Time

I’ve grown tired of the world: being alive for almost a millennium will do that to a girl.

A thousand years. I stare into my mirror, at the dark rings beneath my amber eyes. I can see every one of the years in those eyes. Each one of them reflected back at me, reminding me, taunting me. It’s so depressing. I try a smile, a veiled attempt to snap me out of this funk. It almost works…until I spot the tail.

The smile dissolves.

My shoulders sag and I sigh.

‘This year,’ I tell myself. ‘This is the year.’

He moans softly, shifting on the bed. The silk sheets coil around his naked body. He stretches and looks at me over his tanned shoulder. His eyes are still hazy with sleep.

‘Come back to bed,’ he grins, patting the sheets beside him.

I pout and roll my eyes.

‘I’ll put a smile back on that pretty face,’ he tries again, oblivious to my foul mood.

I ignore him (because that’s worked so well in the past).

‘C’mon,’ He’s getting whiney now. It’s pathetic. ‘You weren’t like this last night.’

It isn’t long before I feel the caress of his fingers on my exposed skin, tracing along the nape of my neck. They brush between my shoulder blades, down my spine and beyond the small of my ba—

I slap him across the face. The imprint of my hand glows on his cheek.

I smile. I can’t help myself.

He stares at me. Eyes wide. His brow furrows. I can’t tell if he looks hurt or embarrassed. He’s so still, it’s as though he’s frozen…it only lasts a moment.

‘Stupid bitch!’ he screams. His open hand strikes my face. I taste blood.

He lunges forward and seizes my throat. A free hand tears at the loose robe modestly covering my body. It falls from my shoulders. The belt and material trap my arms against me.

I try to scream but his grip’s cutting off my air. A halo of darkness begins to creep into the edges of my vision. My head swims.

I can hear the rhythm of my pulse slow. I hear his too. He’s excited, ravenous. He’d wanted it this way from the start.

He grabs at my breast, hard enough to hurt.

I struggle against him. My mouth opens and closes in a fruitless attempt to draw air.

The robe, free of his grasp, falls to gather at my feet.

His eyes narrow, eyebrow raised and I realise I’m smiling.

I’ve noticed something he hasn’t…

I’ve noticed my arms are free.

I swipe at him, at the place men are most vulnerable. I swipe at him not with my slender, feminine hands, but with those I was born with.

Sharp claws rake at his flesh. Hot blood pours onto my red fur.

I’m certain I’ve just castrated him, but I don’t stop to look.

I can smell his liver now.

Told you this was the year.

 

H is for Huli Jing

Huli Jing is a fox spirit from Chinese mythology. Also known as a nine-tailed fox, these creatures are akin to the faeries of European folklore. They are immortal, magical with the ability to shape-shift into human form and back at will. Huli Jing, and their Korean brethren (Kumiho), are often viewed as malevolent creatures, hunting humans for their livers which they eat. It’s said that if a Huli Jing eats one thousand hearts in one thousand years they can become human.

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