Chapter Forty-Nine

The sea had them, and with Irian wrapped in the sail, the sea would do what it wished with them.

Namid knew that Irian would have to eat.  She knew they both would have to drink.  There were other concerns, such as just where they were going, but at the moment, there was nothing that was more important than taking care of Irian and herself.  While she had never been on the ocean, she knew that the ocean meant fish.  Fish meant food.  And water, if she remembered her training right.

She looked around the craft to see what she had available.  There was a net, but not only was Irian sleeping on it, only someone with his strength could cast it.  Also, she had a feeling it wasn’t made for the depths they were likely at.  There was rope, an anchor-no, two anchors, a gaff, her bow, a few arrows, thin twine, Irian’s sword, Irian, of course, the sail he was wrapped in, a lantern, and what looked to be a box of lucifers.  As she looked about, she had an idea.

Night was falling fast, and she had heard cousins tell of fishing in the ocean, and she figured she could try some of their tricks.  There was a lantern, some matches, and a gaff-not exactly the trick she had learned, but there was only one way to find out.

She lit the lantern, and all around her she heard flat slaps, like a person slapping a wave.  The cousins had all talked of fish with wings, who would jump out of the water after lights lit at dusk.  Some had talked of their willingness to even jump into the boat.  That’s what she was hoping for.  As if on cue, a fish leapt into the boat, nearly upsetting the lantern.  She quickly picked it up, and waved it about.  More fish landed in the boat, and after a few minutes, she extinguished the lantern.  There was a faintly flopping pile of fish on Irian, who seemed not to mind at all.  He was, of course, still unconscious.  It was to this she directed her attention.

She cleaned all the fish off him, and set to work with an arrow gutting and cleaning them.  She knew there was liquid in the eyes that would sustain them, and she knew that some cultures ate raw fish-so this was looking better and better.  She was glad for once she had paid attention in survival classes, after all.  She chewed a fish, while trying to figure out how to get Irian to eat.  Simply placing it in his mouth wasn’t going to work, she thought as she spat out a mouthful of bones.  This was gonna be difficult.

She poked him.  He grunted.  That was a good sign, it meant that he wasn’t as deep as she thought.  She kicked his foot.  He snored louder.  So, she tried the only thing she knew to work.

She dumped water on him.

He semi-woke, and she shoved a piece of fish in his mouth.  To her relief, he chewed.  After a few pieces, including a few eyes, she wrapped him in the sail again and propped his head up with the net.  He was never really conscious through the whole deal, but he was at least able to eat without breathing it in.  She thought again, and wrapped him a bit more loosely, and huddled next to him for warmth.

The sea continued on its way, as it had before and as it does now.

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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