Inktober 2022 #15

There was a rustle coming from beneath the throne that was making it difficult for the empress to concentrate. Her attention drawn from the ambassador she was listening to, the empress glanced down towards her feet. There was nothing there.

Sighing, she pulled her eyes back upward, to regard the ambassador that was still droning on and on and on, completely unawares to the wane in his Empress’ attention.

The rustle sounded again.

Looking down, the empress focused her eyes upon the long hems of her skirts.

There! The smallest of wriggles!

Slowly, she slid her crystal slippered foot to the side and reached down to move her skirt. A small snout protruded from beneath the feathery fabric of the empress’ skirt. As she bent to inspect it further, one of her guards finally noticed her distraction.

The warrior flew into action, shouting for the audience to be paused; clutching her spear, the guard rushed forwards to her empress’ side, pointing the metallic spearhead at the snout protruding from the empress’ skirt.

“Use caution, your Imperial Majesty,” cried the empress’ guard, “there is a foreign creature at your feet!” She adjusted her grip upon the spear, leaning forward. “Slowly slide away the hem of your skirt, and I shall eradicate the beast!”

The empress made a tutting sound and flipped the hem of her skirt aside. There sat a small, dark grey creature, with ivory-colored scales dotting its back. They were smaller, nearly pin prick sized, across it’s upper body; they grew larger down the creature’s back, forming bands across it’s midsection.

Her guard began to lunge forward with her spear, but the empress flashed her palm upwards, halting her guard mid-stride.

“You shall do no such thing, Ginesia,” said the empress quickly. She bent forward, scooping up the small creature; it was trembling.

She ran a long finger down the thin snout of the creature, as well as gently rubbed its ears between her fingers.

“Your Imperial Majesty!” cried Ginesia, the woman’s hand reaching out hesitantly towards the empress.

“That’s quite enough, Ginesia,” said the empress, speaking calmly to avoid startling the poor little creature further. “I take it you are not much familiar with the life forms of the extinct Terran variety. This little one is completely harmless.” She settled back into her throne. “Ambassador, please continue.”

Inktober 2022, Prompt #15: ARMADILLO

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