Ocean of Dust
by Graeme Ing
Fourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but gray dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.
Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it’s too late.
When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.
"Don't even think of trying to swim for it," the big man said, glaring over his shoulder. "Even without them chains, yer wouldn't survive."
"No one can swim in dust," the other man added.
She pinched her lip thoughtfully. In the warmer moon-cycles, she liked to swim in the lake. What would stop her swimming here? After all, it clearly supported boats and huge ships. She plunged her entire hand beneath the surface and moved it about. The dust felt bone dry but grew cooler as she reached deeper. Scooping out a handful, she compared it to the spices in her mother's kitchen. None had been ground as fine as this grey powder. It flowed between her fingers like a liquid. A gust blew a wave of dust across the boat and into her face. She coughed and licked her lips. It tasted bitter, like nothing she could put her finger on. She brushed her hands together and wiped them on her skirt. The dust particles fell off easily and the bottom of the boat was covered in the stuff.
Pete nudged her. "Look."
The rear of a ship towered above them, three or four stories high. The whole ship rolled side-to-side in a wide but lazy motion and was larger than she had expected. Windows were open on every level, with a narrow balcony halfway up. She read the huge letters painted across the stern:
The Fair Maiden Of Yamin
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Graeme is a writer of speculative fiction. He probably won't fall into existing pigeonholes, but hang around and you'll get to read tales of fantasy, science-fiction, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk and who knows what.
Born in England, Graeme now lives in San Diego, California. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, including the development of a dozen computer games for consoles, home computers and online. Graeme is also an avid armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with six crazy cats.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GraemeIngAuthor
Twitter: @GraemeIng https://twitter.com/GraemeIng
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