Fearful Night

Author's Note: Thanks to CRAZEDbySUGAR for helping with this. This story was done for a short English project. Funny thing is that I didn't hear the teacher say it was only supposed to be a page so when I came in with five pages she gave me a look. Thankfully I wasn't the only person in the class to do that and I still got an A on the paper! :D

I am great! I am fast! I am a hunter! I am king, just like my father was! I have got to go a little bit further. The zebra is close, I can smell it. It makes me smile and my mouth water. I will enjoy a large feast tonight while the other lions starve. Maybe I will share with Nisa. She has always believed in me, but the others... they can die for all I care. None of them understands me. They look down on me. According to them, I can never be king, because I am too young. They tell me it is dangerous to hunt alone, but our kind is the biggest threat around these parts. What could be more powerful than a lion?

I continue to keep a steady pace. The zebra is really close. The powerful aroma fills my nostrils and now all my mind can focus on is catching a bit of fast food. My legs are tired, but I can retain a stable stride.

"I see you!" I call as soon as the zebra makes its way into my vision. "Run while you still can!"

"Crud, we've been spotted! Run!" A zebra calls.

The zebra takes off and now I can see there is not just one zebra, but a whole group of zebra just running, each one knowing whichever of them is the slowest will not make it through the night.

"Stay alert!" A zebra yells; this one is different than the first. "Whenever a lion's nearby there is almost always more!"

"Oh don't worry, I come alone." I say with a sadistic smile.

I quickly pick up speed, pounce on one of the zebra, and use my massive body weight to drag it down to the ground. None of the other zebra come back to help. They ran off. I always hated that about zebra. Maybe if they were a little less self-centered, then I would feel more apt to let this one go, but a selfish being does not deserve to live.

"No, please let me go! I know, m-maybe you should try Chin. He's really easy to catch and plump too!" The zebra pleads.

"No, I think you'll feed my craving just fine." I say.

I ready my claw. This time I will do some serious damage, but before I can attack, an extreme pain shoots through my body. I do not know what is happening, but I am dizzy and a little drowsy. I fall off the zebra in time to see it run off again. I do not follow it though. I collapse on the ground. My eyes are about to shut, but before I fall asleep I hear human speech.

"Talk about luck! Who would have thought that we'd find an African lion alone in these parts?"

When my eyes open I feel incredibly woozy. My entire body is hurting and though I was just asleep I still feel a little tired. But where am I? This does not look or feel anywhere close to home. Actually, I think I am closed in, because everywhere I look I am surrounded by a large metal fence.

Was this a human torture device? Maybe I am being punished for fleeing my pack. They will trap me and isolate me from everything and everyone I love, until I either pleaded for freedom or die of starvation. The latter option seemed more likely, but could be a stretch of hope. Truth was no matter how much I hated to admit it, I was now stuck here and completely at the mercy of the humans.

Something about the thought makes me smile slightly, not because I am happy, but because I can appreciate the irony. Me, the king of all beasts, trapped and practically domesticated for reasons I still do not understand. For a species that does not consider themselves beasts, humans sure are cruel.

A few days have passed and my days at the zoo are not bad. The zoo keepers throw raw meat over the cage, which is much nicer and easier than having to hunt, but still I miss the thrill of the kill. I would like to do it once more, because my last attack did not do me any justice.

Sometimes I miss my pride, especially Nisa and my parents. I wonder if they miss me too. I wonder if they somehow know that I am still alive. They might think that I have been killed.

I can imagine them talking about me now. My mother would probably be crying. My father will put on a strong face, like he always does while he is in front of people, but I have seen him cry over less than this. Certainly he would be crying now. Nisa is very factual. She refuses to believe anything unless she sees proof. I can imagine her searching for my body. When at first she does not find anything she may still have hope that I am alive, but as time goes on, if I am not home soon, then she may eventually give in.

And where does that leave me? If I do not come home soon, then I cannot come home at all or at least I should not. It would not be right for my family to believe for so long that I am dead, when really I am still alive, and being forced to stay here against my will. I figure if I do not get home soon, then I am better off not coming home at all.

Someone visits my cage about once a day to clean it. I almost missed the person the first time, because he showed up while I was still asleep. I have been watching for him ever since. He is not mean to me; in fact, he does a good job at leaving me alone so I will not bother him either. He enters and leaves the fence through some sort of an opening that only he can work. I tried pushing on it once or twice, but it never wants to open for me. However, today is different.

After the man leaves I push on the fence and to my surprise the door swings open. Cautiously, I step out. I have no idea what to expect. Will an alarm go off? Will there be humans waiting to kill me? Things are quiet at first, but it does not take long before effects worsen.

"Mommy that lion is free!"

"Oh my; how did that happen?"

People seem frightened. This is odd to me. If anyone should be afraid it should be me. They were not trapped in a fence for the last few days. I hate them right now for taking me, but I am not going to attack. I just want to get away and go home. I have had enough of this.

"Code Green: Everyone get to the nearest shelter immediately!"

Some people show up and jump in front of me with a gun. They begin shooting. I am really hurting, but I continue walking. I need to find home. When the pain worsens I try running, but it is no use, eventually I am lying down. The floor is covered in my blood. I wonder if this is my end or will I be rescued like the zebra?

My body hurts all over. I am cold and can barely even breathe. This must be my end. My eyes shut and I groan out in pain. The world is really unfair.

~ phantom130 5 (April 2013)