Light cut through the darkness of false dawn, translucent crystalline rays faintly tinged with pale emerald searing through the shadows cast by trees a hundred meters thick. Warmth floated along the dust-mote-speckled shafts--very faint and very gentle, so that several minutes passed before a lingering caress of heat could be felt through a thick golden-yellow pelt. Even then, there was no response from the sleeping beast.
The alien sun rose higher, and the shamrock sky and jade clouds were dazzling in their stolen brilliance.
One fire-orange eye slitted open slowly, the pupil instantly contracting as the comparative brightness of the early morning was perceived. Sleep was heavy in the beast's bones, stiff in her muscles, and one silent flick of a long, shapely ear expressed her annoyance with her state of health. But then, crossing the black sky was never said to be an easy trip, even when taken in one of the krenii's giant metal birds.
A yawn seized her and pried long, raptorine jaws open to reveal rows of razor-sharp teeth--the teeth of a predator. Slowly stirring from her position, prone and sprawled bonelessly on the moss-consumed earth, Tllss forced her well-muscled body into a demi-upright position, resting her weight on her strong haunches and hunching her shoulders. A long, prehensile tail automatically curled itself thrice about her hindquarters, the sensitive tip coiling in a crescent about her right wrist. Wings the color of fresh day-flowers--pale, delicate yellow--were sun-warmed and lazily limp against her flank, the thick, soft membrane cascading in ragged-edged waves down her flanks and over her hips to pool on the ground.
She wondered if those on this world, the huge orb in the sky about which her home--a moon--had revolved, knew the danger of a Hajrar's seemingly broken and useless wings.
The yellow eventually pushed herself upright, groggy imbalance instantly corrected with a sweep of her supple tail, and with shimmering copper-hued claws digging into the thick moss (and producing a very pungent aroma), she padded forward, proud arched neck atypically low-slung. She was tired, and though the sunrise--resplendent in every shade of green she'd ever seen--was lovely and soothing, her throat was dry, and mental satisfaction gave way to physical needs.
The stream was thickly green with algae, and the Hajrar stared at it for a long, long moment, ears flat. But, a little flip of her tail the equivalent of a shrug, she swiped at the scum-encrusted surface with one long-fingered forepaw and plunged her muzzle into the temporarily-clear water. Two quick gulps of fresh, cold, surprisingly clean-tasting water, and then softly furry algae brushed against her snout, and she pulled back with a bubbly snort. One quick shake of her head sent the small mass of green flying through the air, an arc of glittering droplets lit by the rising sun; an irreverent grin tugged at her muzzle at the noisy splat of the waterweed against a nearby rock.
Once more, fire-hued eyes settled on the cloud-smeared sunrise, and Tllss inhaled deeply. Everything smelled green and gold--everything was green and gold--and she exhaled.