Lore

Prey


The wind carries upon it the scent of prey. It weaves itself among the branches of the tree I rest in, dancing with the bouquet of the forest I dwell within. It plays sweet melody upon my hide, teasing me with a multitude of flavors. It is tantalizing, and I hunger.

I open my eyes to locate the prey. Soft, yielding flesh covered in warm, heavy fur - its aroma tells me. The scent carries no trace of sickness; this prey is in good health. My primaries come into focus and begin the search for movement. My secondaries tell me that the hot-burning-fire-orb in the sky is tiring and will soon rest. Its flame burns its soft-white prey upon the horizon. They tell me that the tree I rest upon shelters a small-insignificant-unobtrusive kindred, and they watch as it feeds upon its own prey caught in its web.

My hunger grows.

I taste the breeze again; the prey approaches. My primaries rest upon movement in the brush below and my glands swell in anticipation. I have not consumed for several days, but I must not act yet. Experience has taught me to be patient. I lift my raptorial limbs, stretching them to remind myself of their reach. Ever so slowly I shift my weight from my front legs to my mid and rear legs, finding purchase in the soft bark of my rest-tree.

The prey steps from the brush, cloaked in brown fur. This prey has a tail on the back of its head. The fur there is a different color than the rest, as pale as its naked, fleshy face. It moves on two legs with strength and caution, but I remain motionless in the shadows of my tree-rest-place. I am amused; for one so alert it cannot hear the thunder of its own steps or the gust of its own breath.

My sensitive-delicate-hairs tell me each step it takes, relaying each and every vibration though my trichobothria. Step. Step. I resist the urge to shiver with excitement. The prey passes under me. Step. Step. Balancing on my tarsals, I turn myself around. The prey’s back is to me. Step. Step. Keeping to the shadows to avoid the light of the hot-burning-fire-orb, I make my way down the soft-bark-rest-tree. Step. Step. I have time; the prey is slow and blundering.

Step. Step. Crack! The prey stumbles over a dead-dry-twig, breaking it into many small pieces and scaring itself. I freeze, holding tightly to the shadows at the base of the trees. The soil is moist and cool. My dappled carapace blends in completely.

The prey looks around in a vain hope to detect danger, its body tense and ready to flee. Several brief moments pass. The prey is so close. But not yet, not yet. My secondaries watch the trail of insignificant-six-legged-legion-kindred march through the litter.

Finally the prey relaxes. Step. Step. I close the distance, one slow step at a time. Finally, the prey is within range. I raise my raptorial claws high in preparation, their shining claws ready to strike. With a burst of action, I launch myself at the prey with a powerful pounce, pulling my raptorials forward in a single, perfect motion.

The prey’s red juices squirt out of its body as my claws penetrate its soft, yielding flesh. I pin it to the earth with my weight, speaking soothingly to it as it struggles through its death throes. Unable to wait any longer, I bare my fangs and take my first bite of the feast. Hunger drives me and I think nothing until it is satisfied.

My hunger is gone and the hot-burning-fire-orb has returned to its nest. There is still a large portion of prey left, so I position myself over the remains. Carefully maneuvering my mid legs, I extract one of the many eggs I store under my abdomen and rest it upon the prey. The hatchling inside the egg senses the prey and begins to awaken. Returning to my soft-bark-rest-tree, I wait in the darkness.

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