The sound of the plane’s engine lingered for some time after it passed out of sight beyond the mountains. I busied myself building a fire and making myself a pot of tea.
I was preparing my second cup when I heard the hushed sound of heavy paws. Without turning around I said, “Hello Archie.”
The manticore sauntered past my left shoulder and settled himself on the other side of the fire. He gave me one of his many many toothed smiles. “Hello Rose. Thank you for coming. I hope my message did not interrupt anything important?”
I returned his smile. I said, “The road has been my home for so long now that I don’t think interruptions are possible. One must have a routine for it to be broken. I simply have the next place to go. That I can spend time with old friends makes the destination more desirable.”