Then the stars were lost

Here is another excerpt from my novel Farholm… Deke is walking by the sea late at night…

She thought at first it must be seals, and then perhaps divers, or lovers in the waves edge.

And then she was almost running, limping along, the pain lost in the adrenal surge. Her breath was taken or she would have shouted, cried out.

She splashed into the water, towards where the two figures rolled and wrestled.

“No!” and she grabbed at the upper body and heaved it back.

She fell backwards and the other turned and struck out and a fist connected with Deke’s face and she thudded onto the sand and her head thumped back and for a moment she saw nearer stars. She was completely winded and lay with the sea lapping over her. Minutes passed as she tried to gather her thoughts and her strength, staring up at a spinning sky.

And then the stars were lost, blotted out by a dark shape. Deke swung her crutch and caught the figure across the knees and then she was rolling over and scrambling to get to her feet. She managed several yards before she was felled by a body falling upon her and they wrestled in the sea. Deke tried to shout, tried to scream but a hand was under her chin pushing her head backwards.

Deke poked straight fingers into her assailant’s ribs and heaved her attacker off.

“Help!” she screamed and she got to her feet and was hobbling along. Too late she realised she was heading the wrong way along the shore line towards the castle rocks. There was a blow upon her shoulder as something was thrown.

She screamed again as she tried to hold her arm over her head and duck away from the rocks that were flying. She crashed over a boulder and fell, an excruciating pain shooting up her leg. She began to crawl, clambering over rocks, making strange guttural noises, hideous animal sounds as her murderer followed her. Her hand slipped and went down into a pool slimy with weed and someone was on her back, sitting on her back, forcing her head into the water. It was only inches deep, little more than a puddle, but enough to drown in. Deke tried to hold her breath as she struggled and squirmed but one arm was pinned beneath a knee, the other knee dug into her armpit and she could find no purchase for her thrashing legs.

Lights flashed before her eyes, closed against the sand and mud and weed and water. There was a howling in her ears, her limbs no longer belonged to her, her strength was going and she could feel the water flowing up her nose and into her mouth, pouring down her throat, into her lungs, stinging and salty and acrid. She was getting weaker, drawn down a tunnel, knowing that she would not find Niko at the end, and then… nothing.

Here is a link to Farholm:


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