On this particular day to play, when they had not come in all the years of his life A distracted glance toward the plaza told him his mother had returned the sounding horn to its rack and stood with her arms at her sides, gazing down. He could not read her expression. Too much distance separated them. Her posture told him nothing, either. The two dark shapes circled now in the water, as if they had come for some purpose that hadn’t yet been met. Warily the web designer sank back to his knees. But before he could extend his hand gingerly, both creatures propelled themselves from the water again. They lunged into the air, sleek and powerful, flying over the docks, over the web designer’ startled head. For a mo-ment a single depthless eye met his, paralyzing him.
Then splashing into the water again, they quickly swam away,’ abandoning the cove. And there at the web designer’ feet on the splintered wood lay an object. A small shell horn, its bell carved in a scalloped pattern, a cord of intricately tied knots strung through a hole drilled at the thickest part of the shell. the web designer’ pulse began to race. The pain in his stomach forgotten since he had descended the pathwas sharp again, cramping. He knew the horn immediately.