Ty Bard

 

 

Spoken World Series

Book Two: Walkers Between Worlds

Ty Bard intended Spoken World to be one volume, however, because of its length and the consequent expense of publishing what would be a much longer manuscript, the publisher insisted it be published in three volumes. The publisher assures me the second volume, Walkers Between Worlds, will be released soon. As Hannah's tale unfolds in Walkers Between Worlds much that was in shadow or hidden beneath the surface in Trekking to Ocmulgee rises to the surface and steps into the bright light of day – what might have seemed to exist only in dreams and visions is exposed as startlingly real. The publisher has authorized the following snippet from Walker Between Worlds as an example.

"I swiveled my head towards the canebrake and saw the Water Cougar step out of the mist. The beast was black as coal with the head and body of a panther but with a mantle of mane from the back of his skull to his shoulders, a tail as long as his body, and the taloned feet of a monstrous raptor. My God! It's as big as a small horse.

It charged down the shore, bounding a dozen paces in a leap. Ohleketley loosed an arrow, and launched a second before the first struck the Water Cougar in his broad chest below the throat. The second hit just beneath the first and red light streaked out around the fletching of the impaling arrows. Roaring like rolling thunder, the beast skidded sideways in the sand several feet. In the second before the Water Cougar could right itself, Ohletketly's third arrow struck the Water Cougar behind the shoulder.

Even so, the enraged Water Cougar surged forward in a tremendous bound towards Ohletketly. I feared he would be overwhelmed before he could launch another arrow or even turn to run. Aiming for his side, I fired down at the Water Cougar, but I misjudged his speed, and the musket ball took him in the hip. Scarlet light spewed out and the Water Cougar spun so fast he sat upon his haunches. As I fired the second musket, hitting the Water Cougar squarely in the shoulder, he turned towards the bluff and Ohletketly shot the fourth arrow into his exposed flank.

Light streaming from half a dozen wounds the beast still came on. He looked up at me, roared and sprang up the bluff, talons digging into the cliff face. Ohletketly dropped his bow, ran, and dove for its tail. He clung to it like a boy swinging on a vine. Ohletketly's weight dragged the Water Cougar several feet back down the cliff. The Water Cougar whipped his tail, slamming Ohletketly against the hard packed clay of the bluff. As the tail whipped back, Ohletketly let loose of it and fell onto the Water Cougar's back. He grabbed hold of its mane and gripped its sides between his knees like a rider hunched over a galloping steed.

The Water Cougar ignored the man clinging to him and sinking his talons into clay began to claw its way up the cliff. Ohletketly drew the last three arrows from his quiver, reared back and jabbed them into the Water Cougar's neck. Crimson light spurted from the wound; the beast howled in agony and tossed its head violently. Ohletketly was thrown from the Water Cougar's back and held on by only one hand tangled in its mane. Dangling by one hand, Ohletketly somehow managed to tug his knife from its sheath.

Knife flashing, Ohletketly rapidly stabbed along the Water Cougar's spine. Still, though its hind legs hung below the undercut of the cliff face, the Water Cougar surged forward and the talons of its forelegs dug into the top of the bluff. "Shoot it!" Ohletketly yelled as he released the knife, grabbed the mane in both hands, and planted his feet against the cliff face.

As Ohletketly heaved backwards, I rammed the last unfired long gun into the Water Cougar's open maw and pulled the trigger. They tumbled from the bluff…"