Zilkie Speed Rider

Here’s a snippet from my current Work in Progress. Aqua Boy type Fantasy!


‘…the force of the approaching Zilkie could be felt like a swirl pushing against his (Kye’s) legs. He came to the surface, treading water. A second later he was rewarded.

“Anthym!” he roared, so loud it left no doubt. “Stop right there!”

The Zilkie soared and there was a flash of red hair, but at least, it seemed that Anthym had heard him. The Zilkie went back under and the second form folded and then broke apart.

A moment later the lad’s red hair cleared, and then his face, laughing and spitting out a bit of extra sea water.

“Did you see that, Kye?” Anthym shouted with joy. “Did you see it? The Zilkie just scooped me up and gave me a ride!”

Kye, treading water beside the excited boy, nodded his head. “How did you know, Lad?” he asked. “That a Zilkie was nearby and you could get on it?”

“Kenjaro told me!” Anthym exulted.

Kye noticed that they had an audience; most of the others had swum closer to hear. They made a companionable circle of faces in the water, now that they weren’t anxious about Anthym. The weavecraft floated nearby and the Zilkie swam back and forth a few hundred feet away.

“Kenjaro can sense the Zilkies when they come near?” Dysian asked.

“Kenjaro says that Zilkies are like cousins to Otterbys,” said Anthym. “Not as smart though. He says the bigger they are the smaller their brains.”

Kye couldn’t help but grin in the appropriate direction.

“You’ll keep that comment from coming out your mouth, if you’ve got any smarts, Kye,” answered Ajax, who was floating across from him.

“You may tell Kenjaro that human’s brains aren’t built the same,” said Dysian. “We may seem big, but we’re not necessarily dumber.”

Anthym just smiled. “Kenjaro says he’s not sure about that, Mister.”

Tebahk shook his head. “Are you really hearing all of these things from the Otterby?” he asked. “How is that possible?”

“It’s a long story, Mister,” Anthym replied.

“And the Zilkie came right up to you!” Tebahk went on in amazement. “You rode it like you’d been training for years, Lad!”

“Can I ride him some more?” asked Anthym, looking at Kye.

“Let’s think about this,” said Dysian. “Anthym, ask Kenjaro if you’re the only rider a Zilkie will accept from our group.”

“Kenjaro says,” answered Anthym a few seconds later, “that with his help, other Zilkies would probably be willing to accept us. Three should be all we need to go north.”

“Three!” exclaimed Tebahk. “I’m still astounded that even one came so close to you!”

“Well, can I?” demanded Anthym, itching to continue his ride on the Zilkie.

“Not unless you can direct its movements, instead of it taking you for a ride!” answered Dysian. “Tebahk, how do your people control the Zilkie’s?”

“I can show you that, if the Otterby really can convince three of the creatures to come near you. Directing a Zilkie is similar to the way you ride your Korgies.”

“Don’t worry, Mister!” interrupted Anthym. “I’ll jump off if the Zilkie takes me too far away! Can I?”

Dysian gave in with a laugh. “Oh, all right, Anthym. At least falling off a Zilkie doesn’t hurt like falling off a Korgie does.” ‘


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