The carnivores stare down at the city lights from the hills. They curl their lips and flex their jaws, inviting the moonlight in, but it does not satiate them.
A short slink down trails mistaken by joggers and it's the small alley residents and backyard sleepers that are the first to go. Small bites, some swallowed without chewing.
A singular focus and pleasure repeated until final circles and curls present a full belly for the rising sun to warm.
Blades and leaves, some stained red from the night, reach for heaven. It is an ecstatic fervor. They are true believers, fearless of the predators and the night. Communing directly with their creator, giving willfully to those who graze upon them. The absence of choice — a life in offering from the baptismal water that cracked their seed shell. Not ignorance, but bliss. A singular focus.
Arthur equivocates. He was hungry, but his feasting has left him restless. Scrolling through waves of salt water. He consumes, swiping it down mindlessly, fully engaged. His mouth is dry. He must create.
Arthur tries to steady his shaking hand. He has thought of this moment the entire day, built temples to the completion of this creative act. And yet scratching the surface would tire his already bloodied claws. He has consumed continuously, and even the thought of marking the pristine surface is exhausting.
The carnivores have it easy he realizes. He can mimic them, but the seeds within him sprout. Left without planting or tending, their immunopriveleged shoots quest their way into his brain, desperate for fertile soil. A brain is rich with possibility, but not for growth, and the shoots soon wither.
Arthur has squandered his time. Only tangles remain, and a primal urge to act, but the necessary skills are now grown over with the brambles and thorns of paths not taken.
Arthur consumes, unknowingly having swallowed seeds from the metaphysical. They sprout in his dreams. The scent of freshly dug earth lingers each morning, a whiff tugging at the tangles after each daydream, and the constant pain of roots searching for the hold of a distant past, digging into his soul for an escape he can no longer offer.
Once Arthur had the capacity for dirt under his nails. But now it is only the easy swipe of claws and blood draining into the soil, seeping away like his memories of creation.