PANTHERA and LEO
Foggy Choices (part two)
by Bevie James
Pelage smiled. “Hello, Panthera. Looking for me?”
Panthera didn’t answer. She looked to the wall of water. Would Pelage release it? If she did, Panthera knew she would be worse than helpless. Pelage continued.
“You were careless, Panthera. How unlike you. But then I could always get around you, couldn’t I? You’re in my power again. Why are you here, as if I cannot guess?”
“I’ve come to bring you home, Pelage.”
“Because it is where you belong. This world. It’s not for us.”
“There are riches to be had in this world, girl.”
“Not for us, Pelage. I’ve seen the things these people call ‘riches’. Things of metal and stone. What have we to do with that?”
Pelage laughed. “I do not speak of the minerals. I speak of something far greater, which they transport from this port around their world.”
“And what would that be?”
Pelage became serious. “Grain. Untold amounts of it. You’ve seen the ships? They are filled to capacity. Just think what that could mean for us back in Khat?”
“Yes, honey. Us. There is no reason we can not do this together. We’ve always been good together. Remember?”
“I do. But I cannot enjoin myself to this plan, Pelage. It is wrong.”
Pelage shook her head. “Well, you never did show much sense. But I love you anyway. Still, I can’t have you interfering.”
Panthera backed to the wall. Pelage and Onca came down to stand before her, the wall of water at their back. Pelage’s dampening aura was reaching out, threatening to drain Panthera into unconsciousness. Panthera focused her thoughts. “Now, Leo.”
As the foghorn sounded the roar of a lion pierced the shroud of water and it fell apart like harmless rain. Pelage and Onca turned in surprise, releasing Panthera from the power of the aura. Panthera instantly focused her thought and was inside Leo’s body. Pelage melted into Onca’s body and the panther broke into a run.
Her goal was obviously to lose herself in the fog, but Leo had been ready, and the lion overtook the panther up on the hill in a park pavilion. Leo caught hold of Onca and at once the two women separated from their cats. Panthera wrapped her arms around Pelage. The other woman tried to struggle, but it was too late.
Pelage turned in Panthera’s arms so they faced. “Oh, Honey, don’t send me back. Please. For old time’s sake. After all, I could have struck back at the lighthouse. You know that?”
Panthera did know it. It had been what she had counted on. But now that her plan was successful, she felt guilty. She gazed into Pelage’s eyes and then kissed her. When they broke she released her prey. Leo did the same with Onca. As Pelage faded into the mists she turned.
“I love you, honey.”
Panthera sat with Leo through the remainder of the night. With each sound of the foghorn the big cat roared in anguish.