The boat was much lighter with Wanderer helping her push. He had few belongings, only the clothes he was wearing, (which hadn’t gotten a day more ragged in a hundred years), a set of reed pipes, and a dagger.
The pair filled the boat with provisions: skins of fresh water and a variety of fruits from off the island trees.
One good thing about bringing Wanderer along was that he knew how to use the oars. Getting off the island was much simpler than getting onto it had been with the strong boy pulling away at the oars.
Lyli was a little bid sad to see the beautiful island vanish into the distance, but she knew that she had to go on. She had to find a place where she could live, permanently. That island was not one of them. And the whole trapped-in-time thing was not exactly Lyli’s cup of tea.
* * *
Wanderer did not make a very good conversationalist as he had no opinions whatsoever. Didn’t mind as much as most people would have, as she was used to long silences. Occasionally Wanderer would speak up to tell her about a fish or a bird he saw, but usually they sat in silence.
It would have been awkward, but it wasn’t, since he so obviously didn’t think it was.
They went on for a day like this, and when night came, they were presented with a problem.
“If we both lay down, we won’t fit inside the boat.” Wanderer commented when Lyli began to yawn. It was about three hours after sundown, and Lyli was very ready for sleep.
She stopped mid-yawn. Sleeping on the boat hadn’t even crossed her mind. This would be a problem.
“We’ll have to take turns sleeping.” She concluded. “You can sleep first if you want, since you lent me your bed last night.”
“Okay.” Without another word, Wanderer slumped against an oar and began to snore.
“Wow, that was fast.” Lyli muttered to herself. She hadn’t spoken in human for a while and it was a relief to her throat to speak naturally again. She wasn’t used to speaking wolf for such a long period of time. “If I go on like this, I’ll end up thinking in wolf!” she stared out into the darkness, black as ink. “I wonder if it was right to bring him.”
The darkness did not reply.
* * *
The next days became blurred in Lyli’s memory. Did she and Wanderer sail on that endless blanket of blue water for fifty days, or a thousand? She could never be sure.
She did remember the day that was different, the day they first saw the land.
It was just a dark blotch on the horizon, but Lyli laughed so gladly when she saw it that she fell out of the boat, and Wanderer had to pull her, dripping wet, back in. Lyli didn’t mind falling in the sea, she was just so happy to see land at last that getting a little more wet than she already was seemed a trivial matter. What mattered was getting to that land as fast as possible.
It didn’t feel like a long time from that point till the time they reached the shore, but it must have been all day because the sun had set when they finally pulled their little boat up onto the sand.
The pair collapsed from exhaustion, panting for breath.
“We should wait for morning, and then go exploring.” Wanderer mumbled, his voice just barely audible.
Lyli merely nodded, unable to muster the strength for words. Right now, she only wanted to rest. Morning will come, in its own due time. Lyli thought as her eyes closed.
If only she had known how very, very wrong she was.