Part 2 of A Heartbeat Lost.
Tikaani was missing pops, and I swear I heard the gods laughing at me. I felt a weird sort of sickness, as panic was starting to sprout like tundra grass. Amana was at my side shouting for Tikaani he gave me a worried looked.
"Mak, do you know where he might be?" I tried to think rationally. Where does Tikaani go when he is overwhelmed? I was thinking up a blizzard when Amana shouted. "I'll check the wharfs and bath-houses he's probably hiding in one." I nodded as Amana galloped off. I had to find Hanai and the children.
Hanai was out with Rahmet and Elang looking for birthday gifts. I found them near the toy stalls as Rahmet was looking for a new waterskin, being a waterbender and all. Hanai saw the fearful look on my face, her happy yet exasperated face melted into confusion.
"Maka what's wr-" She didn't finish her sentence when she figured it out. "Oh my gods! Tikaani is missing!" I nodded gravely as Rahmet turned his head and frowned. "Again! Momma we should just put a leash on him or something he's too stupid to stay put." Elang whapped him upside the head and grabbed his lantern. "He's probably hiding in a bath-house some place, or a sauna. He hates the noise he's probably in place away from the crowds. I'll help you look." Hanai grabbed Rahmet and started back to the house, I did her him shout with annoyance. "No fair! That brat ruins everything!"
Elang check the West Canal bath-house, it was empty. Then we checked Central Terrace one. He wasn't their either, We could hear the shouts and ringing of bells from the square. Elang looked at me pleadingly. He wanted to go to the ritual and be with his sweetheart. Sighing I let him run off with him shouting. "It's ok dad, he's probably back in the square!" I rolled my eyes, Tikaani wouldn't go back to the noise that he running from.
I climbed the paths around the many terraces and bridges I looked for any discarded clothing, foot prints anything. But I saw no sign of my nephew. It was getting later, it's been over three hours and the sky was still empty and dark. I couldn't feel my heart as I stumbled around holding the oil lamp high. I called for him again my voice was so sore and didn't know if I would find him alive...or dead. At that though I stopped walking. He couldn't be dead. Not my little boy. Like I said earlier pops. The kid is sharp, but people are cruel. I looked up to the empty sky above me and I prayed to the Moon Spirit, that her gentle light would protect him and that...that he would still be alive. Cold, scared and probably hungry. But alive.
I reached the house after looking for him for another two hours. Amana was there in amour and holding his waterskin. Hanai looked ill and Rahmet...well...he was sulking in the corner. I felt terrible for Rahmet, his birthday was ruined, and he was right it wasn't fair. I knelt beside him ruffled his curly hair. "I promise after we find Tikaani we can do something very special for your birthday ok?" He didn't look at me he just pouted and then sniffed. "Poppa? Tik..Tikaani is gonna be ok right? I heard Elang say it's been too long. Tikaani might...might be?" I sighed and wrapped my big heavy arms around him. We were both scared and unsure. Oh I wish I could tell him a sweet lie. That Tikaani is fine and that his guilt for being so selfish would resolved. I wish I could dad, I really wished I could tell my son that lie.
Amana and turned to me tapped me on the should he had another lantern told me to get my waterskin. "Shona saw him run off near the tundra we need to leave now, it's almost dawn." I gritted my teeth and grabbed my skin and dagger. "Damnit! I swear if any tigerwolves go near him I will skin them alive!" Amana chuckled and headed out.
"C'mon Shona and his brother are looking for him, he's alive Maka I know it!"
Part 3 coming soon