ship out of its waters. It was at that very moment that the force finally became too much for the sail and, with an almighty noise, it tore from its hoists and shot across from the mast in an instant.
Jack looked on aghast as the sail began to flap pathetically, only for his attention to once again be diverted from beneath him as the vessel seemed to ground against something beneath the waters. As he clutched at the mast, the housing suddenly came loose and he felt himself swing alarmingly across the deck, knocking against the solid wood of the mast and bouncing from it as if he were a rag doll in the hands of a boisterous child.
‘God help me!’ he cried, as the ship lurched violently forward, sending yet another a torrent of icy, salty water crashing over the bow and down onto the deck.
His latest exclamation was born not from the threat of the weather, but something that arose ominously from the sea; a new, quite different form of devilry to those of the wind and rain. Ahead of him stood another two huge, jagged black objects that cast their horrors down upon him as another wave crashed overhead, splitting one of the deck boards in two. For a moment, he considered relinquishing his grip of what was left of the rigging and jumping overboard, for the vessel had become more of a liability than a safe-haven. However, he simply could not trust that his path would avoid striking against the ships listing bows, nor that he would not be dashed upon the apparent crop of deathly rocks below; his survival instincts, however, slim, were enough to keep him locked in his grip upon the ropes.
Jack called out in pain, his voice saturated with the vile salt water, and clutched wildly at what he perceived to be another mast rope, only to find that his vision had been impaired by the water. He briefly acknowledged the sensation of falling, then, a second later, there was a sickly crack as a large object called an abrupt halt to his suffering and he was quite still.
Darkness had taken a hold of him; the world had turned black.

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There will more further extracts over the coming months...

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