"The Fluff" - Original Story by Nightsong

 Ciao lovelies! Today for Kawaii Friday I'd like to share with you a story written by Nightsong about the adorable Cryptid! (If you want more stories about Cryptid you can check out "What Goes Bump in the Night", Nightsong's first story about him!) If you want more stories from Nightsong be sure to leave an encouraging comment for her! 

And now enough from me, let's read Nightsong's story!

The Fluff

     Tiny paws pattered quietly on the smooth hardwood floor. Tufted ears swiveled back and forth, listening for danger. Wide yellow eyes peered around at the massive room filled with towering furniture, black fur with unusual green markings glowed in the moonlight, bottle green wings silloueted in the soft light. A small, stocky kitten-esque creature, padded through the dark living room, searching, looking for something he’d spotted earlier as he observed the humans through the window. Something he was willing to risk his safety for, risking discovery for. 

     This tiny, bizzare creature has a name, he’s called Cryptid, a name given to him by his mother in the hopes he would be mysterious, fearsome, and dangerous. However, little Cryptid is none of these things. Instead he was puny, soft, and as skittish as a paper kite in a windstorm.

     He placed each unproportionally large paw down one at a time with painstaking care. His antennas trembling as were his legs, terrified but also filled with thrilling excitement, his bobbed tail wiggling in anticipation. Suddenly a loud creak from somewhere else in the house split the silence and with a squeak of alarm, sent Cryptid scrabbling across the floor, stubby claws struggling to get traction. He slid underneath a colossal sofa and huddled there, straining his ears, listening intently for more sounds that might indicate the approach of one of the humans, his whole body shaking. But no other sound came. Still, Cryptid hid there for several more minutes, taking deep breaths, trying to summon his courage. His little chest heaved, the cream colored ruff of fur around his neck disturbed by each shaky breath. Closing his eyes, he reminded himself of his goal, of the prize that awaited him. 

    Creeping inch by inch on his belly, Cryptid finally emerged from under the couch. His focus rested on a card table at the other end of the living room. The rest of his trek across the floor went without incident, but when he stood before the table his heart sank as he realized a new problem. The legs of the black card table were smooth metal poles, unclimbable, and while Cryptid had the trademark wings of his species, his were smaller than most, especially in comparison to his chunky body. Rather than flying through the night sky as was expected of him, he could only glide from branch to branch, object to object. His wide yellow eyes searched the room but there was no furniture close enough, high enough, or climbable near the table.

     Cryptids ears and antenne drooped, and he let out a tiny huff of frustration and disappointment. Starting to turn around and head back to the window through which he’d entered, he suddenly stopped, noticing something. There was also a window behind the card table and hanging on either side of the window were long, thick, cloth curtains. They hung all the way down to about a foot and a half off the floor. Cryptids tail began wagging energetically and he bounded across, under the table and right below the right curtain. He stared up at the fabric, prancing in place with excitement, little brain whirring. Crouching, he bunched his haunches, tail still wiggling, and lept upwards, extending his stubby claws towards the curtain above. He felt the very edge of the fabric brush against the tips of his claws, but not enough to grab ahold. Flailing his big, clumsy paws he landed back on his hind quarters, wings flapping desperately to regain his balance. A shrill wail of frustration and disappointment escaped him and he froze, listening again for the sounds of human footsteps. But this time there were none. He stomped his front paws in anger and lept again, this time fluttering his wings rapidly, hoping they would boost him a bit higher. 

It was just barely effective, his front claws hooked tightly into the curtain, hindquarters hanging free, hind paws churning in the air frantically. His eyes were wide as he went still and hung there from the fabric for a few moments as he was at a loss as to how to climb up without his hind paws having purchase. 

The muscles in his broad shoulders were burning with the effort, he needed to act fast. With several small squeaks and grunts he pulled his body up using just his front claws, then quickly reached his right paw up and sank it once again into the cloth, but higher. Panting, he repeated this with the other front paw and continued this pattern. Slowly, inch by inch he pulled himself up until he could grip the curtain with his hind claws as well, and he stopped a moment to catch his breath as the aching in his shoulders lessend slightly as his weight was more evenly distributed between all four paws now. 

Once he’d caught his breath he narrowed his eyes, focused again on the object he sought. Steadily, he climbed the fabric paw over paw, until he thought his muscles were melting from exertion and his claws would rip out of their sheaths. But finally, tiny chest heaving, breaths ragged, he came to be level with the card table and lept towards it, spreading his wings, glowing silver-green in the moonlight, and glided to the tables top. 

Cryptid collapsed atop the smooth surface, panting and puffing like a tiny train engine. He was exhausted, he felt as though he hardly had the energy to lift his head from the table, but he forced himself to and looked around, joy surging through his veins, giving him a burst of renewed strength as he expected to see what he sought, what he’d worked so hard for. Another shrill, mournful wail escaped him as his wide eyes saw that the table top was empty, his prize nowhere in sight. Tears of frustration and piercing disappointment slid down his face as he stared in bewilderment, unable to comprehend that he had tried so hard and risked so much to find what would have made it all worth it, gone. His head once again dropped to rest on the table, tears continuing to fall as he went limp, big paws splayed out in all directions, tail still, ears flat against his head, defeated. 

Lost in his own misery, it took Cryptid a few moments to hear the thudding footsteps of one of the humans, alarmed by his piercing wail, approached. Terror overtook despair in a surging wave that sent adrenaline zooming through his body all the way to the very tips of his stubby claws. With a yelp he launched himself forward, careening off the edge of the table in a blind panic, with the speed of a racehorse leaving the starting gate. In his haste he didn’t immediately spread his wings, resulting in a few seconds of free falling before he managed to pull into a glide and dived back towards the sofa, crashing into the plush base and falling to the ground in a heap. Stunned for a moment Cryptid tried to shake the stars from his vision. Just as they cleared the footsteps reached the doorway to the living room and the towering shadowy form of a man appeared, as the tiny creature scooted under the sofa once again and crouched shaking from the tufts on his ears to the very tip of his stubby tail, so hard in fact he thought surely his very bones must be rattling in his chunky body. He was almost positive the man had seen him, but he had nowhere to flee as the man stepped into the room and was now standing between Cryptid and the open window. All he could do was huddle there under the furniture and pray to the stars that he’d been fast enough in hiding. 

The man flipped a switch on the wall and lights mounted to the ceiling became as bright as the first ray of sunshine at dawn, Cryptid squinted his eyes at the sudden illumination. He watched, holding his breath as the massive feet stomped across the wooden floor, passing right in front of his hiding place and stopping. Cryptid didn’t blink, didn’t breath, trembling, soft, hardly audible whimpers catching in his throat. The seconds seemed to pass by as slowly as watching grass grow, and yet the man still stood there, surveying the room. But just when Cryptid thought his lungs would burst and his heart would give out, the man turned, and with an annoyed sigh, lumbered back out of the room, flipping the lights back off as he went. All the breath Cryptid had been holding in escaped him in one long, shaky gasp. His body went slack, the tension released with the sigh, but still he shivered having reached the limit of fear his little mind and body could handle. He was ready to go home, he was ready for a nap in his warm nest. But as he got to his paws, sadness once again washed over him as he remembered that he hadn’t found what he came for. Oversized paws dragging on the floor as he trudge along under the sofa, towards the open window,  Cryptid felt as though he weighed as much as the couch, with exhaustion, frustration, and deep disappointment clotted in his heart and stomach as if he’d swallowed solid lead. 

However one last surprise awaited him this night. Just as he reached the edge of the space under the sofa he lifted his eyes from the ground and took one last look around the room, not knowing why he was bothering, but his eyes landed on something tucked behind the couch, against the back wall. 

Quickly his ears perked and swiveled towards it, antenna shaking, eyes growing so wide they almost filled his whole face. Was it what he thought it was? Sadness dissipated for a moment, replaced with cautious hope and he went bounding towards it, chunky paws slapping against the wood, caution thrown to the winds. He attempted to slide to a halt but his momentum carried him across the slick floor and there was a tiny thud as he thumped into the wall, but he hardly even noticed, because clutched between his front paws was what he’d come for! 

Dipping his head down he stared at the object in his grasp so closely that his nose almost touched it, his eyes huge, tail wagging, in fact his entire body wiggled with excitement. The object in his paws was a soft, round, fuzzy puff ball. The humans referred to them as pom poms and seemed to like to glue them to things. But now Cryptid finally had one! It must have fallen from the table earlier before the humans stowed the rest away. It was almost the size of his head, and a bright purple in color. With disk sized eyes, he padded gently at the fluff with one of his paws, feeling its softness, and started baping it between his front paws purring loudly and letting out tiny squeaks of delight. Exhaustion forgotten he began leaping and twisting and bouncing all around the pom pom, reaching out and tapping it with his paws then bouncing away again on stiff legs, fur fluffed up. Then with a happy squeal, he scooped the bit of fluff up in his mouth, raced across the living room, clambered up the curtain and heaved himself up onto the windowsill and out into the night, gliding off towards his home in a hollow tree with his family. 

As he sailed through the darkness his entire chest vibrated with the force of his purring, his prize clutched tightly in his jaws, filled with delight and anticipation of getting to tuck the little pom pom into his nest.

 Thank you to Nightsong for sharing her amazing writing here again! If you'd like to see more of her art, check her out on Instagram (And if you'd like to arrange to buy a sticker of the adorable Cryptid, DM her art account!