Apr 30

Chapter 60: Library Books

Chapter 60: Library Books

In Which Jinx Gives Soquan A Hand.


Yazeth: Jozra’s ear flicks and with it, her consciousness rises a level. Early morning sunlight barely reaches the house, much less enters the windows, but the light outside is morning light. A rapping echoes through Jozra’s ear and breaks the last threads of sleep. Her eyes pop open — well, the eye not pressed into Soquan’s shoulder pops open — and she strains to listen for the rapping again.

Beside her, Soquan snoozes on and she can hear Joseph’s soft snores from the other room. Carefully she moves away from the otter, wriggles out from under the covers, pauses to stifle a cough, slips into a robe, across the floor and out the door.  She should have grabbed a heavier robe. Winter may be giving way to spring, but it’s still chilly in the mornings.

Again she strains to hear the rapping, the tapping, the noise that couldn’t have been anything other than a message coded in a woodpecker’s hammering. Now, did she actually hear it or did she dream it? Frankly, she admits to herself as a few dry coughs escape into the morning mist, she wouldn’t be surprised if it was the latter.

She’d been having some stranger than usual dreams since her chat with the Priestess. Well, maybe not stranger, but they tended to be more dreams and less memories and for Jozra, that’s pretty strange.

Arrin Woodgreen: Back indoors and under the blankets Soquan begins to stir and idly, a paw reaches out to locate bedmate. He jerks awake as he realizes she’s not present and he sits up as he faintly hears her coughing. He climbs out of the bed and pulls on a robe before following the sounds to outside where the ferret stood. He pads up silently behind her and places a paw on her shoulder. “South, right?”

Yazeth: The ferret starts under his paw; she was listening so hard for the phantom tapping that she didn’t even hear him pad up behind her. Wait. Did he hear it too? How could he decode the message?! “Wh… What?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He cocks an eyebrow at her. “C’mon, you’ve been talking about it all week, and I still think it’s a bad idea to get moving so soon.”

Yazeth: Oh. Right. That explains it. Jozra mentally kicks herself for automatically jumping to conclusions but her brain is still rather scattered. She looks out in the general direction of the forest. “Did you hear a tapping?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He shakes his head and wraps an arm around her shoulders, attempting to lead her back inside. “No, now c’mon Joz, it’s cold out here, I don’t think that’s too good for you. You’re still very sick.”

Yazeth: Jozra’s brow furrows at that comment. Sure she’s nowhere near as strong as she was before falling in the river and the cough hasn’t completely gone away and if she wasn’t emotionally scarred before, she certainly is now. Even as a pup she never liked the ‘stay in bed’ part of being sick. That she’s been cooped up in bed for more than a week now has made her very restless. But it is cold outside and despite rebellious thoughts, Jozra follows Soquan inside.

Arrin Woodgreen: He sighs and gives her shoulders a squeeze. “I know you don’t like being cooped up, but it’s for the best, trust me. Maybe when you’re stronger, I’ll ask Fiarah if we can go for walks or something.”

Yazeth: The ferret nods dejectedly. She’s entirely convinced that if she has to spend another week cooped up while the weather progresses every day towards spring and the pull of duty leads her brain ever South she’ll go completely insane. Her stomach growls, interrupting her thoughts. “Hrm… What do you think is for breakfast?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He chuckles. “I don’t think Joseph’s even conscious yet. It’s still early.” He helps her out of her robe and into bed before shedding his own and crawling in beside her.

Yazeth: “Hrm.” She drums her fingers against the blankets, trying to either focus her thoughts or think of nothing. Other than sleeping, dreaming or eating, she’s had very little to engage her brain the entire week other than her own thoughts: “What’s in the south and why is it important? How do I really feel towards Soquan? Is Kirrian a security risk? What’s the family up to? Probably farming.” But always her thoughts return to trying to make sense out of Alvisa’s words.

Arrin Woodgreen: From his spot beside her, the otter pipes up again. “I might go for a stroll later if that’s okay with you. Joseph said I need to start stretching out the muscles in my foot again.”

Yazeth: The ferret nods absently before realizing that’s what she’s doing. “That’s fine, Soq… I’ll be alright.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He reaches out, rubbing one of her shoulders. “You sure?”

Yazeth: Jozra smiles at the otter. “Joseph will be around and I think Fiarah was going to pop in later. I’ll be fine.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins and curls close, wrapping his arms around the ferret. “If you say so.” With a wide yawn, Soquan closes his eyes, intent on dozing for a bit.

Yazeth: Jozra listens for a while longer, still not entirely sure if what she heard was real or a dream echo. Eventually she dozes a little, but not for very long. When Joseph gets up her eyes follow the healer mouse as he wanders into the kitchen to start breakfast, which prompts another growl from her stomach.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan dozes for a good while, not moving from his current position. He does however, come awake again as Joseph enters the room with their meals. He sits up, rubbing sleep from his eyes. “What’s for breakfast, Jo?”

Yazeth: The mouse smiles at his two patients. “P-pancakes, Soq. And I have some, some honey here too.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins and stretches out his back muscles. “Smells wonderful!” He adjusts their pillows and sits up, helping Jozra up as well. He receives a plate and gives it to Joz before taking his own. “Thank you very much Joseph.” Joseph grins, “Y- you know it’s no, no problem.”

Yazeth: Jozra takes her own plate and mutters internally, unhappy with needing to be ‘helped up.’  “Thanks, Joseph.” She digs into the pancakes, her appetite much improved.

Arrin Woodgreen: He digs in as well, happy to have some food into his grumbling stomach. He finishes rather quickly and settles back, content to listen to the sounds coming from the kitchen. He sits up suddenly. “Fiarah and Jinx are here.”
As if on cue, a knock sounds from the front door.

Yazeth: Joseph sets down his own dishwashing endeavors and shuffles to the door. “G-good morning Fiarah. Jinx.  W-we were just having breakf-fast. Come in, come in.”

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan grins in Jinx and Fiarah’s general direction as they enter. “Hullo you two, how’ve you been?”

Fiarah nods. “Well enough, Kirrian’s behaving much better now.”

Jinx grins, “Yeah, she’s moved from badger with a toothache, to hare with stolen food.”
Soquan laughs at this.

Yazeth: Jozra smiles wanly at the joke and finishes off her plate of pancakes as Fiarah and Jinx settle themselves about the room. Joseph takes the ferret’s and otter’s empty plates back to the kitchen and resumes cleaning up, leaving the other four to their own devices.

Arrin Woodgreen: He thanks Joseph as he takes their plates, and after a few minutes of small talk with Jinx and Fiarah, he looks towards Jozra. “Mind if I head off now Joz?”

Yazeth: Jozra gazes forlornly out the window for a second before responding. “Go ahead Soq. We’ll be fine here.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He reaches out and squeezes her paw slightly before climbing out of the bed. Jinx watches him. “Where are you going Soq?”

Soquan grins as he replies, “I’m going for a walk.”
Jinx perks up. “Can I come?”
Soquan shrugs, “Why not?”

Yazeth: Jozra waves to Jinx as the young ferret and the otter depart. “Have fun.”
The door shuts and Jozra sighs. “Fiarah… Please tell me you’re here to tell me I can DO anything other than sit here forever now.”

Arrin Woodgreen: Friarah shakes her head. “I’m here to give you a look over to see how you’re recovering. I can tell by just looking at you that you’re not well enough to be up and about. I’m sorry Jozra.”

Meanwhile, Soquan strolls down the street with Jinx beside him. At some point, he turns to her. “Jinx, I need your help. Joz is absolutely bored of just sitting around and doing nothing. I wanna do something to help her though.”

Yazeth: Jinx glances up at Soquan. “Well… Like what?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He shrugs. “I dunno, I wanna get her a book or something.”

Yazeth: Jinx skips along by Soquan’s side. “We could always find something for her at the library.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He starts. “There’s a library here?”

Jinx nods quickly, “Yep.”

Soquan grins at her, “What’re we waiting for then?”

Yazeth: Jinx laughs and grabs Soquan’s paw. “Follow me!” She hurries down a couple of side streets and alleys, arriving rather quickly in the early bustle of downtown Kodan. Jinx swerves around a trio of rats entering the now infamous bathhouse and continues up the street before stopping at a squat, round-ish sort of building.

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins at her, “Wow, you certainly know your way around here.” They enter the building and he lowers his voice. “Hey Jinx, I think I just found a flaw in our plan. What do we get Jozra to read?”

Yazeth: Jinx puts her chin in her paw and furrows her brow. “Hrmm… Well, what do you think she’d like to read?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He frowns, “That’s the problem, I don’t know. Do you have any suggestions?”

Yazeth: Jinx wanders off towards her favorite section, idly pulling Soquan behind her. “Well…” Jinx runs her finger along the book spines, thinking. “There’s “Xeirgo’s Folly,” and “The Forbidden Lover”… Um, “Medicinal Plants” which is good if you want to be a healer. Lets see, “Adventure on the High Seas,” that one wasn’t as adventurous as the title makes you think it is though. “Way of the Wanderer” was pretty good.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He frowns. “I dunno Jinx, none of those really seem like something Joz would read. What else is there?”

Yazeth: Jinx moves along to the next set of shelves. “Um, let’s see. There’s “Bragi” and “Springfest Romance” and “Imperial North.”” The young ferret wipes some of the dust that gathered on her fingers off on a nearby curtain.*  “Loke’s Farewell,” um, “Tales of the Knights,” “The Snail That Ruined It All,” “Red Branch”…”

Arrin Woodgreen: He starts, reaching out towards the bookshelf slightly. “What was that about Knights?”

Yazeth: Jinx backs up to the spot where that book was. “I think it’s a collection of short stories about the Northern Knights.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He scratches his chin. “Hmmm… Sounds promising, don’t you think?”

Yazeth: Jinx shrugs as she pulls the book off the shelf. “I haven’t read it but sure, if you think that’s what she’d like.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He waves a paw briefly at the book in Jinx’s paw. “I can always return it and try another if it’s not her cup of tea.”

Yazeth: The ferret grins at Soquan. “Lets go check this out then!” She leads the blind otter over to the circulation desk where a young marten is quietly dozing, a book laying open on his stomach.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan allows himself to be lead by the paw towards the desk. He clears his throat slightly as he realizes the clerk is asleep.

Yazeth: The marten starts and nearly drops his book. “Oh, um… Ready to check out?” He takes the book Jinx hands to him and writes down the title in a rather large ledger. “Name please?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He speaks up from beside Jinx, “Soquan Woodgreen.” The marten starts and looks at Soquan oddly before shrugging and writing the name down. “Okay, thank you for supporting our library, the book is due back in three weeks.”

Yazeth: Jinx takes the book back from the marten and leads Soquan back out to the street. She idly thumbs through the book as they walk along at a more leisurely pace than the one they arrived at. “Looks interesting. Maybe I’ll have to read it when Jozra’s done with it.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins, chuckling softly. “Maybe I can get Joz to read some of the stories out to me then.” He points his grin at Jinx, “Thanks for taking me to the Library Jinx.”

Yazeth: Jinx grins back. “No problem. It was nice to take a little walk.” She pauses for half a second to look at some early spring flowers beginning to bloom along the street. “Should we head back to Joseph’s or do you want to wander around a little more? It’s a very nice day for walking.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He stretches his arms out a bit. “I think I should actually get back to Joz. The poor girl is bored out of her skull.”

Yazeth: The young ferret nods. “Okay then. This way.” She leads Soquan back through some side streets and the two soon arrive at Joseph’s where the healer mouse is trying to keep his bed of chamomile from being choked out by weeds.

“H-hello, Jinx. Soquan.”
He stands up, dusting some dirt off of his paws. “Jinx… F-fiarah asked me to, to tell you that she went back to th-the safe house.” Inside, Jozra slips back into bed.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan turns to Jinx, “Why don’t you head back to the safe house then?” Jinx nods and starts to head off. Soquan calls after her before heading inside, “Thanks again for the help!” Once he slips inside, he grins in Jozra’s general direction. “
“Hullo again.”

Yazeth: Jozra coughs a little, the result of doing the traditional version of the set of exercises adopted by the Scorpions while nobody was there to tell her that she shouldn’t. “Hi Soq. Have a nice walk?”

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan nods, crossing the room towards the bed. “Yep.” He sits on the bed next to her. “Got yah something…” He tosses the book lightly into her lap.

Yazeth: The ferret’s ears perk with interest. “Oh? What’s this?” She picks up the book and glances at the title before thumbing through the first few pages.

Arrin Woodgreen: He grins at her. “Well, Jinx and I decided that maybe getting you a book will help you pass your free time, I mean I know how bored you’ve been. So when we went out, Jinx and I swung by the library and got you this.”

Yazeth: From what Jozra can tell by just glancing through the pages, it looks like a book written for children. But she smiles anyway. It’s the thought that counts, right? “Thanks, Soq. That really means a lot to me.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He beams at her. “I hope you like it, Jinx looked through it and said it looked good, but if it’s not really what you usually read, I can always go back tomorrow or something.”

Yazeth: “Heh, with the way things are going I might be finished with the book by tomorrow.” She settles the book on her lap and opens it to the first chapter.

Arrin Woodgreen: He stretches out beside her and he’s silent for a moment before he pipes up rather quietly. “Hey Joz? Do you think… maybe… if you’re up for it… do you think you could read a chapter out loud?”

Yazeth: The ferret smiles softly at her companion. “Sure thing, Soq.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He smiles and turns his full attention to the ferret. “Thanks Joz. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book, used to inhale them.” He chuckles softly.

Yazeth: Jozra props the book up a little better and clears her throat a little. “Lets see… ‘Avan always was a mischievous little squirrel, but the day he decided to take the long way home would change him forever.’

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