Short story by D. Scozzari Six short chapters, on at a time.
The sun was not quite up yet. There were shadows all over from the little bit of moon light left in the sky. Sara, the owl, was flying around for her last sweep of the area for some food before nesting in her tree when she saw it!
Sitting together in awe was Anabella, the fox, Corrina, the tiger, and Lillian, the black bear. What they were all looking at was this flare, like fire, coming right out of a hole in the ground. The flare wavered as fire does and would stretch up high in the air at times.
Everyone was uncomfortable with this flare and those who surrounded it. After all a fox, a tiger, and a bear were rare companions. In fact, they were not companions at all! Each kept its distance from the others, being ready to pounce or run away. The flare mesmerized them in such a way that the power to look into the fire was stronger than the power to depart.
It looked as though an entity was appearing in the flare. To Corrina it looked like a tiger. To Anabella the entity looked like a fox. To Lillian it looked like a vaporous black hole.
No one but Sara, who was now perched in a tree, saw the icy cold water nearby wave up and show a partial head; two ears and two eyes staring at the flare from the water. If you looked closely enough Sara could see a black wet nose, but she could not tell if it belonged to the ears and eyes.
Anabella and Corrina began to get upset with each other. Shoving, pushing, and growling. It was not long before Anabella ended up in the water. When she emerged not only was she shaking wet but she had an addition to her head. Cold and slimy, the creature was hanging on so not to fall. But fall it, did right into the fire. Burned, the creature yelled in anguish. Anabella smelled the burned thick skin and thought it would taste really good, but for some reason she did not act on that. Instead she carried the creature by its neck in her mouth back to the cold water to try to decrease its pain.
The seal said, “I am Dianna. This flare has increased and I am fearful of it. I live in the water with my family of seals, but this flame, even though it stays on out of the water, it has a power.”
Lillian coward over the whole scene. She did not know what to do. Maybe, she thought, she should just run away. The little black bear climbed up a tree to put some distance away from her and the flame.
Sarah screeched “What is that coming this way?” It made Lillian jump and almost fall out of the tree. For the first time the other animals saw that the owl was perch above them.