Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wyre-rat (part 15)

I magnanimously let him use the shower first. The blood, reekish as it was to my rat nose, barely registered as a human. I made up a pallet on the floor, since the single bed in the room was far too narrow for two.

Still a very real possibility that this was a trap, I perched on the windowsill in my rat form listening for any hint of unexplained movement outside the apartment.
He emerged from the shower, toweling his hair dry with one of the used-to-be-a-sheet towels the landlady had provided. He stumbled over the pallet, and stared in surprise at the rat staring out the window.

I jumped down, strolled past him into the miniscule bathroom and shut the door. After a moment I opened it again, still in rat form, and dragged my clothes through the door by my teeth.

He continued to stare, or I assume he did.

No big fancy tub here, no thick soft towels. And apparently no hot water. I shivered through my shower, dried off as much as I could and dressed again in the flippy white dress I'd started the day in.

I fluffed my hair with the square of cloth I presumed was intended to take the place of a towel and walked out into the bedroom. He was already curled up on the pallet of thin blankets, and looked so much like a human sized cat that I wondered for a moment. He looked up at me as I edged around him.

I sat on the bed, curled my feet under me and cocked my head to one side, waiting.

"You look like a rat when you do that." He uncurled himself and sat with his hands on his knees.

"You look like a cat when you do that," I retorted.

The corner of his mouth turned up. "You know they'll be after me."

"They can't track you any more." Of course they would use an implanted tracker as well, but it might be a while before they decided to use that.

"No one has ever gotten away." He looked away, studied my temporary refuge.

"They're holding you prisoner then. That's what the Center is for."

He blinked in surprise, looked me straight in the face for the first time since I'd shifted to human form. "Of course. Did you think otherwise?"

I reached into my bag and handed him a bottle of water I'd brought from my hotel room. "Drink that."

He stared down at it as if expecting poison. I grabbed the bottle, uncapped it and took a swallow. "Satisfied?"

Confused, he downed the water. He did seem thirsty, because he drank the whole thing with only a few stops for breath.

Part 16

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

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