(Here it is - the end! Please feel free to drop in a small review when you finished and let me know what you all thought. I'm pretty sure I'm done with writing Siku Choka stories now. I've covered the event from the perspective of my three favorite Lion King characters and I finally got to develop some of the characters from my first story more. I think I'm content now. See you all around on fanfiction sometime...or Feral Heart. Enjoy!)
The game was over and the crowd could break ranks.
Sarafina set off on a bee-line between where she'd been sitting and where her daughter lied. The rest of the pride followed. All of the competitors were on their way over there too.
"Make room! Make room!" called Kanafa the cheetah, leading a group of track workers and medics over to the incident.
"Daktri and Jambo…check on Nala. Khris and Bahawia, check that that buffalo's dead and find out who killed it. I need all the track workers here to tell me what they saw."
Sarafina led her pride up to the spot, where Elvis was helping a hippo and a leopard roll the buffalo off of her daughter.
Sarafina gasped as she got her first good look at Nala. Her face was covered in blood…but her chest was rising and falling. She was breathing.
Simba ran up alongside his pride with Shairi not far behind. Rafiki barged his way on by the group and made his way up to the scene.
"There was nothing Ah could do on that one," the group heard the deep voice of Elvis say. "Ah didn't think she would go for it…it looked like she was injured. Ah was already on the back of the buffalo before she ever made her move."
"The cut's from below," a flamingo called, standing next to the dead buffalo, "Nala killed it…but I don't know if it was dead before the game was officially over."
Simba, Sarafina and the rest of the pride didn't know quite what to do with themselves. They couldn't go up to Nala because the medics were working on her, they couldn't shout at Elvis because he actually seemed innocent on this one, and nobody knew whether to celebrate or not…because nobody actually knew who had won.
With all the commotion and confusion, Timon and Pumbaa were both feeling a bit uneasy…they didn't always enjoy being around awkward scenes such as this. It was time for one of them to say something.
"Well…" began Timon, "…I vote that since no one knows who won, we should play the game for another half hour!"
All the glares being shot at Timon told him to shut up.
"The herds are already leaving the infield Timon," Pumbaa noted, "the game is over."
"Agreed! So…why don't we start with the final proceedings? Isn't there a giant rock all the survivors stick their paw print on?"
However, instead of an answer being returned, there was a hushed silence.
One Prideland member, who had been hanging with Sarabi's sister the whole time, had now broken ranks and walked up to Nala…
"Momma?" called the cub, pushing her way between the medics. Rafiki and the others took a step back from the Prideland Queen as her cub approached.
For a little while, despite the large crowd of competitors, medics, track workers and spectators surrounding the lioness, there was absolute silence. The cub had walked all the way up to Nala, and had nuzzled her muzzle sadly.
However, at the feel of the touch of her daughter rubbing up against her, Nala let out a smile.
The crowd gasped.
Their elation only grew when the lioness opened her eyes.
"Hello dear," said the queen to her daughter. She gave her a small lick on the head and chuckled. "You've no need to worry, darling. I've probably fractured a couple of bones…and I've never been so winded out…but…fact is," she added, running her tongue around her muzzle, "this isn't my blood."
At this, the group around her all looked back over at the buffalo. Now that they could all inspect it closer, they saw that, indeed, there was a huge chunk of flesh missing from the bottom of the creature's neck. The red stuff coating Nala's face must have poured out from that buffalo.
"Wow," Simba commented, "you really did a number on him, Nal'."
"Indeed," agreed Kanafa, "damage like that would have killed the buffalo instantly."
Kanafa now had everyone's attention. Did he mean to say that…?
"You two," he called, beckoning over two okapi, that had been the closest track workers to the incident, "and Elvis…where are you?"
"Ah'm-a right here, sir."
"Elvis…did the final roar happen before or after the buffalo hit the ground?"
"Ah can tell you for sure it was after."
"Okapi, you agree?"
"It definitely happened after, sir."
"Yes…Elvis and Nala brought the buffalo to the ground before the final roar."
Kanafa nodded as a response.
"Nala could have never ripped a chunk of flesh that size out after she'd been crushed," stated Kanafa.
"No," agreed the okapi, "she was still."
"Well that settles it…" said Kanafa, garnering the attention of everyone around. "Nala ripped the flesh out while she was in the air…damage like that causes instantaneous death…the buffalo was dead before it hit the ground…" Everyone's ears perked up as Kanafa's voice rose. They were all following his logic. "The game wasn't over until after it had hit the ground…the buffalo was dead before the game was over…therefore, the kill counts."
The crowd gathered around the group went ballistic. Not only was Nala okay…but she was the winner…the Siku Choka champion!
Simba looked over at her mate. Nala had never taken her eyes off of Kiara the whole time. She was smiling a wide smile, but Simba was surprised it wasn't more. It was almost as if she had known it all along.
Still, Simba wasn't going to let this moment pass. He walked up towards his mate and embraced her in a hug.
"I knew you could do it," Simba whispered in her ear, while the crowd continued to cheer around them.
"Of course you did…" Nala replied, "I knew that when you told me the story about you and Uku. That whole thing was complete bison crap."
"Yes, it was."
"That's what motivated me even more…I knew it was you speaking. You just wanted to put it through Uku's words…you were too shy to say it yourself."
"You're much more intelligent than you look."
"You're still a wuss for passing up on that buffalo though."
"Elvis would've killed me…but besides, I don't deserve to be a Siku Choka Champion…but you…you are."
Nala chose not to reply to this. She just let that fact sink into her for a little bit.
"How does it feel?" Simba asked.
Nala let out a happy sigh as a response. She looked up at her mate, down at her daughter, and around at her family and friends around her.
"Not a bad feeling at all, is it?" she replied.
"Fifteenth place, retiring early from the game due to injuries, with a grand total of 16 points, let's hear it for Linda!" called Kanafa. The Kaskazi lioness made her way up to the rock and put her paw print on it.
All of the competitors were now gathered round, with their families with them and a small crowd of spectators there too.
"Fourteenth place, also forced out of the game early on, a grand total of 73 points for Tumaini!"
The crowd all let out a respectable amount of applause for this popular lioness. Many of them had been unable to see her throughout the past day.
"I wonder how many more she could win," wondered Simba allowed. "I wonder if they'll continue on with this game."
"They might," Nala replied. "They should at the least. Just need to rid of the bad eggs and it should be a lot safer."
"Thirteenth place, the first of our competitors that is no longer with us, was Peponi with 100 points. May she rest in peace."
Simba sighed. "Well, now that you've got your win…I take it we're done with this game, right?"
"You don't want to try and win it on your own?" Nala asked him.
"Twelfth place, also no longer with us, 107 points for Tonka. May he rest in peace."
"Hey…I got fourth…and I protected you…and I proved I'm good at hunting. I did what I set out to do," Simba replied.
"Yeah right," Nala sneered. "You wanted my win, I know it Simba. If it wasn't Elvis you would've gone for that buffalo. Well too bad baby, I've got the Siku Choka win – and you can't have it," Nala sang, sticking her tongue out at him.
"You're going to rub this in my face all night, aren't you?"
"How about the rest of your life?"
"Eleventh place, retiring due to injuries, with 173 points, let's hear it for Winda!"
Nala sighed. "I hope Shairi's not too down," she added as an afterthought.
"I think she had a moment," Simba replied. "But look…she's over there with Shemshi now and they're fine. She got second place…she'll be remembered. Besides, there's going to be a bunch of conspiracy theorists who'll say she won anyhow."
Nala frowned. "How do you mean?" she asked.
"Tenth place, with 280 points, the late two-time champion Guvu. May he rest in peace."
"Well you're capable of miracles, Nal'," Simba noted. "If there's anyone who could rip a giant piece of buffalo flesh out while being crushed on the ground, it's you."
"Wh—you're saying you don't think I killed it during the game?"
"No, I think you did. But I'm just saying…there's those that won't…there's those that will always say that Shairi won this game."
"Ninth place, retiring due to injuries, with 282 points, Juveda!"
This lioness got a more confident round of applause this time than what she had at the start of the game. And…though she wasn't smiling…Simba and Nala could both tell that she was quite content with the fact that she was still alive, at the least. If there was another Siku Choka, she'd be back.
"Eighth place, and the first of our competitors that made it all the way to the end, 286 points for Lenny!"
Finally, Lenny was able to get the round of applause that he had deserved. Eighth place out of fifteen with that many points was an impressive showing.
"Well the conspiracy theorists can say what they want," Nala stated. "I know I got it, the track workers know I got it, Elvis knows I got it and Shairi knows I got it. It's like my mom always said…you must be pretty important for people to take time out of their sad lives to talk about you."
"Exactly," Simba replied.
"Seventh place, and the highest ranking of our competitors that is no longer with us, Bilauri with 316 points. May she rest in peace."
Nala sighed. "That's so upsetting," she noted, "she really enjoyed this game."
"Trust me," Simba replied, "she's just going to be glad that she made Siku Choka history. Who finished seventh in Siku Choka 27? It will be a trivia question one day."
"Sixth place, with a grand total of 329 points, where…is…Elvis?" asked Kanafa, looking around for the lion.
The rest of the group joined Kanafa in looking around. It seemed that the Dixieland lion had disappeared.
"Well, good riddance," muttered Nala. "I wouldn't want his print on my rock, anyhow."
"I don't get it," Simba replied. "Usually bad things happen to those guys…their actions come back to haunt them and bit them in the butt…yet he got away scot-free."
"I don't think he was evil, really…" Nala replied earnestly, "…I just believe he was so stupid and self-centered that he thought he could get away with anything, and never truly saw how what he was doing was wrong."
"That's part of the way towards being evil, Nala."
"Yes…I suppose that's true. Still, I'm with you, I hope he gets what's coming to him."
"Fifth place, with a grand total of 352 points despite not being able to make it to the end, let's hear it for Shemshi!"
The crowd let out a large applause as this friendly lion placed his paw print on the rock.
"Well," stated Simba, "guess it's my turn."
"Finishing fourth with a grand total of 370 points, let's hear it for Simba!"
A large round of applause followed…but not the loudest. There were quite a few spectators put down that Simba hadn't fought Elvis for the buffalo at the end, and Simba couldn't blame them. At least he still had his family, his life, his friends and his pride…a fourth place finish in the Siku Choka was just the icing on the cake.
"Finishing third with a grand total of 376 points, let's hear it for Eboni!"
A large round of applause followed for this lioness. Honestly, had things gone her way during the past twenty-four hours, she would have dominated. If Eboni chose to return to the Siku Choka for more than a couple of years…she would win, and there wasn't much shame in third either.
"Finishing second with a grand total of 378 points, let's hear it for Shairi!"
An even larger round of applause followed for this lioness that was, to her pride's delight, carrying herself merrily as she made her way up to the rock. She placed her paw print on it and then began to back away.
However, she found herself stopped by Simba, who had his paw out for her to shake.
"What's this?" Shairi asked him.
"I said I wanted to shake your paw if you won."
"But…I didn't win…" Shairi replied, cocking her eyebrow.
"You won your way into the top 30 and you best friend's heart," Simba stated back, "that's not a win? I'm proud of what you've been able to accomplish, Shairi. You're much more than you think you are," he added, repeating what Shairi had said to him earlier in the game.
At this, Shairi couldn't help but smile back.
"No you're right," she confessed. She held her paw out and shook Simba's paw. "Thanks Simba," she added, "and hey, from what I saw today…there's no shame in finishing second to someone like Nala…she truly was an awesome player out there."
"And finally, finishing in first place, with a grand total of 387 points, let's hear it for your Siku Choka 27 Champion – Nala!" exclaimed Kanafa.
Many of the audience members hadn't been able to hear him say Nala's name. They were all just simply cheering too loud. Nala walked up to the rock and placed her paw print at the top of it, with Simba, Sarafina and Kiara soon joining her and embracing her on the sides.
"It's a perfect moment, isn't it?" asked Sarafina, reliving on her similar experience two years before.
"Yes Mom, it is," confessed Nala, returning a nuzzle towards her. "Still…I can't help but wonder where Elvis ever got off to…"
It was all quite simple, really, aside from all of the speculation. Elvis had simply just forgotten about the rock-printing ceremony and had headed out far away from the circuit to relieve himself.
He had now found a perfectly private place behind a couple of trees and shrubs to do business.
Elvis crouched over…
…and was no more.
1st: Nala: 387 points: It has been over a year since I've watched "The Lion King," and every day that passes I fear I forget who Nala really was - how strong, loving, and conscientious she was. However, it also has to be noted that the scenario that she was place in during the movie really brings out the best of her. What is she like when her life, home and family aren't falling apart like they were in the movie? TLK:6NA kind of answers that for us...as does fanfiction...and of course I couldn't let this story finish without giving her the win because, at the end of the day, there's only one thing we can all truly agree on about Nala: she kicks ass.
2nd: Shairi: 378 points: At the beginning of this story I told myself, right, I want the audience to have the impression that Shairi's the nicest lioness who's ever lived. Then...I guess I pushed that too far...because it was actually beginning to seem like she was warming up to Simba. So, I attempted my best to downplay that. Really, I just wanted to give the impression that Shairi was like we would be if we met Simba - delighted and honored to meet him and wanting to make the most out of the experience. Though she didn't win, you can't deny that she had a happy ending, and I was glad to give her that.
3rd: Eboni: 376 points: I think Eboni almost played the role that Tumaini did in the first story - a lioness that truly had everything going for her to win the game, be that stealth, strength, determination and, to an extent, ruthlessness. Honestly, if the Siku Choka was something in real life, I think all the participants would be like Eboni. However, it wouldn't make for as fun of a story that way.
4th: Simba: 370 points: Let's not lie, he was in the game just to protect Nala at first. However, as the game went on, he learned a lot, played well and got better. However, unlike the rest of the competitors, he never flipped. He always had that mindset that he was just in a game, and that life outside of it was more important. That mindset ended up costing him the win, but, as he said, that wasn't that important to him in the end.
5th: Shemshi: 352 points: At first I wanted to make Shemshi like Rakusa was in the first story - a lion who was good at the game, but was mainly there to have fun. However, I got so carried away with the rest of the characters that I never really got to develop him that much and he kind of just played the role of being Shairi's crush. Since I knew none of my readers would've really had their heart attached him to the end, I decided to injure him out.
6th: Elvis: 329 points: I like being a (bad) Elvis Presley impersonator sometimes and, when the story began and Simba was envious of him, I began to realize that it would make a great twist if he was "evil." However, Nala's right (or was it Simba that said it?). Despite Elvis being a murderer, etc., he really was trying hard to be the nice guy when things had calmed down. Think of it like road rage - we all get mad with each other behind a steering wheel, and then step out of the car and are friends with everyone we're around. Elvis just had a bit of "road rage" during Siku Choka hunts. If you didn't get the end of the story, brush up on your Elvis history.
7th: Bilauri: 316 points: I didn't want to kill her, but someone had to die. Initially I was contemplating the idea of killing Lenny, but then realized that that would've been ever worse since he was an original Siku Choka character. Fact was that I had written a whole history and trivia booklet about The Siku Choka before this story started, so I was kind of using Bilauri to exploit that. Once I got bored of doing that though, she really didn't have much purpose in the story. Bad things happen to you when you don't have much purpose in this story.
8th: Lenny: 286 points: Lenny! I did a horrible job of portraying him in comparison to what I did in the original Siku Choka. You should all go on YouTube and watch "Lenny - the fastest lion who ever lived (A Feral Heart movie)." That's all I have to say about that.
9th: Juveda: 282 points: Kovukono and I once wrote a story with the original Juveda; yet another character that I did a horrible job of portraying in this story and so tried to phase away from her as the story went on.
10th: Guvu: 280 points: Yes, he was past his prime, but he was still the best out there. His death was really one of the largest turning points of the story, and you know that's why I did it. R.I.P. Guvu.
11th: Winda: 173 points: It just occurred to me that I actually knew a set of twins in real life who would always try and outwit each other in their conversations and the younger, goofier, (slightly prettier) twin would usually win, despite the fact that I got on better with the older one. Huh...guess that's where these two came from. Took my subconscious five years to catch on. Gods, I hope neither of them ever reads these stories.
12th: Tonka: 107 points: Before the game everyone thought Tonka would win. It was beginning to become obvious that that wasn't going to happen, and so I couldn't find a way to fix it all together. So, to progress the plot, I killed him. End of story.
13th: Peponi: 100 points: I always thought that Peponi's death was one of the saddest ones. One of the younger lionesses with a lot of hunting potential and life ahead of her, to just have it all taken from her like that. Still, the Siku Choka isn't for the faint-hearted (if that's how you spell it). R.I.P. Peponi.
14th: Tumaini: 73 points: She would've fricking dominated if I'd kept her in, and that would've been boring. Also, I realized quickly that this story would be nothing without the sideline commentary that Simba and Nala had had going during the original story, so I needed someone intelligent to get together with Sarafina to carry this story on through. Thank you Tumaini!
15th: Linda: 16 points: She should have never entered the game, and she realized that quickly on. Good on her...saved her life.
(Well...I guess that's it...it has almost been 5 years since The Siku Choka 25 started and 2 years since the beginning of Siku Choka 27. And you know what...that first story got me through my first two years of college, then I took a break during my final year as my life was finally starting to fall into place, and then this story carried me through my years at Walmart until I finally got my life into place now, and was able to put this saga to rest. It's been an enjoyable ride - and I'm sure you haven't seen the last of me. Reviews appreciated. Thanks for reading.)