Press "Enter" to skip to content

Feb. 26 – The Nose-meet (Part 3)

((Feel free to comment!))

Lisa looked at him, confused.  “Trouble waking up?”

“I don’t remember falling asleep, or how I got to places where I fell asleep, and even if someone touches me, that doesn’t always wake me up anymore,” Arnold explained. “If someone can come up and poke me, imagine what one of the sewer dwellers might manage before I was awake.  I’m already seeing Doctor Sonnerstein about it, and he’s going to watch me for the next few days.”

Concern was plain on Lisa’s face.  “That doesn’t sound good.  Though…”  She tilted her head a little, thinking.  “Do you remember where you go, or what you do, when you’re asleep?  In your dreams?”

“No,”  Arnold shook his head slightly.  “I don’t remember, though I’ve… no.  I don’t remember.”

“I wonder…” She looked at him keenly.  “I wonder if you’re trying to reach the Dreamfields, and you’re…”  She paused, searching for words.  “You’re not quite making it there.”

“Dreamfields…”  Arnold mused over the idea for a moment, even though Lisa had mentioned it to him last summer.  “I… suppose that’s possible?  What are they?”

“Well, it’s where we cats go when we dream.”  Lisa shrugged a little.  “Mostly they are, I think, like human dreams, born out of our own experiences.  But sometimes they’re more–we can receive guidance or prophecy in them.  And Lord Firefoot gave me the ability, like him, to meet with others of the Folk there, in my cat-form, so we can talk and enjoy each other’s company as Folk again.”

Arnold looked at her for a few moments silently, but he gripped his head after a moment and shook it. “That… sounds familiar.  But I don’t know.  And I couldn’t tell you if I’ve ever done that… ever.”

“Well, there’s one way to find out,” said Lisa stoutly.  “Next time you’re asleep, I’ll sleep, too, and see if I can reach you.  Perhaps I can help you get into the Dreamfields.  It is part of your heritage, I think.”

Arnold nodded slightly, “I can try, but… I don’t know if it will do any good.  I’m asleep half the day, it seems, or more… do we have to sleep at the same time?”

“Yes,” replied Lisa, nodding.  “But I can fall asleep quickly when I need to.  If you stay at the asylum for a few days, I can watch for you sleeping, and join you.”

“If I could, I would.  Sonnerstein’s insisted I stay with him already.”

“Ahh.  Well, I’ll simply have to try it at night, and hope I catch you.”

Arnold nodded once.  They had reached the intersection where Arnold would turn to return to Sonnerstein’s, and Lisa would continue south towards the Vole. Arnold said his goodbyes, and his thanks one last time that he now had a name among the cats.  “I only wish…. no.  Never mind.  Thank you, Lisa.”

Lisa held out a forestalling hand.  “Wish what?”

Arnold didn’t respond immediately, looking as if he wished he hadn’t said anything because of how ungrateful it would sound.  She looked insistent however.  “I was hoping that getting my Face name would somehow give me a clue as to my… ’true name.’”

“True name?”  Lisa frowned over that a moment; then her face cleared.  “Ahh–your tail name?  No, that’s something only you can find for yourself.  It’s never given… at least, not by anyone in this world.”

“Tail name?”  Arnold felt his brow raise, but he had to stop that involuntary action as his head twinged slightly.  “What is a tail name?  Is it… a ‘true name’ is something only you are supposed to know… only you can discover… which is why… we needed Rasend’s true name for that to work!”  Arnold gripped his head as once again the headache accompanied a memory that had forced its way to the surface, of when Lisa and Tepic had tried to call Rasend by his true name three times.

“Ohhhh, of course,” Lisa said with sudden comprehension.  She shook her head.  “I’ve no idea how we could learn his true name, either.”  She sighed, and then continued, “We really know little about tail names; no one talks about them.  Its discovery is a very personal thing, and it’s never shared with anyone.  You either find it, or you don’t,” she concluded, shrugging.

“I… understand,”  Arnold replied softly.  “I suppose that I’m on a quest to find a ‘tail name’ then.”  He didn’t really know why he called it a quest, but it seemed to be the word that popped into his head.  He bid Lisa good night one last time, before walking on four legs slowly towards Dr. Sonnerstein’s.

Lisa watched him go, looking sober.  ‘I think, more than any cat, he *needs* his tail name,’ she thought.  ‘Only then can he be truly whole.’  She turned away and trotted south toward the Vole.

Spread the love

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply