Movement did indeed tend to make predators pay more attention to something- and she did understand that apparently most fish were predators, since they seemed to eat thing that might be considered meaty (worms, bugs, other fish apparently). Perhaps they were avoiding the hook because it looked odd and didn't move? Badrani sticks her tongue out of her maw for a moment as she slowly jerks the edge of the fishing pole's tip one way, and then the other to see if she could perhaps get a twitching motion to translate to the other side of the line. She wasn't sure if it was working- not with all of the silt kicked up in the water this time of year. She really couldn't even imagine it being any different, like she had read about it being during the 'wet' season. That concept was very foreign as well.
They sit like that for more time, Badrani sort of 'leading' the line back and forth to make the hook hopefully move across the thick silt at the bottom of this part of the river. She had only really seen it being kicked up by Shahrazad though, so she had no real idea if it was thick and had some resistance to it (to remain stuck to the bottom) or perhaps if it was easy to lift up from where it was sitting on the riverbed. She had no idea how thick it was closer to the center of the river or whether or not it obscured the vision of the bait to the fish enough to keep her from ever being able to catch anything in the slightest. She hoped that there was some way for the creatures to find their food otherwise. "Shahrazad, do you think I'll catch a fish?" She asks, after a while of their sitting in silence.
Shahrazad glances up at the fishing pole, obviously metaphorically dissecting it with her gaze. She hadn't really been thinking about it much. "Maybe if it floated?" Her voice comes out a little tremulous. It was obvious that she was still very cold. Badrani reached down and wrapped her off arm around the young draconic, to impart some more warmth to her. She smoothes her hand over the youngster's side and back a little quickly, creating friction to try to heat her up. "I think you are right." Badrani replies. "The..." She squints. "Bazaar? Ammm... Shop." She found the word after searching for it for a pause. "The shop sold some, and the book-" Another pause as she thinks about the word. "Suggested them." That wasn't quite the word she was looking for that time, but it was good enough for her. Close enough.
Just then, the line quickly moved in a direction perpendicular to where Badrani had been moving the line back and forth to.
Badrani hardly noticed at first, but when she did she jerked upright a bit- startling both herself and the young draconic. Her mouth opens ever so slightly as a little gasp escapes. The line begins to go slack, and she squints. "What is it!?!" Shahrazad's voice takes 'squeak' to a new level with that sentence, it was obvious that not only could she not really see all that well that far, but that she felt quite spooked. Badrani felt badly immediately and tried to console her. The 'fish' looked as if it had been lost from the hook anyway, especially since Badrani hadn't really had the chance to do anything in response to what she assumed was a nibble on the bait. "Probably just a fish, it's okay- it's okay-" She repeats a few times. "We don't have to stay out here, if you are..." She squints. "Scared." That didn't quite sound proper, but it had the desired effect.
Shahrazad wrinkles her nose and then sticks her tongue out at Badrani (where had she learned that mannerism? Badrani would probably have asked but she was too caught up in everything at the moment and then she'd forgotten about it soon enough). "I'm not scared!" Nearly as soon as she had the little outburst (it was more cute than angry sounding) something else happened all at once that drove the pair of them up and close to the cliffside. At first, just the slightest movement on the line gave Badrani a bit of a pause- there was something on the line. Quickly she jerked the line slightly towards herself (the book had said that this would 'hook' the hook into the jaw of the fish, which apparently wouldn't really hurt it all that bad in the case of a catch and release- but she was absolutely shocked when there was so much resistance that she couldn't do it.
Badrani's brow furrowed, and she tried again. It occurred to her in that split second that she must have hooked a log. She had read that sometimes trees (she was familiar with trees of course, though they were not common in the desert, they were common enough elsewhere that she wasn't shocked when she laid eyes on the first one) fell off into rivers and floated along or scraped along the bottom until they finally got lodged somewhere. She'd also read that they were dangerous, because people could get hooked on these logs while trying to swim. She had thought that the river was low enough that there shouldn't be any logs (or else she'd see them) but in that moment, she thought she was wrong.
That was when the water practically 'erupted' in front of them, spraying both of them with water. Both the Ssashirk and the Draconic took off towards the canyon.
It was still quite a bit closer to the wet part of the year than Badrani had known; and thus the water, though quite a bit lower- was still running quite torrentially in the middle and out towards the far Cliffside (where the river ran up against the canyon wall tightly, not like the side she was on with the beach). There was a very large water-dwelling animal there of some kind that had not even really been interested in the bait, but had been interested in the reflections of the pair. Whatever it was, it was headed downriver and had a ton of very sharp teeth. Badrani had scooped up Shahrazad at the earliest opportunity in her off hand, and with her strong hand she still held the fishing pole (now with the hook swinging behind them) and began to scale the side of the cliff just high enough to keep away from whatever kind of fish that was.
For a moment, the pair a perched on the next flat rock up the side of the cliff (thankfully there was that old half-decent walkway down that they had taken on the way to the river before, so they were able to get up there in the first place) but whatever the monster was that had been down there was far gone. Badrani had no idea if it had gotten onto the beach or stayed in the water, and either way she didn't really feel completely safe up here, either. She's shaken, as anyone would be- despite the fact that she had dealt with dangerous animals before. It was spooky to her that now the dark water was perfectly calm, and though there was silt kicked up, it was otherwise like the creature had never been there in the first place.
Neither of them had been ready for something like that at all.
Badrani was certainly not a good fisherperson. This was her first foray, and she only knew what she had read. She had read that this particular river in fact often had dangerous creatures (sha-hrks, wayulls, she had tried to pronounce upon reading them- it made sense) but that during the dry season, these creatures could not navigate in the much smaller river. She had no explanation for what she had just seen. It terrified her for sure, but she understood that whatever it was; it could very well still be in there. Shahrazad had not said anything, but she had moved beyond Badrani at this point and was standing at the end of the flat stone they were sitting on to look down at the water. Badrani couldn't really think all that properly yet, but it was funny to her that she knew that the young draconic would never be able to see with her lack of adequate nightvision.
Badrani laughs at this, a full belly-level laugh that practically booms through the canyon. This spooks Shahrazad, who takes another couple of steps further up the cliff, and looked down at Badrani with the first bit of frustration that Badrani had ever seen from the typically serene draconic. "Are you scared now, Shahrazad?" Badrani asks between laughs, she could hardly breathe now with the spasms of the laughter. Shahrazad turns her nose up at her, and begins to climb up the cliff, back to where they had come from. It was much easier to see there, where she was closer to the full moonlight and less shaded by the cliff itself. Badrani finally stands, and staggers after her on the tail end of laughter. "Shahrazad, slow down." She complained, taking off after her. She really didn't feel like continuing the fishing trip tonight after all- it was far too late for this.
The climb upwards took quite a bit of work. Though Badrani could see perfectly well, Shahrazad sometimes had a bit of difficulty with the scaling, and would sometimes move off in a direction that was certainly not the correct direction. Badrani worked to make sure that she was moved into the right place, and would help her climb whenever she could. She was very worried about thirty minutes in for a short stretch of time when she lost sight of Shahrazad. Between the two of them, they slowly accidentally veered off course, and by the time they realized that they were not climbing in the correct direction, they were well of course. They couldn't find their way back to the correct set of 'stairs', so they had to move back down, and eventually they found theirselves back on the beach again looking concerned and very winded.
Both of them look at each other with worry in their eyes.
They were now lost. Well, as lost as one could be when they could visually detect the beach they had just come from. Just above them on the cliff was where they could physically see the landing that would take them to their tents, but they couldn't figure out, whenever they were up there at least- how to even get to that landing. It was a complete conundrum, though Badrani knew well enough how to keep them alive until they could get up there at the very least. Still, she anxiously glanced around, and then found a good spot away form the water to sit. "Shahrazad." She started, suddenly not entirely sure how to put what they were about to say. "We should wait and rest before we try again." She specified. "Might be the best option to wait until sun-up to try to go up, as well." That tone was obviously not making the young draconic very confident.
Had they been in the desert, Badrani could have easily surmised how long it would be until daybreak, but she had no idea here. The Canyon was somewhat reminiscent of home (much more than the Labs City was, at least!) but it still wasn't anything like her homeland. She could take a guess, but she didn't think that it would help Shahrazad if she was wrong- it would make the whole situation worse. Instead, she quietly shrugged- signifying that it could not be helped. Instead, she watches the water with some amount of wariness. She might as well get back to fishing- but what if that big animal was in there still? It seemed like it wouldn't be very likely, but she knew that there were some ambush predators that could be extremely patient. Might it have been one of those?
If Shahrazad was much bigger, she'd be an excellent deterrent.
However, Shahrazad was still a youngster, so that was a strange and wishful thought to have. Badrani did not like the idea of being pressed up against the cold cliffside all night, and she was beginning to get a little hungry, herself. She had brought a makeshift pack with her, and she was trying to figure out how long they'd have to go without food if they ate right now, until the sun came up in the morning and either they could get out much more easily or someone would probably come up on them on their own fishing journeys and probably help them. It had been quite foolish to make this trip, in the first place.
Badrani sits down the fishing rod on the flat rock, and then begins to pull the makeshift pack from her shoulder. "We should eat, and rest." She says, her voice calm and steady. She didn't want the youngster to panic.
Shahrazad nods, and then finds a place to sit near Badrani's leg, to make sure that she'd be warm. Badrani does remove the pack the rest of the way, and she sat it down on the top of one of her stacked haunches. She unfolds the folded-up cloth and inside is enough for a large enough meal for both of them of smoked fish and soft cheese (from creatures called 'murp' from what she had understood when she'd traded for it) as well as a large loaf of twisted-knot bread that was sweetened with a small tub of honey-butter. She made these up quite easily for the two of them, and it was a good meal shared. "Now, I would make us a fire." She mentioned, and then she swore in Ssashirk. Shahrazad furrows her brow in confusion.
"But I've only really ever heard how to do it from stuff like this- and I don't see any dry wood."
Twilight-Claw: Lol, those puppies are comically cute in appearance! I feel like I might have seen them from somewhere else with their baby stage, but more because of their pudgy stage and short limbs. x3
Jun 8, 2022 0:20:35 GMT -6