And The Hunt Begins
by Dottie Taylor
I raised my face to the night wind. There's the sweet scent I'd caught earlier. I inhale deeply, letting the scent wash over me, through me, heightening my senses.
I run, grinning wildly, as the land glides beneath my feet, almost at a full gallop. I scent the air again, yes, there it is! A hawk calls over head, pointing the way.
At the edge of the brush, I skid to a halt. I'm not the only one drawn by the scent as I hear a growl off at a distance in the waning light. I sat on the cold hard ground, forcing my heart to slow, biding my time. I can wait my turn, I will have my feed.
I open my jaws and yawning a loud whine, alerting others that I too wait to feed.
“Help me.” I hear in the distance as the growl grows closer. The ground vibrates, limping footfalls coming nearer. Damn, it's a helpless thing, groping in the twilight for a savior. A small hand lands upon my flank, curling in my fur.
“Please, I'm lost.” It pleads.
Food, my instincts cry.
Help it, my heart demands.
Shifting is always the worst part, especially when I've been denied my feast. Bones pop as I change, no one feeds tonight.
A child cries in the darkness.
“I'm here.” I reach out, taking the small hand in mine. “I'm here.”