Stalking the Teacher

December 21, 2009
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There he was. She had been following his trail all night, unable to catch up but unable to stop. He was the one. He must have stopped for a rest, or she would have never caught up with him. He sat leaning against a tree, seeming oblivious to his surroundings, which was stupid in her opinion. There was no way of knowing what hunters stalked the night.
She carefully skirted the clearing, drawing closer to him. He didn't move, only the slight stirring of his chest giving proof that he was alive. She stepped carefully on the leaves, carefully shifting her weight so that no sound would alert him to her presence. Her quarry would not get away this night.
She now stood behind him, barely breathing. She had to do this, or all that she had done before would be in vain. All those nights were she had not paused to eat in the hope of gaining on him, on the hope of finally getting answers.
Just as she tensed to strike, he spoke. "You can either come out and talk to me like a civilized person, and perhaps explain why you have been following me all these weeks, or we can fight, and if we do fight, I can assure you that I will win." His eyes were still closed, and he talked as if they were in some civilized parlor about to have some drinks, not like she was on the verge of attacking him. She hesitated, then stepped out of the shrubbery and stopped with ten paces separating them.
"How did you know that I was here?" She had watched him the entire time, and not once had he given any indication that he knew of her presence. He hadn't even stirred since she had first lay eyes on him.
"I could smell you." At this, he opened his eyes. "Your scent is that of a predator, possibly feline, but of one newly turned, so that I suspect that you know nothing of what you are, or what you can do." She stared at him. How had he known? She had been attacked a month ago by what the authorities said was a rogue tiger that had escaped from the zoo. Then she had gotten angry over something trivial, and her bones had shifted. She had changed into a tigress. She had been out walking in the woods behind her house one day when she had seen him. A wolf had trotted into a clearing she had been about to enter, and she had quickly hidden, feeling afraid. The wolf hadn't even looked around; instead, its' bones had shifted, fur had fallen off its body, and before her had stood a naked man. The same man who now sat before her so casually. She hadn't even hesitated. When he had left the clearing, so had she.
"I want you to tell me what I am. I want to know how many others there are like me. I want you to tell me everything."
His eyebrows lifted. "Everything? Thats a hefty amount of knowledge, and not something I'm inclined to divulge without something in return." He paused, looked her up and down, then nodded to himself. "I will teach you, but in return you shall become my servant. You will cook my meals, carry my pack, and do anything that I require of you. I will warn you, however, that I am currently on a rather dangerous quest, and you might wish to find someone else."
"I can't find anyone else. I'm coming with you." She refused to live in ignorance of the beast that now lived inside of her, especially as every day that passed she felt darker instincts rising up inside of her, instincts that demanded that she maim and kill all that she disliked.
"Very well. Get some rest. We leave in the morning." She hesitated, then walked to the farthest edge of the clearing, opposite of where he sat, lay down, and went to sleep.





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