The steps of a single visitor echoed off the high ceiling of the Museum For Natural History. Recognising the regular, the cashier smiled. “Hey Brittany! It’s been a while.”
“Hey Delores.” Brittany smiled back. “I had some heavy duty studying to do. Looking forward to studying the insects again instead.”
She practically bounced off like a little girl, her pastel blue dress swishing. Brittany had brought the book she had been studying in her pink laptop bag. It did not coordinate well with her outfit, with its scuffed, black cover. She wandered the familiar halls, getting a feel for how crowded it was. Or, well, was not. Weekdays tended to be quiet, as long as there were no school classes, and she seemed to be in luck.
One of the rooms adjacent to the hallways that housed the insect collection had a North American theme. Brittany looked at the rearing grizzly bear, bit her lip, and after a decisive little nod got to work.
The only reason she was spotted was that she dropped one of the glass lids after prying it from its display case. Another case was already lying on the floor, the butterflies, freed from their pins, piled in a loose heap.
“What are you doing?!” The attendant’s indignant yell turned into an inarticulate scream when the grizzly bear stepped off its dais and blocked his way.
Brittany didn’t even look up. “Teddy, stay. Don’t bite him unless he comes any closer.”
The bear growled lowly, but obeyed, glass eyes fixed on the attendant.
Oh, well. This would get chaotic soon, so Brittany had to be satisfied with what she had now. She set aside the still pinned insects and waved her hands over the others. Dry wings stirred and rustled. A small cloud of butterflies of two dozen species rose from the dead and circled Brittany, who laughed with delight and spun around, dancing with the beautiful creatures.
She walked towards the exit. The bear started trotting along when she put her hand against its shoulder. She carried Necromancy for Beginners tucked under the other arm.
With a wide, bright grin she told the attendant, who was still frozen in shock, “I’ve always wanted to feel like a fairy princess.”