23. Crustaceans and Cats (part 4)

“Hush, El, whether he saw you are not doesn’t matter. He can still hear you if you make too much noise, so be quiet.” She pinched her lips together, blockading the millions of thoughts she wished to express.

An arm's length away, the large-bellied man stared blankly at them, unable to detect their existence, but still curious of the strange woman he’d thought he’d seen a few seconds before. As if to warn him, his bird of paradise cawed loudly in his ear and flapped its wings vehemently, displaying its beautiful, primary-colored feathers. The dastardly bird took to the air and circled around them, desperately trying to alert their presence to its master, but the dense man had no comprehension of his pet's explication. When the parrot returned to his shoulder and nipped at his ear, the pirate dotingly patted its head and meandered away, mumbling about his craving for a hot breakfast.

"That was close," Tarin sighed, loosening his stiffened muscles, only to remember that he still held his friend's life in his hands when her coat tail began slipping from his fingers and a squeal of terror echoed off the Kronos’ Return’s black, wooden walls. "Oh, sorry," he grimaced.

"Why... you..." she growled.

“Don’t worry, Elden. I’m not going to let you go.”

Flushing, she baulked out, “Just get me back onto the dread-bolted ladder.”

            “Right. Okay, I’m going to swing you towards the…” he apprised. “Now grab onto the… that’s right; you got it.” As soon as her hands were clutching the rungs a few steps below him and her feet were firmly in place, he released her coat and resumed climbing.

The End

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