Below, you'll see any text that was highlighted with comments from the reviewer.
Message to Readers
This is for DaBolo's #hybrid contest and amohn04's #tellastory contest. Go check them out!
Feedback is greatly appreciated. I don't mind harsh criticism at all, so be brutally honest :)
You used beautiful imagery throughout the entire piece. Even though you're describing a fictional land, I was able to envision the environment. Little details, such as the way the narrator likes to watch the Xarae and the superstition surrounding the creatures and childbirth, give a human aspect to the world. Some of my favorite lines are when you say, "...lakes that formed in the hollow craters of perished volcanoes, their fire all but dead" and "...looking up at the flocks of Xarae gliding in and out of the clouds, their lithe legs folded up under their golden bellies".
Overall, I think you did a great job of weaving this world together, from the minor details to the geography and lore. Even so, I think the third paragraph could use a little tightening. I think the main issue is the transition, which should be easy to fix. The paragraph starts by explaining the tradition of seeking a Xarae when pregnant, but all of a sudden you jump back to the narrator reminiscing about their mother. To fix this, I think you should start a new paragraph when you mention the narrator's mother, and maybe add another sentence or two to ease the transition.
I really enjoyed reading your piece! Even though this was for a prompt, you succeeded in creating an entire world around your creature. With the subtle characterization of the narrator and her family's history, I think you could very easily extend this idea into an entire story. Good luck in the contest!