Then, in the distance, you see it. It could be a mirage, you fear it is, but as you draw closer the edge of a forest becomes clear. You are half way to the fruit now, but you are more concerned with seeking shade than anything.
You dash down the sandy hills, try not to stumble over your massive paws. For a moment you misstep and your cheek collides with the ground. Sand kernels skid roughly down your chest. Your fur mostly shields you, but you can feel the rough drag of the dusty earth along your nipples and navel. You untangle your limbs and push your paws out beneath you. You shake the sand from your mane of hair and stand up once more.
The forest is still in sight, only slightly closer. You decide to walk more carefully.
You walk closer and closer until the trees transform from blobs of color to individual objects. None bare fruit, but you are one step closer to completing your task.
Then out from the woods flies something strange. At first you can't see it clearly. It buzzes out like an insect right toward you. On instinct when it is close you raise your paw to swat at it.
"Hey! Watch where you swing those!" A tiny, chirpy voice reprimands.
You halt and your eyes grow wide with surprise. "Who are you?" There it is again, that pretty, girly voice. It's almost musical compared to the stiff timbre of your old one. You decide perhaps it's pleasant after all.
"I am a forest pixie. Name's Reth. Who do you think you are taking a swipe at me?"
You tell it your name, then swiftly apologize. "I thought you were a bug," you confess.
"Hmph! How terribly rude." Reth flies closer and you can see now it is in fact a very tiny person with pink skin and long white hair, though it is not clear if it is male or female. It seems to consider you for a moment. "Where are you headed, rude one?"
You are slightly annoyed by this creature, but you struck first. "I said I was sorry. I'm trying to find a fruit for the genie that turned me into a sphinx. If I do, he'll turn me back."
"Back? What were you before?" Reth buzzes from one side of your face to the other and you resist the urge to smack it.
"A human man," you clarify.
"I see. Well, you don't have to play with the genie. I'll change you around if you like."
Written by on 25 March 2019