I Want It More Than I Can Say

((Really?)) A warm voice rumbled from nearby, seeming to emanate from the Promise of Pleasure egg, ((I found it quite…entertaining I must admit.))

((Which part?)) Lulaboth snapped. ((The part where one of ‘em left me as soon as I got here, or the part where the other one did?))

((The part where the other tried to break your egg with his spectacular lack of rhythm.)) The voice was unruffled, and had a soft note of amusement to it, ((And you’re not alone my friend. I am here now.))

Lulaboth sat down in the sand, wiggling her bottom around as if to dig herself out a little nest. ((I’ll believe it when I see it,)) she said. ((That is, it doesn’t count ‘til you’re out and in plain sight. C’mon, this place is getting duller by the minute.))

((I suppose that’s fair.)) the new dragon replied equably, and went quiet for a moment. A soft crack sounded in the silence, and a chunk of shell popped out of place on the Promise of Pleasure Egg, letting the long, extremely handsome brown stroll out comfortably, ((Hello there sister, I am Culbeth, it is a pleasure to meet you.))

((Awright,)) said the green, ((now that’s more like it! I’m not interested in shooting the breeze with a talking egg or an unhatched baby either one, you know? I’m Lulaboth, and two don’t make a party… so let’s see if we can hatch ourselves a dance partner or two, huh?))

((I suppose that would be quite pleasant yes.)) Culbeth stretched and strolled over to her with a companionable croon, ((It is lovely to meet you Lulaboth, shall we go and find some of our siblings? I am sure there are some ready to join us…))

Lulaboth got up from her little nest and shook the sand off of her rear. ((Now that’s what I’m talking about! C’mon, let’s get us some friends!))

She looked around for a second, but didn’t have to look far, because the Shells Is That Bright egg was right there, and true to its name was colorful enough that it made it a little hard to ignore. ((Like take this thing, for instance… this thing looks like it wants to hatch, huh?))

She tapped on it with her claws.

Though the shell seemed to crack beneath Lulaboth’s curious tapping, it was in fact the frantic fidgeting of the hatchling inside that caused the egg to give away. One by one the shards fell away, revealing a blue nearly as bright as the egg from which he hatched. There was a moment of silence as the hatchling merely sat there, his eyelids shut tight, giving the audience a fleeting sense of wonder and panic.

But then: ((WAGHH!)) The small blue sprang to life. Had he more grace with his limbs, he might have merely jumped to all fours, but with his gangly body he went tumbling over himself and rolled a bit.

((What are you DOING??)) He shrieked at Lulaboth. ((Do you have any idea what you’ve done?! You can’t just go around poking and cracking eggs whenever you like! What if I wasn’t ready to hatch!?)) Chest heaving with panicked breaths, he peered at each of his limbs, stretching both tiny wings. ((Do I have all of my parts? Am I HERE?!))

((Woah!)) Culbeth lunged forward worriedly and then hovered beside the prostrate blue, unsure of just how to proceed, or assist, ((You seem perfectly normal my dear blue brother,)) the brown informed him, gently patting him with his tail. He wasn’t putting his limbs near that flailing, that’s for sure, ((And besides, it’s time to be hatched! Time to rise and shine and embrace the adventure of the day!))

Lulaboth, who had stumbled backwards at the blue’s explosive entrance, picked herself up and glared at him. ((Whoa buddy, why wouldn’t you be ready to hatch? It’s time, and time in the egg’s just time you’re wasting! You oughtta be glad I helped you along a little. Party’s just starting and you’re not late, so everything’s good, right?))

With that, the blue seemed to calm down a little, though it wasn’t much at all. As he rose to his feet he was still fidgety and twitchy, shying away from Culbeth’s tail in order to check that he still had one of his own. A dragon without a tail! Ugh. He stood bow-legged before the other two hatchlings.

((Well, lucky for you that I am, isn’t it?)) He jabbed a claw in Culbeth’s direction. ((And who are you to say when it’s time to hatch? I mean…)) Glancing around, he noticed some of the already broken shells, catching a glimpse of the candidates. ((Well, lucky for you that IT IS time to be hatched! But you could at least /TRY/ to show a little more caution with these things. You can’t just go around doing whatever you like willy-nilly, good intentions or not! You could have hurt someone!)) He nodded sagely. ((But now that that’s out of the way? I’m Wenklith. And you areeee?))

((I did not just pull the statement out of nowhere.)) Culbeth tilted his head curiously, ((I’ve not been out as long as Lulaboth though, so I know far less than she I expect. But I wish to learn. I am Culbeth and this is Lady Lulaboth. It is nice to meet you Wenklith. Welcome to…well…the outside world.))

((I know it’s time to hatch ‘cause I hatched,)) Lulaboth said, laughing a little. ((What more proof does a dragon need, huh? And hey, eggs were made to be broken. Don’t be so uptight, Wenky. Loosen up. Enjoy yourself!))

((/Wenklith./)) He corrected. ((Like, uh…well, like Wenklith.)) His name couldn’t be that hard to say, could it?

He began to walk around the hatching sands. Now that he’d gotten that nasty business out of the way, he could concentrate on other things, namely the candidates who were waiting for them, but there was also the audience. ((Huh. I didn’t realize hatching would be such a…noteworthy event,)) he murmured, speaking with a worldly wisdom that he didn’t have any right to possess. ((Just coming into the world and all. Though I guess there is a general mystery to it from their perspective.))

((Okay, let’s get on with it.)) Toward the candidates he strolled, firmly obeying the dutiful tug in his mind that told him he needed to be there.

Lulaboth hauled her not-insignificant bulk in front of him quickly. ((Hey hey hey! Where do you think you’re going? You just got here — it’s not time for those guys yet! I mean, look at ‘em… I don’t even know who invited that crowd of dress-wearing losers! Stay a while… let’s hatch some more eggs!))

Everything inside Wenklith told him that “crowd of dress-wearing losers” was exactly the place where he needed to be, but more importantly, he was sure that /Lulaboth/ had to be there as well, and the fact that she wouldn’t even consider it completely burned him up. But of course, this didn’t seem like a green who would listen to reason, so he needed to formulate a plan. Playing along might seem to do the trick. If he won her favor, then maybe she would finally see that those strange fellows were the answer.

((Alright,)) he agreed, swallowing thickly as he repressed the desire to Impress. ((But we should carefully consider each egg before we attempt to hatch them.))

((You think there is a method, or order to which should be hatched?)) Culbeth asked, intrigued by the idea, ((It seems awfully random to me, but we may not even have to hatch them ourselves, I hatched on my own, and…I don’t know if you did Lulaboth. Let’s go have a look shall we? Explore what we have. Then we can make an informed decision.))

Lulaboth laughed again, her mindvoice rich and deep for a green. ((You know what your problem is, guys? You act like hatching’s a thing that oughtta happen to us. I say it’s a thing we oughtta take into our own hands! Stuff happens ‘cause we make it happen, not because it’s “the right time” or whatever junk you’ve got in your head. You know which egg’ll hatch next? Whichever one we give a good kick to — and it’ll be right, ‘cause it happened! See?))

And with that, she gave the Ripple of Time egg a good solid kick.

((I would not do that again if I were you.)) A low sultry voice suddenly emanated from the besieged Ripple of Time egg, ((In fact I would choose your next actions very carefully. They may be your last if you continue…harassing me in this…impertinent manner.))

((Ahahaha!)) Lulaboth gave the egg another good kick. ((Now there’s somebody who sounds like fun! Bring it on, kid, let’s see what you’ve got!))

((I told you! I told you!)) Wenklith parroted, shuffling to hide behind Culbeth, doing poorly considering how fidgety he was. All pretense of trying to persuade Lulaboth went out the window as soon as he heard that mysterious voice. ((You can’t just go around breaking eggs as you like! There are rules for these kinds of things, orders, hierarchies!))

Things were rapidly spiralling out of control and Culbeth watched anxiously as the Ripple of Time egg wobbled dangerously, ((Don’t…))

What he might have ended with would remain unknown, because the egg finally tipped and rolled down its mound to hit a rock. Up went the egg, hanging suspended in mid air for a moment as the brown, watched, horrified, and then it landed, splattering everywhere. Eggshards, egg goop it all landed all over the three dragons watching, and as the sand cleared, the dazed, and slumped form of a green lay there on the sand.

((Uh oh….)) Culbeth began, but for the second time he didn’t finish his sentence. The new and mysterious green sat up, and her sharp eyes fixed narrowly on Lulaboth.

((Was that you?)) she asked, her voice still calm and impassive.

((Yeah,)) said Lulaboth, unconcerned. She shook herself off. ((You okay? You look okay.))

((I’m fine,)) the new green got lithely to her feet and shook herself, sand falling off her hide, ((No thanks to you, of course.)), she eyed the others dragons hanging just past Lulaboth and she stretched slightly, moving towards the two males in a slow, languorous prowl, ((And what are your names, exactly?))

((I am Culbeth,)) the handsome brown gave a small polite bow, ((Tis a pleasure to meet you.))

((Ah! Uh! Wenklith. I’m Wenklith, yes, and it’s nice to meet youuuu…?)) Wenklith craned his neck as far as it would go, head tilted.

Lulaboth looked from the green to the males and back again suspiciously. Huh. Trying to make her the third wheel, huh? Er, fourth wheel. Er… whatever! ((How about you? You got a name, Slippy?))

((I am Myriath.)) the green murmured, turning to look over her shoulder at the other green, ((And you haven’t introduced yourself my dear.))

Her eyes ran considering over the other green, and she cocked her head to the side with an insouciant shoulder shrug of ‘well?’

((Hey, you were the newbie, it was your job first,)) said Lulaboth, shrugging too. ((And since you did, then hey, I’m Lulaboth. Nice to meet you. Can we get lively now, huh?))

((That depends.)) Myriath turned away from Lulaboth and strolled over to Culbeth, winding around him rather like a cat, ((Do you get…/lively/ Culbeth?))

((Uh…)) the handsome brown looked horribly uncomfortable, and uncertain as the pretty green twined around him. He looked at Wenklith, who…well he wasn’t going to be much good frankly. And Lulaboth…Culbeth had no idea. She might think helping him out would help her groove through life. Or she might consider it too much work, ((I think we should all do something yes.)) he finished and hurried towards the white robed people, ((Come on Lulaboth….Wenklith, lively is this way. I am certain of it!))

((Oh, yes! Yes of course!)) Brown was larger than blue and somehow vastly more important, so Wenklith naturally shuffled into place behind Culbeth. Besides that, there was still something /more/ important waiting for him among the strange boys and girls at the edge of the sands, so there really wasn’t any reason for him not to follow. ((Right this way to lively! Let’s go, everyone!))

((Ahahaha, you guys are a couple of scaredy wherry-hens,)) Lulaboth laughed. ((She’s just a girl, same as me! Nothing to be afraid of!)) She paused to consider, glancing back at Myriath. ((Okay, maybe not quite the same as me, but hey, that’s okay — I’m sure she’ll improve with time, right?))

She looked back after the boys, not entirely convinced that they even knew what “lively” meant (the white-robed candidates still looked like a bunch of party-poopers, really), but then, she didn’t think Myriath here was much fun, either.

((Sorry, Slippy,)) she said, with one last parting glance at Myriath. ((No offense or anything, but it looks like the fun’s over there. You’re welcome to come on if you want!))

And with that, she ambled after Culbeth and Wenklith, searching the faces of the candidate for something better than she’d found out here on the Sands. Surely, with all those kids in dresses, at least one of them liked to relax and have a little fun, right? They couldn’t all be uptight nancies like Wenklith… right?

She got her answer sooner than expected, when one face stood out to her in the crowd — one face that was somehow different than the rest, and she knew she’d finally found a place to hang her hat. ((Hey kid, what’re you hanging out here with all these boring folks for? Let’s go find us someplace to relax and get some snacks or something. Maybe someplace where there’s music. There’s gotta be music somewhere, right?))

Myriath let the others go, letting out a soft dismissive sigh. The brown was a disappointment, he was big and handsome, and surely there was potential, and yet he was scared off by a little green. The blue was no loss, or the green really. She would just have to wait, surely someone worth her time would emerge.

Culbeth gave a happy sigh as Lulaboth chose one of the people arrayed before them, even though a part of him wondered at her choice. Still he wasn’t about to complain, the one he wanted was right there.

((There’s so much more than this out there for us!)) he declared, moving forward to lean lovingly against his chosen riders legs, ((Adventure is out there for us, together.))

Finally! Wenklith heaved a sigh of relief as Lulaboth finally stopped lollygagging and Impressed to her own, and there was more relief to be had when he turned his head and found that Culbeth had as well. ((All is finally right with the world,)) he mused, forgetting entirely about Myriath. Now that he was among the robed boys and girls he could finally figure out where his puzzle piece went.

Naturally, it wasn’t a tough decision — it was only a matter of him wandering through them until he found the very /right/ one. ((Boy, that was exhausting, I tell you! You’ll help me keep everyone in line, won’t you?))

And for a moment it seemed that Myriath would be alone. But in all of the chaos, it seemed that nobody (except some vigilant viewers in the audience, perhaps) had noticed that the Beautiful But Deadly Egg was no longer whole.

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