Whale Song - Page 9

I indulged in a fleeting wish that my blissful ignorance could have gone on a little while longer, then got back to business. "Oh Bloody Hel!” I swore. “We have to find her! NOW!"

"Why?" she tried to ask, but I had already grabbed her hand again and was in the process of directing her out of the tent. I didn't even pause to unzip the tent flap, I simply burnt the offending canvas out of our way.

Everyone else around was too self-absorbed, oblivious, or “preoccupied” to even notice.

“Ask your stupid questions as we run!” I snapped.

“My tent . . .”

“Won't burn any more than it already has,” I assured her. “And if any of us survive this, I'll buy you a new one! Now focus, Diana! Your sister is in terrible danger!”

I don't know if she heard the sincerity in my panic, or if she was just too confused by it to not answer, but she gave a vague indication of a direction. “That way--” she began, then gave a whoop of surprise as I took off like a shot, dragging her behind me in my wake.

A few of the more “chemically preoccupied” patrons of the gathering cheered and shouted out some crude and profoundly misplaced encouragements, but we quickly left them behind.

“I don't understand!” Diana protested.

“Of course you don't!” I shouted in fear-born fury. “Run with me so I can let go of your hand, and I'll give you a quick class in reality so if nothing else you don't have to die ignorant!”

I felt more than saw her compliance, and let her go. A moment later with all the grace and ease of a gazelle she was keeping pace with me.

“Whales are some of the greatest natural practitioners of magic this world has ever known,” I said quickly before I started to run out of breath. “They know what sleeps in the depths of the oceans, and they've dedicated their lives to ensuring those things stay asleep!" Even glossing over the details, I was starting to pant by the time I finished even that much.

"You mean without whales the world would end?” she asked, her breath still coming easily. “Didn't I see that in a movie once?"

Page 9

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