I came up with the idea for this story during chemistry today, to suit one of the prompts for the My lion king dot com monthly writing contest. I'm quite proud of it actually, since it turned out a bit different then I had originally planned. Hope you like, and like last time I'lkl let you know the contest's outcome.
"I'll carry your world…
…and all your hurt."
The golden sun was hanging low in the sky, bathing the whole savannah in a brilliant hazy orange light. There was an air of tranquillity and calm as the distant calls of birds echoed across the plains and the light breeze ruffled the tops of the long grass, causing it to sway gently. To any onlooker it would have seemed as though the peace would be forever.
This was not the case, however. In an instant, the near silence was shattered by a chorus of yowls. Two cubs, one's pelt mirroring the colour of the glowing sky, the other's as murky and dark as the earth beneath their paws, were locked in a violent tussle. Before long, the former had flipped the latter onto his back with a thud. He stood above him, smiling triumphantly, pressing his clumsily over-sized cub paws onto the chest of his quarry.
"Yes!" he cried, celebrating his victory, "pinned ya!"
"Simba!" the other cried, with difficulty, "get off me!"
"Nu-uh," came the reply, "a king can do whatever he wants."
And, with that notion, in one fluid movement his paws were atop the other cub's throat. With a devious grin, he slowly, gradually, began to press his weight down.
"S-Simba!" the cub choked "Stop!"
But he didn't. He just kept pushing, bearing nearly his entire force down upon his dark companion, the eyes of which were bulging out from their sockets.
"I… c-can't… BREATHE!"
Simba's eyes were alight with malice, clearly savouring in the other cub's struggle. He was very much smaller than him, scrawny looking with unkempt fur. His weak attempts to throw his oppressor off were pitiful.
"If you want me to get off, Chako, just ask me nicely," he said, letting each word fall delicately from his lips, whilst his victim continued to flail beneath him.
"Get off me!"
"Get off me what?"
"Get off me please!"
"Get off me please what?"
"I… I w-won't say… s-ay it!"
With no time for Chako to react, Simba's entire weight, and then some, were being forced down upon his neck, the latter's devious laugh mingling with the former's gurgling.
"Say it!" Simba squealed, "if you want to live say it!"
He could barely suppress his excitement.
"Please… g-g-get off… your ma… your m-"
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"
In an instant, Simba leapt lightly off him, crying out in triumph as he did so. Chako rolled over onto his belly, spluttering and gasping for air.
"See?" Simba said, once he had stopped laughing, "All you had to do was ask nicely."
And with that, as though nothing had even happened, he turned on his heel and trotted in the direction of Pride Rock, leaving Chako lying on the savannah floor.
Scar, as was his custom, was lying at the rear of his den, staring out at the almost-set sun just visible through the opening. The promontory of Pride Rock was also within sight, not too far away, huge and majestic looking against the deep purple backdrop of the sky. He never went there, even though it was where the rest of the Pride lived, for he knew he was not wanted there, by anyone. The only reason he had been afforded this cess-pit was due to the wishes of his late father, who's dying request and final ruling as king was that his youngest son not be run out of the Pride Lands altogether.
He suddenly raised his head off the ground, as a small figure darkened the entrance. Two green orbs, identical to his own eyes, floated towards him through the gloom.
"Chako," he said, getting to his feet and moving towards him, "where on earth have you been?"
The small cub scuttling towards him said nothing, instead coughing a few times and fixating his gaze upon the ground. Scar peered at him, his excellent eyesight spearing through the darkness rapidly beginning to shroud them and their surroundings.
"You're all scratched," he observed, his eyes travelling the length of some fresh gashes on his son's shoulders, parallel to some faded ones next to them.
"Not again... " the adult lion sighed, "Chako, what did I tell you about standing up for yourself?"
"I tried, Dad, really I did," the cub replied, his voice rasping audibly, "but he's just too big."
Scar sighed once more, looking down at his cub again. Although he was near enough the same age as his bullying cousin, he was only about half the size. Where most other cubs would have muscle being laid down on their limbs at this stage in life, tiny Chako's were still thin and bony, and the soft, thick coat he should have had since birth was thin and wispy, causing him to shiver as the onset of night made it colder.
It was a thorn in Scar's heart to see his son suffer this way, and so many times over. These incidents were not isolated in the slightest. Gently, he bent and lifted his son by the scruff, and carried him to where he had just been lying. Settling down, he set the cub into his paws, and started on licking his wounds clean, a routine task of late.
"Tell me what happened," he said softly.
He listened as Chako recounted the incident to him. How it had been Simba who had been the first to strike, unprovoked, as usual. This was how almost all of his son's stories started.
"Then I remembered you saying how I needed to stand up for myself, so I hit back."
"Good," Scar mumbled, "what then?"
The larger cub had then launched a full scale attack on his small companion, who had tried, unsuccessfully, to ward off his assailant, ending up on his back. Scar flinched slightly at these words, knowing this had not ended well. The rasp in his son's voice was still unexplained.
"and then… and then…"
"It's ok, just say it."
Chako looked up, his tiny eyes filled with shame. He sniffed very slightly.
"Come on, son," Scar said, gently, licking the top of his head, "I can't help you if you don't tell me."
"He… put his paws on my neck. And then he… push…pushed down."
Scar stopped licking, instead staring at the cub in his paws. His nephew's attacks had never been as brutal as that before.
"He did what?"
Motioning for him to do so, Scar listened, furiously, as Chako finished the story. By the time he was done, the cub was barely whispering.
"He wouldn't get off unless I called him "your majesty"."
Scar was speechless in every sense of the word. His mouth hung open slightly as he continued to look at Chako, who spoke once more.
"I thought I was going to die…"
Huge tears welled up in his tiny eyes before cascading down his wiry cheeks. The little whiskers that poked from his muzzle were crumpled from numerous assaults from the future King. Scar pulled his tiny son closer, letting him nuzzle into his mane.
Scar had never even thought about having cubs of his own. He had always resigned himself to the fact that none of the lionesses would go near enough to him for this to be a possibility. As a result, he had kept to himself after his father's death, spending as much time in the outlands as he could, letting his thoughts wander.
That was where he had met her. Shanna was her name, and she was just like him. An outsider, cast off by her own family for reasons he had never learned of. They had found solace in each other, spending every day together away from the prying eyes of Scar's brother and the rest of the Pride, who would have had nothing good to say about it, anyway. With each passing day he fell in love with her, more and more as the earth traced its way around the sun. It seemed as though he had finally found his life's purpose, the reason he had been born, the reason he was alive and not rotting beneath the African sun.
It wasn't to last. Soon after they had met she fell pregnant. Already weak from her rouge-ish lifestyle, the life growing inside of her only weakened her more. Their cub barely had time to taste his mother's milk before she was gone. In his grief, Scar very nearly left him to die with her. The thought of raising their cub without her seemed more than he could bear. But, something had stopped him, and he didn't know what, whether it was Shanna's presence or that of Aiheu himself.
He had rushed back to the Pride Lands, carrying his precious bundle in his jaws. His brother Mufasa's mate had just given birth recently, too. Surely, he had thought, she could manage one more? No one could be so callous as to deny milk to such a visibly weak cub.
He had been so wrong. The look of sheer outrage on his brother's face at this notion had never left Scar's mind. How dare he attempt to muscle in on the royal son's milk reserves?
"But, Mufasa, look at him! He'll die soon if he doesn't eat!"
Mufasa looked from the minuscule cub on the ground before him to his own son behind him, healthy, twice the size and resting in-between his still-living mother's paws.
"Then so be it."
As far as Mufasa was concerned, that was the end of it. With that, he turned his back on them, diverting his attention to his own cub.
"So that's it?" Scar had cried, "whatever happened to that "Circle of Life" you care so much about?!"
Mufasa had whipped around, a furious look upon his face.
"It's exactly as the circle says. Some live. Some die And when they do you move on, because there's nothing you can do about it."
"But you can right now!" Scar cried again, not backing down, "for the love of the gods, Mufasa, I've already lost his mother. Don't let me lose him, too!"
His pleas had fallen on deaf ears, and it became apparent that no one was going to help him. No one was allowed to, for Mufasa had forbidden him to request the same of Sarafina, who also had given birth not too long ago. Not to be defeated, Scar resolved to rear the cub himself in whatever way he could. In the time it took for his tiny new born teeth to grow just a little bit into proper teeth, he very nearly had died, not knowing how to chew the shreds of meat Scar tried to give him from the scraps he was left by the rest of the Pride. But, somehow, some way, he had survived. As far as Scar was concerned, it was destiny.
And so, here they were, pretty much completely alone in the world apart from each other. They had been living together in Scar's pathetic excuse for a den for several moons now, sharing the small scraps of meat that had not been increased despite an extra mouth to feed.
"Dad?" came Chako's tiny voice through the darkness.
"Why does everyone hate us?"
Scar paused for a little moment to think.
"Well, I don't think they hate us. They just don't know what to make of us."
"But then why-?"
Chako in his paws flinched as another figure darkened their doorway, his voice echoing around the walls of the small den.
"Mufasa," Scar said, monotonously, "what a nice surprise to see you here."
Mufasa did not greet him back, not even sarcastically.
"Simba arrived home not too long ago. He had a cut on his leg. He says your son did it."
"Yes, he did," Scar said, very matter-of-factly, "right after your son did it to him. And many times before."
"Nonsense," Mufasa retorted, quickly, "Simba wouldn't lie to me, he knows better than that."
"But, he's not lying, is he? He's just not telling the whole truth. Maybe you ought to teach Simba better."
"Silence," Mufasa growled, dangerously, "tell your son not to touch Simba again."
Casting his scathing gaze across Chako, he swept out of the den. Scar, indignant, was hot on his heels.
"And maybe while you're doing that you can teach him not to be such a bully!"
"Lies!" Mufasa roared, turning to face Scar once more, "your son's just like you! Weak and over reactive and-!"
"My son's name is Chako, Mufasa! And just because you've just found out your precious son isn't flawless doesn't mean you have to take it out on him!"
He barely had time to finish his sentence before an enraged Mufasa leapt for him, a colossal roar exploding out of his muzzle as he raked his huge claws across his brother's shoulder, leaving him a mark identical to Chako's.
"Don't you dare," Mufasa breathed, "speak of your future King like that."
Scar couldn't even be bothered to answer him with anything. Instead, he turned on his heel and made to go back into the den.
"Don't turn your back on me, Scar!"
Scar glanced over his shoulder.
"Maybe you shouldn't have turned your back on me," he muttered.
Not quietly enough. Mufasa erupted into a roar once more, bounding in front of his brother.
"Say that again," he commanded.
"Alright," Scar said, "maybe you shouldn't have turned your back on me."
Mufasa glared back at him, clearly too angry to even roar again.
"If it weren't for father," he said, slowly, "I'd kill the both of you right now."
And that was the end of it. He turned and left without another word, headed in the direction of Pride Rock and his comfortable bed and his loving family and adoring subjects. Scar turned and re-entered his cave. His blood was boiling, hatred and rage filling him. He couldn't put up with this any longer. It wasn't fair.
He thought of his nephew and how corrupt he was, and how his equally corrupt brother was completely blind to it. He thought of how much he hated his brother. He thought of Chako, and what would happen to him when he was gone. Mufasa would have nothing to do with him, and would definitely not grant him the mercy that Scar's father had of instructing Simba not to run him out of the Pride Lands all together. He would surely die on his own, left to be pecked apart by vultures in the desert… He couldn't let that happen… he had to leave him with a fighting chance.
He found Chako cowering at the rear of the den, peering fearfully up at his father as he approached.
"Dad," he said, shakily, "you're hurt…"
"I'll be fine," Scar said, "it's not that bad."
He lay down and pulled his son closer to him once more, nuzzling the top of his head.
"What's going to happen to us now?"
Scar looked down at him, his mind abuzz with thoughts.
"Go to sleep, Chako, we're going to be okay."
He stared out of the den entrance again at the silhouette of Pride Rock, dark and looming against the night sky.
"I'm going to make things better."
I actually got incredibly sad writing this, but I hope you liked it. It was written to suit the prompt "Scar has cubs during Mufasa's reign", and I originally intended it to be about Scar deliberately turning his son against his uncle and cousin. It ended up that I wanted to keep it a bit more innocent and write something more emotionally dense, so I hope that it turned out that way for you.
It was kind of weird, though, to write Scar as this loving father figure, the way I would normally write for Mufasa, and then to portray the latter as quite cold and callous and oblivious. Also, I don't think Simba is really as cruel as he was portrayed here, but it was needed for the story.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and if I win I'll let you know