Author: Dallas Sutherland
Genre: Fantasy Novella
LANDLAND CRIES OUT FOR A SAVIOUR... Upon the death of her mother, Meah is pulled across the boundary that separates this world and another time and place where the dog-like Firbog have brought the mists of the greying. Under the evil Queen Berilbog they threaten to claim all the lands. With her Mother dead and her Father missing - she is on her own! Can Meah learn how to use the power of the thinking? Will there be enough time to save both Landland and herself? Will Meah ever find her way home again? She must triumph over grief and sadness on her journey into a world made cold, grey, and colourless by the ravages of the greying. Meah travels into the depths of Bigriverland to find the mysterious sage, The Biggo. In the heart of Dead Wood, Meah meets Josh O'Tosh, the last of the warrior Pictish Priests. Battling lurking homunculi and the horrors of the many-headed-winged-thing, they set out to recover the only thing that will save Landland ...her mother's Book-of-Colours.
It was then that she saw them!
Meah stood as the boat turned. She reached out to touch them. Clasping the portfolio tight to her chest with one arm, she stretched as far as she dared with her other, but in the turning of the boat and the buffeting of the waves, Meah lost her balance.
Her over-reaching hand grasped for the railing, but remained empty.
Meah fell, banging her head on the edge of the boat. She went straight down into the cool embrace of the sea, still clutching the portfolio tightly to her chest.
The bang on the head confused her senses. She could not swim and drifted just below the surface. The portfolio floated beside her.
Neither Auntie Beryl nor the boatman had seen her fall. By the time they realised she was missing, the boat was at least a hundred metres away.
Meah continued to float just beneath the surface. Her head swam with visions of sadness … was she dying?
Ooh! The dolphins were back again. If she could just touch one— that dark one there!
Meah fought hard to keep the dreaming alive, to touch the dolphins. The dreaming became fuzzy and grey, then black.
The sea surged. The black dolphin came closer. Gently, it nudged the girl and towards the surface they rose together.
The sky grew black, almost as black as the obsidian sheen of the dolphin. Bubbles glistened on the girl’s skin. Rain pelted at the sea.
On and upwards the dolphin pushed until finally it held the girl above the water.
They were close to the shore now. At last, the dolphin relinquished its grip on the girl and gave her up to the care of the waves.
A peak rose out of the water and lifting the girl up on its crest, it tumbled her over and down the face of the forming wave.
Like escorts, the pod of dolphins swam in and out of the lurching wave as the girl glided like a body-surfer towards the beach.
Rain continued to beat down on the water leaving tiny pockmarks in the sea foam. Seaweed entangled the girl’s limbs, bearing her up and easing her passage towards the shore.
Out at sea, the pod of dolphins watched and waited for the storm to abate. A rainbow mist hovered for a moment over the shoreline and then it was gone; swept away inland on a final gust of wind.