It wasn’t the first time, nor would it be the last.
For some inexplicable reason her kind had the habit of straying into his lands and then acting surprised to see him. Normally he would have let out a roar designed exclusively to frighten, but there was something about her that stopped him.

What a strange species! Her people had stripped the green lands almost bare, and yet this female was so thin and malnourished that she had lost all her body fur. All that remained were those bleached limp strands that hung from her head. The bones in her cheeks and slender neck stood out and her skin was almost translucent. Pale eyes, shaped like almonds, stared at him in a daze. With the next waft of breeze, she swayed, and almost swooned into his arms.

Gods! A female needed to be strong, tough, to be able to fight and defend. Not meek and helpless like this one.
Yet her vulnerability gave her a beauty he could not ignore.

His mind warned him that it was imperative to maintain the façade that ensured the delicate inter-species balance. The council would surely take him to task if he broke the rules, possibly even excommunicate him. But she looked so sad. It would not be the first time that a male went against his better judgement for love. And yes, as scandalous as this were, it was love. Perhaps not of a sexual kind, for there could be no mating with one as fragile as this, but it was still love.

“Are you lost, my lady?” he asked her in the tongue of her people.

Flabbergast, she shook her head. “Am I so exhausted that I am hallucinating?”

“Ah, but is it not a wondrous hallucination.”

Will you take me home? The sun shall set soon, and I fear the dark night. My cabin stands in the meadow across the stream.”

“Wont you stay awhile?”

“Not today. But I can return when the sun rises in the morrow.”

So they held hands in the sunset and walked towards the meadow.


The huntsman in the cabin adjusted his focus. He had always known the bait would work.

In response to Michelle’s Photo-Fiction 100 challenge

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