Around the Wyrd Flame

Have you ever seen a tongue of water spurting from a fountain's mouth? Have you ever watched it wriggling in the wind? How about a spit of flame babbling from a bonfire… you seen that? Good. Combine those two images in your mind, the water and the flame. Listen to the chatter. Can you see the wobbling, flickering, flowing light? It’s a tone of mottled teal with bits of orange dispersing across the energetic field.

The wet, teal flame illuminates the faces sitting around the strange camp-pyre. The friends grin wide and toothy as their bellies heave with laughter. One belly: a rotund jungle of sumptuous, wild fur. Another: sleet and scaly, yet warm. The third: a fuzzy wall of congenial muscle. These happy bellies digested a dinner of mugmudlyn stew, the last drops of which sizzled and whistled in a rusty pot, still logged above the burbling liquid flame.

Indifferent to the mirth wafting from the clearing below, the second moon — “Harmahd”, he’s called — strolled leisurely across a wobbling purple night. An ancient one, he was, never in a hurry and never concerned where his dusty light was shed. His gray luminosity drifted upon the friends, inducing sneezing amid their banter. The trees were agitated too. Tousled by the long train of Harmahd’s cape, they waved and coughed in protest, spittle tickling the forest floor.

The scaly one yelled in protest at the trees: “Com’on bark boys, no need to spit on us. Harmahd means no harm.”

“Don’t mind them, Tlev. I like the breeze! I like to watch the trees dance!”

“Ha! Sure yah do, Keltasar.”

The three shook off the accumulated dust and wiped off the sap. Keltasar tasted some and made an odd face. Have you tasted spoiled gert milk cut with honey? The flavor was like that. Tlev brushed matte debris from his graphic tee. Both shot upright, fur standing on-end and scales tight, when Cazpar’s deep nostrils let go one last sneeze. The gale sent a plume of sparklets dripping into the night, easily mistaken for fire beetles if they’d been buzzing. The sparks illuminated glad forms creeping into the clearing.

“Okay, shouldn’t we start recording?” Cazpar glanced at the other two and the neighbors who’d started to gather.

Keltasar’s fur went flying with joyful nodding.

Tlev licked his thin lips, “Yep, sounds good.”

As the small crowd assembled, the friends opened the valves on their audio magnets and popped sound hoses into their ears. Cazpar shifted some levers and dials on the audio seave beside him and double checked the pipe connecting into the sonic well. Keltasar cranked the aural dispersion fan into full extension while Tlev pointed the fan’s head toward the purple wakes left by Harmahd’s cape. “Those wakes should extend our signal tonight?”

Cazpar nodded his expert agreement.

While the three’d been jiggling their recording kit, Dagnal, a neighbor, had restocked the fire pool. Now the wyrd flame danced with even more vigor. Their faces glowed teal-organish. They were ready.

“Welcome, yee monsters, friends! Let’s begin.”

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