Every day, they sat at opposite ends of the room, studiously ignoring each other, like a pair of classical bookends. To one side, a giant shaggy white dog. To the other, a sleek black kitten. In between, a medium-sized grey sofa. A place to sit that should be comfortable.
And would be comfortable, except that each bookend was sure to be wounded deeply when any favor was shown to the other. This required that the only possible way to sit on the couch was precisely in the center, and to look neither left nor right.
Every day he risked all to sit in that one spot. A prince among men he was, attempting to build a bridge that many said could never be built.
The kitten knew absolutely that it was the ruler of the world.
The dog knew that it had no care at all about the thoughts of a kitten.
In search of fish, indeed. Well that turned out to be something of a wild goose chase. We even found a wild goose. She didn’t know anything helpful, and declined to come along, possibly out of fear that she might end up gracing our dining table. I have to admit that fear might not have been without grounds.
I know things happened the rest of the afternoon. I have the sunburn, scratches, aches, and pains to confirm it. But I don’t know what happened. And that worries me more than a little. The faint smell of perfume worries me even more. Also, we were found tied up and to each other around the base of a tree. That isn’t the kind of thing that happens normally without remembering it.
Gwen seems even more disturbed than I am. I suspect it takes strong magic to mess with a dragon, the old stories all claim that dragons are almost immune to magical attacks. Waking up to find you are literally tied up in evidence of such an attack has to be rather disorienting. Then there’s the fact that she seems to believe she has failed in her duty to protect me. It is true that she did not protect either of us. But I’m not entirely convinced that she should take the blame alone. After all, I bear an apparently powerful magical tool and did not protect us either.
Regardless of assigning the blame, nearly seven hours are completely unaccounted for, vanished into a void.
I can assure Gwen that nothing untoward happened, but the very need for that assurance is untoward. Unexpected even. And worrying.
And Dragons like to worry.
I think the event has suggested to her that we are on the wrong path as well.
My worry is that the chicken will cross us, cross the path, and get in the way of the cat. The cat who has yet to offer me a name, or any reason at all to trust him. The cat that acts like Gwen is his pet dragon. He’s been along on this ride too, and he’s not saying whether whatever happened happened to him too. Cats being 99% dignity, after all. Admitting it did happen would be nearly as hard on him as answering the question.