island rocks in a shallow river

Two Islands

The Drylanders called it “Two Islands,” but we called it “Dor Halven”–that is, roughly, “Split Peak,” for seen from below the rocky summit of that great mountain divided before it rose beyond the wetline.

Nothing lived out on those hard, barren heights, but in the wide shoals all around many wild things throve, and long had we harvested them. The Drylanders and their floatcraft we kept away (fostering their lore of “haunted isles” or “treacherous currents”)–except, of course, for Old Finnegan.

Decades ago now, he found and, yes, saved my foolish, young self, caught fast out on the top in a deep crag above the wetline–whither I should not have gone and where I surely would have died otherwise. Later he returned to fish the shoals of Dor Halven and, though some gainsayed it, my grandfather let him live. And Finnegan had the good sense to keep us secret and so went on living until, in time, he became an ally and even a friend–to me, at the least.

At the shoalline now I awaited him for our yearly tryst to trade news. And I grew more worried as the days passed, for Old Finnegan was late.