Monday, January 28, 2013

Brrda Against the Tiger

It is often said among humans that animals share no intelligence. They are considered mere mindless beasts, with no thoughts of their own. They can not be good, bad, kind, nice, sorry, or any other such "human" emotion. Of course the only ones who believe this are fools. And if they think it to be true then they have not met the acuqaintance of Dibar the Tiger.

Dibar is the only of his kind. His unusual black-on-black fur patterns made him an oddity among even his own litter. As he and his siblings grew there were quarrels, eventually culminating in the death of his brother, Barut. Seibara, Dibar's mother had no choice but to cast the young kitten out. In most instances it would have been customary to slay her child, but Seibara took pity on the strange creature and left him in a corner of the jungle she knew to be kind.

Feasting on ground squirrels and other smalle creatures, Dibar grew into a proud and powerful tiger. It was not long before rodentry would not suffice to satisfy his stomach. The Black Tiger, a name which came to be feared in The Secret Lands, left his quiet home and entered deeper paths. His size was nearly twice that of all normal Secland Tigers, and his appetite equally multiplied. He found only large prey to ease his pains, and took it to feast upon the other predators of the jungle.

Such were the rumors among the wildlife of the jungle.

Brrda had never encountered this legendary monster which supposedly roamed so freely under his watch. The mangled remains of the jungle's largest tigers made him curious, but reason told him it was merely the result of a turf-battle between two beasts. He investigated the matter no more.

Not until she appeared before him. Seibara, the mother of The Black Tiger.

Blood glued together the fur of her backer legs, and a large scar chased across one eye. She panted heavily, struggling to pull air through her bloodied lips. Crouched on her quivering legs, she refused to crawl across the jungle floor. Just as she refused to bow as she approached Brrda from the foliage.

The Savage Savior at first impression believed Seibara to be hunting him, but when he looked in her eyes he saw no hunger. Then, to his astonishment, she spoke:

"Brrda, long descendent of the Great King and guardian of our lands. I have made a terrible mistake."

Language was a dying form among the jungle's beasts. There were few who still could speak. Often they were set out from their herds, treated as relics of a time long past.

"I should never have let him live. The black fur, the black stripes. I knew he was marked for evil." She stopped, spitting blood upon the floor. Great sadness came into her eyes as she looked up at Brrda. "Dibar will not stop, not until he's slain us all. All who wronged him. Brrda, you are the guardian of this jungle. Please, protect my children."

There she collapsed, dying in the leaves. Perhaps dying with her the language of the jungle.

Dibar's siblings, of which remained three, were now mature tigers. True to their nature, they were not easy to find. Brrda located one sister in The Ape Garden, where she had established herself as a sort of queen. She offered the apes protection from the other beasts in exchange for sacrifice. The apes did not think it much of a fair deal, but disparagers were quickly silenced.

As Brrda approached he could see that it was far late. The Tiger Queen had been murdered, and all but her bones consumed. The apes fought for her scraps, too busy with childish debate to pay Brrda much notice. Their help was prooved unecessary soon after. A mighty roar echoed over the jungle, overshadowed by what the wild man at first took to be thunder. He recognized it then for what it was.

He dashed through the branches, following The Black Tiger's voice. Arriving too late at the fresh corpse of Dibar's last brother, Brrda's time was running out. When the final sibling had been killed, what next would draw Dibar's wrath?

This time there were tracks. Prints the size of car tires, pressed five inches deep in the mud. Brrda raced above them, fearful the effort was hopeless. It was shown not to be in vain. The guardian closed in on the enormous beast as it cornered its final sibling: a sister, the smallest. The runt.

For the first time in his life, Brrda could not bellow his warrior shout. It caught in his throat, twisting on his uvula as the full size of the beast came into sight. Dibar was truly monstrous. He held his head nine feet high, and from nose to tail was more than twenty feet long. Massive paws swiped at the air, toppling a tree as his sister ducked away.

Almost as magnificent as his size was Dibar's bizarre coloring. Though his fur was black all over there were darker patches of the color, giving him very defined but bewildering stripes. Brrda, finding this in a way beautiful, allowed the passing of a moment before he rushed the beast.

A great claw fell at him, but he managed to roll beneath it. He thought himself lucky at first. That was, until the full weight of the gigantic cat was upon him. In an instant he was rolled this way and pinned, arms spread. The tiger growled in his face, baring teeth larger than human bones.

It would be over in an instant. Though he struggled against the tiger's hold, and had never once thought victory inevitable, he trembled beneath this mighty creature. Such unearthly strength could not be battled. Brrda knew this was his end. Holding his breath, he prepared for the worst.

Suddenly the weight was lifted. Dibar's sister had returned, swiping at her brother's shoulders. The distraction was all it took for Brrda to find his strength. He thrust his foot into the gut of the mighty cat, pushing it off himself so that he may stand. The tiger pushed back, trying to regain ground. And he would have, were it not for the constant swipes of his sister's claws. Brrda became free, and with a burst of energy threw Dibar up onto his hind legs. They wrestled for a moment, batting arms, until at last Dibar was tilted too far back and lost his footing over a steep edge.

He tumbled away head over hills, spilling into the deep river at the bottom of the drop. Brrda waited, feeling the blood leave his body. Dibar's sister came to his side and licked the wounds, then nuzzled her face into his palm. She was appreciative for his help.

Moments passed with no disturbance from the river below. Brrda and the last of Seibara's litter turned away to find themselves a place for rest.

Neither of them saw as a matted black tiger rose on the opposing bank and slunk into the Dark Lands to contemplate his revenge.

1 comment:

  1. Good story but I wish Dibar had been killed (I'm Gummug from UM btw)