Saber’s tails waved in anticipation. The rest of his tribe had gathered around, underneath the pale glow of the moon. The bonfire crackled ominously, as if in as high spirits as him and his tribe. Everyone was here, from the tiniest cub to the strongest warrior, wings flapping in excitement, horns clashing in friendly wrestling. Most were chattering in their small family groups, commonly called troops.
Saber’s troop had gathered. To his right was Heron, a bossy female white tiger with turquoise wings and one spiraling horn, the other a short, brittle stump. She’s bragged about how she valiantly marched into battle and snapped it off into the heart of one of the strongest rival tribe leaders around. Saber knew how it had really happened: The strongest warrior in the tribe had found her spiraling antler by chance and plunged it into him himself.
Besides, for an inquisitive Fantasy like himself, Saber knew it wasn’t at a matching angle to her height.
Most of the other Fantasies in the tribe were feline as well. A few canines did live here, although rare. Saber’s three tails flapped up and down, up and down, the light and feathery tips brushing together, sending a light tingle up his spine.
He looked to his left. Pine was licking a stick, his black fur glinting, yellow wings sparkling. His size was immense, although Saber could rival it. His short, stubby goat’s horns bobbed as his head moved. His amber gaze caught Saber’s, and he sat down. The giant panther’s fur was black, but the bonfire caught it in the light just so that he could see the faint spots hidden underneath and a ripple of bright yellow course through them.
Saber followed suit, his spots lighting up in a dazzling array of yellows, first the small, defined markings on his face down to the billowing tips of his tails. Pine grinned, ears perking. “Don’t you love Bonfire Night?” said Pine, spots coursing a bit brighter. “Yeah.” Saber’s tails swished in excitement.
Pine had been like a brother to Saber. As long as he could remember, the panther had been there for him.
A deafening, haunting roar caused both Saber and Pine to jump. Pine’s ears swiveled. “That’s Emerald. Isn’t she great?” Saber turned toward the source of the roar, both beautiful and sad. “Woah.”
A dainty tigress stood in the very middle of the celebration, her emerald wings flapping and betraying her true joy. Her hooves stomped out the few small fires that spread in a celebratory dance. Saber hadn’t seen anyone in his troop take this high a position before.
“Emerald? Our Emerald?” Saber’s eyes were fixed on her. Pine nodded. “Our Em.” And although it was considered rude to the singer to do so, Pine roared his approval, and Emerald didn’t seem mad at all. “That’s my sister.” Heron remarked.
Two hefty-looking lions marched up, long poles fastened across their shoulders by thick straps. “Here they come!” said Saber, balancing on his hind legs with his wings outstretched to see further. In a moment, all the Fantasies would part and start dancing with different troop members while the feast roasted.
On cue, the crowd split to make way for the long procession of lions carrying the deer skewered on poles up to the fire. Rows of cats scattered as the lions made their way to the center of the licking flames. They hoisted their rods through the fire, joining in Emerald’s chorus of roars. The troops scrambled away from each other.
Saber was first paired with a lioness with red wings and huge antlers who must’ve been the worst dancer in history- she kept falling over into Saber and bowling them over into other unlucky couples, creating a ripple of fallen cats.
After leaving her in a hurry, he proceeded to be paired with a short, beautiful lynx with creamy wings and ram horns who was an elegant dancer, but unfortunately had six tails which she kept tripping over. She parted with him, giving a loud “harrumph.”
Saber was coupled with a few more cats until the lions retrieved the skewered deer from the fires. The crowd parted and formed a wider girth around the flames. Emerald’s last song ended and she scampered off to reunite with her troop. The first batch of roasted deer was set out, as the second row of lions emerged with smaller prey ranging from rabbits to voles. Most of the troops found each other, although a few Fantasies still searched. Pine scrambled over to Saber, Emerald close behind.
“There’s some Fantasies up there. They look like enemies, everyone is at the bonfire.” Saber looked up. Sure enough, a group of about ten Fantasies hovered, but a buzzing noise lingered, making his ears ring. The celebration was loud, but it could be heard clear as day.
Their wings didn’t look like wings- they spun in circles, almost too fast to make out as shapes. And Saber couldn’t see any distinct features.
“Those aren’t Fantasies, Pine.”
At that moment, the chaos erupted. Wailing Fantasies scattered, separating Saber’s troop again. Pine shrieked, and Saber couldn’t see a thing for the mottled coat being forcefully pressed into his face.
Screams shattered the chanting of happy creatures as webs- like spider’s but huge- dropped onto unlucky Fantasies. Most escaped or else fell out of the sky as the nets were picked up by the un-fantasies.
Pine roared at the top of his lungs, and Saber’s wail met his, both equally full of terror. “Run to the burrows!” somebody hollered, and as if nobody had even imagined this, everybody headed straight for the tunnels that served as dens. The webs stopped hailing down. One more un-fantasy was still in the sky.
Most of the Fantasies were in the burrows. All of the screams had stopped, and the clearing was eerily silent. “Pine! Pine, where are you?”
Saber rushed to Pine’s call. “Pine! Are you okay?” He saw a writhing heap that looked nothing even remotely like the usually regal Pine sprawled across the now-empty clearing. “Well, I wouldn’t call it okay, but I guess… not dead?”
Saber snorted, clawing at the web, which was surprisingly weak. It tore under his paws easily. Pine’s head stuck out of the heap now, and then his front paws. Finally, the panther wriggled out and started to run. Being slower, Saber followed. “Quick! We have to hurry!” And Pine was gone into the night.
There was slamming sensation, Saber screaming for help, and a sharp pain in his side, causing everything to blur. And he fell, worrying about nothing. Nothing at all.
DEN District 3
The specimen appears to be some type of large cat. It is silver with white jaguar-type spots. The fur is long and unusually silky amongst what we’ve seen in this type of feline species. The paws are larger than normal, and the claws are serrated and incredibly sharp. It has what appears to be white deer’s antlers. It also has wings which have remained folded and tied down. The anatomy has not been studied yet and cannot be immediately recognized as anything except dragon’s wings. It has three tails. Its spots are believed to have pulsed purple as it was captured. The blood test has not been performed yet. We will update with more information once the tests have been done and the results have come in.
Here come the hate comments.