As the pile of dead animals on the deck expanded in size, Incah became more impatient.
“We’ve been fishing for hours now and I still haven’t found anything Francis or I would happily sink our teeth into,” he muttered to Abigail, cursing beneath his breath, “surely it’s the only thing left on the list by now?”
“We’ve yet to find a fish; they probably died fairly quickly once the waters became tainted with the Lord’s anger, so my guess is they’ve sunk to the bottom of the sea.”
Who eats fish anyway? Incah thought, carefully moving his net through the waters. He stood stock still on his hind legs, surveying the landscape for a glimmer of gold fur. God only knows what I’d do for a leg of leopard… He licked his lips thoughtfully and raised his head high – despite the rain constantly pounding his crown – in an attempt to glimpse spotted black fur on a golden canvas. Even some impala would sate my palate, he thought.
A glimmer of gold fur; a mouth set in solemn defiance: Incah was unable to stifle a moan of longing. He stretched the wired edge of the net through the red sea, pushing wild animals – large and small – out of his way. Before he knew it, Abigail stood close to him, sweeping the net through the water like an oar. The face below edged closer to them both, ducking underwater every few seconds so that Incah’s heart throbbed against his chest nervously. Finally, it was close enough to heave aboard: both Abigail and Incah plunged their net beneath its body and pulled upwards. But no sooner had they done this, Incah yelped furiously, lowered the net, and stared lividly at its contents.
“Elias!” He gasped, eyes as glassy and terrified as those floating beneath him. “My brother, what has happened to you?” He took in the lion’s shrunken body and damp, flattened mane, his own body frozen with horror as though he were awaiting his old friend’s response. Sadly, Incah dropped the net – along with the carcass – back into the sea and turned away, whiskers crinkling as tears fell from his eyes.
He felt his body deflate with horror and knew that he held a stark resemblance to Elias, soulless and shriveled against the wide expanse of wood and rain and wind which surrounded him.