aviary beauty

Trying to settle with a design for the dinosaur orcs Merics.

They come in a variety of complexions, from muted yellow to grey, an absolute rainbow of dull neutral colors (very plain compared to their relatives). Sexual dimorphism is relatively low, men tending to be taller (an average of 7′8″ or so)  and usually have more muscle mass, though its still hard to tell the difference for non-Merics. Both males and females have horns and the dark “bandit mask” markings around the eyes. Newly hatched Merics have prominent stripes going down their backs, but fade away as they get older.

Year ago, when I was a kid, a house round the corner from me burned down. My Mum told me what had happened: my friend’s adult sister had lived there with her boyfriend, and in the garden she had two big aviaries; she absolutely loved her birds, they felt like family to her.

Eventually, she broke up with her boyfriend. I don’t know if he’d been abusive before this, though I guess I’d be surprised if he hadn’t. She slept at a friend’s house after a party one night, and when she got home, her house was gone.

The police investigation concluded that the boyfriend had set fire to the aviaries, burnt his ex’s beautiful birds alive just to hurt her, and the fire had spread to the house. It was lucky that no-one was there, because the house was quite literally burnt to the ground. I wonder if he knew she was away, or if he just didn’t care either way?

She sold the land not long after the fire, but a good ten or twelve years later, nothing has been done with it: it’s just a big wooden fence, through which you can see glimpses of the charred ruins of the house, overrun with weeds and litter. I can imagine the next generation of kids peeking through the fence and making up horror stories about what happened here: I hope none of them manage to think of anything as terrible as the truth.