Joster fell limp onto warm stone as she pushed free from her cocoon. Ice peeled along her spine as she breathed and streched. She listened to the drip-drip-dripping of distant liquid.
She smelled gold, and iron, and five types of stone. Straining, she moved her outer eyelids, still frozen shut. Reaching out, she sensed a mind – the mind of a larlun – clean, slippery, wide.
Joster was weak. She was tired. She slept.
The larlun’s mind prickled. The pangs of hunger prickled. Joster unfurled her heavy wings. Their surface cracked as chunks of ice tumbled to the warm stone. She licked the water pooling beneath her and reached for the larlun. The larlun was slippery, but cleaner and wider than before.
Her tongue was dry and her eyes were still sealed. Joster uncurled her claws and pulled them along the warm stone, scraping, sharpening.
She closed her mind and slept.
Joster smelled life as she woke. She reached for the larlun, he was taut, was wide, was open and clean. Silent, she called to him, reached to him.
She waited. The larlun was close. He brought grass in a container made from dead trees. The grass crunched as it froze hard in her mouth.
The larlun shivered. His teeth chattered. She reached to his mind, but he was not afraid. She searched – his mind was wide and wide and wide. His mind told her he was cold. She cracked her icy wings.
Joster reached and asked the larlun why he was cold. The larlun said it was because he was cold. The stones were warm under her belly, so she drew the larlun close. She felt him shivering more. She smelled his blood and fear. His mind told her he was colder than before.
Perhaps she could kiss life into him like her mother did for her. Perhaps she could make him a cocoon, then he would become more, then he wouldn’t be cold. She reached with her mind and breathed her icy breath.
Joster heard the larlun cry out with his voice and his mind. She breathed into him, filling him with the life kiss until he stopped crying out. She kissed and breathed, making a cocoon for the larlun. She knew he would become more, become like her.
She reached out. His mind was thin, stretched, liquid. Then something snapped.
Joster reached and reached and reached, but the larlun was gone.
This text is copyright 2016 by Jon Cronshaw, released under a BY-NC-ND Creative Commons Licence.