Kismet: What a Stinking Awesome Word #atozchallenge #blogging #writing
Kismet has to be pretty close to one of my favorite words. Not only because its existence gives me plenty of writing fodder, but also because it means FATE — Fate… such a fickle and often used subject for writing fiction.
Okay, so topic selected: Kismet.
Now what? What about it? How do I make that one, powerful word into a posting topic?
A story excerpt that illustrates fate, maybe? CALL OF THE SEA is all about kismet… sorta, kinda.
So, without further ado, my take on Kismet:
He found the captain’s daughter about halfway to shore, gasping and choking as she reached for the star-laden sky. The look of terror in her stormy eyes stole his breath.
Daniel surged forward. He reached the girl just as she dipped below the surface. Clamping his mouth around the shoulder of her gown, he yanked her back up. He locked the garment in his teeth and rolled over until she lay on his chest facing the sky. A shiver of fear slid down his spine. She wasn’t gasping for air anymore.
With renewed urgency, Daniel swam for the shore, doing his best to keep her head above water as it lolled to the side. Her closed lids and quiet expression needled his chest. Please, God, don’t let her be dead.
He rode the crest of a wave to the coast. Sand scraped his back. Releasing his hold on the girl, he wriggled from beneath her lifeless form and flipped over. Waves rushed over her body, her parted lips stained purple.
Frantic, Daniel dragged her away from the water. His eyes swept the empty beach. With no other ready options, he closed his eyes and concentrated on his human body.
Soon, a familiar heat surged through him and his arms and legs began to tingle. His thick sealskin loosened to make room for the contortion of bone and ligament. Daniel grunted as his flippers and tail stretched and unfolded, becoming arms and legs. His fingers and knees dug into the wet sand as they formed, colored to pink flesh. He gasped for air as a wave of nausea washed over him. Once he could move without fear of passing out, Daniel turned back to the unconscious girl.
She wasn’t breathing.
With a cry of dismay, Daniel crawled to where she lay and pounded on her chest. She remained motionless, her face pale. He rolled her onto her stomach and beat the heel of his hand against her back.
She coughed, sending sparks of relief through him. Water burst past her lips in ragged choking gasps. Daniel stopped whacking at her, released his hold, and scrambled backward.
The girl’s entire body shook with the force of her gagging as she tried to expel the remaining water and suck life-giving air into her chest. She pushed herself up on hands and knees and retched into the sand. The girl inhaled deeply and twisted her head to look at Daniel. Her brow creased before her eyes lost their focus and rolled back in her head. The girl’s elbows buckled and she dropped to the sand with a whoosh.
Daniel scurried back to her side, eyes wide.
The steady rise and fall of her body told him she breathed.
He ran shaking fingers through his thick hair. “Thank God.”
“You dropped something.”
Daniel’s breath caught. He whipped his head toward the deep voice, eyes wide.
Captain Winters stood over him, Daniel’s discarded sealskin clenched in his large fist. Recognition narrowed his eyes. “Well, if it isn’t my new cabin boy.” A muscle in his jaw flexed. He flung the sealskin at Daniel. “Find some clothes, boy.”
Before Daniel could utter a response, Captain Winters stalked past him. He knelt beside his unconscious daughter and brushed a wet strand of sand-coated hair from her ashen cheek. He bent over the girl, listened to her chest for a few long moments. Releasing a relived sigh, he scooped her into his arms and stood up. Her head rolled against his shoulder as he spun about. Without so much as a backward glance at Daniel, the captain strode across the beach. His daughter’s little feet bounced with each angry step.
Pulse racing and body frozen by fear, Daniel clutched his skin to his chest. He knows I’m cursed. I’ll never work for him now. His mind conjured the image of his father, the hatred in his eyes the night he kicked Daniel out. What if the captain tells my secret? His throat closed.
A few yards away, Captain Winters stopped, glanced over his shoulder. The intensity of his gaze halted Daniel’s heartbeat. “I said get dressed, Daniel. When you’re done, come up to the house just over the ridge. It is time you and I had a little talk.”
Daniel shivered, but managed a slow nod. He swallowed the paralysis from his tongue and whispered, “Aye, Captain.”
Aren’t you dying to know what fate has in store for the girl and her wonderful selkie rescuer? Be sure to get your copy of CALL OF THE SEA to find out. 🙂
See you next time…
Posted on April 12, 2012, in A to Z Blogging Challenge 2012, Blogging, Call of the Sea, General and tagged A to Z Blogging Challenge, Blogging, Call of the Sea, excerpt, General, K, Kismet. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.