No one believed him for the longest time when he said the magnifibeasts would come to him when he read. He’d sit cross-legged on the wide stone railing of the balcony outside his bedroom, book splayed open in his lap, lantern by his knee, and start reading aloud. His voice didn’t seem to stretch far in the thick dark, but they heard anyway and underneath his own voice, he’d hear the creak of something heavy stepping across the rooftop just near his balcony and the bellows-like whoosh of an enormous creature breathing and something else, a disturbance or low hum of something massive pushing air out of the way as it moved.
“Oh yeah?” the skeptics would say. “If it’s so big then, how didn’t it break the roof?”
These were boring details to him. “Because it’s a magnifibeast,” he’d say, because to him, that was explanation enough.
This particular beast’s enormous body was not unlike a cat’s: four legs, pointed shoulders, and a long tail. And fluffy. Strands of fur as long as his arm would draft over his shoulder and slide across the pages as he read. It had a feline head too, round skull and triangular face, and enormous eyes with deep green irises. It could’ve been a common house cat for giants if it weren’t for the two sets of antlers that grew up just above its ears. They were like a goat’s horns, not a stag’s, and were long and slender with a curl at the ends. He didn’t know it could talk until the day he asked it for a favor: to hold the lantern over his head so he could read better. It hooked the handle with a claw.
I had quite a bit of fun writing this one. The word “magnifibeast” was adapted from Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor series, wherein Fen (Fenestra) is a magnificat–basically an enormous talking cat that makes me grateful that my cat can’t talk.
I would love to know who the artist is for that picture because it is amazing. If you’re the artist, or happen to know/can find the artist, please let me know so I can give credit!