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Winter Wonderland 2018-2019 Writing Contest: Deck the Lobsters

Deck the Lobsters
By: noll

"I now pronounce you... Lobster and Lobster," Beatrice (Lobster 1) declared.

Cardinal (Lobster 2) gave her a questioning look while Vladimir (Lobster 3) looked on in silence. "Cool..." He shuffled his paws in the snow and shivered. Freezing rain began that morning before sunrise. Now, the snow had a fine sheet of ice over it, with clumsy holes punched in its surface from their trek over.

"Now," Beatrice began, looking between the two. "We must build the Lobster before sundown as we discussed earlier. I would love to be of help with my ten arms, however I lack, well, flexibility and sculpting power."

"Right..." Cardinal barely remembered what she was talking about. The discussion happened in a tired haze the night they arrived in Tigereye Peak. They had travelled all night from Quetzal Palace with no breaks, courtesy of Vladimir's grueling travel ethic. Cardinal craved the solace of the gentle arms of sleep as they set foot upon the snowy, mountainous expanse at the ripe hour of 4:30AM. Apparently, Beatrice suggested they dedicate the winter holidays to the brilliance that is the humble Lobster. Nephropidae. Homaridae. Large Marine Crustaceans. It had sounded fun to him, probably. He couldn't recall.

"So you want us to create this lobster statue... in the freezing rain?" Cardinal gave Beatrice another look of dismay. It had begun to trickle and he was NOT feelin' it anymore. He looked to Vladimir for backup, but the angel dragon gave him a shrug and shoved his arms into the snow. Sure, okay. Fine. ".... I am never agreeing to your suggestions again, Beatrice."

Beatrice lunged forward, holding a claw up to Cardinal's chest. "You must refer to me as Lobster, Lobster!" Cardinal rolled his eyes and sighed. It was going to be a long day.

Cardinal knew he wouldn't be able to escape his lobster statue building duties until it was complete, no matter how close to frost bitten his appendages became (thank the Serpent for fur) so he followed Vladimir's lead. Vladimir had begun sculpting the body by rolling a large cylinder in the snow. Under the thin layer of ice the snow was soft and malleable. Its weight and stickiness made it perfect for sculpting. Cardinal hurried up to Vladimir, assisting in pushing the now enormous snow blob into Beatrice's indicated position. She led them in as if directing the Serpent to land. At least she pretended to be useful.

After getting the body into place, Cardinal took it upon himself to begin detailing it to be more... lobstery. He scraped away chunks of snow with his paws to base it on Beatrice's appearance. Vladimir came back shortly to add thinner, long snow chunks for the legs. Cardinal fastened them with—you guessed it—snow. The body was coming together quite well. And quite large. Somehow it managed to tower about 4 feet tall.

"Do you want to work on the tail or the head?" Vladimir asked as they attached the final walking leg (claw legs would come later).

"Does it matter...?" Cardinal leaned against the body to catch his breath.

"Not really, no, but I thought you liked the illusion of choice," Vladimir paused. "I will do the tail. Have fun sculpting the mouth."

Cardinal slowly sank into the snowy abyss. The mouth... the strangest part of a lobster. The rest of it would be rather easy to make. Their body structure was not very complicated, though the mouth attempted to test that notion. "Ugh," He groaned, accepting his fate of lobster mouth parts carver and began working on the head. At least Beatrice was there for reference.

The sun had barely dipped under the horizon by the time Cardinal and Vladimir finished their sculpting task. At some point during the ordeal Beatrice had disappeared. Cardinal almost screamed in frustration, but stopped himself when he figured he could punch her when they got inside later. Unfortunately, the punching never came as she returned just after they finished the carving, abundance of decorations in tow.

"Our creation is not complete without tinsel, garland aaaaand... ornaments." She dumped the items in front of the other two. If lobsters could smile, she would be grinning. "Hop to it, lobster friends! Sundown is barely upon us. There is still time!"

Decorating the lobster was much like decorating a tree. Except there was less pine and less paw pricking, so it was a step above. The rain throughout the day had frozen on the sculpture, making it solid enough to not crumble under its weight. Fantastic. Cardinal hung the garland upon the legs and body while Vladimir stuck various ornaments on the head. The tail was then tinseled aggressively. Everything was either gold or silver, so they matched well. Vladimir placed the last bit of tinsel upon the tail and stood back to admire their teamwork. Cardinal gazed on in relief. Finally. Over. Save him.

"Not done yet, boys!" Beatrice interrupted their beautiful moment. Cardinal wanted to cry. "We just have one more step to do..." She trailed off and then pulled out a long string of lobster shaped lights with a VERY long extension cord... They had not been in the pile of decorations earlier. Cardinal narrowed his eyes. To his relief, Beatrice stepped forward and managed to attach the lights to the snow lobster herself. She looked to them briefly before flipping the switch.

The brilliant lights glittered off the surfaces of the ornaments, reflecting the many colors of the mini lobsters. Cardinal stood frozen, awestruck. The lights seemed to dance across the surfaces, even reflecting off the snow. The fresh ice glistened with vibrant colors. The light was not blinding; it was like twinkling stars within a cloudless sky of snow.

"Was it worth it, Lobster?" Beatrice asked Cardinal smugly. Vladimir chuckled to his side, having thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Cardinal turned to her with a smile. Sure, his ears, paws, and tail were nearly frozen, but the sight before him was enough to make up for it. "Yeah, I guess it was."