Story is mirrored also at my LiveJournal, as well as on a dedicated site. We now continue with Selkies' Skins.
Byron emerged from a puddle, translucent and flowing up and out like water, despite having seemed so solid beneath the waters he had earlier traversed. His shape, and that of his cargo formed and solidified out of view of Cowan and non-Cowan alike. As Kirsty looked around, she saw the location her guardian had chosen for their exit from the water cycle and currents also had no hiding non-humans to see the materialization. Instead, it had the forgotten and disused look of a dumpster area or alleyway, stone walls, dust, and litter. The Kelpie grimaced and exposed his teeth in disgust, taking offense to the garbage defiling the puddle gate and kicking it out.
Vaguely, Kirsty had hoped that perhaps the puddle would be near enough to luck out and see David's arrival with Urma, the dragon that she considered part of his family, and perhaps even his father. Such obviously was not the case. As she slid off Byron's back, once she felt his adhesive spell release its grip on her, she wondered if he had already arrived before her and boarded the train.
"Thank you Byron." She leaned lightly against him for a moment, slightly drained from how much of her own energy was used in the trip to simply ride. Her stomach grumbled, already demanding another stout fish meal, or at least some sort of meat.
Byron nuzzled the source of the noise softly, frowning softly, as through the generations, long distance rides seemed to get harder and harder on the young. "You're welcome."
The Kelpie waited on the young waterwitch to remove her things from his back, which she did with the thoroughness of practice. A final nod, and he watched her leave with her things. He stayed a moment, cautiously venturing to where he could peek at the platform. He smiled when he saw her going toward another young form, having arrived early enough after all to give them some time to meet before it filled with the usual bustle. She flung herself on the boy, who caught her and hugged as fierce as she was hugging him.
Byron sometimes wondered how he was able to withstand exuberant flying Selkie hugs. For a moment, he allowed himself the humorous image of what might happen if she succeeded in getting her sealskin, then happened to forget what form she was in if she were wearing it. David was quite able to catch her though, and if he stumbled backward it wasn't apparent from the angle of his view. He nodded firmly, satisfied, then turned around to step back into the puddle, becoming a literal waterhorse once more.
"Alright Mistress. I've delivered your daughter. Now to find you."
The Kelpie melded back into the puddle, then seeped into the ground to gallop his way down to the water table, ignoring the soiled passages beneath the city in favor of cleaner, purer, and more magic laden routes back to the sea. He began to move north once there, in the general direction he suspected Etain of heading to. He reached for her with his mind as he ran.
"Lady Mistress? Little Etain?"
Silence. He strained and listened with all his blood, but no ripple of acknowledgement came.
"Maybe I'm just too far away. Water! Have you felt the passing of any Waterwitches?"
A stirring of consciousness answered him. "A few. Which interests?"
"Lady Mara's, the female Selkie halfling, full grown, aboard one of Lady Mara's vessels the last I saw."
"The last Lady Makay passed these waters was two full moons ago, alone. I have not seen her since."
The feeling of the direction of sail, and the path sailed filled him. Not for the first time, he was grateful that he had been granted the ability to understand some thing the water said when pertaining to the whereabouts of his charges.
Yet, it was still no answer where she was.
"Thank you. I hope those beyond you can give me more."~~~~*~~~~
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Thank you to the reader that suggested a character name change. It has been implemented.