I would have much to do today. There would be many errands to run and tasks to be accomplished if I were to see a single warm meal layed before me. So I awoke very early - just as the black night was starting to give way to the light. I packed my equipment and asked the locals of Howth if they needed any help. I got the task of delivering a small clay bottle to a fellow named Iacob who was rumoured to live nearby. As I trotted along the shores of the Silvermine Mountains I instinctively stopped to stare out at the dark foggy waterline of the lake. It looked more like a sea than anything else because of it's massive size. The morning mist swirled slowly and heavily atop the limp waves which swished lazily against the shoreline. The morning was silent, and only an occasional toad could be heard croaking in the distance. I had not seen a soul after departing from Howth and the atmosphere was a lonely and somewhat desolate one. I only wished that the sun would rise to warm my cold body.
I stared at the foggy horizon, fixated. It was silly really, seeing as Iacob was waiting impatiently for his delivery, but it was a gut feeling... that something... was out there... As the mist started to clear a little, I almost jumped when a small silhouette could be made out in the far distance of the lake. I squinted to see better (as if it would help any) and I could make out a very small island. "How curious!" I thought to myself. "What on earth could be on that island?". I was drawn to that little isle like a magnet and didn't pause to think rationally, instead I walked straight into the freezing water, clothes and all and waded towards it determined to follow my instincts.
I swam what seemed like eternity and before long, the cold water started to slowly stiffen up my leather claden body. Some adorable little bear cubs swam over to me and circled around playfully, as if trying to urge me on. The nearer I got to the isle, the more cubs appeared and soon there was a whole band of them guiding me towards the islet.
At last my hands groped the muddy shores of land and I crawled up onto the grassy bank breathing deeply. I sat there panting and squeezing the water out of my soaked clothes for a while, quite exhausted from my swim. The bear cubs played around me as if I were not even there. Once in a while one would tug on my boot but scurried off squeeling in delight as I shooed him away. It was then that I heard a murmuring voice behind me. My heart pounded from fear of the unknown and I jumped up to see what it was. As I ventured closer to the sound I could make out a large gravestone at which a kneeling man prayed. I felt so embarrassed about intruding on the gentlemans intimate moment that I backed away hoping he would not notice, and decided to explore the island.
By now I was shivering from cold and there was no choicce but to trot around to keep my blood flowing and hope that the sun would bathe me in her warm rays soon. Once in a while, the gentleman passed me by, but did not utter a word. I found this quite understandable seeing as I had intruded on his privacy. I dared not say a word from the embarrassment I felt. I realized I must leave and let the man be in peace, so I started to walk along the shores, trying to figure out which way I had come from. The fog evened out the light and i could not tell which way the sun was shining from.
As I stood on the shoreline, looking desperately out at the adjacent shorelines, I heard his footsteps behind me. I turned to look at him and saw a sweet gentle face. How very handsome and tall he was! He bowed and greeted me politely. We introduced ourselves and were both curious as to why each was there. He told me how his good friend had been slain by the bear cubs at one time, on that very island, and it was his grave that he was visiting. A sad tale indeed. I could not bring myself to reveal how I had been drawn by some mystical force to the isle, so I just told him that I was very curious. He seemed to understand me well, and we got on so well that time slipped by without our noticing. I felt like I could stand there forever with him, and I could sense that he felt the same, for he was eager to offer me any assistance I could possibly be wanting. Since I was genuinely lost... and since he seemed to be genuine in his offer of help, I asked if he could be so kind as to guide me back to Howth. He eagerly accepted and studied the skies with a thoughtful squint.
Once he had determined the correct direction, he beckoned me to follow and we waded into the water to swim the long journey back to the mainlands. I could not help but admire his skillful strokes as he swam, even though fully clothed. I again was so weary that my head often went under water only to come up enough to catch my breath. He seemed worried about this and checked often to make sure I was ok.
As we arrived ashore, we paused to rest a while. He attentively asked if I was ok and I thought this so sweet that already his care warmed me from the inside enough to keep me alive. As we ran off towards Howth, he stopped once in a while to make sure I was keeping up.
As we arrived in front of the Howth gate, he seemed hesitant about leaving although his job was done. He could see that I shivered from the cold and handed me a cloak that he had sewn with his very own hands and packed in such a way that it stayed dry despite the swim. As he helped me put the heavy garment on I felt a warmth radiate around me and the shivering stopped. I wanted to give him a token of my thanks, so I handed him a peculiar object that I had found upon an evil beast the day before. It was an object that contained great powers, for upon it was engraved the word "moonstone". Surely an object named after the moon, was of some worth. He seemed thankful, but I could tell that this was an empathetic and honourable man that would act thankful just to be kind. We talked what seemed for hours.... the time slipped by and I felt like I could listen to his stories and never tire. We were so enthralled with one another that we did not even notice when it started to rain, nor when nighttime fell. All things come to an end though, and I remembered how Iacob was still waiting for his precious bottle. So our paths parted then... but maybe someday... somewhere... they might cross again.