In the night the panther walks. I can see a little of It's outline, not much else. It lifts It's nose, does that wierd thing big cats can do, scenting with It's mouth somehow. I can see it likes what it smells.
Then it turns to look at me and I catch a green flash from It's eyes.
After a pause, it starts padding towards me. Slowly. To begin with at least. It picks up speed and I know that by the time it hits me, it will be going full pelt. I brace myself for the impact as it launches.. .
It will hit me square in the chest, fully extended. I close my eyes.
Maybe I should explain some things. There are animals that live inside me. Quite a few of them, actually. I know It's kinda wierd but It's just how it is. Maybe my body gives them a home. Maybe they are part of me. And yet each one also seems pretty independent....
Maybe I am like one of those sea creatures that isn't really one creature, but many working so closely together they seem like one. Mind you, the human body is a bit like that anyway, you know how much of us is made up of other organisms? Bacteria in our stomach and all sorts of other things.
Relationships are very important. I don't much like it when me and my gut bugs are not getting on....
I didn't expect to find that cat down there in the dark.... I never saw a cat down there before. Maybe it didn't want to be seen before. Maybe I hunted it. Felt more like it hunted me.
It's not dark everywhere inside me. There are whole world's. Many of them are dark, sometimes. Fragrant forests inhaling and exhaling steamy breath as the night fills with the songs of defending bugs and frogs. I might have hunted for a panther somewhere like that. Not the empty dark inbetween place that we were in.
I breathe the steam of that forest in and I feel the cat inside stretch luxuriantly as it steps on to a branch. It's aware of everything. So am I now, through it. I can hear the tiny clog dances of a million insects, going about their business. Bats shuffle the air above me so gently that the leaves surrounding them do not move.
The ground breathes and nothing here is truly dark. Not when you have the eyes of a cat.
It's time for me to go to work. Short walk to the bus with music to keep me company. I know exactly what to listen to as I head out the door. I try and make my movements sleeker, smoother, my footfalls gentle. I walk to the beat of the music and in my head I sing.... "walk like a panther tonight...."