Light, a flicker and flash, as the screen came to life. Outside his den some hyenas laughed as if making fun of him. He growled at the sound. Let them come closer, if they wanted to tease him. Let them come into his den. He would teach them respect.
The laptop hummed. It worked. The creature knew what to do. Joseph had shown him. He activated the word processor and the screen went white. A claw depressed a key and a letter appeared, then another and another. Tap. Tap. Tap. I. K. N. The creature grunted. He was making words again. He kept tapping on the keys. He no longer paid any attention to the hyenas. He watched his words appear on the screen.
*I knew that you would have a machine, a computer. Now I can speak. The machine Joseph gave me does not work anymore. I needed a new one.*
He paused. From the ground beside him he picked up the piece of cloth that had the woman’s scent on it. It was a color he had never seen before. Like the color of the sun just before it sets, only not so bright, so strong. He wondered what it was called, this color. The fabric felt soft when he pressed it to his nose. He liked the scent it carried, but it irritated him, too.
He began to write again.
*I remember your name. Mar-ih-bell. Is that how you spell it? I do not know. Is this your computer? I needed it so that I can talk to you.*
The other piece of clothing felt even softer than the first, and carried even more of the woman’s scent. White in color, and so thin he could almost see through it. The smell was strong as he held it to his nose. He felt himself stiffen, aroused. He coughed. This woman’s scent excited him.
“You are not a man.” Joseph’s words came back to him, speaking in his memory. “You must never act the way a man would act. Women are not for you. Do you understand?”
The creature paused, tapped another key.
He paused. Tapped the key that said BACKSPACE. Then, after a minute, he tapped the same key as before.
*I do not*
The creature growled. He tapped the keys to SAVE the words he had written. He would write more later. Just now he felt hunger, and that hunger distracted him.
He left the den. The sun would be up soon. His belly would need to be filled today, but he would satisfy his other hunger first.
The creature was not hungry for food just yet. A different appetite nagged at him.
“You must never touch a woman,” Joseph had said. “This would be an abomination.” The creature would do as Joseph had said. He would not seek out a woman.
Today he would seek out his own kind.