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

“So… what they are, the stars, among the skeksis?”

Gie was laying against the Hunter, her one arm under her head and the second embracing his broad neck. She felt the warmth he was emanating, and it was soothing and pleasant. He was still a bit intimidatimg for her, be not scary. And it’s good, she thought. He was fascinating. That’s why she wanted him so much.

skekMal seemed to drift into some unknown mental place, where he maybe hunted his imaginary prey, the same way he pursued real one. His eyes were closed and his tail was slowly swaying with calm content. She could only guess about what he could think. The stars probably were not even close to that. Leaning delicately over him, she touched his scarce hair, which long time ago were surely a mane of black fur and feathers.

“You are disrupting me” he said, not opening his eyelids.

“Well, I am good at that. Distraction. Better never take me on the hunt again.”

“How will you learn how to hunt, if you won’t attend my lessons?” he huffed, but smile already creeping on his beak.

“Why I even need to learn hunting when you will be always here to hunt for us both?” she retorted.

He laughed silently, still blind to the world. “If you think that I will be doing all tasks for you, because I like you, you are really with wrong skeksis.”

She smiled, knowing he may still test her and teach her, many times in rough and dangerous manner, but he still cares for her and will save her, when the danger is too high.

“How could I even want to surpass you, Hunter” she laughed.

“You can’t. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to try.” he eventually opened his eyes. The deep green cavern were looking deep into her soul. “They don’t believe in anything.”

“Hmm?”

“The skeksis. The Ritual Master may make rites for every single star on the sky. But they all don’t believe in anything. Only now and here counts.”

She put a hand on his forehead and started to caress his brows. Now, without mask, his features seemed like made of scars and meandring lines. It semed his face was telling her a story of his life. “And you? In what the Hunter believes? Are the stars fallen warriors, looking for their home on the sky?”

skekMal growled, more at her movements than the question. For her, it was like petting a very wild and very content feline, who doesn’t jump at you only because its not in the mood.

“I could tell you many stories. Yet only one is real for me. Because I like to think that I managed to break with these shiny lights once and for all.”

Her hand ran over his chest, which heaved now with light and easy breath, her fingers touching his ribs, oddly shaped, rough as him.

“Tell me just one story, tonight. Only that one which makes you happy.”

“I am not a fool. Aughra told me about stars, many times, in different ocassions. I could not believe in something that required a pompous ritual, too. But our souls, skeksis souls, are linked with different world. We are here a guests and our souls belong to the stars, we want it or not. These are eyes that watch us. These are cruel reminders of our legacy. But I will stay here. If I perish, and it won’t be easy and soon, I will stay on this land, I won’t allow the sky take me. I will fight with fangs and talons.” he growled, swatting the ground with his tail.

“We are not immortal, Gie. Neither of us is. Skeksis may seek solace in the rites that flatter their vanity. We all may think that eventually, the three suns and the crystal make the skeksis live forever. But you must know one thing. I doubt it will happen. I don’t want it, they are fools, but my fools, which made my youth happier, as silly as it was. But they will perish. We all will perish, one day.”

She tried to say something but nothing really came to her mind.

“We are all mortal, Gie” he murmured. “And that makes us lucky ones. When we know that each moment has the end, we appreciate it more. That’s why I hunt each day. That’s why I am who I am.”

His tail curled around her, the tip laying directly on her breasts, but this time, she really thought it was not intentional.

The small thought flew through her mind, when after some time, the fire warmed her feet and she heard the breathing of skekMal changes, now he was huffing as always when he was falling asleep or when he was content and pleased.

If this is not the wind in her wings, in her hair… if he is not her wild hunt… then nothing ever will.

_______

“Tell me, Hunter… how does it feel to be observed by a gelfling when you take your morning bath?”

“Clever. Heh.”

“When you are naked?”

“You test my patience gelfling.”

“That’s what I am good at. Just as good as at distraction.”

//   Article written by skekMal  //