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Spiders [7DoToT] by iiixkitsunexiii

Heat blazed off of the grill pan. The air above the device shimmered and sizzled. A heldyr, coated in fine brown fur from head to toe, tightly coiled hair tied back to reveal his whole face. Broad nosed--almost feline, with a pair of golden piercings in his left brow, a set of silver snake bites under his lip--scraped a wooden wisk against the sides of a bowl, sitting atop a broad tree stump as he worked. All he bothered to wear was an apron, vivid green and edged with little bows in lime. He thumped his tail--long and wrapped in thick, curly fur--against the earth.

It was far too early. His companions hardly deserved the work he was putting into this… but the idea refused to leave his head, so now he sat, whisking his orange batter, nostrils flared as he sucked in the scent of nutmeg and cinnamon.

“It’s…” a kadin called from within the cave mouth just a short distance away, interrupted by the shrill whine of a ryno’s yawn. Calyx padded out of her den a moment later, entirely too tall, and shaking her fur of sleep. “It’s entirely too early for… whatever it is you’re doing over there.”

Ungrateful. Ealhhere, the heldyr, scoffed.

He stood, lashed his tail once, and snatched up a ladle from the basket he placed next to the stump. “I’m Cooking.” he snapped. “If it’s too early for you, go back to bed.”
Instead, in a flash of light and the cracking of bones, Calyx shifted from the slender white-and-pink figure she had been, down to the more princely shape she bore. Plaid didn’t suit her, Ealhhere grumbled to himself, rolling his eyes as she approached.

“Nah. What are you making and why is it orange?” she asked.

“...Hotcakes.” He huffed. A stiff breeze caught the heat of his grill and carried it towards the pair while Ealhhere stirred. Calyx eyed his dish, expression unimpressed. He elected to ignore her derision. This wasn’t for her. It was for Zahrah and Ruairi. Calyx could starve. “They’re spiced.”

“Spiked, you mean.” and he had to bite down a growl. “What are you poisoning them with this time?”

Growling, Ealhhere went to scoop a bit of batter out of the bowl, only for something to catch his eye.
There, in the middle of his ladleful, was some sort of black creature. The size of a gold piece, eight spindly legs all around its sides, struggling to escape from the sticky pastry mix.
His heart leaped into his throat. Calyx’s voice fell away, swallowed by the rushing of blood in Ealhhere’s ears. He couldn’t breathe. The creature struggled, writhed. Lifted mouthparts in a furious display--

A shrill scream split the copse. The Thunk of the bowl smacking into the old ash tree followed. Ealhhere sprang the opposite direction. Calyx’s protest as he nearly bowled her over falling on deaf ears. Soft wet soil under his hands, he shoved off and bounded away, back towards the cave to leap atop it and scramble away from the Creature.

Calyx’s voice came to him slowly, sounding miles away and muffled despite her shouts. Ealhhere snarled, bore his fangs, fixed his eyes on the bowl as it clattered to the ground. In the corner of his eye, Calyx kicked out his fire and shot him a sour look, her lips moving as if she were speaking. Perhaps she was. Ealhhere could hardly tell.

Somewhere, below him, he heard Ruairi’s voice, thick with sleep, asking a question. Calyx answered, voice a little clearer. “Your cat--freaked out over--” she lifted the bowl from the ground--And screamed, launching herself into the tree.
The spider, now free of its wood-and-batter prison, mandered out. Shook itself as if it were the world’s tiniest dog. And wandered back through the trees, abdomen lifted as if smug.

Spiders [7DoToT]


Ealhhere and Calyx share a hatred of sudden spiders

Submission Information

Literary / Story