They both lay there for a long time. Bob’s mind whirred. Was there anything he could try that someone from Quatsch kingdom wouldn’t have already thought of? He kept his ears open for snores from Ihana and wondered what would happen if he gently slid out from under her arm. He wandered if he could find something about his same size and shape to replace himself with so that, by tomorrow morning, Ihana would wake up hugging a tree-trunk and he would be back home…
Where he belonged.
After a few silent hours passed, Ihana finally asked “Can you sleep?” Bob shook his head. Ihana rolled over and lay on her back. As she did this, she kept her other hand on top of Bob’s thigh to maintain contact. Ihana sighed and said “Me neither.” Ihana then said, quietly, “Do you mind if I break one of my mother’s rules?” Bob shrugged, not really capable of imagining a worse fate than what he already faced. Ihana said, with a far-off dreamy look in her eye, “Mom always said don’t play with your food, don’t talk to your food, just eat your food but, well, I’ve just never been very good at holding fast to her rules. I can’t stop thinking about those knights and that mage that attacked me. Also, I really am curious about your world and all sorts of other things that I want to talk about.” Bob rolled over and looked at Ihana. A contradiction bothered him almost as much as the prospect of being eaten.
He couldn’t tell if Ihana was monster or woman.
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