He paused a moment, taking a second more to consider his choice even if it was already made, before nodding wordlessly at her. A huge smile bloomed on her face, so contagious that it spread to Flip’s lips. They both know that it wasn’t a definite reply – the ones that had the ultimate choice in this matter were her parents themselves – but she knew that she now had a suffrage to back her up.
“Shouldn’t we get back now?” He asked, pointing towards the tunnel to make his question clear, and she got up as the sole reply. They both walk to the refuge in a content silence.
There was a light ruffle behind him and he felt the hair on his neck raise. A glance over his should indicated what he had been afraid of – there was nothing but an empty street. Cars that seemed practically untouched, dead leaves that danced in circle on the asphalt, closed windows, doors left wide and broken, the ghosts of Paris still lingering in the air.
And yet, he knew there was someone, something watching him. Waiting for its moment. He turned around in circles, not trusting his own back anymore. The tension rose until he suddenly ran. He snaked in between the cars to the sidewalk. Under his palm a barrier swung open with a creek and his quick pace calmed into a walk as the park’s gravel crunched under his steps. Trees grew on the expanses of green lane on each side of the path that lead to a clearing. Pigeons
swarm, grew flutters from which a small body would sometimes ascend towards the cloud-white sky.
Flip walked to them and looked up. The trees made a circle around him. A gentle breeze caressed his skin; the murder stirred; he looked down and met the eyes of the tiger.
It had arrived out of nowhere, all of a sudden, on the other side of the circle. His pace was placid, unhurried, only disturbing a few birds that would flap out of his way. Flip had never imagined that such a shade of his fur could exist: it was darker then the one of a normal tiger, the shadow spreading out of it’s limits and devouring the bright orange until it was but light touches running on his fur.
Changing Mind held the gaze of the tiger, not faltering and walked along with the tiger so that they would turn around each other. The man, silently, acknowledged the feline for what it was: a powerful predator, a beautiful killer, a worthy enemy. And so he didn’t look away. A deep respect filled him and he could feel that the tiger felt a little puzzled at his behavior.
The Native woke up in his bed. He listened to the calm breathing around him, the quietness, and realized that nothing had woke him up. Or, if he had woken up because of something, it wasn’t here. Rather, it was like as the connection had been suddenly yanked like the cutting beep of an alarm would do.
He sat up, looked around. Everything was fine. He laid back down and went back to sleep.
Ebeth’l opened his eyes right away after the alarm of his clock set of. For a short moment, he didn’t quite understand where he was before his memories came back to him. That must be the signal that he was landing on Earth shortly and that he needed to be awake.
He rolled on his back and he stretched his six limbs, one after an other, before rolling off his bunk and on the floor of his assigned cabin. He knew that damn alarm always woke him up to late for him to have a leisurely preparation, so he would have to be quick. A cat’s toilet, without any bad pun, was in order for now.
He slashed water on the short fur of his face, regretting that he had no tub to enjoy a well needed long hot bath. A day on a new planet was always a tough experience and that was most likely the last moment where he would have a little time to breath before a while.
Oh well, it would have to do.
He looked at himself in the mirror and wondered how many idiots would ask about his fur today. Ebeth’l could have been born with albinism, like any other abnormal skin color… but no. It had to be the opposite of that: melanisme. The shadow seemed to devour the little color he had, leaving him with scarce touches of orange. It had its pros and cons. For a hundred people that looked at him wide-eyes for ten minutes, there was a female that couldn’t get her eyes of him until they became bold enough to find out for themselves how much like any other male he was. He had decided, a while ago, that there was no point in deciding if his coloration was a blessing or a curse.
He rubbed the fur on the back of his neck, changing the couse of his ideas. What had he been dreaming about already? He remembered that it was unusually vivid. He never did such vivid dreams and forgetting this one seemed like a waste. He closed his eyes and tried to recall it. It had been… about a human. There had been a human. That’s all he could tell. His face was muddy and it almost pained him to try to force the image to focus, so he let it be.
Today, he would be hunting.
Written by Clayem on 18 April 2016
On the hunt