It’s dark, and you are camping alongside a freshwater river. The trees and brush are thick but you managed to find a nice clear spot. You settle down and start up a fire and throw a line into the river in hopes of catching some dinner, something you know you can do because you have a delectable glow worm attached to your lure. Fish LOOOVE glow worms, shiny, glowy and nutritious! They have never failed you before. So you cast your line and sit back by your crackling fire. Suddenly your line goes taut, and the glow of the worm vanishes. A snap, and the line goes slack.

You reckon it must have been a big fish, so you try a stronger line and skewer another glow worm onto your hook before you cast in the line again. This time you pay more attention, hoping to net that big fish that broke your first line. You scour the water, biding your time when you see a shadow pass over the glow of the worm beneath the water again, and the line go tight. You pull the line, and it pulls back. You pull harder, and it pulls back harder. Finally, you yank so hard that you fall backward as with a splash something sails up out of the water, and lands on your chest with a wet plop. You look down expecting to see a bright silver fish flopping about on your stomach, instead, you freeze in surprise. On top of you is a strange mammalian creature, with a snout like a duck, webbed feet, a beaver’s tail, and a thick brown furred body. You stare at it, and it stares back at you with its black beady eyes for a moment.

Then in tandem, you scream and it hisses, and slaps you with its tail, before it half slithers off your body as you brush it off and scramble away from each other. It waddle/runs to your fishing gear, and with an acute magical ability makes your little container of glow worms levitate before it disappears into the brush with a slither. You hear a slight splash and scramble to the bank and watch the residual glow of your pilfered glow worms vanish down the river. Thank goodness it only snatched your bait, instead of stabbing you in the leg with its venomous spurs. That would have made it a very bad evening indeed.

--Rohan Porthyrius-Rose