Contributor: Malika Manai

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"They think me a dancer of sorts.
My movement through time and space inspired them to new beliefs.
I awake, after a short century-timed period of rest. I lounge as I acknowledge the new reality and review my territory. The changes they made will not detract me from performing.
Keep moving my feet on the black wooden boards; keep my poise straight and my head high. The short days I live lazily and the long starry nights I adore. To me the elegance of the night belongs; to me, the dark shadows and their poetry.
My back aches from the sudden movements I need to make to test my equilibrium. I remember how sometimes I start to feel lead-heavy by the end of the performance and the rest I need to take prolongs under the hours of the sun. But I can never give it up.
The night smells of fear as I prepare my dance.
My head, inclined to the left, still rests blissfully, my eyes closed as I consider carefully the choreography and envision the opening scenes.
The bluest blue of my eyes blinks in the awakening moments. Under the darkest sky, my ears twitch as they hear the tiniest moth flap her wings a thousand steps away.
Remembrance becomes even more vivid as I recall how, admiring my agility and my strength, some had named even gods after me.
But simplicity defines me. I have but a wish, but one thought – I live by the cruelest of laws – I only want to survive.
Time has had its dues paid by them, but not me. My perpetual travel can’t cease, my perpetual needs do not falter.
The striped shades, of dark gray and black on my fur, ripple like velvet under the gentle wind. I’ve wiped clean my whiskers and now they tingle with anticipation.
My mask falls, my entirety revealed to the light of the moon, in the man-made citadel I will survive still.
Hear me roar, humans, and watch as the dance begins."

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"I've enjoyed writing since I was about ten. Growing up, I got to fly around the world, aboard a well known Arabian airline. I love SF and Fantasy literature and movies, and spend my free time learning how to become a professional writer."
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