I materialized in the centre of the polished oak floor of the Myst Island library. It was just as I left it: warm and cozy. The fire had died out, but the room had stayed warm. I walked out to the cabin, putting the linking book back in and locking its door. I shut off the generator, and closed the door on my way out. I returned to the library, closing the great doors (as I had left them open when I left to go to the cabin a moment ago). I walked towards the bookshelves, and opened the corridor. I rode the elevator down to the lower living quarters, and headed for Atrusâ€™ old room. I went in, and I went right for the bed to lie down on its warm, cozy comforter and fell asleep.
* * * * * *
The next morning, I remembered that I still had the Koruna linking book with me in my pack. I went upstairs and outside to the cabin. I opened the vault and placed the book in their along with the Tomahna linking book. Then, on a whim, I opened the book to its descriptive panel and linked away.
When I came to, I was standing on a pebbled-stone platform surrounded by green field. Not far from me were copses of trees, and row upon row of fruit trees. The smell of their sweetness wafted on the gentle breeze to me, and my mouth watered. I stepped off the platform and strode down a small dusty path of dirt to my left. It led between a row of fruit trees. Their branches werenâ€™t high, and they sagged down nearly to the ground. It was easy to pluck the fruits.
Then a thought came to mind: how am I supposed to carry all the food out of here and back to Myst?
And I forgot one important thing: a linking book back home!
â€œNow Iâ€™ve gone and done it! Damn it! Damn it, damn it, damn it!!â€
I had to think fast. Maybe Atrus left a Tomahna book here. I got here through a linking book, which means that he must have been here at least once before. I had to find out. So, I began to search the island top to bottom.
After nearly two hours of frantic searching, I found it in a small wooden cabin (it reminded me of the one back on Myst). I sighed with relief, and nearly cried. â€œOh thank the Maker. Thank you, oh thank you!â€ I hurriedly opened the Tomahna linking book to its descriptive panel, and thankfully placed my hand on it, feeling the rushing, lurching feeling as I was engulfed by the pages.
* * * * * *
â€œOh my! What are you doing back so soon?â€
â€œI had a kind of accident,â€ I said.
Catherine was staring at me flabbergasted and confused, as I had appeared almost on top of her. We were standing in the greenhouse; it was almost midday, and Catherine was busy watering her plants until I showed up.
â€œWhat kind of â€˜accidentâ€™?â€ she questioned me, a worried sound to her voice.
â€œIâ€¦ummâ€¦forgot to bring a Myst linking book when I went to Koruna.â€
She stared at me, her jaw dropping. She tried to say something, but it came out as only gasps and incomprehensive sounds. Finally, after the initial shock faded, she was able to speak.
â€œYou forgot to bring a linking book?â€ she said, her tone rising slightly. â€œHow could you have been so careless?! You could have been trapped for ever!â€
She sounded like an angry mother punishing a child.
â€œI know, but-â€œ
â€œNo buts! How do you think weâ€™d feel when we realize that you could have been gone forever?! We wouldnâ€™t have known which blasted age you got yourself stuck on! How would Yeesha feel?!â€
That one got me right in the heart. I forgot about that. How would Yeesha feel; how would I feel? Iâ€™d feel horrible â€“ like my heart was torn in two. Iâ€™d feel worse than death itself. I started to feel ashamed.
â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ I said. â€œI wonâ€™t do it again.â€
At this, Catherine seemed to relax.
â€œNo, Iâ€™m sorry. I shouldnâ€™t have yelled at you. Itâ€™s just the thought of losing you seemed soâ€¦soâ€¦hard.â€
I walked over to her, and gave her a warm embrace. â€œDonâ€™t worry about it, Cat. I forgive you.â€
She smiled. â€œWell, now that youâ€™re here, perhaps you can go and see Yeesha. Even though itâ€™s been only one night since you left, I think she missed you.â€
I knew that must be true. Yeesha and I loved each other, and I knew she missed me â€“ I actually missed her, when I came to think of it.
â€œYeah, I think Iâ€™ll go see her. Where is she?â€
â€œSheâ€™s in her room, I think, lying down.â€
â€œAlright. Iâ€™ll see you later Catherine.â€
â€œOk. Hey, do you want to stay for lunch? We wouldnâ€™t mind the company.â€
â€œUmm, Iâ€™ll think about it. Maybe I will stay for a while.â€
With that, I left the greenhouse and headed to Yeeshaâ€™s room. It was beautiful outside that day. The sky was an inviting, bright blue, and the pool below reflected that. Gray birds with black markings around their eyes and long red feathers on their heads flew everywhere, singing as they went along their busy day.
Yeeshaâ€™s room was across the pool, on the opposite side from Catherine and Atrusâ€™ study and the greenhouse. I walked inside and found Yeesha in her bed, resting. Her lustrous light brown hair was down, and strands of it crossed her face. I sat at the edge of her bed, looking at her in wonder. Her chest was moving faintly up and down as she breathed softly in her sleep. She was so beautiful, and looked so peaceful, that I didnâ€™t want to wake her. I was about to get up and leave the room when she opened her eyes and stared up into mine. Her eyes were such a marvelous, compelling green.
â€œHey you,â€ she said, a smile on her face. â€œWhen did you get here?â€
â€œOnly a few minutes ago,â€ I replied.
â€œAh,â€ she said.
She got up, and sat down beside me. Like before, she drew close, and I did as well, and we kissed. It was a long kiss, and before long she was breathing heavily. I was too. I moved my mouth away from hers and traced her jaw, and kissed her neck. Her eyes were closed, her mouth open. Then, there was a noise from the door. We stopped, and turned our eyes towards the door.
And there stood Catherine, her hands on her hips, her arms bent, and a look of utter surprise on her face.
At that moment, I felt really awkward. And I could sense that Yeesha felt the same.
Catherine didnâ€™t say a thing; she just stood there, open-mouthed, gaping at us. I wish she would say something, anything, but she didnâ€™t. Finally, I broke the ice.
â€œWell, umm Yeesha. Do you want to go for a walk?â€ I said, trying to sound like nothing had happened.
Yeesha understood what I was trying to do, and went along with it. â€œSure, Iâ€™d love too.â€
We got up from her bed, and walked towards the door, stepping past Catherine who stood there still, dumbstruck. Yeesha and I quickened our pace when we left her room, and after a few moments we were running. We ran to the place were we sat the night before. As we sat there, along the shore, we laughed. It was weird, but thatâ€™s all we could do. We laughed together, her hand in mine, at what had just occurred.
It was hot and humid out, and after running all that way to get here, we were beat. So, we went for a swim, me and her. Soon, while we swam in the refreshing cool river, the moment that we felt while in her room came over us again, and we kissed and fondled each other for what seemed like forever. In the end, we were soaked, and we felt better than ever. We got out of the water, and laid on the shore side-by-side, letting the sun warm us.
â€œI love you, Yeesha.â€
â€œI love you too.â€
We were relatively dry now, so we put our clothes back on. The sky was getting darker; in the west, the sky was shades of gold, red, and purple.
â€œLook!â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s so beautiful.â€
â€œIt is,â€ I said, holding her closer at my side. She rested her head on my shoulder, and the two of us gazed up at the sun as it set. When it disappeared beneath the horizon and out of sight, we made our way back home.
Catherine was in the kitchen, cooking, and she seemed not to notice us when we stepped in. Atrus was seated at the table, reading from a small book â€“ probably one of his journals. Yeesha sat down next to her father, and I next to her. In a few minutes, Catherine came over to the table, carrying two plates. She put one in front of Atrus, and the other where she would be sitting. She went back and came over with two other plates, and put one in front of Yeesha and the other in front of me. No words came from her mouth. Atrus stopped reading and looked over at his wife, who sat beside him. He could tell something was amiss.
â€œCatherine, whatâ€™s the matter?â€ Atrus asked, his face looking puzzled.
She sat there, unmoving, but opened her mouth to speak. â€œAsk them,â€ she said, pointing at Yeesha and I. â€œThey should be able to tell you.â€
â€œWhat do you mean?â€ he said. â€œWhat have they done?â€
â€œI saw them together, kissing each other. Atrus, theyâ€™re in love!â€
Atrusâ€™ face was surprised, but then he laughed. â€œAnd thatâ€™s what made you seem so uptight all day? Catherine, oh Catherine, thereâ€™s nothing wrong with them being in love!â€
Yeesha and I turned to one another, a look of surprise on our faces. Of all people, we thought Atrus would be the one to be angry or upset, not glad. Yeesha was his â€œdesert birdâ€ â€“ his only daughter. But there he was, laughing, and happy for us.
Atrus looked at us, and smiled. â€œOh Yeesha, why did you not tell me? Why didnâ€™t you tell me, my old friend? Did you think I would be upset?â€
â€œWellâ€¦yes. Iâ€™m sorry Atrus, I am sorry,â€ I said.
â€œThereâ€™s nothing to be sorry about. You did nothing wrong, my friend,â€ he said.
Catherine seemed to blush. I think she was embarrassed, the way she had acted. Who wouldnâ€™t be? But I did feel some pity for her. She was losing her daughter, and it was a mothersâ€™ nature to worry or be upset.
We finished supper, and we talked through the night until midnight.
â€œWell, I guess I should be going,â€ I said, as I got up from the table. â€œIâ€™ll see you all soon.â€
Yeesha got up. â€œI want to come with you. To Myst.â€
I was surprised. â€œReally? I wouldnâ€™t mind.â€
â€œFather, can I go to Myst? I will only be gone a few days at least.â€
â€œNo you cannot â€“â€œCatherine started, but Atrus intervened.
â€œWhatever makes you happy, my desert bird.â€
â€œOh thank you, father. Thank you!â€ she said, hugging her father.
Together, Yeesha and I said our goodbyes to Atrus and Catherine, and we walked to Atrusâ€™ study. There I grabbed the Myst linking book from off of one of the shelves, and opened the pages to the panel. Yeesha linked through first, and I followed after her.
Edited by Naigahsehn, 03 December 2006 - 01:21 PM.