Managed to dig up some inspiration in the last 24 hours, so we're going back to Vancouver Irrealis tonight.
The local owl rehabilitation center had their once-per-year open house today, so Kat and I dropped by with Max on our way back from a shopping trip in Penticton. I think going in I was the most excited to see some owls up close and personal, but by the end it was closer to a tie with Max.
I snagged a few pictures while we were there, and wanted to share this one of Pilot the burrowing owl:
I'd loved to have spent more time there, getting pictures and hanging out with the owls, but it was quite crowded and we needed to get home for lunch.
"I don't mean to be rude," Tristam said as he followed the man into a cramped room that somehow managed to hold three chairs, a couch, and a small coffee table, "but who are you?"
"My name is Rewand," the man said with a slight shrug of his shoulders. The gesture seemed almost apologetic to Tristam.
"Right, Rewand," Tristam's mouth said as his brain thought Right, Andrew. With a deflating sigh he gave up and flopped down into the nearest chair as his host exited the room.
"We don't sit on those!" Anne-Marie told him, one hand covering her mouth as her eyes went wide with shock.
"Oh!" Tristam sprung back to his feet and looked down for signs of damage. "I'm sorry, I just... it's that... I didn't..."
"Just kidding," Anne-Marie said with a grin and a wave of a long-fingered hand. "Take a load off, you've had a long day."
"I wouldn't expect your night to be any shorter," Rewand said as he reappeared from an adjoining room carrying a platter weighed down by a teapot and four teacups. "And, to finish answering your first of what no doubt will turn out to be very, very many questions, I am Anne-Marie's fathergrand."
"I had nowhere else to turn," Anne-Marie said as she accepted a steaming cup from her grandfather. "Sorry, Pa. There were people in my apartment and I -"
"I know," Rewand said, passing Tristam the second cup while taking the third for himself. "You chose wisely, dear. I fear I would not have seen or heard from you again had you entered that building. I have your sharp eyes and quick mind to thank for you being here now, sound and safe."
"I'm pretty sure I don't want to know the answer," Tristam said, sniffing tentatively at his tea. It smelled of ginger and lemon and... something else. Familiar yet out of place. "But you promised to tell us anyway, so... what in the world is going on?"