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Panthera Uncia

For the Snow Micro Challenge

By L.C. SchäferPublished 5 months ago 1 min read
Panthera Uncia
Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

If the man could see her, standing on the rock in dusk's fading light, he'd have been awestruck by her beauty. How thick and soft her coat, how gorgeous its markings. He'd have wanted to sink his hands into it, gaze into her golden eyes, brush a thumb over her velvet grey muzzle.

But the man couldn't see her, because he was dead, and half buried in the snow.

Man-meat wasn't normally a part of her diet, but it'd been many days since she'd last eaten, and longer still since she'd had a successful hunt. She has been roaming further and longer to find food, and is beginning to feel weak. The longer she went with an empty belly, the weaker she'd get, and the worse her chances of bringing down prey. Meat was meat. She was tempted. This could be her chance.

She circled the man with wary steps, even stretched her neck to sniff the pinkness of him. He'd already shed some of his outer layers. How considerate. Most animals didn't do that.

She freezes, the scent of more men reaching her on the breeze, their clumsy steps and brutish voices loud in the still mountain air.

"Hey, what's that!"

There's a flash. The men come closer. Too late, they find their companion at last.

His body remains where it is. His wife is gifted an extremely rare photograph. She believes the snow leopard guided them to her husband's body, and watches over him on the harsh mountainside.

Short StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

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Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (10)

  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock5 months ago

    Best not to disillusion them. Let's just keep this truth to ourselves. Fantastic twist, L.C.!

  • E.K. Daniels5 months ago

    Great take on the challenge! Fierce animals...

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Great story, and such a beautiful animal. Though I wouldn't want to get too close.

  • Phil Flannery5 months ago

    The woman is delusional and the cat gets no food! Oh well, still a great story. Now I'm worried for the cat.

  • Wonderfully told LC! Fascinating perspectives given here!

  • Heather Hubler5 months ago

    Oh, I loved that final image...a great reminder of perspective!

  • Daphsam5 months ago

    That's an amazing story. You write with such detail and intensity bring the reader into the story. Well done!

  • Lana V Lynx5 months ago

    You certainly topped my Lynx Crossing story with this one. That snow leopard pic is next level! I support the Snow Leopard Trust and they publish absolutely gorgeous pics of the cats as they track them and set up cameras in the mountains where they live.

  • A/n: if I die petting something I shouldn't, it'll be one of these. Dead people on mountains are often left there due to the risks of bringing them down. Snow leopards don't eat people.

  • Rachel Deeming5 months ago

    Danny?

L.C. SchäferWritten by L.C. Schäfer

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