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Archive for August 17th, 2015

Fictional Interlude: Heat

She moved softly and silently along the branch, nearly invisible amidst the foliage; when it got too narrow to support her she dropped lightly down to the next tier, barely bending the lower branch as though she weighed nearly nothing.  She stopped to sniff the air again and looked upwind, attempting to locate the source of the familiar-yet-strange odor, but she was not yet close enough; she therefore resumed her course along the branch, crossing effortlessly onto a limb of the next tree where the two intertwined.

After another half-hour of progress like this, punctuated by frequent stops to sniff the air or lie still when she heard a noise or sensed movement, she finally arrived at what her exquisitely-sensitive nose told her was her destination.  It was a clearing like many others in the jungle, but this one was occupied by the creatures she had smelled from far away, the creatures who had aroused her appetite.  But she was far too experienced a hunter to allow her hunger to cause her to act rashly; the prey were larger than she was, and she could not be sure that they could not seriously injure her.  No, far better to lie on the branch above them for a while, silently lying in wait; sooner or later one of them would wander away from the others, and then she would strike from above without warning.

As she had anticipated, her opportunity eventually came; the majority of the group was occupied with something at the far end of the clearing, leaving one not only isolated, but cut off from the view of the others by a large, low shrub.  Launching herself from the branch, she struck her quarry squarely between the shoulders, knocking him off of his feet.  His scent was confusing; though it bore a strong resemblance to that of her own kind, it was somehow different and mingled with other peculiar odors.  On top of that, his oddly-pale skin was covered with a strange layer of…hair? Hide?  that seemed not to be a part of him.  Fortunately, it was relatively fragile and easily ripped away, leaving him exposed for her purposes.  It was all over in a few minutes, and though his cries attracted the attention of the others she was gone before they could arrive, moving through the trees like a will-o-the-wisp.

Later, around the campfire, Bennings mocked Grayson’s story.  “Come on, old man, ‘fess up; you tore your khakis on that thorn bush after unwisely choosing it as a spot to relieve yourself.  Surely you don’t expect us to believe this ridiculous tale of your being raped by a wild woman!”

cat eyes

 

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