Copyright © 2012 Steve Shilstone
All rights reserved, Wild Child Publishing.
Kar suggested we go into the hut and knock together a plan. It proved hard to listen to a ridiculous bird talking, even if it was so such Kar. Things were frozen. My Flute, Jo Bree, was drab. Kar was ridiculous. And stiff silence ruled all around. At least the clouds moved and the sun inched up higher. I made myself ask the silly bird, “What sort of plan do you have in mind?” Kar replied she didn’t have a plan, but I should because I was the Chronicler, wasn’t I? I said yes, but still I didn’t know what sort of a plan I was supposed to think of and about what. This useless babble brought us into the hut, and Kar hopped onto the table and waddled around in backward circles on her thin flat red webbed backward feet. She flapped her yellow tuft wings in seeming frustration.
“Think of something. Use Jo Bree!” she demanded.
I simply held out the dry brown wooden tube.
“Oh,” said Kar, and she stopped waddling backward and hung her purple mallet head. The blue feather on its top drooped.
“But I might think of something else,” I blurted, hoping to cheer her up, and truth, hoping to cheer myself up, too. “Every other bendo dreen is frozen … And the Chalky Grays … I saw ‘em, at least Janellia Spurl … The beeketbird in midair … You saw others … But not the clouds! The silence seems so such stiff, don’t you think? Why not me? Why not you? … You lost your shifter abilities … I lost … what? … The Carven Flute as it should be?”
I paced as I spoke. I truly thought out loud, trying to sort puzzle pieces. I kept my eyes ever on Kar, a ridiculous bird. My voice seemed to be somewhat soothing to her. She raised her mallet head and nodded it, blinking her pink eyes. The blue feather stood more proudly, though it still looked silly.
“There might be others unfrozen,” I theorized, stopping at the thought. “We should try to find ‘em. You should try to find ‘em! Yes! That’s it. You should fly and find … more like us still able to move. Unfrozen creatures. Then bring ‘em … Tell ‘em to gather here. We’ll have a meeting of the unfrozens. We’ll have a … If there are others…”
I banished the idea there weren’t others with a wave of my hand. I braced myself on the table and lowered my head so such that I could peer face to mallet close up at Kar.
“Kar, there are others. I am the Chronicler. I feel that such must be so. You may not be able to shift, but you can fly. Here is my plan. You will fly to … water! Of course! Water! Yes! That’s it! Search pools, tricklestreams and rivers for waterwizards!” I boomed, suddenly inspired.
“Bek, you are the Chronicler. You are,” said Kar. “I will go look for others. How simple. You stay here and wait. I’ll find some. I’ll bring ‘em. They’ll help us fix this mess. Bek, you are smart. You are the Chronicler. This will be a fine adventure, won’t it? Like all the rest of ‘em.”
We laughed together, each trying to boost the other’s confidence to thorns overflowing the cup, or at least to the cup half full.
“I’ll fly off now,” said Kar.
“I’ll be waiting right here,” I replied.
She flutter flapped her yellow stubby wing tufts and lifted away out the door and up over the trees of the Villcom Wood. She headed in the direction of the Greenwilla River. Pangs of doubt jabbed at my insides. I bustled busily, stacking papers, moving ink pots, tidying things that were already tidy.