Whispers of Fire Ch2 ficbit – lures

There was something pink on shore.

Alibaba closed one hand in a circle and cupped it to his eye; not nearly as good as a far-lens, but shutting out some glare could let you pick out a lot… oh. My. “Um. Last I heard, Balbadd ladies don’t swim naked, right?” Not that ladies wore a lot in the water, but more than-

That doesn’t look right.

He didn’t know what it was. Just – something about that wriggle of enticing flesh didn’t look right.

Glass glinted; Captain Aden, raising a real far-lens. And staring, face going pale.

Jahan looked between them, and didn’t even try to grab the lens. “Make sail! All speed! Signal the boat to come back! Move, you scurvy bastards!

“It’s not real,” Aden was muttering, still pale. “It can’t be real….”

Alibaba grabbed his shoulder, and shook the man. “Forget real! Just move!” Let go and danced back, before Aden’s fist could swat him. “What is it?”

A flicker at the corner of his vision; he turned back toward the island just in time to see shapely flesh uncoil into writhing pink, whipping around one of the boatmen like an angry octopus.

“Island whale!” Jahan snarled. “Get under way, damn your salty hides!”

Island whale. Alibaba froze in place as sails boomed and frantic sailors raced over the riggings. That story, he knew. The massive hunter of the sea, that spent most of its days basking; sleeping, sometimes, to rouse when unwary sailors built a fire on its back. Or sometimes hunting, luring lonely sailors with what they wanted most. Either way, it’d sink them, then feast.

“There hasn’t been one in almost a decade!” Aden was still not back to full color, even as he shouted orders. And clenched a fist, as another tentacle smashed the small boat to flinders. “They’re supposed to be dead!”

“There hasn’t been one near Balbadd,” Jahan growled. “There’s a lot of ocean out there. Solomon, I think we know what happened to the Night Lady… more speed, damn it!”


A/N: Island whales are canonically part of the Voyages of Sinbad in the original Arabian Nights, so I felt free to throw one in here. Granted, it’s a lot more active than the lore version….

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22 thoughts on “Whispers of Fire Ch2 ficbit – lures

  1. Hey, Alibaba, you know all your plans to be a small, quiet little mouse and slide under everyone’s radar? This is what the rukh thinks of them. You can hear the laughter. *Pats head* Don’t worry, oh wait, you don’t have a bunch of hungry Fanalis eyeing everything the comes out of the sea as potential food. Go ahead and worry.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. No, Amon’s not. *Snicker* Fire is a pretty blatant element, up until it’s not. I’m thinking of your shout out to ground fires in Embers right now.

        Like

      2. >OTOH, at least there’s not much around that can accidentally catch fire?:)>
        Aside from oh say, the ship he’s standing on?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. >>…Amon is not subtle. *snrk*》

        Amon has heard of “subtle.” He just decided that it wad beneath his dignity and he wanted no part in it. Poor Alibaba has to come along for that ride.

        Like

    1. Not much that can catch on fire? Did you just challenge yourself? My dad once burned snow (put it in a pot while camping and it turned brown on the bottom). You can burn anything. It is kinda like Archimedes and a lever except…fire and excellerent

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Why do I think rukh = Murphy?

    Either that or all Kings have a ‘Bring it on! Give me your best shot!’ sign pasted to them that is only visible to the Dread One Known As M.

    Through Alibaba probably thinks it says ‘Kick Me’ . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. >Through Alibaba probably thinks it says ‘Kick Me’ . . .>
      Actually there could be a good reason that Allibaba ends up like this more often than Sinbad.

      Sinbad is a curious explorer that sticks his nose into everything. He finds the troubles and fixes them (proper King behavior) so the Rukh can be a little more passive with him.

      Alibaba on the other hand is constantly trying to sneak through situations, avoiding trouble etc etc, and well that just won’t do. Ergo the Rukh keeps throwing this BS at him because he’s a King, he is not allowed to run away from his obligations.

      So when Alibaba starts getting somewhat more proactive, the Rukh will ease up on him. Not entirely of course, he’s far too amusing for it to stop completely.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >Don’t you mean the mysterious god known as Author and his companions Amusement and The-Joy-Of-Poking-Things-With-Sticks?>
        Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

        In a fictional setting, meta-physical concepts/effects like the Rukh are basically extensions of the author’s bunnies.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. In a fictional setting, meta-physical concepts/effects like the Rukh are basically extensions of the author’s bunnies.

    And since we all know that Vathara’s bunnies are eldritch manifestations . . . .

    (One is not alone in that either.)

    Liked by 2 people

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