Cyril Scene 1 Picture

Being a full-fledged member of the River Gypsy Clan comes with many responsibilities and some aren’t so great. I was told to fetch the river paddle and I’m assuming it got caught in some water reeds. I remember playing hide and seek in the river when I was just a kitfish and trying to blend with the reeds, but it was nearly impossible because of my bright orange fur. It’s been a long time since I’ve played games.

Jerez, a painted alligator, was standing at the back of the boat guiding us down the river when his oar got stuck and yanked away. It makes me nervous to think about being on the receiving end of his bunching muscles. I’m not a wimp, but I’m also not stupid.

I personally would have just left the oar to rot in the frigid river, but it’s not just any stick. We just got it in Miaoustok and I remember Sasha haggling for over twenties minutes with the greedy cockatrice for it. I don’t remember the exact demands, maybe I should pay attention more, but we walked away from that stall only parting with three trout and two weaved baskets. Sasha, who is also a Mishipeshu like me, is the best in the business of haggling. She always wins because after she makes her point you feel upside down and backwards, as if your side of the argument was ridiculous to begin with.

She sent me after the oar because I was sitting on top on the roof of the boat baking in the sun and thinking about Mew York. The next city we are only a day away from. I should have been getting the merchandise ready instead. I hope to sneak away when we dock to see what the craze is all about. Everyone was talking about the devastation that happened in Glissod and Jewell when we were taking off from Miaoustok.

I’ve been looking for the oar for too long. The sun is starting to dip. I had been working my way upstream. Dipping under the water, I take gulps from the river and feel the little bubbles float through my gills and up to the surface. Man, it’s going to take forever for my fur to completely dry, once the sun sets. Scanning a patch of reeds, I see the red handle of the oar. It was snagged in between a fallen branch and a boulder.

With the oar in hand, it only takes two sweeps of my fish tail to break surface. The boat has drifted father since I went under and the wind has picked up causing the lanterns to sway in the breeze. Someone has already lit them and they are now casting soft shadows in the darkening light. The fabrics, consisting of every color nameable, drape the boats like satin on bare skin. The laughter is picking up and bouncing off the river towards me. Now that the day’s work is winding down the playful joking has begun. This right here, is what I will miss when I do decide to run away.


This is for the

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