Stretch. Preen. Fidget, half-uncoiled on the smooth cliff ledge newly warmed by slanting rays of the early morning sun. Streeetch wings–ooh, shiny!–and carefully nip off the specks of sand and soil that mar the shiny. Then, lift slender, snake-like head.

Tide sounds wrong.

Sunlight glittering along sleek cerulean scales, rear up, flaring wings for balance. Peer out with albino-pink eyes into the bright–bright hurts–blinkblink and then blink again. Shade eyes with one wing–lose balance and flop onto flank. Titter in annoyance, voice sprightly and bird-like, then simply slither right off the ledge.

Whoosh!–wings open and catch the newborn thermals that rise from the warming sands of the beach below. Whee! More pretty shiny–sun good on skin and wings–warm.

But then, sound of disruption in the waves again. Twist mid-air–change course. Swoop as though trying to dodge the unimpeded sunlight that comes over the ocean’s great, glittering expanse–bright!–dodge–warrrm…–dive towards the beach.

Backwing very quickly, very rapidly, then pool serpentine length onto the heated grains of sand. Rustle of sand against glistening hide–dirty bad–flutterflutter. More sand kicks up because of wing-wind. Sigh. Stop fluttering.

Then, fasten pink eyes onto the hills of white-topped waves come in. Tide still wrong. A greyish-brownish lump–larger by far than the flier–floating lifelessly in. Whassat? Pause. Carcass?

Rear up again–flutterflutter–somehow springboard long body into the air and flap furiously to get high enough to zip forward on a tiny current of air. Bright bad! Zoom over the ocean, into the sun, past the floating thing–then twist and come back. Bright behind–shadow on water–can see now.

Feathered-hunter-landwalker-critter! A Tyce. Floating. Not moving. Dead critter? Pause. Why in water?

Don’t bother to hesitate–zip down and buzz just a hair’s-breadth above the water-soaked, feathered beast. Lumpy. But keen hearing picks up the faint sound of a heartbeat. Critter not dead. Twist–bad bright!!–pass and turn–shadow on water again. Ahh–relieved sigh. Dive–smack the critter’s nose (barely above water) with tailtip. Critter half-dead–annoyance.

Waves carry the Tyce to the shore, slowly pushing at its toned, ocean-cleansed body, shoving it further towards the edge between dry and wet sand.

Flutterflutter. These-type critters friends. Pause–flutter–shadow on wet sand as the wave rolls out again, oh-so-briefly. Friends. Dive–backwing–hover–then carefully land on the big quadruped’s heaving flank. It coughs violently–flutterflutterflutter!–and up into the air again. Yikes! Hover–sun on back–warm.

The half-drowned predator coughs, retches up saltwater, then blearily opens one amber-golden eye. The eye is glazed, but slowly rolls upwards and attempts to focus on the cerulean Budram, hovering above–damp from seaspray with curiosity shining in its serpentine face. No danger.

Friend-critter awake! Zip down, chirruping merrily, and pool length onto dry sand, just a little ways away from the greybrown beastie. Watch avidly with wide, unblinking eyes as the Tyce laboriously pulls itself upwards without fully rising, towards the little flier.

Awake! Awake!

The Tyce lets itself fall once the waves cease to pull at its hind limbs, lupine muzzle creating a little trough in the sand a mere inch from the Budram’s winged form. Not-awake. Sigh. Wait with friend-critter.

The tide begins to roll out.