“-hungry?” Adam screamed as Admiral Pinch stood holding out some white bits of meat.
“You are quite possibly the strangest water-man I’ve ever met. What in the sea are you screaming about?”
“Nothing.” Adam remembered that he shouldn’t talk much. “Just a bad dream.”
“Humpf. Eat some food then. We don’t want your people thinking you haven’t been treated with the utmost respect.” Adam watched this creature talk and hated it for its air of superiority and contempt. The Diamond Fins, the manta, the water-folk, nothing measured up in the urchins’ view. The only real sense of civility Adam had heard come from the Admiral was when he spoke of King Altern. “Tell me about the dream,” the Admiral said.
“I’d rather not,” Adam snapped.
The Admiral twitched. “Now you’re sounding like water-folk.” He rolled off to speak with one of the many urchins that surrounded him. The Admiral left the bits of meat on the bench for Adam to do with what he pleased.
“It was about my parents,” Adam whispered. “My dream was about home.” His tears trailed out behind him, as always, mixing instantly with the seawater all around.
The Army Farm
The journey to Tiskaloo was, for the most part, uneventful. Adam sat on the bench almost the entire way. Time didn’t seem to mean so much under the water. For one thing, it was hard for Adam to tell what time it ever was. He slept when he felt tired, not when the surface looked dark because, although he could tell when it was light or dark up above, he could never know whether the dark meant nighttime or a storm. Eventually, he gave up trying to keep track of days going by and just accepted that time was measured differently in Ocean.