Chapter Fifty-Eight

Irian and Namid followed the coastline, cat-thing in tow.  They had fish, they had water, they had a small flapping noisemaker to announce their presence.  Namid’s bow was slung over her shoulder, Irian hung his sword lazily over his.  They weren’t worried about interruptions.  Namid was worried, though.  Irian wasn’t the same as before he had been poisoned-and not just because he had revealed his feelings.  He was so much stronger, and his face, while still horribly scarred, showed far less pain, if no real emotion still.  She worried most about that-was the boat simply something of convenience?  She didn’t think so, but she worried anyway.

Irian breathed the salt air.  To him, it was home again.  It was familiarity, it was comfort, and it was just somehow right.  Namid worried him, though.  He knew she was from the plains, and the sea wasn’t something she had spent much time on, short of coming to these isles.  Irian had a thought forming in the back of his mind, and it looked better and better all the time.  If he had been able to grasp it, he would have simply done it, but because he couldn’t, he played with it back and forth as they walked.

The furry thing, however, was enjoying the time of his life.  He rode on Irian’s other shoulder, sunning himself and rumbling.  Irian seemed completely oblivious to him most of the time, but if he ran off hunting (or more likely eating sea oats) for too long, he would make a sideways cluck with his mouth, and the feline aviator would burst from the grasses vertically, taking flight to resume his normal perch on Irian’s shoulder.

“Do you know where we’re headed., Irian?”

“Not at all.”

“So why are we going this way?”

“Simple.  Settlements are built near the sea to take advantage of fish.  Just like the cat-thing.  If we follow the coast, we should find people.”

“Sounds like it would work.  Do you have any idea where you are?”

“A vague one.  It’s been too many years to be sure.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Irian, however, was back fighting with the thoughts in the back of his head.  And, the cat was back greedily stuffing its face with oats.  A sideways cluck later, oats flew as the thing burst cover and resumed his ride.

“So you’re calling it *cluck*?”

“No, he has a name, don’t you?”

The cat, as if on cue, squawked.  Oats flew from his mouth.

“So what is your name, kitty?”

The cat squawked again.  More oats.

“See, he knows his name.  Smart cat…thing.”

“So what is its name, then, if you speak cat-thing?

“Why Cairbre, of course.”

“What’s a ‘cairbre’, anyway?”

“Warrior of legend.  You’re a legendary warrior, right?”

The cat-creature clambered onto his head and crowed.

Both Irian and Namid burst out laughing.

Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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