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Art Imitates Life

by Dakine

Art Imitates Life

Neri lived with her mom, her dad, and all of her brothers and sisters. Her mom said that all hippogriffs were family, and were to be treated with the utmost respect. But Neri didn’t live with all hippogriffs so she didn’t count them.

They all did specific jobs and when they came home they were happy. Neri didn’t have a specific job. She was “too young”. So, she wasn’t happy, like they were. She didn’t like this, so she asked her siblings.

“Why do you get a job, when I don’t?” Neri asked her siblings.

“We're older and wiser than you, Neri.” Each of her siblings replied with impatience when she asked them the question. She didn’t like these answers so she went to ask her mom.

“Why do my siblings get jobs, when I don’t?” She asked.

“They are older, sweetie. When you get to be their age, you will have a job too,” her mom replied, caressing the top of Neri’s head.

Neri was continually unhappy with the responses she received, so she went to ask her dad.

“How do I get a job, Dad? Tell me, please!”

Her dad smiled, scooping Neri up in his claws and placing her on his back. “You are too young to have a job, Neri, but why don’t I take you to my job, so you can see what it’s all about.”

Neri grinned, nestling herself between his shoulders. “Thank you, Dad!”

So, the next day, Neri went with her dad to his job. It was much closer than she thought.

“Dad, why are we in your room?” Neri asked, confusion in her voice.

“This is my work, sweetie,” her dad waved his claws around the room. “I’m a reef worker!”

Confused as ever, Neri glared at her Dad. “You tend reefs from your room?” She asked incredulously.

Her dad laughed, rubbing her head. “Not quite. There are many types of reef workers, not just the kind you see on the newsbubble, swimming around with the fish.”

Her dad walked over to his dresser, pulling out a stack of quills, and a blank scroll. “I’m what’s known as a quick fix artist. I draw the solutions to problems, and they come to life!” Her dad unfurled the scroll. He dipped a quill in ink and started scrawling about on the page. “Like this.”

Neri leaned over the tabletop, glancing at the messy nonsense on the scroll. “What is this dad?”

“It’s Hilic, the language of our ancestors. If written in a special ink, it can do anything.” Her dad finished what he was drawing, popping it into a small fish bowl at his desk.

Neri blinked. In the short span of time that her eyes were closed, the scroll disappeared, because when she opened her eyes again, it wasn’t there. “Where did it go, dad?”

“It’s at the reef, where the other reef workers will bring it to life!”

Neri scratched her head. “Well, what was it?”

“You’ll see, just look out the window.”

Neri gazed out of her window, over the city sprawled out below, towards the ocean. After a few seconds, several fireworks shot up out of the water, exploding over the ocean, sending glittering sparks flying everywhere.

Her dad laughed. “They never saw it coming.”

Neri glared at him. “That didn’t help the fish!”

He laughed even harder, bracing a claw on the desk next to him. “No, it didn’t Neri. No, it didn’t.”

She continued to glare at him for a few seconds before walking back over to the desk. “Can I try Dad?”