It grows older, and in this, more dangerous. Its body lengthens, its skills sharpen. It was born with the desire to hunt, to rend flesh, but now it has practiced these things. Now it knows how to stalk, how to kill quickly.
It knows these things because this is the blueprint it was born with. Its nature, even. Red in tooth and claw.
But there are other things, thoughts that rise up and away from the reptilian seat of its brain. It knows that there is a kinship, however frayed, to the other creatures around it. That it, while foreign, is not entirely so.
Sometimes, it tries to speak, and the words are labored. Its mouth was meant for other languages, ones mostly lost. But it practices, alone, where it cannot be overheard. It shapes the syllables of its name. Its descriptor.
Creature. You are Creature.
It feels a pull. A homing instinct, the way birds migrate south for the winter. But this pull isn’t so clean, it is undecipherable. Though perhaps to the birds, the pull of the south is undecipherable as well. Perhaps there is some reason there, a reason that lurks behind the rough comprehension of its alien mind.
Whatever the reason, it is back in the thick of this land, its birthplace. It is back and all around it smells of meat, but it does not hunt. Instead, it stands, and watches as they move, and perhaps behind its flat gaze there is a flicker of something more.
and what rough beast, its hour come ‘round at last
slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?