|Squid/Octopus/Kraken - anything along those lines - prompted by: MG Ellington|
Comment from Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon: This ficlet is a character study for two of the Duurludirj dancers at he Jiggling Sea Serpent that are characters in the cozy mystery I'm working on. I haven't named it yet. Oba means "beautiful" and Barsh means "pearl".
"Why is it called a smart-arm when it has eight arms and two tentacles?" Oba tucked her long, strawberry hair back behind her ears again as she leaned over her homework. The two girls were curled in the sand at the inner end of a protected inlet, using a handy boulder as a desk. "It should be called a smart-arms, don't you think?"
"If you say so." Barsh bent over her own homework and entered "eight" in pretty, curlicued letters, after that question, then added. "I don't think the Empire will change the name of the monster just because you think it's illogical." She glanced toward the ocean, where a retired warsailor sat on a high platform, watching for danger. He noticed and waved, and she quickly bent over her homework again.
Oba sighed. "Of course they won't. That's not the point. I wanted to make you laugh."
Barsh looked up, which made her almost-finger-length hair wave about like the many arms of a sea anemone. It was a pale blond, bleached almost white by the sun, and it was so fine that it twouldn't stay flat if there was any wind at all. "Really? During homework?" Now, she did laugh. "I don't laugh during homework. I hate memorizing stuff. Try again later. After we write our poems or whatever for the warsailor memorial presentation." She made a face for the word 'poem', as if she'd bitten into a spoiled clam.
Oba ignored the very theatrical expression. She knew how much Barsh hated writing poetry, and didn't want to invite a rant. "But you were really into it when we were looking at the baby smart-arm in the tank at the museum. I was wondering if you wanted to study sea monsters when we grow up." Oba peered at her friend.
"I was looking at how it moves, not counting the legs! It's all," Barsh paused, "sinuous, I think the word is. I've never seen a dance with moves like that." She waved her arm in the air, curling it back and forth, frowning at it critically. "Is this more like it?" She waved. "Or this?" She made a faster movement and frowned. "Ugh."
Oba leaned her head to one side, and a strand of hair fell in front of one eye. She ignored it. "You're right that the smart-arm is fast, but that was all jerky. I think we would have to find moves that look right slow, and then practice to do them faster. We have bones, unlike the smart-arm."
"And not enough limbs." Barsh's hair waved gently in the breeze.
"No, it would take both of our arms and legs to equal one smart-arm's arms. Never mind the tentacles." More hair had fallen over Oba's face, and she scooped it out of the way. "Perhaps I should braid this when we're doing homework on the beach." She leaned over and picked up a long, skinny monster tooth, the tip and cutting edges worn smooth by the tides, twisted her hair around into a ball on top of her head, and stuck the tooth in to hold it. "But I like it loose."
Barsh leaned forward. "Oooh--two braids--that could be two tentacles!"
"Tentacles? What are you thinking? Didn't I just say I hate braids?"
"We could do a dance! You and I could be the smart-arm, and we get somebody to be the warsailor. I'm not the only one who hates writing poetry!"
Oba stood up and stretched. "A dance, I like that idea!" She did some experimental moves.
Barsh saw the old warsailor watching them. "We better finish these papers first, so no one can accuse us of goofing off.
Oba followed her gaze and nodded, settling back onto the sand. "Ugh. But you're right." She looked at her paper. "So, what colors are the northern, southern, and eastern trapjaw?"
|Myths of the Sea - prompted by: Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon|
Comment from Ellen Million: Taming the Sea is 640 words of Irfai fairy tale.
A memory ago, in sundered times, there was a beautiful woman who was born with the tail and fins of a fish. She had flame-red hair and was kind and wise and generous. The Irfai people made her their queen.
At this time, there were still many dangerous sea monsters who lived in the nearby waters: snagtooth, giant sea turtle, jellyrigger, and smartarm, to name just a few.
One day, when a fishing boat limped back to its dock, its sailors weeping for their fallen brothers, the sea queen left the shelter of her cove and bravely swam out to confront the monsters who were making their life so difficult.
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