Day in the Life -- Kumas
Kumases are creatures so defined by hunger that they're not even really alive unless they're hunting or eating-and they eat anything and everything around them, be it plant or animal. Food is the only reason to open one's eyes. Consuming is the only excuse for consciousness, and they rely heavily on their sense of smell to alert them when consciousness is required. Other kumases are either irrelevant or enemies, depending on whether food is present
By Stacey Janssen, Writer
The scent struck him first. He could always tell by the scent that food was nearby.
Kiyo opened his eyes. He waited for movement. The land around him was barren by the very nature of being kumas territory, so movement would stand out.
A subtle rustling in the distance, then a flash as it ran closer. Kiyo held his spot. His sheer mass kept him from being quick, and he'd long ago learned that being too eager meant the food got away and the Hunger lasted longer-the deep, permeating need that could not be quelled so much as distracted. He remained still.
The food drew closer. He could see now that it was a Popori. Scarcely more than a bite, perhaps two, but it would do for now.
Kiyo heard another noise. Extra food? If so, the Hunger could be distracted even further. Another kumas seemed to have come out of nowhere and was heading toward the Popori. It was a foolish move -- it would scare off the food -- and a foolhardy one. To menace the prey of another was madness!
The enemy waddled closer to Kiyo's meal. There was a risk that neither of them would get the food now, but if it could be preserved, Kiyo would preserve it -- and Kiyo meant to have it. The food seemed to have not noticed them yet. Kiyo ambled toward the other kumas, maneuvering his body between his prey and his rival. The other kumas pretended not to see Kiyo until pretense was impossible. Then it stopped and bared its teeth.
Kiyo would not be swayed-he had smelled the popori first. He straightened his spine to be as tall as possible, spread his girth to be as wide as possible, and tensed his muscles to be as dense as possible. He rolled his eyes and gnashed his teeth. His enemy did not back down, but mimicked his actions, motion for motion. Another dominant demon, Kiyo realized.
They would have to fight for the food.
Kiyo hurled himself at the enemy, silence no longer a concern. He knocked it flat with the sheer force of his bulk. The enemy pummeled Kiyo with huge hands and feet, then rolled out from beneath him just in time to feel Kiyo's head brought up sharply into its stomach. It howled and backed away.
Kiyo sniffed. He looked around and sniffed again, but the food was gone.
The enemy, was now just another kumas, and suddenly very small. The two growled at each other, then walked their separate ways.
Kiyo found a spot on the barren ground and sat. As his eyes closed, his body slowed down, and the Hunger dulled. All was quiet once again.
He opened himself to the scent. There was no food, but more would come.