The Drowned
Eliza Knightly
(1 reviews)
A century ago the world flooded, killing off most of the human population. All who remain are ... Show More
Adventure, Dystopian, Romance, Sci Fi, Young Adult
flood, university, rebellion,


The woman was old, her eyes a bluish-white and her skin winkled, dark and weather-beaten. She stared at me with her sightless globes and I leaned back into the trembling arms of my best friend, Linnae.

“The screams went on for an eternity,” the crone said. Her voice was raspy like she hadn’t had a drop of water to drink in all her long years. “The higher the water rose, the more desperate and pleading the sound became until, suddenly, there was nothing to hear but the gurgling of angry water.”

We sat still as stone, our young eyes wide, trying to decide if the old woman was attempting to scare us or if millions of souls had indeed tried to claw themselves away from the Drowned during the Great Flood.

“If you get too close to one of the water demons,” she continued, “they’ll reach out their rotting arms towards you and pull you under the surface with the unearthly strength only the damned can posses.”
The crone was the only person alive who could get all two-dozen children from our drifter community to sit silent and still. No one else could terrify us the same way. There was something in her aged, broken body that made me believe her tales of the undead creatures of the deep, the Drowned.

“Now that their watery castles are overfull, they look for little boys and girls to act as their slaves in the dark depths of the Big Deep. They particularly love those who act naughty…like you, Zack.”

All the drifter children turned their heads towards Zack, who had been reaching out towards my frizzy hair, a dead frog pinched between his fingers. The fact that the blind woman knew Zack had been about to torment me again filled us with even more fear and awe.

Zack placed the frog on the ground next to his scratched and dirty legs, looked up at the old woman and said, “I’m not afraid.” He crossed his arms in front of himself in a small act of defiance.

“You should be.” The old woman smiled, but it was not comforting.

I wanted to go home to my family’s shelter at the other end of the drifter cluster, where our entire community has tied our rafts together. I wanted my mother to wrap her soft, warm arms around me and tell me I would be alright. I wanted someone, anyone, to tell me that the stories of the Drowned were nothing but the ramblings of an evil, crone.

No one ever did.

“The castles of the Drowned are filled with little children just like you.” The old woman pointed towards us with one knobby, shaking finger and I felt a shiver crawl over every inch of my skin.

That was when I learned to live in fear, like a good drifter child should.
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 4/26/2015 9:46:42 PM
  • Kine Gaye commented on :
    9/18/2016 12:55:02 PM
    Good day. It’s my pleasure meeting you, and that you enjoying your day? Can you allowed me to introduce my self to you. My name is Kine Ghazi . I will like to get ... Show More
  • Anonymous commented on :
    7/31/2016 8:30:48 PM
    It's great! So intriguing!
  • anna brown commented on :
    3/31/2016 12:57:13 AM
    Hello good day, i will like to meet you in person, am miss Anna, am from France and am leaving in London, please contact me on my email id at (, ... Show More
  • Lindsay Diamond commented on :
    2/28/2016 1:24:37 PM
    Lovely and intriguing start. I got chills imagining the flood.
    • Eliza Knightly Thanks for reading, Lindsay. Enjoy the rest!
      2/28/2016 3:26:01 PM
  • Saengard commented on :
    11/22/2015 1:36:44 AM
    Nice. Everything really culminated to the last sentence that summed it all up but also made you want to push on to the next chapter. Well done.
  • Dev Chatterji commented on :
    10/21/2015 5:19:27 PM
    Just started the prologue and it has me hooked! Am looking forward to a non-productive day as I read it!
    • Eliza Knightly Haha! I'm so glad it's hoodwinked you into forgetting all your chores. :)
      10/21/2015 6:02:05 PM
  • Angi Shearstone commented on :
    9/22/2015 12:48:51 AM
    Excellent writing here. Love it. Just enough sense of the world, the characters, the situation to hook the reader, good details and none of then frivolous or distracting. ... Show More
    • Eliza Knightly Thanks, Angi! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
      9/22/2015 12:26:17 PM
  • Ada Redmond commented on :
    7/11/2015 10:43:54 PM
    Oh my god it's like a cooler version of Waterworld. "The castles of the Drowned" huh? Sounds good to me! Off to read more :D
    • Eliza Knightly Welcome to The Drowned, Ada. I hope you love it!
      7/13/2015 11:19:01 PM
  • Allison Spector commented on :
    6/22/2015 7:56:20 PM
    Oh wow. I'm so glad JA turned me onto this series. It is awesome. I've added it to my bookshelf and will be doing lots of reading!! Great job.
    • Eliza Knightly Huzzah! I'm happy you like it so far. :D
      6/22/2015 8:06:35 PM
  • K R Williams commented on :
    6/22/2015 3:09:45 PM
    I saw some buzz about this on my feed and so sat down to read it and I'm so glad I did. Hooked. I've got it bookmarked for my commute tomorrow. Great job!
  • Ryan Watt commented on :
    6/21/2015 8:18:07 PM
    Oh, Eliza. I thought "I know, I'll start to read The Drowned while I eat at this sandwich shop!" - and then, I had to force myself to leave and put the iPad down as I ... Show More
    • Eliza Knightly Thanks! I'm glad you liked it enough to keep reading well past your scheduled sandwich-eating time. :) I'm so happy that it's drawn you in so effortlessly. Please feel free to let me know if the story ever starts to feel more... effort-full? I'm 100% open to all comments. Thanks for reading!
      6/21/2015 11:48:09 PM
  • D # commented on :
    6/20/2015 10:27:27 PM
    Apparently, this is the day of starting new books for me. Really like the highly thematic feel of this one. And I always appreciate a touch of humor. Big smile when Zack ... Show More
    • Eliza Knightly Thanks for reading, David! Zack seems to be a crowd favorite (and mine). I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far. :)
      6/21/2015 4:40:18 PM
  • Justin Hunter commented on :
    6/17/2015 11:01:46 AM
    This is a really good lead in. I'm excited to read more!
  • M. Howalt commented on :
    6/14/2015 1:41:59 PM
    Lovely prologue! It's so full of lore/mythology/history. Very promising! I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.
    • Eliza Knightly I hope you enjoy it! (I'm loving your Aconitum, btw)
      6/15/2015 9:36:40 PM
    • M. Howalt Thanks! (And I'm super happy to hear that! :))
      6/16/2015 9:17:53 AM
  • N.C. Gossner commented on :
    6/15/2015 9:55:38 PM
    Jimminy Cricket that was one crazy well written prologue! Man. I had shivers running up and down my spine faster than Quicksilver on Redbull. I am incredibly intrigued to ... Show More
    • Eliza Knightly I'm so happy you liked it. And I know what you mean, so many great serials, so little time! I'm glad you took a moment to check this one out. :)
      6/15/2015 10:18:51 PM
  • Brynn Mcvay commented on :
    6/12/2015 6:21:25 PM
    *shivers* well, you certainly have me interested! I feel the makings of a great story here. :)
  • David Khalaf commented on :
    6/9/2015 8:25:03 PM
    Good imagery and tone. We get a sense of this world in just a few short paragraphs, and it leaves us with an ominous mood even if we don't know what's coming.
    • Eliza Knightly Perfect! Exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks for your comment.
      6/11/2015 2:34:42 AM
  • Andre Clemons commented on :
    6/7/2015 2:13:57 AM
    Nothing like the creepy old lady to go about, striking fear into the hearts of people. I love a great sci-fi story, and so far you've got me intrigued. Can't wait to keep reading...
  • Nicole Adrianne commented on :
    6/6/2015 11:03:58 PM
    As soon as this story popped up on JP, I bookshelved it because it's every one of my favorite genres! So needless to say I am excited about this project. I agree with ... Show More
    • Eliza Knightly Aw, thanks! Zack is my favorite character. Hands down. Story over. The end. I hope you find his journey to be as as engaging as I do. :) I'm also super-enjoying your story, Alpha!
      6/8/2015 11:30:01 PM
  • Evan Marcroft commented on :
    5/26/2015 12:49:47 AM
    Very unusual form of apocalypse. Most seem to be either zombie or nuclear or nuclear zombie, but this one wants to open up a very different tone, almost a different genre. I can most certainly dig it.
    • Eliza Knightly Glad you like it. Yes, there are many nuclear and zombie apocalypse stories. I was craving something different.
      5/26/2015 5:16:34 PM
    • Evan Marcroft It's almost like a fairytale apocalypse
      5/26/2015 6:36:11 PM
  • Deb Rhodes commented on :
    5/12/2015 7:22:26 PM
    I've only had time to read the prologue, but already I'm intrigued by where this story is going. The writing has good pacing and the story is captures the imagination.
    • Eliza Knightly Thanks, Deb. :) I'm glad it's captured your imagination. I let mine run free for this one.
      5/15/2015 12:24:30 AM