Coffee

It pulled itself from the mud and grit, a man-sized, amphibious thing of slimy skin, narrow teeth, and dark, cold eyes.

‘Stay away,’ it hissed, holding out webbed hands tipped with heavy claws. ‘I will fight you if I must!’

The human set aside their backpack and knelt. ‘I didn’t mean to startle you,’ they said. ‘My name’s Eden. I won’t hurt you.’

It lowered its claws. ‘You won’t hurt me?’

‘I won’t.’ They paused. ‘Do you like coffee?’

‘Coffee?’

‘I’ll be right back.’

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