I dropped the hair sample and scrambled backward, putting distance between me and all that power. I was an untrained healer with no information about strange occurrences other than what I had learned in my own short life. I stared at the tuft of hair, not capable of leaving it behind, and unwilling to touch it again.
I’d heard it said about my mother, before I ran away, that she was a round-heeled woman who would fuck the devil if he asked. Some, like my step-father, had looked at me and my odd ways, and declared that the devil had asked.
It seemed as though an abnormal part of me that had been slumbering, was awakened by the aroma from that tuft of hair. My skin itched, as prickles of awareness skittered from the soles of my feet to the tips of my ears. My breath changed to short pants, my back arched, my fingernails scraped the ground that I clutched, and I had the incredible urge to scream, or yowl, or hiss—very loudly.
I shook off the strange reaction and pulled my attention back to why I’d revisited this spot. I could see the scrape marks covered in blood and bits of fur—obvious testimony to the existence of the big cat I’d saved. It looked like the cat had dragged itself a long distance to get to the trail I’d traveled the night before.
I don’t believe in fortuitous coincidence so I immediately pondered a deeper possibility. The cat knew I could heal it and had lain in wait for my passing. It sounded pretty incredible put like that.