Hello, field researchers and druids!
How many strange and fantastical creatures are there out there, living out their lives, completely unbeknownst to us? More than you’d expect, if this writing community has anything to say about it. That’s why…
This week’s prompt is:
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
Old, weathered, leather-back journal, filled with loose sheets of parchment and scraps of hide. Inside, you find sketches, and diagrams, painstakingly-collected notes. It’s a two-dimensional menagerie of things the world has yet to see.
This is what I, and probably most of you, think of when we think “bestiary”. A concrete item, full of material.
But you know, I don’t think it’s the journal itself that excites our curiosity. I think it’s what the journal represents.
Think of it. A whole, secret world, full of new life, just waiting for someone with the passion or the tenacity to get to know it. There’s magic in opening a book and feeling a connection to a larger unknown scheme out there—an entirely new arc in the circle of life. A bestiary is more than a compendium of information about creatures; a bestiary is the promise that, as far as life itself goes, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Harness this promise. Channel into fear; the promise that there are things more dangerous than we can imagine. Channel it into hope; the promise that there are things more beautiful. Channel it into whatever emotion you’d like, so long as, in some capacity, you’re engaging in the business of marveling at life unknown.
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
Tune into the stream this Friday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!
Rules and Guidelines
We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- One submission per participant.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 4:00pm CST each Friday.
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or stories written for other purposes).
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
- No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material if you are writing a fan fic.
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- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.
Beasts of Peace Submitted by: Exce (With great help from Josie, Dukkie and Luna)
The Soulatrophy had come and gone, and whilst everyone was talking about its impact on humanity, few seemed to be concerned about what it may have done to nature.
It seemed to Phyzel that she was the only one considering this.
As a Nabouri, she was attuned to nature, but even her own people preferred to hide in their home forest over helping the nature outside of it.
So she left them behind, traveling along the coast towards the Kingsmen’s lands.
Desiring to remain with nature, she hiked along the coastal cliffs and foothills, scaling mountain sides, where the ocean had eroded the ground at their base.
Eventually, she reached a great forest.
She was glad to see it teeming with life, but as she wandered, she met a grizzly scene. Strewn over a great area were rusted weapons and shattered vehicles, and pale bones sticking from the earth like twisted saplings.
After passing by a massive vehicle with a tree growing through it she came to a surprisingly… serene sight.
There lay the still armored skeleton of a knight, its body nearly fully overgrown. It leaned against the front of what she assumed was another human vehicle, its white metal gleaming from under the overgrowth.
Closer inspection revealed that the two seemed to share a demise.
Each of them had a great hole, one through armor and organs, the other through plating and mechanisms.
A brilliant blue glow emanated from within the vehicle, but the sound of snapping twigs stopped her from investigating.
As she swiftly hid in the crown of a tree, two creatures came into view, their heads low as they grazed peacefully.
Two deer with snow white fur.
Then her eyes widened in wonder.
The elk’s antlers appeared like small willows, with long white strands hanging down. The doe’s back and shoulders were covered in faint lilacs. The two studied the fallen knight with curiosity.
A pair of Lymmer Deer… a species that only appeared in healthy and calm areas.
Up on her branch, Phyzel smiled. It seemed that nature had recovered even faster than humanity.
Baby’s Book of Beasties
Creature help from Simon D. Field
Baby Phoenix doesn’t know what song to sing. He needs to find his sound!
Maybe his friends can help him. He flies to the forest and sees his friend, Unicorn.
“Unicorn! Can you tell me what my sound is?”
“Ne-e-eigh!” says Unicorn. “Pbbbbh. I don’t know, Phoenix. Ask Roc.”
So Baby Phoenix flies to the tallest stone towers until he finds the big, big bird.
“Great Roc!” shouts the little, little baby. “What should my sound be?”
But Roc doesn’t know, either. “Raaaaah! Maybe Dragon will know.”
Phoenix will have to fly for a long time to find Dragon!
He flaps his wings and zooms over the land. He flies past Boobrie the bird. “Mouh. MOUH,” bellows Boobrie, just like a bull.
Phoenix hides from Bugul Noz when he hears the shepherd cry, “Look away! Look away!”
He stops for a drink and waves to Selkie. “Arp, arp,” she says.
Finally, Baby Phoenix reaches the right place. It is in a big, big, BIG mountain. A dark, dark, DARK cave. A long, long, LONG tunnel. And inside is an old, old, OLD Dragon.
“My friend Dragon, can you tell me what call I should make?” Phoenix asks.
Sleepy Dragon laughs. “Hnn hnn hnn!” She growls. “Grrrrrrrrrr.” She speaks! “I can’t tell you that, baby Phoenix. You must find your own sound. I’m sorry I could not help you.”
He smiles. “That’s okay. I’ve found the perfect song for me!” He has heard many sounds on his journey, and he can make his own. The little baby bird takes a big deep breath, and CALLS — !!!!!!
Now it’s your turn. Call out for him. Make Baby Phoenix’s perfect sound with me!
The buy book
By T. A. Andrewson
The floors creaked as I explored the old attic. Which sucked because I was trying to be sneaky up here. You’d think the floors would know how to be quiet.
I had reached my destination. My very own el Dorado. The city of cardboard. Boxes stacked from floor to ceiling in interesting and odd shapes that were fun to climb on when I was little. Now though I cared more for the stuff inside. These boxes were full of Grandpa’s ancient treasures, or as mom called it ‘his old junk.’
Peaking in one I saw a pile of paper, an honest to goodness pile of paper. No one had paper anymore. Everything was digital.
Digging through the paper there was something that looked like a book. My principal showed off his real life book collection every chance he got. When I asked Mom about buying books she called it a ‘superficial extravagance’ but I don’t know what that means.
Pulling it out its surprisingly heavy. Wasn’t paper supposed to be light? The cover was covered in pictures of strange primitive robots declaring them ‘top of the line.’ Each page had more pictures and descriptions, breaking down how they worked in strange terms like ‘look at the articulation’ and ‘internal network of gyroscopic stabilizers.’ The designs were strange, sleek but bulky with odd bobbles and bulges everywhere.
Oh no. Grandpa was looking for me. I should go find him before he finds me up here. I was about to run downstairs, but the book was so interesting. I had to take it with me.
By A Child in Trouble
Mom and dad were out. That meant I had my chance to read dad’s Bestiary. He showed me where he had it, so finding it was a cinch. I didn’t know why he had it, but he swore me to secrecy on it; nobody, not even mom could know about it. All my dad told me was that I could read it when I was older.
Flipping through the pages, it looked like Japanese mythology; every entry described some creature, yokai, in those folk tales in detail. Did dad hunt yokai?
That sounded cool!
I settled on one entry that had a woman in white robes with long black hair. I couldn’t make out the face, but I could see snowflakes beside the drawing. The next page over started with YUKI-ONNA, along with a hastily scribbled note, ‘EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.’
Dad sure had a lot to say on her judging by how thick the Yuki-Onna section was, though I couldn’t help but notice photos of mom and I clipped to the pages. Why?
The first few pages had lore; most I could get from the section was that Yuki-Onna was a mashup of winter ghosts and vampire stories; they looked human at first glance, but violently mercurial and likely to kill someone over a slight. That, and they hated hot water. Dad’s notes mentioned splashing them in the face with it was enough to make them flee; reminded me of how mom reacted when he’d try to invite her for a bath.
The next section had a fairy tale, one where Yuki-Onna spared a man for not spreading her existence. She later disguised herself as a human and married him to make sure he kept the secret; freaked me out how clingy she was.
The notes got more personal, logging activities like he had been tracking one for a while, and carefully. Then the entry showed another drawing of Yuki-Onna, one with a full face, and I felt chills.
It looked like my mom!
Vacation from the Fantastical by Jesse Fisher
In a house that is both there and not that lives a set of twins that have a mix match of designs and furnishing. A currently anthropomorphic blue wolf-dragon laid on the couch, his white t-shirt acting as the navy blue jacket was riding up his wings, while gray jeans were a bit tight and his brown boots a bit loose. In his hands was a book that looked aged yet it was not brittle or torn, there was some writing on the cover but could not be read due to age.
“Why is it every time we want to go on vacation we end up in some war or getting dragged into something that we could ignore.” He said flipping pages.
“Maybe looking through lore and bestiaries of places for vacation spots.” His sister replied pointing to the shelf on the wall.
The sister was much the same build as her brother save for the more red, crimson and gunmetal in her fur. The crimson shirt broke up her red fur along with the gray jacket with three crimson on her arms while her dark gray jeans and her gunmetal combat boots.
“Why not just go to a place that is just normal?” She put forward, as a pull out book called Mirror of Reality. “No magic, no giant creatures, no aliens, and just a set reality that does not come fantastical.”
“Wouldn’t us going there cause it to become fantastical?” The brother countered.
“Could be,” The sister replied. “But if you are going to complain about the fantastical why not try something different.”
“What like lay around on a couch all day?” The brother shot back setting the book onto a coffee table. “Why would anyone do that? When adventures can be had out there?”
“I don’t know maybe cause you’re doing it right?” The sister chuckled before the brother looked at his precision.
“Oh ha ha ha,” The brother pouted his arms cross. “I was doing research.”
“Ya sure you were Coy.” She rolled her eyes.
“Oh shut it Dracana!” Coy shouted at his twin sister.
Title: Building the Universe
Written By: T.S.G. Sager, Edited By: Wulf and Masa
The sounds of children playing filled the galactic playground as Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, approached. There she spotted her nine children: Daedalus, Abaddon, Leviathan, Hestia, Yuki-Onna, Raiden, Thoth, Kana, and Synia. As she got closer, they came running to greet her with hugs. All except Daedalus and Synia.
“What are we doing today, children?” Amaterasu asked, embracing each of her children.
“We’re making monsters!” Thoth gleefully said.
“Oh?” she remarked, following the kids to the sandbox. “How about I show you something?” Amaterasu picked up some of the magical dust and started molding it into a biped, very much like her children. She then gently set it down and watched as it moved about.
“What’s that!?” They cheerfully inquired.
“I think I’ll call it a ‘Human’” She replied.
“A Hoomun?” Abaddon asked, which caused Amaterasu to laugh.
She continued to watch her beloved children as they crafted their own races, intrigued at what she was seeing.
“Mama, look!” Abaddon presented her with a recreation of her human, but with horns, leathery wings, and a barbed tail.
“Very nice! What are you gonna name it?” she asked.
“Hmmm. How about an Akuma?”
“What a lovely name! And Daedalus, what are you working on?”
Daedalus walked over, carrying another human-like being in his hands, with a smug look on his face. “Mine are going to be called Tenshi. I’m amazing, so they look like me. And they will be better than Abaddons’ stupid freaks!”
“You’re stupid!” Abaddon hissed.
“Abaddon, Daedalus, enough of that. Daedalus, say you’re sorry.” Amaterasu ordered. Daedalus just huffed and went back to the playground. Before she could say anything more, she could hear Thoth crying.
“What’s the matter, Thoth?” she asked frantically.
“Hestia isn’t sharing! She’s made five races, I haven’t any!” He whined.
“Hestia, you have to share.” Amaterasu declared.
“Okay, Mama!” Hestia said, looking at Thoth, who smiled.
“I’m gonna make an Elemental!” He declared. When he was done, Hestia picked up another clump of sand. “And this one will be an orc, this a goblin, a dwarf.”
“MAMA!” Thoth cried.
Olga rushed to the headmistress office, her boots clicking on the stone floor. She sharply knocked at the door.
“Enter,” called Miriam from inside, and Olga let herself in.
“Good morning, headmistress,” she greeted with a curtsey.
“You have mail from your mother,” Miriam said, the tone of her voice annoyed. She passed a sealed scroll to Olga. “The rest of it can be found outside.”
Olga tore open the seal, and read the scroll. The letters were Cyrillic, but the words were the language of the fae.
“Dearest Olga,” it read. “I was worried you were getting lonely at school, so I found you a pet to keep you company. Please take good care of it. Love, Mother.”
“Before we let it loose, I expect you to detail it for our bestiary,” Miriam said sternly.
Olga laughed nervously. “How bad could it be?”
Miriam pointed out the window. Olga walked over and pressed her face to the glass. A group of student witches had gathered around the aquarium cage outside. In the cage was a massive lizard, gnarled horns sprouting from its brow. It clawed at the bars with the front two of its six legs.
“Mother, what is wrong with you?” Olga softly asked.
Olga approached the cage slowly. In her hands, she held a pen and a sheet of parchment, on which she wrote the word, “Bukovac.” Behind her, one of the orcs that worked for the school carried a dead sheep.
Olga reached out with trembling hands and unlocked the cage. The beast threw itself at the gate, knocking Olga to the ground, and pounced upon the orc. Its rubbery body stretched, encircling the orc, who strained against the constriction.
“Nyet!” Olga yelled out, and muttered out a quick spell. Slivers of ice sprang from her hand, stinging the lizard. It unwound itself from the Orc and stalked toward Olga, sniffing at her. After several tense seconds, it snatched the sheep carcass from the ground, and returned to the cage.
“Hyper aggressive, voracious appetite. Vulnerable to ice spells,” Olga quickly wrote down. “Do not let out.”
There was one thing Matthew loved more than books, and that was the unknown. The young scholar leaned out over the merlon, resting his head on his hands as he stared out into the Beyond. He gazed across the horizon, over the cornfields and trees. He stared longingly at the land veiled with fog, the place where no one dared travel. He closed his eyes and breathed, letting his imagination fly onto the breeze. Matthew dreamed of the wonder that lay just beyond the grasp of his senses. What amazing creatures are out there? Are the tales of dragons taller than the highest spire, yet gentler than a creeping brook, true? Maybe the legends of the gorgeous Fae, who could bring down lightning from the sky. Perhaps the myths of other fantastical creatures, ones of unicorns and phoenixes. What would it be like to experience it all?
“Dreaming again Matthew?” A masculine voice said to his left. Matthew stood properly and looked to the approaching figure, their metal armor gleamed in the afternoon sunlight. They held a bundle of journals in one arm, and the scabbard of a blade in the other.
“I guess. What else is there to do? You can only learn so much from the libraries. The university professors can’t give us real experience. Only academia. Tell me Farlen, don’t you ever wonder what it’s like outside these walls?” Matthew asked the knight, as he placed the tomes on the merlon.
“Can’t say that I do, we all aren’t dreamers y’know,” Farlen said, smiling “we knights do our best to protect the dreamers, you all are the ones who write the history books.”
Matthew sighed, “I want to go to the Beyond, Farlen, I want to see what wonders it has to offer.”
“Well, good thing I brought these with me.” He tapped the bundle, “you can be the first man to have written a Bestiary, and a true one at that. It’s your calling, I’ll help you reach it.”
Matthew looked once more to the horizon, as Farlen walked away.
“The Grin” Submitted by Connor/Dragoneye
A voice echoed down the familiar abandoned corridor. “Who’s there?”
“I’m so cold, Erin.”
The young girl gently took steps towards the moonlit wreckage. Her torchlight dwindled away, and the air began to nip away at her skin.
“Where are you?” As she aimed her fading torch down into the darkness, the shape of a cat slowly limped out the shadows.
Erin lowered her flame to warm the feline. As she did this, words then flowed from the cat’s lips, spoken in a gentle voice, “Thank you.”
“Why are you here?”
“You know, Erin? I don’t remember. Maybe you could help jog my memory.”
“How would I do that? You’re a cat.”
“That is true. You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself.”
Erin was puzzled. It moved like a cat, it smelled like a cat, but it didn’t feel like a cat.
“Are you troubled?” it asked.
Erin shook her head. “What are you?”
“Don’t worry about that. In fact, it doesn’t matter. Not anymore.” It slunk back into the darkness, only for its crystal blue eyes to hang in the air.
Beneath it joined the grin. That maw of teeth.
“Taleoid zoo” by gregovin [DukkiFluff kindly allowed me to write a fanfic of greenhouse tb, art kindly loaned from DukkiFluff, Excelcius, Handsome Johanson, Masacur(profile art by DukkiFluff), Lunar(profile art by Johanson)]
Yesterday she had spotted a decrepit building in the distance. She was looking for an adventure and thought it would be a good distraction from the infinite wasteland. And so she hiked across the sands, wings bobbing up and down in the wind. Talebot had activated their mobile base to allow them to follow her on the trail.
She arrived at the house, and she heard some scurrying beneath the floor. It sounded almost like a large swarm of animals, but she had never heard so many in one place. She looked at the floor of the house, and saw nothing. As she groped along the floor, her hand gripped a hidden handle and opened a trap door. Inside she saw a swarm of the small little robots, like the one she had found cowering from that terrible beast.
Talebot had stayed outside, until she came out and exclaimed “TB, what are all these taleoids doing down here?”
“There are taleoids…here?” Talebot seemed confused and excited, and followed the little angel into the building.
Talebot saw the swarm and looked stunned.
She spotted a few taleoids, a cat, and a duck playing in a small dollhouse.
“What are they doing over there?”
“It seems like they are playing house. I think that one in the pink jacket over there ‘adopted’ one of the taleoids and then quickly became the ‘mother’ of the rest of the taleoids. If I remember right, the humans call them Lunar.”
“And what is up with the cat and the duck?”
“Ah yes, that’s Gatte and Dukki. Dukki appears to be keeping an eye on the taleoids, making sure they get a good night’s rest and applying tape to any injuries. Gatte seems to be mediating any arguments that occur.”
“There are so many, TB, I think I’ll need to take notes on them.”
She took out an old, dusty notebook and a pen, and started to take notes as Talebot mentioned the rest of the taleoids.
Some Excerpts From A Comprehensive Guide to Safe Magizoological Research
By Junior Researcher T. Hidere
(Actually By PitL)
Recently, under command of Researcher Hidain, I and my comrades M. Kayal and R. Yakke participated in the “Desert Spire Mass Analysis” project. Due to some of the unfortunate results, we have been tasked with creating some… guidelines… for future projects of this sort. It is my hopes that this booklet will help future Researchers in their ongoing studies.
Rule One: No, They Won’t Be On Time
“Hey, Timán!” Ridal’s voice echoed across the clearing. “Where’d Hidain say we’re goin’ again?”
Timán climbed out of his runecart, eyes scanning the clearing. “Right here I think.”
“Huh. Weird.” Ridal paused, looking back and forth, before sitting on the ground. “Think we should look for ‘im?”
Rule Fourteen: Yes, You Need More Fuel
Mikkel spun his cart around, facing towards Timán. “Uh, any of you practiced your runecarving lately?”
Timán looked up from his map. “No, but there should be some premades at base camp. Why?”
The runes on the carts faded, spilling them onto the forest floor.
Rule Twenty-Seven: Yes, That Blue and Yellow Beetle Was Poisonous
“Ow!” Mikkel rubbed his arm. “What the hell was that?”
Ridal looked down at the squished carcass on the ground. “Huh, I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
“Mikkel, you’re feeling alright, right? No aches or cold flashes or anything?” Timán asked.
Rule Eighty-Four: It Is, In Fact, a Bad Idea
“Hey, Timán, whaddya think’s in that dark cave?”
Timán sped up. “Concentrate, Ridal. Base camp. Say it with me: ‘Yes, Timán, I am looking for base camp, not searching dark caves – ‘” He paused. “… you already left, didn’t you?”
Rule Ninety-Nine: That Thing From Page 487 Is Right Behind You
“Hey, uh, Timán?”
“That creature we were supposed to be checking on – it had five eyes, black teeth, tentacles all over its body, et cetera?”
“… Um… yes, yes, probably? Hidain talked about it beforehand, remember?” Timán froze. “It’s right behind me, isn’t it?”
A Sighting, by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
“Flavia!” Sehrta approached the bookish-looking dark-elf and gave him a bearhug.
“Oh!” was all Flavia could get out before Reyhel joined in and gave them both a good squeeze.
“Haha! What’s gotten into you guys?” Flavia exclaimed as he blushed a little, feeling needed.
“Well, we had a rough night.” Sehrta explained. “First, we fell asleep in the forest.” Flavia opened his mouth with a worried expression, but Sehrta cut him off.
“I know. I know.” Serhta looked a little guilty. “You said it was dangerous and you were right. There was a… thing… out in the forest, burning one of the trees. Reyhel said it looked like it was collecting the embers emanating from the burning bark!”
Flavia nodded and gave them both a soft smile. “I only say these things because I care about you two.” Flavia said warmly. “Now, what did it look like exactly?”
“The thing was a dark mass of what looked like fur.” Reyhel explained. “It was around 10 feet tall and had a vaguely hominid appearance.”
Flavia looked very pensive. His degree was in preternatural molecular biology, but he had never come across anything like this.
“You said it was collecting the embers off of one of the soulwoods?” Flavia asked. Sehrta nodded with anticipation. “I’ll have to do some tests on a few samples. We need to find out what it wanted with the embers.” Flavia opened up a cabinet and grabbed a sample of the Red-purple bark of the soulwoods that surround the college.
“Is there anything we can do to help?” Sehrta asked.
Flavia paused and looked at them. “You should go check the library bestiary.” He said. “It’s got every known species to ever have been observed in the Yaranda forest since the University’s founding three hundred years ago.” Flavia took out a knife and began carefully cutting thin slices of the soulwood barl to examine under the microscope.
“Remember,a lot of the creatures in that book are still around prowling at night.” Flavia said warmly. “Stay safe out there, ok?”
“We will!” Sehrta exclaimed with a smile.
By Giovanna J. Fuller
“Mr. and Miss. Aberdash’s Complete Book of Profane Fauna” was commissioned in 1846 under special request of the queen in hopes that it would become a guide to those working at driving out the mystical menace of the time. The siblings completed their work in 1857. However, before the book was to be sent to the publishers, the siblings perished in a fire that destroyed their home and the original manuscript. Before the queen could conscript another writer, all of the subjects to be studied mysteriously vanished from sight.
Soon out of sight became out of mind and two hundred years later people dismissed the idea of these beasts. The world’s understanding of magic and monsters became as we know it today. They are now tales told to entertain or to distract and very few are convinced otherwise.
The death of the siblings Aberdash now represents the loss of an entire field of study to the few who believe in the manuscript.
Elliot Rose was among the few.
“I don’t know why you spend so much time in that library,” Mrs. Rose chided. “Oh, if you’d only been at the party last night. There was this nice girl-.”
A boy with thick rectangular glasses and hair as unkempt as a rat’s nest, didn’t even bother to look up from his pile of papers spread across the kitchen table. His eyes were slightly red and deep, dark circles hung under them like a badge of weariness.
His mother prattled on and on in a never ceasing line of dribble about girls and parties and how he “needed to get out more”.
“I’m not too old to be a grandmother, you know. I’d like to spoil some children before the Lord takes me home. If this keeps going, I’m going to have to get a bird or something.”
“That’s nice, mother,” Elliot muttered, not really listening. In his mind a mantra repeated. “I know you’re real and I’m going to find you.”
(EDIT NOTE; If my number is rolled, I give my spot to Brickosaur. If we’re both rolled, then just read mine as is XD)
“Little one,” Talebot called.
Her attention snapped up from the rock castle she was building with Clive, “Yes?”
Talebot smiled at her, “Come here a moment?”
She nodded, patting Clive on the head before standing up and skipping over the short distance.
Talebot held out a disheveled blue binder, “Here. I made this for you.”
Her eyes lit up, and she happily took the binder, opening it and flipping through. Confusion crossed her face at the blank cards in plastic sheets of three by three.
“These are so you can keep track of the beasts you run into.” Talebot explained. He pulled one out, took a marker from her knickknack shelf, and drew on it, “See, draw it here. Then on the bottom half, write down its traits.”
The smile on her face only grew, “That’s so cool! Thank you!”
He chuckled, patting her head, “I can’t follow you out there. So this was the next best way to make sure you stay safe.” He put the card back inside the film, “You’re own little bestiary.”
“But why are they cards?” She pondered, cocking her head.
“I thought it’d be a fun way for you to keep track. Plus,” His voice crackled, “A few humans I knew once really enjoyed this sort of thing. It was a game that they would play.”
She noted the somber tone in his voice, stepping forward and hugging him tight.
He returned the much needed hug. Just this once, he thought, it was okay to show weakness in front of her.
She glanced up, “Do you know how to play?”
He nodded, “Yes, I do.”
“Then.. could you teach me? And then we can play together.”
Talebot smiled, patting her head, “I would enjoy that very much. But we need to make the cards first.”
She nodded, “And it needs a name!”
“Well,” Talebot chuckled, “It was your idea. How about you name it?”
She tapped her lip in thought, then gasped and held up the binder, “Bound Beasts!!”
He nodded, “An excellent choice, little one.”
What A Sight!
Korin grunted as she descended the side of the dormant volcano. A large cluster of bubbles near the center had caught her attention. The thick rope was well secured, and her gloves protected her hands. She was dripping with perspiration by the time she reached the base, but the exertion had been more than worth it.
A few tugs of the rope, and it gave, falling in a coiled heap near her feet. She collected it and the remainder of her gear. She was soon a good distance away from the base.
She checked her watch in the dimming sunlight, fanning herself after removing her gloves.
Good. She was early.
She hefted her pack from her back and set it on the ground with a deep sigh.
“Right! Let’s see what you’ve got for me!”
She removed a large, black device approximately the size of a stone slab but with the thickness of spiral notebook.
The Astro Cloud company logo glimmered across the front, a cloud overlaying the sun overlapping with the moon overshadowed by a star, and she caressed it with one hand before opening it.
[It never gets old.]
Turning the device on, she checked the volcano’s activity. A light, grey smoke rose.
She scrolled through holographic images of animals, all in magnificent motion, until she reached the ‘mythical creature’ section.
Looking under the subsection of winged beasts, she stopped when she happened upon the phoenix. She sighed in reverence.
The volcano’s rumbling drew her gaze.
A small explosion of lava accompanied the beast’s ascension, and Korin laughed in excitement. Its golden and red flames expanded as it spread its fiery plumage, screeching to the heavens.
“He’s beautiful!” She hastily documented the time and location, not wanting to miss a second.
Snapping a photo from the device, the hologram colored to the phoenix’s shadings.
It flew east, its great wings carrying it to other parts.
Her wrist device beeped, alerting her of a possible squid emergence off the North Atlantic coast.
After containing the area, she headed out.