I slip across the shadowy field, my footsteps silenced by the pine needles which blanket the ground. Inhaling deeply, I catch a hint of wood smoke floating on the crisp air. As thin wisps of clouds drift across the sliver of moon, the shadows lose form only to reappear seconds later. My eyes have no trouble adjusting, and I spot my prey up ahead near the edge of the creek, blissfully ignorant to my plans.
The rumble of an engine draws near, and suddenly lights splash across the open area between us. I duck quickly behind a low hanging tree, disappearing into shadows. My prey stops, a frozen statue in the illumination, until the intruding car crawls slowly out of sight and sound. After another few seconds, she looks around, then resumes her stroll.
My pulse quickens, and a roar forms inside my head as I watch her. She has no idea I am anywhere near. I can’t wait to announce my presence and see the terror in her eyes. But I know I must be patient. I must choose my time perfectly. I feel warm despite the frigid air.
A slamming door interrupts my thoughts. Voices carry on the night breeze, rising then fading. I watch her freeze, look around, then melt further into the darkness, first weighing then dismissing the threat. Quiet settles again, like a comforting blanket, and she visibly relaxes.
I take a few steps, sliding from shadow to shadow, soundlessly drawing nearer to my prey. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck. My senses are heightened to supernatural strength. I am the hunter: invisible, invincible, unstoppable.
After what seems like forever, I am nearly within striking distance. Her back is to me, just beyond reach. Patience. My mouth suddenly had too much saliva. I swallow hard and take a deep breath. I can see her muscles tense, and I know the instant she becomes aware of the danger. I can smell the sharp scent of her fear.
She bolts out of my reach, skirting the water’s edge, her footsteps surprisingly agile on the rocks. I hear her panicked breathing, and know the prize is almost in hand.
I am after her in a split second, and my speed is more than equal hers. The chase is short-lived but invigorating. Adrenalin rushes through my veins. I leap through the air and grab her, clutching her quivering neck. We fall in a writhing tangle.
A snarl escapes my mouth and mingles with the shriek that escapes her. She whirls to face me, her breath hot and foul as she struggles. The coppery smell of blood soon fills the night air. Claws and teeth rake at me but I feel no pain. My nerve endings are tingling and I feel gloriously alive.
Something warm and sticky oozes into my eye, blinding me for a second. I shake my head and force my eyes to focus. The ground is black and shiny, splattered with blood that I both smell and taste. I am energized.
A high-pitched squeal pierces my ears and stabs my brain. I shake her savagely until the squeal finally fades away. The fight slowly leaves her, and I allow her body to fall in a heap at my feet. I stand up tall and look around, but we are still alone in the darkness.
I step over her and walk to the edge of the creek. I drink deeply of the icy water, letting the blood wash away from my face. I clean myself carefully. Killing is messy work.
Calmer now, I gently pick up her lifeless form and head back the way I came. No need to slink along in shadows, I walk directly across the center of the field and into the yard. Exhausted from the hunt, I climb the steps, lay her body on the porch and curl myself around her.
“Not again! Honey, that tomcat’s caught another rabbit! Come get this nasty thing off my porch!”