The Fable of the Mountain Lioness and the Dragon

Once upon a time, there was a mountain lioness.  She was a proud, majestic animal.  She was proud, but fair, to those around her.

A strange shadow fell over the land.  Everything seemed to shiver as the sun was obscured.  The animals were frightened.  They didn’t understand what was happening.

The mountain lioness was afraid as well, but she felt sure down to her paws that she was the one to rid the world of the shadow.  She set off on her quest.  Her travels took her to the plains as the shadows continued to grow.  She searched far and wide to figure out what was happening.

The rumors started creeping along the plains.  The shadow was being caused by one of the fallen, a mythical dragon come to enact his wrath upon the light.  It wanted the darkness to clothe the earth.  It wanted the light to disappear forever.

The mountain lioness stopped in her tracks.  She thought, “How can I go up against something that powerful that can actually consume the sun?”  She wanted to flee back to her mountain and enjoy what time was left for her and her family.  She knew no one would blame her for doing so.

But she shook her head and growled.  She was a strong lioness.  She was a hunter and a killer of prey.  She was fierce enough.  She was strong enough.  She knew she had to do something.

So she continued on, heading to the ocean.  The journey was long and arduous, and by the time she could hear the crashing surf, the sun was almost gone.

She set paw on the wet sand with her head bowed from the exertion of covering the distance in a short time.  She had not hunted.  She had not slept.  She was fur and bones, held together with resolve and determination.  The water lapped at her feet when she finally forced her head up and took in the horrific sight.

There in the sky, there was a dragon.  The dragon was sucking in light from the sun.  It had consumed so much that the sun was dimmer than the moon.

The mountain lioness summoned up the remnants of her once great strength and shouted, “Stop!”

The dragon paused in its eating and turned its head to look upon the lioness.  Its eyes glowed fiercely and when it spoke, its voice was punctuated with flashes of light, like fireworks.  “Pitiful creature,” it boomed, “you cannot command me.  I am almost done eating the sun and committing this world to darkness.  Leave me alone to my task and when I am done I will bless you with a quick and merciful death.  If you interrupt me again, your death will be painful.”

The lioness thought about turning and running right there.  She thought, “Who am I to take on such an awesomely powerful creature?  I am a mere lioness, I can hunt, I can prowl, and I can lead my pride, but I am not a force of nature.”

She took one step back, then two.

There was no one there to stop her from running.

There was no one there at all.

That’s when she stopped.

There was no one else there.

No one else that could do anything.

She stiffened her spine.

She crouched down.

She stood tall and roared, “STOP!”

The dragon paused, the sun a mere shadow in the sky. The stars were twinkling in mirth at its inability of the sun to obscure them anymore.

Surprise followed quickly by anger shown from the dragon’s fiery gaze.  “You dare talk to me again?”  The dragon shoved its maw close to the mountain lioness.  “You dare tell me what to do?”

The lioness didn’t flinch.  “You dare complain?  I ask you who gave you permission to consume the sun?”

The dragon chuckled a dark chuckle that almost knocked down the lioness.  “No one needs give me permission.  I take it, like I will take your life!”

“You can have my life you cursed creature,” she said, “but why must the darkness win?”

“The world must be doomed to darkness.  It is too painful to see in the light.”

“But why?” the mountain lioness asked.  “What is so bad that the light must not touch the earth?”

“Don’t you see,” the dragon roared, rising again to its full height.  “The earth is covered with evil.  The light doesn’t do its job and sear it away under its powerful eye.  Since the light will not do its job, I will condemn the earth to the darkness it deserves.”

The mountain lioness roared.  “You fool!  Yes, the earth is covered with evil, but it is also covered in good.  You are cursing and condemning those good ones to hide that evil you despise.”

“Where do you see good?” the dragon demanded.  “I see it not!”

“Do you claim I am evil? The lioness challenged.

The dragon stared deep into her eyes.  He looked down into her soul.

The mountain lioness almost broke again.  Those eyes laid her very being naked in front of the dragon’s hungry stare.

But she stood her ground, never blinking, never showing her fear.

As a matter of fact, she didn’t even feel the fear now.  She was burning it to fuel the anger and courage she was using right then.  It burnt bright and hot.  It hurt to stoke that fire inside of her, but it was the only thing she could do.  She mentally dared the dragon to touch it.

The dragon blinked first.

“Doesn’t matter,” it said.”

“What do you mean?” the lioness roared from the depths of that fire inside of her.  “I do not matter?”  She took one step, then two steps toward the dragon.  “How dare you!”

The dragon took a step back, then two.  “But you are just one,” it said softly.  “The evil is overwhelming.”

“You are overwhelmed?” she laughed.  She took another step forward.  “You are able to consume the sun.”

The dragon took another step back.  It looked smaller, frailer.  It didn’t speak.  It didn’t meet her gaze.

“With your power, we can strike fear in that evil.”

The dragon stared at the mountain lioness again.  “We?”

“I will join you.  Release the light and together we will banish the evil and not the light.”

The dragon paused, then lifted its mouth to the heavens and roared.  The light the dragon had consumed was released to the sky above.

The stars screamed when the sun flared back to life.

The mountain lioness unleashed her roar as well, unleashing her fury that she had inside of her, and the sun shone even brighter.

They are still finding evil and bringing the light to scour it from the earth.  If you doubt, go outside on a sunny day and feel their promise and decide if you want to become part of the “We”.

 

Image: kids.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/kids/photos/animals/Mammals/H-P/mountain-lion-on-rock.adapt.945.1.jpg

Join the Club (a 350 word story)

Marty looked around the empty classroom.  He checked his watch again.  It was still 7:10.  He got up and made sure the sign was still hanging outside the door.  After verifying that, he went back to his seat and checked his watch again.  It was now 7:11.  He couldn’t believe he was the only person on all of campus that wanted to be a part of this club. He had put the meeting notice on all the school’s social media sites.   Everyone had to know by now that the interest meeting was scheduled to start at 6:30.  He looked over to the front table where two pizzas were getting cold.  He wasn’t hungry anymore but decided to grab a slice.  He opened the box that was the veggie lovers and took a limp piece out and placed it on his paper plate, dropping half his toppings back into the cardboard coffin it came from.  He was about to reach back in to get his remaining spoils when the door opened.

Marty spun around so fast that his pizza slice slid off the plate and landed cheese side down on the floor.  The woman who had entered was dressed all in black.  Her black makeup contrasted perfectly with her perfectly enhanced pale complexion.  She was a fallen angel, sent to him to give him the courage to move forward, he was certain for that.

The fallen angel looked around at the empty room.  “Is this the anime club?”

Marty blinked his eyes as he watched his waves of hope crash on the rocks of despair.  “No.  This is the interest meeting for the future world dominators.  It’s a club I was trying to start up.”

The fallen angel finally noticed the kamikaze pizza slice bleeding out grease on the industrial tile floor.  “You have pizza?”

Marty pointed at the boxes on the table behind him.  “Lots.”

A smile bloomed on her face.  “Sign me up!”  She walked past Marty to get to the pizza.

Right then Marty knew one day he would take over the world with her at his side.

 

Image: thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/pizza-slice-plate-pizza-slice-dropped-ground-112424802.jpg