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Unosian Micro-Tales #1

"I told you!"   The older agamian smirked at his younger friend in triumph. The friend had his attention to the trinket in his hand, mouth agape and eyes hyper-focused. "This... no! You're lying, you HAVE to be!"   "Not lying." The smirk was still on the older one's face, and was growing. "Genuine shai tooth. My broodmates fought it, and gave me a tooth."   The younger one turned his attention to his friend, his expression shifting from amaze to skepticism. "Your broodmates are greenfolk! They don't go shai-hunting!"   The older practically jumped onto his friend, clamping his hand firmly over the offender's mouth. "Don't be stupid! There's a guard RIGHT THERE!!" He pointed in a general direction, where a guard would typically be on patrol. Whether one was or not was unknown to the older agamian. But he was certainly not willing to risk it.   "Sorry..." The younger one managed to say with a muffled groan. The older one removed his hand, and the younger steadied himself. "But I still don't believe you! Shai-hunters don't just give teeth away!"   "I didn't SAY they were hunters, Joly..." The older one chided. "I just said they FOUGHT one."   "Doesn't matter! I still don't believe you! Your brood can't even THINK about fighting a shai, all they do is cook!"   "And they made a REALLY good shai stew!"   "No, they didn't!!" Joly was getting frustrated. "Kran, you ALWAYS lie about this stuff! Remember that one time you said Rowal of Jaya and Kyu gave you a copy of WarClaw 83 personally?"   "He DID! I just lost it, that's all!"   Kran was getting a bit defensive now. It was true, Kran did often stretch the truth for the sake of a good story. And the WarClaw book DID have Rowal's signature on it. At least, it looked like Rowal's signature. The shai tooth was genuine, too, given to Kran by his broodmate. Kran didn't know that it was a scavenged item from a random glass beach, but their broodmates weren't about to spoil the child's imagination. Especially since they hadn't been feeling too great about the work they were actually doing lately, and Kran's antics took the sting away.   Joly threw the small tooth at his friend. "You're LYING! Take your stupid tooth, liar! I'm going home!"   "FINE, then!" Kran caught the tooth, and stomped off in the opposite direction of Joly. Another argument over a tall tale. What a jerk, that Joly. Why can't he be happy for his friend, just once?   The older - yet still very much a child - agamian fumed while he strolled through the busy streets of New Broodnest. It was a fairly interesting place to grow up, especially for an agamian. While it was mostly made up of the lizard-folk, humans weren't an uncommon sight. People of all kinds moved past the angry child, some rushing, others not. All weaving through eachother, as well as the various buildings, to get to wherever it was they were going. One such individual - a human woman - didn't perform her weaving very well, and poor Kran witnessed it first-hand. Both impacted the dusty, cactal-wood ground in moments.   "Ouch! oh, I'm so sorry, kiddo! I didn't mean to--"   "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING, BIG DUMB HUMAN!" The vitriol didn't get through any filters before spilling out of the little one's mouth. The woman, dressed as though she were heading out to hotsand, was taken aback. "H-hey, there's no need to be rude! It was an accident!"   Kran ignored the woman while he rose and dusted himself off, still upset about his last few minutes in general. It didn't take him long, however, to realize that the claws he was clutching his shai tooth with, were empty. He frantically began looking around on the ground. "WH-WHERE IS IT?!"   The woman was looking at Kran with a look of impatience on her face, but managed to keep her cool, aside from her initial reaction to the kid's outburst. Without knowing what the agamian was searching for, she got onto her knees and started looking around as well, idly trying to help the kid and hopefully get some politeness in return. It didn't take her long to find the tooth, which was right beside her.   "Is this what you're looking fo--"   "G-G-GIVE IT BACK!! MY BROOD KILLED THAT SHAI!"   The woman decided that she would hunt for a bit of nice in the naughty that was angry Kran. "That's not what you say to someone that just helped you, is it?"   Kran snapped out of it slightly, realizing he'd been called out. "...can you please give it back?"   "Hmm." The woman studied the tooth, and then the agamian. Then the tooth again-- wait a moment.   Wait a moment.   Her face went from a motherly pout to an intense stare. She knew this tooth. "Where... did you get this, kid?"   "I... I told you, my brood--"   She snapped, without intending to. "No, they didn't. Tell me where you REALLY got it."   "I-I swear! My broodmates, they gave it to me! And said that they killed the shai, themselves! Honest!"   "Hrmm." She didn't want to give the kid another reason to get angry, but this was a bit beyond that right now. She ran her fingers down the curves and dents in the tooth, and again examined the spot that triggered her curiosity: the symbol carving.   "Is your brood on the island, kid? This is important, I need to talk to whoever gave this to you."   Kran scoffed. "If you want one, you'll just have to kill your OWN shai. All the other teeth belong to--"   The woman grabbed the agamian child and pulled him into an empty corridor, pushing him against the wall. "I don't have time for your nonsense, kid. Take me to your broodmate, and do it now. This isn't just a tooth, got it?"   The kid was taken by total surprise, staying in shocked silence throughout this whole ordeal. His eyes widened, however, at that last phrase.   "Wh-wh-what do you mean?!"   "It's a sign", she said, half-lost in thought. "A sign that a very dear friend of mine may still be alive."

Author's Note: Agamians are single-gendered. As such, concepts of "him and her" do not exist in agamian society. This tale uses male pronouns for the characters for the sake of translation, but they are not male characters.   I may expand upon this, but for now I just wanted to stretch out my storytelling muscles. Don't expect a continuation anytime soon, but also take this with a grain of salt.

Cover image: by SwishyTheFish


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