‘What was that?’ Oak asked Piscine as soon as they regrouped. Coupe resurfaced as well but Piscine made a signal which to the twins surprise, the creature understood. Piscine made Coupe only resurface with only his head floating out.
‘Iron birds but I have not seen one before, ever,’ Piscine confessed. ‘My mother told me to be aware of them and the only ones I know who has them is Sebleng,’ she looked worried as she was thinking of what to do next. Too many things happening at the same time, what is going on?
‘Do you think they saw your ship?’ Alder asked, concerned.
‘I can’t be certain. Perhaps they have,’ Piscine said. ‘I wonder where they are going and most importantly, why are they flying over here. But we have a grave task to deal with,’ Piscine said becoming quite serious.
‘What is it?’ Alder asked while Oak looked on, unsure what is happening.
‘Coupe is evolving.’ Piscine tells them.
‘Pardon? Evolving?’ Oak said, unsure whether he just heard Piscine correctly.
‘He’s got four webbed feet right now. Earlier, he had two,’ Piscine holding up the two symbol with her hand. Coupe beeps.
‘Didn’t he meep before?’ Alder asked this time.
‘Yes he did.’
Alder and Oak dives down to check the coconut duck’s feet and lo and behold, it had not two but four webbed feet and it beeps instead of meeping. The twins resurface and nodded at Piscine.
‘He’s got four webbed feet, alright,’ Oak said, ‘Is it…’ he trails off because he realized the coconut duck is watching him and it seemed to be listening intently to what he is about to say. ‘Is it a bad change?’ he whispered to Piscine.
‘I don’t know,’ Piscine confessed. ‘I know what these creatures are called but I do not know about how they evolve. He came from the Ark. That is all I can tell you.’
‘Coupe came from the…? Why do I feel like this isn’t a good thing?’ Alder says as he looks at the coconut duck that also turned blue and purple instead of orange and yellow that it was previously. ‘Can he still swim?’
‘Yes, of course! I am just worried that his temperament might be a little off and I don’t want anything bad to happen since we are using him to go back to Krakatoa,’ Piscine explains.
‘Use him to go back? I don’t get it,’ Oak said, confused.
‘Just do what you did before. Hang on to his back and I’ll instruct him to swim back to Krakatoa. He’ll be tall enough to reach your house without having to step onto the land. We have to hurry. I am feeling restless seeing those iron birds,’
The twins agree and swim onto the evolving coconut duck’s back. This time when it beeped, its voice seems a little deeper and stronger. When Piscine held on to its neck, she signalled to the twins to hold on tighter and once they held on tighter, the evolved coconut duck shot through the waters like a bullet. Alder held on to the coconut duck as tightly as his hands can grip, the same goes for Oak whose face looks flattened by the intensity of the coconut duck’s speed.
Not too far from them, the Jupiter floated on its own, remaining incognito.
‘Any news from Moe, Larry and Curly?’ Captain Nay asked Brick as he continued looking into the periscope.
‘They’re at the Wilnoix house, Captain.’
‘The kids are going back home it seems,’ he turned to go to the wheelhouse, Brick quickly follows him. ‘Tell them to stay there as a precaution. The iron birds are a rare sight but it is quite disturbing to see them out in the open. Let’s go home, men. To Krakatoa!’ the crew burst in shouts and the stern trawler called Jupiter came back to life, engine roaring to the direction of Krakatoa.
Suddenly the coconut duck came to a halt and it started to resurface from the calm waters. They look up and they see Krakatoa just a few miles from them.
‘Which way is your house?’ Piscine asked the twins.
‘Over the hill, we can go around easily,’ Oak answered.
Piscine managed to instruct the coconut duck on where to go next. Alder and Oak thought it was an impressive skill because she’s just met the creature. Soon, they were facing the hill with their house on. The twins climb up on its neck and onto its head to get them to the back kitchen area where they caught Re eating part of the kowfish. Re notices them but only saw the coconut duck. Its eyes widen in fear and start to back away slowly from the kowfish. It runs away as quickly as its legs can take it.
‘Oh no. I hope it doesn’t wake up the rest of them,’ Alder says as he watched the Chutah run like the wind.
‘Ate our fish…now we know who does,’ Oak says, shaking his head. Oak looks around and realized he couldn’t see Piscine. He looked back and she was still standing on top of Coupe’s head. ‘Er…what are you still doing there?’
‘Nothing, just standing here, please do not mind me, really,’ she tells Oak.
The truth is, she is scared. Many people from her clans have said that when you step on land, there is no turning back. The feeling of coming back to solid earth is a different feeling. You will feel the earth move around you, the waves of the water will be sensed in a different way, the way your feet will feel when it finally touches the earth, proper land, will be intoxicating that whatever you do, you will keep wanting to feel the stability the land gives you. And she doesn’t want that or maybe she does. She’s quite conflicted.
‘Don’t be silly, Piscine. No one is here. The Sigurs at the workshops have all been tapped off, that means our parents are asleep or are in the upper quarters so it’s fine. C’mon here so we can show you the map,’ Oak tells her, trying to reassure her.
‘No, I’m good here, seriously. I will just wait right here so I can look after Coupe, you know, just in case,’ she explains. She hopes that Oak won’t ask any other questions.
‘Okay, we’ll bring it out here. C’mon, Oak.’ Alder tells his younger brother, signalling him to follow.
They both go in the dark workshop and even if it was dark, they remember where everything is so it was quite easy for both of them to go through. The Sigurs are still swimming around their large bottles which would probably look like an aquarium from the old days but now, it’s just a plain bottle where you keep the Sigurs.
‘Do we leave a note if we ever do decide to go with Piscine?’
‘No. We won’t. We’ll come back, hopefully with something good to sell, who knows.’
‘Oh no…’ Alder looks at the direction his younger brother is looking at and there was So, munching on something old and something beautiful.
(Written for 2013 NaNoWriMo.)