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Claws raked across the metal floor in angry, wild lines. She screamed like a tiger, positioning herself into a crouch, baring her teeth at the audience, eyes glowing like silver fire glaring at her captors. "Dance for us, feline! Show us what you can do!" A man veered outside of the cage, a whip waving around leisurely in his hand. She hated that thing; it struck like thunder that rattled the cage bars, and she jumped back and cringed every time it slapped against the metal. She stay positioned on her hands and feet, prowling like a wild animal, growling, hissing, tail waving cautiously in the air, ears up and alert.
But her senses were in hyperfocus. Her heart thrummed in her chest like it had a life of its own, beating against her chest so hard it hurt. She could hear the blood rushing through her veins, her labored breathing filling her ears. Her skin was nearly bare; black hair blanketing her shoulders and neck, shrouding her face like a dark veil. The only other thing covering her was a loose strangely shaped fabric; it wrapped around her shoulder like a shirt, covered her belly and led down to cover the rest of her main body from the eye, but there was no back to it, no pattern to the soft, black fabric.
She launched herself at the man whom she sensed no fear from, snarling, snapping sharp teeth at him, clinging to the cage bars. But the clinging didn't last long; the prison squeaked eerily, and it toppled forward, slowly at first. Shrieks filled her twitching her ears as she toppled away from the bars. The cage had lurched forward from her force, and had caught the man under it.
Adrenaline was running fast and strong, and the smell of blood and meat overwhelmed her senses. She didn't care whether the audience was there or not, if anyone was watching. This human was dead, there was no pulse, just blood staining the bars that lay pressed to the floor, still warm, but steadily cooling, oozing onto the wood floor of the stage with thicker, darker things.
There was no thought to this; no shame. He was food, that's all there was to it. Teeth tore into his side, the cloth shredded and abandoned as she ripped skin out of the way, coating her jaw in blood and meat. She looked satisfied, calmed, as she fed from the human under her cage. Her hands were enveloped in the growing pool of gore, her eyes closed her jaw worked at tearing and chewing the meat. The feline pulled away, taking a large slab of dripping skin and meat off. She tuned into the blood-curdling screams of the audience, whom she could not see because of the lights that rudely disrupted her sight.
Her head snapped to the door squeaking at the other end of the cage. Foolish humans, they knew nothing about precaution. She dropped the food in her mouth, letting out a cry of triumph in her animalistic way as she charged for them, sending them all spiraling backwards as she pounced on the rest of the staff, abandoning the stage and disappearing into the crowd on her feet, crouched, arms ready, an attacking stance. The humans just ran like pathetic fools, they're ugly faces filled with panic. Their fear filled the air, but she just snarled at them and they ended clearing a path to the exit for her in their desperate attempt to get away. She ignored them and went straight for it, darting out the door, leaving shouts and screams behind her.
Thoughts were nonexistent. She ran on instinct, heading straight for the roof tops, blood cooling on her skin, dripping off her chin and splatting onto the pale skin of her leg. She sat like that for several minutes, the adrenaline wearing down, her heart quieting. She crept to the edge of the roof on all fours, peeking down to the street. Few carriages wandered the street at night, horses trotting over the cobblestones nonchalantly. Everything was painted in perfect clarity, the moon shining bright and high in the sky. She would be smarter this time. Last time, she had been attacked by a terrifying creature she had never encountered. Eyes a glowing bright crimson, with slit pupils, impressive teeth. It had taken a shape to resemble a human, but it was a predator of humans; it knew no fear, and it smelled awful of rotted blood and disgusting things she had no name for. Such a being made even a creature as proud as herself tremble in fear. It had nearly torn her to pieces, drinking her blood like it would die for it. She'd been saved by a strange man, but he was no human. He smelled dangerous, but he had smiled and offered her a hand with no weapon in it, he offered no threat to her. He'd had the sweetest scent that lured her to him, and he had kept her, taken care of her, managed her wounds.
But that was in the past. He let her stay as she wanted, but he'd made it a point that she was free to go if she wanted. A lot of times, she had left, only to return. But she had been caught again, by the same people she had escaped from. No, she could not go there again, but she could not stay out in the open air, vulnerable to all. But, certainly, being covered in blood would only get her tied up in other trouble.
If she focused her senses, she could smell the murky water of the bay. Her eyes hunted for the clearing that gave it away, and off she went, jumping across the rooftops, cold wind whipping over her skin as she neared the waters under the bridge.
She wasn't coordinated enough to simply wash her face off; her human ways were little to none. She simply dove into the water, coming back up gasping at the iciness that dribbled down her skin as she broke through the surface. The wind felt like pinpricks now, and when her nose unfroze, she didn't smell that nice. The waters were unclean, but it had washed away traces of blood. Now she was a sopping wet mess, dripping, tail flicking and flinging water, ears imitating the motion. Now the fabric covering her was heavier, dripping in streams down her legs, clinging to her stomach and shoulders. She huffed, making her way back up from the docks, not caring now as she walked out into the open.
But as she went to cross the street, a carriage came around the corning sending her careening back. The driver actually stopped as she slipped on the water she dripped and fell onto her side with a wet smack, the hooves of the horses missing her tail by inches. The human driving the carriage looked stunned. But he seemed unsure whether to come down and ask if she was alright, seeing as she was a lady, or scolding a child for being in the street. She had no fancy skirts to signify high class; she wasn't even dressed properly. He was still staring, though standing, when the carriage door opened. "What happened? We couldn't be there yet?" high-pitched voices carried out as a young brunette stepped out of the carriage. She, too, looked surprised to see the young woman on the cobblestones, who was slowly moving off her side to sit right. A sharp pain shot through her shoulder, skin nearly blue from the cold.
Finally, another head popped out of the carriage. A light-haired young girl with ribbons and jewelry on, a child's face, several skirts billowing out. "Oh! What happened? Are you okay?" she asked, shooing the girl in front of her out onto the street so she could get out. "Mi'lady, please be careful," the other female said behind her, following the first one.
"Oh my! You're soaking wet!" She exclaimed,pulling out a small fabricated square from somewhere and moving to start cleaning the feline's face. There was no fear to her, either; but there was no sense of danger to her. She smelled innocent, harmless. Though she smelled sweet, so sweet, too sweet, the stray flattened her ears and wrinkled her nose, whimpering.
"Well, we can't just leave her here!" "Mi'lady?" "Come on, now. Come with us, we'll clean you u...p." she was cut off in pulling her to her feet. The tail swished into vision, the ears flicking atop her head, eyes sparkling. They froze, and stared; really hard. The brunette covered her gaping mouth with her hand, the other just blinked several times, then continued pulling her toward the carriage.
She stayed quiet, letting them lead her into the carriage. The one with the cloth sat next to her. "Tell the driver to keep going," she said, continuing to clean any exposed skin. Dirt coated the side she'd fell on, so it rolled like sand against her wet skin. The young female was cautious about her actions, eyes flicking up at the strange creature under her fingertips, to her face, her exposed shoulder where the fabric had opted down one side; she took note that it was purplish and scraped, goosebumps like a blanket. But the cat-like girl remained silent, trembling lightly, almost involuntarily, skin icy and slick. Soon enough, the carriage was moving again, but the noble paid no mind as she became a little more steady in her tending, less cautious and more relaxed.
The human's hands were warm, gentle, and she was cooing to the feline under her breath, taking her hands one at a time and cleaning her arms from the dirt and water. "Well, we'll get you a bath when we get back home, okay? You'll be all nice and clean and warm. And maybe wash this..."
If she didn't smell so damned sweet and defenseless, she might not have been half bad. But the need to cover her sensitive nose was undeniable, so her face simply remained scrunched up, as her hands were being tended to.
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