The Waterwood Box, 58

Catch up!

“You mustn’t mind her too much. She has lots of ideas but no small inkling of how best to broach them among her own people. Now, you were about to tell me what I could do to help you.”

“I want to go home,” Adam said, for what seemed like the millionth time.

“If you mean home, to land, I told you – there is no more land. If you mean home, among the water-folk – I welcome you.”

“I mean home, my house, my room, my parents.”

“I cannot help.”

Spot chirped up then. “But, surely you must know something. What about Sesre’s beach?”

Frear was patient but firm. “Truly, I tell you, there is no land. There are countless ruins, but no land above the water.”

Chapter 12
A Plan Swells Together

Adam choked up. “R-r-ruins?” remembering his dream of the ruined city.

“Yes,” Frear continued, “ruins of humanity. That’s why our city was so agitated to see you. The human world flooded many, many years ago and, so we assumed, all of Sesre’s descendants right along with it.”

“B-but – that’s impossible! It couldn’t have been that long ago.” Frear said nothing. “But I’m the one who did it! I flooded the world! I was there!”

“Child, I cannot explain the curse that’s brought you here and tricked your mind. Still, I assure you, these are human ruins I speak of.”

“What am I going to do?” Adam asked, grief-stricken.

“Don’t worry, Adam,” consoled Spot. “We’ll think of something.”

“Please, you’ll be more than comfortable here,” Frear offered. “Just let me go inside and see if there’s been any resolution. Then, I can work on getting you situated in Tiskaloo.”

“Resolution?” Spot asked.

“Yes, yes. All the hubbub you came in upon. We’re trying to decide what to do about Altern and the Urchin Army. Altern’s grip grows tighter every day.”

The Waterwood Box, 58

The Waterwood Box, 57

Catch up!

Adam turned to Spot. “So, that’s why you brought me here? To hear this?” Adam was upset. He’d hoped to find a way to get back to land, not listen to some dreamed up tale about the origins of humanity.

Spot swam up close. “No. I brought you here because you needed help and I knew the Tiskaloons would want to help. You share a common heritage.”

“Adam, what is it you need?” asked Frear. A ruckus sounded inside the dwelling. The rough door opened and a young water-folk popped out from the crowded doorway. “Frear, you deal with this,” came a voice from within.

The water-folk curled up in a ball. “Leave me alone. You’re on a fool’s mission armed with worthless weapons. Self-interest philosophy won’t prevent Altern from taking Tiskaloo. We need to unite!”

Frear went over and lifted the water-folk’s chin. “Ramata, you are young. The Crisis has yet to come upon you. Keep your dreams, yes, but not at the expense of what your heart and mind tell you to be true. Make yourself presentable. We shouldn’t talk politics in front of guests.”

Ramata set their jaw firm and turned their pale face towards Adam and Spot. “Is that the human?” Ramata’s bright green eyes went from Adam to Frear to Adam again. They ran a hand through their dark blue hair and straightened up their proud body. “Maybe you can talk some sense into Frear. Don’t you think a war is best fought as a unit rather than a loose gang of stubborn ego-maniacs?”

Adam hesitated so Frear jumped in.  “Excuse my sibling. They’re young and inexperienced. Adam, Spot, this is Ramata.”

“Hello,” said Adam, unsure about this new person. Their entire body quivered as though they were about to explode.

“How do?” asked Spot.

“I’m angry. Thank you. Goodbye.” Ramata’s powerful tail kicked out a strong gust of water and they swam off among the blue-tinted, coral alleyways of the city.

The Waterwood Box, 57