5 MINUTE FICTION
It was on a warm cloudless night, way back before cities were born, that something amazing would happen to Kork, a youngling from the Midori Mob, who lived with his entire clan in a cave near Shiraz (now Wollongong). The cave was known to the locals as the Bat Cave…..because bats lived there.
One of his brothers, Tawny, was also his closest friend, and they spent most days together hunting and gathering. They told each other all their secrets. Nothing was a forbidden subject.
After a stinking hot day working in the sun for hours, Kork and Tawny headed home with a hard-earned thirst for water with a bit of lemon juice. Aunt Chardonnay was sweeping the Bat Cave when they arrived.
“How hot is it?” she asked them, wiping her brow with the back of her hand.
“ Bloody hot!” Kork answered as they dragged the bucket up from the well.
“Could cook an egg on the rocks.” Tawny added, squeezing a lemon over the wooden cups.
In a swig, the brothers downed their drink quicker than you can blink.
“That hit the spot,” declared Tawny.
“Sure did,” Kork agreed.
The Midori Mob of Shiraz gathered in the Bat Cave together to eat the spoils of the day. This particular day it was kangaroo, rabbit, and wild boar served with a side of wild berries, kidney beans and rice. For the clan, it was quite a feast. Kidney beans were a rare commodity.
As the sun went down, and the rest of the Mob went to bed, Tawny and Kork lay on the ground outside the cave looking up. For as long as time is old, Man has watched the skies in awe and wonder. What were all those sparkling things? No one knew but everyone speculated…..holes which light shoneout of? Spirits of the ancestors? Is it how God watched everyone?
Whatever they were, everyone agreed upon calling them stars – Something Tiny And Really Shiny.
“Far out, the sky is beautiful tonight,” Tawny whispered.
“True, bro. Clearest I’ve ever seen it, hey,” agreed Kork.
Right at that moment, Kork noticed a shooting star. He closed his eyes and made a wish – to catch a lobster tomorrow.
“Pretty sure you’re meant to say it to yourself, mate,” Tawny laughed. “Well, I’m off to bed, Kork. See ya in the morn.”
With a hand shake and a smile, Tawny disappeared into the black of the Bat Cave.
Compared to the heat of the day, the heat of the night was comfortable, cooling as the night wore on. Kork loved this part of summer, looking at the uncountable stars and wondering if anyone could actually touch them. Just then, he saw another shooting star. As he closed his eyes to make another wish, there was an almighty bang!
Startled, he opened his eyes to see smoke and fire burning brightly not far in the distance.
What was that?!
Urgently, Kork rushed towards the fire.
When he got to the site of the fire, he saw something strange. He’d never seen anything like it!
Wide-eyed, Kork stood frozen to the spot. Was this one of the stars in the sky? Was this what a shooting star looked like close up? Slowly, he stretched out his hand to touch the shiny thing. It was hard like a rock. It was incredible!
A few minutes after Kork touched the shiny, hard, rock-like thing, it made a hissing sound and started to move. The top opened and out of it floated a creature which looked like an angel. As the fire around died down,and the mist disappeared from around the opening of the object, the creature became clearer.
It was a giant dragonfly!!
”Wow!” gasped Kork. “I’ve never seen such beauty. A star has fallen to the ground and I can see it’s spirit!”
The dragonfly saw him standing there, staring like a stunned mullet, and settled on the ground in front of him.
“I am Drag, Queen of the planet Pricilla. My ship has crashed and I need your help to contact my nymphs.”
Kork wasn’t even sure he understood any of what was said to him. Was this even real? Was he dreaming?
Queen Drag, noticing the confused look on Kork’s face, decided not to continue with the conversation. She let out an ear-piercing screech which almost rendered Kork deaf. Within minutes, another shiny, hard, rock-like thing appeared, hovering above them. Out of it another dragonfly floated to meet up with Queen Drag and Kork.
There was a mysterious language spoken between the two dragonflies before they both faced Kork and the other spoke.
“Youngling of Earth, because of your kindness towards Drag, Queen of Pricilla, it would be our honour if you would accept the Queen’s gift of her youngest swarm of nymphs.”
Again, noticing Kork’s confusion, Queen Drag continued,
“These young nymphs will grow into creatures like ourselves. However, on your planet, they will remain quite small. They are dragonfly babies. Place them in a body of water with plant-life and nature will take care of the rest.”
With that, the Queen and her servant floated into their ship and before his heart could take its next beat, they were gone.
After a few minutes, Kork’s mind returned to reality. Walking back to the cave, he looked at the parcel in his hands. What did Queen Drag say? Put them in a body of water with plant-life. Near the Bat Cave was Lake Cider and it was teeming with plant-life. So, that’s where he took the nymphs so they could grow into the promised dragonflies.
In the morning, back at the Bat Cave, all the Midori Mob, except Tawny, laughed at him. They wouldn’t believe that he’d touched a fallen star, saw its spirit and given a gift of dragonfly babies.
The next Spring arrived, and all around Lake Cider were hundreds of beautiful, small, and magnificently coloured dragonflies. Each one was a new creation from a former life, carrying on its wings shadows of others from another place. Tawny and Kork looked at each other. They could feel the change coming. New life. New beginnings. New world.
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