The Firebug

An iridescent glimmer appears within the dark mists of the night, seemingly floating in the black sky as a tiny, luminescent orb. It's presence attracts the eye of several wandering beasts, who close their jowls for a moments to stare in curiosity, as their furry and feathered brethren excitedly dash over in childish attempts to capture the luminescent creature in their tiny paws and jaws.

A pale and fleshy hand arises from the curtain of darkness, hoping to ensnare the lit beast. However, the flying light is too experienced for that maneuver. Using his adept, fibrous wings, he avoids the desperate hand clutching toward his small body. Emitting small chuckles in amusement that sound like buzzes to the grabby child.

"Shh, my little one," A larger, thicker hand comes over the smaller one, grasping and holding it just a meter away from the amused beast. "Let the little firebug be."

The child keeps her hand steady, looking to and fro from the insect to her father's bemused face. "Firebug? Where is his fire, then?"

The man chuckles, smiling softly towards the radiant bug, who merely returns the gaze with a look of curiosity at the strange, fleshy, two-legged creatures. "It's in his belly, Sylvia, where it burns so bright that his his entire body is lit up."

"Does it hurt him; his insides?" She asks, growing concerned of the light that consumes the fragile creature.

The man shakes his head. "No, he's a hardened little bugger. The hottest embers would be a succulent treat for him."

The girl stared at the light of the arthropod for a moment, observing how much he stood out against the black sky and how he illuminated the night. "He's like a little star, isn't he?"

The man cocked his head for a moment, "Yes, I suppose he is."

Seeing the moon ascend higher and higher into the night sky, the father tightly grasped the wrist of little Sylvia. "It's getting late, and you should be getting to bed , little missy."

As he began to guide her through the screen doors, she stopped, giving one last glance towards the lingering orb of light in the sky.

"But, … What about the firebug, what if a starling snatches him up?" She cried, eyes wide with panic and fear.

He shushed and shooed her inside, sliding the door behind him closed. "Shh, my angel. The firebug will be fine. The starlings are tucked away in their nests right now, and even if they were swooping about, they'd get quite a nasty burn from the firebug." He whispered, ruffling the child's wild blonde hair. "Now get to bed, and maybe the firebug will be there tomorrow night too."

Filled with images of the firebug and assured of its safety, the tiny girl scampered up the steps and into her bedroom, promptly tucking herself into bed and falling into a deep slumber.

As the moon rose to its highest point in the sky, the lone firebug seceded back into the crevice of his rocky home, his service no longer required as an array of fury-eyed and black-furred creatures arose from the shadows to prowl in their domain.