Milae arrived at the huge gates, which beyond, led to the Path of Palentia. However, a memory now slightly jaded and, for countless years unused, had subsequently deserted her and the password had evaporated from recall. She looked down at her companion, Luda, in the hope of finding help or inspiration in how to proceed getting the gates to open, but Luda just stared back at her blankly and offered nothing helpful.
“You’re a fine help!” said Milae, as she affectionately patted Luda on the head.
Luda let out an impatient grunt.
“Well. . .we can’t stay out here forever in this cold,” said Milae while studying the gates. “It’s all right for you, Luda, you have a fur coat!”
Luda let out another impatient grunt.
For a little while Milae stood in silence as she dug deep into her failing memory, desperately trying to will her mind to function as she wanted it to. The language of Palentia, being similar to her own, wasn’t too difficult to learn and speak fluently once the basics were understood, but there was one major difference between the two languages and that was how vowels were used. This became her sticking point in the fact that the proper usage of the vowels eluded her memory, and neither love nor money would be enough to allow the memory to surface.
Luda growled and began walking in a tight circle.
“Luda! Behave yourself, I’m trying to concentrate,” said Milae, reproachfully.
Luda growled a little louder and stared intently at Milae.
“What’s the matter with you?” she asked.
Luda stared back defiantly and continued growling.
“OPEN!” Milae shouted, just for the sake of trying something.
Luda walked up to Milae and nipped and bit at her hand.
“Ouch! Said Milae, withdrawing her hand. “Stop it you naughty cat.”
Luda began pawing her own head, and then suddenly lunged at Milae’s hand again.
“LUDAAAA!” shouted Milae. “NO!”
Luda then ran to the gates and began scratching them with her claws.
It was then that an abstract thought entered Milae’s mind, it went in, jumbled things round a bit, then transformed into a clear notion.
“Oh you clever puss,” said Milae. “You knew all along didn’t you but couldn’t tell me.”
Luda pranced around looking more than pleased with herself.
Somehow, after she had shouted at Luda emphasising the ‘A’ at the end and, after shouting out ‘NO,’ had provided the answer to her riddle – the Palentian language used vowels at the end of all their words and names.
After a bit of thought and much pampering of Luda, Milae stood once again in front of the gates and spoke confidently and clearly.
The charm had been cast and immediately the gates lit up with the entrance command from above. A shaft of light emanated from the doors as they slowly creaked open.
“Come on, Luda,” said Milae. “We’re nearly there.”
Luda growled appreciatively.