E is for Echidna

E

Not only is an Echidna a small creature, similar to a hedgehog but it was named after a creature from Greek mythology. Guess what my topic is for the A to Z Challenge! More details on the challenge as well as the list of competitors can be found here: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

A wet slithering sound filled the air, a large body moving over leaves and under branches. The small creature paused, sniffing tentatively, mindless of the termites now escaping from their ravaged home. The sound grew louder, carrying with it a sweet smell that clashed against the earthy tones of the surrounding forest.

The echidna started to move, pulling itself away from the abandoned termite mound. A hand shot out and grasped it around the middle. It let out tiny sounds of distress, its spikes stabbing into soft skin as it curled into itself.

“Shh, shh,” a woman’s voice whispered. The sliding sound continued, until finally the creature stopped in a puddle of sunlight warming the forest floor. A woman’s body was revealed to the forest, but where her legs should have started at the hips was instead a snake’s tail. One that curled and twisted so she could rest against it. The echidna continued to cry, and she brushed her hand carefully down its back, mindful of the spikes despite the wounds they had caused to the hand holding it.

It squirmed slightly in her grasp as she lifted it to her face. Though beautiful there was a strange monstrosity to her, eyes that were slit as a snakes were and a sharpness to her cheekbones that spoke of strength and danger. She pulled the echidna ever closer.

“So, you are the creature worthy of my name,” she spoke to it as she twisted it, looking at the terrified creature from all angels. Then, sighing, she placed it back onto the floor. Immediately it ran into the bushes, disappearing from view. She watched it go, before uncurling her tail to better warm herself.

“How the mighty have fallen,” she whispered to the still forest air.

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E is for Echidna

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