Chapter FourMature

It was eerily quiet when Mira woke up. Not a single soul was making a fuss for once. Nobody was fanning their wings over her face; no one was using their (rather annoying) echo location. There wasn’t even the usual cacophony of bickering bat people. Mira could only listen to the ranges of breathing that were audible to her parahuman senses. She blinked the sleep from her eyes and searched around for anybody else that was awake, but she saw no faces peering up at her in the still mass of black bodies. Most of them were small enough to curl up and hang from the trees, but the unlucky ones were doomed to burrow in the large tree trunks or abandoned holes in the ground. Mira normally spotted Alex and Luther huddled together underneath the giant cedar tree she slept in, whenever Alex hadn’t retreated to his hut. When Mira searched the snoozing faces of her people though, Alex and Luther were absent.

                Her footfalls were silent; the dead leaves weren’t even crunching under the soles of her feet. She’d gotten so used to hunting in the forest, she could move as stealthily as the native animals that shared her home. Having the genetics she did, Mira ate whatever she could salvage. She wasn’t particularly fond of insects like the traditional purebred bats, but they sufficed when times were tough. When she could, Mira favored the smaller rodents that dared to bother her while relaxing with the roost. Voles, rabbits and squirrels were normally first on the menu, to which Mira was thankful for the sharp canines in her little mouth, perfect for tearing the fur and shredding the meat.

                Sometimes, if a few of the capable parahumans were on good terms with each other, they’d take down an unsuspecting doe like the savages they were and be fed for days. Given the background, you’d never suspect the bat-human clan to be carnivorous – and if you really thought about it, they weren’t, but you’d be surprised at how desperate you became in order to survive. Anything that has the potential to make your mouth water, Mira thought, is part of the dinner menu.

                The sky was dark, twinkling with dying yet luminescent stars peeking through the canopy of branches above her head. Her feet automatically carried her along the worn paths with no direction from her brain. When she unfurled her wings; clawed fingers brushed the rough trees that closed in, crowding around her. She continued to drag her fingertips along for a few more strides, until a rustling in the tree above her made her jump back. The coarse hair on the back of her neck stiffened, her body bristling for a fight.

The End

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