The Waterwood Box, 51

Catch up!

Frear’s room was crammed full of water-folk. They spilled over rock furniture and filled most of the sandy floor. The room was so full that when Adam, Spot, and their water-folk escorts showed up they were forced to wait outside while someone passed word of their arrival along to Frear. Adam wondered why Frear hadn’t been at the manta’s reception.

Eventually Frear pushed and swam through the crowd and out the door, which someone forcefully closed, trapping the waiting crowd, and their raucous noises, within. A grim silence sunk in. Frear looked at the water-folk accompanying Adam and Spot. “You may go inside or leave. Inside is packed and we’ve come to agreement on nothing.”

The water-folk swam away and Frear turned his attention to Adam. “Is this the pet that brought news of your arrival?” Frear asked, motioning towards Spot.

Spot remained silent so Adam came to his friend’s defense. “Spot is my friend.”

“Hmm…,” Frear considered the possibilities, “…friends with a fish.”

“But you’re part fish!” Adam quickly said.

Frear swam right up to Adam’s face, massive tail tautly poised. Frear’s tail curled down and under, between the water-folk and Adam.

With stern patience, Frear asked, “What am I?”

“You’re part fish and part human,” Adam answered.

A smile. “And what is this?” Frear asked, pointing to Spot.

“I’m a–,” Spot tried to answer but Frear cut him off.

“I asked the child.”

“Spot’s a fish,” Adam said.

“And finally,” Frear asked, “what are you?”

Adam answered, “I’m a human.”

“So, I am part you and part that?” Frear paused to see if Adam would answer, well knowing that Adam couldn’t. “No, boy. I am not some conglomeration. I am Jur-Tiska, Person of Water, rightful caretaker of Ocean. I swim without fear. I am my own myth.”

The Waterwood Box, 51

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