You push yourself shakily to four feet. The movement is so unnatural that you actually stumble upon trying to take your first step. Every bit of concentration that you have goes in to getting your legs beneath you and then taking that first shaking step forward without swaying or falling. The tail behind you swishes in instinctual motion, managing to help you catch your balance when you nearly topple again. For a moment, you steady your breath and suck down the terror that's rising in you in palpable waves.
For a moment, you do nothing but concentrate on the way that it feels for your feet-- no, paws -- to be planted firmly on the ground.
Once you've gotten a hold of that, you take another step forward.
And then finally another.
And only then do you allow yourself to look around and intake the surroundings that you've someone been plopped into the middle of.
The bars are close, but behind you is a sweeping and vast plane; yes, it's still enclosed, but you could run for a full few minutes without reaching the other side. Whoever crafted the area seemed to have care and consideration for the creatures that existed within it.
It doesn't bring you any measure of comfort, though, because you know that you don't belong here.
Here is slowly becoming evident, the realization if not the specifics dawning on you in a creeping horror that you can't deny.
The word comes to mind, because you've been there a dozen times when you were a child.
The word comes to your mind because at the edge of the bars, you can make out the haze of families standing around and watching you, some holding children on their shoulders so they can see what is behind the bars. The children have snacks, and they're laughing. They're joyous.
They don't seem to notice the look of pure terror on your face; either that, or they're conditioned to not care about the expressions of the animals.
Whatever it is, your second cry of 'help' falls on deaf ears.
Maybe they can't understand you?
You walk towards the edge of the bars and some people whip out camera-like devices, snapping photos. You mouth the words to attempt the gaining of their attention again, but it doesn't do anything for you. They don't do anything for you. They just stare at you with joy and amusement on their faces... and you know that you're well and truly ruined for getting help from any of them.
They don't care.
Or they don't understand.
Or a mixture of both.
Instead, you crane your neck around in an attempt to find some answers for where you are at least. You can't see much -- the enclosure that your in seemed to be in the dip of a valley; you can see the hills rising up beyond, and you can hear other creatures roaring, screeching, generally making noises somewhere in the distance... but you can't discern what they are, where they are... if they're also crying out for help in voices that can't be understood.
But you do see the sign to the left of the bars.
Sphynx Enclosure, Three males, one female.
You gulp, and it's nearly audible... because you're starkly aware of the fact that, though you should have at least had the comfort of being in the male category, you're very distinctly of the female definition.
Which meant that somewhere, lurking in the cage with you, are three male Sphynx creatures... and you're not altogether sure of if they were once human as well... or if they're animals that function on a more basic instinct that you aren't going to be able to reason with, that you aren't going to be able to beg or barter or plead with. You aren't sure what you want out of all of this; if they'd been human, or had been humans at any point in their lives... perhaps they would listen. But... you had been a male, and you knew for a fact that sometimes when you were thrown into a situation where control seemed to be wrenched from you, you would posture in order to make yourself feel better.
Written by Karlyene on 06 October 2020