That All-Consuming Hunger

It is a strange hunger that drives them. Their bellies already bulging from their previous meal, they attack the next one with a fervor unnaturally bright in their eyes. Teeth rip into the kill, devouring, snarling. Claws extend, sinking into the flesh of another that got too close to what is theirs.

Barely able to stand, its belly is so large, so unbalanced, one of the feeding creature gorges, choking down flesh with eyes wilder than nature intended. More, it wants. Always more.

And when it finishes, it can no longer move. It lies down next to the carcass, uncaring of the vultures that swoop, of the bones that will soon begin to reek of decay. Despite its expanded stomach, its face is unnaturally thin, skin and fur stretched over sharp bones. It lies there, breaths short. Its lungs are barely able to expand. Its tongue lolls, eyes unfocused.

And as a storm approaches, it is unable to move to safety. It bears the winds that bite, and the sand that tears. It bleeds uncaringly and the ground soaks it up, forever thirsty.

It only lifts its head when the scent of wounded prey approaches once more. It drags itself forward, a pathetic sight. Battered, swollen with greed, it hunts once more.

The Shoes that Changed a Man’s Life

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Blue, green, and white, they smiled at the world from the ground up. They were slammed, dragged, and kicked, and yet they continued to shine.

They tied and untied, they clicked and clacked.

And they spoke to people when they walked by.

“Hello,” they’d say. “We are happy shoes.” Then they’d laugh. “Don’t be shy, come say hello!”

Sometimes they were ignored, and sometimes people took notice.

“What character they have!” Delighted the listeners, and the shoes would redden at the praise.

But their most fulfilling day was one that was sunny and bright. They were waiting for the bus, alongside some subdued fellows.

And the man beside them, he listened, then he replied. “I had never before looked that closely at shoes until now” he said, “I didn’t realize what a difference they made.”

And through their stammering blush, the bright shoes beamed.

True story. Don’t be ashamed of being unique.

She was asking for it

Small steps, softened by the soft ground. Sharp hooves pick daintily. Thin legs stand strong. A delicate head lowers to sample the grass. Large ears flick in wild contrast to otherwise slow movements.

She is alone, this beautiful, slender creature. She could almost appear calm but for her wary eyes. They dart towards the teasing shadows. Towards the whispering leaves and the dancing branches.

Like easy prey she must seem, standing in the open field. How delectable she must look to the wolf crouching in the bushes. His tongue lolls and saliva drips. Then he shifts a little too much, and the sound of twigs cracking explodes from beneath his paw.

Her head jerks up and her muscles tense, and then she is gone, bounding away to safety.

The wolf huffs as if cursing, and shoots after her. Howling to his pack mates, they run in formation. Practiced, trained, and hunger consuming their minds with ravenous jaws. Kill. Take. Feed.

Her small hooves fly from the ground, launching her past trees. Her eyes are dominated by colour-less fear.

Then the wolves are snapping at her legs, mouths gaping and snarling, white teeth flashing.

Her breath shudders in her lungs, a sigh escapes her lips.

And then there is a wolf leaping in front of her. Terrified, she tries to turn, but her moment of hesitation provides them with the seconds they need to fasten their jaws around her neck, her legs, her body. Teeth sink into her, piercing her, devastating her. They shake her, and she falls into into death’s cold, waiting arms.

She was just asking to be killed, the other deer whisper, as the story of her fate sweeps the herd. After all, wolves will be wolves. It’s a bad idea to tempt them like that.