I don’t know what was up with Wyny. I couldn’t say why we connected so well. It was almost scary, almost more than just lust at first sight. I never let myself wonder back then, but I sometimes do now. Was it more? Could it have been more? I can’t say it. What I do know is that he had the capacity to make me talk about things. Deep things. Emotional things. Things from the past which had an influence on me. Things I’d never told anyone. Like how Kitty and me found each other, even though he hadn’t asked. I was just about to tell him how I became a red knight, when a voice thundered in my head, and before I knew what was happening… *flapping of wings and shouting*
[Music in background]
This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
[Music louder and solo]
Episode 19: A tiny meow
With a rush of air, Blackie swooped down from above. She landed on top of the statue and began eating the grass. Nadec looked up at her, incredulity strong on her face.
‘She’s been gone for almost the whole day and just ignores us? I need to know what happened.’
Wyny glanced at her. ‘Well, you are the one who had sent her off in the first place, she is most likely quite hungry from the flight. It was a fairly large distance after all.’
Nadec grumbled. He was right. Partly. She hadn’t sent her off, she had suggested it and the dragon had agreed. Perhaps she disliked killing as much as Nadec did. Either way, she still wanted to know if anything special had happened. After discovering her true heritage—getting strong confirmation of the suspicion anyway—she’d sat down next to the statue to think. Kitty had taken residence on her lap. Wyny had sat next to her, in his own silent contemplation. He hadn’t said a word when she came back from testing the heat of the halberd’s blade. Perhaps he had realised she truly needed to be left alone with her thoughts. He was a good man. A little bit stiff at times, but that fit his ruler-trope-profile perfectly.
‘How do you think she would be able to tell you what she saw? It is not as if she can talk to us.’ He was looking up at the dragon, face contemplative and amazed at the same time. In a quieter, more thoughtful voice, he said: ‘It is still full of wonder, I never believed to some day meet a dragon. They are myths, as the statue of the Originals is supposed to be.’ His head turned toward her. ‘If I was a storyteller, I would never want to leave your side, you appear to attract all the wonder and adventure to you.’
She grimaced and groaned. The spark of an idea formed. Perhaps she could find a writer some day to write down her adventures?
‘Will you be my Loial?’ She had meant it in jest, but of course he didn’t understand it. The flippant tone of her voice grew soft. ‘If it was up to me, I’d rather not have these adventures. I didn’t mind my life… before all of this started. Days can go by without thinking of my parents. But then, there are the most random moments when the emptiness they left hits me like a… like a dragon running into me, but without losing consciousness.’
He opened his mouth and closed it again. Shuffling, he closed in and looked at her, his usual serious face made softer by his eyes. She’d never noticed it before, but they had a thin outer ring of golden yellow around the blue. Nadec could see something in them. Compassion. Curiosity. Guilt? Her thoughts straight away ridiculed herself. Bah, reading emotions in eyes is such goat shit, more chance of getting it wrong than right. What’s he trying to do though? She squinted at him sideways.
‘I understand you do not like talking about yourself. And I am not pressing you,’ he said that last bit in a hurry while holding up his hand. ‘But what happened? How did you become a… red knight? Is there anything you can, or want to share? I believe there is something I need to tell you, but I am not certain yet. I need more information.’ When she didn’t immediately answered, he added: ‘Even so, it is alright if you prefer not to say anything, Nadec.’
She shut her eyes for a moment. There were things she could tell him. Other things, she wasn’t allowed to say to anyone. Her employers were secretive, annoying as it is. Not that she had anyone to share things with ever since her ex disappeared—left her. She could trust Wyny. She did trust him. Opening her eyes, she let herself fall back and looked up. Blackie’s tail stuck out from the top of the statue, wagging like a dog. It was hypnotising, enough to distract her from what she was about to say.
‘My parents died.’ Her voice hitched up, but she focused on the wagging tail. It helped. ‘I suppose you already knew that. I moved out a year before it happened, to live with my boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend now of course, he left me not long after the funeral. Which never made much sense to me because they never got along with him and he always defended me. Actually, it was after a large argument with them about him that I moved out.’
She was rambling now. She didn’t care. It was the first time she told this to anyone. She never had many friends. The few she had, stopped being friends during her relationship with Frank. The story poured out. Kitty had moved from her lap to her tummy, in easy stroking distance.
‘Part of me still wants to believe he didn’t really leave me but something happened to him. Part of me never wanted to accept that my parents happened to be in the same airplane when it crashed. They went on business trips all the time, but almost never together. But… I suppose… They weren’t business trip after all. They were skipping back here, to rule their kingdom. Right?’ She sighed, not giving Wyny a chance to reply. It wasn’t a question meant to be answered anyway.
‘I didn’t even know them, why didn’t they ever tell me about all of this?’ She waved her arms randomly to point out The Other Realm. ‘Didn’t they think I was good enough to be their heir? Was I a disappointment? Ugh. Well, so, everyone was gone. I was in a very bad place when I tripped on the sidewalk. I crawled towards a wall and just sat there until I should’ve been dehydrated from crying. No one stopped to ask if I was alright. I wasn’t, no one would’ve been able to help me.’ She closed her eyes and was surprised to feel a tear roll down both of her temples.
‘Then, suddenly, there was a rustling to my right. So, obviously, I looked towards it and got greeted with the smallest, frailest meow of all times. A tiny kitten wobbled towards me. He let me pick him up, and a baby purr started up straight away.’ As if he knew she was talking about him, Kitty started purring, the vibration soothing through her belly.
‘I wiped my eyes and took him to the nearest vet. They said he was probably about 4 weeks and wouldn’t have survived much longer if I hadn’t found him. The thing is, I wouldn’t have survived much longer if he hadn’t found me. We saved each other.’
She gave Kitty a cuddle—as well as she could while lying down—and opened her eyes, moving her head to look at Wyny.
‘I suppose I got a bit sidetracked, I’ll get to the red knight thing soon. But yeah, from that day on, Kitty and me have always been together. Except, I had to leave him behind too often to do my duties, after they’d recruited me. But I also didn’t want to put him in danger. Half a year ago I decided to train him anyway. So, that’s where we’re at now. As for the red knight stuff, four weeks after my parents passed away, a—’
The voice boomed in her head, loud enough to scare her upright. The flapping of massive bat-like wings couldn’t drown out the next sentence.
‘MUST, NADEC, YOU RUN. WYNY, LEAVE. KITTY, TAKE!’
Instinct kicked in. She picked up Kitty, grabbed her bundle, but stopped. Wyny looked at her in confusion. He hadn’t heard the voice. Why should she have to leave him, that didn’t make any sense?
Before she had time to process what that meant, the dragon’s feet—in a display of surprising dexterity—grabbed her around the waist. She lifted in the air, Wyny’s still confused face tipped back to follow her up.
‘No! Wyny, no! Please, Blackie, what are you doing? We can’t leave him! Oh no, who are those people? We have to help him, Blackie. Why?’
Thank you for listening to Nadec, episode 19: a tiny meow
Narrated by myself, Nadec. Adventure by and lived through by Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. Before we get to those, [music on background] we just want to say that if you head over to astridjef.com, you can find transcripts and full chapters of this podcast. Even more, you can find the unedited draft of Nadec at least up to 15 chapters further than the podcast goes. So if you’re keen to know how the story continues, you have the option to go and read. Find us on Twitter @astridjef and @nadecandkitty.
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