"So it is with a heavy heart that I assume the throne. Yet, out of the ashes of this tragedy, we shall rise to greet the dawning of a new era... in which lion and hyena come together, in a great and glorious future!"
To this day, those words still echoed through Nala's ears like lightning in the stormy skies. When Nala was a cub, she didn't understand what was going on entirely until her mother told her; Simba and king Mufasa were killed in an accident involving a stampede and due to the bloodlines, Scar was to take on responsibility since Simba was dead. It didn't sit right with her, even back then when her mind was numbed to all the happenings of that day. She had lost her best friend (and my future husband), and her leader. Both so close to Nala, and it scared the very tail off of her to think that one day her own mother could be ripped away from her as well.
The morning resembled the night; dark, but with the added dreariness that night time lacked for the better. Nala's bright fur stood out from the ash colored lands she had lived in since she was younger, and even though she had gotten plenty of time to get used to everything dying, she remained strong and remembered the lands before. She was the first to emerge from the den, meaning she would have some nice time to herself before the king and his 'loyal' subjects would follow her in awareness.
Quietly, Nala pawed through the dead grasses and cracked dirt to the little water they had left near Pride Rock. Nala knew that she couldn't travel far, or Scar would find out and possibly punish her for her wrong doings. She remembered the time when he called all the lionesses together and told them where they could and couldn't go, what they could and couldn't do, and who they could and couldn't be with. It was easy to tell this confident-in-himself king was a not-so-confident-in-his-subjects king as well. Other lionesses had already been shown what the might of the new king could do to them if they stepped out of line, but Nala knew she was only biding her time until she was completely sure she could find an out for her family and friends. It's all the hyenas, she told herself.
"Nala?" A soft, cracked voice broke her train of thought as the lioness looked over her shoulder. It was Sarafina. Though Sarafina wasn't too old, her bones were pushing harshly against her pelt as a sign that she hadn't eaten much lately whilst her lids were drooped. Nala knew her mother hadn't slept well in the past few months as the starvation and paranoia was starting to get to her fragile being.
"Mom," Nala rushed over to the lioness and nuzzled her cheek, "are you alright?" She knew it wouldn't be much use asking such an obvious answered question, but the powerless lioness had really no other choice. She cared for her mother deeply, and with the lack of ability to do anything for Sarafina in her state, Nala truly didn't know how she was going to get most of the lionesses out of this situation alive.
Sarafina nudged Nala's head away softly with a broken, but sincere smile. "Of course, my dear. I'm just tired". They all were; it was clear as day in the others' faces, though the king nor his mutts would care as long as they got their food.
"I can try and catch you something, but I--"
"No, save your strength. You don't know when you'll need it." Sarafina's paranoia wasn't toxic to Nala, but Nala could feel herself winding down to the young resilliance that everything was going to be okay.
As Nala turned her head to sigh in defeat, she noticed a body. Definite that it wasn't someone from the pride; no lioness in Pride Rock was such a tanned peach with an ebony tail tip. Curiosity suited for her, Nala's ears perked like her senses and she started forward to check it out. Possibly an intruder taking food they all needed, or someone who could help them-- Nala had to be sure.
Quickly, her hunting cat mode was snatched away from her as her tail was to her mother's mouth. "Nala!"
"What? Mom, you saw it too! I have to check it out!" The lioness started again, but she was pulled back again.
"I don't need to be down one more important lion of this pride--"
"Mom," Nala was hesitant to face her mother completely as she wanted to keep herself placed in the direction of this new, mystery feline so she could make a speedy chase to him when she convinced Sarafina to allow her off, "it's the pride that's making me go and see who it is. If this feline could help us, then... who knows? Maybe things can change."
Sarafina's bright, yet tired, eyes made it obvious that she had a glimmer of faith in this new adventure her daughter was seeking, but it was hard to let her daughter go. Like having the deaths of two lions before her wasn't enough. But Nala was an adult now... "But Scar--"
"Will never find out. Trust me, I'll be back in no time."
Sarafina sighed and, with what seemed like more effort than should have been needed, stepped back as a signal for Nala to bound off. And that's just what Nala did, no obstacles of nature nor any hyenas or lions to keep her off track. Just a set target and the strength her legs could muster up to carry her to what could be her savior.
Rina Bly Pauwau Malenga
"Everyone has a laughing place. Problem is most folks won't take the time to look for it." --Disney.