An Itch to Scratch
An Itch to Scratch fantasy stories
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Autoplay OFF   •   9 months ago
Pick yourself up and dust yourself off with this sweet bedtime story about some phoenixes. Fantasy, 900 words in length, about one page.

An Itch to Scratch

by Somskies

Once there was a Phoenix whose fiery wings were hot and burned bright with love. The Phoenix nested in a tree by a vast lake, on the edge of a forest and was very happy with her three eggs.

Then one day the Phoenix was gathering sticks for her nest when she was shot down by some humans. Confused, she lay flapping about until they caught her up.

The captured bird was tagged and released again, and unsure of what to do she went back to her nest. The humans tracked her back and took her eggs.

She squawked and bit at the humans, but they wore thick gloves that went all the way up their arms and her beak was powerless against them.

Once the eggs had been taken, and the humans had beaten her back, and her nest lay in ruins, the Phoenix burst into flames and fizzled into ashes with one final cry of sorrow.

Meanwhile, the eggs would be taken to a cave. Deep within the mountain side and underground, the humans lived in little tunnels far from the reaches of the sunlight.

The Phoenix eggs were placed in a dug out trench and covered with a large and flat stone. The humans warmed the eggs by lighting fire above and around the hole to keep the Phoenixes warm.

The Phoenixes hatched and one by one the humans came and chained them up, only letting them feel the warmth of the ground underneath them as they roosted. One of the Phoenixes wings was broken.

It had been born smaller and weaker, just a little too early when one of the humans had knocked it's egg. It died and that was it's end.

It's ashes were scrapped out and dumped outside the caves. The second Phoenix was nasty and bit at the humans each time they were fed.

That Phoenix was taken and eaten one day, much to its protest. The third Phoenix often wondered what there was to complain about in the cave.

It felt like it was warm, and the humans fed it, and it didn't feel like going anywhere anyway. Why should it? The cave was nice enough.

So the Phoenix lived in the cave for long enough that it's feathers molted and it carefully preened itself,

letting them drop all around itself and curl up as they sizzled against the heat of the fiery wings and floor in the nest. The heat was as warm as a mother's touch.

Then a human came and fed the Phoenix as he did each day except he forgot to cover the Phoenix's nest with the stone once again as he was supposed to.

The Phoenix became very still as the human retreated. Then, slowly, it moved to the edge of the trench it was nested in.

The phoenix felt confused as the warmth of its nest drained out from the trench.

Yet all the same, it felt like there was more warmth on the outside of the trench and it felt good!

The Phoenix felt like the humans had been keeping that much warmth from him all this time and was sad. He pulled at his chains, anger bubbling in his blood and heat pouring from his wings.

He channeled all the heat into melting the chains and finally broke free. With a screech the Phoenix took flight, streaking through the caves and out into the light.

Below the Phoenix was farms and towns but he only had eyes for the sun.

The humans tried to shoot down the Phoenix but with a cry the Phoenix thought only that he loved the sunlight and needed more of its warmth.

So over the oceans and over the forests the Phoenix flew, chasing the sunlight as it set on the horizon.

The Phoenix was just too slow, and eventually his fire fizzled and he began to fall in the dying light.

As he fell, his feathers broke away and he became ash, settling in a lump on the ground of a vast plain of grass.

The wind rustled the grass, stirring and whipping the ashes about for hours as the inky sky above uncaringly stared back. Yet every night must end and colors should and will come again.

Distance often makes the heart grow fonder, something the sun knows quite well. The sun began to rise and the sky blushed.

The colours of the sky began to gather, and they discussed putting on a show for those early enough to catch it.

The sunrise that day was particularly delightful as purple, pink, and even old friend blue danced their way across the horizon, welcoming sun to the next morning.

The ashes of the Phoenixes, scattered far and wide, felt a spark in themselves and maybe a bit of warmth too.

Though their family had been chased around much to their chagrin, they felt like gathering their things and trying again.

The ashes that had been scattered across the lands came together under a willow tree that overlooked a river, and as the colors in the sky made way for old friend blue to take the stage,

Exactly four little Phoenixes, each a tiny, fuzzy ball of flame burned steady in the ash pile. The four Phoenixes, wissened by tale and time, were ready to try again.

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