Re: Pretty Presents. (Fabio/Almira/Any Candidate/ ACM)

Amy Frazey

It was true, Almira hadn't been all that happy about her boots getting soaked when she rescued the silly bronze flit from drowning in the bathing pool the female candidates used. She'd had to work hard to keep them from being ruined, oiling and working the soft leather. No, he wasn't her favorite creature, but she didn't regret saving him.

The past few days, she'd been finding pretty things left on her pillow, and had credited them to her own young flit, Dahlia. Some of the things had clearly been jewelry, or parts of it, at least, and she had tried to find out who the shiny stones belonged to. The flowers, those she had put in a cup of water beside her bed, until they wilted. The broken bit of mirror had earned Dahlia a scolding. Mirrors were expensive,

When Almira went to her bed that night, she was tired, yawning and not paying attention when she sat down. The thing sitting on her pillow that night had been noticed, but her exhausted brain had somehow interpreted it as the shape of a sleeping flit curled up in a ball.Until she reached over to scoop it up. It was furry, and wet, and gloppy, and Almira dropped it with a screech, jumping up off her bed and spinning around to look at the thing and gag for a moment before screaming again when it dawned on her what the thing was. Then she turned around and threw up.

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