9 Lives – Chapter 2
The morning sun seemed to take forever to rise. As quickly as the campfire light in my window transitioned to morning light, I sprung out of my sleeping sack and tended to Trixis. She didn’t wake easy. When she roused, I was greeted by the strange Raven reflection again. I poured an Elixir of Happy in her bowl, and it didn’t seem to clear her eyes when she drank it. I reached for a Healing Cream Bowl, and nothing. I even tried a Happy Teddy to no avail. No matter what I tried my tiger companion’s eyes wouldn’t clear.
Exasperated, I decided to check on Elder Thohm to see if anything new happened overnight. As soon as I opened the door, I was quickly greeted with a familiar muzzle, directly in my face. The extra large Timber wolf’s familiar growl awaited me immediately after. Taking a moment to collect my thoughts, I noticed that his eyes were the same from last night as well. The way the morning light glinted through his eyes, allowed me a chance to examine the details, the scary dark house with deep purple sky highlighted in the reflection.
“Fenris! Come on now!” Quistis’ voice seemed to drew the wolf’s attention away from me. “I know you like playing, silly pooch, but you’re gonna give the poor boy a fright.”
In a daze, it took a moment for me to register that Quistis was talking. She snapped me out of my stupor, waving her hand in front of my eyes and emphasizing, “Hey. You! The Elder wants you to bring the tablet and go with us to the Tahn-dar clan by Migrawl Creek.”
I grabbed the stone slab and my travel bag, motioned for Trixis to follow, and walked with Quistis to the edge of camp where our clan had gathered. Each step I took, following along, seemed to help deepen my thoughts, lost in the myriad of information that seemed to flood my mind.
Before reaching the edge of camp, I was abruptly brought out of my thoughts again by Quistis yelling. “Eyes up!! Hey! Stop staring!”
My eyes blankly looked forward, not examining at anything in particular. Once my mind registered she was berating me, I realized I was staring directly at her shapely butt, barely hidden by her tanned leather skirt. Unable to fumble words to help me out of that blooper, I shrugged and smiled her words away while directing my eyes to the WK Flutter Bugs in the distance. It is Second Life, after all. And, it’s difficult not to gawk.
Quistis and I reached the edge of the camp and greeted a clan full of eyes. Surveying the crowd, I witnessed Elder Thohm, his shoulder wrapped in a bandage, examining another stone slab similar to the one I had. Standing in front of him, surrounded by onlookers, I saw three unfamiliar people. They were dressed similar to the Hehn-Rox tribe, with silken robes highlighted by bright white feathers on the seams of their sleeves. Each of the three visitors were accompanied by their companions, a wolf and two small cats.
Peering at the visitors, I noticed each companion our guests brought had a different reflection in their eyes. The extreme Dire Wolf had a dark gray graveyard scene, a foreboding image considering current events. The mini lynx’s eyes had a tangled forest reflection with jack-o-lanterns hanging on tree limbs. The moonlit leopard’s eyes were highlighted with the view of a house as viewed through a field of pumpkins. Each animal seemed to look uneasy as it waited patiently by its companion.
Elder Thohms voice boomed loudly as he spoke the inscriptions from the slab. “The gravely witnessed bones and forested eyes of gourds venture forth from the home of Hallows. The triad of nine, three by three beacons…”
After reading the inscription on the tablet, Elder Thohm explained how each of us, who have companions with the strange reflections, would travel to the Tahn-dar clan. He asked for our clans blessings before each of us started walking toward Migrawl Creek, the once fabled location of the Great Cat War.
Knowing we had a long journey ahead, I tossed Trixis a WK Wind Up Rat from my pack to gnaw on and urge her to follow. I was still unable to shake the idea that our trusted animal companions turned against us the night before. A moment of panic hit my mind as I frantically searched my travel sack for the other toys I packed, in case she turned on me again. Her favorite WK Spider Bear, WK Boo Bear, and WK Monster Pals were safely tucked inside, providing a moments peace before the weight of this tedious journey flooded my thoughts.