Sunday, 19 May 2013

Hit me

‘Hit me’ - another word prompt from writeworld on tumblr. I really can’t help myself with these things. Sighs.
“Hit me!” he shouted at her.
“What? W-why?”
“Just do it!”
“B-but I need a reason-”
“Just hit me.”
She folded her arms across her chest.
He made a noise of frustration. “Why do I have to explain everything? Why can’t you just do what you are told?” He pulled his boots off and threw them on the floor.
Her eyes narrowed. She felt like smacking him, now. She stood, turned her back and walked as far away from him as she could get. It wasn’t far. The cage limited their movement. The fact that they were even in the cage was her fault, too. She hadn’t done what she was told; she had ignored his advice and she had set off the trap. If he hadn’t been trying to rescue her, he wouldn’t have been caught in it as well.
It was all her fault. She was pathetic and hopeless and weak.
She sniffed.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” She heard him sigh. He stripped his jacket off and dropped it on the floor. His shirt followed.
He moved over behind her. His hands gripped the bars above her head. He had her trapped in the corner.
She wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
She didn’t respond.
“Let me explain. If I get angry, I can change and if I can change, I am strong enough to break us out of here. But we don’t have much time.”
“Oh.” She took a breath. “Okay. That makes sense. But don’t I make you angry already?”
“Frustration is different. That’s a human emotion.”
“So you need to feel really angry?”
“Or threatened, yeah.”
“I can’t threaten you.”
“You can. You are much stronger than you think you are.”
She thought about it.
He was right behind her. His height meant that he had crouched down to talk to her quietly and his head was now level with hers.
She leaned forward as far as the bars let her move, gripped them hard with her hands and then she flung her head back as hard as she could. She head-butted him; right in the nose.
“Ow! Fuck!” he swore, as he took a leap backwards.
She turned to see him clutching at his face with blood streaming from his nose. He glared at her and she could see the colour leach from his eyes. She swallowed heavily and pressed back against the cage wall.
His eyes had gone completely yellow.
She inhaled shakily. It might have been a good idea to ask him what he turned into before she had done that.
His arms were vibrating; his fists clenching convulsively. A long, low growl escaped from his clamped jaws. He shook his head in a curiously feline gesture and the longish brown hair on his head gained hints of orange. His jaw lengthened and filled with enormous teeth.
She watched; utterly fascinated and more than a little terrified.
He shook his whole body, and orange and black fur seemed to spill out of him. His clothes tore apart with the swiftness and violence of the change.
He fell to the floor on enormous paws the size of dinner plates. His tail twitched behind him.
She now shared the cramped cage with a tiger.
She was holding her breath.
The animal blinked, then turned its head from side to side, before it lifted up on its back legs and pushed at the roof of the cage with those paws. The man had been six feet tall, but the tiger had to be closer to ten. It was enormous.
The muscles in its hind legs bunched and with another push, the cage roof detached from the walls. There was a second of silence before the sides started to cave in on them. Without hands to catch it, the cage roof fell onto them as well. She screamed and threw her hands over her head; crouched down in the corner.
The animal pounced on her and shielded her with its body. That pungent animal smell encased her as the metal crashed down onto the floor.
“Oh, my god,” she whispered.
A rough tongue licked up the side of her face. It was like sandpaper.
She crawled out from under it and rose unsteadily to her feet. The animal glided after her, letting the cage walls fall to the floor.
The noise would bring some attention. “We need to go,” she told the tiger. His boots, jacket and shirt were trapped under the bars, but she tugged them free. As she ran for the door, she grabbed her backpack from the bench and stuffed the clothing in it. The tiger bounded ahead of her. He looked ready for a fight.
The thought crossed her mind that he had no trousers. She looked around and grabbed some kind of kilt that was hanging on a hook. She grinned with the thought that he’d look good in a skirt.
© AM Gray 2013

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