The Fabric of the World

“A true hunt is not a competition,” said the old man, only a shadow among the clouds. “It is an understanding of patterns. Of the shifting in the fabric of the world.”

Below them, a panther stalked through the twilight, silent as the moon. In its fur the boy saw rivulets of old scars; in its heartbeat he heard the breadth of its life.

“You cannot defeat your prey,” said the old man. “You know that you already have.”

The panther stopped, sniffed the wind. The boy breathed deep, the air cold on his bare skin, and dropped like lightning.

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