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The streets were scattered with the puddles that showed little reflection in the fading light. Crumbling buildings stretched as far as the eye could see - a sign of the depression and famine that had come after the war. It was during a walk down one of these streets that I saw him. Despite the lack of food, his muscular frame managed to take up most of the doorway, allowing the little light from the room behind to outline his features. He stood there looking out across the street, probably for food- our eyes met. It was in that instant I knew he might not be able to provide me with food, but this was who I wanted to be with, this was who I wanted to make happy… well for a time.

Carefully I started to walk across the street, skilfully avoiding the puddles. Our eyes met. There was something about him. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to be anywhere but there. Still my feet continued to walk towards him. Our gaze remained locked, a light smile dabbed the corner of his mouth causing the muscles in his cheeks to flex and ripple down his body. Still he never looked away, keeping his gaze locked to mine.

I reached him. I could feel a small amount of warmth creeping through the door from the fire burning inside his house. Stifling a shiver I watched as his eyes travelled over my body, displaying a hunger and lust that I had never seen, at the same time showing compassion and a deep happiness at my arrival. Reaching out his hand, I looked down as I allowed his fingers to slide along the side of my face, pausing on my cheek. His hands were warm, they were gentle, comforting…I wanted to be with him. His hands continued to slide down my face, to my chin, tilting it back up to meet his eyes. They were the darkest brown I had ever seen, like deep wells in which I could drown. Stepping back, I waited momentarily. There was something about him, I could feel it, he wanted something… what was it?
He opened his mouth slightly, cooing the words, “un fantastica mundo, un fantastica mundo, un fantastica mundo”.
I didn’t understand what he meant, but it was soothing and inviting. Carefully I continued into his now out-reached arms. He swiftly drew me inside, closing and locking the door behind him.

The house wasn’t quite what I’d expected. It was a small, single room containing all the essentials. A kitchen took up most of one side of the room; while a single bed took up the other, separating them was a small stove that provided the only light and warmth for the room. A cream sheet also hung crumpled against the wall over a piece of string that could be pulled out to temporarily separate the rooms, while the string doubled as a washing line… if he could afford to waste the water on washing. However, this wasn’t what surprised me as much as the fact that the whole place was impeccably clean, having not a single paper or dish out of place.

He offered to show me around, I accepted, not wanting to seem rude and too scared to say no. As we moved to the kitchen, he looked down and started to apologise, knowing that he was unable to provide me with food, and feeling guilty that he couldn’t support himself. I didn’t mind, I tried to reassure him. He smiled slightly once again and looked into my eyes. Time seemed to stand still, he reached out his hand and watched it slide down my shoulder, then lifted his eyes back up to mine.
“I have some milk we can have for dinner”, he whispered as if it was just a thought in my head. I nodded, knowing that was all he could provide, and that as much as I would have liked to stay, I couldn’t without being a burden to him.

Slowly he moved to the cupboard and took out a small frying pan and pitcher of milk, and poured a small quantity of the milk into the frying pan. Turning the only chair from the table to face the stove, he sat down gesturing for me to join him. He then put the pan on the edge of the small stove to heat up. I took the only seat left available…the side of his bed. The warmth from the fire reminded me of the people I’ve seen, and my lack of sleep. I could feel myself drifting as his soothing voice filled the room with the stories of his poverty, depression and the struggle to survive. His continued statements of being hungry and the lack of food in the area echoed in my ears as I drifted into a fitful sleep.

I awakened suddenly, I could feel his presence around me. Not wanting to make it noticeable, I stayed perfectly still. Carefully I opened my eyes and flicked them around the room. To my horror he stood leaning over me. The lights of his eyes flashed in the flames of the fire. An evil smile danced on his lips. He came closer towards me. I could smell the scent of his body. I could feel the heat of his breath along my face. Hissing, I jumped up and scratched him across the face.
“Damn cat”, he shouts and stumbled back.
He was losing his balance. Trying to regain his footing, he stepped back. Again and again, further and further. He tripped over the chair. As he fell he hit his head on the edge of the cupboard. He didn’t move. I sat and watched.
The flames shed just enough light to see the puddle of blood that formed around his head. You can’t hurt me now, I whispered, as I licked his skin from my paws and watched as the nice, plump mice came out to investigate. He provided me with shelter, and I will have food after all.

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The following comments are for "Hunger"
by moggy

Altered states
I went from my default (male) perspective to female and finally to feline. When I re-read it, I could see the subtle hints and 'un fantastica' kept me guessing. I like the way you described the surroundings and set the mood, giving the impression without a lot of extraneous language. -Philo

( Posted by: Philo [Member] On: May 4, 2004 )

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