Zephyr World Zoo

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Chapter XVIII


Luna, a bit tired, climbed out of the water in her exhibit. She wanted to take a moment and relax before she had to perform again. Doing all those tricks were exhausting, especially with the little sleep and lack food that had become her daily punishment. She did hope that today, she would perform well enough to get a decent meal.

Laying down on a flat stone, the girl began to sunbathe, trying to rest a bit. The warmth of the sun felt good after the cool water.

But she just couldn’t sit still. The sounds of the guests, knowing that the guards were watching her every move... it made her anxious, knowing she would have to perform her routine soon. She couldn’t mess up again. She just couldn’t.

She washed her face in the large pool, and started to stand, looking through the glass separating her from the visitors to the zoo. Some of them looked nice. She wondered what they would do if they found out that all the animals here were really people, like them, only able to shape-shift. Would they want to help them? Or would they rather they all stay locked away, for being freaks, as the guards so often called them?

Shaking her head, she looked at the guard assigned to her for the day. He gave the sign, nodding once when their eyes met. Time to start her routine.

Luna plunged into the water, showing off her tricks. Everything was going smoothly, despite her nervousness. She chittered and waved at the crowd who had gathered to watch her. Swimming over to the glass, the otter playfully swam around right at eye level for the kids there, and posed for pictures.

It seemed that everything was going well. Luna was overjoyed that she wouldn’t be punished again tonight. She only had a few more tricks, and they were ones she never messed up.

Until she caught the hungry stare of the guard again, right as she was getting out of the water for her final few steps of the routine.

She fell flat on her face trying to get out of the water onto the rock, scared of the look the man was giving her. And because she had made a mistake, that only made her all the more nervous, causing the last moments of her routine to end in disaster.

Trying to make up for it, she ended her routine and just tried to act cute and playful for the guests, swimming by them on her back and waving. She knew it wouldn’t be enough to save her from being hurt, but at least it wouldn’t make it any worse.

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