I don’t really have a title for this one….it is based off the prompts of a few friends at the discord group The Lovely Grove.
Prompt: Basilisk, Bat, Blue, Orange and Pink
Arney stared out over the ocean, his claws clicking against the rocks at his feet as he sat and thought. The weather was starting to cool and soon he’d have to find a warm cave to hide in during the snows. He didn’t have to, strictly speaking, but he found it much more enjoyable than having to trudge through all that muck and cold wetness. Being a creature of earth and fire, he had never been overly found of this part of the year.
A soft chirping at his ear drew him from his thoughts. Ahms hovered next to his ear, their wings fluttering softly as they maintained their position, waiting for Arney’s attention.
“Hello, chirper, what is it you want now?”
He didn’t actually dislike the little creature, he found the bat interesting in truth, but still their requests were often a bit odd, even to him.
“Just saying hello big one. Lots of tasty bugs out this evening. Mother and Papa says the Big Cold is coming and I must fatten up. Do you fatten up too? Will you stay in our home again during the Big Cold?”
He sighed slightly and looked to the heavens for patience. There was no response. Instead, the sky only darkened ever so slightly and the air grew just the tiniest bit cooler. With a flap of his wings, he heaved himself up into the air and began a slow, lazy circle around the cliffs. The rock was riddled with caves, including the one the bats called home. He hadn’t decided where to stay yet, but the bat home had proven cozy the previous Cold. Ahms followed close beside him, thier little wings flapping frantically to catch up to him, slowing only once they was again on level with his head.
“I do not know, chirper. I have time still to pick my resting spot. And yes, I do fatten up, though not as much as you it seems.”
Ahms gave an indignant squeak, but did not leave his side. Instead, they gobbled any bug unlucky enough to cross their path. The two creatures continued on like this for most of the evening and late into the night. It was only when the sun once again peaked over the horizon that they found their way back to the caves, Arney settled on the ledge of a large cave a dozen feet above the ocean’s soothing waves lapping against the sand and Ahm’s back to the family cave halfway up the cliffs.
It would have been another normal day had it not been for the flash of bright blue light streaking across the sky. The light lasted only a moment but in its wake it left a glowing rip in the otherwise gray sky. Arney drew his lips back and tasted the air with his long tongue. Lightening and metal seemed to dance on the air. Drawing himself up, he pushed from his ledge and flew toward the rift, his eyes glittering in the pale light it emitted.
“No, no, no, don’t do it friend…. don’t go into big light!”
Ahms appeared at his elbow, their tiny claws pulling futilely at his forearm. He shook them off with hardly any effort but stopped his progress and eyed the small beast.
“Why do you bother me, little one?”
“It’s not safe, big one. The lightening, it tastes wrong. The sky…. The sky is broken!”
In their agitation, Ahms chittered incomprehensibly for several moments before seeming to regain their composure. He glared down at the bat and gave a loud huff, his breath grazing the tip of the little one’s ear. It was enough to make the tiny hairs turn to glittering stones. Ahms squeaked and whimpered.
“I am sorry little one, I did not mean to stone you. Come here, I will fix it.”
The bat flew to him slowly, eyes wide and dark. With a careful paw, Arney flicked the stones off the fur and trilled softly to turn it back to the soft sable fluffiness it had been before. Within moments it was good as new and Ahms flew several feet away from him.
“Thank…. Thank you Arney. Please don’t’ go up there, It feels wrong. Big Wrong.”
He could not deny the truth of the little one’s words. It really was “big wrong”.
“This is a matter to take to Grandmother Stoneclaw.”
Without looking back, Arney dipped and dived back towards the land, pulling up only when his wings skimmed the top of the water. Flying as fast as he could, he made his way to the mainland, careful to the avoid the homes of men. They were not fond of his kind and the same was true in reverse. Passing around one particularly large village, he flew up among the clouds just to be safe. At last, he landed back on the ground at the foot of a forest, but it was one particular tree he sought, a large, old tree that had died nearly a decade before. It was only through the magic of Grandmother Stoneclaw that it still stood. She hid there, safe from the prying eyes of man and beast alike.
“Grandmother, I come as a friend. Please, I have need of your learned wisdom.”
He bowed deeply in front of the tree. His tail swept the ground as his wings pressed against his back and his chin touched the stone of the ground. He stayed like that for several moments before heard the creak of old wood. Looking up, he watched as Grandmother rose from the tree. Her long, serpentine body uncoiled and twisted around the old trunk. Her skin glittered like the finest of sunsets, oranges transforming into pinks as her body continued to rise. At last she flew down to him, her wings ethereal feathers of dusty pink tipped in burnished orange. Her eyes glittering amber jewels.
“Ah, such pretty words from such young lips. What brings you to me, child. It has been so long since I was sought out by anyone.”
She settled her bulk into a loose coil on the ground, her wings laying against her body like a fine cloak and her head tilted slightly as she spoke.
He gulped slightly then sat up straight and tried to regain his own composure. She was the oldest of the Kin on the island, a dragon from another era.
“I saw a rip in the sky, there was a flash of blue light and then the rip appeared. It tastes of metal and lightening.”
She looked up at the sky and nodded her head slowly. Even now the rip glowed brightly. She flicked her own tongue out, hers not nearly as snake like as his but still long and thin. Her amber eyes glowed as she took it all in. She huffed and looked back at him, her eyes narrowed slightly.
“I know this, it happened once before. A long time ago. This is the magic of man. Leave it, do not meddle. The magic of man is foolish and volatile. The rift will close soon enough. Likely taking the fool with it.”
He blinked at her and looked from the sky and back to her. She could not be serious. Leave it be? What if it did not heal itself.
“Do Not Mess with it!”
She glared at him and thwacked her tail against the ground as she spoke. He would have said something but a loud crack filled the air and a flash blinded them both for what seemed an eternity, but he doubted it was more than a few minutes. When they could again see, the rift was gone. In it’s place there hovered what appeared to be a new moon.
“Fools, they never do learn.”
With that she shook herself out and returned to her tree. Her shimmering body slithering and sliding until the dark bark obscured any hint of her beauty. A moment later, Ahms fluttered onto his shoulder.
“Old one knew what to do. Humans are fools. Their magic is strange. Big Cold almost here though. We go sleep now?”
He frowned, as much as a basilisk can frown, and nodded his large head. It took less than an hour to fly back to the island of cliffs and caves and far less time to get settled back into his home for the coming months. The bats were all happy to see him again and several settled against his warm scales to sleep and ready for another night of feasting. The Big Cold would be here far too soon and they all knew it.