Opening + CH1: StrandedA Chapter by Alysa Taladay
The first paragraphs of the story.
A long black silhouette
Cast against the sulfur sky
Its morbid sway slow
Like the crashing of timber
The columns buckle
The great mass falls
To flooded pathways
Her cries are drowned
She fell, from darkness down into darkness, and crashed chest-first into an unseen wooden support strut wider than she was. Springing to her nimble, scaly feet upon the beam, she dared to turn back; and, after several tense moments, straining to hear past her thundering heart and labored breaths, amber eyes watching the darkness warily, she finally turned to follow the beam. She gathered her lithe, scaly figure, and sprang to a lower beam, taloned feet catching it easily with her long, stiff tail to balance her. Snorting softly through her long snout, she drew her arms tight against her bony ribs, and settled down to catch her breath. It was dry down here, but it was still cold. So bitterly cold.
The cold alone should have killed her by now; if not that, then Rokane's poisonous atmosphere. It burned her eyes and lungs, and it made her skin itch. She had seen horrible things happen to those who scratched at it. Bizarre infections that often turned fatal; and if they weren't, they were permanently damaging and disfiguring. She'd seen it with her own eyes: the way one's skin peeled away as scratches turned into deep, discolored fissures.
Icy, acidic rain fell from Rokane's dull yellow sky day and night with hardly a break; sometimes in a fine mist, and sometimes as a driving storm. As the sun went down, Rokane's wet surface plummeted below freezing, and never froze over. Wherever the planet was stable enough to be remotely habitable, in places like this, it bore walled-in metropolises of low stone buildings and murky alleyways, shadowed by a surreal skyscape of winding roadways. Below ground were dry caverns and tunnels, some of them natural and some built by the giant reptilian natives. Safe from the frigid rainfall, the abandoned underground networks became a refuge for those who survived long enough to find it. Even those who did were not guaranteed sanctuary.
© 2011 Alysa Taladay
Added on November 1, 2011
Last Updated on November 4, 2011
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About*** Explanation of my absence on this site, and where to find my writing: http://www.writerscafe.org/ryozaem/blogs/Dealing-with-Life/24335/ *** I write about dinosaurs under a pen name. Doesn't eve.. more..