The Waterwood Box, 79

Catch up!

“Ugh! Urchins.” Ramata looked unsettled. No sooner did the water-folk get out the words then the eel from inside the hovel swam out. It took off along Ocean’s floor, rapidly undulating its way along a path towards the next hut. The three of them watched as the eel entered the next hut and then it, plus another eel, exited. One eel continued straight ahead while the other eel slithered towards the hut to its left.

“What’re they doing?”

Spot answered, “Raising an alarm!”

“We’ve got to hide!” Ramata said. “Adam, you’ve got your wish. We’ll be at Altern’s complex soon enough!”

Adam tried to calm her down. “Please, don’t worry.”

“How can I not worry? I’m so far away from where I’m supposed to be!”

“What the worst that King Altern could do? Send you back to Tiskaloo?

“Eh, nopes! The King will probablies kill yins!” The two urchins from the hut below had rolled out to see what was going on above. “All yins, water-folk. Everyones knows water-folk’s not allowed outsides the Tiskaloo.”

“I’m not a-,” Adam stopped himself from telling the urchin that he wasn’t Tiskaloon. If Altern did plan to kill water-folk, better Adam was with Ramata than not. Together they might be able to escape.

“Notta whats, you filthy cuss?”

“Not afraid of King Altern!”

The urchin barked a short laughed and said, “Dumbs and uglies,” then rolled back inside the hut. The other urchin just sat there, staring, not saying anything.

Adam didn’t want to put his friends in any further danger, “Should we run?”

“Yins can’ts just gets outta the here, briny half-breed,” came the urchin’s voice from inside. “Words is out. Yins the here and that’s the thats. Alls the outposts know yins here. Unless yins wants to be tortured and maimed before yins killed, smarter to stays right the there.”

Ramata gasped and Adam joked, “More waiting, Ramata. Like every other thing we’ve done so far.”

“Adam, how can you joke now? This is dangerous.”

“My school says, ‘Life is danger.’ We’re in no more danger now than if we tried to run.”

“AH! Stupid fish talks smarts. Must helps to bes in schools that tells yins how to thinks. S’okeys, thoughs. I’m justs teasing yins. Altern real nices. Yins’ll sees. Everybody maybe lives a little longer.”

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The Waterwood Box, 79

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