To the Noise
Kris stood there, stuck in place when she heard the painful snarling noise once again. Her mind told her that running the hell away would be the smart thing to do, and yet, her heart felt that maybe seeing what it was would be better. That, along with her own curious nature overtaking her, spurred her into making her choice. She groaned inwardly at her own flaws, then moved toward the source of the noise - at a cautious and measured pace, of course.
After a few careful moments of entering and then walking through the thick forest - her heart thudding heavily in her ears, and her stomach in knots over what was likely a reckless and stupid decision - Kris soon came upon the source of the noise.
At first, she stopped and stared.
Her eyes felt like they were seeing things, so she rubbed them, making sure she wasn’t. Yet it became clear that, no, she wasn’t seeing things. There was a person a few yards ahead of her - a person on the ground, looking trapped and in immense pain. But what had her astounded wasn’t the fact it was obviously a person - it was the fact the person didn’t LOOK like a normal person.
Kris took a few gradual steps more, taking in the physique of the… person?
It appeared to be a woman based on the shape, Kris could see that. Yet the woman also seemed to have… fur. Fur that had several spots on it, in fact, and that was alongside pointy ears. And when the person… woman… whatever, took notice of Kris, it looked up and stared at her. Kris gasped to herself.
Their eyes were human, yet slanted in shape, with slit-like pupils with a pale orange color that looked more like a feline’s than a person’s. Their nose was a slender, but otherwise normal nose, and those pointed ears. However, they also had a few spots across their face, including one around their right eye. And their face that was angled and sharp in its features, with high cheekbones, a pointed chin. It was like a mixing of human and catlike features.
Kris gawked. For a moment, she considered that the person was a cosplayer - weird as it sounded, her logical side could reason this over since the person did in fact look like they were cosplaying a Thundercat or maybe the DC Comics villain, Cheetah. But it became very clear to her when the woman growled at her, an actual low, booming growl at that - along with baring her very sharp, glistening teeth - that no, this wasn’t a cosplayer. The person legitimately did look like… like some sort of hybrid.
“What are you staring at?” the cat woman said. Her voice was low and a little raspy, yet it carried a strangely… husky quality that Kris found… nice.
Kris snapped out of her daze. A voice meant it was a person, either way.
She then saw what the issue was: the cat-looking woman’s right leg was caught in some sort of snare, and so was her right arm - the snare was long and twisting, like some sort of bear trap that turned into a rope. It was stuck in a nearby tree’s roots, which made for a tangle of things everywhere.
“Uh, do you, um, want a hand?” Kris asked, gesturing to the mess of metal ropes. “I’m not an expert at untying or anything, but I could probably help…?”
The weird cat-looking woman stared at her. “And do you really want to help me? You, looking so frightened and confused? No offense, but, I doubt you could.” Her eyes seemed to gleam - boring into Kris with such intensity, it was like they might pierce her actual body. “You don’t look like you belong here. I’d be going if I were you, lest you get yourself… hurt. I’ll manage this somehow.”
She punctuated this with another low, deep growl that sounded like it belonged from a tiger or some other big cat. Then, she went back to thrashing and trying to free herself, yet it wasn’t going to work sine half her body was trapped, and she had no way of angling her free arm over to even begin to untangle herself.
Kris swallowed the lump that formed in her throat.
The words weren’t so much threatening her - she could feel it - but there was a clear caution underlying them. So now she was stuck with the choice: did she want to help the odd cat woman, or, did she take her advice and leave?
Written by Hollowpages on 05 February 2020