Originally posted here, in repsonse to the prompt:
“Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him.”
I think it’s Tir na Cali –> Catpeople, but I’m not certain.
The rage was never as solid as it was that Wednesday, never as hot, never as silent.
The worst of it, for me, was knowing that no-one else would either see it nor care if they did. Anger, from one such as me, was /cute/, was adorable, pat-head and chuckle, like a kitten whose teeth aren’t a threat yet. No-one cared when I was angry, no one feared, no one worried.
I wanted them to worry, to quake, to run, but I’d learned to smile through the anger. I had learned, since my anger caused only amusement, to not give them the pleasure of being amused at my expense on top of whatever insult had angered me.
So I smiled. I smiled so they couldn’t see the teeth that their science had made sharp; I smiled so they couldn’t see the anger that they had bred, all unknowing, into me, the rage that demanded that I kill or be killed. I bowed, so very low, and I smiled, so very sweetly, and I did not acknowledge the insults with anything louder than a “yes, sir.”
That is what they expected, was it not? They expected a cute and defanged little pet, someone who would purr in their laps, someone who would snuggle against them and keep their bed warm, who would make cute little noises on cue. They had trained me for that. They had trained me to be domestic; they had forgotten, if they ever knew, that they had also bred me to be feral.
Though the smiles, through the bows, through the trained-animal dances that they put me through, through the day and into the night, the rage sustained me. Through the morning and the next day of the same. It had been, after all, a very great insult, and it would take a long time for the rage to build properly, while I bowed, while I danced, while I smiled.
When I slipped into his bed that next night, when my claws opened his belly from ribs to hip, I could see the surprise in his eyes as he gurgled out his last. I could see his confusion, that his good little pet had rebelled. That his kitten had claws that could rend flesh. That my anger was not to be head-patted and brushed off.
I left with his blood still wet on my claws, to find a master who would put no other pretty little thing before me.
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