Many Things Have Hatched

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Digital drawing. At center, an egg whose translucent surface reveals a reptilian creature curled within, facing right. The creature’s head in profile shows a closed eye and a mouth with a beak-like upper lid. Four small limbs protrude from the torso, on which scales are faintly visible. The creature’s tail curves back under its head. The egg floats in some kind of primordium with two tiny glowing bodies at top left. Glowing cracks with crystalline nodules run along the shell’s surface.

“Do stars hatch from eggs?”

The little girl glanced up at her aunt as the two sat on a fancy padded bench before the glass display. 

Her aunt smiled at her.  “Not everything that’s born comes from eggs.  You didn’t.”

“Then where did I come from?”

“I’ll…let your parents tell you all about that.  But if you want to know about eggs, I do have a story you might like.” 

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Didymedicus

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Digital Drawing. Two human figures wearing heavy coats. Bottom right, an older woman facing forward and smiling. She holds a rod of Asclepius in front of her with both hands. Behind her and to the viewer’s left, a young man holding a caduceus in his right hand, and flourishing his left hand up. His head is turned toward his left hand. They are surrounded by glowing colored lights.

The royal physician, Galena by name, examined the festering bruise just below the king’s ribcage.  The king lay in a sleeping stupor.  A state he had been in for three days, and yet it was only now, and only by order of the queen that the royal physician was allowed to examine her king. 

Galena peered down at the bruise, around the margins of which there appeared an oozing of bright purple fluid.

“I had thought him a fool, but a harmless one,” the queen said.

Galena did not look up as she answered.  “Is there such a thing?”

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The Eye in My Ceiling

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Digital drawing. Central figure, a woman, her top half, seen from below at an angle. She’s facing away standing in a room where the ceiling and parts of two walls intersect at her left, around waist level. The woman wears pants and a t-shirt and her hair in a ponytail. She holds a carving knife in her right hand, held down and behind herself. Her left hand reaches up towards a huge eye in the ceiling. Most of the iris and a small portion of the whites are visible.

I thought it was a reflection at first.  Not the moon.  Some streetlight or something, from outside, getting past my curtains.  I was too lazy, too sleepy to get up and deal with it.  But I do remember thinking it was strange. 

Isn’t the light too bright to be a reflection?  I thought, peeking up at the ceiling.

I do remember resisting the urge to rub my eyes.  I wanted to take a closer look.

Did I just see something floating in the light? 

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Matchstick and Mischief

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Digital drawing. At center, a mouse riding a motorcycle down a glowing pathway, facing forward, left paw on the pedal and right paw holding a lit matchstick. Objects float in the space around the mouse. At top left, a screw. Bottom left a sock. Top right corner, part of some device with buttons. Below that, a toothbrush. Middle right, a yo-yo.

“I’m Matchstick the Mouse.  And, hey, I’m actually a mouse.  Surprised?  I bet you’re wondering how I got my name.  You’re not?  Wait!  Where are you going?”

“Match, who are you talking to?”

“My fans.”

“Why are your fans walking away from you?”

Matchstick raised a furry brow. “Good question.”

“Is that the style you want for your chapters of our memoirs?”  Mischief reached for her satchel to pull out a pencil.

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Note From A Triceratops

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Digital drawing. The fossil of a triceratops, seen head on from a three-quarters profile, facing left, is either etched in a sandy stone slab, or is standing in front of the slab. The slab is etched with scratches and fern leaf stems.

You think you know our story.  The asteroid.  The extinction.  The line of descendants who succeeded in taking to the air in ways we never did, never could.

I stopped writing and dropped my pen.  I glanced up at the monitor that displayed a magnified image.  And shifted my gaze over to the already withering leaf mounted on the simple light microscope. 

It was my imagination.  It had to be.

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Unstable Blood

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Digital drawing. At center, figure seen from chin to mid-thigh, wearing a top with no sleeves, a shirt or blazer tied around the waist, and a watch around the left wrist. The ends of the figure’s short hair dangle just below the chin. The right hand grips the left at the elbow. The left arm dangles. Rivulets of blood trickle from a wound at the left shoulder. They trickle down the arm, but also float across the body and out from the arm. Behind the figure is a glowing background with spatters bursting out from the center.

Too much blood.  Too much blood is dripping.  He’ll smell it.  He’ll find me.

Once again, she stopped for a moment and leaned against a wall under the flashing red bulbs and the piercing alarm.  She inhaled and drew the blood back into her body through the poorly sealed gash that arced over her shoulder.  A dozen rivulets trickled up her bare arm.

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