Fiction Friday – Curiosity’s Price

Her tail twitched as she watched them. These albino humans moved awkwardly, as though they were not part of the forest at all. Coloring alone would not have held her interest long, but everything about them was different. She shifted in her lofty perch and focused in closer. Larger. Awkward. Were those connected? Oddly colorful draping adorned them as well.

Flexed claws dug into the limb. She shouldn’t be this close, wanted so badly to get even closer. Curiosity hadn’t taken her so strongly since she was a kitten. This was not where she was supposed to roam. The others forbade it. Only humans with the sign were allowed contact. Only on the mountain of the still water.

White Tuft had an albino human who wore the sign. How was it fair that he could keep a albino human on the mountain and none of the rest could even go see these strange new creatures? The law said no harm to one marked. It was a severe bend in the law to force one to stay on the mountain, in her opinion.

Well, the law said no contact, and this wasn’t. White Tuft wasn’t the only one who could bend the laws. She flexed her body and shifted. Too much nervous energy today. Certainly she couldn’t stalk in this condition. Curling her lips to expose teeth in frustration, she studied the small village with the patches of pale skin moving among the darker ones.

How could she get a close look without violating the laws? Especially in her nervous state? Night! She would wait for the cover of darkness. Humans couldn’t see well in the dark, but it was meaningless to her kind. A few leaves falling were the only sign that she had departed.

An almost moonless night made approach to the village simple. Flickering fires ruined the already limited human vision. The albinos were made to set up structures outside of the village, which made it even easier. When the awful growl of their sleeping sounds filled the air, she made her move.

Strange objects littered the ground unlike anything she had ever seen from the darker humans. What any of it did was a mystery, though much of it had a gleam to it like smooth water and was strangely cool and solid. From tent to tent she slunk, inspecting everything she could find.

She very nearly missed the soft humming sound behind her for all the strange discoveries. Both ears twitched as the subconscious registered the sound before the conscious was drawn along. Head swiveling, she saw an albino human with something over part of its face. The thing on its face reflected the light green in a way that made her feel like it could see her. It was looking right at her.

To the brush and then into the trees, she fled. The law had been broken. There was no way humans could see her in the dark, but she could feel it. Spotted where none of her people should be. Part of her wanted to see more, but fear won out for now. With only a last look back at the flickering village, she was gone up the mountain.

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