Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SEA CHANGE or TREE CHANGE (07/13/17)
- TITLE: A Lightning Bug's Tale
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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Dell sighed and shook his head. "I'm sorry, dear, but I could barely see you. The city lights are too bright for lightning bugs like us. We just can't shine here."
Suddenly, Bea paled as she waved her leg back and forth. "Dell! A foot! Watch out!"
Dell flapped his wings. He flew up and to the east. A giant hand swatted at him. It caught the tip of his tail and sent him spiraling out of control.
Bea maneuvered the crowds and managed to scoop in just in time to help Dell out of the mess. Together, they flew to a nearby building and landed on the ledge.
Bea choked back tears. "I know this is where you grew up, but I think it's time we faced facts. The city is no place for fireflies. Our future kids need to grow up away from all this--this craziness. It's too dangerous here. Plus no one takes the time to truly appreciate us. We need to move away."
They went back home, packed all of their belongings, and said goodbye to their family and friends. Bea tried to make Dell feel better. "It won't be easy, but as long as we stick together and trust our instincts, we're going to be fine."
They sniffed the air and used their antennas to test the wind. After a few minutes, they flew off. The city seemed to loom on and on. They needed to stop and rest often. After hours of flying and resting, Bea looked down and started to cry. "This city is never ending. What did we do? I'm so sorry, Dell. Maybe we should turn around."
Flapping his wings, Dell shook his head. His chest heaved, but he nudged Bea onward. The next time they needed to rest, they landed in a park. Dell wiped away Bea's tears. "We're doing the right thing. Look around. There aren't nearly as many cars here."
"I shouldn't have pushed you to leave."
Once again, Dell wrapped his legs around Bea. "Honey, you are the most beautiful beetle in the world, and you deserve to shine bright. We should have left ages ago. I've been keeping your light hidden, and that's not right." He touched her bum and giggled. "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."
Blushing, Bea swatted at Dell. "You say the sweetest things. Have you had enough rest? I think I can make it now."
Once more, the duo flew away. The trees began to get bigger and closer together. Finally, Bea spotted a beautiful lilac bush and pointed it out to Dell.
He grinned, and they swooped down.
"It's the prettiest bush ever." Smiling, Bea cuddled up next to Dell. "I think we're home." Exhausted, she soon fell asleep while listening to Dell's soft snores.
After a long rest, a strange voice woke Bea. She nudged Dell. "Maybe I spoke too soon. I hear humans."
Stretching his wings, Dell tilted his head. Voices echoed across the valley. Dell started chuckling. "Listen to them, Bea. I think they sound wonderful. These humans seem different than the ones in the city. They don't seem as dangerous."
Bea felt goosebumps pop out on her legs as she listened to the new sounds.
"Nama! Nama, look! Lightning bugs. Ahhhhh, they're so pretty!"
Bea scrunched up her face, concentrated, and grunted. Her tail lit up the leaves all around her. Finally, her light shined brightly, and she was very happy.
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