"A Time of Great Pleasure"
David C. Kopaska-Merkel
A flexing of the Worldskin, and Bird flies, Calling. It is a time of joy, for strangers have landed on Mechaieh. A silver egg resembling the spawn of Frog drifted gently to the ground near Pool. Out of it hatch five beings of the same color and reflectivity, though the egg is not broken. The hatchlings proceed to water's edge. Frog greets them, but the strangers do not answer. Dipping one of its upper limbs into the water, one of the creatures drinks with a mouth at its waist. A moment, and all five drink with the mouths in their heads. Bird circles, Frog hides, Tree holds still as strangers approach. There is much pointing, Tree's limbs dance the Words, but the strangers Speak not. The strangers catch several small beasts and cut pieces from them. The pieces are eaten by the mouths at strangers' waists. One of the strangers cuts Tree, eats the piece of Tree with its waist mouth. Tree dances again; the stranger falls and moves not. One of the remaining strangers points at Tree. Fire is born, and two of Tree's limbs are severed. Other strangers run to the fallen one, carry it toward their egg. Worldskin trembles; the strangers tumble from their feet. They rise, run swiftly to their egg, which opens its mouth to swallow them. The egg shudders, starts to rise, then is pulled down into the ground. Mechaieh judders, water splashes from Pond. Again and again. Worldskin stills, later extrudes silver Egg. Egg opens its mouth and Stranger steps out. Stranger Speaks, and Frog Answers. Bird Calls, and Tree makes Reply. It is a time of joy.