Feathers and FurMature

I looked down into the shimmering ice, it was beautiful a definite improvement from the once human inhabited wasteland it was before. My slightly pointed ears were adorned with jewels, as did many of my people. I was from the Tundra Clan, we mainly specialised in fish, bird and mammal transformations. I myself was a bird transformer and with it a scout for my clan. I had long lilac hair that clung to my back and like my clan we had ice-blue skin. I wore bird feathers tied onto deer-skin, as was our custom; the feathers represented my status in our clan. I smiled, staring into my pearlescent purple eyes; I shook myself before entering the clan camp again.

Outside the camp gates was a giant ice-sculpture of our camp guardian, the snow leopard. I even had a small patch of leopard fur tied around my left leg. We shape-shifters never wore that much clothing, there was no need to waste materials and we didn’t get cold like humans did; Argh, those humans. They still thought the world belonged to them despite the fact they destroyed the original one that was given to them.

You may think, wait, there was a nuclear war how did the animals survive? Well, it’s sort of like Noah’s ark. We shape-shifters used to have a lot of technology, our ancestors did it was all biologically friendly and we always stayed one step ahead of the humans. We took two of every animal, but unfortunately we didn’t count on the humans surviving. Damn it. Anyway, I walked into the camp, looking around cautiously. Women had begun smoking salmon and men were carving weapons but who I was looking for was... BOO!

Raine, she was a rogue for our clan and with me she also studied birds. She was always good at sneaking, which drove me crazy. She grinned at me foolishly as it began to snow again. “Come on Falcon.” Yeah, that was me; Falcon Rose Featherclaw.  We have very natural names; I thought mine was quite pretty. Better than James Smith or something. I looked around and nodded, I knew what she wanted; I promised I’d go hunting with her today. She may be good with sneaking but she couldn’t beat my marksmanship.

I nodded, shouldering my quiver and grabbing my bow. “I found some deer tracks earlier, possibly with a stag.” I pointed out as I left the clan camp once again. Raine was like a little child as she bounded after me, I followed my earlier path to the frozen lake and found the tracks, we were no hunters but all the clan learnt the basics of tracking. I followed the fresh tracks, Raine quietly stalking behind me. She was as silent as a mouse. I turned to her. “Go ahead and scout. I think they’re nearby.” I nodded, just after my word she turned into an eagle and began to scout the area before us. I heard a caw and I knew she had found them.

I allowed wings to form on my back as I followed her, there I saw the stag and the deer however could not be seen. I shrugged; it would still be a good catch. The wings disappeared in a flurry of feathers as I landed on a tree; spreading my weight equally I took out my bow, lining an arrow in it. Raine landed beside me and cawed excitedly as I lined the stag up in my sight. I let the arrow go, watching the spike penetrate the stag’s neck.  “Yes!” Raine called, sometime between me letting the arrow go she had changed back. We jumped from the tree, landing effortlessly on our feet. We shape-shifters had a cat’s grace, a bear’s strength and some of us even have the speed of a cheetah. We were connected to the animals in mind, body and soul. We always watch animals, live with them and we never take from nature without giving it back. Humans however were not part of that, and if any one of them came to us we would slaughter them without question, well. We should, but they are animals too. One thing however I was on the same stance on was skin-walkers. Bloody hybrids between us and humans, any shape-shifter that fraternises with humans like that deserves to be exiled.

The End

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