Shadowed Moon Chapter 20

Fiction By Kay J Fields // 5/14/2011


Three days later—one day for Ditri to return, another day for him to lecture Faylin and me, and still another day before he and Grinl at last agreed that we were well enough to travel—we arrived on an abandoned beach near the same coastal town Ditri had already visited. The dragons—including young Azteric and huge, golden Phyletus—would simply fly, but in order to have the strength for such a long time spent in the air, they would need to be free of any extra burdens. So we needed to find a ship who didn’t mind going on a ‘wild goose’ chase for some land which most people didn’t even believed could exist.
            “That ship?” I asked doubtfully.
            Ditri nodded. “You can use the rest of those small treasures I gave you to buy your way; if you give them enough, they won’t think twice about having a wolf, a fox, and a hawk on board.”
            “Hmm,” I replied doubtfully. “My father’s ship is much better than that one.” I pointed at the rickety tub Ditri had spied out.
            “But your father has no desire for grand adventures such as these old sailors.” Ditri reassured. “Just go. We will follow you.”
            “I’m just supposed to walk up there with a vixen, a bird and a wolf in tow?”
            Veilara decided it was time to intervene, as she didn’t have a very large measure of patience. “Lara, you may become a hero for the things we are about to attempt, but you are still a pesky little human girl.” she began tartly, black eyes glowering. Faylin chuckled and I had to restrain myself from bopping him a good one on the snout. “And yes, it may seem a bit odd for you to walk up there with wild animals as your calm company but I highly doubt that Faylin will agree to a leash.”
            I gave the wolf a sly smile. “I hadn’t thought of that.”
            Faylin did not deign this worthy of reply.
            Nevertheless, we headed off for the town. Narris perched on my shoulder and Catalee trotted at my right heel with Faylin pacing on my left. I felt like a circus act.
            Most in the town ignored me, though a few stared, and upon arriving at the ship, I put on an air of importance and called out to one of the sailors. “Has your captain room on this piece of junk for a few passengers?”
            The sailor guffawed. “Not of your sort, miss.” he replied. Either he was simply ignoring my slight on his beloved ship, or else he wasn’t too fond of the vessel himself as he did not rebuke me sharply as any of my father’s companions would have.
            Faylin lifted his lips in a snarl at the man’s pertinence but I merely dug out the small pouch of treasure Ditri had pinched from his horde and held it out. “Are you quite sure?”
            The sailor invited us onboard.
            Within the hour I had secured not only a space on the ship, but also —with the jiggling of my little sack—passageway to Zandar. The captain knew where the land was rumored to be but, as no one had ever even attempted the journey because the seaway was said to be full of monsters and whirlpools, he scratched his head a lot in making his decisions. He yielded to my directions but warned that he had another passenger on board who was heading abroad and that I and my entourage wasn’t to disturb the only other paying customer.
            The ship was soon underway and I enjoyed the stingy salty air, the crisp sea breezes and the gentle rising and falling of the ship in the waves. Faylin evidently didn’t agree and disappeared shortly after we embarked. The next time I saw him, he was looking decidedly ruffled and unkempt and his eyes constantly shifted across the deck.
            “What is it with this blasted boat?” he muttered to me.
            “Not feeling so well, are you?”
            “I would be quite alright if my head would stop leaping overboard to go swimming and if my stomach stopped playing as if it contained the sea itself and if my legs would stop trying to turn into wings.” he replied with a growl. “Where’s Catalee?”
            “You don’t want to know,” I said, having just seen the poor fox having a hard time keeping her last meal down.
            “Of course I do, why—“ He suddenly got the message. “I see; and Narris?”
            “Last time I saw her, she was flying back to join the dragons for a piece. Said she would come back within a few hours or so.” I ran my fingers through my hair as the ocean spray stung my face.
            Faylin blinked, beginning to look uncomfortable. “Fine, fine.” He blinked again. “If you’ll excuse me.” he said quickly and hurried off. I contained my laughter only barely because of pity. Foxes and wolves are not built for sea voyages. Faylin, I was sure would be fine in an hour or two, but I worried about Catalee. Oh well, it was only for a few days. Then…then we would be in Zandar where the real battle would begin.
On the second day at sea, all was calm and easy. Both Faylin and Catalee had overcome their seasickness and Narris assured us that the dragons were easily keeping pace with the ship, thought we could not see them. Our captain told us he expected nothing but the finest weather for sailing and had the hope of reaching Zandar within the next few days. Tomorrow, he said, we would be in uncharted territory.
            The only other passenger aboard the ship avoided all company but no one thought anything about it and Faylin and I spent our time planning things which we were sure Ditri would not approve of, but planning them all the same. That is until the morning of the third day.
            Before the light of dawn had stretched across the sky, I climbed out of my loft and went up on deck. Besides the occasional calls of the sailors, everything was quiet. At the railing of the ship stood a man dressed in plain clothes, obviously not that of a sailor, and looking out to sea.
            Cautiously, I joined him at the rail to watch as the sun rose.
            “Hallo,” he said with a smile in his voice and turned to me.
            For a moment, I simply stared at him. “Oh.” I said.
            The man, who I now saw to be much younger than I had thought, smiled. Blonde hair framed his laughing face and bright blue eyes. “I had a feeling I would see you again,” he said.
            I smiled. “Where’s your bow at; you always seem to have it with you.”
            “I left it in my cabin to be sure I wouldn’t drop it over the edge.” He laughed. “And where are all the hordes of people who’ve been chasing you?”
            “Long gone, thanks to you.” I replied.
            Faylin stalked silently up to us and the boy looked ill at ease. “I guess they had one thing correct, didn’t they?” he asked softly.
            Faylin growled. “Who in all of Felmath are you talking to Lara?”
            “Faylin, don’t be rude.” I reprimanded the wolf.
            The fair-haired boy cocked his head. “What?”
            I opened my mouth but no words came out. Of course. I had spent so much time with only the animals and dragons for company that I had somehow forgotten that no one else knew what Faylin was saying. “Faylin, the wolf, asked who you were.”
            “Oh, is that all?” He swept a bow to the canine. “I am Enriad, son of James, my good fellow.” He winked at me.
            Faylin glared at Enriad.          
            I snorted, quite unlady-like. “If you knew what that wolf just called you, you would turn red as a beet.” I replied, nudging Faylin. Honestly, sometimes the wolf was impossible.
            Enriad laughed again. “From embarrassment or anger?”
            “Both, most likely. I’m Lara, by the way; daughter of Ronertan. And you’ve already had the pleasure of meeting Faylin.”
            “Indeed,” Faylin huffed.
            I shook my head. “That’s strange.”
            “What is?” Enriad asked.
            “You both can understand what I say, and I can understand both of you, but you can’t understand each other.”
            “You said your wolf had talked, but I never saw or heard a thing.” Enriad said. I decided it was a good thing that Faylin didn’t catch the ‘your wolf’ part; as if!
            I pointed at Faylin. “Say something for me so I can watch.”
            Faylin smirked. “You both reek like the pigsty after an entire herd of wet sheep has rolled in it. And your looks aren’t much better.”
            Enriad glanced at me. “I’m assuming that one would have made me red too?” he asked but I was trying too hard not to collapse from held-back laughter to answer. “In any case, I didn’t see him so much as twitch an eyelid.”
            I explained this to Faylin who blinked once, slowly, heavily.
            “Alright. I did see that.” Enriad said.
            “Lara,” Faylin began.
            “Is there any reason whatsoever that is grounds enough for me not to cause this young human bodily harm for behaving like a pesky fly in the ear?”
            I shook my head. “Faylin, Enriad is the one I told you about. He saved my life.”
            Faylin grinned devilishly. “Ah. Indeed.” And with that, he promptly tackled the astonished Enriad.


Well...I guess Faylin showing

Well...I guess Faylin showing much appreciation for Enriad saving Lara's life was a little much to hope for. :)

Heather | Sat, 05/14/2011

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"


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