of the Last God
(Book II of the Oerth Cycle)
(C) 2000 BY
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"Momma, look!" Farrah hissed, crouching in the grass and pointing. Far in the distance, her sharp eyes could see the small spot of color out on the vast, seemingly endless plains of the Unknown Lands. The green leaves of league after league of tall grasses waved gently in the breeze like the rippling surface of a green sea.
"I see it, dear. I think they're too far away to hear us, though. You don't need to whisper. Let's rest for a moment," Bootie replied, sitting down with an exhausted sigh.
"Do you think it's the cats, momma?" Farrah asked, sitting down beside her mother. She wasn't tired, but she knew her mother was. It was very difficult for Bootie to keep going league after league carrying a child in her belly, and she had to frequently stop to rest. It was fortunate that the grasses were green and tasty, or Farrah realized they would never make it. Their meager supplies of food had been used up days ago, and all they had left otherwise was several rabbit-bones the musties had gathered a year ago and a pitifully small amount of water.
"That seems likely. I can't imagine who else might be out here, otherwise," Bootie replied, pulling up a pawful of grass and beginning to nibble on it quietly.
"What do we do, momma?" Farrah asked, nervously.
"We eat and rest, then move on. The grass is still green - that's some water, anyway. With luck, we'll find more as we go along."
"But what if they see us, momma? What if they see us and find us and catch us and-"
"Stop!" Bootie snapped, wrapping her paws around her daughter's muzzle. When Farrah had calmed, she slowly let her go. "We can't help that. All we can do is hope the green of our clothes and the gray of our fur hides us. We have to keep moving. They've stopped, apparently. Perhaps we can get ahead of them. Perhaps even far enough ahead that the Defenders or the musties can stop them. I don't know. I only know that we have to keep going. It's our people's only hope." Bootie then held out a pawful of grass to Farrah. "Eat. Rest. Then we move on."
Farrah sniffled, quietly munching the grass. "I'm worried about daddy," she said quietly.
"I am, too, dear. Very much," her mother replied, her voice equally quiet and sad.
After a few minutes, Bootie
nodded. Farrah rose, then helped her mother to her feet. Quietly,
they slipped away into the gently rippling sea of grass, heading
to the distant mountains in the northeast.
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