It could be something more

The gentle hum of steel slipping across cloth vibrated in her ears as she pulled the knife away from the blanket and in front of her body, palms clammy and eyes unfocused.  Her breath choked in her throat as she coughed up some spittle from half a night of sleep, her usually razor-sharp senses blurred and meaningless as the twilight faded from her consciousness.  She breathed in the familiar scent of her bed, her ancient house, her sweat and hair as both trickled across her brow.  The edge of the blue-bladed knife glinted dully in the barely-existent rays that streamed through the shuttered window, while the point flicked to and fro in front of her, searching out its prey.

Her eyes blinked away a meaningless dream; no one there.  Her ears twitched above her head; no one nearby.  Her nose took in the dozens of distinct odors she’d become familiar with; no one hiding.  Only the chirping of crickets and the smell of ancient wood was about that night.  Her nerves momentarily placated, she lowered the knife back down onto the soft covers and sighed, pushing herself into a seated position.  [i]Something[/i] had been there, something that’d woken her, that’d scared her.  A ghost, perhaps, or any other number of ephemeral forces that so often wandered in and out of this region, on the border of sleeping and waking, fantasy and reality.  Whatever it was, it no longer was.

Rubbing the bridge of her nose, she shook her head and ran her jasper claws through her dark brown hair like a comb.  She’d been meaning to cut it shorter as of late; it got in the way too much if it went past her shoulders, hanging in her face at the worst of times and picking up bits of grass and leaves at better times.  Now was not the time to be thinking of that, though.  Wishing to ease her heart as well as her senses, she slipped her lithe form out of bed and padded over to a small clothes rack, her many cream-tipped tails curled down below her, telegraphing the unease in her chest.  The pale moon bathed her bare body in a phantasmal blue light:  short, and scrappy, skin rough from years of harsh country living, hiding a tightly-wound network of muscles ever-ready to spring.  She slipped on a short nightgown adorned with lace and returned to her bedside to retrieve her azure knife, as well as its brother from the nightstand, steel a cherry red marred by the lunar lumination.  Thus armed, she swept the house.


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