February 29, 2024

Verba ex Machina

words from the machine

Petite Scarlet Traveling Cloak

2 min read

Photo by ivanovgood on Pixabay

“It was a mistake for you to come with me into the dark.”

“It was a mistake,” she said. “I should have known better. I should have known you were a dangerous man.” Even as she spoke the words, a hint of guile crept into her as she continued to move further from the warmth and light of her group's . The scarlet of her cloak faded to gray in the dim light of the stars.

Emboldened by her acknowledgement of the danger he posed and his knowledge that the full would be climbing above the horizon any moment now, he took little notice of the fact that she was now leading him into the rather than the other way around. As the pair walked the dropped rapidly and the man could see his breath billowing out in with each huff.

She stopped and turned to him slowly. “What did you think you were doing,” she questioned. Her lead had increased to a baker's dozen paces ahead of him, but even at that distance, he felt that there was something unnatural about her appearance. It was right on the tip of his tongue when the first rays of the full moon struck him, and his transformation began.

His thoughts were cloudy as he morphed into his lupine form, though they returned quickly as the shift completed. His first instinctual act was to close his eyes and breathe in deeply, preparing to track down his prey. He knew from experience that they tended to run when the transformation began.

His eyes snapped open, the tilt of his head conveying his confusion. He smelled nothing, and the girl was standing right there in front of him with a look of confused amusement. In the same instant that he realized he could not see her breath, a much subtler smell finally registered.

“I suppose neither of us were expecting a fair fight this evening,” she accused as she shed her cloak and dropped into a crouch. Her incisors lengthened into fangs in the final seconds before the two rushed towards each other.

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