Chapter 2: What Threehorn Way?
How did this happen?
How in the name of the Bright Circle had such a horrid fate befallen a threehorn like me? I was so tempted to smash my head into a nearby rock just to prove to myself that this stupid, absurd, braindead scenario wasn't my reality.
Too bad it actually was. Just my rotten luck, too.
So well, here I am once more, stuck in this never-ending desert of sand and dead vegetation with that imbecile of a longneck yet again. Seriously, I should start keeping count of the number of times he was getting on my nerves — I bet that sooner or later, I wouldn't be able to keep count on all four of my limbs.
Honestly, I never expected to see his sorry face again, yet alone so soon after I'd last shut him down… but I suppose that fate really wanted to mess with me today. As if separating me from my daddy and being chased by Sharptooth wasn't enough torment already! Nevertheless, I wasn't going to be intimidated by him.
Or his new friends.
His many new friends.
Trying to control my rapid breathing and still my fluttering heart, I found myself raising my brow as my eyes darted around to see a swimmer and a flyer by the longneck's side by the corner of my peripheral vision.
Okay… yeah, it was only two, but that was still two more than what I'd expected that longneck to get on his side. I mean, how anyone with a sound mind could stand being with that stupid longneck was beyond me. There was a brief moment where I contemplated on just how he managed to sucker that swimmer and flyer into going along with whatever his crazy plan was, because I will freely admit that whatever my initial thought about his crazy scheme to get to some Great Valley was, it had already left my mind from the very moment I ditched him.
I mean, seriously… how!? A swimmer and a flyer? What a group of total misfits! He couldn't possibly be that charismatic, could he? Did he coerce them into joining or something? I highly doubt that, but I'll at least give him some respect if he at least learnt from the Threehorn Way and used them for himself.
"Cera! It's you!"
Just greattttt. He just had to open his big mouth. Can't he see from my face that I was clearly not in the mood to deal with any of his nonsense? No? Hmph! Because of his obliviousness, it looks like I'm now forced to find a way to settle this new problem. Great.
"What happened? Why are you so frightened?" he continued, evidently not noticing my rising anger at the blatant accusation.
That insufferable, obnoxious little pest! He dares accuse me—a threehorn—of being frightened?
Of being afraid?
I found myself heaving slightly, taking in deep breaths as I locked eyes with the longneck. I wasn't going to take that insult lying down — quite literally too, as I was indeed lying down on my back, having rolled over when I crashed into him in the first place.
"Frightened? Me? Hahahaha!" I immediately got on my four feet and laughed it off, echoing the thoughts currently swirling about in my head. As the final throes of my laughter died down, I ducked underneath the longneck as I strutted off, making sure to jab upwards with my horn as I was under him to poke his soft underbelly for good measure.
Needless to say, I was quickly rewarded for it when I heard him choke out a surprised wince of pain as I tunneled under his pudgy belly. Man, payback felt so satisfying.
It was warranted, too!
C'mon, he had to be willfully playing ignorant! How else can he remain so calm and flash me that fake collected smile of his, oh-so-persistently ignoring my attempts to try and instigate him?
That dreadful smile. It almost made me want to take a stab at him again with my horn… except not making it appear like it was an accident this time.
Resisting the urge to slam into him, I tread carefully on the tangled heap of roots that ensnared the ground. As I reached an incline on the undergrowth below, I found that I couldn't resist a final jab at him.
Not physically, but verbally.
"Why are you so frightened?" I questioned as I turned my head back to him, twisting the question which he'd originally posed to me right back onto the nosy longneck.
He immediately retorted with a squeak. "We're not frightened!"
This time round, I turned my whole body back at the trio. Hmph! Seriously, who was he trying to fool!? Even a threehorn hatchling could see right through this guy! I mean, his reply was way too quick for his response to be believable.
And sure enough, right as that thought crossed my mind, he meekly whispered to his two co-conspirators in doubt. "Are we…?"
"Nope, nope!" the swimmer raised a hand as she tried to answer on the longneck's behalf, painfully oblivious to their true plight… or otherwise blissfully ignorant to it. Taking a close look at her, it was probably the latter, actually.
I rolled my eyes as I slid back down to level ground with those three fools. Well… if one was as gullible as that flathead…
"Well, you should be!" My eyes twinkle with mirth, amusement adorning my facial features. I slowly strut forward, a proud smirk embellishing my face as I gloated at them. "I could be with the other threehorns, but I chose to come back to warn… you."
Not like I'll tell them what really happened. As long as I could spin the truth around and no one was aware of the deception, why not go full throttle? As my front legs went over an annoying root in the ground, I decided that now was the perfect time to reel them all in like hapless buzzers and capture them — hook, line, and sinker.
"I met…" I make sure to pause for dramatic effect, before concluding with a crescendo as I leapt into the air so that my hind legs could clear the thick root beneath my feet. "…the Sharptooth!"
The flyer's eyes widened to the size of sweet bubbles as he began to hyperventilate. "S-S-Sharptooth!?" he gasped, inhaling multiple breaths in the time it took for me to blink as he sprung up at the longneck and clutched onto his really long neck with his talons.
Gee, I can't believe it. Daddy used to tell me that flyers were the biggest douches ever because they love to flaunt their ability to fly and taunt us threehorns from above like utter cowards, but this guy was well…
…to say that he was a scaredy egg would be an understatement. A gross understatement. Seriously, he was shivering so much that he made it seem like it was currently the Cold Time! That guy looked so meek that even a threehorn hatchling could probably be able to clobber him, with both their eyes closed as a deliberate handicap!
Shaking my head in exasperation, I look up at the longneck to reap in the sweet bubbles of my labor.
But what greeted my eyes and ears was not what I had anticipated. At all.
"Come on, Cera! Sharptooth is dead!" he snapped, annoyance flickering on his face as he stressed the point. "He fell down into the big underground."
Well, well, well. What was this? That longneck actually grew a spine…
Fighting to keep the shock out of my face, I tilt my head to look at him. I have to say, he'd finally piqued my interest by not buying into my exaggerated story like the others. I mean, I'm honestly in awe. Frankly, this is the first time that he was so staunch in denying any of my claims. Before, he would just shrug his advances off whenever I shot him down, but this time he was actively debating them.
Can't have that happening now, can I?
Without missing a beat, I proceeded to fib. "And that's where he met… me!"
"Ohh!" the swimmer whimpered, jumping onto the root of a dead tree as she craned her neck forward to listen more closely. "Dear, brave Cera…"
"Dear, brave Cera!" the flyer concurred, repeating alongside his swimmer compatriot as he continued to grip tightly onto the longneck's neck.
A small smile tugged upon my lips as I wallowed in the symphony of their shared praises. "Yes!" I reaffirm to myself with that prideful smile accompanying my words, "I am brave."
Poor, brave me indeed! Facing down the Sharptooth himself? Oh, the horror! Aren't I the bravest? Yes I am, yes indeed!
"Sharptooth is dead!" The longneck snarled at me in response, repeating his earlier statement as though saying it again would give him an edge in this argument.
…okay, yeah. I'll admit, I might have exaggerated the details of what really happened just a teeny-little bit. But really, a little white lie never killed anyone, right? Like what my daddy always said to me…
"We threehorns are the best at everything! We're better than longnecks, swimmers, spiketails, even those stupid flyers!"
Invincible and insurmountable we threehorns were, at least according to daddy and his Threehorn Way. Even if we couldn't get through a stubborn obstacle using a combination of this specific quote and our vicious horns, Daddy's advice was to relentlessly lie your way out to make yourself seem more intimidating so that we would never lose our position of authority!
And what better way to ensnare those who dared to befriend that longneck by bewitching them with valiant tales of my heroic exploits against Sharptooth himself?
Deciding rather quickly that I wasn't willing to lose my grip of authority, I proceed to throw an insult at the annoying longneck to shut down the argument. "My father told me that flatheads have very small brains."
He wasn't the only one, though. Oh, someone help me. These dinosaurs with me right now are so inept that it's not even funny anymore. They must have forfeit anything resembling a brain to some kind of freak accident when they hatched, I swear.
The longneck appeared to lose his patience at this point. I could only stare at him as he used his teeth to pick up a fallen treestar on the ground, before a sneer found its way on my face when I saw him spinning on his hind feet and beginning to strut off.
The nerve of him… he thinks he can just turn around and leave, just like that!?
Though I had conditioned myself to fight for my independence by swearing to my heart that I was a big threehorn and could thus tackle this perilous journey alone, a part of me got agitated when I saw the longneck turn around to leave. While I had wanted him to leave me alone earlier on, now that he was actively trying to fire me up, I wasn't going to let him simply stroll off until I had the last word.
It was the Threehorn Way! I'm a threehorn… I can't possibly let a lowlife like that dumb flathead get the better of me by actively ignoring my claims and treating me as if I'm nothing!
And to be honest… I actually did miss having some company. Not that I'll ever admit it to anyone… Daddy will throw a fit if he knew! That said, the real reason for this phenomenon was because I found that I had an incessant drive within me to brag and lord over others to prove my stature, but since my sisters weren't here with me at the moment, these fools were all I had.
My eyes darted around the barren undergrowth until they caught sight of a plank standing out amidst the dead vegetation. With fiery valor, I leapt into the air and landed forcefully on that jagged piece of wood. As it was balanced precariously in the middle by a large rounded root, the impact of my fall tilted the other end up, halting the longneck's exit and certainly succeeding in getting his attention when it almost hit his body.
With all eyes on me once more, I went on, sucking my captive audience into the throes of my imaginary tale. "I was all alone with him in the dark…"
"E-Eek…!" the flyer straightened up, his startled cry in tandem with my dramatic pause.
Hearing his squeak of terror made me pitch my head up in pleasure. Personally, it felt good to elicit such a response as it made my momentary fallacy against Sharptooth when he woke up out of the blue after I confronted his seemingly dead corpse seem like it wasn't so bad after all. I mean, the flyer was reacting just as badly as I was, if not worse. His reaction made me feel a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I wasn't the only one to have the specter of Sharptooth looming over my head.
"Just the Sharptooth and me. I can hear him breathing." Smirking when I saw the swimmer ducking under the wooden plank, I steadily cranked up the narrative tension by beginning to build up towards a climax, creeping forward as I relished in the rising fear that the others were visibly exhibiting.
"I could see his big, ugly eye—" I leaned forward and tilted my head at an angle so that I was bulging my right eye out at the swimmer, both scaring her and mocking the injured predator at the same time, "—looking for me!"
I continued to step forward, slowly but surely making the frightened swimmer back off my turf. As the swimmer stepped off the plank, the end that she had been standing on lifted slightly into the air due to my weight, which caused her to land on her tail.
Now that she was belly-up and prone, I didn't waste any time in my onslaught. I exhaled a ragged breath of air to imitate a subdued roar.
Or at least, my best impression of one. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the longneck resisting the urge to laugh.
What?! That was my best attempt at Sharptooth's roar. Take it or leave it!
"What did you do? Huh, huh?" As her curiosity piqued and won against her fear—I'll give the swimmer that much—I saw her getting back on her feet and looking at me with bright aqua-blue eyes. Though she was admittedly puny in size, the tiny swimmer held onto the suspended end of the plank so that she could poke her head over it and pose the question directly to me.
Well, I'm definitely glad she asked that! Now it was time to seal the deal, embellishing and sweetening the turn of events so that I could seize the day. Go, Cera!
"I walked right up to him." Now that I had the swimmer captive in the clutches of my imaginative tale, I whirled around to the now-apprehensive longneck to try and suck him into my weaved story as well. "I looked him straight in the eye. And then… graghhh!"
It happened on a whim, actually. When I saw the longneck frowning and clenching his teeth down on the rolled-up treestar in his mouth, I decided that I wanted—no, needed—to hear an audible reaction from him. I had already been rewarded with cries of fear from both the swimmer and flyer, so all I had to do now was nab the last holdout.
I'll admit — pride won out over common sense there. In my bid to scare the longneck I pounced forward in his direction, only to change my mind mid-jump when I felt the ground shift beneath my feet.
Of course, I'd forgotten that I wasn't standing on the ground when garnering my audience, but rather that uneven plank of wood. But by the time it hit me, it was too late. I'd already committed to the jump, my feet feeling nothing but air.
This had two major consequences.
For one, the trajectory of my jump was significantly gimped because I was leaping off of an incline. That meant that I missed my target entirely, and even though I was feigning an attack, I didn't want to slam myself against a rough surface like splintered wood instead of the longneck's soft flank. As a result, I literally had to react on the fly to land on my four legs instead of directly on my unprotected stomach. We threehorns might have some pretty tough heads, but I'll accept that we unfortunately do not have underbellies that are as rock-solid!
And as for number two…
A startled yelp permeated the air. I tilt my head up to the source of the cry, only to see that the swimmer was flung upwards, hurtling through the air until she disappeared into the canopy above and was out of my sight.
It took me a while to realize exactly what had happened here, but I eventually deduced that she must have been standing behind me when I landed on the far end of the plank, and the force of my landing must have propelled her lightweight body up, just like a flyer.
A swimmer experiencing what it's like to be a flyer. Who would've thought…
"Oops…" I eventually managed to murmur when I saw both longneck and flyer looking at me with faces of disapproval when the shock had waned off. "Um… hey, look, it wasn't my fault! How was I supposed to know that she was there behind me?" I added indignantly in an attempt to save face in light on their judgmental stares.
The longneck simply let out a long-suffering sigh. "Let's just find Ducky, okay?" he recommended as he looked in the direction that the swimmer had been launched in, "She can't be that far off."
Ducky…? That's her name?
I nodded my head in agreement, letting out an annoyed sigh as I glare at the offending piece of wood that had caused this whole mess. "So… Ducky, huh?" I endeavored to break the silence by name-dropping the swimmer in front of the other two dinosaurs as a prompt to start a conversation.
"Yep. She's Ducky," the longneck nodded, before a contemplative expression crossed his face. "Hey… did I ever introduce myself to you?"
"No." The words left my mouth in an instant.
However, the longneck chose to take my response as an opening. How he made that mistake with the scowl on my face that screamed "don't do it", I'll never know.
"I'm Littlefoot." He smiled good-naturedly, that stupid presumptuous grin plastered on his face as he introduced himself only causing my scowl to worsen.
"Really? Littlefoot?" I began to shake as I stifled a laugh. "Ahhhaha… that's such a stupid name!"
He ignored my comment and carried on talking as though he didn't even hear my blatant insult, an act which almost caused me to want to stab something with my horn. "My grandparents told me that it's polite to introduce yourself back to someone when they introduce themselves to you. But this is where I have to confess that I already know your name back when I overheard your father talking to you…"
I found myself grinning malevolently at his confession. "Hmph! At least you remember that much, flathead!"
My usage of the derogatory term instead of identifying him by his actual name was deliberate. Why should a superior creature like me have to bow down to the whims of some longneck and refer to him using his name all because he bothered to introduce himself to me? Who does he think he is, huh!?
He's been calling me Cera from the very start, ever since he heard my father calling me that when he recalled me to his side. The thing was that he kept on doing it, calling me by my name every time we met thereafter in such a casual fashion.
…almost as though he thought we were friends, like those two suckers he managed to persuade over to his side when I initially turned him down the first time.
Gah! That makes me so angry! Did he really think he could win me over so easily? As if! He must be delusional! What part of 'threehorns never play with longnecks' does he not understand?
My face filled with scorn. The only reason I was even putting up with him in the first place was because I had no other choice and was getting lonely. I craved the attention, I practically needed to flaunt my infinite abilities and skills to somebody else. And without my mommy and daddy—or heck, even my siblings—around to validate my ego, these three were an acceptable substitute.
I just hated the fact that the longneck viewed himself as an equal to me. How dare he even entertain the very idea? A glorious threehorn like me was vastly superior to a dumb flathead like him!
"Um… my name Petrie."
My eyes shifted upwards to see the flyer perched atop the longneck's head meekly waving. Those eyes quickly narrowed.
"No one asked you, beak-brain," I shot at him nonchalantly, already irritated enough by the flathead underneath the flyer.
That flyer Petrie actually took my words relatively hard, literally crumpling atop the longneck's head in a spectacular display as they struck him hard. On his part, the flathead drooped, his neck dropping slightly in disappointment. "That wasn't nice, Cera," he muttered.
I took a step towards the longneck, horn pointing at him threateningly. "No one asked you either, flathead!"
My eyes locked with his. The rising tension in the air was palpable.
"Please no fight! Petrie no like this! We need find Ducky!"
Littlefoot relented at Petrie's panicked words, the flathead averting his eyes in embarrassment. Heh, serves him right.
"Petrie's right," he conceded, "We have to find Ducky. It's dangerous out here." Before I could comment on how ridiculous it sounded to risk himself for some bigmouth swimmer who he barely even knew, the flathead craned his ridiculously long neck and threw his voice out into the dark forest.
"Ducky! Where are you? Can you hear me? Hellooooo!"
I roll my eyes at his valiant, yet futile effort. Sure, I can appreciate him trying, but his attempts were so bad. Must be the tiny brain in his tiny, weak head. "Hey, doofus," I interjected, letting clear hints of irritation creep into my voice. "You know, maybe staying in one single spot without moving isn't the brightest idea to find someone. How about you go and get that flyer to fly up and look for that bigmouth from above, huh?"
Geez, I can't believe that I had to lead them on to this extent. Wasn't the way forward plainly obvious? Was I the only rational one over here?!
The flyer gulped, quivering for an unknown reason. As I turned towards him, the movement causing my shadow to grow in size, his shaking only grew more vigorous. "Um… me no know how say this…" he shifted his talons uncomfortably, eyes darting about frivolously. "Oh, Petrie no know how fly!"
My jaw literally dropped. "What in the… you're kidding me!"
All I could do was shake my head in exasperation when he meekly shook his head at me. "Oh, daddy. How did I end up here, stuck with such morons…" I lamented, distractedly kicking at the ground under my feet. A flyer who couldn't fly was akin to that of a threehorn cursed with a broken horn. What a humiliating weakling!
"Wait!" A gasp from the longneck. "Guys, I see Ducky! She's over there, out in the clearing!"
The longneck's ecstatic cry broke me from my rant. Geez, it was about time. Following the direction that his neck was pointing in, I ran forward to an area where the trees got less dense.
That was where things got awkward. We certainly found that swimmer, alright.
No one said anything about an extra.
She was relatively unscathed despite her extended airtime, and she was even walking backwards while waving about a branch with sweet bubbles on it to a large, very idiotic-looking, green spiketail who was trudging towards her as though he was in some sort of trance.
"Here you go, Spike…" she whispered in a tender voice to the spiketail, who hypnotically swayed his head in tune with her motions. "You want these tree sweets, do you not? Yes you do, oh, yes, yes, yes!"
I stared at the sight, blinking my eyes in disbelief before coherent words finally left my mouth. "What is happening here? Who is… this?"
The swimmer turned around at my voice, and in that exact moment the spiketail lunged at the tree sweets dangling from the branch that she was holding and swallowed the bait whole. I have to admit, I stepped back in surprise — the dopey look he had earlier was heavily contrasted with the momentary ferociousness he displayed in nabbing the sweet bubbles.
"Awwww! I was saving that…" The swimmer looked at the empty branch in her hand, now devoid of any sweet bubbles, before tossing it aside and turning to face me. "You are back! You are, you are!"
"Answer the question!" I pressed, glancing around to see that the longneck and flyer had managed to catch up. "Who is he?!"
"This is Spike! He is a spiketail," she explained without the slightest hint of sarcasm. "He is, oh yes he is! Yep, yep, yep!"
Somehow, I had a sinking feeling about the direction that this talk was about to head in. It was probably the swimmer's peppy tone that did it. "And?" I prodded her, swishing my tail about.
"Can he come with us to the Great Valley? Can he? Can he? Huh, huh?"
I'm rolling my eyes. I'm rolling my eyes so hard right now. Someone save me from this madness.
"Look here." I used my nicest tone possible to try and persuade the swimmer to give the ludicrous idea up. "We're all starving here, and that guy over there is one extra mouth to feed and look out for. Give me one good reason we should take him along."
Ducky looked glumly at her toes. "But, but…" she pouted, "We have to take him in! We do, we do!" She sniffed before choking out the next statement. "He hatched in front of my eyes with nobody around him. He did, he did. If we leave-ed him behind, he will be all alone. He will, he will…"
He will be all alone…
I widened my eyes, my heart seizing up as I briefly pondered if I had come off as being too pensive. An image of my daddy and the rest of my family who were stuck on the other side of the ravine and forced to go their separate ways from me immediately flashed to the forefront of my mind at her chilling declaration. The whiplash hit me so hard that I had to take a few steps back and avert my eyes from the swimmer lest I show her—or anyone else—a sign of weakness.
"There's a reason we don't need to be together with anyone, and that's because we're better than them all!"
My daddy always said that I didn't need to be with anyone…
But on the flip side, now that I was alone and all by myself in the Mysterious Beyond, I've come to the harsh conclusion that what he told me couldn't be further from the truth. When I was bragging to the group earlier about my exaggerated exploits, I realized that I needed to be around others, that I needed the attention.
"…and that's because we're better than them all!"
Better than them all…
Yes, that's it!
Just because I was begrudgingly going together with them didn't mean that I was going against my mommy and daddy so long as I remained the best of the lot of them. If I was the very best and they asked me for help instead of vice versa, I wouldn't need to sacrifice my pride and stoop down to their level for the sake of finding my family, and I wouldn't be going against the Threehorn Way. It was a win-win!
Smirking as I found the loophole to my father's words, I let out a fake, overdramatic sigh at the swimmer's request. "Okay. I guess you can bring the spiketail along, I suppose."
"I can?! Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! You are coming along with us to the Great Valley now, Spike! You are, you are!"
I made sure to pay special attention to the longneck as the swimmer cheered. Sure enough, he proceeded to look at me as though I was crazy. It didn't matter what he thought, though. With that singular gesture, I managed to score some major points with the swimmer and that weird spiketail who seemed to come out of nowhere.
There was only enough room for one leader of this little group, and that's me! Move over, flathead!
"Alright, everyone!" I spoke up, raising my voice. "I guess we're a group now!"
"Yep, yep, yep!" I chuckled when I saw the swimmer beginning to do a headcount using her fingers. "One… two… three… four… five!" She gasped when she hit all her digits on one palm and had to start using her other hand to count. "There are now five of us! There are, there are!"
The flyer smiled atop of the longneck's head. "Wow! That lotta dinosaurs! We one big gang!"
"The Gang of Five…" the longneck murmured, nodding alongside his avian passenger. "…it has a nice ring to it." He then turned to me with a smile. "I guess you can thank Cera and Petrie for that name!"
His face suddenly dropped, his tail following suit as he proceeded to smile sheepishly. "Oops! Uh guys, I'm not sure if you caught me using her name many times before, but this is Cera!"
"Yeah, yeah," I rolled my eyes at the longneck. He'd pre-empted my introduction before I could speak, causing me to grit my teeth at him. "They're not deaf, you know? I'm pretty sure that all of them know my name, especially given that I am the greatest threehorn ever!"
"Don't we all know it…"
"Hey! Watch your words there, flathead!"
The rambunctious laughter that followed was contagious. Despite myself, I let myself laugh alongside them, all while thinking about the current turn of events.
Whoever would've thought that I would end up joining up with a rag-tag group of lowlings all for the sake of survival and an audience to swagger. Even the me of yesterday would never have predicted that!
To be fair, desperate times call for desperate measures. And besides, this was merely a means to an end. I might be able to relax my stance, sticking with them just so I can find my family, but I will never allow any further concessions to those who are currently traveling with me.
We were simply acquaintances who've coalesced together like swamp mud, staying together in pursuit of a common goal. And at the moment, it was nothing more, and nothing less than that.
…unless I'm the one in charge.
I licked my lips as I began to scheme. That dumb flathead can't possibly be better than me! Not when I'm the best there is! Everyone I know says so — my parents, my siblings, even Ducky and Petrie… and those two just met me! Even so, they all unanimously agreed on that absolute fact!
All except for him.
My eyes hardened. That will soon change, Littlefoot.
If it means that I have to prove I deserve to be leader of this group throughout this journey of ours, then so be it! I'll throw down this gauntlet between us!
Because in the end, we threehorns are better than all those other lowly species… and that's the way it'll always be!
Sorry for the long wait between chapters! My work-life balance was most unforgiving to me for the past few months.
I believe that the gang (mostly Cera, obviously) arguing over whether the newborn Spike can come along with them was part of a scene from an older version of the script that ultimately got cut, but as I'm not too familiar with the deleted scenes, this is my own take on it.
Anyway, I decided to adapt more scenes from the first film than I originally planned and go for a more comprehensive take of the original Land Before Time. When I first wrote this for the December prompt, I'd wanted to skim the plot, but with this new focus on Cera's journey with the others, this story should now have four or five chapters instead of the originally planned three.
DiddyKF1: Cera's definitely a snob in the first film. It's only when I intently analyzed all her actions and words while writing this story that it really hit home just how harsh she comes across to the others. When writing this, I really tried to put myself in her shoes—as that of a lost threehorn who tries to overcompensate for her own insecurity by lashing out and taking charge—and ironically, it made me understand her actions in the film more than during my initial viewings.
Keijo6: Cera's original personality is certainly a spectacle to behold, and I totally understand if her behavior to Littlefoot and the others throughout leaves a sour aftertaste, especially since she isn't quite as nuanced in this movie compared to the sequels! Still, I've tried my best to look into her words and actions and why she reacts the way she does as a threehorn for this chapter. I can see your critique about the awkward cuts, and I suppose that if this were a longer story and I'd opted to adapt more scenes from the film the transitions won't seem as abrupt, so I'm going to try and do just that.
Rhombus: Part of the reason I opted on first-person perspective over traditional third-person was to delve into Cera's mindset in the first film, because while it might seem exceedingly shallow on the surface, the sequel films—though it could also be her growing more tolerant over time—seem to paint her in a different, less jarring light. It was also surprisingly fun to view things from her admittedly tinted lenses, because while she might seem brash, she still has her reasons for acting the way that she does.
Next time — a longneck, a threehorn, a bigmouth, a flyer, and a spiketail… all together. :p