Cat-sharp eyes watch the shadows for any hint of motion. It makes no sound nor movement, still and silent as death. No intake of breath or even a motion as tiny as a tail-flick marks its position when the click of heels on pavement signals the coming of the prey.

The woman rounds the fender of the car in the dark parking lot, the gleam of chrome reflecting haphazardly across her white skin. It has one second to reflect out of surprise-widened eyes before drops of blood spray haphazardly across her white skin. She has no time to scream before the jaws clamp on her throat, locking her voice into her dying body. It drinks, savoring the warm blood flowing into its mouth and down its throat, swallowing her life like it had swallowed her screams.

When the warm blood runs cool and not even a trickle marks what once carried life, love and breath, the Beast opens its jaws and slips away as silently as it had crouched waiting. Death-filled eyes left behind see only what the predator feels as it leaves.


    2002 Sonja Torres

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