N A G A
“Ugh, I’ve been out here all day and haven’t found a thing to eat.” Jora grumbled to herself as she trudged through the jungle.
True enough, she had been wondering around for a good portion of the day, but she had found a few fruits here and there to sink her teeth into. The only problem was her stomach had long since taken care of the sweet fruits and was hounding her for something abit more… substantial. Just as she was about to give up, the sound of low chatter entered her ears. A smile crept across her face and she quickly crouched down and moved closer to investigate. Her mouth began to water when she saw the 3 small forms stopping in a small clearing just ahead…
“Why are we stopping here? It’s dangerous!” One of the three, a human female objected.
“Because we’re not alone out here.” The second, a male neko replied with hushed irritation. “I already told you to keep your voice down! It hasn’t moved on us yet and you’re going to give us away.”
“Not alone? What is it? What’s out there? Where is it?” A second younger male human asked, struggling to stay hushed.
Jora cursed her luck, thinking herself already found by her lunch. It’s mean a chase where she might catch 1 of them at the most, or none at all due to her cursed lack of balance. She was just about to move for an ambush when a chill ran up her spine. Quietly she began to look around, feeling as though something or someone was watching her. This feeling was both familiar and alien at the same time. As she began to feel a cold sweat, the neko in the group confirmed her deepest fears…
“It’s a naga, and a huge one at that.” He said quietly. “We were so close to the safe place. I didn’t think any predators came this route.”
“Naga? Where? I don’t see anything or hear anything?” The young male said as he looked around nervously.
“You’re human… of course you don’t.” the female hissed.
“I think we may be ok.” The neko replied looking around, and eventually in Jora’s direction. “If it were after us, we’d already have gotten more signs. There’s something else out here that I completely missed when I stopped. It’s after whatever that is – if we run we can still make it.”
‘Damnit! The one time I spring a near perfect ambush it gets messed up because something or someone is trying to ambush… I should run.’ She thought to herself as she stood up and looked around.
“It’s a giant!” The female screamed, as she turned with the other 2 and ran.
“Hey wait! I can take you to Jade!” She called after them. “Or… you can just run off into the jungle alone like I should be doing…” Jora grumbled as she took off after them.
It was then that she saw a glimpse of something in the trees overhead. A flash of charcoal and gold told her instantly what it was that was hunting her. As unsettling as that thought was, it’s how she felt she was being hunted that was scaring her. There was no playful giggle, no coy games, or even the verbal teasing. There was just cold silence, and the nagging feeling that something was terribly wrong…
“Malika? I know you’re out there… this isn’t funny, you can come out now.” Jora said nervously as she looked around.
Where there was once a symphony of jungle life, there was now complete silence. Jora’s senses were on high alert as she slowed her pace and began to look around in all directions. It was the sudden snap of a tree limb behind her that caught her attention. Her head snapped in that direction… nothing. Another sound right behind her prompted her to look in that direction. This time she was met with the cold gaze of two luminescent green eyes…