Damien’s Prey Drive

Damien has an amazing prey drive.  It is more intense than any I’ve seen before.  It is triggered by blood.  When it comes to blood, Damien has a superior sense of smell.  I’ve seen him pick up a scent and follow it for miles.  It is almost as if nothing else exists.  The scent consumes him at times.

When Damien approaches his prey, he often hangs back for a while and studies it.  He finds its weakness. He plots a way to exploit that weakness.  He plans his attack.  A lot of the time, Damien gets tunnel vision focused on his prey and can’t see the world around him.  Often, something keeps Damien from attacking his prey.  I don’t know what it is, but I see him there, tense, alert, ready to pounce.  He just stays there, muscles quivering, teeth clenched, waiting for the kill until he is too exhausted to do anything at all.  Sometimes, I will find Damien in the same spot days or weeks later, under a ledge or behind a rock, curled up, asleep.  Once in a while, after his vision clears, Damien will realize that he’s been chasing a ghost.  I don’t think he knows just  how much energy he puts into this.

When Damien DOES attack, he shows no mercy.  He is quick to strike, and if there is any resistance, he will fight to the death.  If Damien has been studying his target, it’s usually an easy kill, but not always.  When he gets too focused on his prey, he can miss things in his surroundings, things that are potentially dangerous.  One thing Damien does not do is give up.  He will take a beating to make the kill.  He always goes for the win.

If there is fresh blood and it it close enough, Damien will just attack, without even thinking. There is no plan, no strategy.  It’s all just teeth, claws and instinct.  When Damien attacks this way, it is even more intense.  He is stronger, faster, and more alert.  He doesn’t even feel the wounds that are inflicted upon him.  He always wins, no matter what.  He would rather die than lose a fight or walk away.  He will sacrifice everything for the win.  Afterward, Damien can’t quite remember exactly what happened or why.  He doesn’t even know what made him do it.

Damien has this wonderful skill, but he is unsure of himself.  He doesn’t quite know how to use it.  It is new to him and it feels unfamiliar and awkward.  There is something missing – an answer that he keeps looking for.  He’s not sure exactly what he seeks, but when he finds it, he will gain confidence.  However, this skill scares him at the moment.  He knows that it will somehow get him hurt, but he is not sure how or why.  If Damien could master this, he could use it to accomplish great things.  Instead, he feels the need to run from it.  The more I get to know Damien, the more it seems like he spends most of his time running from something he can’t escape.

Too often, the blood that Damien smells is his own and he doesn’t even know it.  It is blood from old wounds, ripped open again and again before they even heal, or new wounds inflicted by others.  Damien can get so focused on his attack that he can’t even really see what he is going after.  His vision is too narrow.  When the scent of blood is strong, and the attack is wild and spontaneous and comes out of nowhere, that is when the most damage is done.  All that is left is pain, confusion, and open wounds.

I cannot count the number of times I have seen Damien wake up in a foggy haze, beaten and broken, not quite sure where he is or what happened.  He usually finds a place to hide, a place to lurk unseen, a place that feels safe, where he won’t be attacked.  Something always brings him out though.  For the longest time, it was only blood could that lure him away from the safety of his hiding place.  He would only come out when his prey drive would override everything else.

Recently, I have seen something else bring Damien out – something soft.  He seems to be searching rather than hunting.  This is rare right now, but I am hoping to see more of it.  This new thing brings out parts of Damien that I’ve only had a glimpse of, parts that he hides from the world, including himself.  I saw just a little fraction of it this weekend and then it was gone, overshadowed by the scent of blood.

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