Something was waiting for Riley in the dark.
“That’s not fair,” they said. “You know I don’t have good vision in dark places. Get out where I can see you.”
The form shifted, but didn’t acquiesce. Whether from shyness or stubbornness, Riley would just have to figure out themself.
“Look. I can’t help you if you don’t let me get a good look at you. You know?” It wasn’t like they needed to get home or anything, before their parents could see whatever their brother had gotten up to in the meantime.
A hand reached the very edge of the shadows, beckoning them closer. It dripped ash.
Steeling themself, Riley stepped in.
The eggs were warm. Riley pushed them into the centre of the nest. They were alone here, waiting for the eggs’ mother to return.
They weren’t sure what these even were. The mother was some sort of bird. When her wings extended, rain began. When she stood on one foot, the clouds parted. When she called out, the mists would dissipate.
Aspects from many stories, all within one avian. Riley rested their back against an egg. They pulled out their phone. No battery. Like they would have a signal here anyway.
Well, hopefully when all was said and done, they would remember to document yet another strange creature in the world.
“Riley. What are you doing?”
They were never going to get used to the unicorn talking in their head. “Getting my dog back.” Gretta was their dog, even if she was bought for William. Gretta apparently didn’t think much about the entire situation, so she wasn’t helping Riley get her back.
“Do you need any help?”
Riley thought about it, dropping down to the other side of the fence. “Can you open up crates without touching them?” they asked, not expecting much.
They heard a door open. Several, in fact.
“You’re OP,” Riley stated, watching Gretta and a few other animals getting out of the containment. They whistled and Gretta came over, looking rather bored. Then again, it didn’t look as though any of the animals were underfed. Probably stiff legged, but not by too much. Probably treated average here. Not that Riley had been worried about that, simply that Gretta had to come home or Will would be upset. “You still upset with me?” they asked the dog.
Gretta just looked at her.
“Is everything all right?” the unicorn asked.
“Yes, thank you.”
Whatever Riley had done to gain the friendship of a unicorn, they had no idea. With Gretta alongside, they went home.
When it got too hot, William wanted to go play his video games. His sibling was used to that, though he hadn’t returned to his console since last weekend.
“Do you finally want to go outside?” they asked their brother.
Will made a face. “No, Riley. I don’t. It’s too hot.”
Typical. “Then read a book.”
He groaned and plopped himself on the couch next to them. “No, I don’t like reading.”
Riley rolled their eyes and finished tying their shoes. “Well, whatever. See you later, twerp.”
“W-wait, you’re leaving?”
“Of course. Unlike you, some people like the outside.” For some reason, Will didn’t like that thought. He never cared before. They could not think why that would have changed. “Play your video games then.”
An odd whine escaped him, but Riley left. Brothers were like that, they decided. Stopping just outside, they went around to the back of the house to knock against the basement window.
“Hey there. My bro saw you and is freaked out. Behave, won’t you?”
Riley left. Behind them, a ghostly hand came out of the wall and gave them a thumbs up.