The paddle dipped into the dark water, catching against mud and plant-matter and gods only knew what else. Filia surveyed the scene from her perch on the boards that crossed from one side of the boat to another. The splash of the oar propelling her tiny craft forward was a sharp contrast to the quiet around her. Even the clouds that had riddled the town with raindrops had ceased their onslaught, though the sky threatened that this reprieve could be short-lived. The rooftops that peeked out from the newly created sea were empty. There was not a man, woman or child in sight, awaiting rescue from the high ground. Not even so much as the quack of a duck or the soaring outline of a gull could be found to give some sign of life. But it didn't feel empty exactly. More like something was there—holding its breath.
Filia gripped the oar. Whatever that something was, it was leading her on—on to find Val, or to walk into a trap, or… what exactly? The false Val