- Rudyard Kipling
- Catherynne M. Valente
Beth's first thought is that he's beautiful.
It's a crazed thought, embarrassingly hysterical, and it hits her with every bit of the force he uses to hit the ground.
Later she looks back at this moment and she understands so many things so much better, and one of the things she understands is that he is
but for the moment, stumbling back with her knife still clutched in her numb hand, blood running hot down her side from a hard line of talon scores slashed through her jacket,
all panting and reeking fear sweat and despairing rage because she's sure - even more now - that she's about to die, she watches it as it leaps from the low incline of the liquor store's roof,
powerful hind legs drawn up and thickly muscled forelegs - fore
- spread back and wide like bat wings without the wing, and it's insane.
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