Work in Progress – Chapter One, Scene Two

In this excerpt (actually two snippets) from Scene Two I am introducing the second of three major characters that make an entrance in Chapter One.

*****

Badeed barked up the seawater that threatened her lungs as she clawed her way up to the high-water mark and the rough line of driftwood and flotsam. Her head ached from the blow of the yard-arm. Behind her the tide consumed her tracks scratched in the sand and the sun burnt the morning sky a feral red. She was weak and the beach was steep and the sand was soft and cool under her paws. Badeed was unsure how long she’d been in the water and was contemplating her new deal with the universe.

Patched from toe to head in an irregular calico branding of yellow, orange and white splotches, the short black bristly fur of her neck and face stood out in stark contrast to the triangular patch of off-white canvas that protected the hole where her left eye used to be. No stranger to injury Badeed bore the wounds of numerous misadventures having lost the tip of her tail to the cracked teeth of an enraged warthog and shouldered three deeply etched scars from the claws of an unusually clumsy leopard. After reaching the islands it was the eye-patch that tipped the scale in her favour.

Blind truth!” Badeed grinned with disturbing joy. “Lost the eye to the tip of a sword and a drunken hyena.”

*****

Badeed regained consciousness riding a tidal current under a deep purple sky. Only the breath of a whale breaching the surface nearby for company. No sign of the ships. All that remained was bobbing with the lift of the breeze, legs wrapped around a drift of mangrove. Badeed fell asleep counting the stars and dreamed of the snow-capped mountain.

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