SELECTED SHADOWS 19

A pink structure rose up from the floor, turning as it rose.  When it had risen to twice the height of Drewin, its top opened like a flower to reveal Arnuma-leaa seated on a crystalline throne, laughing.

‘Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Come, sit and talk with me.’

Drewin looked up at Arnuma-leaa in amazement. The figure on the throne looked similar to Reva-mal except that its scales were golden red its the hair was green, but the face that gazed down on him was the face of a monstrous fish with round staring eyes and a mouth full of sharp thin teeth that gave the impression of a permanent predatory grin.  ‘Sit down.  Sit down.  No standing on ceremony here.  Sit and tell me your story.  Why are you here? Where have you come from?  How did you get here?  Where are you going?  What is your name?  Tell me all.’

Drewin and Reva-mal sat down on low stools nearby and Arnuma-leaa lowered the pink throne to the floor.  ‘My name is Drewin and I come from above the sea. I …’

‘Above the sea, you say.  We know of this.  Oh yes, you may think we are ignorant down here in the depths, but we know many things.  Is that not so Reva-mal?’

Reva-mal turned to Drewin and spoke earnestly.  ‘It is true Drewin, my friend- we know many things.’

‘I did not think that you did not,’ protested Drewin.  ‘Shall I continue?’

‘Drewin did not think that we did not,’ Reva-mal reported.

Dolphin art

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