Groggy husbands and wives started to move through the houses, wiping their eyes and some men still groaning from the extracurricular activities that occurred during the night, while their wives or girlfriends smirked happily. Another day of work laid ahead for them in the daily tedium of their lives, and they moved in their set pattern that has long been ingrained in them. Engines started to rev up and cars pulled out into the street, and amongst the new hubbub of a new day was the clopping of a pair of hooves.
In the disarray of her vision, she saw something faintly and her head locked on it. Heart pounding, her eyes went wide as she saw the small hole in her nest. Frantic, she moved to it, laying flat to look through it and saw a small tunnel just beyond it, her mind snapping to attention. The jumble of thoughts and fears in her mind filtered away and one key memory sprung to mind before she jumped to her feet and flew out of the cave.
She rested her head on forearm, the silky, spotted fur resting gently against her cheek, tapping the sharp claw on the end of her hand against her temple, the cat-like ears on the top of her head, sprouting out from a mess of short, yellow hair, twitching as he stepped on another stick. Now that she thought about it, watching him rumble through the underbrush, he was more like a very fat rat meandering its way through the forest floor, caution thrown to the wind in its arrogance to satisfy its hunger, not knowing an owl hovered just above, watching in bemusement at its antics. She had to stifle a chuckle at the comparison: it wouldn’t be fun if the prey knew it was being hunted just yet.
It started off as a faint squeeze on his leg that Cullen almost didn’t register at first as he was transfixed by the predatory glare of his captor, but the sensation began to grow tighter, causing him to squirm and tear his eyes away from her. He glanced down at his sprawled out legs and saw that her feet was progressively growing tighter and tighter around his calves, which caused him to narrow his eyes in confusion at them before he struck him what she was trying to do, his eyes shooting up at the sight of her talons growing closer to his fragile skin. He tore his gaze back to her, and saw a sadistic gleam enter her eyes as his own panicked look met hers; he swore he could see her smirking at him.
Cullen remained rooted to the spot, unable to tear his gaze away from the blood around the creature’s lips. It had to be a dream–that’s it, he must’ve still been dreaming. This wasn’t real, none of it, why would this fantastical creature be before him? It had to have been the exhaustion from the hard work over the past few days, and he was just having a very bad nightmare. He shut his eyes and lightly slapped his face with his hand, hoping to awaken from this nightmare into the comfort of his own bed. But once he opened them, he could only see the same monster before him, it’s eyes filled with confusion.
Taking a deep breath, she focused only on him, watching him as he stepped further and further into the clearing before he reached far enough from the trees. She took one last cursory glance around the clearing, but, much like how she had first seen it, it remained empty except for her and her target. She took to the sky quick, spreading her wings and hovering just a bit behind him. The angle was perfect, and her target was clear to her–this wouldn’t be any more trouble than any other hunt that had transpired before it, and it felt like those hunts prepared her perfectly for this moment. She took one last deep breath before she began her descent, gliding towards him unblinkingly, her talons now raised out in front of her, aimed for his shoulders, the wind and the pounding of her heart roaring in her ears.
Nodding at her decision, she rose to her full height and spread her wings wide, nearly encompassing the entrance to her home. She knew she must’ve made an impressive sight and she turned her head, a smug smile on her face only for it to go away once she was greeted with the darkness and emptiness of her home. A sudden weight formed in her chest and she quickly turned away from the darkness and pushed herself out into the air, pumping her wings to keep herself afloat as an updraft of wind propelled herself up high and she took off for the river, the feeling in her chest throbbing all the way.
Cullen chuckled as images of the last time Isabel had “played” with Silas. He had come home to see her laying on his back, with her arms wrapped around his neck, a defeated look on his face as he looked up hopefully at him to save him from the menace that was his little sister. He had, of course, left him there.
His eyes narrowed suddenly at one set of tracks, however: they didn’t seem to be from any animal that he knew of that lived in the woods. The tracks were bird-like, but the imprints were bigger than any bird that he knew of. Curious, he placed his hand next to the track and saw they were almost the same size, with the tip of his fingers being the difference. The way the tracks were spaced was odd as well: instead of the typical straight and parallel nature of most bird tracks as they hop along the ground, these tracks were spaced as if the thing was walking like a man–one in front of the other, albeit, if the man making them was drunk.