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Saturday, April 7, 2012

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Night Wanderings {3::1}

Titalukia was finally here... Maun was overcome with so much fear that she could barely breathe, but instead of a thunderous roar, she heard a piercing "Caw!"

"You idiot! You blundering idiot!" Crow scolded her. "Why did you not follow me?"

"Titalukia is almost here! You should think about what we should do to get me out of here!" Maun snapped, thoroughly annoyed.

"Well, if you filthy brat followed me like you were supposed to, we could have reached where we were supposed to go already! Now you have to climb the cedar - at least do that right!" he grumbled.
"But I can not! I am too exhausted!"

"Climb it! You worthless humans are just too lazy," Crow taunted.

"I. Am. NOT!" Maun exploded. "If you INSULT ME ONE MORE TIME -"

"Then show me you can!" Crows are not called tricksters for nothing.

"FINE!" Maun marched to the tree, boiling with rage. She will choke him. She will murder him...
Without her conscious mind knowing it, she managed to clamber one foot up the trunk.

"Is that all you got?" Crow continued. I bet mice can do it better than you."

"You want better?" Maun demanded.

"Of course..." the bird picked up an oily tone. "This is just pitiful."

Maun screamed and leapt up another branch, completely enraged. Another, and another, although her trembling frame threatened to collapse. She was almost at the top. "That... shows..." Maun gave up at forcing out a sentence, and simply closed her eyes as though to doze.

"Yes, yes. It shows me to make the best out of what I have," he chuckled.

***
Too much for being an enchanted tree. It was like any regular one, and she felt the branches ripping her dress to scrapes of cotton. She growled at what luck she got to be even twenty feet of Crow. He called her a filthy brat? Well, that was exactly what he was!

Maun's pouting mood, which seemed to have abandoned her for a few hours during frightful traveling in the forest, had come back, now it was clear she had to be out of harm's way.

"How much longer do we have to sit up here?" Maun snarled. "I do not suppose until dawn. I am hungry, thirsty, tired, and deserve a comfortable bed to sleep in."

"Stop your complaining," Crow snapped. "And save your yapping for later. You're very annoying. Anyway, because of your idling before, my senses are going to start weakening soon. And the way out of the woods  is much, much longer than the way in."

"But this does not answer my question!" Maun boiled over. "How. Long. Are we going to stay here?"

"Until you absorb enough magic, so my can hold out a bit longer, combined with yours."

"But why can we not simply stay here the whole night? In the old stories, it says that Titalukia only awakes for one night. Why can we just not leave in the morning?"

"Oh, so now you want to stay here," Crow muttered undertone. "Folklore is not very accurate. It almost never happens that way. Once it's set on some prey, it will not stop. So, human, unless Titalukia is not set on killing you, it will stay awake fifty years if it needs to."

"Fine, fine. So we just walk out of the forest -  and that is it?" All her earlier pleadings forgotten, she began to daydream how she should punish those mongrel children this time.

"No!" Crow yelped in panic. "As I said before -  you should have listened - unless you have sufficient magic, the Path will trail on forever, until all of the magic wears away completely. This is how Titalukia is determined to catch you. I explain tell you we do not have enough."

Maun gasped in horror.

Crow watched her through narrowed eyes. "I only hope we have enough magic to reach our destination in time."

He flickered his gaze around the cedar, as though checking for something. "It's time to start."

Maun began down without ever figuring out what that destination may be.

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