Opal and Snap stood on top of the playground equipment, and looked down. They may have only been a dozen or so feet off the ground, but to Opal, it felt like miles. Especially considering what they were about to do.
"You ready?" Snap asked, placing a reassuring hand on the young tiger quoll's shoulder.
"I'm not sure," Opal replied. "We seem so high up."
"Try to relax and remember what I taught you."
With that, Snap jumped. The thylacine curled himself up just before he hit the ground, and his putty-like body causing him to bounce back up high enough for him to unfurl and land comfortably on his feet. Snap looked at Opal and smiled, giving her his biggest grin.
Opal took a deep breath and closed her eyes before jumping. As she fell, she leaned back into a horizontal position. Her back and shoulders took the brunt of the force as she landed, but she felt no pain, the shock being absorbed by her elastic hair and fur. Opal felt herself bounce just a little bit, and opened her eyes. Snap stood over her, arm extended to help her up, and a look of pride on his face.
"Great job, Opal," he said as Opal got to her feet. "I knew you could do it. I'll make a daredevil out of you yet!"
The tiger quoll blushed and twirled a strand of hair on her fingers, stretching it out. Suddenly a voice called out, and the two friends looked over.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the Freak Shows."
A small group walked up to them, and Snap recognized them as the bullies who had been picking on Opal when he first met her.
"Just go away," Snap said to the lead bully.
"Why should we, Putty-boy?" the bully sneered. "You don't have the advantage of surprise. We're ready for you this time. What are you gonna do?"
Opal shifted uncomfortably on her feet and Snap glanced at her.
"I don't need to do anything. Opal can take care of you all by herself," the thylacine said.
Opal's eyes went wide and Snap whispered into her ear.
"Just be confident. You can do this. Remember, we trained for this. I believe in you, Opal."
Opal took a nervous step forward and the bullies laughed.
"Her? That Cry-baby?"
"I'd leave her alone if i were you," Snap said.
The lead bully scoffed and stepped forward, ready to give Opal a shove. The tiger quoll backpedaled and grabbed her hair, pulling it as though it were a slingshot.
"Last chance," Snap said calmly. "Leave her alone."
The bully ignored him and lunged at Opal. She squealed and let go of her hair. It snapped forward, and flicked the bully on the thigh. He jumped and yelled, rubbing at his leg. Quickly, Opal grabbed her hair again and pulled it back out. Once more she let go and flicked it. This time it struck the bully on the arm. He yelped. Another bully ran in, and Opal flicked him in the stomach. The bullies looked at each other. This wasn't how it was supposed to go. Opal had always been an easy target for them. The lead bully squealed as Opal flicked him in the butt, and he ran, the others quickly following. Snap cheered and clapped.
"Well done, Opal. I don't think they'll be trying to push you around anytime soon after that little display."
"I did OK?" she said in a soft voice.
"You did great," Snap said, hugging her. "You stood up for yourself and taught them not to push you around."
Opal smiled. Ever since she had met Snap, he had become almost like a big brother to her, and had taught her so many things. It filled her heart with joy to know she had made him so proud of her. Snap took hold of her hand and began to walk off happily.
"Now," he said, "let's get back to having some fun..."
A semi-blind trade with
For this one, we specified the title of the received work, but nothing else.
Snap and Opal belong to