So, you may be confused, because I titled this as a part 2 even though there is no post entitled “Suo Gân Snippets, Part 1.” This is because My Little Fae is masquerading as a stand-alone post, but it is secretly part 1 of this snippets series. It was posted before I had titled the story Suo Gân. (If you have not read part 1, see the link).
Part 2, which will follow, does not come directly after the last snippet you read – which is the story’s opening. This is only a few scenes down the road (literally), though, and it reads on its own quite well. I also like it a lot, so it is what I chose to display for your reading pleasure.
As the day wore on, the sun rose higher and it grew warmer, though not so uncomfortably warm as it had been yesterday. Cadoc and Dwyn talked about this and that, but as the pair walked deeper into the woods – Dwyn wasn’t sure when they had started walking side by side, instead of Cadoc after her – the terrain grew more treacherous. The path became barely distinguishable from the surrounding brush and wild, and it became harder and harder for Dwyn to keep her footing.
As Cadoc helped Dwynwen over a particularly large log blocking the path – if it could even be called a path anymore – her ears picked up on a sound unfamiliar to the sounds of the woods she was growing accustomed to.
“What’s that?” she asked, letting go of Cadoc’s hands as she hopped to the ground.
“That sound. A sort of whooshing.”
Cadoc inclined his head in the direction Dwyn pointed. “It sounds like we may be coming up on a river.”
Dwynwen’s heart sped up a bit. “A river?”
Cadoc nodded. “Don’t worry. There will most likely be a bridge.”
In about half a mile more, they came upon the river.
There was a definitive lack of a bridge.
“Well, there certainly was a bridge at some point,” Cadoc said defensively to Dwyn’s withering look, pointing to a pair of poles at the bank on which they stood.
“Yes, what a lovely bridge, Cadoc. It’s going to be very helpful for crossing this body of moving water.”
“Not to worry. The current’s not terribly strong here – we can cross on foot.”
Dwyn viewed the water, which seemed to her terribly loud and terribly fast, with growing trepidation. Cadoc seemed to sense her fear – he really was somewhat uncanny – and squeezed her hand quickly before letting it go.
“It will be okay.”
Dwynwen did not feel like it would all be okay when she took her first step into the frigid river. She had tied her skirt up in an attempt to keep her clothes dry, and Cadoc had insisted on carrying her knapsack, but the cold water seemed to seep right to her bones and travel all through her body at the slightest touch.
She sucked her breath in roughly through her teeth.
Cadoc stepped into the water beside her and took a few steps. “Oh, this isn’t too bad,” he said lightly. “A bit chilly, maybe, but … ” He looked back at Dwynwen and, upon seeing her face, promptly stopped talking.
Dwyn gritted her teeth and took several steps to match Cadoc’s, focusing on her breathing, which seemed to take more effort with the cold. She felt the river’s current tugging at her, and she swayed slightly in an effort to stay upright against it. Soon the cold water was hitting her mid-calf. Her teeth began to clack together.
Cadoc was still several paces in front of her.
“C-c-adoc,” she said, more quietly than she’d meant to. “Cadoc!”
He looked back.
“Wait a moment?”
He nodded and smiled encouragingly, tilting his body against the current where he stood, waiting for her to catch up.
Dwyn felt the slimy rocks beneath her feet, poking and prodding and unsettling her balance. The water climbed up her legs with every step. Only a few feet from Cadoc, and it was just above her knees. She struggled harder against the current in the deeper water as her whole body shivered with the cold.
He extended a hand to her, and she reached out to take it.
Her foot found a large, algae-covered rock.
And promptly lost it.
With a scream that would have made her feel ashamed under any other less frightening circumstances, Dwynwen lost her balance and fell into the river.
The current won their battle, and she was swept downstream – away from Cadoc – at an alarming rate. She tried to scream, but she was pulled into deeper water, and her head couldn’t stay above it. Her screams turned to gurgles.
She couldn’t see, and she could barely hear Cadoc’s yelling. All she could hear was the rush of the water. Her lungs seemed to seize up, captured in the grasp of the cruel coldness of the river.
Dwyn’s arms and legs thrashed as she tried to keep her head above the water, to get closer to Cadoc, to a river bank, to a rock above the water – anything. In her battle with the river, she gained nothing but lost breath, swallowed water, and the loss of what little energy she had started with.
The river seemed to be alive, and it seemed to want her not to be.
Finally, Dwyn felt a sense of peace as she found herself swept into a deep waterhole. The current swept her downwards like a whirlpool, deeper and deeper, and it was silent and calm and still. She stopped thrashing and was held, softly suspended, by the water.
Dwynwen’s lungs still ached for breath, and she almost took a large gulp of air, forgetting that she was underwater.
She remembered suddenly where she was and the panic seized her again, and she waved her arms weakly, trying with all she had to reach the surface.
When she found she couldn’t, she felt herself begin to cry; but her tears were swallowed by the river as it sucked her downwards once more.
Something broke the deafening mutedness of the water. Splashing, a yell, and Cadoc’s face, blurred by the water, next to hers. He grasped her around the middle firmly and kicked, and both of their heads broke the surface.
Dwyn gasped and coughed and cried out all in one breath, and was entirely limp in Cadoc’s arms as he dragged them both the rest of the way across the river. He set her on the bank and walked upstream to where their knapsacks and shoes were scattered, having been thrown there when he went after Dwyn. He pulled on his own boots and shoved Dwyn’s into her sack, and put both packs on his back.
Dwyn didn’t moved from her huddled spot on the bank. She coughed all the water out of her lungs and vomited some from her stomach. She shook with cold and fright and she sobbed. She wasn’t even ashamed to be showing such weakness.
“There, now. It will be all right,” Cadoc soothed as he picked her up, correctly assessing that she was too weak to walk. “You’re safe now. I’ve got you.”
Cadoc was warm and solid and Dwyn shivered as she leaned into him.
She buried her face in her hands and wept.
So. That was that. Let me know if you guys like what you see of this story, because I will gladly keep posting it if you do, but if you don’t tell me you hate it then you’ll just be sad, because I like it, and I’ll keep posting it. (Also, I have 33 pages and counting of Suo Gân right now, and it’s only going to get longer. So there is much to share).
So tell me. Give me opinions. Feedback. Whatever. There’s a comment section, dontcha know.
ALSO! I’ve been writing a lot lately – mostly this – but as an assignment for English I had to choose another character’s point of view to retell “Hamlet” from. I chose Horatio. I really like how my retelling is shaping up – it’s deliciously melodramatic – but I don’t know if you guys want to see a Shakespeare retelling? It’s not my usual content. (But honestly, who knows why my “usual content” is anymore? There is no longer rhyme or reason in this place).
Again, if you don’t comment or email saying, “EMMA! PLEASE, NO, ANYTHING BUT YOUR EXCELLENTLY DONE SHAKESPEARE RETELLING FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE BEST DUDE IN HAMLET! PLEASE, DON’T SHARE THAT!” Then … I’m gonna post it anyway. Because I like it. And you don’t get a say if you don’t TELL ME WHAT YOU HECKIN’ WANT.
Sorry, that was aggressive.
Anyway, I’m generating a weirdly large amount of content lately, so, the bottom line is: just let me know what you’d like to see. I’ll try to provide it to you, and endeavor to do so in installments that fall less than a month apart.
But hey. Nobody’s perfect.