He stood up on one of the roots and wiped water away from a pair of stubby tentacles on his face. They reminded her of the barbells that some fish had. But he couldn’t be a fish.

Image: Phoebe sits in the water near the cypress, holding one of its knees. Kirk is standing beside her with his hand on the tree. He is completely visible, and more scars can be seen on his stomach and thighs. Phoebe looks concerned. End description.

“I can see you,” she blurted out. Now that he was inadvertently exposing himself much more than either of them expected, it only felt right to warn him. And now that she knew why he kept looking at her scar.

Kirk’s tentacles squished up against his snout. “Bullshit. What’s my aspect?”

“It’s a red salamander? One of those blind ones that lives in a cave..?”

“A caecilian.” He swiftly jumped–nearly fell–back into the lake. “I don’t understand- Why now?”

“Maybe you just needed time?” Phoebe said.

He scoffed. “I bet I’ll turn back that minute that smartass looks at me.”

“Well, we don’t have to leave yet,” she replied.

She climbed again, and that was enough encouragement for him to follow again. They jumped and swam until they were both beat. Kirk remained visible the whole time. As they relaxed under the shade of the cypress Phoebe asked him about his home-city of Rideau, which turned to him sharing some of his most outrageous Occult Ontario stories- including a time they hunted a local cryptid.

“So we were all in the woods like fucking idiots, and do you know what we find?” he asked.


“A bear with mange. I almost got scalped.”

Image: The scenery is the same as in the first image, except the shadows have changed and the sky has become slightly darker. There are also more clouds on the horizon. Phoebe and Kirk are both partially submerged, resting next to each-other on the roots. Phoebe is laughing. End description.



Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate! Sorry for the late update but I'm here now :-) I hope everyone has been keeping warm- it didn't get nearly as cold here as it did in some other parts of the US but our heat pump system has been running almost nonstop.

I also noticed a glaring error waaaay too late: I'm not supposed to use the names of real-world cities in Kata (only provinces/states and countries) but have namedropped Ottawa a few times... so I changed Occult Ottawa to Occult Ontario, and Katabasis' Ottawa-analogue city has been named Rideau. I know it's a tiny thing but it ate me up. For those curious, Grand Shore is analogue for the whole Seven Cities area of Virginia, and River City is Richmond VA (which is an actual nickname that you might see around if you visit.)