My Shell-Rock cracked this day, and only Little-Round-Shiny is left. Shell-Rock was strong, not like plain old rock. I swim and wonder, ‘Why today?’ but Sea only listen, it never talks like Otter. Only sway and keep food alive. Sea not understand why Shell-Rock crack, but I ask because it is unfair. Unfair like cold: it takes my warm away. Like Two-Legs chase us for our warm and flesh.
They come from Trees on Cold-Water-Rafts with Tooth-Sticks. They leave black water which ruins our warm. Bevy hid under hard-water but they found them, took first pup and second. Took Mate, ate flesh and took her warm. Only Shell-Rock was left, Mate’s Rock. Now, only Little-Round-Shiny.
I find Shell-Food but Little-Round-Shiny not work. I keep it in pouch. I dunk paws in blue, find Crunchy-Snail instead. It looks at me as if he say:
Maybe cracked Shell-Rock not so bad, Soggy-Crunchy-Snail more unlucky. I chew and swallow, turn over and look through Sea, but only black dirt. I swim to hard-water near land-hill.
White-Bellied-Black-Flippers is on Land-Hill, picking up little rocks. ‘White-Bellied-Black-Flippers!’
‘Penguin.’ He say. He not look, still picking up rocks.
‘What is Pen-Gwin doing? I look for Shell-Rock, mine break this day. I am Otter.’ Pen-Gwin say nothing for a long time, so I leave Blue and look close. He finally say: ‘Special-Pebble, for Mate.’
‘That one?’ I point.
‘No, a Special-Pebble… Why today?’ Sad Pen-Gwin say.
He say no to all little rocks I point at. I wonder for a long time. I feel it in my pouch against my belly. I am sad, giving it away. ‘This one?’ I say, holding my Little-Round-Shiny.
‘Yes!’ He say, making happy sounds.
‘Shell-Rock, you say?’ Pen-Gwin ask, and then he jump in Blue for a long time. He find wrong rock two times, but soon finds me a Strong-Shell-Rock. ‘Thank you, Ott-Err.’ He say, running home with his Little-Round-Shiny.
‘Thank you, Pen-Gwin.’
Maybe today not so bad. I jump into Blue and look for Shell-Food. No more Soggy-Crunchy-Snails for Otter.
Entwistle is an aspiring fantasy novelist with a love of odd concepts, who is currently studying for a BA (Hons) in English and Creative Writing.