The Pride of Man

By Johnny, a.k.a. Simbfan

Chapter 1 – The Strength to Move On

It started with a safari trip…gone horribly wrong. The day will live in my memory for as long as I live. I was sixteen at the time. My brother…was twelve, and my parents…well, they were the normal age for parents of a preteen and a teenager.

We had gone to Africa for our annual safari. Each year, we failed to see as much as one antelope, let alone any elephants or lions, but my father insisted that we go each year until we found some animals.

The Jeep we rented for the trip was not reliable. At least that's what the guy we rented it from said. But there were no more left, and my dad had insisted that we didn't come all this way just to turn back. So we took it. I had noticed the car tended to sputter and whine a lot. The gas tank apparently had a small leak, but it wasn't enough to make it a huge issue. As far as I knew…

About three hours into the Savannah, I'd asked to stop for a moment so I could relieve myself. I hopped out, but my family stayed in. I didn't bother to take off my backpack. After years and years of camping and carrying around this much weight on my back, it didn't feel like much.

I went a good 30 feet away so as to ensure privacy. The Jeep was still making those sputtering sounds every few seconds. Suddenly, I heard a loud crack, and then the engine turned off. I finished and turned around to see my dad with half of his body under the hood. He was looking around to see what the problem was. He was holding a lit match so he could see through the steam and dark.

"Hey, bud!" he called to me, "Get over here! You have the only lantern in your pack!"

I sighed and trotted over to him. I looked up at the Jeep to see my mom shaking her head with a look of "I told you so" etched into her face. My brother sat in the back, sound asleep, his mouth agape. I stooped over about four feet from my dad to rummage through my backpack. It took me several moments to locate the lantern. It was buried deep in the confines of the pack. As I stood up, the following occurred.

I looked up as my dad yelped as the lit match burnt down to his fingers, and he dropped it. It landed in a wet spot near the car.

I saw in slow motion as the flame suddenly expanded out of nothingness across the wet spot. I saw a jet of it shoot up the drips of gasoline that fell from the gas tank. Then, I saw the gas tank explode in a fiery inferno that overtook the entire car. It shot through any and every crevice it could get to; through the holes in the bottom, through the bottom of the car and through the engine, and everyplace in between. All of this happened in a fraction of a second.

The flames shot out in all directions. Several flew right at me and burned at my face and clothes. I fell back and hit my head hard. I rolled over, both hands clamped around my aching face, which was pained by the burning flames. Then I heard the screams.

Quickly, but painfully, I stood up, and turned around to make sense of what was happening. I saw the bottom half of my father hanging out of the hood of the car. The top half of him had been slammed into the engine by the hood. Flames billowed out of the crevices between the hood and the car. My father lay dead in the engine of the Jeep.

My mother and brother were in the flames of the car. I could not see them, but I could hear them. Their screams of pain, suffering, and torture cut through me like a knife. Tears sprang to my eyes, and my physical pain was instantly subdued.

I ran forward to the door of the Jeep, not caring what was going to happen next. I pulled and struggled against the door, but it would not budge. My hands began to blister and burn at the touch of the hot metal, but I did not care. All that mattered was to get to my brother and mother. The screams in the car grew more and more frantic, yet somehow they seemed to become less and less. I was screaming too. Tears rolled down my face as I cried in anguish for my dying mother and brother. I pulled and hit at the door and the glass, but the deathtrap would not yield its victims.

And then the worst sound of all met my ears.

Silence.

The screams stopped. No more cries, no more pain, no more anything. Nothing but the sound of the crackling flames issued from the car.

And I stopped screaming. I merely stood next to the car.

My bloody and burned hands shook for a moment as I stood in complete and utter shock. It had not happened. It couldn't! This was not happening!

Losing all control, I frantically banged and hit the car over and over again, injuring my hands more and more, screaming for my lost family, but to no avail.

As I did, another explosion rent itself from the engine of the car. The entire vehicle exploded in to pieces, and I was sent flying back through the air. The last thing I knew, there was another pain in my head as I hit the ground.

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When I came to, the first thing I felt was pain. My head throbbed like it had never done before. The back throbbed from the impact of hitting the ground, while my face stung from the blisters delivered to me by the flames. My hands were in utter agony. My ears were ringing with the silence that enveloped me.

I slowly lifted my head and wearily blinked my eyes. Nighttime had fallen. All around me were pieces of the now-gone Jeep. My backpack lay several yards away, thrown back by the pulse of the second explosion. Small trails of smoke rose from the grass that had been burned. Here and there, the glow of embers and ashes flickered in the semidarkness. The bodies of my parents and brother were nowhere to be found.

I lay my head back down and closed my eyes as the tears sprang to them again. They rolled down my face, stinging the burns. The pain of my body was nothing, compared to the pain of my loss. In an instant, I had gone from having a family to having nothing. They were gone, I was stranded in the middle of Africa, and I had no living relatives left. There were no aunts and uncles in my family, and both sets of grandparents had died several years ago.

The images of their funerals sprang to my mind. Then an image of two large caskets and one smaller one lying peacefully at the end of some alter at some funeral home.

The more these thoughts came to me, the more I wept. I sobbed into the night, with nobody and nothing to comfort me. I wanted nothing more than to hold my family again, to hold them and never let go.

Into the darkness, I screamed and sobbed until I had no energy left. I sobbed until I succumbed to the pain in my body, and I passed out.

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When I awoke, it was still dark, but only just. The sky was held faint traces of pink, signs of the coming sunrise. I sat up, and groaned as the pain of my bruises and burns ached me.

Not even wanting to look at the disaster around me, I stood up, and ignored the pain of my burns. I hobbled over to my backpack, which had miraculously survived the inferno, save for a few minor burn holes. I hitched it onto my back, which had surprisingly suffered no damage, and turned to walk west.

I'm not sure why, but my instincts told me to go west. A voice in my head told me that was where I needed to go. Somehow, I knew that help would be there. But I was unsure of what kind of help I really needed.

With every effort, I pushed all thoughts of my family out of my head. If I let my grief cloud my judgment and integrity, I would end up dead out here. Even with all that I had lost, I had an initial instinct to survive. I would not let myself die out here in this foreign land. My pride would not allow it.

Days passed as I trudged westward. The burns began to blister and the bruise started to fade. I used whatever medication that I had packed in my bag to ease the pain and stop infection. All I had was a tube of Neosporin and a small box of ibuprofen.

I had a limited supply of food and water in my backpack, so I rationed it as much as I could. After doing so, I counted how much I had. If I did not get help within three weeks, I would die of starvation and infection.

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As the days turned into weeks, I slowly became weaker and weaker. The bruises were completely gone. My burns had healed now, save for one. The only problem was the gash on my arm. It did not heal, and I felt the pain every time I moved my arm. I knew it was infected, and I was out of medication. The rationing of food kept me alive, but it was not enough to satisfy the pains of hunger. My legs and arms were shaking with such a violent force that I needed to rest. I sat down on a log and looked around at my surroundings.

There was grassland as far as the eye could see. The landscape was populated with occasional Acacia trees. Off to the south in the distance, there seemed to be a cluster of them. I could only assume that this meant water. Still, there was no sign of plantation that grew anything edible. Then to the west, there was a silhouette of an "L" shaped rock. I could only imagine how big the rock was up close. The sun then peeked over the eastern horizon, and cast an orange light over the entire landscape.

The sight would have been beautiful, had I not been immersed in a blanket of pain and grief. My mind was fighting a mental battle with itself.

You're not going to survive…you're gonna die here.

Don't think that!!

But no matter what I told myself, the thought popped back into my head. I sat on the same spot for a while, arguing with myself whether or not just to succumb to death or to try to keep going.

And then, I came to the decision that I was not meant to live. I was supposed to die in that explosion with my family. I had cheated death, and now death was going to find me. I would die here, alone, friendless, no family, and nobody to wonder what happened to me.

I hung my head down, and came to terms with my fate. But as I hung my head, something caught my eye. I looked up cautiously. Moving among the tall grass in front of me was a large object. I immediately snapped back to attention. It was big, yet graceful. Its tan color clashed greatly against the green of the grass. And on the thing's face, were two red-orange eyes staring right into mine.

A full grown lioness was watching me intently, moving silently so as not to alert me to her presence. I stared at her for a moment, looking fixedly into her eyes. Her glare held a fierce familiarity, and it brought tears to my eyes again. I wiped them quickly, and slowly stood up. I began to back away carefully, but she remained still. Her eyes were still pouring into mine, as if she could see right through them and into my soul.

As I backed up one foot at a time, I felt my foot dip down further than I had intended. I slipped of the log, and knocked myself out. The last thought I had was that I would be this lioness's meal, but it would reunite me with my family.

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When I awoke, I was sure I was dead. The pain in my body was gone. I kept my eyes shut, not knowing what I would see if I opened them. My backpack was off of me, for I did not feel the straps clinging to my shoulders. I was sure that I had died and moved on. Why else would my pain be gone?

I must have moved, because the second I did, something stirred to the left of me. Then, out of the darkness came a deep, calm, and comforting voice.

"Do not be afraid, young one. I mean you no harm."

I lifted my head and opened my eyes. I was lying down in the middle of a semi-dark cave. There was a patch of light casting downward from a crevice in the ceiling. Standing in the pool of light, was a powerfully well built lion with an auburn mane and a stern face.


Hi guys! I am a new author here, so when reviewing, be honest, but PLEASE be nice! And PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE review!! i LOVE hearing feedback from my readers!

This has been a story that's been on my mind for the last...god, idk...five, maybe six years. I only just recently got into writing it out. Long story short, a human character is dropped into TLK, and it's told from his perspective. I thought it was a good idea, and i hope somebody shares my sentiments.

I am a college student, but i have long breaks during my classes, so i'll try and use those to write. I'm about a quarter of the way into it right now, so there will be a substantial amount to read for now. After that, you'll just have to wait. Don't worry, i'll try to keep it to a few days between each posting at the MOST.

My story summary did not give me enough room to put in copyrights, so here they are.

This story is based on three separate stories. First and foremost, it is based on Walt Disney Picture's The Lion King. I do not own rights to this amazing movie in any way, shape, or form.

The second and third stories are kinda two in one. They are fanfiction's own author, Amase's, stories. I have based it on her stories, The White Water Chronicles and The Diamond Star Chronicles. I do not own any characters of her own, nor the story. I have prior permission to use her story and characters. All rights are hers to the following;

Kamau

Yetunde

Ayana

Yejide

Kala

Kito

Chika

Taalib

Sekou

Zalika

Johari

Sanjo

NOW, for MY copyrights. This list will get bigger and bigger as my story progresses...

To use these characters, you need to PM me asking permission. I own;

Ayden

Tahri the Hyena

Sambo the Antelope

Lesedi, the Lioness

THANKS FOR READING!!

Simbafan