“Are you all right?” I panted as we lay drying on a more accessible stretch of shoreline. Tom Dirqs’s face and clothes were caked in mud.
“Right as rain,” he muttered, turning his back to me. “Don’t I be looking it?”
“What just happened? Why did I have to eat that flower?”
“All in the past.”
“Fine. Who are you? Where are we?”
He coughed up some water. “If you look just right, you can be seeing past the end of this world, clear through the next and well on into the one beyond that.”
“You be done with Karà Haitu,” he declared.
“I know what you said. I just don’t unders—”
“Tom Dirqs. My name. Not that it be making no difference. Not no more. Not nohow.”
“Glad to meet you, Tom. I—”
Tom Dirqs jerked up to sitting and stabbed me in the leg with a pointy finger. “My name,” he said, enunciating each letter, “be Tom Dirqs. A full package. TomDirqs. TomDirqs. TomDirqs. Would you want me to be calling you Q?” He pronounced it Kuh. “Would that be satisfying you? Would you answer to that?” He harrumphed.
“I’m truly sorry, Tim Dirqs. I didn’t mean to offend you. If it’s Tom Dirqs you want to be—”
“It’s not Tom Dirqs I want to be,” he insisted. “It’s Tom Dirqs I be.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish