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Dream of Purity -- Fiction Writers Group Flash Fiction for 2/15/2020

Here is this week's flash fiction prompt from the Fiction Writers Group Facebook group:

And here is my less-than-300 word story. Well, it's more like the very beginning of what could be a much longer piece. I'll keep this in the back of my mind.

Dream of Purity

The shapeshifter awoke again in this strange land where he knew neither the customs nor the language. He stood and stretched to relieve the stiffness that sleeping on the ground had wrought. The early winter wind bit him through the ill-fitting garments he stole when he had come to his senses a fortnight ago, lost and naked. How he came there, and what transpired during the three seasons he could not remember, remained a mystery.

The dream had come again. He was in his tiger form – a pure white Bengal. His shaper dreams were more memories than dreams, a reliving of what happened when his body and mind were no longer human.

In this dream, he sat on a rocky outcropping, majestic and powerful. Yet he felt diminished in his power, as if he had voluntarily given it over to his companion who sat with him. The young woman was innocence personified. Dressed in blazing white, brighter even than his own fur, she was inconceivably calm in his presence.

For his part, he felt none of the expected craving to taste, then devour her delicate flesh. Instead, he felt an obsessive protectiveness. Without him knowing how or why, he knew he was meant to keep safe her purity.

Each night, the dream memory revealed more of itself. Tonight’s telling revealed that she had summoned him to take his most ferocious form and maintain it as her bondservant and guardian. Who was this woman who radiated purity and gentleness, yet had such power over him? Was she a sister he never knew? Or a witch holding him in bondage? What quest took most of the year past and left him in this foreign land?

All he could do was live until nightfall and hope for the dream to come again.

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