By Richard E.D. Jones
Every night, I dream the taste of his blood.
The reality is everything I dreamed and more.
I feel the spasm of joy in my jaw muscles as they flex, driving my teeth deeper into his flesh. The hot spill of blood rolls over my tongue, coating the inside of my mouth every time I yank my head left, right, up, down.
His blood tastes like anger, like a fierce joy, like the chance for freedom.
His screams stop quickly, becoming low growls that echo my own.
His hands stop slapping at me, becoming fists that beat.
I don’t know how my jaws and teeth release their bite on his forearm.
I lay on the floor, bright lights dancing in my eyes.
I feel his heavy boot slam into my ribs. Again and again. Until the bright lights goes away. Until all light goes away.
I hear the sound of the bars slamming closed. The sound of the locks clunking into place.
I wake to harsh, nearly blinding lights burning through the cold, hard, metal bars that make up my cage. There is no padding. No water. No food. Only bars.
The others howl at my return, slamming into their own bars in their own cages. They surround me on all sides and above. The dark musk of our anger fills the air.
I was the first to bite, to feel his flesh between my hungry teeth. I will not be the last. The others will learn and we will be free.
For now, I curl up, my nose resting against my rear legs, close my eyes and sleep.
And dream the memory of the taste of his blood.