It woke up an hour ago. It happened so suddenly I almost shot it again. One minute it was mewling, the next those eyes were open and staring at me. It didn’t move. It just sat there, staring, taking short, wheezing breaths. All I could do was stare back for about a minute before I got the courage to hand it an apple. I’d gathered some fruit and nuts from upstairs earlier. Good, natural things, I thought. It didn’t take the apple. Just kept staring. It refused a walnut and a pear, too. The only interest it showed was in the dried dates. It sniffed them once before tossing them back to me.
It’s weak, barely able to keep its eyes open. When I gave it some water, most of it spilled down onto that log body and was immediately absorbed. Fascination is overruling my tiredness. I couldn’t help thinking that that stumpy arm could do with watering, too.
Another short standoff followed. When I gestured towards its arm and asked if it was all right, it nodded. And it was like something inside me, some weight in my mind, had eased. It’s eyes narrowed into orange pinpricks when I spoke. There’s something in there, something innately human.
I think it’s hatred?