Wherefore the Winter Were-Jaguar? – A Flash Fiction

Okay, explanatory text. First of all, this is rated R, both for language and thematic material. Yeah, yeah, us grownups can deal, but I’ve been careful to keep it clean to this point, so I’m making the notable exception. And adding a bit of spoiler space.

Secondly, if I’ve talked about two memorable characters with you before now and not shown you any story – Mark and Sylvia are them.

Thirdly, the were-jaguar bit is all the fault of Anton Strout and Jim Hines. Steven Schend reminded me about it, though, so go punish them by buying their books. If you really hate this little vignette, punish them more by buying more of their books to send to friends and family.

Right. Enough “above the fold” stuff to protect the kiddies?

“Tell me again,” I hissed towards Mark, “why we are tramping through these brambles in the middle of a cold winter day.”

Mark crashed through a mad, thorny shrubbery, and turned his snout towards me. He at least had his fur to protect him. The smashing taffeta cocktail dress I’d started the evening in was ruined. That and hot pink was shitty camoflauge to begin with, and worse in a grey and white Janurary wood. His breath huffed in hot, welcome clouds on my cheeks.

“We. Are. Hunting. A. Were-Jaguar.”

I could feel my eyes roll. Melodrama – it is my significant other. “Yes, dearest, but jaguars live in hot climates. It’s colder than the titties of any witches I know, here, so wouldn’t we be more likely to find it in a nice hotel in Toledo?”

Nice and warm as he was, feeling the condensation on my neck was a little too close.

“Yes, Sylvia,” Mark said, “jaguars live in tropical climates. Then again, bears are usually fucking asleep in the winter, and women usually don’t have testicles.”

I swallowed, and shifted my panties.

“Touché, dear. Tallyho, then. Were-jaguars migrate, you know.”

Still, when we caught that bastard, the cost of this dress was coming out of his jaguar hide.

Ooh. Animal prints!