Rosaliy dreamed of children drowning in a vast ocean. Precariously balanced on a flimsy raft with endless water stretching in every direction, she pulled child after floundering child from the water. Each time one broke the surface gasping for air, another dipped below. When she tried to save that one, another slipped under, repeating over and over in a dizzying, frantic cycle. The children started as faceless innocents, but soon they were Lillya, Tansy, and Taurin, then her parents and Cade, then Cliff, Drake, and Jadelynn. She never saved anyone. When a giant, lemon-yellow fish snapped her up to drag her underwater, Rosaliy's mind had finally had enough. Who needed sleep, anyway?
"Bad dream?" asked Drake.
If she had to be suddenly awake, finding herself mostly dry and nestled in Drake's arms was not the worst trade-off.
She yawned. "My mind is taunting me with my upcoming failure."
"Been there," said Drake, "although my mind usually taunts me with past actual failures, not future uncertain ones."
Bubbles frothed on one side of the dome. Beautiful green and blue light filtered through the choppy, rushing water.
"Where is the light coming from?"
"You're much better educated than I am, Rose, but I'm going to say the sun."
That sounded dangerously like a joke. He did add, "Granpulpo must be staying close to the surface for Quita's sake."
She felt like she had barely closed her eyes, yet hours had passed. She would have apologized for sleeping so long and leaving Drake to keep watch by himself, but he had not wanted to talk anyway. Hopefully she had refrained from drooling or talking in her sleep.
"You're in a good mood for someone who hasn't slept in a while," she noted.
"I'm not sure I'm in a good mood as much as I'm surprised to be alive. The octopus travel plan is working."
Rosaliy pressed her fingers to the curved side of the dome and leaned her face close to the frosted surface. The view was distorted, but Rosaliy could see long, purple tentacles stretching wide, then gathering together, propelling Granpulpo through the water. For now, it was ignoring them. All things considered, she felt bad for pestering the poor creature. Rosaliy would be cranky if something called her up and wedged itself in her mouth.
"Any idea where we are?" asked Rosaliy.
"Best guess? Flifary waters."
"How can you tell?"
"Water and I have a special bond," he said.
She had a special bond with cows and artichokes, but those hardly seemed relevant or worth mentioning.
"Special enough to get us out of this octopus?" she asked, hopeful.
"No," he mused. "That will take timing."
Whatever he said, he was in a good mood. Smashed up next to him due to the angled sides of the tipped dome, Rosaliy couldn't get a good look at him, really, but despite his clothes showing every step of a brutal trip through the desert, he seemed to be unharmed.
"What kind?" She stretched her arms and legs to the best of her ability, trying not to elbow Drake in the face.
He explained. Twice. Rosaliy had been sure she misheard the first time.
"Well?" he prodded when she sat in stunned silence.
"That's the best you could come up with? After an entire night?"
YOU ARE READING
The Destiny DetourFantasy
In a kingdom putting together the pieces after a series of devastating magical wars, trouble is brewing. At least that's what the Seer's vague warning to Princess Lillya claims. That warning sends young Sorceress Rosaliy and enigmatic ruffian Drake...