From now through mid day Thursday, August 6th, I have a Prompt Call running here – anyone can prompt and please do!
“Have you ever wondered where all this stuff comes from?” Bryn spent a moment untangling a fishhook from a book. The book, dripping and draped in seaweed, still glowed faintly with letters in a language neither Bryn nor Johnie could read.
“Not really.” Johnie, of little imagination but a great deal of persistence, cast again. In the hour they had been fishing, they had both caught enough boots to shoe a particularly left-leaning army, but actual fish, the sort of things one could eat for dinner, were still in short supply. “Figure they come from some sort of shipwreck, back before the upheaval, you know? Same way sometimes you go to dig up your garden and instead you find old bones and pieces of pottery.”
“Pottery doesn’t glow.” Bryn dropped the book, already nearly dry, in a box dedicated to such things and cast again. “Okay, most pottery doesn’t glow. That pot your parents found – that was pretty impressive.”
“‘Till my uncle started going mad, yeah. Then it was a little less fun.” Johnie reeled in a bowl, carved from, for all appearances, a single large chunk of wood. “Oh, good, we can make leather-hide-and-no-fish soup. Except we don’t even have any no-fish yet.”
“I’ve got a bit.” Bryn braced against the pier’s biggest piling. “Oh, this one is nuts. What did I catch, one of the shipfish? Oh, blasted barrens-” Bryn leaned back hard and reeled in. “I think I’ve got it, I think I’ve got it-”
“Maybe -” Johnie had taken a step backwards and then another. “Maybe you should let it go. I know it’s a really good pole – but maybe it’s, uh. Maybe it’s a little too good? I’m just saying…”
Bryn followed Johnie’s shaking finger to the water, where something was frothing the surface badly. A tentacle waved out of the splashing, looking nothing at all like the peaceful squidlings that inhabited the nearby rivers. This thing was nearly as thick around as Bryn’s waist, twice as long as Bryn was tall, and it was clearly connected to something underwater. And now it was being joined by another, and another…
“Maybe I ought to let go.” It was a really good pole, one that had come from a stash of the before things. Bryn tried to make reluctant fingers release from the handle, but the hours of work spent getting this pole, cleaning it up, fixing its two small breaks…
“Bryn! It’s now or never!”
Bryn’s fingers almost released, but the jerking of the poll made both hands tighten in reflex. Bryn screamed as the pole flew into the water, taking Bryn with it, landing in the middle of the splashing mess of angry tentacles.
Through the inky blackness, Bryn could see lights deep underwater. Something about the lights said temple, but something brighter seemed to say library.
Then a tentacle wrapped around Bryn’s waist, and the only thing Bryn was thinking about was get me out of here.
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