Today’s “fragment” is another entry for Jay Dee Archer’s ongoing “What Will You Write?” series of writing challenges. I have to admit that I almost skipped this one because I’ve been really busy lately and I didn’t think I could spare the time required to actually put thought into writing something (me brain tired), but in the end I was reluctant to miss the challenge. For one thing, I’ve already participated in the first two and I kinda want to keep going because I like accomplishing these kinds of challenges, and for another thing I realized that it would probably take me just as much time to hunt down something else to post for today. So, here we are.
As always, the beginning of the story (in bold) is Jay’s prompt, and what follows is my entry to the challenge. As a fun side note, since I won the first challenge, I’ve been invited to write the prompt for next week’s edition. Look forward to it!
The pride of lions stalked us. Their hungry eyes focused on my little one, my only daughter. She didn’t understand the danger.
I warned her, three infrasonic grunts. “Come close to me,” I said.
She shook her head and stumbled. The largest lioness crept closer to my daughter. I couldn’t wait any longer. I charged at the group and they scattered. But there were too many of them, I realized.
I cried out to the herd – a single long, loud blat – but I couldn’t tell if they’d heard me because suddenly I was knocked to the ground as clouds of sand and dirt flew up into the air all around me. I heard my daughter cry out and I squealed for her to run, but it didn’t really matter. The pride had a new prey now, and my body would feed a lot more hungry lions than my daughter’s would.
A part of me wanted to just let them take me down, if it meant that my daughter would be safe, but survival instinct is a very powerful thing. I simply could not ignore it. I began to kick and thrash with all of my strength. I felt my hind leg connect with one of the lion’s jaw and heard it snap. With my trunk I managed to grip one of the smaller beasts around one leg and I used all my strength to throw it as hard and far as I could. I heard it cry out as it hit the ground and I couldn’t help but feel a morbid sense of accomplishment.
My small victory was short-lived. A pair of jaws found their way to my throat. The pain was immeasurable. I cried out again, and I thought I heard a reply but I couldn’t focus. I was weakening, covered in a blanket of teeth and claws. I was going to die, I realized, and I didn’t have the strength left to do anything about it. I could feel the darkness coming. There was a thrumming in my ears that was surely the rushing of blood from my body.
No…no, this sound was something else. It was getting louder.
The ground was vibrating against my skin, I realized. So that meant that the sound I was hearing was actually…
Trumpeting cries filled the air, barely audible above the sound of a hundred feet pounding the ground. One lion went flying from my body in a wide arc as a trunk caught it full on the side of it’s body. Two more roared angrily and ran off of their own accord. The world around me was noise, noise, noise. It was beautiful.
I felt as though I’d fallen asleep. The next thing I knew I was looking at my daughter’s face through moist eyes. She was nudging me with her trunk, making sad little squeaky noises. For a moment I thought that she was hurt and I almost panicked, but I then I realized that she was crying for me.
There were a few others from the herd standing around me. I could hardly make them out through the haze in my eyes. One of them trumpeted at me: “Can you get up?”
I felt suddenly very old, very tired, and very sad. But I couldn’t help looking into my daughter’s eyes then. I reached out with my trunk and wiped the moisture from her eyes.