This is Part 3 but it all started here...
Andrew froze, afraid to move at all, afraid he would drop the egg, or worse, that whatever came out decided Andrew looked delicious enough for its first meal. He heard a high-pitched chirp. As he held his breath, he could hear the cracks open as they spider-webbed all over the surface.
Up through the center burst an opaque horn. He leaned back as it disappeared and thrust upward again, the little horn snapping off, falling to the ground. The egg split open and a smooth magenta head poked through. It took it a few tries to slide out between the crack. The creature opened its toothless mouth in its first breath of air. It pushed through more, revealing catfish-like whiskers on its cheeks that reached outwards like feelers on an ant, carefully inspecting the air and rubbing against his hand as he carefully held it out towards it. It chirruped, and squirmed, opening two black eyes that stared deeply into his own.
His fears faded. He felt a pang of worry over the creature as it wobbled this way and that trying to break out. He wanted to help it, but he remembered what Aunt Jenna had said about the baby chicks. If you helped them, they would never be able to help themselves. He sat back, setting it on his lap, watching it, waiting, wanting to help but holding back. His hands were shaking so he held them together. It was taking forever, but to him it was happening so fast, he was caught up in every detail.
Fins slipped out of the other cracks, sending shell bits tumbling down the sides. It screeched as pulled itself forward, the shell falling apart behind it. It wasn't until the creature had stumbled forward, shrugging off the egg bits that Andrew could finally see its entire body.
It was a fish! Or was it? It couldn't be a real fish because it was obviously breathing air and looking around curiously, without panic. Its lower fins were able to hold it upright, although it wobbled. Two of the pectoral fins looked more like bird wings and it wasn't until it started to flap them that Andrew realized this definitely wasn't a fish after all.
Its frantic fluttering managed to get a foot off the ground before it tumbled into the dust. It cried out and continued to flap but became stuck on its side, only managing to kick up a dust cloud. Andrew brushed the egg bits off his lap and crawled towards it, again reaching out a hand towards it. What if it bit him?
He touched its tail fin, which looked like the tails of the fancy goldfish he had seen at the pet store. The tail was delicate and brilliantly colored. Robin's egg blue faded into firey orange with yellow and sea green inbetween and covered in black spots which also ran up its back. It squirmed and turned back to see him touching its tail and they both froze. Its eyes were intelligent, not at all like the glassy expression of a normal fish. It blinked, watching him with wide eyes.
Andrew didn't dare move as it slowly righted itself and came forward, its catfish whiskers alert, it's eyes never breaking its stare with him. Slowly it crawled towards him on those weird fins. It opened its mouth and chirupped again. A question? Andrew was lost in its eyes again, eyes that seemed so innocent. It wouldn't bite him. He could feel that. He reached toward it.
He stopped halfway when it leaned forward, meeting his hand, nuzzling against his palm. He nearly pulled back as vibrated, gurgling. Was it purring? That wasn't right, but it was close because it seemed happy. He petted down its back as it arched to meet his hand, even letting him pet its dorsal fin, which felt soft as silk. It stumbled closer to him, feeling him with its whiskers, and examining him. Before he knew it, it had climbed on his lap and he was sitting there staring at it as it stared back at him.
"Hey," Andrew said.
It smiled, its mouth open.
Andrew was about to say something else when it broke its gaze and stared over his shoulder. He turned around to see Aunt Jenna standing there.
"Well, don't just sit there, Andrew. Bring him inside."
"Aunt Jenna, I..." He wanted to apologize, but he also had a million other questions in his mind, the greatest of which was what should he do next. She didn't seem nervous at all. It was as if he had brought home a puppy or any other normal pet.
She knelt down beside him and the creature backed off slightly, but didn't leave his lap. She opened her hand and inside was a blue muffin. She offered it to the creature. It felt the muffin with its whiskers and then snatched it, shoving it into its mouth, chomping down on its own whiskers. It slurped clean the whiskers, smacking its lips, licking them. It leapt forward at her, but Andrew caught it. The creature wasn't too hard to hold onto since it was sticky from the egg fluids.
"The poor thing is starving! I bet you're ready for some dinner too, hmm? Let's get you two cleaned up."
Andrew nodded and stood up, cradling the creature in his arms. They were both sticky and dusty.
"I still don't know what it is."
"What he is," Jenna said, "is a gulariss, a lake-dwelling dragon."
Continue to Part 4?