Lunchtime with Tansy


“Cluck”, said the creature on the front stoop.

“Yeah, yeah. I heard you”, Tansy answered, carefully averting her eyes.

“Cluck, hiss”, the creature said, with clear impatience.

Tansy spun around, keeping the line of her vision on the line of the porch. “Look! I already told you! You get food when it’s food time. You don’t get to just waddle-slither up here and demand it. And if you keep messing around and turning the squirrels to stone, you might wake up to a few new weasel friends, you hear?”

The creature screeched and Tansy resisted the urge to cover her ears and cry.

“ENOUGH!” Her shout shook the house and brought a few loose leaves down from the trees that cowered just past a thick brown line of burned grass and bushes. She took a deep, calming breath and counted to three slowly, the way the man from the Other Animal Control had taught her. When the urge to crack the world in half had subsided, she took the mirrorshades from her jacket pocket and put them on. A soft, almost meek, gurgling sound came from the ground at her feet. She waited another slow two count, then looked down.

The basilisk looked back up at her, blinking as it adjusted to its own reflection off her glasses. Its serpent tail swished back and forth like a penitent cat’s might.

Tansy smiled. “It’s okay. You’re fine. Let’s eat.” She opened the screen door and they both went inside for lunch.

I’ve wanted to write a story with a basilisk for a long time, and I just might write a “proper” short story sooner or later. One has banged around in my head for a few years now, but I’ve never gathered up the patience to sit down and write it all down.

Play along with the prompt here!

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)