Shadows in the Midnight
Copyright© 2009 by Lordalpha
She woke up, stretched, and looked around. She was still in the same room she remembered, but the human was nowhere to be found. The room looked pretty bare, with only a few items in it. Her bed, a small chair, and some sort of box that the human had been holding. She crawled out from under the blanket that covered her, and moved over to sniff it. At first she thought it might have been a book, but it wasn't. It didn't turn over, and had no pages. It was just a small box with some markings on one side. She kept exploring the room. She didn't even know she had done it till the echo hit her ears. The soft mewl that she had let out. She realized that she was hungry, and wondered where she would be able to find food, if there even was any here. Looking around, and sniffing to try and find food failed her. There was no food here, nor anything edible at all. She started to walk to the other end of the room, and found a small alcove she hadn't seen before. It had a lighted panel, and an indention in the wall beside it. She padded over to the panel, and pressed her head against it. A fake wall in the indention slid up, and a small bowl with something in it pushed out to the floor in front of it. She moved to the bowl and smelled what was in it. "This smells great!" was her only thought, as she began to wolf down the food. It was small, with some kind of wet gravy over it. She finished a few minutes later, and started thinking if she should try to press the panel again. If she did, more food would come out, she was sure of this. She rose her paw, and started to place it on the panel. Just before it hit the lighted panel, the wall behind her opened, and the human came into the room.
She looked up at him, paw raised to press the panel, and then cast her eyes down, put her paw back on the ground and looked ashamed. "Who am I to eat and eat after what He has done for me, I should be ashamed! Eating his food, then wanting more!" The human reached down, picked up the now empty bowl of food, and placed it to the side. He then pressed the panel again, making another bowl of food come out. "I will wait until your done eating little one" he said with a smile on his face, and went and sat down in the chair, picking up the little box in his hands and looking at it. She looked at the food, then the human, then decided to follow his instructions, and finished off the second bowl of food. When she had finished, she placed her nose at the bottom of the bowl, and using her head, moved it beside the other bowl. She then padded over in front of the human and sat down, looking at him. "I wonder if I can communicate with him now? He seems to be able to talk to me." she thought. "Meerow!" was her verbal reply. The human cocked his head to the side, and looked at her. She looked down, realizing that he couldn't understand him. She looked back up. "Meerow! Merow!" she replied again. His voice filled her ears again. "Little one, I speak to you in your mind, you can do that too, just think of me, picture me, and 'think' what you want to say to me." She thought about what he said for a second, and started to think of what her first words to him should be. Finally figuring out what she wanted to tell him, she pictured his face in her mind, and projected her thoughts to him. A wave of love and devotion washed over his mind. The sheer amount of caring and devotion from this creature made Erin jerk back, eyes wide.
Misinterpreting what had happened she put her head down into her paws and started shaking. Erin realized that she was crying, something she wouldn't have done as a real panther. He squatted down, placed his hands on her head and back, and began to rub and comfort the creature. A few minutes passed and she started to calm down. "Thank you for that little one. I was unprepared for the love you have for me. We need to spend some time working on language, but that was very good for a first try. I want you to think in words what you wish to say to me, not just in feelings." She had started to calm down, and tried again, forming her thoughts and feelings into words. "Thank You!" was shouted into his mind. He smiled, and petted her head again. "You are one step in a long journey little one. You have much to learn, and even more to understand." He then began to tell her about the room, explaining all the functions of the different areas. He showed her how to press against the different panels, to open doors. He showed her the first door, which led to an area he claimed she could use the bathroom in, which was filled with grit and sand. He explained that it would clean itself, and be sanitary again after a few moments when she left. He then showed her a panel near her food source, that if she pushed it, opened into a small indent i