You sigh, but, you don’t move. You wait there and watch as this proud dingo woman tries again to pick herself up, and she manages to get onto one knee. And then she promptly drops again, groaning from the pain she’s in.
You silently offer your hand down to her for a third time.
She glares at your hand, then at you. “Why are you being nice to me? Did you not get it through your tiny mind that I was planning to kill you?” She pauses and narrows her eyes. “And what’s to say I won’t try the moment I can stand?”
“Because you’d have to be a real moron to try it again,” you say simply, and you shrug while keeping your hand offered to her. “Can we please cut past this and not be enemies? This whole world is insane, and I’d kind of prefer we just have fun rather than worry about wanting to kill one another, or eat one another, or whatever.”
She stares at you for a long pause again, and you can see the gears in her head are busy spinning. You have no clue what’s running through her mind, but while she’s busy pondering, you briefly wonder where Erin is.
But you shelf this for the immediate moment and you wait.
Finally, after another pause, the dingo woman groans and, very slowly, takes your hand. She seems incredibly hesitant at first - which is weird to you since she’s the predator in this scenario, but you’re not going to push it - until she finally takes hold of your hand. You wait for a few seconds, to see if she intends to try anything. She doesn’t, so, you help her stand by hopping back a bit and using your tail for some additional support.
It’s not graceful at all, but, you are able to help pull the grumbling dingo woman to her feet. She snaps her hand back when she’s upright and staggers there, one hand on her stomach while she’s hunched over, breathing heavily.
You stay put, and watch.
You don’t trust this dingo woman, naturally. Not yet, not when she could prove to be a jerkass by trying to tear your head off or sink her teeth into your throat.
“Better?” you ask.
She mutters under her breath, but says nothing aloud at first. She remains hunched over, rubbing her wounded stomach for a few minutes, before she lets out a heavy sigh and straightens her posture. Her expression appears more neutral now, even though she eyes you. Still, you don’t get a sense she’s an immediate threat, and when she relaxes her posture, you calm a little.
“You’re weird,” she remarks. Her tone isn’t mocking or condescending, but rather, matter of fact as she looks at you. She still seems taken aback by your willingness to help her up after all that. “Damn weird for sure to be helping me.”
You say nothing. You admit you probably didn’t need to help her, but, you also don’t mind that you did. You feel better inside with knowing you chose to.
She cracks her neck side to side, then looks at you with a wry smile. “You know, for someone who’s only just now gotten into this, you kick fucking HARD. Not sure if it’s the roo in you or if you’ve got strong legs, but,” she pauses to shake her head, “much as it kills me to swallow my pride like this, I gotta tip my invisible hat to you for the effort.”
“Oh, well, thanks, I guess,” you say. ‘Not a normal compliment, but this isn’t exactly a normal situation, so, beggars can’t be choosers.’
She chuckles. “Even funnier since you’ve gotten into a female roo’s body.” Her eyes flick up and down your form, amusement obvious in her eyes. “How’s that working out for you, by the way? Guessing you don’t wanna get preggers.”
“Fine enough for now,” you reply, and you opt to… ignore that topic of conversation for something more pleasant. “Do you have a name?”
“Of course I’ve got a damn name,” she says, rolling her eyes. Then, she scowls at you for a short moment. “Gah, fine. It’s Maggie.”
You nod and give your name in return.
“Yeah, yeah, pleasantries and all that shite,” Maggie says. She’s clearly sour about the whole ordeal, but you get the sense from her body language and her expression that she’s decided not to try and devour you. “Well, you helped me, and that’s fine and dandy, so go on.” She waves you off. “Go fuck off toward wherever the hell you were planning on going. I assume after your gal pal?”
“And what about you?” you ask. “What do you plan to do with yourself?”
She shrugs, but doesn’t answer. You figure she’s not really the type to go telling someone she doesn’t know, let alone someone that kicked her rear a few times. Wounded pride and all that is still pretty evident.
You ponder what to do next. Obviously, going down the path Erin went to find where she’s gone is an idea, although you don’t owe allegiance to her, seeing as how you only just met. But, you don’t want to abandon her, either. However, you find yourself wondering how this Maggie woman knows Erin, and, you wonder about whether or not she’d like to ‘join’ you as it were.
You begin to think: do you want to move on and find Erin on your own? Do you want to stay and learn a bit more from this Maggie woman? Do you want to see if she’d like to tag along with you? You’ve got some options, suffice to say.
Written by Hollowpage on 12 September 2020