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Embers in Harmony – Chapter 2

Hermes glared at Joe. Her eyes were a fiery red and seemed to look like little embers dancing in harmony. Her white fur looked as though it shimmered more with every step, as pale as a cloud, like a blank hole. Joe could make out jagged teeth like serrated  daggers, as frightening as death itself. Claws curled like massive arches as thin whiskers shot out like a newly grown tooth. Her ears jolted, suddenly hearing everything .To Joe’s surprise, she opened her huge gaping mouth. Honed teeth shot out, as ferocious as a hunters trap. She paced forwards, sniffing his hand and licking him with her blood red tongue, hard as rock and volcano level hot. Joe was terrified.  

“She might like you more than me!” Miss Anna exclaimed, as the bulky figure of the  cat turned and paced  the other way. Joe looked at her in awe  and couldn’t hold back a smile. On their trek back to the small village, the wind wildly howled like a werewolf in a full moon at the Spiders Den making the nearby bushes quiver. Stars studded  the way ahead. Joe  felt as though he was being stared at. He froze and glared at the trees behind. For a moment, he thought he saw those same embers dancing in harmony.

“She doesn’t want you to go,” joked Miss Anna. “I found her a few years prior to your  arrival abandoned in the mountains. She was merely an infant at that time left to die. Her parents must have died. I reckon hunters killed them for food, stuff with the war. I took her in , a secret, and brought her back to full health. My goodness she grew quick” Joe listened very carefully, astonished by the story. “ She is our secret now. If they saw her or even heard about this I don’t even want to talk about what would happen.”

That dusk, Joe wondered about the massive cat. Hermease, charging through the frightening forest, little embers piercing the gloom. When she licked his hand, he shivered. Her eyes were like massive supernovas, yet they had made him feel at home; soothed his soul . So it was every night, Joe came to Hermes, taking any leftovers he could get in his  grasp. He learnt from Ayan how to set traps for animals and, often he captured the one mouse of which Hermease would snatch the second it came into his hands. then disappearing back into the forest, giving a satisfied roar. Obviously she hunted herself snaring rabbits, mice and the odd boar. She also liked sprinting, she would run as fast as a flash zooming through the forest picking off prey without retaliation . She was beastly but learnt to accept him.

One day, Hermease let Joe stroke her bulky body. Within the span of months, she would look into his pockets trying to find meat, always making a cheerful roar.She would lick him contently and even lie on his body. Joe changed too. He no longer caused tantrums  and once his daily errands were done,was off walking  through the small village, checking his traps. Miss Anna would hear him singing and even laugh. Over the long months, Miss Anna watched how the wild cat calmed the wild boy and their secret brought them together.

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