I wrote this in February 2009 while on a creative writing course at the ACT Writers Centre in Canberra, Australia.
She crouched defensively, under shelter, peering out at the intruder. The intruder contorted his body to get a better look. He was tall and his joints creaked. The slightest unconsidered movement from either would break the spell they had created.
The sun was beating down, the air thick with humidity. Birds were sheltering in the green-leaved trees, and even the baby magpies were silent, too hot pester their parents.
The man was in the sun. She was in the shade. She had the advantage.
He carefully shuffled closer, his kneecaps digging into the concrete. She silently edged backwards. He held out his hand, but she did not move. He knew making a grab, or chasing would not work. She was quicker and had more stamina.
The man was desperate to make contact and started to make soothing noises, friendly greetings that he thought would help. His voice was as sweet as honey to most, but not to her. She bared her teeth and spat. He stopped. Clearly this was not going to work.
They had seen each other, glimpses, most days for the past month, but she was always wary. What did she have to gain from the meeting? She knew these situations could go one of two ways. One way was clearly unacceptable, and therefore, so was the risk.
As a last resort he decided to talk to her in her own language. He held out his hand and said friendly words. These words sounded harsh to him, but they were as smooth as silk to her.
Her eyes widened. She was interested. He continued to talk, not moving, but holding out his hand. She edged closer, and closer.
Now she was in front of him, out in the sun, cautiously getting an impression of his scent. He continued to talk and moved to stroke her head. She could no longer resist this creaky man, his voice no longer harsh.
She knew this was going to go her way. As he rubbed her ears and whiskers she purred loudly, and was no longer afraid.