The Hunt
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blood between my fingers
the eyes of the prey, closing in death
the sisters moons taking the colors

Gie was looking as skekMal skins the small animal for their supper. He was working in silence, his mask still on his head, he didn’t take it off as he sometimes was doing, when feeling comfortable. He sat on the piled-up furs and was doing his job like he was absent, his thoughts trailing somewhere, but certainly not in this reality.

She wanted to talk to him but was scared that she will break the soft and tiny thread on the understanding they had lately. The skeksis hunter seemed easily offended and very judgemental over her, yet she still wanted to please him. She grew fond of his rough company and his lack of awareness towards her feelings was stabbing her in the heart like one of his knives.

She decided on a dangerous move. It was as dangerous as stepping on the burning coals. But she will never know if she won’t try.

“When I was in the castle…” she started, still not sure if it’s the right thing to do. What if he doesn’t care? Why if he cares actually but in offense hurts her? Many thoughts were running through her mind but none of them was right. “… I liked to observe the lords.”

He didn’t react. His knife was moving, separating fur and skin from the meat.

“They were fascinating. I am a gelfling so their customs were so strange for me… like different species… haha, but YOU all are different species.”

Not seeing any reaction whatsoever, she decided to test him more.

“You know that Historian likes to sleep over his books? I used to watch him sometimes, as he snorts and groans in his sleep. And Ornamentalist had a habit of making small noises when he ate…”

She twisted in her seat on the blanket. skekMal’s knife was working faster, the blood was flowing between his fingers.

“I used to… watch them… to see how they look when no one is prying on them… following them, when they thought they aren’t seen… I liked that… I liked that very much…”

Suddenly the blow of air warned her that something goes against her head. She was confused for a second but then, she saw a knife buried deep into the skin of the tree behind her and she understood she has gone too far. He tossed the knife so precisely that it didn’t scratch even a small part of her skin, yet she still felt the blow of the wind in her ear.

She looked, frightened, at the Hunter, who stood there, with blood on his hands and cold gleam in his eyes, hidden deeply behind the mask.

“skekMal, I am sorry!” she squeaked. “I wanted—“

He was near her so quickly that she didn’t managed to even gasp. His bloody hand took her face in the rough hold and his eyes dug deep into hers like they wanted to reach into her inside and tear them from her.

“If you want to praise the l o r d s in my company, better leave me and go your own way” he hissed. “They are nothing more than leftovers over what they used to be. I didn’t take you with me because I want to hear pointless chattering over how good they were to you, how you l i k e d them and how you respect them.”

“skek—“

He retracted his hand, leaving blood on her chin and cheeks.

“You want to speak to my feelings. Good. Do it more wisely. I do like you, gelfling. But what I really don’t like is foolishness.”

Flinging his tail wildly, he didn’t even pretend to be not offended, he lifted the knife he threw at her, and with stride and noise so unlike for him, he left the camp, she managed to see how fluffed his back spines were, the hair on his tail electrified with anger.
“skekMal…” she sighed, closing her eyes.

She wanted to tell him that she likes him, and more, that she is fond of his company and he makes her feel important, that he is her teacher of life and she made a mistake. That – also – she is hurt by his changing attitude towards her, that she doesn’t know how to stand on his shifty mood. He taught her so much, so many things. He showed her how to hunt and how to survive. He showed her how to be better and that she I S better, in many things.

Why they can’t get along then?

She wanted to make him jealous, for him to speak his mind. And he spoke. Why, then, it’s not… enough?

//   Article written by skekMal  //