A/N: Written for originalfic_las for the prompt: "last day.” This has been edited slightly from the original version.
Summary: What would you want to do, on your last day in the light?
She opened her eyes in the light of a new day. Her name was the first sound she heard with her new ears, Ze, as she burst from her egg with happy enthusiasm. Too long she had been swimming in the pond, a watery nymph. Now it was time to fly. The sunlight pressed down warm on her back and wings, reflecting off the water to illuminate her shiny carapace. Across the water, tall grasses waved at the shore, touched in a hundred shades of gold and blue and green.
“I’m going to fly to the other side of the pond,” she said, rising in the warm morning air.
“No, silly!” her sisters cried. “We have too much to do!”
“But it’s my last day!” Ze protested. “Please…”
But they would not listen. They surrounded her, and Ze had to fly off with them, to do her duty as everyone had to. She flexed her wings and pumped her body up, and felt herself unfurl big and strong in the early sunlight.
The fronds from the far shore beckoned, promising a fascinating journey, but her sisters pressed close and took her with them. Ze learned to fly well above the water and on the near shore, avoiding spiders’ webs, frogs’ tongue, birds’ beaks, and fishes’ mouths. Some of her sisters were not so lucky.
Overhead the noon sun blazed with heat, and the far shore looked green and gilded and wonderfully cool. But it was not yet time. Her body cried out with new urges.
Ka flew in, powerful and insistent; it became a hot and torrid affair. How could she resist him, when all her sisters now had their mates? But he left again, as all the mates did, and Ze could do nothing but drop her eggs into the safety of the water. She felt old and weary as the last of them left her empty. By now, she was alone in the night, her sisters long gone.
The far shore beckoned, mysterious and beautiful with its sedges, cattails, and grasses waving in the pale, pre-dawn air. There was no one around to say no now, and Ze flitted across the pond, her wing feeling heavy and slow. Shuddering with exhaustion, she alighted on the grass of the far shore as the sun rose.
It was a beautiful place to spend her last day.