Anthropomorphs – The Phoenix and on Being an Open Book

Hello lovelies! I know it’s been a while but I’m starting a new project, finally, focusing on something I hope will be a long running thing. I want to do an anthropomorphic series of shorts / drabbles following fantasy critters in otherwise ever day situations. However, since they’re not entirely human, of course they’ll have unique dilemmas or problems to deal with and overcome. I’m hoping this will be the first of many. I’ll try to introduce more fantasy creatures as they come to mind. Feel free to volunteer fantasy characters and potential plot ideas. I’m game to try most things. Also, if anyone wants to try their hand at illustration panels, I would not be upset at all but no pressure regardless! Thank you and I hope you enjoy the first Anthropomorphs Drabble!

                Brilliant yellow. Burnished gold. Burning orange. Hints of smoldering red. Yep. All the colors were there. Fen preened in front of the mirror, marveling at the shining shades reflected back at him. With long daintily clawed fingers, he brushed at the proud crest on top of his head, the long plumes sleeked back suavely. Turning his head from side to side, he smiled, the corners of his beaked mouth pulling up.

                A blur of dark color over his reflection’s shoulder caught his fire blue eyes. He paused and blinked, feathered brow quirking up once before he shrugged and resumed his preening. The feathers on his arms were slightly out of place so he paused to smooth them out. Long wing feathers of yellow, gold, and orange overlapped to create the illusion of billowing sleeves. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t proud of them. Smirking playfully, he pulled one arm up so he could peer over it and look at himself in the mirror, theatrically narrowing his eyes.

                He flinched when the blur of dark color flashed past the open door behind him again. His crest plumes dipped slightly while his eyes narrowed. “Vree?” he chirped, finally turning to look for himself. There was no answer and he sniffed once, briefly glancing down. His crest feathers rose and fell in a quick motion as he noticed his tail feathers trailing out behind him, curving in a gentle arc. Like a wedding train, vibrant shades of yellow, gold and orange danced together until they ended in tips of smoldering red, reminiscent of the coals of a banked fire come to life. “How do you always get so tangled?” he tsked, kneeling down to comb careful fingers through the silken plumes.

                Patting them down gently, he paused when it felt like someone was watching him. His blue eyes trailed along the length of his tail feathers and to the doorway. One that was no longer empty. A dark figure was partially leaning in, long taloned fingers hanging loosely from arms braced against the entryway. A grinning maw full to the brim with dagger like teeth greeted him beneath pale yellow eyes in a black furred face. “Vree!” he gasped with a frantic flail of his arms. Tiny fluffs of white manifested in the air around him, lazily floating to the wooden floor.

                “Oops!” Vree grinned, completely unrepentant in her statement. “Didn’t mean to scare the down out of you,” she winked, choosing to shift by crossing her arms over her furry chest and lean against the doorway now, one furred ankle crossed over the other.

                “You’re supposed to warn me when you’re there!” Fen squawked, waving away bright white feathers with a huff, his crest plumes in utter disarray.

                With an effort, Vree forced her smile into a more neutral expression and stepped inside on oh so quiet feet. “Sorry,” she apologized, reaching out to smooth his crest feathers down carefully. “In my defense, you are fun to watch.”

                Still miffed at being snuck up on, Fen turned towards the mirror and crossed his arms. “It’s not my fault you don’t have colorful feathers that need a lot of TLC.”

                Vree’s toothy grin reappeared and she nodded. One careful step over his tail feathers brought her immediately behind him, fully a head taller in comparison. She didn’t quite dare to rest her chin on top of his crest feathers but she easily could have. “You’re so cute when you’ve got a date,” she teased, turning her attention to remnants of down clinging to his wing feathers, carefully plucking them free one by one. Never mind that they stuck to her fur instead of falling to the floor like they should have.

                Fen groaned pitifully and his crest feathers flattened even further. “I feel like I’m just going to make a fool of myself,” he whined, arms dropping to hang at his sides, the colors suddenly lackluster. “Nyx is absolutely gorgeous and never has a feather out of place and who do I even think I am to even talk to her?” he rambled, hands suddenly doing more talking and ruffling his feathers further. Two sharp pokes in his sides made him squawk as his feathers fluffed up again. “Hey!”

                “Enough of that,” Vree chided, her guilty hands smoothing the feathers down again.

                “But-“ he tried to say, unable to see her face due to his crest plumes being in the way.

                “No,” she stated simply, brushing said plumes aside to look him in the eyes in the mirror. She let the plumes go, hiding her face once more, but she continued to pick at his feathers, smoothing them down and straightening them out with infinitely careful claws. “You asked. She said yes. End of story.” Now she leaned down to peer over his shoulder so she could see his face directly. “And for the record, you look amazing, Fen.”

                “You always say that,” he complained with a shake of his head.

                “Because its always true,” she grinned, mouthful of teeth far more welcoming than fear-inducing. Especially when she stuck her tongue out at him.

                “Blep,” he chuckled, tapping the tip of her tongue with one talon.

                Vree immediately stepped back with a spluttering sound, wiping at her maw with a snort. “Fen!”

                Fen grinned back in response, his humor returning. With it, his usual luster came back as well. “Couldn’t resist.”

                Still careful about his tail feathers, Vree steadied herself on wide padded paws with partially hidden claws. “You’re lucky I like you,” she laughed, mouth quirking to one side in a lopsided smile. “Just be your normal fantastic phoenix self and you’ll be fine. Dummy,” she added with another snort and a shake of her head.

                Fen’s crest plumes stood upright in their full glory once more. A shorter mirror of his tail, the smoldering red tips really caught the light and set the gold, yellow, and orange shades off. “You’re right,” he agreed with a large breath and a quick shake, loosing several stray down feathers once again.

                “What’s with the down? Are you molting?” Vree laughed, waving the feathers away as they drifted towards her like a magnet.

                “I’m nervous,” he shot back, crest feathers flattening slightly.

                “I don’t know why,” she responded, scratching at the back of one pointed ear near the top of her head. “She’s absolutely smitten with you,” she added, turning towards the door with a shrug.

                “She is?” Fen asked as he whirled around to follow the werewolf out, grinning from ear to ear, feathers practically glowing with his crest as tall as it could get.

                “Duh,” Vree scoffed in amusement.

                “How do you know?” Fen asked, trailing her. “Who told you? Did she tell you that? Vree!”

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