MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Which is the best story?

Poll ended at May 24th, 2015, 11:17 pm

The Downfall
2
67%
If Simba Never Ran Away
0
No votes
Star
1
33%
Facing the Consequences
0
No votes
Can You Feel The Love Tonight
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 3

MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Postby DGFone » May 15th, 2015, 11:17 pm

While I do apologize for being late in getting this topic up, I am delighted to say that we have five stories this time around! I am very pleased with this number, and I think you will all enjoy reading them all. We also have some new authors, but for now I won' reveal who they are. You know who you are, so at least I can tell you all: Welcome to the writing contest!

Here are these stories:

Story 1:
The Downfall: show
The Downfall


Simba sat in the dust, twirling his tail around with an air of boredom as he waited, drumming his toes, for the lionesses to bring him his meal. He could see their pity in their eyes, and they always lavished him with attention and praise. Ever since he’d lost his father, anything Simba had wanted had been his, all he need do was say the word. His uncle Scar was standing in for him as regent until he got his full mane, and Simba found everything to be quite honestly, rather droll. The land was in the early stages of a drought, everyone could see it as clear as day, and the hyenas encroached more and more on lion lands each day. Scar moved to allow them access to the Pride Lands as they had had once upon a time, but the others, Simba included, felt it was unsafe, unwise, and not in the best interest, and so he had been denied.

The young prince, with his youthful tufts of mane, had grown closer with his mother through the loss of the late king, Mufasa. He wasn’t a bad lion, not at heart, but he could see the fakeness in everyone around him, and it put him off. Most of the pride’s lionesses didn’t see him as his own lion anymore it seemed, they saw him as the shell they expected him to be, someone damaged and forever scarred by tragedy. That’s not to say that he wasn’t affected by the tragic death of his father, but he didn’t want to focus only on it, and yet they, when they looked upon him, could think of nothing else.

He had been a young and hopeful cub, spoiled and royal, living the dream, and all of that was because of his father. His father whom he strongly resembled, with his golden coat and brilliant red mane. Until that fateful day, when he’d gone to the gorge. The stampede had nearly taken Simba’s life, until his father had arrived, just in the nick of time, thanks to Uncle Scar, and had saved the young prince’s life. However, he’d met his own end in so doing. The cub had seen the body of his father, had called for help, and, then, upon touching the… death… had fled, returning immediately to Pride Rock to tell his mother about what had happened. Uncle Scar had arrived later, looking heartily grief-stricken, and there was a hint of anger in his features—anger at the wildebeest?—that Simba couldn’t help but notice, despite his state.

Ever since that day, Mufasa was hardly spoken of, but Simba could see him in the haunted looks plastered upon each pridesister’s face. They could see him in the prince’s own visage, and the memory was enough to make them hollow, empty vessels, carrying only their misery and their desire to placate Simba, the king to be. He huffed, dropping from his haunches to his belly, the latter growling ferociously with hunger. What was taking those lionesses so long to find him a zebra?

“Simba?” the familiar voice of Nala reached him, one of the few (Scar’s being the main other) voices that carried any tonal changes these days, the others all flat sadness and monotonous fealty sworn to their Mufasa 2.0. The young male turned his head only slightly, his eyes drifting over to the filling out and (as he was beginning to notice more and more often these days) increasingly attractive form of his childhood best friend and betrothed.

“I’m surprised to see you here, Nala,” he drawled, in a way not unlike his uncle.

“Why?” she asked curiously. The prince snorted.

“Your future king is hungry. You should be out with the hunting party, getting me a zebra so you can grovel at my paws and please me. Because zebra can replace my father, it would seem,” he remarked drolly, flicking his tail with agitation. Nala scowled, cuffing him on the back of the head with a paw.

“What’s the matter with you?” she criticized, turning away from him. “I’m not like them, and you know it. I’m not here to please you. And neither are they. You’re not here to loaf around and become even more of a brat than you were as a cub, you’re the future king… maybe if you’d act like, the pride could begin to live again…”

“What is that supposed to mean? There’s nothing I can do! I can’t bring back my father, nor can I be him, and that’s what they all want! They don’t want to serve King Simba, they want their last king back… and I don’t blame them.”

“Snap out of it! The kingdom is suffering because of you and Scar! You’re gloomy and moody while he fails at running a kingdom. Everything is in disarray, and the prey animals become harder to find. Why not step up and take your place?”

“Because I can’t replace my father,” Simba grumbled rolling over, his back now to her. “I’ll be my own king, in time, and every lion will serve me, just as they do now, tending to my every whim. That’s the only kind of king I know how to be. I don’t know how to be the kind of king this land needs.”

“So you’ll be another Scar instead?”

“What do you know about it! You never lost your father!”

For a moment, Nala was silent, until she responded softly, “No, I didn’t, because I never had one. It was hard growing up like that, you know? Mom cried about it a lot, and sometimes she still does. She misses him, and I had to be raised by her alone. But you know what? I don’t need a father. I’m perfectly capable of seeing right from wrong on my own. I can see how things could improve without having been trained by king. So what’s stopping you from doing the right thing for your kingdom? After all, I’ll be by your side… you won’t be alone in this.”

“…Scar’s a better king than I’ll ever be. I’m nothing but a prince, and that’s all I’ll ever be,” Simba murmured. Nala growled and cuffed him again.

“Scar wants to allow the hyenas into the Pride Lands! You know that’s wrong!”

“I do, and we stopped him, didn’t we, mom and me?”

“Yes, but that’s not the point! The point is you’re wallowing in your grief like my mother did, you’re wasting your life, when you could be exploring your kingdom, learning about the creatures who inhabit it and how to be the kind of king your father would be proud of!” the adolescent lioness countered, a deep frown etched into her features. Simba snarled, rubbing his head with a paw.

“As if you’d know what he’d be proud of,” he snorted, rising on his paws and sauntering away, leaving the young lioness to stare after him, bewildered and shocked, as she watched him disappear into the cave on top of Pride Rock.

Inside, Simba was alone. He strode to the back, flopping to the earth. He was restless. He couldn’t remain there long. Soon the prince was upright, on all four paws again, pacing back and forth in the back of the cave, troubled thoughts plaguing his mind. Fury and anguish manifested themselves in the forms of long, deep scratches in the hard wall of the cave, fast, vicious, heavy blows, landing repeatedly against the cool stone until it was dotted with red. The fur of his cheeks was damp, little droplets of water falling down his snout and pooling on the floor beneath his paws as he slumped against the wall, crying in earnest as he cradled his aching and bleeding paws.

“You promised you’d be there, whenever I needed you. But when I call your name, you’re not anywhere. I’m trying to hold on, just waiting to hear your voice… Dad…”

“How touching,” a cold voice greeted from the mouth of the cave. Simba started, casting his orbs upwards to stare into the glistening emerald eyes of his uncle. The prince didn’t rise, didn’t speak, and soon Scar was standing before him, looming over him, despite the fact that Simba was already nearly as big as his uncle. For a long, undeterminable amount of time, Scar just stared down at the young prince, their gazes locked, neither daring to look away. Simba was lost in those glowing green eyes of Scar’s—he could secrets in them, bubbling and receding. He could see darkness, corruption—was that a hint of amusement?—turbulence and a hidden deep layer of intelligence and cunning. It was a gaze the young prince would never forget. The elder lion broke the eye lock, striding away from his younger counterpart with a simple command, “come with me.”

Unquestioningly, Simba did so, rising on his paws and following the regent. Their path led them up the twisting trail that led to the very highest peak of Pride Rock, the highest point known to lionkind. Perched at that Olympian height, they could observe everything in the kingdom, everything that the light dared to touch. It had been years since the prince had set foot up here, the last time having been with his father, when he had first been shown the entirety of the kingdom that would one day be his. He inhaled deeply as he rested there beside his uncle, recalling all that he could about that day.

“You remember when your father brought you here,” Scar murmured. It was a statement, not a question. Simba nodded.

“How could I forget?”

“You came to me, so happy that you’d rule it all, and then… that horrible fiasco at the graveyard…” the regent trailed off.

The golden prince sighed miserably, speaking softly, “Sometimes… I wonder if I was worth him saving, if it wouldn’t have been better for him to come back. He and mom could have had more cubs to replace me.”

“The pride would be better off with him instead of you, but we can’t change the past, Simba,” Scar replied, almost dejectedly. Simba exhaled a shaky breath, his body wretching with sobs trying to escape at the vocalization of the feelings he’d been dealing with these past years, but he did not speak. Growing impatient, Scar broke the silence, continuing, “Do you want to see your father again, hear his voice?”

“Of course I do, if only I could! Just a word from him could end this nightmare,” Simba gasped, a sob escaping him, accompanied by a lone tear. Scar rose and began to pace on the peak behind the young prince, and the only obstacle between him and real kingship. The golden prince did not see the sinister grin twist the face of his favorite uncle.

“Well how fortuitous, my dear boy,” the regent said, placing his forepaws on Simba’s shoulders, “for it just so happens that I know of a way that the two of you can be reunited.”

“How do you mean?” the younger male asked, but instead of responding, his elder merely began to apply force to the youth’s shoulders, pushing with his haunches. Simba stiffened his legs automatically, not yet ready to face death, crying out as he realized what was happening, “Uncle Scar, what are you doing?!” The pressure on his back increased, claws pierced his skin, angry grunting with a wild caliber greeted his alerted ears—all this as the teenaged lion dug his claws into the stone, raising his rump instinctively to try and prevent his oncoming fall and doom. He was losing, he was slipping forward, and he couldn’t live if he kept resisting in this manner. Growing frantic, the young prince bucked, his forelegs sinking as his hindlegs rose surprisingly high into the air, hurling his uncle over his head and over the ledge in his place. He stared down at the falling body in shock, reliving the loss of his father, but with guilt mixed in as well. He didn’t know what to make of the events that had just transpired. It was an accident, he hadn’t meant to kill his uncle, but why had Scar been trying to shove him off of Pride Rock, and why had he brought up Simba’s near-death experience at the graveyard beforehand? Remembering that eerie gaze he hadn’t been able to break in the cave, Simba stood on the edge in awe, his heart dropping at the possibility.

He saw the lionesses just now returning with his zebra, saw them all notice Scar lying there at the very base of Pride Rock, a broken body and the second consecutive leader of this pride to fall to an untimely death. Simba no longer felt like eating the food they’d brought, in fact it took all of his energy to descend from Pride Rock’s peak and meet with the others. He was shaken still, and a look at his uncle’s body was haunting; assaulting him with memories of his father’s lifeless corpse.

Somehow even more haunting, Simba had just become a murderer, and a king.

Story 2:
If Simba Never Ran Away: show
If Simba Never Ran Away


“Run away and never return.”
Those words echoed around the gorge and cut deep into Simba’s heart. He took one final look at his Uncle before forcing his aching legs to run once more.
Puffing and panting, he heard the sounds of hyenas, laughing at their easy prey, but Simba never gave up. Even though his paws were cut on small stones and his lungs were straining to get enough air, he knew he would never give up.
Utter horror came over him when he realised he was trapped and the only chance to escape was to climb. Quickly, he unsheathed his claws and scrambled up the slope and gasped at the view from the top. Thorns.
Simba’s thoughts were racing. If he went down into the thorns, he was exploring unknown territory, but they would protect him. If he ran across the edge of the gorge, he would arrive back in the savannah and he would be able to find all his hiding places, but that would mean admitting the truth to his family.
The harsh cackles from the hyenas were gaining on Simba as he made his decision.
He pushed a small bundle of dead grass down the hill as he sped off to his right. He just prayed to the Great Kings of the Past that the hyenas would be fooled.
After several miles, Simba came to the waterhole. He lapped up the cool, refreshing water to reenergise him before hiding in a small cave by the shore that he knew of.
It was dark and unwelcoming, but it was safe. The lush green leaves of the trees hid the entrance and the entry was too high for any water to get in. And it was uninhabited.
Simba pushed his way into the cave and fell hard onto the cold stone floor. His exhausted body begged for instant sleep, but it didn’t come.
The haunting words came back to him.
Simba’s mind felt like it was being torn in two. He needed to see his family, feel comfort from his mother and friends, however, he didn’t want to tell them what had happened. It was all his fault.
Tears began to flow steadily down his cheeks as he succumbed to mental torture, but soon, he fell into a disturbed and fitful sleep.
Simba’s eyes forced themselves open as the first light of dawn forced itself into the cave. He yawned and stretched, but yelped as he discovered how sore his muscles were.
He felt unable to move, but he felt completely drained and so he reached up and poked his head out of the cave entrance. Looking around, he could see no other creature at the waterhole. This really confused him. Normally, this place was teeming with life. The zebras frolicking in the water’s edge or the infectious laughs of the monkeys were nowhere to be seen.
Tentatively, Simba crept forwards out of the cave and padded to the water’s edge. He stared down into the water at his own reflection. He was a mess. His hair was in all directions, his fur caked in mud and bits of grass sticking out in awkward places. Suddenly, Simba jumped as he heard the harsh cry of the vultures. They were all heading towards one place on the savannah.
Although Simba’s body protested, he was off running again, to see if he could save the poor creature who was being targeted by these disgusting scavengers.
Soon, a vague shape came into view and gasped as he realised it was a lioness. He slowed down and then carefully approached. He saw vicious bite wounds and scratches. Who would attack a lioness?
Then his ears pricked up as he caught the sound of screeching laughter. Hyenas.
He checked for a pulse and for breathing, but there was none. He prayed to his father that she would be safe with him in the stars before running back to safety.
Then he stopped and thought. Why are there hyenas in the Pridelands?
Being the inquisitive cub that he was, Simba decided to find out.
He crouched down below the level of the grass, moving slowly towards Pride Rock, carefully to frequently stop and listen attentively for any sounds of hyenas. After what seemed like years, Simba made it to Pride Rock.
He didn’t want to approach, but he found a couple of rocks and hid behind them. He popped his eyes above the rocks to survey the situation.
He saw as Scar roared orders at the lionesses, who would then bow slowly. Scar was King? This made Simba angry. He was the next in line!
His emotions almost took control of his body, but the rational side of his brain made him freeze. Hyenas were approaching his hiding place.
Simba fled from Pride Rock, down to the waterhole. He scrambled back into his cave and sat there in the darkness, breathing heavily, his heart racing.
Simba frequently went to spy on Pride Rock, looking at Scar’s injustice and watching as the Pridelands became dry and unhealthy. The waterhole was getting lower by the day and Simba had not found any food. He was getting very thin and his eyes had lost the spark of youth that he once had.
He had almost given up hope.
However, just as he had decided to turn himself in to Scar, Simba heard noises. He hid in his cave and listened. Were they friend or foe?
They sounded like the lionesses. Yes, he clearly heard his mother’s distinctive voice, as well as many others.
Simba put his head out of the cave and felt his heart rise. His friends and family had found him! He ran to them so fast it was almost like he was flying.
“Mother! Mother!” he cried.
Sarabi slowly turned her head and gazed deep into Simba’s eyes as if she had forgotten her own son. “Simba..?”
“It’s me mother!”
Sarabi turned her head quickly away and stared at her reflection in the water. “You can’t be. My Simba is dead.”
Simba felt his heart break. Tears flooded his cheeks. “I’m not dead! I am Simba!”
Sarabi heard the emotion in her son’s voice, but she didn’t want to believe it. She’d seen many mirages of Simba and Mufasa after that dreadful day. She just stayed as still as a rock on the water’s edge as if she was waiting for the water to erode her away.
“Mother?”
Simba dropped his head and cried pitifully. A paw came and patted his own, tear soaked feet.
“I know it’s you.” Whispered a soft voice in his ear.
Simba lifted his head and stared into the soft blue eyes of his friend Nala. He leant into his friends soft shoulder and wept.
It was a solemn moment.
Sarabi felt the pitiful sobs reach into her soul. Simba seemed so real, unlike her other mirages. She slowly turned her head back towards Simba. A few tears escaped her eyes.
“My son…”
Simba heard the soft words and rushed into his mother’s waiting arms. There they stayed for a long time, oozing love and allowing the comforts of family to strengthen their hearts.
Suddenly, Sarafina cried out. A scouting group of hyenas had turned up to see why the lioness were taking so long. Sarabi broke the embrace and called the lionesses together.
“Friends, we must leave this place. Pride Rock is a sanctuary no longer. Fight these hyenas and once they are gone, we will be free to leave this place.”
Then she turned to Simba.
“Hide with Nala and only come out when you hear no signs of fighting.”
Simba did as his mother told and dragged Nala to his cave.
“Quick, get in!”
They huddled together in the dark, looking at each other for comfort. The howls and growls terrified them and the cries of pain made them flinch.
Soon, there was silence.
Simba gently raised his head out of the cave. The lionesses were still there! He dragged the rest of himself out the cave and ran towards his mother, closely followed by Nala.
Sarabi picked Simba up and began to run into the distance. Sarafina followed with Nala and the rest of the lionesses brought up the back.
On and on they ran.
On and on towards a brighter future.


Story 3:
Star: show
Star

How long had it been! Days for sure, possibly weeks. Simba couldn’t remember how long he had wandered the desert since that day. Splinters still plagued his skin from the tumble down through thistles. His paw pads were covered in painful blisters that seemed to sizzle on the hot sand with each step. The cub couldn’t help but feel that this was his punishment for causing the death of his beloved father. How he regretted that day. The memory of watching the great king plummet to his death appeared to him whenever Simba closed his eyes. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t rest, couldn’t blink without a reminder that this was all his fault.
Above him, Simba could very faintly hear the screeches of the vultures that hovered overhead. Peeling back his lips, Simba snarled at them weakly, trying to warn them off. He wasn’t dead yet! But the buzzards were persistent, ignoring his warnings. The cub swore he heard them laughing at him. Laughing. Just like those hyenas. Those stupid hyenas! Their words echoed in his mind.
“If you ever come back, we’ll kill you!”
Hot tears ran down Simba’s cheeks, the only wetness he’d felt since the day of the stampede. There was no water anywhere. No shade, no shelter. Nothing. Just a vast wasteland of golden sand and dead trees. Angry, Simba collapsed to the ground, howling in anguish. He cried for his mother, for Nala, even for Zazu. How he wished this was all a terrible dream. That Sarabi would nudge him awake soon, and soothe him. Mufasa would be there, reassuring Simba that he was fine, that he was still there. But Simba knew this was a fruitless wish. That this desert would be his end, and there was no way out.
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” Simba whimpered, smacking the ground angrily with his paws. “I take back everything! I’ll be good! I won’t sneak out anymore, I won’t tease Zazu, I won’t talk back! Please, I’ll do anything!” He turned his gaze to the sky, where the vultures still circled him threateningly. His grimace softened as he watched them. They were almost mesmerizing. He didn’t even notice how blurry his vision was getting, how his head became too heavy to hold up. Defeated, he collapsed to the ground on his side, eyelids fluttering. They too were much too heavy now. The cub didn’t even fight the darkness clouding his vision. As his eyes finally succumbed to the exhaustion, he saw the claws of the vultures land in front of him, and heard the flapping of their wings closing in on him.
When Simba came to, it was dark, and much cooler. He was still in the desert, but unlike the previous day, he felt no thirst, no exhaustion, no hunger. Anything. He felt nothing. The blisters and splinters were gone too. Shocked, Simba looked at his pads, unbelieving of the utter lack of burns and injury that had been there what felt like only seconds before. He felt his chest swell as he began to wonder if his wish had come true. If everything that had happened was just an awful nightmare, one that he had finally woke up from. But, looking around, Simba saw that he was still in the middle of the desert, completely alone. And his heart sank once more.
The buzzards had also disappeared. No longer did he hear their screeches and laughter. Where had they gone? Why had they followed him for so long only to leave him completely untouched. All this was so confusing to Simba. Was he dreaming? He poked himself with a claw to test. “Ouch!” He exclaimed, feeling the familiar prick. He was surely awake. But these new discoveries unnerved him. It didn’t add up.
Simba continued wandering through the sand with a faster gait, now that his energy had returned to him. As he galloped, he felt no need to stop. Like he could run forever. Cautiously, he cried out, “Hello?” Into the emptiness. No response, as there had been previously. But now his voice echoed in such an eerie fashion that Simba began to run faster. What if this was worse than the dry heat of the previous days? What if this was his new punishment? To be alone forever. Never to hear the voice of a fellow being again.
At this thought Simba stopped running, the feeling of tears returning to his eyes once again. His voice hitched in a sob as he ran more sloppily. Tripping over his own paws, Simba collapsed into the sand, spraying it upwards in his tumble. Looking up after his fall, Simba’s eyes widened with fear as he watched the sand dance into the sky like smoke. Like clouds. The ex prince lay frozen with fear as he watched more particles of sand disappear into the night sky.
The sky…. It too was strange. The stars were much brighter than they usually were, as if they were closer. One in particular seemed to be growing ever larger, approaching Simba at a fast pace. At first, Simba thought he was merely seeing things, for stars didn’t move. But as it grew ever closer, Simba realized that he was not seeing things. It was coming for him.
Desperately, Simba scrambled to his paws and took off sprinting in the direction he had come from, refusing to look behind him for fear of how close the bright entity was. He panted heavily, pumping his short legs even faster than when the hyenas had been on his tail. His heart jumped into his throat when he heard the ever louder sound of heavy paw steps in the sand behind him. It was big. Huge even. Bigger than any hyena. Simba tried to run faster, but he was already sprinting as hard as he could. The sound of paws grew louder and louder until Simba could feel the gentle spray of soft sand at his heels. He fought the urge to look behind him, terrified of what horror was so close to catching him.
This was it.
A huge, warm paw wrapped around his stomach and pulled him into a large pillowy mane. The grip was firm but gentle, and Simba felt no presence of claws on his flesh. Still shaking with fear, Simba covered his eyes, sobbing rather violently as he awaited for whatever death the foreign beast wished for him. He only hoped it would be quick.
“Simba.” A deep voice shook Simba to his core. The voice. It was his voice. “Simba it’s me.” It couldn’t be. It couldn’t be him. He had died in the stampede. ‘Son it’s me!” Slowly, Simba uncovered his eyes, hesitantly looking up at the voice’s owner.
There he was, his gentle, relieved smile. His kind eyes. It was him. Just like Simba had remembered him. The face that had appeared to him each time he closed his eyes ever since that terrible day at the gorge. “Dad…” Simba croaked. Tears still flowed from the cub’s eyes, but they were no longer tears of fear and sadness. They were tears of joy. Such joy that Simba had never felt before in his life. “Daaaad!” He shouted, burying himself in Mufasa’s mane, embracing his father tighter than he ever had before.
Mufasa placed a paw on Simba’s back, trying to calm the child down as he struggled to speak in between sobs. “It’s okay Simba. I’m here now… I’ve got you…” The once great King smiled warmly at his son, tears budding at the edge of his own eyes as he was reunited with his son again.
“B-but Dad…” Simba sniffled, wiping his face messily on his paw. “You w-were dead. The stampede… Uncle Scar… He-he said-“ Mufasa hushed Simba, holding him even closer. “How did you survive? How did you find me?” Simba questioned, looking up at his father with curious, confused eyes. “Where’s mom? And Nala? Are they mad at me? I’m sorry…” He buried his face in Mufasa’s chest again, feeling the heavy weight of guilt on himself once more.
Mufasa’s face fell, and a single tear fell down his muzzle. “Oh Simba, it’s not your fault… There’s something I have to tell you.” He tilted Simba’s face upwards, so he could look the cub in the eyes as he delivered his news with a heavy heart. “I didn’t make it out of the stampede Simba. I am… dead.” He revealed. Simba was stunned, like his father had slapped him in the face with all his strength. “And… my son… You are too….”
“What? But…” Simba backed away from his father, hyperventilating. “That’s not true! I’m still alive! I’m still in the desert! I’m stil-“
“Simba…” The red maned lion urged him to look at the ground. “What does all this look like to you Simba?” He asked, a deep sadness present in his voice and on his face.
The cub looked at his feet. He answered in a soft voice. “It’s sand…”
Mufasa shook his head and swiped some of it with his paw. Like before, it floated up in wisps, like mist. “These are clouds, my son. And those…” He pointed to the sky, and the stars that grew ever closer to them. “Those are our new home. Do you remember the story of the Great Kings of the Past I told you Simba?” Mufasa asked as the bright lights surrounded them, bathing the two golden lions in a calming glow. Simba nodded weakly as he watched the stars fade into more solid, feline shapes. “Now…” Mufasa began, looking around him as lions and lionesses appeared from the stars that had descended to fetch them, to bring them home. “We are a part of them.”
“But….” Simba began, sinking himself down into the soft clouds below his paws. “Mom… Nala…”
“It is not yet their time.” One of the ghostly lionesses answered gently, placing a paw on Simba’s shoulder. “But you will see them again one day.” She smiled at him, warmly, pulling him in for a soft embrace. “It’s time to go home now, you will watch over them from above.”
Simba looked to his father, who nodded silently. “Come on Simba. It’s time for us to go…” Mufasa beckoned Simba to him. Simba looked back up at the lioness for a brief moment, thinking she looked familiar, like his father, and his uncle Scar. She smiled back down at him, nudging him towards his father, who she looked at knowingly. Mufasa took a deep breath, and said, “Are you ready son?”
The young cub looked downward, seeing now the slight transparency of the clouds. He saw below him the huddle of vultures, busily working on something that Simba knew all too well was him. He hiccupped a little, trying to stop himself from breaking out into a sob once more. The starry lionesses words comforted him. You will watch over them from above….
“Yeah Dad… I’m ready.”


Story 4:
Facing the Consequences: show
Facing the Consequences

Simba woke up with a start. Another nightmare. He stood up, stretched, and decided to go for a walk. It was still dark out, with the only light coming from the moon, but he knew he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep for a little while now.

It had been a long time since Mufasa died, but Simba remembered every little detail like it was yesterday, from his roar practice, to the stampede, to being rescued by his father, to seeing his father's dead body. It had haunted him every night.

"Simba, what have you done?" Scar asked him.

"There were wildebeest and he tried to save me," Simba answered, crying. "It was an accident. I-I-I didn't mean for it to happen."

"Of course, of course!" Scar said, pulling him closer. "Nobody ever means for these things to happen. But the king
is dead. And if it weren't for you, he'd still be alive." Simba cried some more at the realization that it was all his fault. "Now, come on. Your mother will be very worried about you, and we don't need two lions dying today, now do we?" Simba shook his head and followed his uncle out of the gorge.

When they arrived back to Pride Rock, Nala was the first to greet him.

"Hi, Simba! How was it?" she asked, not noticing Simba's mood. He looked up at her, and her wide smile immediately turned into a frown. "Simba? What's wrong?"

Simba looked up at Scar, pleading for help.

"Yes, Simba. Why don't you tell your friend what happened? In fact, why don't you tell *everyone* what happened?" Scar prodded. Simba looked up to see all of the lionesses gathered around, looking at him with confusion.

"I-I-I killed Mufasa," Simba admitted, unable to look at anyone. All of the lionesses gasped.

"Why would you do such a thing?" one of the lionesses asked.

"I-I-I didn't mean to! It was an accident!" Simba cried, but everyone stepped away from him.

"As the new king, I would exile you, but since you're so young, I won't," Scar said. "But you will have to stay as far away from everyone as possible so you don't put anyone else in danger. At least, until you can be trusted." All of the lionesses nodded their heads in agreement, except for Nala, who was just looking at him with disbelief, silent tears streaming down her face.

After that, no one came less than five feet in front of him. The only time they were able to get that close was when they were giving him food. No one talked to him. He was an outcast.


Simba sighed. He was a full-grown lion now. It was time that he confronted his uncle about this. He realized he was heading straight for the waterhole. Or what was the waterhole. Everything was now gray and dead with Scar's reign. He couldn't believe what had become of this place. He turned around and headed back to Pride Rock.

By the time he arrived, the sun was just beginning to rise. He didn't wait to confront his uncle. He went right up to the cave and walked in. Most of the lionesses were off hunting by now. There were only a few who stuck around, getting some extra rest.

"Scar!" Simba hissed. "I need to speak with you." Scar turned and opened one eye. He smiled and stretched.

"Ah, Simba! How nice of you to come join us," he said. "You haven't killed anyone, right?"

"No. I haven't killed anyone since my father died," Simba growled. "Which is why I'm here. Can I *please* join your pride again?"

"Why, of course you can, Simba!" Scar said. "Just don't be surprised if the other lions still don't want to be around you." Simba nodded solemnly and walked out of the cave. His uncle was right. Not all of the lionesses liked him yet. He wondered if he'd ever be able to gain their trust again.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, he was being pushed back. Whoever was on top of him was pinning him down and growling. He looked up to see Nala standing over him, teeth bared.

"Nala! It's me!" Simba cried. Nala's expression immediately changed to horror, and she backed away from him.

"Sorry. I didn't realize," she said. "What are you doing out here anyways? And why are you so close to me?"

"My uncle's officially let me back into the pride now," Simba explained. "But then I wasn't watching where I was going and ended up here." He looked up to see Nala was still scared. He frowned. "Are you still seeing me as my father's murderer?"

"Yes," she admitted. "And I don't think I can ever look past that."

"But Nala, it was an accident!" Simba said.

"I know it was. But that still doesn't erase the fact that if you hadn't been in the gorge that day, he would still be here, and we'd have plenty of food," Nala said.

"But Scar-," Simba began, but Nala cut him off.

"I know the story. Scar told us," she said.

"What exactly did he tell you?" Simba asked skeptically.

"Just that he had advised for you to work on your roar, and you had decided to go to the gorge to do so. Scar had followed you for some unknown reason, and that's when he saw the stampede coming towards you," Nala explained.

"That's not exactly what happened," Simba said.

"So you're calling Scar a liar?" Nala accused.

"Yes!" Simba said.

"I don't believe you," Nala said.

"Wait. You actually believe my uncle over me? Why?" Simba asked.

"Because Scar never murdered anyone!" Nala retorted. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have some hunting to do." She began to walk off, but Simba stopped her.

"Nala, will we ever be friends again?" he asked. Nala took a deep breath and looked at the lion, a look of sadness in her eyes.

"I don't think so," she said.

"B-But what about the betrothal?" Simba continued. "Zazu said-."

"I don't care what Zazu said!" Nala shouted. "The whole betrothal thing for you and me was something your father did. I asked Scar about it shortly after he became the new king. He said that I didn't have to marry you if I didn't want to. And he said he understood where I was coming from. Who could ever love a monster like you?"

"I'm not a monster!" Simba growled.

"No. I suppose you're not. You're just a lion who killed his father at a very young age," Nala said. "Goodbye, Simba." With that, she turned and ran off to continue her hunt. Simba just stayed where he was, though, thinking about what she said. He realized she was right. He was a monster. And that was all he would ever see himself as. A monster, because he hadn't followed simple instructions. None of it would have happened if he hadn't gone to the elephant graveyard the day before. But he had, and now not even his childhood best friend would see him as a friend again. That was the life he had to live now, and as much as it hurt, he accepted it.


Story 4:
Can You Feel The Love Tonight: show
Can You Feel The Love Tonight


In one single short morning, Simba's entire life changed. It was the first time he had seen another lion – another predator – ever since… ever since he had run away from home. Since then it was just him and Timon and Pumbaa, the Hakuna Matata trio living the good life!

Then this morning he was woken up by the frantic screaming of his friends as they were chased by some rogue lioness. Rushing in to defend his friends, Simba found them just in time before they became someone’s morning bacon and meerkat breakfast.

And of all the lions in the world who could have showed up to snack of the two, it was non other Simba's cubhood friend, who he had never expected to see again. “Nala?” What was she doing here? Where had she come from?

Seemingly forgetting that they had just been going after each other's throats, or that she had wanted to eat his friends, the two lions forgot about everything as they took off into the jungle, chasing after one another much like they did when they were younger.

As the sun set and the day turned into night, the pair's energy finally began to die out, and their chases and games melted into a slow walk through the jungle, enjoying their reunion and basking in the presence of one another.

Walking along side by side, Simba stopped as he head something echoing quietly through the trees. “Nala, do you hear that?” he asked, straining to listen to the faint noise.

The lioness shook her head. “No, Simba, I don't-” she froze, “actually, wait, no. I do hear something...”

The noise, while still faint, got just lightly louder, and was just clear enough that Simba was able to make out some words:

    There's a calm surrender, to the rush of day...

Simba leaned his head to the side, struggling to hear the rest. “I think I know what that is,” he whispered to Nala excitedly, “Timon told me about a guy who likes to travel around, and apparently he likes to sing… Timon said he only saw him once, but I guess until now I never really thought it was real. Guess he decided to show up again. Come on Nala!”

Breaking into a run, Simba ran towards the source of the music, his friend close behind him. The music got louder and clearer as they neared the source. Around them, the dense jungle gave way to a small clearing, packed with animals, all enchanted by the music.

    And can you feel the love tonight… It is where we all...


With the clearing completely packed, neither Simba nor Nala were actually able to see the actual singer. But as they settled down side by side next to a tree, they didn't care. The music was more than loud enough over here, and as long as the two of them were here…

As they listened to the magical sound, Simba placed a paw on top of Nala's. Feeling him place it there, the lioness looked up at him, and the two grinned at one another.

“It's wonderful, Simba...”

“I know, Nala...”

As the music began to reach it's peak, Nala leaned her head over and nuzzled Simba tenderly. “Thank you Simba,” she whispered, “for bringing me here.”

The lion returned the nuzzle, chuckling softly. “Hey, I didn't know this was going to happen. I was just as clueless as you were. But.. you're welcome anyways.”

Despite being surrounded by other animals who also came to hear the music, the two lions still felt like they were alone in this world. Just the two of them and this wonderful music.

    Stealing through the night's uncertainties… love is where they are...


As the song died down, the lion and lioness were left alone in their own little world that they created for themselves with their shared emotions. Even as the others around them started to disperse into the night, the two remained where they were, hardly moving. It was almost like the perfect dream…

However, as the pair finally got up and began to walk around some more, it was only a matter of time before Nala got around to asking Simba about what he was doing here rather than back at Pride Rock. Even wonderful dreams have a nasty habit in that sooner or later, you have to wake up…

~~~~~~~


Despite his earlier reservations about coming back, Simba found the will to do so and to retake his place in the circle of life. The Pride Lands were slowly coming back to life as the dried up and burnt lands gave way slowly to fresh grass and trees began to regrow their leaves. Even the animals started to come back, no longer afraid of being hunted to death by the endless appetite of a ravenous hyena hoard.

The sun rose slowly over the lands, covering the Pride Lands with its warm rays of light. Up on top of Pride Rock, Simba stared at it all, feeling proud of what he was able to accomplish. Even though he had been able to retake his place in the circle of life as Mufasa had wanted him to, he had also found himself completely unprepared to actually lead a pride, let alone the entire lands as a king should.

If it wasn't for the rest of the pride's help, especially his mother's, as well as the help of a certain little blue banana beak, he would have most likely run off again just to get away from the stress and attention he got from being king.

It was mornings like this one that kept him here. He was able to see actual signs that, despite not knowing anything on how to get the Pride Lands back in order, he was able to learn and get results done.

A flurry of blue wings next to his head informed him that the very same certain banana beak had arrived. “Morning, Zazu,” the young king said, his eyes still glue on the lands below them.

The bird gave a small bow in greeting. “Good morning sire. News from out of the Pride Lands for today's morning report.”

Figuring that he might as well get the morning report over with, Simba nodded permission for the bird to begin. “Go ahead, Zazu. What is it?” Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that even compared to his usual excitement over delivering the news, Zazu seemed to be positively gleeful about something.

“Well sire, we are going to receive a special guest soon. A visitor from a far away land I hear is called 'Great Britain'.”

Simba never heard of that place before. “Really? What for?”

“No particular reason, sire. The guest likes to perform to all crowds, and travels the world to do so. He goes by the name of a certain Mister John.” If Simba had looked closer, he swore that as Zazu said this, the bird was grinning like mad.

“Never heard of him,” Simba replied without much care. “But I guess, if he wants to show up, why not? It will be an interesting visit I think.”

Zazu by now was unable to hide his excitement. “Oh, it will be, sire. It will be.”

Curious at what was animating the majordomo so much, Simba tore his gaze away from the Pride Lands and finally gave Zazu a good look. “What makes you say that? Do you know this, err… Mister John?”

The bird nodded his head. “You can say that, sire. He and I… we have a certain history together. Frankly, I will be delighted to have him as an honored guest of the Pride Lands.”

With a shrug, Simba returned to watching over the lands below them. “Well, if you say so...” And with that, the bird got on to the rest of the morning report, which Simba didn't care about listening to closely to.

~~~~~~~


Finally the day arrived when this guest showed up at the Pride Lands. Simba had made sure to greet him personally at the border, even if it meant having to wake up especially early, much to Nala's annoyance.

The guest didn't strike Simba as anything unusual, and soon the lion had to go away to continue with his own official business, leaving the guest to set up on his own. It was during the evening that the performance that Simba quickly realized that he had head this guy before.

“It's him, Nala,” he told the lioness excitedly, “he's the one we heard the night you found me!” Perhaps intentionally, but he never actually recalled doing it on purpose, but he and Nala found themselves at the same exact position, sitting side by side, and listening to the wonderful song.

This time around, there were more than one song to be played, including, to Simba's delight, a great song about the circle of life. Throughout the entire performance, he sat next to Nala, completely entranced by the music, as was the rest of the pride and everyone else who felt like showing up.

It was after the show was over that Simba decided to go over to the guest. He wanted to tell him how glad he felt to have him show up, especially due to the special circumstances he and Nala shared with a certain song.

Arriving to where the singer was packing up, he was disappointed to find that Zazu was there to.

The bird had a rather wicked grin on his beak, one that Simba didn't exactly like. “Erm, Zazu, what's going on?”

The bird rubbed his wings together with glee. “Just paying a visit to an old friend, sire” he replied, getting the singer's attention. “Remember me, Mister John? How's that name going for you? Still hadn't decided to change it?”

The singer looked up from his work at the bird. “Ah, yes, I remember you. Still going on about that name, are you?”

For a reply, Zazu somehow found a gun and used it to shoot the singer, who fell to the ground without much of a reaction. “It's dickhead to you, fuzzy!”

Simba stared at the scene in horror. “Zazu? What-? What did you do?” he roared in anger. “You killed him!”

Zazu casually tossed the firearm away without a second though. “Simply knocked him out, sire. He'll be good as new tomorrow morning.”

The lion glanced at the singer, who sure enough, was still breathing. “Yes, but… but why?” he stammered, “what's going on between you two?”

Zazu looked over at the singer and shrugged. “He started it. All I did was ask him a few question about his curious name, that's all. His rather… stupid and idiotic, completely unreasonable name...”

Simba could see that the bird was getting very mad about it, so he roared in warning to get his attention. “All right, I had it with you. Zazu, out! I don't want you to be anywhere near this guy until after he leaves the Pride Lands. Am I understood?”

“Sure thing, sire.” With a bow, Zazu left.

Letting out an annoyed sigh, Simba stared back at the singer. “Well, sorry about that,” he muttered to the sleeping body. “I really didn't think that this was what Zazu had in mind when he said that he knew you… I guess I'll just… leave you here… let you wake up on your own...”

No certain famous singers were harmed in the writing of this story


With five stories to go through, take your time and pick wisely! I am sure that all the stories are good, so it could even get to a close call, but we'll see.Due to the timing, as well as to give you guys more time to vote, I am leaving the vote to run for nine days. Voting ends on Sunday, May 24th!

The usual voting rules apply: Don't vote for yourself, and don't vote for a story that you simply know was written by a friend. Don't ask others to vote for your story either. Read each one carefully and give all the stories the same consideration before you make your decision.

Good luck to you four authors!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Postby Ninaroja » May 15th, 2015, 11:25 pm

Nice! Looks like the competition is picking up steam once again :D

Sadly, I wasn't able to get my planned entry finished, but I still want to flesh it out, so expect it on my ff.net page some day *cough*gofollowmeontherepleaseitsninarojaaswell*cough*

:innocent:

Will read and vote ASAP :)
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Postby AnActualLion » May 17th, 2015, 9:14 pm

Wow, really enjoyed reading these!!!
CERTIFIED LION CARTOON TRASH QUEEN
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Postby Queen Elsa » May 18th, 2015, 12:08 pm

Really good stories all around. It was hard to choose just one. :D Good luck to everyone!
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Postby Carl » June 20th, 2015, 5:14 pm

When will the winner thread be up? It's been nearly a month since voting ended. :/
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Postby Ninaroja » June 21st, 2015, 4:07 pm

Yoohoo, DG? :P
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Re: MLK Writing Contest #33 [Voting]!

Postby DGFone » June 22nd, 2015, 3:07 am

I am alive, don't you worry. :P

So the story goes that I was on vacation that I just got back from. I had great ambitions of using Sunday to create several topics on MLK, such as the writing contest and the TLK fan of the month, but on Saturday, this thing happened. I was not in the condition to create the topics until only a few days ago, when I didn't have enough time to spend on MLK.

I will post the topics soon!
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