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Nui’s existence, since he hatched from an egg, had been uneventful until now. Outside from the occasional molting, living alongside the other dragonfly and damselfly nymphs simply consisted of exploring the pond they lived in and tempering their hunger with tasty treats. However, the systematic predictability of daily pond life had changed.
Without apparent reason, the nymphs of Nui’s pond began to disappear. Sure, life in the pond was sometimes dangerous, dodging the gaping mouths of small fish and attacking birds, but the recent rash of disappearances suggested there was a new, more dreadful predator.
New missing-nymph reports circulated. “I just saw Puru this morning and now he’s gone!” exclaimed Tooya “Gone, lost forever, like all the others!” Panic rippled through the pond as whispers of these numerous missing nymphs spread.
Saddened, Nui floated beneath the surface of the pond and looked beyond its glassy ceiling. On the opposite side, shapes blurred by the cloudy transparency of the water, darted about quickly and he shuddered with fear. One of the moving creatures spotted him, stopped in mid-air and hovered above Nui’s upturned face. The creature was hideous! It had bulbous black eyes and protrusions of long transparent paneling out of its back that moved up and down faster than Nui’s nymph eyes could follow. At the end of its grotesquely long and narrow torso was a rump that curled downward like a targeting weapon. Suddenly, it darted closer to the surface of the pond and stared upon Nui, only inches from his face. Nui screamed and dove back to the safety of the pond’s murky bottom.
“Those must be the monsters that are making the nymphs disappear!” The horror was almost too much for poor Nui to bear so he spent much of that night awake, wondering how the pond and all its nymphs, were going to survive this deadly invasion.
The next day Nui was so tired he could barely think and see. He felt hallow and began aimlessly meandering through the pond for sustenance. Eyes bloodshot and half-closed, Nui bumped into the base of a water reed and hung on to stabilize himself. Instinctively, he crawled up its trunk towards the pond’s surface. In the murky water below him, he heard the voices of the other nymphs shouting caution at him as he followed the reed to the top but he felt so tired he couldn’t respond.
Without thought, he breached the surface of the pond and rested on a leaf that protruded from the body of the reed. A distant part of him felt the presence of the flying monsters hovering above him before he passed out…
Nui loved his new wings. Free from the dense water, he could now dart and zig and zag through the air like a ricocheting star. He had never felt more content. It was as if the deepest part of him had finally been nourished. Evolving into a dragonfly also broadened his perspective and donned upon him knowledge that dispelled the many fears he possessed as a nymph.
He looked down upon the pond that once shielded him and saw the round face of a dragonfly nymph staring up at him from beneath its surface. He flew down closer and looked at it, vaguely recollecting the fear he now saw on the little nymph’s face. Shuddering with distress it retreated to the bottom of the very small pond. He shrugged with compassion then flew off into the very big sky.