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Spring 2019 Writing Contest: Monster of Spring

Monster of Spring
By: noll

Soft clouds rolled over the scales of the Serpent, cascading down its rippling body as it flew. The Serpent was in perpetual motion. It crawled through the sky at a slow pace, in order for its villagers to live their lives. Its head parted the clouds, but this sent them careaning across its scales and into the homes of its residents. Many did not mind, as they were used to Quetzal Palace’s weather.
Halette was one for those, having lived in Quetzal for many years now. Her fur had grown thick to ward off the chilled breeze. She breathed the air deeply. In Quetzal, it was not uncommon to practice breathing exercises to expand lung capacity.
The thin air danced around Halette as she worked. She rubbed at her eyes and yawned, wishing for the day to end. Unfortunately, it was only morning. The sun slipped above the far horizon, encasing her world in an orange haze. If she were on the ground, perhaps it would have been warm.
Her delicate paws ran over the back of one of her Beta Bugs as she coaxed it to breed. Her bug refused, screeching at her before darting into a nearby bush.
Normally, the bugs were relatively calm, though breeding them had proved to be excruciatingly difficult. For multiple years she had been working on completing her collection. Her Binary Beta Bug had been a precious gift, and she treasured it dearly. To her dismay, the Virus bug continued to evade her clutches. It was the final bug she needed for her menagerie.
Halette went to examine the bush, hoping it had not wandered to far. Only the sky lay beyond the sprouting leaves. The bush was almost on the “edge” of the serpent’s body. She hadn’t realized she strayed so far from home. The bug was nowhere to be seen; most likely it had flown the coupe. She sighed, wishing her job was easier. The payout was barely worth it at this point. With a flood of common pets, a few uncommons, and a pathetic number of rares and super rares work became tiring.
As Halette looked back and forth once more a swift movement caught her eye. A silhouette darted at the corner of her vision before vanishing into the clouds. She threw a glance back at her bugs. They were all corralled in their stables, safe from escape. She jumped after the shape, disappearing into the clouds, hoping to find her dear bug at the other side.
When Halette emerged from the cloud, a floral field lay before her. Flying lightbulbs budded, with the daisies already in bloom around them. They drifted above the Serpent’s back, swaying with the wind. In the center of the field stood a monster. Halette shrank back, attempting to hide herself in the clouds. It was an Anubis Circle, covered in vines, leaning over one of the lightbulbs. Clasped tightly in its beak was a watering can. Halette leaned forward out of curiosity, wondering about this monster’s strange behavior.
The circle chirped at the bulbs, as if urging them to grow.
Halette watched intently from her place, trying not to draw attention to herself. Once the monster finished tending to the lightbulbs it moved on to the surrounding daisies with equal precision. It cooed at them and spritzed them with water. The daisies danced in glee. Halette could almost see their leaves stretch further to catch the droplets. She shifted slightly, wanting to see more, and stepped on a twig.
The monster turned her direction. She saw its featureless face; did they make eye contact? Halette stumbled. The monster floated towards her and she bolted the way she had gone. They were dangerous! Once again she emerged from the cloud. Halette cast a wary eye behind her; she hadn’t been followed. She let out a breath.
Halette stepped out from behind the brush to return to her bugs and promptly tripped when exiting. At her feet sat her missing beta bug, munching away at the flora. A laugh burst from her mouth. How silly! She scooped up the escapee and brought it back to her herd, ready to be done with the day.
As she brought her animals home, Halette wondered about the lone Anubis Circle. Its dedication was admirable… It seemed as if all were able to enjoy the spring of Furvilla. Halette considered taking up Herbalism as she tucked her bugs into their homes, for perhaps it yielded better results than Husbandry.