The Enchanted Press Part 25
A little comic relief hurt no one, however through some unspoken arrangement, we stopped laughing and sobered. The reality of our situation and the importance that our missions succeed was back in the forefront of our minds.
“Earmuffs,” Sen said and popped hers on. A second later, she held up a finger to stop Duncan and me before we put on ours. She lifted one muff from her ear. “I think Duncan and I should each sit on one of your shoulders. We don’t know what’s happening out there, and we don’t want to be separated.”
“Excellent point,” I replied.
From my right shoulder, Duncan grunted his consent. Sen alighted on the other.
Without another word, we donned our earmuffs: the abrupt lack of sound left me momentarily disoriented. My head felt like I had submerged it into the deepest depths of the ocean. Why would anyone voluntarily wear these things?
Duncan must have felt the same because he shook his head as if trying to clear water out of his ears. Unruffled, Sen watched us and shook her head. I assumed she’d developed a tolerance to the muffs, or the silencing charm on the muffs didn’t affect her the same way.
It was easy to read her lips when she said, “Let’s go!”
Duncan flapped his wings at us and removed his muffs. We did the same.
“Just a thought,” he drawled, thin tendrils of smoke floating through his beak. “How are we going to talk to each other with these blasted things on once we’re back in Rockledge?”
Halted by this lack of preparation, Sen and I stared at each other dumbfounded.
Duncan sighed and rolled his eyes to the ceiling. “Amateurs. Do either of you know Spinner’s Code?”
“Spinner’s Code?” Sen asked.
Duncan pressed a wing to his forehead and sighed deeply. “If the entire resistance is like you two, we’re doomed. Do you know the Code?” he asked, looking at me.
My cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Spinner’s Code is simple enough to learn for most people. I, dear friend, am not one of them. Spinner’s Code is a communication system that uses dots and dashes and named after its inventor, Cootie Spinner. A little over a hundred years ago, Cootie was a premier linguist in the realm. He knew over a dozen languages and could speak to almost anyone in the Forest.
Naturally, stories about his talents circulated through the kingdom. When High Queen Rosamont’s great-grandfather, High King Corkney, learned of Cootie, he summoned the spider to court.
Although Corkney appreciated the vital role of the Tweeters, he wanted an alternative way to send messages through the realm. Upon his arrival, Corkney commissioned Cootie to devise this method. And so, the Spinner’s Code was created, adopted, and written into the curriculum of the realm to torment young fauns, who struggle and fail to memorize the many dots and dashes.
“Well?” Duncan asked again, “do you know the code or not?”
I gave a half-hearted shake of my head. Duncan cursed under his breath.