Noon sat in silence, hiding in shadows, her arms thin like sticks, her bony collar bone protruding through the heavy sack ratty in places. Her eyes were circled dark, darker than that dreadful night coating the city in black.
The sack had "HAND ROASTED COFFEE - 10LBS" written across the edge.
The pungent smell of coffee beans made her gag, but it was the only covering she could lay her hands on in the alleyway behind the Twilight Bar & Grill.
The sack grated against her skin, making her itch and left her scratching till it bled.
She picked at old scabs, rolling the hard bits between pointy fingertips. Her translucent skin was scaly in places; the overlapping scabs thick (some healed, other wounds fresh)
For 8 months she had to make the journey to the surface every week end. It had been hard, but she had been chosen and she was nearly prepared. Her tiny belly was round and small, she ran her index finger along the round 3 times, each time a mantra spilled forth, and her womb shifted.
She hated the dreaded metamorphosis. She needed to ready herself for the transformation and was forced to linger in alleyways and back streets, sniffing them from a distance, breathing in their scent. She could only stand it topside in short bursts. She missed the rich scent of earth and damp of the cavern she shared with the female elders of her colony.
Her journey to the surface was arduous and long and she was weak when she reached topside. She found the buzz of the streets and the swirling crowds disturbing. Their humanness overwhelmed her, left her weak. She crawled deeper into the shadows, afraid someone would see her before she was ready for her unveiling.
She shifted along the ground crawling back on hands and feet, backing into the crevice around the corner from the bar she had targeted on her last visit. Her sight was particularly bad during the final stages; sonar malfunctioning, as eyes adjusted to the streets where the dark of night was penetrated by too much light: from headlights, from street lights, from shop signs.
Humans seemed to live their lives avoiding the dark.
During the final phase her sense of smell intensified, and her hearing was sharpened. She sniffed deeply trying to discern if she was indeed right in her initial assessment that the bar would be the right hunting ground. She could detect the heightened levels of testosterone and pheromones from where she sat, 150 meters from the front door.
"This strong!" she thought, "my hunt will bring success, no doubt!"
Pointed nostrils flared from the stench of someone very close by... too close by. His low breathing was coming at her from a doorway of the adjacent building. He was curled up in a foetal position, clothed in black. He was one of the forgotten people of the city and was easily missed.
"I see you..." his voice trailed off in a slur.
"I see you," he came upright where he was laying on the thick cardboard, tripping up the kitchen staff as they dodged in and out emptying bins and throwing out dirty dishwater into the gutters and alleyways when the pipes of ancient plumbing were blocked. Often missing their mark, dirty water puddled on the pathway used by drunken patrons staggering to their cars on their way home in the dark of night.
They seldom paid attention to what was on the ground.
Noon panicked. She let out a squeal, her voice had not yet set in.
"What are you?" he persisted, dragging himself closer still.
She crawled back towards the drain, "Wait!" he called, "don't go..."
The urgency of his call stopped her in her tracks, he was more like her, than them.
She couldn't risk detection, her mission was too important. The colony depended on her.
Rags pursued her relentlessly.
"I can help you! Let me help you!" he said, reaching out a grubby paw managing to grab hold of the edge of the sack. It loosened from her body and she slipped down the drain making her way to the sewers and beyond.
The moon was full, it looked like it was about to burst.
Noon emerged from the shadows humming a gentle melody. Her pale arms playfully tugged at the lining of the emerald green velvet dress. Her eyes sparkled and her hair was plaited with twine; she had the rich scent of new earth lingering in her wake.
She cocked her head, the dull sounds of the city giving bass to her tune and made her way to the bar.
She didn't notice his dark form on the ground, and nearly trod on him in her haste for the hunt to begin.
She was in heat, primed and ready to mate. Her desire was intense and immediate.
She tripped, looked back, locking eyes.
"I see you," he said, holding out the coffee sack to her as a gift.
"Let me be the one...." he begged, "let me help you!"
She shook her head, finding her voice, it spilled forth like nectar.
"You are broken," she said, touching her hand to his.
She took the sack covering him with it; spilling her scent onto the coarse fabric as a token of her gratitude. He snuggled into it and dozed off, forgetting his fate.
She turned towards the light coming from inside the bar and stepped forward ready for the big bang.