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Bright Leaves

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 He knows she wears ribbons in her hair and bakes and likes to pick red flowers for her father. He knows she calls herself Ellia, and that what he calls himself is not important; self-identity is not high on his list of necessities.

He feels her and knows she's there, and he wonders why she doesn't come to him. He feeds alone in the vast forest on his prison planet, on measly creatures who can't even begin to comprehend, and wonders why she chooses them, every single time.

He knows she won't hunt. Not yet. So he wakes suddenly when her hunger overwhelms him, enclosed within the two of them. She's screaming need, and he sends the push, the edge for her to let go of her trappings and give in. She cries and curses, and tries to block him but now he's awake and her hunger has become his, slicing through him, impossible to quell. Feed, he slides into her mind.

Feed with me.

He does not seek companionship, but satisfaction, the long-lost shared feeling of hunger satiated and power coursing through the lifelines and understanding what it means to be gods over men, to be designed to control. Evolution. Purpose. He knows his purpose. It offends him that she denies hers.

Her mind races as she struggles to close her thoughts, ignoring the tremors his vision sent squirming down her spine, ignoring the necessity that is raging through her. He's done this often enough to recognize the resistance, but something new slips through. It's a sense of desperation, the hopelessness of pretending, living a pale imitation of what she, they, should be. She whispers of a yearning to belong, and he knows that soon, she will break. He knows that the humans she imitates shout and rave and declare themselves worthier than the fate that has been assigned them, but when faced before him and his hunger, they shake and tremble. They all submit to their destined roles, prey to the predator, and she, with her "human" life, will do the same. He knows her, and no one can be hungry forever.

He knows she takes two sugars in her tea and likes to sleep in the sun, and that at night she bites into her pillow, willing the pain to go away. He knows she calls herself Ellia, and as he races toward the sleeping town, he thinks, Not for long.