Elysia rolled her eyes. “I just want to watch the show.
“Fine, though why you want to watch a bunch of Jellies float down a runway is beyond me.”
“I told Olindias I would cheer her on.” Elysia nodded toward her Jellyfish friend. “Oooo, look. Here come the Weedies. They’re going to dance.”
"Excuse me, would you care for a drink?”
Elysia swiveled. The blue ringed Octopus server offered a silver tray with tall glasses of green liquid. “Uhmm, no thank you.”
“A crab cake perhaps?” He extended another silver, crab laden tray and then a third, covered with shells. “Oysters?”
“No.” She waved her oral tentacles. “I’m fine, but thanks all the same.”
The red-orange Sea Dragons opened the Jellyfish Fashion Show two by two, sashaying down the blue-green algae runway, mirroring each other’s movements, dorsal fins fluttering. The crowd on either side murmured, ooo’d and awe’d as the ten pairs passed by.
Phesti shuddered. “I can’t stand watching them eat. It’s the beaks I think.”
Elysia shrugged, her mantle edges curling. “I don’t mind. At least they’re neat.”
“Well, you like everyone.” Phesti waved her foot tentacles. “Even after all the nasty things those Jellies said to you and you still come to their show.”
"Just because they’re unkind doesn’t mean I have to be. And Olindias stood up for me.”
“Maybe she grew a brain.”
“Phesti.” Elysia flared out her mantle. “That is not nice.”
“They called you slime foot.” Phesti wagged her cerata. “How can you defend them?”
“AND now for the event we have all been waiting for.” The MC’s voice gurgled over the sound system. “Our first contestant is the stunning Pink Jellie. Note the fascinating floral pattern on her fuchsia bell.”
Bubbles of green applause blew all around the runway as the brilliant pink jellyfish floated by.
“And next we have a fan favorite.” The MC waved three of his tentacles towards the approaching entrant. “The Orange Sea Nettle.”
Eyes glued to the entryway, Elysia waited for her friend to make an appearance.
“Our third entry is from Down Under." He tipped his purple top hat. "The Australian Spotted Jellie.”
Elysia’s attention was captured by the beauty and elegance of the spotted, white creature as she glided past. Just as the Australian reached the end of the runway, Elysia noticed an odd flash of light drawing the contestant toward it.
Phesti twisted her foot to peer down to the end of the runway. “Too far for me to see anything. What was it?”
“I don’t know.” She slid closer to the algae and then slipped around the Octopi rock table until she was closer to the end of the runway. A black Sea Nettle was reaching the runway end when the light flashed again followed by an ominous slurping noise.
“What are you doing?”
Elysia’s mantle flew open. “Phesti, you scared me near to pieces.” She slid closer to the odd noise. The light from her mantle grew brighter and her eyes grew wider as the origin of the noise was revealed. Elysia slid backward as fast as she could, shoving into Phesti.
“Phesti, we’ve got to stop the show.” She pushed her friend forward. “Keep ahead of me. Stop the show.” She raced onto the runway.“Stop the show.”
“You don’t understand. You’ve got to stop. Don’t go to the end.”
Olindias bell puffed as she tried to get past Elysia. “But why? I see a beautiful light down there.” She waved her tentacles at Elysia. “Just because they wouldn’t let you compete is no reason to ruin it for the rest of us.”
Elysia raced alongside her friend, grateful for once that her slime allowed her to keep pace. “You don’t understand, Olindias.” She flared her mantle and using all the solar light she had stored, she lit up the danger.“It’s an Anglerfish!”
The iridescent bubbles of applause turned to pale bubbles of horror as the crowd panicked. Octopus jetted past the Leafy and Weedy Sea Dragons, pulling them along with the current away from the Anglerfish. The MC’s mushroom was trampled by the stampeding Sea Horses and he fell over, all eight legs a tangled mess.
Olindias managed to jet away from the peril while Elysia and Phesti slid to safety.
“Oh, Elysia … I’m such an idiot.” Olindias drifted over. “I should have known you’d never have tried to disrupt my big day without good reason.”
“You are an idiot.” Phesti murmured.
“No problem.” Elysia raised her voice to drown out Phesti. “It’s easy to be fooled by the light of the Angler.”
“Laaadies and gentlemen.” The MC had somehow managed to regain his mushroom stool and contain the audience panic. “Let’s all give a warm round of applause to the bravery of our friend, Elysia, the Sea Slug.”
Bright pink, purple and gold bubbles erupted from the crowd.
The MC waved his arms until the crowd quieted. “It's true what she said. It is easy to be fooled by the light of the Angler, but we can all be grateful that it's false light doesn’t stand a chance when revealed by the light of the sun.”
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you come again. Next time we'll explore the Lord's amazing creatures of the air.