Friday, July 5, 2013

Wyre-rat (part 14)

I took my attention from the mouth of the alley, stood and paced forward, then sat again. I studied him. Some kind of calico, which in my training meant "mongrel."

His fur was mostly dark, streaked with odd patches of a lighter color that I couldn't identify with the rat's color-blind eyes. He blended well into the darkness.

He stared at me for a time, then slowly sat up, his front paws not curled beneath him but crouched low and ready if I should attack.

Likely that's exactly what he expected.

I stayed were I was. We couldn't communicate--one or the other of us was going to have to shift shape.

Instead he extended a paw toward me, claws retracted. I bent over to look and almost lost control. Buried in his fur, in a bracelet of stretchy material much like the one I'd worn last night, a tracking device.

His head dropped and I wondered. Taking a single step forward at a time, I crawled to my belly in front of him. Even slower, I reached out a paw. With my paw resting over his but not touching, I waited to see if this was what he wanted.

His head bobbed. Cautiously, still not touching in case this was a trap, I hooked claws over the edge of the stretchy material and pulled it off. It was tighter than I'd expected, which made sense if they didn't want him to be able to take it off himself.

It lay there on the cement, blinking at us.

He was apparently shocked when I lunged at him and bit him on the cheek, claws scrabbling against his skin so that blood dripped onto the pavement around the tracker. He fought, as expected, but I leaped away to the top of the dumpster.

I sat there, waiting for him to get it through his thick skull. It took longer than I'd hoped, but no longer than I'd expected. He stared down at the blood, then squalled and began rolling it across the cement with his paws.

Oh, man. I hissed and he looked up, obviously surprised. Balancing on my hind feet, I waved my paws at him and then deliberately put them down flat on the dumpster lid. One, two. One, two. Footprints, idiot.

He blinked, looked down at his bloody paws and then jumped into a puddle. With a final glance back at the scene of the crime, he leaped up to the dumpster lid and followed me across the rooftops.

Part 15

If you want to start at the beginning: Wyre-Rat episode 1

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