INCLUDES AN ALL-NEW JANE YELLOWROCK NOVELLA
Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker who means bad news for the undead. Now, she’s back and better than ever, as USA Today bestselling author Faith Hunter gives readers an in-depth glimpse at Jane’s world…plus an all-new Jane Yellowrock novella!
The gritty, sexy, and thrilling New Orleans of the Jane Yellowrock novels is about to be exposed in a whole new way. Filled with brand new, original content, this guide is a must-have for any fan.
*Delve into the history of the characters in the series, including the vampire clans.
*Get better acquainted with Jane’s inner Beast with her in-depth guide to humanity.
*Relive all the action with an essential timeline of Jane’s exploits as a vampire slayer and a comprehensive glossary of terms.
*Experience Jane’s latest thrilling adventure in an all-new Jane Yellowrock novella.
Plus, includes an exclusive sneak peek of the next Jane Yellowrock novel!
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
From Faith—Dear Fans, a Companion guide, unlike a novel, has no particular format. There is no setting or tone or inciting event, no mystery to solve, and a nearly infinite way of gathering and looking at the information. It is a look back, and ahead, at a long-running series, usually written in the middle of a series, and often, as in my case, there is a wonderful helper to put things together. Some writers get other writers or editors to help them. I wanted a reader, someone who liked Jane and Beast and who had a strong appreciation of them as separate characters. Someone who could look at them with the eyes of a reader, of a fan, and who had a firm grasp of the genre. Just about the time I thought about putting together a Companion, Carol Malcolm, a longtime panel moderator at Cons, and a new (at the time) friend, was looking for some part-time work. It was a match made in heaven. Carol has an insightful eye, a broad knowledge of the Urban Fantasy field, and a true love of writers, readers, characters, and story line.
From Carol—Much as I have always loved Jane and her world from the very beginning, rereading all of these stories and books in order has shown me how special this series really is. Our hope is that this guide will serve as a fun and helpful addition to readers as they navigate Jane’s intricate and fascinating world. Many thanks to Faith for taking a chance on me, and I hope I have done the series justice.
From both of us—So, this is a collaborative process, one meant to explain and clarify Jane and her world. There is also fiction in it. Two new shorts and a longer novella.
I—we—hope you all enjoy it.
Faith and Carol
Faith’s disclaimer (to cover her backside): Hey, y’all. Cherokee is a very difficult language to pronounce, and as with any language there were and are regional differences. A Speaker of The People from the Eastern Band of Cherokee might pronounce a word one way, and a Speaker from the Western Band might pronounce it differently, much like the way a Southerner from Georgia might pronounce words differently from a Southerner in Louisiana or South Carolina. For that matter, even within Cherokee clans, there would be differences!
The written language also has its own alphabet, with characters I can’t show here, sadly, but I’ve done the best I could. The language is spoken very softly and with a breathy sound. It is a gentle-sounding language, fluid and softly resonant.
Aquetsi ageyutsa—(ah-que-et-see ah-ghee-ute-sa). As best I can say it. My daughter in Cherokee.
Ani gilogi—(ah-nee ghee-lo-ghee. I’ve also heard it: an-ah gee-loh-gee). Panther Clan of the Cherokee.
Ani sahoni—(ah-nee sah-hon-ee). Blue Holly Clan of the Cherokee.
Blood-challenge—the legally appropriate challenge of one Mithran to another for territory, power, and scions.
Blood-family—a sire or dame and the children they made. They usually nest or lair together, along with the blood-servants and blood-slaves.
Blood-feud—the warlike battles between vampire clans before the creation of the Vampira Carta and the laws Mithrans must live under.
Blood-magic—Magic executed with the blood of a living creature. Often with its death. A black art.
Blood-servants—the sworn human companions of Mithrans.
Blood-slaves—the humans who are addicted to vampire blood and who are passed around as dinner and sex slaves.
Bubo bubo—Asian eagle owl (species).
Chelokay—(chee-lo-kay). Another word for the Cherokee people.
Dalonige i digadoli—Third syllable is a long i (dal-ohn-i-gay ee dee-god-oh-lee). As well as I can represent what I hear. Yellow eyes Yellow rock, Jane’s Cherokee name.
Devoveo—(du-vo-vee-oh). the madness all humans enter into for the first ten or twenty years after they are turned. If they survive and return to sanity, they are set free.
Dolore—(doh-lor-eh). the madness vampires go into when someone they love dies, unless they have a misericord, or Mercy Blade, to feed upon.
E doda (or edoda)—(ee-doh-da). My father in Cherokee.
Egini Agayvlge i—Aggie One Feather (Too long to do justice here!).
Elisi (or e lisi)—(ee-lee-see). My Grandmother, also Uni Elisi—grandmother of many children, below.
Etsi (et-see or e tsi)—My mother.
Fame Vexatum—(fa-may vex-a-tum). The life of starvation and control over appetite and hunting instincts led by Mithrans.
Flehmen response—the way many cats scent, by pulling up the lips and lifting the tongue and sucking in air over the tongue and the roof of the mouth. It can make a schuuschuu or scree sound.
Grindylow—(gren-dee-low). The supernatural creature who lives with were-clans, who is their pet unless the weres spread the were-taint, at which point the grindys become judge and executioner.
Gvhe—(G with a breath followed a v/b sound. A bit like ghhh-vee-hee or ghhh-bee-hee). Wild cat.
Gvli— (As above for gv. So, something like ghhh-vee-lee or ghhh-bee-lee). Raccoon.
Long-chained—the vampires who are stuck in the insanity of the devoveo.
Misericorde—(mee-ser-i-cord). Mercy Blades. In history, they gave the cut of mercy to fallen knights who were wounded unto death, but suffering. Also the name of the blade of mercy. In the series, they are also the beings who give the cut of mercy to any vampire who is stuck in the devoveo and will never reach sanity.
Mithrans—the Latin name for vampires who follow the Fame Vexatum.
Naturaleza—the life hunting and feeding freedom and lack of rules followed by vampires who do not follow Fame Vexatum.
Onorio—(oh-nor-ree-oo). A human blood-servant who survived a near-death experience and was healed by a powerful vampire. The term means honored one. They cannot be bound to a vampire. They do not have to drink much vampire blood to retain their youth and vigor. They are honored and have special duties, though they are not bound.
Outclan—vampires who do not swear blood fealty to a vampire master. Often they are priestesses. They are powerful vampires who do not wish to be part of a family or clan.
Psy-LED—the Psychometry Law Enforcement Department of Homeland Security.
Psy-meter—the device that measures ambient magical activity, much like the way a Geiger counter measures radiation.
Scion—the blood-child or sworn Mithran to a master (sigh-on—which seems appropriate).
Skinwalker—a tribal American shape-changer. Most often into predators, though Jane’s Edoda suggested she could turn into other animals too someday.
tlvdatsi—(Tlv is almost a clicking sound with the tongue: Tlv-dat-see). Mountain lion in Cherokee.
Trail of tears—(Nunahi-Duna-Dio-Hilu-I.) or Trail Where They Cried.There are a lot of Cherokee sites online now where you can hear this spoken by a speaker of The People. Please do a search and hear it spoken. It’s beautiful.
Tsalagi—(Ts like in Tsunami: so like Ts-al-ah-ghee). The People, the Cherokee. Also Cheloka.
Tsalagiyi—(as above but added yee or yay at the end). Place of The People.
Ugugu—(U like the oo in boo, with a breath in it. The g’s are said softly, like hg hg: so like hoo ghu ghu). Owl.
Uni lisi—(U like in hoo: So like hoo-nee-lee-see). Grandmother of many children.
Usdia soquili—(hoo-ss-dee-ah soo-que-ili). Pony foal.
U’tlun’ta—(hut-lune-ah). Liver-eater, the insane form of the aged skinwalker.
Vampira Carta—(vam-peer-ah car-ta). The law beneath which the Mithrans live.
Wesa—(or wesa, I’ve seen both two-word and one-word spellings.)—(wee-sah). Bobcat or little cat.
Note from Carol: Fans of the series know that Jane has her own unique perspective on the world around her. This section represents the gamut of her thoughts and feelings about her own experiences and state of mind, as well as the often puzzling world she now finds herself living and working in.
“I’d never understand the rich and dead or their servants.” (Skinwalker, 101)
“Cradling my injured arm at my waist, I was out of the hood pretty quickly, but I stuck to the shadows, dangling the head. I figured even the most jaded and cynical inhabitant might report a bloody girl in a party dress carrying a severed head by its hair.” (Skinwalker, 125)
“I had never been to a party as froufrou as this, and I already hated it—designer party clothes, party social manners, and party people milling around chatting. Give me a beer keg, a radio blasting country music, and a bunch of security experts discussing guns, edged weapons, and Harleys and I was fine. This was agony.” (Skinwalker, 159)
“The man was too good-looking for my own good.” (Blood Cross, 73)
“I’d rather be shot, stabbed, or chewed on by a rogue vamp . . . than go through being fitted for a formal gown again.” (Blood Cross, 78)
“I held my two selves still and fought down anger and insult.” (Blood Cross, 94)
“Thinking about men was frustrating and tied up my mind in barbed wire.” (Blood Cross, 156)
“Angie curled into my side, yawned again, and promptly fell asleep. Happy was far too mundane a term to describe my feelings. There had to be another word better suited to this sappy, sentimental, fiercely protective sensation that thumped through my chest with my lifeblood. Had to be. And it was followed by a jolt of fear, intense and icy. I knew it couldn’t last. Nothing this good ever could, which terrified me down to my toes.” (Blood Cross, 167)
“Great. Small talk in a hospital. Two things I hated at one time.” (Blood Cross, 179)
“Lonely wasn’t something I ever felt—not ever—but the black hole inside me was so empty, so deep, it was a caving in of my soul, imploding like a mountain falling in on itself. A separateness that might be loneliness.” (Blood Cross, 183)
“Summer in New Orleans is not for the fainthearted.” (Mercy Blade, 18)
“I was about to play a hunch, go with my gut, and unlike in TV-land, guts were notoriously unreliable.” (Mercy Blade, 205)
“It was vengeance never satisfied, the empty place in my soul that justice should have filled was still dark and cold.” (Mercy Blade, 259)
“Weres had human feelings, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. And it was likely I was going to kill some, deliberately, with malice and intent. Vengeance wasn’t Christian. Vengeance was something darker. Older. Vengeance was blood-sworn. Blood promising blood.” (Mercy Blade, 259)
“I wished I had a body for each soul, so I could be in two places at once.” (Mercy Blade, 281)
“My occupation has a definite ick factor.” (Raven Cursed, 2)
“Harleys weren’t built for stealth.” (Raven Cursed, 23)
“It was Sunday morning; I should be getting ready for church instead of lying to cops. Yeah, I was going to hell.” (Raven Cursed, 54)
“I’d rather fight an old rogue-vamp in my underwear, with my bare hands, than deal with relationship problems.” (Raven Cursed, 77)
“I wiped my eyes. I never used to cry. Never. But then, I never used to have friends. I never used to put them in danger. I never used to kill humans. My life was changing and it was all pretty much sucky.” (Raven Cursed, 95)
“I had tried to find that ancient, human, Cherokee part of myself, to wake it up and merge it with who I was now, creating one cohesive self. I felt that if I did, if I could find my ancient self, I might find something important, might finally feel whole. But I was fractured, broken, and I didn’t have the time, not now, for self-analysis and soul-searching. Someday. Someday.” (Raven Cursed, 103)
“Cats didn’t care who liked them, as long as everyone else knew their place—at the cat’s feet, under the cat’s claws.” (Raven Cursed, 143)
“I was getting complacent in the world of vamps, weres, humans, and tech. I needed to take better care.” (Raven Cursed, 206)
“Though I had been raised nondenominational Protestant, not Catholic, guilt is something all Christians understand.” (Raven Cursed, 242)
“I’d never had a family, but as an investigator, I knew that family secrets were the very worst. They destroyed so much. Sometimes they destroyed everything, as if, after decades in the grave, the dead reached out to shatter the living.” (Raven Cursed, 261)
“Weird, the things you notice when you were nearly killed while killing and beheading a vampire, and now were trying to make logical decisions while bleeding to death.” (Raven Cursed, 310)
“I’d rather face a pack of wolves than try to comfort someone.” (Raven Cursed, 341)
“There wasn’t much I liked better than yanking a vamp’s chain.” (“Cajun With Fangs”)
“I’m not a public speaker. Not at all. It’s easier to shoot first and divide up the dead later, but maybe I was growing up.” (“Cajun With Fangs”)
“Though he had attacked me, I offered up a prayer for the spirit of my enemy, Cherokee-style, to the Christian God I had worshipped for all the life I remembered. Wondering if there would come a time when God no longer heard me, or worse, when I no longer prayed. That happened sometimes when one wandered into unfamiliar spiritual areas.” (Death’s Rival, 18)
“No one would stop for a bloody, Amazon-sized woman on the side of the road, so I had to get moving before the sun rose.” (Death’s Rival, 42)
“Not sure where the calm actions were coming from. Training or instinct. Maybe both, taking over when my mind went on hiatus and my soul was aching.” (Death’s Rival, 55)
“I was, for the first time in my adult life, essentially homeless, friendless, empty, and alone.” (Death’s Rival, 58)
“I didn’t recognize myself anymore in the killing machine I was becoming.” (Death’s Rival, 59)
“He had no security consciousness about him at all. We could have been two ninja attackers or even a couple of Angus steers, and I didn’t think he’d have noticed us enter.” (Death’s Rival, 134)
“Having men in the house was going to seriously impact my comfort clothes.” (Death’s Rival, 141)
“Even here, out of the city, miles away, I could feel him inside me like a ghost crouching in the corner of my brain, like a demon’s dark shadow, waiting to command me.” (Death’s Rival, 153)
“Being normal was no proof against horror.” (Death’s Rival, 197)
“My job was hard on friends. Or I was.” (Death’s Rival, 208)
“I had no training for paramilitary raids. My combat style was more along the lines of stake ’em and run.” (Death’s Rival, 233)
“If I thought it was weird to have so many men I was interested in all in one place, my inner cat was just happy about it.” (Death’s Rival, 234)
“Jealousy skulked through me on pointy little claws.” (Death’s Rival, 247)
“I was part of the world of vamps whether I liked it or not, and that meant being part of vamp politics. I hate politics.” (Death’s Rival, 258)
“But nothing in life is set in stone and nothing in life is promised us. Not happiness, not joy, not love. Everything was variable and mutable and inconstant.” (Death’s Rival, 300)
“There was something about this town. Every time I came here, things got so freaking complicated.” (Blood Trade, 55)
“I’d rather fight a score of rogue vamps than face a difficult social situation—and this was going to be bad. I just knew it.” (Blood Trade, 155)
“After a time, old pain became like a living being, with breath and self-determination.” (Blood Trade, 231)
“This was a rescue job, not a pole dance.” (Blood Trade, 273)
“People of all faiths are responsible to help the weak, the downtrodden, the sick, and the helpless, especially children. And of all the religions in the world, Christians are the only ones commanded not to judge, yet we do every day—gay people, ethnicities different from our own, people in mixed relationships, people with gifts they were born with, power they were born with, genetic mutations they were born with, illnesses of brain and body. I’ve got a little girl’s mother to save, and yes, she’s a witch. Are you gonna make it possible for me to save her?” (Blood Trade, 302)
“I was getting pretty good. I had astounded Evan several times today and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet.” (Blood Trade, 334)
Silver-plated main gauche (knife)
Walther PK 380
Benelli M4 Super 90 (Can use regular ammo, but Jane uses hand-packed silver fléchette rounds when hunting silver-sensitive bad guys like vamps and weres)
M32, six-shot launcher
Heckler & Koch (nine-millimeter handgun)
Colloidal silver spray in canisters
Vamp-killers (steel-edged knives plated with silver)
Stakes (ash and sterling silver some with small knobs on the ends so she has something smooth to shove forward)
The Eldest Son of Darkness. Sire of:
Claudia Acete, a former slave of, and freedwoman of, Nero. Turned in Rome in AD 50. Dame of:
Rufinus Agricola, a Centurion in Hispania, turned in what is now Spain, in AD 125. Sire of:
Cesar and Ordonius Frunimius turned in Spain in AD 400. Traveled to what is now France. They created a large blood-family and returned to Rome, where they fomented a blood-feud against the Sons of Darkness in AD 950 and were destroyed. Dual sires of:|
Alazais Chevalier, turned in France in AD 900. Was taken by the Eldest Son of Darkness and forced into his blood-family, as a slave, in reparation of the blood-feud that killed Claudia Acete. The son felt a strong attraction to the boy and took him as companion, sharing his scions, his bed, and his own blood. This gave Alazais great strength. When his time of servitude was up, he left Roman territory and returned to France where he became the sire of:
Mainet Pellissier, turned in France in AD 1200. Was given rights to start a blood family in AD 1450. In the years following, he turned several of his decedents, including Rudolfo and Amaury Pellissier. Rudolfo did not survive devoveo.
Amaury Pellissier turned his sons and nephews, including Leonard Eugène Zacharie Pellissier, in 1525. Together they came to the Americas and started the Pellissier blood family, under the proprietorship of Clan Pellissier, and Mainet Pellissier in France. They became one of the earliest independent clans in the colonies in 1724, and Amaury quickly became Master of the City of New Orleans. He took over the hunting territories of the Louisiana Territories. Under Amaury, the territory spread and gained power.
Leonard Eugène Zacharie Pellissier, became Master of the City of New Orleans and most of the Southeastern United States in 1912.
From Faith: Beast has had her own personality (from the very beginning), though I admit that finding the voice for Beast—primitive, wise, snarky, sometimes confused about humans, lofty, snide, sexy, practical—in other words totally catty—was harder than I had thought it would be. It took a lot of very different things to make the voice become real to me. I started out with old Tarzan movies. The dialogue of, “Me Tarzan, you Jane,” felt close to right, and it helped that Tarzan had a Jane in his life too. I had recently read the wonderful book by Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation, which gave me a vision into how animals think, reason, remember, and deduce life lessons in pictures. And then there was all the lovely, incredibly helpful input from my wonderful editor, Jessica Wade, who was invaluable in helping me with this series in general, and with Beast’s voice in particular.
Beast has a Facebook fan page, where she sometimes makes an appearance to answer questions posed by her fans. This section of Beastly advice came in part from her interactions with her fans, though I have altered the questions, hidden the identities of the questioners, and revised the answers to provide privacy. (Cats love their privacy.)
From: Swannanoa Sweetheart Hooked on Pistachio Gelato: Humans get into a lot of trouble because of their appetites. They get hooked on drugs, alcohol, food, and the Home Shopping Network. What do you think about the human appetite and addiction . . . and do the people of claw and tooth ever get hooked on anything? If so, what do they do to break the addiction?
PS: FYI, I think you are absolutely beautiful . . . you can claw the oaks in my yard anytime.
(And yes, pistachio gelato is food of the gods.)
Beast: Beast is beautiful. (Flicks ear tabs.) Cats like catnip, fish, birds, lizards, clouds, moving water. (Thinks.) Deer and rabbits. And bison. Want to hunt bison. Would be addicted to bison. Do not know about gelato. Does it bleed?
I’ve had a really hard time losing weight. A few years ago I had an accident that resulted in a knee injury and it’s just gotten worse since then, so I have a hard time working out. I eat right (mostly), but I just seem to either stay the same or gain more weight. I’m not enormous or anything, but I’d love to get back down to a healthy weight so I can get healthier. Do you have any advice for me?
Sincerely, Joshua A. AKA Person-Who-is-Not-Food
Joshua. You cannot hunt deer. Cannot chase rabbits. (Thinks.) If you were puma you would starve. But if you eat food that rabbits eat, you will be thin. Writer calls it let-us.
Beast, what would you do to encourage an injured mate? My mate had a foot amputated a few months ago. It’s so easy to be an enabler and let him get too dependent. So what would Beast do? :)
I’m known as Butterfly at all my favorite forums and boards.
Butterfly, Humans are not like puma. Humans have hope. And pro-sss-thetics. They can give life. Can allow humans to hunt and mate and walk. (Thinks.) Tell mate he is not ruined like bad meat. Mate is still good and alive and can be strong again if he has hope. Tell mate to eat much let-us and veg-e-tables. And have faith.
Writer is laughing. I do not understand.
I have a question for Beast.
I work in an office with four people. Two of us work our tails off, while the other two are very lazy. I have no authority over them, so any advice on how to deal with them??
Leisa: You must kill and eat lazy humans. Or chase them out of den. (Growls.) Writer is trying to push Beast away. Says not to kill lazy humans. Writer is stupid.
Beast, I need to learn how to hunt for a new mate. Can you help me?
Rae. You must sharpen claws on dead trees. This removes dead skin on claws. You must bathe in river and eat much bloody meat. When you are strong, you must go far away, to edges of hunting grounds, to find mate. Mate with him. But do not let him follow back to den. If he follows you back, you will have to feed him. This is not good. Mates should kill their own food and stay on their own hunting territory.
Writer is laughing. I am confused.
Beast, you are beautiful, fast, smart, and good hunter. I am worried about the three dogs next door and their owners. Neighbor has good kin to watch over her, but he is leaving soon to go back home. Now bad man may come back and hurt pup. Bad man kicked pup hard. I been asked to keep my eyes open if bad man comes while friend is at work. What would you do to bad man? I want to kick bad man and see how he likes it.
Jenny. Yes, Beast is beautiful. And smarter than other big-cats. And fast. And best hunter. (Licks jaw and grooms paws with rough tongue. Thinking.) Beast would hunt man and eat him. And then eat dogs if writer was not looking. You should take vid-e-o of man hurting dog and put on In-ter-net. Then other humans would kill and eat man.
Beast, my mate is causing trouble and being ornery. What should I do?
Beast does not understand trouble and ornery. This is hard question. Beast chases away male kits when weaned, and keeps female kits as hunting mates for longer. I do not understand males except for mating. And I chase them off too when done with them. Beast once killed mate who killed kits. Did your mate kill kits? I will help you hunt and kill him!
Also, Beast does not live with mate for long, like pride of African lions or like humans. Beast is with mate only when kits are wanted. When Beast’s mate snarls, Beast bats him with claws or leaves.
But I have watched Writer with mate. When he snarls, she scratches him behind ears and rubs his head and feeds him eggs on bread and mayo. He likes this. Beast likes this too. Try that.
Beast has own place. Does not stay with mate for many years, only for kits. But Beast has seen Writer with mate and Writer says tell mate, “Special mating on Friday night. Big whoop-de-do then. Not tonight.” Writer’s mate seems pleased with “whoop-de-do” plans and Writer gets to sleep. I do not understand. Writer is laughing again. (Snarls at writer.)
Beast, I would like to be like you, sole hunter. But I have to deal with humans.
Jane Yellowrock is like Beast, alone and unmated. But Jane is not happy very often. (Rolls over and thinks.) Beast thinks humans are pack animals like African big-cats. Beast thinks humans need other humans. Do not understand this.
Beast, many people say it is okay to euthanize sick humans the way lions cull the sick from the herd. What do you think?
Do not understand u-thise. U-thee nz? Sounds like sneeze. (Looks at writer. Writer is laughing but is sad too. Do not understand.) Writer says u-thin-ze means to kill. In animal world when big-cats cannot hunt anymore, other big-cats are not kind. But Beast is more than big-cat. Beast has learned from Jane. Beast would be kind to hurt big-cat and bring her raw deer or rabbits. Beast will talk to spirit of earth and sky and ask for hunters who will be kind to hurt humans.
Writer says humans do not cull other humans from herd because humans do not eat humans. Beast understands this. Have tasted human and it was stringy. Tasted bad, not good meat. Writer says tale of Beast tasting human is in short story in Have Stakes Will Travel.
Beast, what’s the best way to train a stupid human kit who will not listen?
Beast tosses kits into water to teach them to swim. Beast takes kits on long hunts, so kits pant and tongues hang out. Some kits need to be rolled over and held down, with claws at throat and fierce growls and show of killing teeth. Held down until they submit. Beast also swats kits (with claws hidden) but Writer says cops do not like it when humans swat kits. Beast does not understand this. Swatting works for cat kits. What are cops?
Beast, my dogs are fat. Any advice?
Writer had fat dogs (stupid yappy rescue Pomeranian dogs). Writer started walking dogs every day. Is now up to 1.5 miles every evening and .5 miles in mornings. For food: Writer added warm water, and soft food with hard food. Tommy and Tuffy liked food. Writer fed dogs two times a day this way with very little food. Water filled dogs up each time. Dogs lost much weight. But dogs had to pee a lot. (Twitches ear tabs.) Writer is laughing. Writer says dogs lost 30% of body weight. I do not understand %.
Beast, I hate my job. Should I quit and look for something else?
Job is like hunting for food, yes? Beast only hunts when hungry, but when hungry is always looking for food. Will take first food to fill belly but will keep looking for more. Being hungry is not good. Must eat, to find more food, to eat. (Scratches ears with back claws.) Beast might have flea. Hates biting fleas-too-small-to-catch. Do you like being hungry? Do you like fleas? If you do, then Beast will eat your food and give you her fleas.
When should humans retire?
Big-cats do not “retire”. We must hunt to eat until we die. Humans do not die when they cannot hunt. Humans . . . are different. Humans have “jobs”. This is a strange thing to Beast. Writer wants to “retire” from job in hospital, but keep writing. Also a strange thing to Beast. (Rolls over and stares up at sky.) Beast says to stop hunting and “retire” when you can eat without hunting. But feels this does not help much.
Is it polite to “scoot” in public?
“Scooting” is private pleasure when mate is not around. (Shakes head.) Humans are strange to not know this.
What does Beast do when not hunting?
Beast likes to lie on sun-heated rock over shallow river and watch fish. Come today and nap with Beast!
Beast on Writer
Writer has two stupid yappy dogs. Writer thinks she understands them when they “talk” to her. Does that make Writer stupid and yappy? (Chuffs with laughter.) Writer is staring at me. (Turns head and looks bored.)
Writer is stupid. Writer says new year has started today. But new year was more-than-five days ago when longest night was here. I do not understand. (Yawns.) Will hunt for deer later today. Have seen tracks and scat of large, healthy doe. Good way to celebrate Writer’s stupid new year. (Scratches ears with back paw.) Writer explained re-ser-va-shun. It is like when Beast claims tree limb over deer path to water and scratches with claws to show claiming. This says, “It is mine!” If you re-ser-va-shun, please do not eat Writer if she sits on your limb.
Why are you laughing? Beast does not understand.
Beast has page on “Facebook.” Writer will be there to talk with scritches on page and tapping of claws on “keyes.” I will be there too. You can ask me questions and Writer will answer for me. Sometimes writer is good.
Writer has new porch. Beast tried to sit on Writer’s pooch. Writer made squealy noises and said no. (Chuffs hard with laughter.)
Writer says she is an addict. I did not understand, but Writer explained. Beast is addicted to hunting like Writer is addicted to her computer. (Shakes head and grooms paws.) Computer has no blood. I still do not understand.
Writer has been ignoring me. Writing. I brought deer haunch and left on her front porch. If writer keeps ignoring me, I will bring dead skunk. (Opens lips. Shows killing teeth.)
Beast on Beast, and Beast on Life
On clothes and pelt: Fur is soft. Beast is not. (Scratches chin with back paw-claws, thinking.) Beast is good hunter. Protects soft belly with claws and killing teeth. Why do humans not grow pelt? Writer says humans buy clothes instead of growing pelt, but then humans are hunting food and clothes. Seems much work to hunt so many different things.
On summer: Is too hot to hunt. Writer is going to hunt barbecue and swim in stinky pool water with no fish and no plants and no rocks. Stupid writer. (Perks up ears.) But maybe she will bring me raw pig?
On hot summer: Beast does not know why humans hunt in heat. Should stay home, like Beast, body lying in edges of river. (Closes eyes as cold water rushes by.)
On mud: Mud is good for rolling in to keep small biting things from making pelt itch. I like rolling in mud. This makes Writer laugh. Why is writer laughing?
On humans: Writer has yardboy working. I think yardboy needs more exercise than mowing and digging. Beast should chase him around the yard. (Chuffs with laughter.)
On computers: Beast is here. Beast would have been here sooner, but Writer’s mate was fixing computer. Writer is laughing at word “fixing”. I do not understand why that makes her laugh.
Beast and Writer Talk:
Beast: Want to hunt.
Writer: Not today. Tommy has an upset tummy today and his back hurts from running around like he’s nuts when we got home Sunday night, and then sliding across the new wood floor where carpet used to be.
Beast: (Perks ears.) Eat Tommy-dog?
Writer: NO! Leave my dog alone. Go outside, Beast. NOW!
Beast: (Growling.) Will hunt writer.
Writer: (Points to delete key.) Try it, big girl. Go ahead. Make my day. . . .
Beast: Writer is mean. (Lies down and puts head on paws.)
Beast on Writer’s painting of Beast: Beast has seen drawing of Beast in a tree. Beast is beautiful. (Shakes head to chase off flies in brain.) But drawing of Beast does not move or hunt or eat. Smells dead. Beast is confused. But drawing is good. Shows hunter of prey!
Beast on conferences: Writer went to ComicCon to be with fellow Geeks and Writers. Most Writers are slow and would be good to hunt. Are Geeks good to hunt? (Twitches ears. Curious.)
Have been snarling at writer to go to Dragon Con and hunt dragons. But Writer says no. Says car is not big enough for Beast and Writer’s clothes. Writer’s clothes?
(Snarls.) Writer is taking Jane to Dragon Con. Jane is going. Beast is not. Jane is going to hunt dragons! Beast is best hunter! Not Jane. Writer is stupid kit. Who will protect Writer at Con? Who will write Beast stories? Beast is not happy! (Screams with rage. Snarls at Writer.)
Beast will not be at Con. (Narrows eyes. Looks away.) Beast is not purring. Writer says she will talk about me, so I will not eat her. This time. Writer says to res-er-va-tion.
Beast on food: Writer ate I-tal-yan. Twice. Writer brought me nothing. (Rolls away and stares at wall.)
Writer went to river with good-smelling water and many fish and many goose-birds and Writer rode on boat. Writer did not bring me goose-bird. Beast is not happy. (Thinks.) But writer on boat is too slow to catch geese. Writer should have taken Beast to river!
Writer’s yardboy is working in front ground, digging hole for plant. Yardboy is strong and meaty. Might taste better than other humans Beast has bitten. Writer will not let me hunt him. Writer did not take me to river to hunt geese. Beast is snarling. Not Happy!
Beast on human food: Beast has had much cooked human food. Good food came from cold box full of food in Evangelina Everhart’s house. It was good. Liked noodles in cheese sauce. Liked sausage. Liked fish cooked with butter. (Purrrrr.)
Beast on humans as food: Writer went away and left me with Housesitter. Writer threatened to hang my pelt on wall if I ate Housesitter. Housesitter was muscular and strong and young. Would be good hunt! Meat would not be stringy and tough like other humans Beast has bitten. But Writer loves Housesitter. Is son of her mother’s next litter. (Thinks.) Writer said same thing about Beast-pelt if Beast ate her boots. (Thinks carefully.) I did not eat Writer’s housesitter or boots. Housesitter gave Beast raw steak. Was good.
Beast on fans: Writer says that Beast has more-than-five fans! (Scratches ears with back claws, thinking.) What is fan? Can I eat them?
Beast on dogs: Writer’s littermate brought dog to house last night. FAST dog! HUNTING dog! Good nose. Wanted to hunt with ugly dog! Then maybe eat him. Writer said no.
Beast on exercise: Writer had to “run errands”. Tried to tell her it was too hot to run. Writer does not listen. But Writer is good hunter. She ran home with cow meat wrapped in plastic. And she was not hot. I do not understand. But I do like cow meat.
Beast on healthy teeth: Beast likes crunch of bones. Jane likes crunch of tacos. Bones keep Beast’s teeth strong. Tacos rot teeth and make humans fat. Humans should eat bones.
Beast on squirrels: Am sitting on Writer’s porch (not Writer’s pooch) watching squirrels play in trees between rains. Small rats with hairy tails. Beast knows they are hard to catch and are only a small-mouthful-crunch and then gone, but . . . Beast wants to chase! (Shows killing teeth to teasing rats with hairy tails.)
Beast on thongs: Writer came home from Con. Was tired, like after big hunt. Had small bag of “thongs” from “prank.” But there is no deer or cow or bison strapped to her big truck. Writer is not good hunter.
(Later.) Writer explained “thongs.” Writer should grow pelt, not silly thongs. Thongs would get stuck in places and Beast would have to scoot. Writer would not like Beast to scoot on her rug.
Beast on cover art of books: Writer saw first cover idea of BLOOD TRADE. Writer likes it. Cover made Writer dance. But Beast was not on it. Beast was going to eat artist. Then artist sent cover art of BLACK ARTS. Beast is on BLACK ARTS. BLACK ARTS is best cover.
Beast on being thankful: Writer says to list Stuff I’m thankful for, five each day: People, Food, Natural, Memory, and Personal. I can count to five.
Food: Turkey feathers stuck in mouth after hunt.
Natural: Moon reflected in water.
Memory: Teeth sinking into throat of human who destroyed forests.
Personal: Big killing teeth. (Chuffs with laughter.)
People: Jane Yellowrock. And Yardboy.
Food: Deer. Standing over water. Under tree with tall branch.
Natural: Herds of deer, running in rut.
Memory: Kits, sleeping in curve of Beast-body and legs, smelling of milk.
People: Ricky-Bo. He smells of big-cat and hot, steamy jungle. Bruiser. Want Bruiser.
Food: Want to hunt bison. (Looks at Writer. Flicks ears. Writer says no.)
Natural: Sound of world at dawn. Silent, waiting.
Memory: Sight of Wesa eating kill. Little cat, who changed life of Beast.
Personal: Claws (Cleans claw sheath on tall tree, bark scraping away, leaving Beast-sign. )
People: Molly and Angie Baby. Miss them – Molly and Angie Baby. . . .
Natural: Sound of wild turkey goggling. Easy to hunt stupid noisy bird.
Memory: Wind in nose when Jane rides Bitsa, full of good food smells.
Personal: Visit with angel Hayyel. Was short but was good.
People: Big Evan.
Food: Once caught fish jumping through water. Was good.
Natural: Water running fast down river.
Memory: World before white man stole the trees.
Personal: Leo. (Chuffs with laughter.)
Beast on Christmas Songs
Six Geese A-Laying
Jane Yellowrock is listening to Christmas Carols about good food. A feast. Beast wants feast like song Writer talks about! (Licks muzzle. Thinks. Flicks ear tabs, listening to song.) Jane sings along. Jane cannot sing. Sounds like bison stuck in ditch. Or hawk calling for mate. Jane cannot sing, but Beast likes Jane’s song food! (Listens. Thinks.)
Most of song is about more-than-five foods. Beast cannot count that high but knows that more-than-five is many! Beast is hungry. (Thinks about food and hunting and eating fresh kills.)