MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Which story is your favorite?

Poll ended at May 21st, 2012, 8:43 am

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9%
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1
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1
9%
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Total votes : 11

MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby DGFone » May 14th, 2012, 8:43 am

Yes, it's that time again: the time to vote on which story is the best! For the bast two weeks, a few of MLK's great members wrote out stories for you guys to enjoy, and now it is time to vote on which will get the honor of being the best for the sixth MLK Writing Contest! I am also glad to be abel to provide you guys with not three, but five stories for this contest! Due to the larger amount of submissions, I will place each one in a spoiler box for easier management. Voting ends on Sunday, May 20th!

Submission 1:
Spoiler: show
Sweet Eternity

Simba stood over Timon's and Pumbaa's cold, mauled bodies. Tears fled down his face as he lifted his head and roared at that heavens. How could you be dead? He thought nudging his friends, his mentors, his adopted family. When he was lost and lonely after his father died, they took him in and raised him. He looked at the young lion who killed his friends and stalked towards him, fury igniting his eyes. Simba was off hunting when the lion killed his friends. When Simba returned he saw the young lion crouched over his friends getting ready to eat. Lost in rage he attacked the lion knocking him unconscious, but he couldn’t finish him. Not until he got some answers to who he was and why he was here. I should have been here, I should have been here to protect you. He groaned as he thought of his failure. I won't fail you again. I'll avenge your deaths.
“Who are you?” the young lion growled scrambling to protect himself from the angry lion.
“I am Simba, and you have invaded MY lands and killed MY friends. Do you have any last words before you die cub?” Simba roared as he stalked closer to him.
“Wait - you’re Simba? But my father said that you died!” He said quizzically standing up in confusion. “How are you still alive?”
Simba stopped short wondering what he meant by his father saying that he was dead, “Who's your father, Cub? And why did you come here?”
Getting angry at being called “Cub,” he fluffed up his sparse mane and sputtered, “Will you stop calling me Cub - I have a name.”
With a malicious laugh Simba circled him, “Then what is your name, Cub?”
With a quiet groan he muttered, “Welpie.”
Simba grinned and started to laugh, “So, you’re Cub. Nice. Now who is your father? How do you know of me?”
“My father is Scar, the King of Pride Rock, my mother is Nala. My father sent me out to get experience in the real world and to gain more lands for my kingdom when I return and become king. My father ordered me to kill anyone who claims the land.”
Anger lighted in Simba’s eyes, “You’re Scar’s son? He sent you here to take this paradise as part of the pride lands?”
Backing away slightly and shaking, “Yes . . . ” he trailed off seeing the rage building up inside of Simba.
“You killed my friends!!! On Scar’s orders?” He asked calmly slowly circling Welpie.
“ Yes,” the young lion gulped. Nodding Simba loped off in the direction of Pride Rock leaving the cub behind. Scar has to pay! Simba kept thinking as he loped off towards his homeland.
As Simba ran off towards Pride Rock he lost himself in his memories of Timon and Pumbaa. He remembered the day Nala came to him, begging him to come back to Pride Rock as the rightful king, but Simba knew in his heart that he could never become king. Instead he stayed behind in Paradise living in Hakuna Matata with his two friends. Sure he missed Nala and female companionship, but his life was full. Now he was burning inside with rage at Scar. I should have returned with her. I should have killed Scar before he spread his tyranny farther. Realizing that he was close enough to Pride Rock he laid down to catch some sleep and preserve his strength before he faced Scar. He knew that it would be a fight to the death.

The next day he rose ready to face the challenge of killing his uncle. Are you ready Uncle? He thought quietly. Padding off towards the den of lions in the early morning light, he cleared his mind of any distractions. Reaching the rock, he wove his way through the lionesses. Reaching the top he roared, “Scar! Come out and pay for your crimes!”
Raising his head he saw a sight he never thought he would see again. “Mufasa?” he gasped rising drunkenly to his feet.
“No it’s Simba you fool.” He growled stalking towards him, “You killed my father and tried to kill me. You let hyenas run free in the pride lands. You sent your son to take territory from others. You ordered your son to kill the innocent. It is time for you to pay for your crimes.”
Laughing, Scar circled Simba. “And you think you have the guts to kill me? You couldn’t even stomach your father’s death.” With a roar Simba launches himself at Scar, claws unsheathed. Answering to the challenge, Scar met Simba in mid-air, swiping at him. Being inexperienced at battling other lions Scar was able to rake his claws along Simba’s side. Roaring in pain Simba through himself at Scar again, digging his claws into Scar’s shoulder pushing him backwards. Fueled by mindless hatred and rage for each other, they clashed against each other again and again, trying to get in a killing blow. Blood pooled around their feet from the multiple gashes both have sustained, making the ground slippery as they fought on. Weakening from the blood loss Simba knew that he had to end the fight soon, gathering his last reserves of strength he attacked Scar one last time. Pushing against each other Scar backed up a step, slipping on the blood he tumbled over the edge. Simba watched Scar’s body hit the ground as a wave of exhaustion overtook him. Stumbling he tried to get away from the edge but slipped on the blood and followed Scars descent onto the ground. Hitting the ground with a loud thud, Simba’s body was taken over by pain, he couldn’t think through it, couldn’t move. He submitted to the peaceful blackness that wanted to overcome him. The last thing he saw was Nala’s horrified face peering down from high above him.
“Simba! Simba!” he heard over the roar of the blackness moaning in pain he opened his eyes.
“Nala..” he groaned, it hurt to speak, but he had to ask. “Is Scar . . .?”
“Yes Simba, Scar is dead. You ended his reign of terror.” she said nuzzling him, a tear rolling down her cheek.
“Good,” Simba whispered before he succumbed to the blackness again. His eyes never opened again

“SIMBA!” Nala roared distraught over his death. Looking around at the other lionesses who now sat down in a circle around Simba, keening at the loss of their rightful king; she lied down beside him for a few moments overcome with grief before she forced herself to get up. She was the Queen of the pride lands now and had to stay strong for her young son and other lionesses. Looking back on her life she realized that she lived a long life filled with pain inflicted by Scar, being forced to become his queen when Simba refused to return with her to pride rock. Looking down at him she licked his cheek, “Be happy in sweet Eternity with your family, my dear Simba.” she whispered to her old friend before she walked away from him.


Submission 2:
Spoiler: show
Possession Obsession

Orange hues created a somber overcast along the skies. They were highlighted by a brilliant tone of purple which created a paradoxical image over the savanna. It was brilliant and contrasting. The land beneath the heavens highlighted an atmosphere that was starkly different to the one that had blossomed under the previous King’s rule. No longer did flowers blossom or cool waters flow from the riverbanks. Rich colors were replaced by a dank and deathly look, a likeness that was further engrossed by its inhabitants. Grassy lands and rich fertile soils that once permeated throughout the Pridelands were long gone. Herds had been depleted by overhunting and the water had dried up, leaving behind muddy banks and dried up skeletons. The days of blue skies and blue waters were all but a memory now, just like she was.

Icy blue waters, blue skies, blue eyes.

The King took a deep breath, privately savoring her memory. She had been gone for almost a fortnight. He wanted to believe that she gone in search of food for herself. A small part of him considered less savory options but he quelled them deep into his brain. He filed them away and buried them like a deep dark secret he did not ever wish to revisit. It was important that he maintain his dignity for there was already talk about him, the kind that certainly did not involve any kind of laud.
And he hated that.

On the surface, he retained a calm composure. Unlike his older brother, Scar was not one to be testy especially in public but lately that idea had been challenged severely. The hyenas were complaining about lack of food and the lionesses were bringing home more and more scraps and less and less large game for dinner. Resources were drying up and there was talk. Bad talk. He wanted to believe that it was just a small disgruntled few but with Nala gone missing, Scar tensed up inside. He managed to keep his paw firm on the pride until now. Perhaps it was just seasons or the weather was acting up. Yet, he could not completely shake this idea.

Actually, it was less an idea and more of a feeling. Ideas come and go. They are created, hatched and then forgotten if they did not produce anything. Feelings were chronic and Scar was not sure if he wanted to acknowledge this mood that had been dwelling inside. It was squirming and writhing like a maggot on a piece of rancid flesh.

He knew that as King, he would be promised anything that his pompous big brother had would be passed down to him. Now he saw the exact opposite. Buzzards swarming overhead became a common site. Hyenas which looked like ants at some angles outnumbered rich sources of food. It was a dustbowl. It looked like he had inherited a moldy rock instead of paradise. He walked to a ledge and crouched down, observing his kingdom which was now decaying and looked as inviting as a carcass that had been under the sun for three days.

“Still trying to control me, aren’t you? Still trying to punish me? I am only taking back what is rightfully mine.” He said sardonically.

Earlier, he had been rebuffed by Nala. It was a private humiliation but it might as well have been announced publicly. As far as he was concerned, she was to be nurtured and groomed for him and him only. That was one reason why he let her live. He could have had her be thrown to the hyenas. Surely, Sarafina owed him that much but even she could not do that. Now, she was gone. This could either go one of two ways. One, she could get killed which was better for him as there was one less mouth to feed. Second, and this one he really hated thinking about, she left of her own accord and with her own agenda. Whatever it was, Scar did not even want the idea to germinate.

Scar’s mind was a mess. This had been occurring on a more frequent basis. In public, he acted as if nothing had happened. The last thing he wanted was to look like he did not have control on what was happening on the outside. He wanted to believe he did and by doing that he would control what he had on the inside and yet every time he saw his reflection, they might as well have been the same. He had become more arrogant, tenser and the hyenas were becoming demanding. The lionesses were becoming lazy. The dominoes were falling out of place. What he had constructed and desired was something he had hated. What he had dreamt of became his worst nightmare.

It wasn’t his fault. It was theirs.

It was HIS fault.

“My Lord,” a low female voice spoke up. Scar looked back at the source of the sound.

“Hello Zira,” Scar said in a bored tone. It was a complete one hundred and eighty degrees to what he was feeling on seconds ago. He changed his face like a mask.

“Something troubling you, My Lord?” Zira said in the gentlest tone she could muster. Her voice was raspy, not soft. She was lanky and lacked soft curves which he found desirable. She was not much in beauty but whatever she lacked in that department she more than made up for in other ways. She had a genuine interest in his welfare and was interested in what he had to say. While it was no contest that she was one of his biggest admirers, it would be wrong to call the attraction mutual. Still, he tolerated her presence. At least someone else other than those three idiots appreciated him, someone who spoke his language and had above average intelligence. But to be fair, she had the same lust for power as he did. At least that quality was admirable.

“Aside from the fact that I cannot control the rains then I am afraid not,” Scar said in a bored tone. He ignored her as she walked up to him.

“Oh, they will come my Lord. Then, you will be blessed with bountiful lands, surely something to bring the herds back.” Zira said in an enthusiastic tone. She spoke to him in a manner that she felt he would find pleasing and so far it seemed to work. He did not ignore or rebuff her. He took into consideration an idea for an heir since Sarabi was often away on hunts and as far as he knew, she still had feelings for her husband. Scar may be a lot of things but he was still a gentleman.

Scar snorted. Zira wanted to believe that it was a wasp that tickled the King’s nose. They can be such nasty brutes.

“The sky has certainly taken on a tone, don’t you think?” Scar asked offhandedly.
“Oh, yes it has, my King. It has.” She smiled a toothy smile. “It’s as if the sky has absorbed your majestic darkness,” she said as she nuzzled his mane and standing over him Scar turned around and rolled his eyes. Zira had her ‘good’ qualities. Good meaning useful and something that he could employ to his benefit. She was loyal, concerned about his being and kept him company but if he were to be realistic about it, she was obsessed at best. Even he knew that her over the top ‘concern’ for him was nothing more than a ruse for her to be on his good side. If he wanted her as a Queen he would have done it a long time ago.

“My Lord, if I can distract you from whatever it is that is troubling you….” Zira cooed softly and lay down next to him. Scar turned to face her. Zira’s heart raced. She caught another glimpse of those eyes which were the color of the fumes from the smoky pits. . She had hoped that he would return the favor and at least acknowledge her. Whenever he gave small glimpses, it excited her for those little moments were heaven sent. After all, King Scar was not easy to please. That was the way she rationalized it. As King he had important matters to think about. He was more strategic and analytical. It made sense that he would not be interested in a mate just yet. Still, a King’s tree would die if it was nurtured and she had hoped that Scar would give her that opportunity and she felt she was the best candidate.

“Tell me, darling. What’s on your mind?” Scar said softly. Darling. He used a term of endearment and Zira savored it the same way a monkey would take delight in a ripe fruit. Scar meanwhile reeled her in. He only did it to humor her, to tickle her. He did it to control her.

“Well, well,” she began sheepishly. Scar took some delight in seeing this lanky lioness stumble in front of him. “My Lord, I-I just noticed that you are a little….distracted is all.” She said what she could to put it mildly.

“Yes,” Scar said in a bored manner. Just get on with it.

“Well, if it’s any help. I was just recalling the time when things were different, when we were all cubs. I was thinking about how you managed to tackle Mufasa.” Zira purred.

Scar smiled. Score. Zira grimaced. She was referring to the time that Scar, then known as Taka, was able to finally beat his brother in a wrestling game. In those days, no one could beat the Future King/Golden Prince but that one day a few summers back, Scar finally used the element of surprise to his advantage. To FINALLY beat his brother and surprise him was a rare occurrence. Scar had forgotten about the incident for his little victory was buried underneath other less than pleasant memories where Mufasa’s gifts outweighed Scar’s contributions.

“I remember that day. We were doing hunting practice and the rules enforced allowed for no deviations.” Scar smiled proudly. Zira savored the moment. She had gotten to Scar’s ‘happy place’. “What of it, Zira?”

“Well, I was just thinking that if you could outsmart your brother, even rarely, then surely you can beat this.” Zira offered. Scar considered her words for although she was a few stripes short of a zebra, she had a point. Even a broken clock was right twice a day. This was just a stepping stone. This was the mess before the feast.
“You certainly have a case.” Scar observed, placing a claw underneath his chin in a pondering manner. The thin tawny lioness grinned. In past seasons, drought had affected the Pridelands. Rich lakes were reduced to muddy puddles. The rains would return with a vengeance and everything would be fruitful once again.

“Also, my Lord, Sarabi failed to get her hunting party ready.” Zira piped up. Truth be told, she only said that for she was not too fond of the Fallen Queen who was still popular with her group. There was a small schism between the lionesses and she wanted that culled.

“You don’t say,” the thin lion perked up.

“Tis true, my King. It’s because of her, the hyenas are getting restless.” Zira beamed with an opportunistic look on her face.

“Well, I suppose we cannot have that. Naughty girls must be punished.” Scar rose up and proceeded to walk towards Pride Rock. Zira smiled at herself for a job well done. As she returned back to the grotto were her ‘sisters’ were gathered, she was met with hard looks.

“Disgusting,” one of them observed. Zira acknowledged the lioness with a side glance.

“You know he is only using you, Zira.” Sarafina hissed.
“Oh pshaw! Scar knows that he needs someone and I am doing the job none of you want. You are all pathetic!” She growled. The lionesses retorted with deep scowls.

“Stop putting ideas into his head, Zira.” Queen Sarabi ordered.

“SARABI!” An angry voice roared out and echoed. He lionesses ears flattened, worried for their Queen. Sarabi took it with stride even though she might as well have been walking to her own execution. To the lionesses, Scar’s angry voice was more menacing than the hyena’s laugh. To Zira, it was music to her ears.


Submission 3:
Spoiler: show
MLK Writing Contest 6

Going back thousands of generations, the kingdom of the Pridelands stood as a symbol of peace. At the heart of the Pridelands lies Pride Rock: the king’s throne. An enormous rock of legend, greater in elegance and beauty than even life itself.

But it is a dangerous time the Pridelanders. Civil war is brewing; tensions are high. Though the battle between Simba and his uncle Scar ended with the latter’s death more than three years ago, his followers have ignited the fires of rebellion, causing unrest throughout the land. Conflict is everywhere. A full scale war is imminent.
During this time of crisis, as heir to the throne, Kopa spent countless hours assisting his father,
Simba, to the best of his abilities. Now large and strong enough to fend for himself, his role in the pride has become crucial to the pride's survival. Together, the two lions share a strong bond, protecting their land as father and son.

---


Zira stood atop a hill, watching over her future kingdom as the crimson sun emerged from behind the savannah. The moist forenoon air gracefully flowed around her tawny fur. Behind her stood an army of twenty or so lionesses, equally muscular and hardy in appearance.

Not a word was spoken as the Outsiders marched to Pride Rock. They knew what was about to happen, what they were about to do. Some may have had doubts, and private, traitorous thoughts, but they remained silent.
For them, there was only one choice. They must fight. For victory, for honor, for Scar!

A thunderous roar echoed through the savannah. With the element of surprise on their side, the traitors had a distinct advantage.

Kopa glanced up at Simba, who watched the skirmish from the safety of Pride Rock. "Do you see that?" He asked. "They have us outnumbered. What are we going to do?"

Simba did not comment immediately. "I've found their leader. Come with me," he ordered, as he leaped down from his throne, and into the fray with his son behind him.

Skirmishes continued around the two lions. Kopa paused as his eyes met Zira. Instinctively, he ran directly towards the preoccupied lioness, teeth and claws extended.

The lion felt a sharp pain from behind, forcing him to the ground. The world seemed to fade into darkness before he could retaliate.

---


Kopa opened his eyes. The dust began to settle. As his vision returned, he discovered two lionesses holding him down. In the distance were three other lionesses, with his grandmother, Sarabi, also helplessly pinned to the ground.

Time seemed to come to a dead stop as he watched Sarabi's execution. Never before had he felt so weak. At last he realized this was the end.

Suddenly, the two lionesses ceased holding him down. They turned their attention to Nala, who disposed of them in no more than ten seconds - flat or otherwise.
After finishing off Zira's minions, Nala nuzzled her son before running off to continue fighting.

Slowly, Kopa raised himself on his paws. Though he was weak, he would fight to the death. Watching his mother fight outnumbered six to one and come out on top was nothing short of an inspiration.

Finally, Nala had caught Zira's attention. The two lunged forward at each other and traded heavy blows before Zira pinned Nala to the ground.
With a spark of courage, Kopa pounced on Zira, allowing his mother to replenish her strength.

Zira coughed, gasping for air as Kopa held a claw to her throat. "I am going to end this, once and for all!" he yelled with a deep anger.

He hesitated for a moment, losing his grip as he contemplated the situation. "I will let you live, under one conditi-"

With her remaining energy, Zira rolled over and kicked Kopa across the neck. She then discreetly hauled herself away from the Pridelands at full speed, tail between her legs.

Kopa did not pursue the lioness. He had fought gallantly; his ancestors would be proud. After a long day of chaos, it was time to rest.

---


The rush of adrenaline faded away, leaving pain in its wake. Although the heroic efforts of the Pridelanders had won them the day, both factions were occupied licking their wounds. Many lionesses died in the battle, and many more suffered from severe injuries.

Those who remained of Simba's pride stood before a combusting pile of logs and twigs. Lying above the mound were the bodies of those who lost their life in the defense of Pride Rock. The blazing cinders blended in with the evening stars.
"Well, we did it," Simba whispered, no emotion in his voice. "We've won."

Rafiki, who had been tending to Kopa's wounds, objected to the king's statement. "Oh, no. This is the beginning of a new era. An era of war and bloodshed. We failed."

Kiara, still a young cub, confused by the complex world around her, turned to Rafiki. "What do you mean... is he going to be alright?"

"He's lucky to be alive. It will take at least several months to recover, but I think he'll be fine," the wise baboon responded. "He's a young lion. He'll heal eventually, and be stronger than ever."

Despite his pain, Kopa grinned slightly in response. Maybe someday he would return to full strength and claim his place as king of the Pridelands. But, as Kiara would later prove, both he and his father still have much to learn. Perhaps that destiny should not be his.


Submission 4:
Spoiler: show
Gone

Oh where is that banana beak? I finally need him, and he is nowhere to be found! The sun was already setting, and Simba had yet to return. Nala groaned and pawed the rock beneath to her, trying to fight her the boredom. Especially this late in the day, it was winning.

-------

For most of the day, except for a brief exchange of words in the morning, Nala had not seen Simba anywhere. In fact, the only time he spoke to her today was when he came bouncing to her, excited to tell her how his uncle Scar was taking him on a great adventure. Right away, she asked if she could also come, figuring that if Scar was with them, they won't get into trouble again, unlike the mess with the graveyard. But when she mentioned this, Simba's face fell and he told her that no, she can't come. Scar explicitly said that it was or him and him only. “But I can tell you all about it afterwards!” he then added, regaining his excitement. “I won't leave anything out! I promise!”

Her friend was about to say something else when Scar's voice rose up, calling for Simba to hurry up. Sensing his uncle's impatience, Simba quickly ran off, shouting his goodbyes behind his shoulder as he disappeared behind Pride Rock, leaving Nala behind.

At first, she had plenty of things to do by herself, and she was able to keep herself entertained without Simba's help. But as the day slowly rolled by, the number of things Nala wanted to do alone became smaller, while the number of things she wanted to do with him increased. By now, she was starting to wonder what Simba meant when he said that he would see her soon. Next time she will see him, a good pin was in order, followed by a stern talk about the exact definition of 'soon'.

So for most of the day, Nala spent her time alone, but eventually, the loneliness was enough. With nothing better to do, she went over to the sun tanning rocks where the pride liked to hang out and lay down for a quick nap beside her mother. As she closed her eyes, Nala grinned at Sarafina's remark that without Simba around, it was much easier to watch over her.

Nala woke up to the feeling of Sarafina giving her a bath, and Nala lay in her mother's forelegs, content for now. But eventually, that too ended, and Nala was right back with the problem that brought her here in the first place: she was bored out of her mind. She wiggled free from her mother and began to walk away. “I'm going to look for Simba. He should he here soon.” she explained. Not really. He should have already been here several times already.

“Alright. Just don't leave Pride Rock, it's getting late!” He mother called after her.

Nala sighed. “Alright mom, I won't go anywhere.” Her head sank as she realized that she won't be able to look for Simba well, restricted just to Pride Rock. After a quick search, her annoyance was confirmed when she wasn't able to find him anywhere.

She was about to give up and go back to the tanning rocks when she got an idea. Sure, she can't go anywhere, but Zazu can. She quickly ran for the dens, knowing that they were where Zazu liked to spend his time when he wasn't doing something for Mufasa, another assignment, or watching over Simba and her.

“Hey, Zazu! Zazu!” She called, running into the main den, only to stop when she didn't see him, and the bird didn't answer her. “Zazu?” She hesitated. “Look, if you're in here, I need you!” Still without any sign of the bird, Nala groaned and stormed back out. “Simba, where are you?” She screamed, only to hear her voice fade into the distance. Her head and ears fell when she felt ashamed at her outburst, but luckily for her, no one was close enough to hear her. Not knowing what else to do, she turned and slowly walked back to Sarafina.

Oh, where is that banana beak?..

Suddenly, Nala looked up, swearing that she was hearing Zazu overhead, muttering something incoherent. Sure enough, what normally she regarded as a major annoyance was overhead, flying towards the tanning rocks. “Zazu! Have you seen Simba?” Nala called up.

Zazu somersaulted in the air, surprised by her question. “N- Not now, young Nala!” He replied, his voice crackling “Something urgent has come up!” He flew off, leaving Nala to run after him.

By the time she caught up to the bird, Zazu was already surrounded by a bunch of lionesses. Nala slowed down, frowning when she saw that something was wrong. She moved over to her mother's arms, noticing how Sarafina dragged her close. “Mom? What's wrong?” Nala asked. “Why are everyone like this?”

Sarafina looked down at her daughter. “There was an accident today...” she whispered, somewhat uncertainly, “We are still trying to figure out what happened... Zazu is just telling us.”

Nala looked over at Zazu, who was finished explaining what he saw to Sarabi. “...and so I've looked everywhere, but I can't find him. I'm so sorry... He's just... gone.”

Nala frowned. “Zazu? Who's gone?”

Zazu turned around quickly, seemingly unaware that Nala was there. “Nala,” she now was able to see that the bird's eyes were covered in tears , and her heart sank. What happened? “There was... a stampede... and I'm sorry, but I don't know how else to say it, but... It's Simba. He's gone.”

-----

Gone. Nala buried her head under hew paws yet again, trying to fight back the pain she felt in her chest. The past few days felt like an endless blur, where all she did was cry over the loss of her best friend. She still couldn't believe that he was dead. Sure, Simba's body was never found, only Mufasa's, but everyone still knew. He was gone. Nala wiped her eyes with a paw, but it didn't do much as a fresh set of tears covered them once more.

“Nala, you have to let him go...” Nala didn't look up at her mother. For the past few days, everyone tried to get over the deaths of Simba and Mufasa. It didn't surprise anyone that Nala and Sarabi were taking it very hard, but while even Sarabi was beginning to get some of her life back, Nala stubbornly refused to do anything anymore. Sarafina sighed and placed some meat down next to her daughter. “Here, at least eat. You have to.”

Nala didn't move, not feeling hungry. Normally, she would be starving by now, due to not eating for a few days straight, but she simply couldn't bring herself to swallow anything. Sarafina pushed the meat right up to Nala's nose, and Nala finally took a bite, knowing that Sarafina would not let her walk away this time. The meat tasted bland, and Nala only took a few bites before stopping.

Sarafina sighed. “Come on, now, Nala,” she said softly, giving her daughter some licks, “I know that it's hard, but you have to move on... It's the only thing that can help you.”

“But I don't want to forget him!” Nala shouted, surprising even herself at her outburst. “I don't want to forget Simba! He- He was my friend, and if it wasn't for- for those beasts, he would still be here!” She collapsed against her mother's body, crying uncontrollably again as Sarafina tried to calm her down.

Sarafina looked sadly at her daughter, trying to somehow ease the pain. “Nala, let me tell you a story,” she said, hoping that it would work.

Nala looked up at her mother. “What kind?”

Sarafina motioned at the meat again. After a few heartbeats, Nala nodded slowly and started slowly eating again. Sarafina smiled at started her story. “It's about your father,” Nala looked up quickly, eager to learn more about him. Sarafina motioned at the meat again, only resuming her story when Nala started eating again. “His name was we Mwezi. We loved each other very much, and were destined to live together for as long as possible, but sadly that did not happen.” Sarafina shook her head sadly. “We belonged to two different prides, which hated each other. Our love was... supposed to bring them closer together in peace, but that did not happen. We were forced to flee from both our homes, chased by both of the prides... I still don't know what caused the two prides to turn on us. We hoped that they would see the wisdom in not fighting each other anymore...” Sarafina snorted a little in amusement. “Well, it worked. They stopped fighting each other, and instead turned on the two of us. Mwezi and I fled, but the two prides, working together, were two much for the two of us. In order to evade them, we had to split up...” Sarafina stopped, now feeling her own tears start to fall. “It was the last time I've seen him. It was also when we named you. You weren't born yet, but Mwezi asked, that should you be a girl, that you be called Nala. Alone, I ran away until I came here, and...” She looked around, hoping that Sarabi wasn't around, “Ahadi, Mufasa's and Scar's father, he was the king then, he took me in. And I've been here ever since.”

Nala waited for Sarafina to finish her story, but this seemed to be the end. “But how does this have to do with Simba?” she asked quietly.

Sarafina looked down at Nala, smiling slightly. “For a while after I left Mwezi, I was a lot like you. I missed him dearly, and at times... I thought that it might be better to just let myself die...”

Nala looked at the ground, ashamed. “I do too,” she whispered, and allowed Sarafina to hug her tightly. “I don't want to live without Simba...”

“And then I realized, that I was thinking wrong,” Sarafina said, “I was missing Mwezi. But over time, I realized that, instead of wishing for something that would never happen, for Mwezi to return to me, I slowly realized that it was much better to remember the memories I had with him fondly, and not to lament that he wasn't with me any more.”

Nala looked up at her mother again. By now, she finished eating again, and Sarafina didn't pressure her to continue. “But you still miss him mom, do you?” She asked, “how come it doesn't hurt for you?”

Sarafina brought Nala even closer to her. “Yes, I do miss him still,” she said, “all the time. But it doesn't hurt anymore.” She licked her daughter over the head. “Simba is your friend, right?”

Nala nodded, sniffing a little. “Yes,” she croaked.

“What would he want you to do now?” Sarafina asked. “What would he say if he saw you?”

Nala sniffed again. It almost hurt to much to think about it. But she still did as she was told. She imagined Simba appearing behind a rock, and spotting her, crying against her mother's leg. “Come on, now, Nala!” She imagined him telling her, pointing and laughing. “what's this crying nonsense? Come on! Let's go do something fun!” Nala slowly looked up at her mother, starting to realize what Sarafina was telling her.

“He won't want me to be like this,” she finally said, forcing a smile. Somehow, it came easier to her when she though of Simba sitting there next to her, instead of lying dead somewhere in the gorge. “he would want me... to be happy.”

Sarafina smiled down at her daughter. “That's my girl,” she whispered.

Nala looked up into the sky. She remembered Simba telling her how the great kings of the past lived up in the stars. “Mom?” she asked, “can we go pouncing?” She got up to her feet, for the first time in a long time wanting to do something. “When the stars will come out... I want to tell Simba what it will be like.”

Sarafina smiled even more and nodded. “Let's go,” she agreed, “and let's take Sarabi with us.” It would be a good idea for Simba's mother to be with them now. Simba might be gone, but Nala is still around, and she is a big part of Sarabi's son as he himself ever was.


Submission 5:
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One & Only

It is a rainy day when I first notice him. A disgusting day, really. The Pride Lands to which I have just relocated have been under such a wet spell for days, nearly all its contents caked in dark brown mud. The other lionesses I accompanied in the move and those who already reside here say it is unlike the place to become much like the wetlands of which I have heard down south, but that the resident shaman has indicated that the rainfall could become either an omen of rich and abundant lands to come, or of something far more sinister.

On that rainy day, I am walking to what they call Pride Rock from an overflowing water hole, having taken what would prove to be the only drink I would need all day. My fur is matted and speckled with dirt. I can only squint to see the path in front of me through an ever-intensifying downpour.

He is ahead of me, lounging on a boulder that is covered by an outcropping of rock, providing him shelter from the rain. I cannot make out much of him at first, but I am intrigued. I do not know why, but this lion, this male, has captured my attention.

Before I can approach him further, he arises with a stretch, and departs into the inner reaches of Pride Rock. But I am able to steal a glance at him before he is gone. He is by no means large, a far cry from the Mufasa fellow I met my first day here. His black mane seems matted in places. He is slender, though built well. He walks with a slow gait, as though the seasons have not been kind to his body.

But most of all, before he is gone, I notice the scar across his left eye. I do not know where it has come from, and why such pain found his face to begin with.

I want to know more of the lion with the scar.

---

The lion’s name is Scar. How fitting.

He tells me one evening that his given name is Taka, but changed it at a younger age to better suit his form.

He does not tell me much, but he told me this. I am, in a word, flattered.

---

I have come to a conclusion: I am in love with the lion with the scar.

It is funny how this came to be, but I felt something for him the moment we first met. He is unlike the other lions in the pride. He is quiet, and he keeps to himself often. This suits me.

Most days he is all I want to see. I have friends among the lionesses with whom I traveled here, sure, but he holds my attention most prominently. I am not always with him – in fact, we rarely speak – but sometimes I cannot help but watch him from afar. I wonder if he thinks of me like I think of him. Does he? Could he really? He told me his true name. Occasionally he has given me an extra share of a kill when he is not hungry enough for it.

I admire his courage. It must be difficult growing up in the shadow of one’s older sibling. He is next in line to be king, he says, but he does not seem to believe it could ever happen. He seems resigned to living out his days underneath that outcropping of rock, lying idly by while matters are attended to in the kingdom.

If I were him, I would have already run away. Therefore, I admire his ability to stay. He is truly a better lion than I. Perhaps one day he will come to know how I feel.

---

Scar has been the new king of Pride Rock for two cycles of the moon. And I could not be more filled with glee.

The king’s death was sad, but who needs him? By my account, Mufasa had grown too accustomed to playing with his young son than doing what is truly necessary for the Pride Lands. Good riddance to both of them.

Times are tough. Food is becoming scarce, and it has not rained in quite a while. Oh, what I would give for the rains that befell my arrival.

But the thought of that rain only strengthens me. It reminds me of the shaman’s words, that the rain could bring good tidings.

That it has. The lion with the scar is now king.

I am also strengthened at the thought of Scar. You see, he has taken a liking to me lately.

I know! Can you believe it? I barely can. Me, Zira, myself a discarded piece of garbage – or so this is how I felt for most of my life – can be looked at kindly by the king of a pride.

I have even spent a few nights in his quarters – alone.

…and yet I am not content.

Though I love Scar and want more than anything for us to be together, I cannot admit to being completely happy. It is not that I am not with him every night, though I am hopeful that the day will come where I can claim that as being the state of my life.

It is the other lionesses.

Scar does not have a taste for just one lioness. In fact, he has his eye on quite a few of us. Some more than others, or so I have noticed. And that is absolutely his prerogative. He is the king, and the king is allowed to make whatever decisions he chooses.

But I cannot help but feel a growing jealousy toward the other lionesses.

Why can I not have him to myself? Why can Scar not see that I, above all others, would be the best for him?

I suppose all I can do is continue as I have. Perhaps only time can change his feelings toward me. And then, truly, can I be satisfied.

---

What a glorious day!

Today I am visited by the shaman Rafiki for a check of one’s health. I have been feeling sickly over the past few days, and the other lionesses and I have begun to become worried. There are many good things it could be, but it could also mean a variety of illnesses which threaten my life.

The best, however, has occurred. Rafiki has informed me of my pregnancy – with Scar’s child!

The king has awaited this day since not long after he came to power. He has searched for immortality in the form of a young cub, so that his reign can continue long after his death, whenever that should happen. And now, he has received his greatest wish, in the form of none other but me.

The shaman claims it will be a male, which provides the king with a male heir. My excitement is unparalleled as I run to his innermost chamber, to provide him with the news. Scar has been unable to receive a cub before me. It must mean our fates have truly aligned, as though the Great Kings themselves have taken notice of us and given our fate.

He is grinning. The news has already reached him via another lioness. I do not care. The look he gives me, the look of adulation, is all I will ever need.

“Zira,” he says, tentatively wrapping a foreleg around me and pulling me close. “Zira. You have done well.”

I beam up at the lion with the scar.

“Only the best for you, my king,” I say.

---

Scar is not happy. Nor am I.

Nuka, the son I bore, is not the cub we expected. He is not the cub any of the entire pride expected, at that. He may bear a resemblance to his father, particularly their jet black manes and tufts of hair, but he is clumsy, dull-witted and very much an oddball.

My son seeks only to please me, and I should admit that he does. He is, after all, my son, and he cannot change that who he is.

But I must maintain the outward appearance that I am at least frustrated with Nuka – which, often, I am. Sometimes I must even appear disgusted with him, as though his very presence on the face of this earth is the most excruciatingly troubling circumstance to ever befall my mundane life.

A few of the lionesses treat him as such. After all, they believed him to be the heir to the throne – which, technically, he is. But they do not want Nuka to gain power. They are not confident in his abilities and believe he will be the worst thing to happen to us.

Scar does not even acknowledge him anymore. The king was at least modestly involved in his life at first, but once it became clear to him that Nuka was not the son for which he had hoped, his visits became less and less frequent, before ceasing entirely.

I am upset. I am ashamed. Often, I am unsure what to do.

The lion I love has angered me so. He does not see the potential Nuka harbors, nor does he understand that with a little training, he could be more than adequate.

Plus, he has said he cares for me deeply. I do not see how this can necessarily be the case when he continues to see these other lionesses, especially more frequently now that he believes my son to be a lost cause. He had all but accepted me as his mate, his queen. But now, it is as though he is punishing me for bearing him a so-called unworthy child, even when he is half-responsible.

But it does not matter. I know I will win back his affections. Our fates are entwined now. This is how it must be.

---

I am with child again, but it is not by the king of Pride Rock.

A short time ago, a group of rogues who hope to start their own pride were travelling through our boundaries. We provided them with shelter for the evening, and what little food we could muster.

Two males were a part of this group. One, a brown-furred adult with a dark mane, took a liking to me, and it was then that I saw my opportunity.

I was with that lion that night, and now I bear a child of his. I wonder if he will ever know.

I am pleased beyond words. This, I think, is my way of getting back at the lion with the scar. Perhaps he will see my allure to other lions and become jealous. Perhaps he will see the error in his ways and will take me back – for good, this time.

---


Vitani and Kovu.

Those are the names of the cubs – yes, cubs – that I have borne into this world.

Not even Rafiki foresaw that two would be born. Imagine my thrill at receiving not only another son, but my very own daughter as well. It is absolutely amazing how much she looks like me.

Ah, speaking of similarities in appearance. The other one.

Kovu, my new son, is a miracle. When I first lay eyes on him, it is like glancing at Nuka again for the first time, only there is something more. The dark mane,the determined eyes…

My youngest son is more like Scar than Nuka was, even though Nuka was the king’s true son.

The king is summoned at once. I have spoken very rarely to him in previous moons, as my pregnancy had apparently labeled me as an undesirable in his eyes – more so, I suppose, than I had already been.

Again, I am able to experience that look on Scar’s face, one of conniving triumph. He glares at my son, scrutinizing his every feature as though the cub might disappear from his sight at a moment’s notice, never to return again.

I tell him the cub’s name is Kovu.

To the lionesses that stand nearby, he speaks in an exultant voice laced with glee. “This cub,” he growls happily, “I hereby hand-pick to become my new heir. Once I die, Kovu shall reign over the Pride Lands!”

I believe I nearly fainted with joy, and I am brought to my senses again by a paw lightly touching the top of my head. I look up to find Scar there, glancing down at me, eyes shining.

“I have underestimated you, Zira,” he says to me. “He is not mine, but already he shows the markings of a great king. Come, let us retire to my private chamber, just you and I, where we may discuss our future…”

I cannot help but form a tiny smile at the corners of my muzzle, but I keep my composure enough to nod to my king. “Of course,” I say. “Whatever you require, Scar. Only the best for my king.”

And in that moment, I feel I have won over the lion with the scar. I am to him what he has been to me since that fateful day, when I saw his figure through the pouring rain.

My one and only.



We finally have more that three submissions! Most of these are fairly long, but please, take your time reading them! Yes, this is a contest, but it is here for your enjoyment, so do have fun while you read these. I have formatted these entries as well as I could to match the original source that I got, but if you still find any errors, I can edit them to look nicer. Author of story three: I think the format I got got wonky, so if you are not satisfied by how it looks like now, if you can please PM me a properly formatted version, I will replace them. But please don't use this opportunity to edit your story, this is just formatting.

Usual rules apply: Don't vote for yourself. But most importantly: Have fun!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby YFWE » May 14th, 2012, 9:16 pm

Woo! I voted for this. I won't say for which story, but I will say that it was a very easy choice, in my mind.

Much luck to all!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby TheBlackCatCrossing » May 15th, 2012, 1:00 am

Good luck, everyone!!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby wolfishgirl » May 15th, 2012, 3:00 pm

really good job people, I enjoyed reading your stories, and I know that I have some serious competition! who ever wins truly deserves it.
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby DGFone » May 15th, 2012, 4:31 pm

All of these stories are really good. I am glad that the contest allowed these storied to be written and for everyone to enjoy them. :)
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby Khanu » May 15th, 2012, 9:53 pm

Really hard to choose between them, all good!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby TheBlackCatCrossing » May 15th, 2012, 11:12 pm

Yikes, some very talented people here! I just saw something and I thought 'DAMN! Why didnt I think of that?'
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby Flip_FTW » May 16th, 2012, 10:46 pm

Stellar work all around! I did make a decision though, because once I was done reading them there was definitely one that stood out for me.
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby Julie Skywalker » May 17th, 2012, 6:39 am

They were all good, so it was a little tough to choose, but one of them got more of an emotional response from me than the others.
I'll be looking forward to the next contest, I'd like to compete with such excellent writers!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #6! [Voting]

Postby Azdgari » May 17th, 2012, 1:54 pm

Wow, high powered entries here. I need more time. I'm pretty impressed.
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