Monday, January 7, 2013

Dream: Black Panther

She raced through the dense brush along the well-worn path, recognizing every step. A tremor flowed across her sleek black pelt as she felt a twinge of loneliness. She pushed the emotion away for later, determined to feel only joy in the freedom of her evening hunt. A whistle echoed across the canyon walls. She paused in mid-stride, then padded softly forward, ears cocked, whiskers twitching.

She heard a deep male voice, almost a whisper. “Alpha, Scion is exposed.” She twitched her ears, trying to understand.

A soft crackle, and then a distant voice, a woman. “Is she safe?”

“Solo. Open. Shit! Target acquired!” He shouted, “Get down!”

She crouched as she heard thudding steps and looked around with a rumbling growl. A puff on the track in front of her made her draw back in surprise. The man broke through the brush to her right and slammed into her full force, carrying her down to the ground and covering her. She snarled and tried to lash out at him as he snapped, “I said, Get Down!”

He rolled them both to the side then off of her and away before she could tear into him. Her brilliant gold eyes locked onto his face, his eyes, intent on killing him.

“Stay still!” He returned her stare evenly and didn’t flinch as the next puff hit the track where they had been.

“Do you ever do what anyone tells you?” He gritted his teeth in exasperation, searching the surrounding canyon walls for their attacker. His eyes widened slightly as Jillian rolled away smoothly and crouched on two legs.

“Not usually, and never when they attack me,” she snapped.

“I’m trying to save your ass! Now, Get Down.” He shouted again, “Shit! Scion under fire! Where’s backup?” Now she could see the earpiece wrapped around his ear and the microphone along his jaw. She barely saw the red dot flash against her own skin before the bullet slammed into her shoulder, knocking her back into the leaves.

“Scion’s hit! Where's backup? Shit!”

He jumped across the path to her and pulled her deeper under the brushy cover. She struggled, but felt the bloom of pain in her shoulder spread across her chest. As soon as they were hidden, he pulled off his padded jacket and tore off a sleeve as if it were light cotton. He pressed it against her bloody wound and grabbed her hand to push against it. He spoke with reassuring calm, “Hold on. Press this. We’re getting you out of here. Now.”

She tried to nod, but her head lolled back against her will as he scooped her up in his arms. He ducked his head against the dense brush, his face close to hers as he pushed through at a fast run. Carrying her didn’t seem to be slowing him down. She wanted to struggle, to get free, but the blood was roaring in her ears, even as it soaked the sleeve she pressed against her shoulder. Consciousness fading, she heard another male voice through his earpiece.

“Alpha, Enforcer, all clear. We got him.”

He barked. “Confirm. Loose ends? Scion’s hit.”

“Confirmed, Enforcer. Opposition is dead. No loose ends.”

He slowed his pace and bent his mouth closer to her ear. “It’s okay. You’re safe.”

The woman’s voice again. A sigh. Then, “Bring her in.”

She didn’t understand the grumble in his chest against her ear. She felt his arms tighten round her. The last thing she heard was his response. “Confirmed, Alpha. Coming in.”

She woke on a comfortable bed, naked under soft sheets. She didn’t move or open her eyes, sensing another person in the room. She felt a bandage on her shoulder, but the bullet wound was already mostly healed. She was trying to remember if she shifted before or after she was shot, when the same woman’s voice spoke softly from near the bed.

“You look just like her. Your mother.” A soft chuckle. “You take orders as well, too, I see.”

Her eyes snapped open. “What do you know about my mother?”

The older woman’s face softened in a sad smile. Her short white hair curled around lean cheeks and strong blue eyes. She carried a sense of power around her. There was no question this was a leader, an Alpha.

“More than you, I might think. I was her Alpha and--”

Jillian leaped into a crouch, snarling.

“Then you’re the Bitch who had her killed! I claim--”

The older woman growled a warning and a whisper of power shot over Jillian’s skin. She froze.

“I exiled her for marrying outside the Pack, my dear. I never saw or heard from her again. We didn’t know you were born, and we didn’t know she was killed until three months ago.”

Jillian relaxed, slightly. “My birthday,” she breathed, puzzled.

The Alpha nodded. “When none of your cousins felt Alpha power, we knew there must be a child out there, somewhere. And now you’re here. Welcome home, granddaughter.”

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition

January word count:


  1. Not a prompt per se, but a dream I tried to capture. This could be fun to develop!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Chris! :) Hope you'll check back for more...