During this lockdown I have had the chance to go through my computer and find some real gems of writing. I have always enjoyed writing but it was five years before I thought anything was good enough to publish. This beauty is the first thing I wrote back in 2013. I’ve left it unedited for your amusement but reading through it just makes me cringe. I also dropped a lot of names of my friends and the characters are horrendous so we will be leaving that part out. So for your entertainment and my emabrrasement, enjoy Abbanon….
The mountains loomed high over the lakes of Abbanon, where large valley and riverbeds lay, stretching out through the vast shadows of the mountains. In and around grew immense forests of ancient trees which gave shelter to the wild flowers and various wildlife which dwelled around their roots. One hot summer afternoon by the lake which was overshadowed by the largest mountain in the range, ran two boys, sprinting throught the open clearing on the edge of the forest. Laughing loudly and stripping off their shirts as they went. The tallest one raced ahead of the other, overtaking with easily.
He ran toward a rock which overhung the side of the lake and was about ten meters above its surface. The water cascaded off the side of the cliff from the ancient waterfall which ran adjacent to the boys. The first boy reached the rock and leapt off it into a perfect swan dive, he plummeted down and his body entered the waves with barely a whisper.
The second boy who was not far behind the first reached the rock and leapt off after him but he tucked his knees up to his chest and cannon balled down, toward the surface of the lake. He created an almighty splash as he crashed in the water, sending out shock waves all around him. These ripples lapped the edge of the cliff and sent shudders through the tranquil water.
The first boy emerged through the waves, ripping his head up through the surface of the water, barely jolted by the water buffering around him from his friends cannonball. He had a handsome face, reaching a hand up through the water, her tussled his hair draping itself around his face and pushed it back, away from his eyes. It flowed in long curly locks and glistened dark brown in the afternoon sun. He was fairly muscular for his age and loomed high above many of the boys in his class. Reaching out through the water, he struck out through the water, making his way toward the island which lay in the centre of the lake.
As the first boy sped off through the water, the second boy emerged from beneath the waves. He was smaller than the first but charming in his own way. He had short blonde hair that was usually in a quiff on top of his head. It had now dropped down over his eyes which he swept away with a flick of his head as he surfaced. His eyes glistened bright blue, matching the sparkling water around him. This was a complete contrast to his friends who had the deepest green eyes which anyone had ever seen.
The second boy gazed at the water around him, spotting his friend ahead cutting through the water toward the island. The second boy’s eyes widened in shock and he then clumisly set off in pursuit, pacing out through the water. He moved quickly through the water, working hard against the current and was buffeted by the last of the waves from his cannonball. The first boy was nearly half way to the island by the time the second had caught up with him. The island wasn’t very remote but it was a fair distance for any novice swimmer. The second boy now began to stroke out, through the water, beginning to overtake his friend. The reflection of the mountain glistened on the surface of the lake and rippled out of focus as the boys splashed through it. The sun was hot on their back as they sent movement through the still water their strokes getting more frantic the closer they got to the island.
The second boy pushed harder, the island was coming into sight, less than twenty metres away. He overtook the first with one last push, pulling ahead, and the trying to purposefully getting in his way. The first boy now shaking with frustration and the effort of keeping pace, drew in a long sharp breath. Then diving forward, thrusting himself underneath the waves with barely a splash. As his feet disappeared beneath the surface of the water, the second boy looked behind him to smirk at his friend but there was no one there. Confused, he pushed forward, determined to reach the island first.
A pale shadow reflected on the water ahead of him and within a split second the first boy ripped up through the surface of the water. Drawing in a great lungful of air, he pounded through the water ahead of the second, letting out a cheer of joy as he pushed on. He struck out for the last few metres before he kicked his way up onto the bank, touching the ground in the shallows up to the small beach, stumbling as he clumsily began to wade through the water. The second was not far behind him, he dashed up through the shallows and launched himself on top of the first, knocking both of them forward into the shallows with a hard splash.
The first boy’s face was shoved underneath the waves and came into contact with a hard rock with a muffled crack below the surface. For a second he was dazed and then with a rush of adrenaline, coursing through his veins, he pushed his hand hard against the ground. Emerging, throwing the second boy off him into the water and made one last dash toward the beach. They both clumsily crashed through the water and crawled up the bank of the beach on all fours and collapsed forward onto the sand.
The hot sun shone on their backs, feeling good after the chill of the lake water. The island around them resembled a sunken mound, but the top that perturbed out the water contained a fair size beach, small tufts of grass and a few old oak trees. The boys lay sprawled out on their fronts puffing for a few minutes, enjoying the relaxation after the quick dash through the water. The last few drops of water ran off the backs, which were tanned gold with their many afternoons in the summer sun.
The first boy rolled onto his back to feel the heat on his front, his stomach shimmering in the afternoon sun. His name was Jack and he had spent many a summer scouring the woods, and knew every tree to every thicket in the valley. He was a kind good hearted soul, who hid it well beneath a boisterous, outgoing personality. To some he seemed to ooze confidence while to others he was too arrogant for his own good.
The second boy’s name was Harry, when he had first met Jack, he was a shining beam of light and he had followed him everywhere. The two of them were forever getting into trouble, once Jack had accepted him; the two of them were inseparable. They were known in the town for being the biggest two menaces and their parents had eventually given in and venture into the woods to cause havoc away from civilisation. Harry had a great spirit of adventure and was forever exploring to find new hideouts or trees to climb. The two of them shared a sense of humour and had spent many a summer in each other’s company.
Harry now opened his eyes and gazed up at the trees around them. He pushed himself slowly up to his feet and made his way over to the large oak tree. He had scaled this tree many times and shot up the branches around the trunk in no time at all. Jack who had rolled over onto his front to watch Harry, propping himself up on his elbows and grinning up at him. Harry called down from the rafters;
“Your missing out up here!” leaning back on his branch.
“I’m quite comfortable down here” called Jack, rocking from elbow to elbow, his big grin, stretched out across his face.
“You’ve never been able to get up here anyway” cried Harry, sitting up on his branch and relaxing back against the trunk of the tree, his hands behind his head.
“Oh yeah” cried out Jack, scrambling to his feet but feeling a rush of dizziness that ensued but he pushed on to the base of the trunk. He pulled himself up branch by branch. One thing he had never admitted was that he was terrified of heights. His hands shook as he scaled the last few branches coming to a rest next to Harry on the adjacent branch. He pulled himself up cautiously and carefully perched himself precariously on the branch, stretching up to grab the one above his head for support. He dared not look down. They both took a moment to gaze out at the view of the vast lake stretching out before them, with the snow capped mountains looming behind.
“Do you think, one day we could just live here?” asked Harry is stretching back against the trunk of the tree once more.
“Maybe, just over there” said Jack, pointing to the clearing across the water of the forest. It had willow trees lining the clearing, dragging their branch along the water’s edge, shading the clearing from view. The other huge trees surrounded the clearing and it even had a small beach leading to the water’s edge.
“Right there, build a huge three story house, a massive garden, a jetty out to the lake and a big tree house which could overlook the whole thing.” sighed Jack dreamily, drawing the image out in front of him in the air with his finger.
“Shotgun the biggest room!” laughed Harry “We’ll need lots of servants to cook and clean for us too,” closing his eyes to picture the scene.
“Of course” cried Jack,” You wouldn’t expect us to do any of the work would you?”
Suddenly, large flock of ravens came soaring out of a neighbouring tree, screeching and flapping their wings at the boys. They dived down straight through the air, beaks sharp and pointed, aimed at their faces. Both boys yelled out in shock nearly falling off their branches. Harry leapt down from his branch catching himself on the one below and with a great swing caught himself on the trunk. He shot down the tree with the greatest of ease for someone in such a rush. The birds could not follow him straight through the branches and turned their sights on Jack.
Jack was still sat on his branch, swatting at the birds attacking him but they would not let up. He pulled one arm in front of his face to give shelter from their relentless, lethal pecking and shuffled along the branch to grab the trunk of the tree. The birds pursued him as he reached to put his foot on the lower branch from his. He started climbing down, swatting at the birds as he went, they were swarming around him getting angrier by the second. He let out a desperate call to Harry for help but he was running toward the water’s edge that very second.
Suddenly his foot slipped on a piece of moss embedded on the branch below. He swayed backwards, arms flailing out grab the trunk in desperation but his hands just clutched thin air. Time seemed to slow down as he slipped and started to fall back, he crashed through the branches, and limbs flailing before he smashed into the ground below. The birds circled above his head, cawing at their joy as Harry rushed up the beach to grab Jacks arm. When Harry reached Jack the bird resumed their attack.
Jacks eye stared up, swimming with the pain of his landing. He had smashed the back of his head hard off the ground and began to come to as Harry reached him and started to pull him up. His ears were ringing, blocking out any sound, his head throbbing with a blinding pain from the back of his skull. His chest rose and fell rapidly but he was not able to draw in any breathe, instead he just gasped desperately. He had had the wind knocked out of him when he had hit the ground. Harry pulled Jack up, leaning him against his shoulder, Jacks feet dragging slightly. Jack managed to draw in a sharp lungful of air, in a dragging, rattle breathe. Harry hauled them both toward the water; Jack could not hear Harry’s desperate cries of encouragement through the ringing in his ears.
Everything went extremely blurred In Jacks eyes so he only realised they had reached the water’s edge when he felt the waves licking his ankles as Harry dragged him through the water. The birds swooped overhead, beaks poised for their next attack. Harry shoved them both forward underneath the water, face first to avoid the onslaught. They plunged into the water, deep enough to miss the talons and beaks skimming the water’s surface above them.
Harry pulled Jack forward through the water. Jacks head was still throbbing, each measly stroke he managed was a huge effort. He hadn’t gasped enough breathe before they had dived underneath the water. Harry struck off as Jack struggled with the desperation not to breathe. Jack thrashed wildly, surfacing up through the cold water no longer able to resist the urge to breathe Jack had managed to get away from the birds and was no longer in shallow water. Harry was striking out ahead of him, unaware of Jack struggles but he was still being pursued by the flock of crows.
Jack tried to tread water for a second to clear his head but he was getting buffeted by the waves which had sprung up by the breeze while they had been on the island. Jack continued to gasp for air, clawing at the water around him, as the edges of his vision started to go dark. He was beginning to get disorientated and confused as to where he was and his throbbing head was becoming overpowering. He gasped for air but water poured to his mouth, from a sharp wave washing over his head and he began to choke, sinking below the surface.
Jack harder, cry out for help but he was still expelling water from his lungs as his face surfaced once more. The blackness in his vision was overpowering him and as a second wave lapped over his head and completely submerged him. His vision completely blacked out and he made one last attempt to thrust his hand through the surface of the water. Jack stretched his arm out above the surface, greaping his fingers in the cold air and slowly sank below the surface of the water finally losing consciousness and himself.
As he sank down there was a rush in the water around him, surrounding him with air bubbles. Two hands wrapped themselves around his waist and pulled him up to the surface. As they broke the surface of the water his face was slapped but there was no response. He was then started pulled to the shore his body limp and immobile.