I’m Gail Brinson Ivey, author of the romantic science fiction novel Lightning on the Levee and Celtic-inspired Medieval fantasy novel Dragon Moon. Both are currently in the process of being published.
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A sudden crack of lightning tore through the darkness, striking an antenna on one of the tightly moored tugboats and illuminating the choppy, angry water and riverbank park. Flint had been in deep thought when the lightning had struck. Jump now, or wait for the tidal surge to sweep me away?
Turning away from the dark and turbulent Mississippi River, he paused, studying the sky, his hand on the cool metal railing. The thin, moist rail was all that separated him from being blown into the river by the hammering gusts of wind. Category 5, they’re saying.
From the corner of his eye, Flint saw a brief flash of colored light in the dark, angry clouds.
A sense of desperation veiled Bronwyn’s face as she ran through the quiet village. Heavy, sinister early morning fog dampened her hair and clothing.
“Mamo!” She shouted as she burst into her grandmother’s small cottage. “Mamo, you summoned me?”
“Yes, my dear Bronwyn.” The old woman spoke from her bed. “But how did you know that I summoned you? I sent no one.”
The air was heavy with the smell of impending death. Panting, Bronwyn took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkened room.
“I don’t know, Mamo. I just felt it.”
In Delta, Louisiana, just across the river from Vicksburg, an elderly man made his way to the corner store. His cane clicked on the steaming asphalt pavement as he walked. Everyone in Delta knew him, loved him. He waved at a neighbor sitting on her front porch. Her husband was at work in Vicksburg today – so who is that looking out her front window? His cane clicked along her gladiola-lined sidewalk as he moved closer to her to talk.
“Who ya got with you today?”
“Nobody, I’m the only one home.”
He pointed to the window behind her on the porch. “Thought I saw somebody in there.”
“No, nobody here but me,” she said, smiling. She turned to glance at the window anyway, just as a gray head with huge, bulging black eyes popped into the window. As the woman screamed and ran from her home in terror, her elderly neighbor continued toward her front door, and into her home to investigate.
Delta is a tiny, sleepy town. No one could hear his screams.
They followed the main street as it spiraled downward around King’s Peak, finally reaching the city gate where it became Kastili Highway. At the city gate, they crossed the moat on the heavy wooden drawbridge with others who were moving in and out of the city. Bronwyn looked to her left, and the eyes of her friends followed her gaze to the trail they had come in on.
And then she looked ahead, studying the wall of fog as it writhed and roiled in front of them. As the wind blew from their left to their right, the fog twisted and pulsated in a circular motion around the circular wall of the city.