The rabbit scurrying along on the forest floor never had a chance. In a flash, the raptor’s jaws were on it. Once the dead rabbit was securely in its mouth, the upper half of the raptor waddled off on its ungainly limb-like appendages, in search of the rest of it.
It found itself resting under the shade of a verbosa tree. It could just about hear the leaves whispering something about power play in Austrail, but then again it might have imagined it. It quickly jumped onto its lower half, its limbs locking into holes on the lower half, while hands on the lower half latched onto folds of skin on the top half. It was complete. It was now a he. Then using his paws, he began to tear into the rabbit and feed.
In the jungle, there was only one law: eat or be eaten. And yet …
He hadn’t asked for this. It had sought him out. Till a month ago, he would have restrained himself. He knew the laws. He would not have let blood touch his jaws, even if it meant he had to eat through his stomach. But now, he had no reason to obey. He could be what he was supposed to be. A wretched by-product of evolution. Nature’s little joke. He could almost hear her laughing.
Engrossed in eating, the raptor never saw the circle of haziness that had trapped him. Too late, his senses kicked in and he leaped high above. But the vortex had already formed and it reached for him with such strength, that he nearly separated into his halves. For a moment, he toyed with the idea of letting his upper go, but he quickly changed his mind when he realized that his upper would be a better combatant for anything that happened. The vortex soon shrunk and ‘pop’, it was gone, along with the nearby trees and most of the forest floor.