From The Cordelian Chronicles:

Sitting on top of a small wall next to her was a cat. Well, it obviously wasn’t a cat because it was a sleek seventy pounds and its face was more pointed and its claws were bigger and it was wearing a small pouch on its chest on a leather cord. And a dozen other things. But it had a cat-like appearance and maybe she was worried about Bramble and wished she could ask somebody for help. But she couldn’t. So she spoke to the cat:

“Hello, kitty. What do you think I should do?”

“I think you should stop calling me ‘Kitty,’” it answered.

Kelly took a jump back, but recovered quickly. (This is not the weirdest thing that’s happened to me lately, she thought.)

“You can talk?”

The creature looked at her with the utmost disdain (a very feline expression in any ebullus) and said, “That question I am not going to answer. In regards to your original query, I would need to know more about your current situation and the options available to you.”

“Are you from here? This bubble?”

The creature sighed. “We might as well talk about me. It is certain to be a more interesting conversation. No. I am not from this ebullus. I am a traveler. As you clearly are as well, since you did not know that. Although why anyone would wish to travel to this forsaken little world, I do not have the faintest notion.”

“Then why did you come here?”

“I was stricken by a moment of unbridled optimism regarding the potentiality of the universe. I determined that my spiritual growth could thrive better sans internal bias and so I left my progression up to the winds of chance. I assure you, such optimism has not entered my heart since.”

“What do you mean ‘progression’? Can you travel? Do you have a way to get out of here?”

“Not a way that you would wish to try.”

“But I need help! My friend has been injured and we need to get to…” (Kelly didn’t want to say too much) “…center city. And we just dropped into this bubble and I don’t know anyone or anything. And I desperately need some kind of transport.”

“It’s all right, my dear. Calm down. Take a breath. I apologize for my brusqueness. Yes, I can travel but it would not be appropriate for you.”

“Why not? I’ve been thrown through so many holes and vortexes and gates and rips that I don’t know if I’m upside down or right side up or what.”

“I travel by dying.”

“Huh?” Kelly’s tears got distracted on the way out of her eyes.

“My species travels by dying. Up to eight times. When we shuffle off our mortal coils, we can then transverse the bubbles, if our will is strong enough.”


“Oh, indeed. My name would be unpronounceable by human vocal cords, but you may call me Darius.”

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