by S.E. Sinkhorn
They are coming.
The trees here are so thin, reaching to the silver sky like wisps of black smoke. A bird glides overhead, passing in and out of my view as it cuts through the branches. The beauty of the wood does not escape my notice. That it is used as a hunting ground turns my stomach.
I didn’t want to come. My hand was forced, and the shouts are close now, falling from the frigid air to shatter at my feet. Sorrow wells inside me as I prepare to play my part one last time.
Pulling back my lips to expose my teeth, I darken my eyes and scream out a challenge, drawing the pack to my clearing. I limp in a theatrical show, as though their primitive weapons could have any lasting effect on me. Poor beasts. They’re only defending their territory.
The leader breaks into the meadow, calling the others to his side. I tense as if preparing to spring. They take the bait, surging forward to attack. As soon as they clear the tree line, a beam locks them in their tracks. In seconds, we are all aboard the transport vessel – I on a teleport pad, they in their cages, their weapons useless.
My eyes burn as I brush a claw against the pocket that holds my P.E.T.E. card – People for the Ethical Treatment of Earthlings. One day we will find a way to end this.