That thing should not exist.

As much as Mallory wanted to forget, she couldn’t shake the sight of the aboleth from her mind. As she lay on the floor in the interior of Miri’s boat during the journey back to Heibarr, Mallory curled up in her soft pajamas, clutching at the fabric, slamming her eyes shut and trying to imagine herself back in her bed… safe. But the thoughts kept coming.

So when Doc told me how he came to be…

Against her will, her mind conjured the image of that thing attacking her. She whimpered at the awful thought, letting her head drop repeatedly against the wooden floor she lay on. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

She yawned, but feared falling asleep. That thing was going to give her nightmares for months. And there was a reason she didn’t want it to see her until she was sure they would win.

She also was fairly sure that as an aquatic creature, it probably spoke Aquan… if it spoke anything at all.

As did Mallory. She was sure that would work against her somehow.

I want to go home. I want to crawl into my bed and forget that those things ever existed—let alone still exist—let alone inside the River Kingdoms.

When the aboleth had surfaced, it had been the first time in what felt like forever that Mallory had had that old, terrified thought surface.

I shouldn’t be doing this. Shouldn’t be an adventurer. It’s just going to get me killed horribly. People always talk about the heroic moments… like Larch’s superhero move that probably saved us all. They never talk about how terrifying it is. Larch was probably scared to death too.

Another yawn.

Even as much as I hear about Urvine… he scares me less than that thing. Whatever else can be said about him, he’s still just a man. But that thing… it just took control of Glaz’s mind like it was nothing…

The deep, dark waters are terrifying, and that creature was the reason why.

She felt her heart pounding, the fear taking hold again. She bumped her head against the floor a few more times. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

Wait… water.

She grabbed at one of her braids. Intertwined with her blonde hair, tied securely and fastened with several beads, was a single lock of iridescent hair, shifting between blue and green as it moved in the light. Mesmerizing. Soothing.

Rhodia’s hair.

She held it close, willing herself to breathe slowly, pushing her mind to more pleasant thoughts. Her plan to seek the aid of the brine dragon to bring Rhodia to Heibarr, or at least into the Sellen River.

Which was technically connected to the river they sailed on now, which itself was connected to the body of water that monstrosity had come from.

No, Mallory. It’s dead and gone. It will never share the same body of water as Rhodia. Never. Besides, she knows how to avoid dangerous waters. She may have a pond on Golarion, but she has a whole ocean on the First World, I imagine.

I wonder if she’s ever encountered one. At least she’d understand my fear… She could just… cuddle me and…

Another yawn. Her eyes getting heavier.

…hold me and tell me she understands, that there’s nothing to be afraid of… not there…

Perhaps her dreams tonight would be pleasant after all.

Author Rann
Game: Pathfinder
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