Creature Encounters (The Exchange)

Yesterday on Mastodon, I played a game where people could tell me their favourite colour, and in exchange I would write a toot-sized (or tweet-sized) encounter with a magical creature. The creature was not necessarily related to the colour.

Here are the results. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Deep Purple

You are woken in the night by a sound like a child crying. As your eyes adjust, you realise: not a child but an animal.

You follow the sound to your desk. A kitten mewls there, eyes closed, ears tiny, as small and wet as if it was just born. It squirms in a lone patch of moonlight, its fur the colour of the night sky and just as glittering with stars.

You have no idea how it got there. When you pick it up, it suckles blindly at your fingertip. It feels almost electric to touch.

 

Bright Green

Bright eyes peek at you through the fronds of a plant. You hold your breath, not wanting to startle it, but with a flash of bright scales and a rustle of leaves, its gone.

You wait, then follow it, curious about this latest visitor to your garden. Its then that you see it digging in your flowerbed: a long lizard with short legs and heavy claws, with a ridge of grass following its spine and a ruff of blue petals encircling its head. It emerges from the dirt with a mouth full of worms.

 

Moss Green

You stop midway through a long walk, exhausted and in need of a break. You sit on a boulder, only to feel it shift beneath you. Startled, you leap to your feet.

The rock wails through a wide open mouth like a child throwing a tantrum. You can see down its moss-coated throat.

‘Uh … are you … alright?’ You ask, wondering if you are losing your mind.

The rock stops wailing. ‘Ahh?’ it says. With a rumble, it rolls over to your feet, bumping against your leg. ‘Ahh? Ahh?’

 

Cerulean

Something nicks your finger when you go to pay for your coffee. As you examine the tiny cut, something climbs out of your wallet and peeps angrily.

It’s a griffin, no longer than your little finger, with feathers the colour of a summer sky and tiny claws that dig into the leather.

‘Sir?’ The barista looks bored.

You try to take out a note again, and the griffin peeps and bats its wings.

You pay by card. It boffs its head against your hand, then crawls back into your wallet.

 

Scarlet

At first, you mistake it for dust caught in a beam of sunlight. A glittering red thing that serpentines through the air, translucent and fluttering. But then you see it again, and again. Watching while you water your plants. Dancing above you while you read a book.

When it nears you while you work at your computer, you hesitantly hold out a finger. It spirals down to land, the barest feather-touch. An eel-like thing with flowing fronds. It sniffs you, then gives a tiny sneeze.

 

Denim, Saddle Leather, and Chrome

You always see it between the trees. In the woods. On the mountain. At the park. A black doe with mirror-eyes and a shadow that trails like smoke.

When you follow it, it always vanishes. Fleet-footed, it slips into tree shade and you blink the after-image from your eyes.

But this time is different. It walks a steady pace, flicking its ears back at you. It leads you to a moonlit glade with a vari-coloured sky.

It crooks an elegant leg and bows to you. Do you return it?

 

Forest Green

You mistake it for a tree at first, swaying between the ash trees at the park. A tree that almost possesses a bear’s face, with a knot for a nose.

You pick up your sandwich and approach to study it. The way its limbs split look almost like arms, its branches like leaf-covered claws.

When you near, it drops to all fours — a skinny bear of bark and moss. Before you can run, it sniffs hopefully at your sandwich.

You offer the sandwich. It takes it gently, and follows you home.

 

Violet

You hear a clatter from your kitchen and run in, only to lock eyes with a raccoon-like creature with fur that shimmers between purple and pink, standing on your counter next to an open cupboard.

Its nose quivers at you. It clutches a loaf of bread.

It feels around with its foot and kicks the cupboard door closed, then vanishes in a flash of purple light.

That night, you leave out a bowl of catfood on the counter. A purple crystal sits in the empty bowl by morning.

 

Purple or Magenta

You flop onto your bed with a sigh. It’s echoed by a higher-pitched sigh from beneath your head.

You freeze, then peer under your bed. Pink eyes glow at you from the darkness. A cat?

‘Uh … hello. How did you get here?’

It stares at you, still obscured by shadow.

It’s late, so you put down a plate of tuna and go to bed. In the night, you feel pressure near your feet. You crack your eyes: a blue fox curls there. Tiny wings are folded on its back.

You smile and go back to sleep.

 

I guess the kind of people who want to encounter a magical creature are the kind of people who love purple or green?

Image by Free-Photos, used under CC0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *