"I think you're scaring her Shireen," said a voice from the doorway.
The voice came from another creature that was similar to Shireen. However, this creature had more of a mature demeanour about her. She stood arms crossed with a very vexed look on her face. Next to her, Teak sat on his hind legs carrying Anna's shoes in his mouth.
Shireen let go of Anna's hands and pouted. "I wasn't scaring her mother, I was comforting her." Shireen looked back towards Anna.
Anna knew the look that Shireen was now giving her. Anna had used that look herself many a time to seek aid from an older brother or friend. It was the "help me with this adult" look.
The other creature eyed Shireen for a moment before casting a look at Anna, its features softening. "I'm sorry for the actions of my daughter, " it said. "We don't get to interact with human folk very often and Shireen has spent most of her childhood interacting with fish. They don't have the best social skills."
Anna finally found her voice, she felt the need to defend Shireen now. "That's alright. She had heard me get up and had come in to check on me."
"Is this true?" asked the older creature, giving her daughter skeptical look.
"It is mother! Why, when I found her, it was like she could barely move or speak! Look at her now!" the younger creature exclaimed.
Sighing the "I can't believe my child just said something so stupid" sigh, Shireen's mother shook her head. "Shireen go see if you can catch us something to eat."
Shireen was about to say something else, but thought the better of it. She cast one more look at Anna and said, "We'll talk later," before slinking out of the room.
"Again, I'm sorry about my daughter. She fell in with a pack of sharks a while back and picked up some bad habits," Shireen's mother said. She extended her hand, "I believe this is what you humans do isn't it? Shake hands when you make introductions? I am Elma."
Anna grasped Elma's hand and gave it a shake. She had heard her father use the expression, "shakes hands like a dead fish" and didn't know what it meant until that very moment.
"Well then, " Elma said taking Anna by the hand. "Let's see about getting you home."