I finally went hiking on Sunday! It was the first time I’ve been hiking since I broke my ankle last year. With all the rain we’ve been getting, the forest was pretty thick and I managed to get bitten twice. Dad didn’t get bit at all. I personally think he did some sort of voodoo to lure them away and bite me instead.
During the trip, we came across a pine tree. It’s not unusual to see pine trees in Ohio, but it is a bit out of place to have seen one on the trail. Dad commented that it was weird to see it so randomly placed and the characters in my head agreed. Or I should say, character. Here’s a fun and random scene that will never see the light of day in Book 3.
The day was hot. Too hot. Kaia groaned and urged her legs to keep moving. It wasn’t too long before they reached the next town and the first thing on her mind was a nice, cool shower. She took a look behind her to make sure Catrina and Derek were following. The demigoddess looked wilted and glared at the merman traipsing about. He was the only one who didn’t seem to be affected by the weather; a fine, cool mist surrounded him as he swirled his index finger around and around in the air.
“Can’t you cool us off, too?” Catrina grumbled.
“Oh, you surface dwellers can deal with this heat better than I can. You’ve adapted to it.”
Kaia shook her head at the two. They had all secretly wished that Derek would just cool them all off with that fine mist of his, but he had refused. Though the heat was unbearable for her, she still remained level-headed. Catrina and Reeze, on the other hand, looked murderous. The guardian wouldn’t dare harm a hair on the merman’s body (Kaia made sure of that) but the demigoddess didn’t care what the repercussions were. She wanted to be cool and she would get Derek to use his powers on her no matter what it took.
They rounded a corner and spotted a pine tree in the middle of the forest. It was out of place within deciduous forest. It stood tall and mostly full, as if testing the other trees to question it.
Derek looked up at it as they neared it. “How did it get here?”
Catrina shrugged. “Maybe a squirrel brought a pine cone here.”
Kaia glanced at her. “A squirrel? And what did it do? Catch that area on fire?”
The demigoddess pursed her lips. “There are other ways the seeds could have dispersed…”
The group was quiet as they continued along their path. Just when the pine tree was becoming a forgotten memory, Derek said, “Does anyone else find it odd that there’s a pine tree in the forest? It’s just so weird!”
“Less talking and more walking,” Reeze ordered.
He quieted down, putting everyone at ease.
“You mean it doesn’t bother you guys at all?” he said after a pause.
Catrina whirled around. “Do you hear me questioning the weird and odd creatures and plants that one can find in the ocean? Maybe I should ask how you exist. Seriously. Part fish, part human? Why didn’t you just finish evolving? Can you explain that to me? Huh?” She jabbed her finger toward his chest.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me? Listening to your aggravating voice questioning about a pine tree. It’s a pine tree. Let it go!”
He blinked and studied her. “You really need to cool down.”
Kaia and Reeze rushed to the demigoddess’ side and pulled her away from the merman before she decided to bury him alive.
Derek frowned. “What’s the matter with her?”
The Chosen rolled her eyes and let out a frustrated sigh. “Derek?”