Wednesday 4th January
Today was slightly different. The Ringing Plastic banana rang and the Magician picked it up. I remembered seeing that on the Tee Vee. People on it said it was a Tell-E-phone, or The Phone for short. He was talking into it excitedly, going on about me as if I couldn’t understand him. Curious, I stepped closer. Here was what he said:
“Yeah, you wouldn’t believe it Cara. I actually found him on New Year’s Eve. Name? Well, I hadn’t thought of it before…you’d help me? Great! Maybe bring Annabelle along so he would behave. She would set him straight I reckon. Wild ones are harder to tame.”
Wild one, huh? He thought I was a wild one. He doesn’t know. I wasn’t always on the streets. I had a mother and a home among some humans, but that all changed when the people in uniforms barged in and my family was all scattered. But before that, I did know how to behave around humans before living on the streets.
After he put the Banana-shaped Phone down, he turned to me, evidently nervous.
“Cara’s coming to dinner tonight,” he had said, “So I want you on your best behaviour.”
Best behaviour? I didn’t know, Magician. I was a wild one, remember? I didn’t think I had a best behaviour. But apparently I did, cause when Cara and Annabelle came, I got the shock of my life.
Cara being a human woman, bah, humbug. But Annabelle was a ……
“Nice to have another Firedrake around,” she had said. I was simply speechless. The Magician was right about ‘setting me straight’. I wanted to behave like an angel, because she was an angel.
Thursday 5th January
Cara and Annabelle came over again today, much to the Magician’s pleasure. Annabelle made me chase her around the backyard, which was a fun game. I hadn’t done that since my siblings were with me. It was nice having another Firedrake around. I’d been silent the entirety of last night, but today I wanted to speak to her.
“Uh,” I stuttered, trying to find words. We’d stopped running. She looked at me expectantly, with her curious, big eyes. I mustered up all the courage I could manage.
“I’m – “ I lost the strength. She laughed.
“You’re finding it hard to talk, aren’t you?” she assumed, “Most Firedrakes are when they haven’t seen another one of their kind for a while.”
“And yet you speak just fine,” I sputtered, and then realised what she’d made me do. She giggled again.
“Alright,” I confessed, “It’s not that I find it hard to talk. I just find it hard to talk to you.”
“You seemed fine speaking just then,” she smiled. Ba-bump!
“I’m just being honest,” I replied, feeling a little bit sorry for myself. I’d wanted to make a better impression. I put my head down in shame. I felt movement beside me, then something warm press up against me. I was paralysed by the tingling sensation it gave me. I’d looked up to find it was Annabelle leaning up against me, making a slight purr. Her sound vibration made my heart beat faster. I didn’t understand what she was doing, but I liked it.
“Naw, look at the two of them,” I overheard Cara speaking to the Magician. Obviously, she was talking about Annabelle and me.
“Yes,” the Magician’s voice had replied, “If only humans could be in love with each other so quickly.”
I was shocked when I heard him say that. I decided to ask Annabelle.
“Of course I’m in love with you,” she purred, “It’s the whole reason I’m here.”
“So why are you here?”
“Humans call it ‘breeding’,” she explained, “but I like to think of it as Romeo being allowed to marry his Juliet over and over.”
The thought wasn’t comforting. ‘Breeding’ was something they made two animals of the opposite gender do by forcing them together. I’d always told myself that wasn’t how I wanted to find love. But Annabelle really was fair on the eyes. And it was hard to find someone on your own, especially one so beautiful. She kept purring, rubbing my shoulder with her soft head. I couldn’t resist, so I returned the favour.