Saturday, November 1, 2014

Meet a Graystone Character - Conch!

I realized I haven't posted any Graystone excerpts! There will be three excerpts posted, and each one will introduce a main character. This one introduces Conch, son of Mollusk and Anamay, and younger brother to Starfish.

(Bit of trivia - the name Starfish is not a mistake. The correct name for that animal is sea star, but the river otters call it a starfish. Even though Anamay learned the sea otter name for the animal while living with Mollusk, she wanted to honor her original inland heritage in her daughter as well as her adopted coastline heritage. For information about sea stars in the real world, see here.)

Anyway, here's Conch. Enjoy!

Conch swam carefully after his chief, Eagle, down the Bakkarra River. The sea otter was clammy all over and terrified for his sister.
He and Eagle had been out fishing, a common sea otter pastime, when they had heard a frantic voice shrieking their names. They’d dropped their fishing spears and darted in the direction of the cries to find Saline, Eagle’s younger sister. There was a nasty gash on her cheek. Eagle had gripped her shoulder urgently. “What happened?”
Knowing who had been in Saline’s company, Conch had added, “Where are Pearl and Starfish?”
Saline was a strong creature once she got her paws under her. She took a deep, steadying breath and managed, “Pearl’s been hurt. I don’t know about Starfish. We were looking for willows, and we—we split up. I heard Pearl screaming, and then an arrow came out of nowhere!”
Who fired it? Where?” Eagle urged.
Saline shrugged, bewildered. “I never saw them. Pearl’s by the old petrified tree, unconscious. Starfish went downstream.”
The minute those words left Saline’s mouth, Conch plunged back into the undergrowth, heading for the river. Eagle had paused only long enough to tell his sister to fetch Brine and some otters who could help get Pearl back to her home before racing to catch up with Conch.

They had already gone far downstream, past many willow-lined banks. Every few minutes they softly called out to Starfish, but there was no response. Conch wanted to swim frantically through the cloudy waters of the Bakkarra and shout his sister’s name, but he knew he had to be quiet and careful, or he might miss danger lurking about.

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