When I woke, everything hurt. I cracked my eyes opened and looked around. I was on my stomach, or so it felt. My entire body felt weird and foreign, as if it wasn't mine. I was about ten feet away from a large, blackened patch of grass. Where I was struck, I thought. The blast propelled me ten feet away and into a tree, it seemed when I turned around and saw one towering above me. I attempted to push myself up, but found that I couldn't. I groaned, freezing when I heard the alien noise that came out of my throat. It didn't sound like a groan. Or human.
I looked down and screamed, well, tried to. My entire body was covered in dense black fur with lighter spots. I found that my hands and feet were paws, and that I had a large tail protruding from my rear. I tried and tried to get up, but this body was foreign to me. I was writhing on the ground when another panther came into the clearing. It was the same one from before. What have you done to me? I mind-shouted, since I can't actually speak.
You'll get used to it. The breezy voice from before said. I froze and strained my ears to listen. The panther in front of me shook her head side-to-side, almost as if in laughter.
Stop laughing. I commanded, even though I knew she couldn't hear me. I don't think. The panther stopped, her yellow eyes full of amusement and wisdom. I couldn't see it before, but she was pretty old.
Come, my child, you must learn. The voice said as the panther got up and started walking away. I struggled to get up, but eventually got onto my paws. Now, the real challenge. Walking. I took a shakey step forward, taking long pauses between each step. I slowly made my way to the older panther, and she quickly sprinted off, leaving me in her dust. Literally. I felt my whiskers and muzzle twitch in protest, and a sneeze quickly followed. I shook my head and followed after her, following her scent since she was out of my sight. I finally caught up with her and she was sitting in a clearing, just outside of the jungle. She looked amused.
What must I learn? I asked, hoping the voice would answer.
Everything. It said. Do you know why this happened to you? I asked.
I shook my head no. Please feel free to enlighten me. I replied bitterly. The panther ahead made a sound that resembled a chuckle. Are you the panther? I asked the voice.
I am more than the panther, it replied. I am the wind, the rain, the heart of the country, itself.
My breath caught in my throat as I realized who I was speaking to. Bast, Panther God of Wakanda. I said, tucking my face low to the ground in an awkward panther bow. When I looked up, the panther before started to transform. It grew, double its size, and the black fur paled to white. I knew that this wasn't her full height, but it was still very intimidating.
Rest, young one. We have much to discuss. The goddess said, leaning down to see me. I looked up at her I wonder. I thank you for your respect, young one. Now, do you know what has happened to you?
No, Goddess, I do not. I said, my body lowering to the ground with the instinct to submit to her.
Good, I will explain. She said as she sat down. She looked down at me before I quickly sat my butt on the ground. Pleased, she continued. Your mother, rest her soul, did the unspeakable. She gave the Heart-Shaped Herb to an outsider. Someone not of the Black Panther lineage. That is a crime beyond anything I've seen. It is a disgrace. You are the Forbidden Child, Nala, do you realize that?
I gasped at the accusation. I have heard of the Forbidden Child, but never thought he or she was real. Forgive me, Goddess, but isn't the Forbidden Child just a story to scare young children into doing what's right?
Nala, don't be so naïve. No, the Forbidden Child is as real as I am. You are the Forbidden Child. Now, the story you have heard is not correct. It has been warped and changed as it has been passed down. The true story is far from what you believe. Only a few know the truth, including me and the Royal Family. My heart fluttered at the mention of them. The true story is not about a young child who was cast out for being rude and dishonorable to me, the true story is about how the child, you, became my child.
I looked up at Bast in confusion. I do not understand, Goddess.
The Forbidden Child is someone who defied the natural law to become my child. To rule beside me in the world. You are my child now, Nala. It means you are forbidden from your old life, from your family and from the human plane. You are mine, now. She explained.
I froze. I'm not allowed to go back? But, Goddess, I must! I have a duty, something important to do! I cannot stay like this! I protested.
Bast looked down at me, her orange eyes flashing green before settling on orange. You mean to defy me, Nala? She asked, her eyes flaring with anger.
No, Goddess, I do not wish to defy you, but I cannot stay here! I continued to protest, but I shrunk under her sharp gaze.
Nala, do you realize what you are doing? You are throwing away something you can never regain. She said, her voice calm. But her eyes angry.
Goddess, I mustn't stay here. I said again, staring into her eyes.
Bast sighed and shook her massive head. Very well, Nala, very well. Just know, you can never come back. I will still be there to guide you, my child. But you must find your own way. She said, which gave me a sinking feeling.
Goddess, may I return to my human form? I asked, desperate to remove myself from, both, this body, and her disapproving gaze.
The price of you choosing to stay is you figuring out how to return. You will be able to shift back and forth between Human and Panther. The panther form holds great powers that will leak into your human form, which it already has. You have the powers of the Black Panther, use them wisely. She advised before picking herself up and walking away. She walked over me, and as she disappeared into the forest, she reverted back to panther form. You will always be the Forbidden Child, my child. She said before disappearing completely.
I watched her go with a slack jaw. I'm stuck like this? Wonderful! I shouted, which came out as a loud roar. Now I have to reach T'Challa. Maybe he can help.
A/N: I obviously created my own storyline, don't judge, it came in a dream. I don't really know much about Bast, the God of Egypt and the God of Wakanda. so, bear with me. I couldn't find very much when I researched, but I hope you enjoyed it. Leave a review!