Too much lazing in the sunshine and reading books (see two book reviews yesterday!) this weekend means I haven’t had anything prepared for this week’s Snippet Sunday! Almost a month ago I promised a series of flash fiction pieces related to ongoing work but for the next three weeks after that I wrote some original pieces – the flight of a seagull over Exmoor, a short piece about a steam train and finally a vignette about last weekend’s Bristol 10K. So I guess I should return to my Romans…?
This is the introduction to a very pivotal scene in the novel. Until this point, several of the men have had visions but have not told the others what they have seen.
The water was far clearer than any he’d seen in Rome. Certainly, it was cleaner in Rome than any other Italian city but here he could see to the rocky bottom. The water was so clear, sparkling glass-like and inviting – calling to him. He wanted to feel it course over his body, immerse himself in its depths… and he needed to. He sat on the damp river bank, slipped off his shoes, removed his belt, slipped his tunic over his head and waded into the water.
The coldness hit him at once like a thousand tiny needles pricking at his shins and calves. He drew in a sharp breath and instinctively drew his legs close, crouching. He cupped a handful of water and dribbled it down his arm, the hairs on his arms standing up straight. He repeated the process with the same arm three more times and then with the other arm. Finally, his body feeling adjusted to the cold, he knelt and leaned back.
The cold water stung his face and pinched at his ears. His pulse began to race – he was not used to this cold and within seconds came up for air again. The chill wind coming up the river made him feel colder; Valens chuckled, pinched his nose and submerged himself once more. He opened his eyes under water and was surprised to see a pair of naked feet and legs standing on the rock beside him – they were small and delicate feet with slender hairless shins, certainly not belonging to one of the men.
He immediately came up for air, determined to challenge the new arrival for startling him – a woman or a child from a nearby village perhaps.
But it was her.
The scene goes on and I am sorry but that is all you are getting this time!