As the days progressed, I figured out a more efficient way to fish for Fitz’s food. I attached many ropes of bait around the boat. I covered the right side, while Fitz covered the left. It was quite effective, since in four days, we managed to catch over a dozen cod and salmon.
Fitz’ appetite had diminished significantly since the storm. The cold took a toll on both of us, albeit in different ways.
In a desperate attempt to save my sodded writings, I spread them out onto the wooden planks and let the sun dry them.
“Here, hold this Fitz-“ I handed Fitz the paper, but was met with only a growl instead. “C’mon Fitz, just take it, quickly!”
Fitz lunged at my hand, nearly biting it; taking the paper and shredding it with his mouth.
“What is bloody wrong with you?” I yelled at him.
Looking down at Fitz, he calmed down and began to whine.
“What’s wrong, boy?” I cautiously approached him.
Taking a closer look at him, I noticed that the wounds on his neck hadn’t healed at all. A sense of dread filled my being, as I hesitantly checked his eyes. He had rabies.
I sat for a moment at a loss for a solution. Gazing at his foaming mouth I desperately retrieved from my satchel a calming herb, extracting its oils into an empty syringe.
“Everything is going to be fine, Fitz, just simmer down.” Approaching him with the syringe, Fitz hastily jerked back, growling and barely maintaining his balance.
“Calm down, Fitz. This will help.”
Fitz continued to growl at me, so I carefully approached him with the syringe in hand.
“It’s ok, Fitz. I’m just goi-“
Fitz lunged at my legs, so I quickly moved to my left and grasping him by the neck I injected him with the oil.
“It’s alright, Fitz, calm down, simmer down now.”
With a lump in my throat, I set him down by the edge of the boat.
Trying to make Fitz as comfortable as possible, I took my frock off and covered him with it.
“There we go, all nice and cozy,”, I uttered shivering, while gazing down at him with eyes widened, utterly perplexed what to do.
Attempting to warm Fitz up I continued with my tearing of pages, and carefully setting them onto the planks.
I heard a tug of the ropes and slowly turned my head towards it. A fish had been nibbling at the bait. So, carefully I took a hold of the makeshift fishing line, and jolted backwards, nearly tipping the boat over.
“Got it!” I yelled out as I struck the cod till its jittery squirming halted.
“I’m pretty good at this, aren’t I?” I turned to Fitz, just for my smile of pride to be utterly abolished.
I gulped as I sat next to his demented body and warmed my hands up against the fire. Silence veiled for a moment, as I attempted to think of a solution.
“You know, before I found you, I was with this quite amazing group of people. Well, most of them at least. Professor Griffin was one of them. He had this big library, full to the brim with knowledge, the downside was- he was quite a jerk, but the good kind.” I halted and stared out into the sea. “And, um- he told me once this funny story how him and this other guy where at this market in Africa, and this other guy was hungry and wanted to buy something to eat. So, he bought these barriers from one of the girls in the market. He didn’t feel quite well after eating them and soon enough he fell asleep on a nearby bench. Well, the women that where selling the barriers sneaked up on him and stole his stuff, that was their shtick. But they stole his memento, his watch. It backfired on them, and the watch turned them to dust.” I stopped and snickered, “Yeah, he told me to never steel or lie, because it always backfires. He was a good teacher, but a lousy role model, didn’t really stick to most of his life advices.”
I smiled and looked down at Fitz, his heavy breathing accelerated, so I stood up to refile the syringe.
“Here you go,” I injected him with the oils, with my chest still heavy and head greatly hurting.
As I was caring out this quite perilous attempt to warm Fitz and myself, the boat seemed to be rocking.
I looked out to the sea and noticed slight ripples in the water. Fitz seemed intrigued by them to, so I leaned over to take a better look.
The weather was rather foggy, so seeing further than a dozen meters was futile, but though the mist, I could discern slight movement, I hastily took a spyglass from my satchel and gazed out into the mist, hoping to spot whatever moved about in the mist.
Abruptly from the fog, emerged a large steam ship, cautiously maneuvering between the icebergs.
“HEY!” I exclaimed, “over here!”
My idiotic screaming obviously hadn’t helped the situation in any way, so I quickly scrambled through my sodden satchel to find something to set ablaze. All of our supplies sunk to the ocean, so, the only thing I had were my writings.
With my shivering hands I quickly took a couple of sheets of paper. With a black stone and my blade, in desperation I attempted to start a spark.
At last the corner of the drying paper caught ablaze, and I came closer to it, putting my hands around the feeble fire.
“Okay, one step at a time,” I fretted.
I slowly blew onto the tiny flame, only for it to dissipate, and turn to ash and smoke.
“BLASTED!” I yelled, whilst slamming at the slabs, and shoving the papers into the sea.
The ship persisted on, not halting one bit. My heart sank as I angerly peered at the passing ship, until I sensed the boat shaking. Averting my gaze over at Fitz, I noticed that he was shaking uncontrollably.
“Fitz!?” Hastily I rushed over to his aid, holding him down and striving to figure what was happening.
My heart dropped as I noticed foam in his mouth. Slowly, I moved away from Fitz as he began to screech and growl.
Quickly I scrambled trough my satchel for the last of the oil. Taking the empty syringe of off the ground. I poured the herbs oil into the empty syringe, and cautiously approached Fitz.
Fitz jolted at my, nearly biting my hand off, but with swift action I was able to stab Fitz with the syringe, slowly calming him.
I held Fitz in my hands, resting on the edge of the boat. Looking into his red eyes I smirked with faint tears dripping down my cheeks.
“You’ll be fine, I promise.”
I held him tightly, caressing his dark fur, “I won’t let you go, just hold on.” I sniffed.
Slowly I picked Fitz up, and set him down on the other end of the boat.
As I set him down, I squatted next to him, petting his stomach, noticing that his breathing began to accelerate. My throat clenched and my eyes reddened. I gazed down at him, and he reciprocated, with foam beginning to drip from his mouth.
I hesitantly scooted closer to him and kissed him on his forehead.
“I love you good boy.”
Standing up, I headed to the opposite side of the boat, sitting down and gazing back at Fitz’s worsening state.
Grudgingly I put on my leather gloves, and from my satchel I drew the dagger.
With a lump in my throat, I stared back at Fitz, as he growled and shivered. My heart burned and scorched; I couldn’t comprehend what was happening.
“Just stay there, please…” I stuttered.
Fitz slowly began to stand up, and gaze back at me, flashing his donating fangs.
“Please…” I begged him.
Barely standing on all fours, Fitz feebly dragged himself towards me, grunting and creating a line of drool behind him. My hands slowly felt more and more numb, and the dagger which I held in my hand became exceedingly heavy.
In an abrupt and vicious manner, Fitz longed at me, attempting to maul at my face. In the nick of time I moved to my right, grabbing Fitz by the back of his neck and stabbing him in the heart. It was as if I had stabbed my own, his faint whimper added the weight on my chest.
Lodging the dagger deeper in, Fitz collapsed in my arms, gazing back at me with his innocent vermilion eyes which I knew oh, so well. Whimpering and attempting to lift his head up.
“You’ll be better now-“ I uttered with a sniffle.
The redness in Fitz’s eyes slowly dissipated, as did his breath. His muscles relaxed and his head fell back. I drew him closer to myself, rocking back and forth. Wishing that all this, this pain and death, was just a dream.