Disclaimer: I do not own Lion King or any of the original characters created by Disney. However, any characters not created by Disney are © me, and may not be used without my permission. So sit back and relax, here we go!
The glint of the setting sun shone brightly on the massive stone known as Pride Rock. A silent, yet welcomed peace radiated off the rays of the sun, down onto the majestic Pride Lands and upon all its inhabitants. The gazelle and the zebra herds ate quietly together, and the cheetah clan bore an uneasy truce with the impala herd as they both drank at the waterhole. But all were somehow restless. When the sun reached the middle of the sky, it was the duty of Zazu, King Mufasa's majordomo to fly around the Pride Lands announcing the well being of the lands and the royal family. Now that the sun was setting, worry began to become present in the inhabitants of the land.
"All is well! All is well!" he would cry each day. If something ill were to happen he always had the word, but it had never been the case, save for the death of a family member or the King himself.
Sarabi had already noticed Zazu's conspicuous absence from the skies. Where could he be? He should have delivered the report hours ago! And where were Mufasa and Simba? What about Taka? Sarabi did not often refer to Taka by his nickname "Scar," for it sounded almost chilling to her.
The lioness walked to the back of Pride Rock to find Sarafina, her best friend, quietly rocking her daughter Nala to sleep. She listened to the soothing rhythm that she sang, the same song sung to them by their own mothers in their youth.
Fatshe leso lea halalela
Daughter, sleep now
Kings watch from the great stars
See them watch you?
Call them, they will come
Fatshe leso lea halalela
Sarabi smiled. She sang that song to Simba sometimes. Perhaps tonight she would sing it to him, he did like the song. She walked up to Sarafina and the two bumped heads. The sun had at last descended beyond the hills, making way for the Great Kings to smile upon the lands.
"Have Mufasa and Simba returned yet?" Sarafina asked.
Sarabi sighed and shook her head. "And no sign of Taka either."
Sarafina seeing her friend's worry smiled at her. "Don't worry, perhaps Mufasa took Simba under the stars again. Simba was talking about it all morning."
"Then where would Taka be?" Sarabi asked.
"Perhaps he is with them?" Sarafina offered.
Sarabi highly doubted it. She knew how Taka often resented being near Simba and hardly ever even spoke with him. He had always been this way after he knew he would never have the throne. In their youth, Mufasa had promised that Taka could be king after him. Taka always believed that Mufasa had broken that promise when he announced Sarabi's expectancy and potential heir to the throne. He had even once come close to striking Simba.
Suddenly the Queen heard footsteps approach behind her. Sarafina looked up from rocking Nala. The lionesses gasped to see Scar limp around the boulders towards them behind the Rock.
"Taka!" Sarabi gasped as she bounded towards him. Nala awoke with a start, and she and Sarafina quickly followed Sarabi.
Taka glimpsed to see the lionesses approach him and grinned. He was a better actor than he thought. Things had worked so perfectly!
"Taka! What happened to you?" Sarabi asked as she approached him.
"Sarabi?" Taka asked. "Oh dear Sarabi thank heavens I found you," the lion said licking her forehead. "I would not have wanted to speak of this grave matter with the others around. You must know first." Sarabi's blood ran cold. She looked at Sarafina, equally concerned.
"What grave matter?" the lioness asked.
Suddenly, Zazu flew in from the sky, quite sluggishly before collapsing to the ground at the paws of the Queen. Nala trotted over to the hornbill and helped him to his feet.
"Sarabi," Scar said raising his head. He took a deep breath and pressed his eyelids shut. "Be brave Sarabi, please be strong."
Sarafina pinned her ears and sat next to her friend. Sarabi quickly sat as well.
"There was an accident in the gorge," he began. "Simba and I were walking in the gorge talking, when the wildebeests stampeded. Apparently the hyenas intruded and stormed them down the gorge. I tried to get Simba out but I lost him amidst the wildebeests. I got out and managed to find Mufasa, and he went after your son. But...." Scar took a deep breath and put a paw to his face in sorrow.
"What happened Scar?" Nala asked. "Are they ok?"
Scar looked at the naïve young cub and back up at the lionesses. "My friend...my Queen...your husband, my brother, and our King was killed in the stampede."
The last few words were lost in Sarabi's mind. Her head began to whirl and she shook it violently.
"What?" she managed to say.
False tears were present in Scar's eyes. "Your husband gave his life to save the prince Sarabi but...."
Sarabi couldn't take it...no....they couldn't BOTH be dead!
"Where is my son Taka?" Sarabi asked as tears began to trickle down her muzzle. "Where is my son?"
"Where is my son!?" she sobbed as she made to pounce on Scar.
Sarafina leapt in and attempted to block Sarabi, but failed. The lioness rushed passed her and pounced on Scar, pinning him to the ground. She breathed heavily and looked into Scar's eyes.
"Where is he Taka!?" Sarabi sobbed.
"He's dead Sarabi! He ran after Mufasa and was lost!"
Sarabi's eyes were wide with shock and disbelief. Simba? Dead? Her beloved family gone all at once? Mufasa, her love and her life, the father of her son was dead? And her dearest son, the one she had given life to also gone?
Sarabi staggered off Scar and backward. The world began to spin around her as it came crashing down. The gods were so cruel. What had she done wrong to deserve a punishment as great as this?
Sarafina came to her aid and held her sturdy. Nala was huddled in a corner staring up at the adults with a look of fear in her eyes.
Scar sighed. "We should announce it to the others," he said reluctantly.
The lionesses followed and Sarafina remained at her friend's side, lest she fainted. Sarabi's eyes remained fixated on the ground as she stumbled about behind Scar.
The ceremony was painful for all. The lionesses mourned and wept against each other over the loss of such a beloved king. He and their prince, the young Simba. Taka's eulogy brought no comfort to any of them. He did not carry the traits of a strong ruler, and most were unsure of what the future carried for them.
"Yet out of the ashes of this tragedy, we shall rise to greet the dawning of a new era!" Scar said his voice ringing out.
The lionesses gasped to see the demonic shadows of the hyenas become visible in the light of the full moon. They laughed their hideous laugh and slinked onto the proud kingdom to begin a new life.
After Scar's speech Sarabi bounded up and blocked his path into the royal cave.
"How dare you!? Since the rule of King Mohatu no hyena has ever set foot in the Pride Lands! How can you break the traditional laws!?"
Scar smiled. "All are equal in the great Circle of Life Sarabi," Scar replied.
"Oh, and another thing Sarabi, you have been relieved of your responsibilities as Queen of the Pride Lands. I know my brother would not want me to have you for myself."
Sarabi gasped. "What!?"
Scar grinned. "Zira shall be my Queen, however you shall still manage the hunting party." Sarabi's eyes filled with hate as Zira made her way out of the den and gingerly licked her mate. Zira smirked at the former queen and the two made their way into the den. Then Scar stopped.
"Oh, and by the way Sarabi, tell Sarafina to give her final goodbyes tonight, for at dawn shall be the slaying of the cubs born under my brother."
Sarabi's eyes went wide with horror as Scar walked into the cave. Fear crept through every fiber of her being. She staggered to the foot of Pride Rock where at last, she collapsed to the ground and wept the painful tears of her broken heart.