From the author: A peek into Hēi Māo's psyche, and a look at how his abusive youth and recent events may have impacted him. My apologies on the pinyn (tranliterated Mandarin) - Curious Fictions does not support all four tones, so some can not be represented properly here.
Hēi Māo was in his human form. While he still felt like himself, something subtle was off. He fidgeted as he tried to puzzle through it, only able to identify it as something arcane. It was dark, and for some reason he couldn't see as well as normal. A cat had excellent night vision, and as a human, a cat shape-shifter had far better than average night vision. He should be able to see better than this. Where was he that it could possibly be so very dark?
Shifting cost him nothing. When he was...