The clouds hung low and ominous in the East. Dark and angry, a grim line pushed its way closer and closer, threatening violence. As the first faint rumble of thunder was heard, two strong men helped the last farmer board the overloaded ferry. “This doesn’t look good,” commented Geremiah as he surveyed the choppy waves on the river.
His companion eyed the sky. “Aye.” Said Anton. “The wind is already picking up.” (I would start a new paragraph here)The ferry was a simple craft of thick, sturdy wood planks sealed all around with pitch. It was a long box sitting atop the water. There was a pulley mechanism midway of the ferry where a rope, thick as a man's arm, wound around and was pulled by the ferrymen to propel the boat along from shore to shore.
Geremiah helped the ferrymen push off from the dock, then stood facing the cold spray coming off the water. River and sky were both the same flat gray color. He adjusted the saddlebag on his shoulder. He was a big man clad in the heavy boots and leather breeches of a woodsman. His thick coat was fastened against late winters’ chill and stretched tight across his broad shoulders. Despite his rough attire, Geremiah was exceptionally handsome.(this seems an odd statement, only because, lots of rough looking guys are handsome…just sayin…) A close- cropped beard covered his strong jaw and squared chin. His shaggy chestnut hair reached just below his upturned collar. He had a very expressive mouth (usually prone to smiling) and captivating green eyes. Today there was no smile. (too many spaces after the period. One space is standard) He chewed his bottom lip, staring anxiously over the waves. (I’m not sure about this description. It feels off, and very cliché. I wonder if it might be better to give us one or two attributes and let our imagination do the rest. In fact, you could just go with the first 5 sentences. Just a thought...)
The rope creaked and the ferry shuddered as the force of the river’s current buffeted the craft. They were hanging low in the water due to all the extra weight of passengers and cargo trying to make the last ferry of the season. Most days it carried ten to fifteen men and their cargo, sometimes as much as twenty-five. Today there were forty souls, counting children and cargo aplenty. Anton saw the tension in Geremiah’s clenched jaw.(I’m beginning to think this little ferry ride isn’t going to end well. Great foreboding atmosphere/description.)
The clouds moved in and the sky darkened. Flashes of lightening illuminated the swirling clouds and the rumbling increased. The ferry shuddered again. (I think you need to start a new paragraph here at the beginning of this dialogue - any dialogue really.)“We’re too heavy.” Anton’s voice was filled with dread. He clutched his tiny son Wesley, barely five seasons old, and his nephew Benji tightly to his sides, his eyes glued on the north shore, so far away. The distance, an easy stroll on land, seemed a mighty journey across the menacing waves. (another nice description)
Geremiah laid a hand on Anton’s shoulder. “We’ve got to lighten this load.” Kneeling down, he faced skinny little Wesley and handed him his saddlebag. “Hold tight to this for me, little man. I’ve something very special in there to give my lady, Mara.”
Wesley smiled and reached for the bag. “The ring?” he whispered, leaning toward his father’s friend.
“Yes, the ring, very important. I’m trusting you with this solemn task. Hold tight,” He touched the bag. “to my most precious things.” The big man stared into the child’s eyes, then winked and smiled with his crooked grin.“I promise.” The boy smiled back, hugging the bag.
Readers, what do you think of the first part of this prologue? Any comments or suggestions?