A small golden lion cub sat upon a rock, the only tree in the large gorge shading it. An angry expression was painted on his face. "Little roar." he grunted. "Pft."
At that moment, a chameleon crossed Simba's line of vision. As it walked by, Simba gave a small roar, hoping to frighten it. The lizard completely ignored him, continuing on its way. Simba followed it, roaring again. Again, the chameleon ignored. Putting on a determined look, Simba leaped at the lizard, drew in a large breath, and roared with all his might.
The roar echoed off of the gorge walls and Simba smiled, proud of himself. Suddenly, he heard a rumbling noise and the pebbles around him started to shake. The smile disappeared as Simba saw the wildebeest began to pour into the gorge.
Simba was frozen with fear for a few moments. The heard was only meters away when he turned to run. His paws pounded on the dry earth as he ran for his life, not noticing the hyenas nipping at the frightened animals' hooves.
The herd began to overtake him and the young lion was forced to weave between the legs of the wildebeest. Seeing a dead branch poking out of the ground, he leaped onto it, clawing his way up until he hung at its edge.
Simba felt as if he couldn't hold on much longer until he saw a familiar shape in the chaos. "Zazu, help me!" he cried, clutching the shaking branch.
"Your father is on the way!" the blue hornbill yelled. "Hold on!"
"Hurry!" Simba called after him as he flew away. A wildebeest struck the branch and it bobbed wildly, forcing Simba to claw at it wildly.
Suddenly, he saw a flash of gold and red in the stampede. Dad! Simba thought. He watched as his father pushed against the flow of the herd and was knocked down.
Simba was tossed high into the air when a wildebeest broke the already weakened branch. He screamed as the sea of dust and fur came closer. He felt himself he knocked sideways as his father caught him in his mouth. He bobbed up and down while his father carried him an ran, only to be tossed again when one of the crazed beasts slammed into Mufasa.
He tumbled a few feet away. When he got up, he was terrified to see the mass of deadly hooves and legs rush at him. His father pushed the wildebeest to pick him up again and continue running.
Mufasa managed to get his son onto a ledge before being knocked back into the stampede. "Dad!" Simba cried as he frantically searched for his father. He was thinking the worst when the great lion king leaped out of the chaos and latched onto the rock wall beside Simba. Relived, he started up a narrow path to meet his father at the top.
The pounding of the herd's hooves drowned out Mufasa's cries for help to his brother, his roar of pain as Scar's nails dug into his skin, and the younger lion's whispered, "Long live the king."
Simba reached the top just in time to see his father fall from the cliff and be swallowed by the herd. "NOOOOOOOO!" the young lion cried. He jumped from rock to rock, picking out a path down. The tail end of the stampede was disappearing into a cloud of dust as he reached the bottom. His golden eyes scanned the scene, looking for his father.
"Dad!" he coughed, padding around, unable to see from all of the dust. The word echoed in the empty gorge. A pounding alerted him to an approaching figure. "Dad?" he asked, only to be jumped over by a straggling wildebeest. He watched it go and saw an unmoving figure lying beneath the branch Simba had clung to, now broken.
He swallowed and started towards the figure, first slowly, then running. As the dust settled, Simba saw the form of his father. He padded around it to his face. Mufasa's eyes were closed and his chest wasn't moving.
"Dad?" Simba asked hopefully. When he got no response, he moved closer. "Dad, come on." he said, nudging the great lion's face, his ears flattening when it simply fell back to the ground. "You gotta get up." Simba began shaking his father's face, choking back tears. "Dad. We gotta go home." He ran around and began tugging on his father's ear.
He stepped back. No. he thought. No, this can't be right. He can't be dead. If... If could just get someone here.
"Help!" he yelled, running around. The cry echoed back to him. "Somebody! Anybody." Simba couldn't take it anymore. "Help." he sobbed, tears flowing out of his eyes. He sniffed a few times before turning back to his father's corpse. He nosed his way underneath the larger lion's paw and buried his face in his mane.
Scar appeared out of the dust cloud silently, his eyes falling on little Simba curled up next to his father. "Simba," he breathed. "What have you done?"
The cub moved out from underneath Mufasa's paw and whirled to face his uncle. "The wildebeest and... tried to save me." he sniffed. "I..It was an accident, I didn't mean for it to happen."
Scar sat. "Of course, of course, you didn't." he said, faking sympathy. He puled the cub closer to him. "No one... ever means for these things to happen. But the king is dead." Simba looked up at his face, tears still soaking his fur. "If it weren't for you," Scar told him. "He'd still be alive." Simba looked down, thinking this to be true. "Oh, what will your mother think?"
"What... what will I do?" Simba asked the older lion. A nasty idea suddenly entered Scar's mind. A very good nasty idea.
"Listen to me." Scar whispered. "I will teach you to become a great king, so you may honor your father's spirit. I will take over while I teach you, and one day, when I think you're ready, you will take my place, your father's place."
"Really?" Simba sniffed. "You would do that?"
Scar smiled. "I would."
* * * * * * * * * *
"What?!?" Sarabi cried. "Mufasa is... dead?"
Scar put as much grief on his face as possible. "Yes, I am afraid so."
The lion and lioness were in the small opening of Pride Rock, with Simba sitting a bit of a way off, staring at the ground.
"He fell into the gorge when a stampede was going by while trying to save Simba." Scar told her quietly.
Sarabi closed her eyes, holding back the tears. "This means Simba is now the king."
Scar shook his head. "Oh, no no no. He is much too young."
"Then who will be king?" Sarabi asked.
Scar hid his smile. "I will be, of course. When young Simba is ready, I will step down."
Sarabi looked at him and realized there was no other choice. She couldn't put her son through loosing his father and having to take his place immediately. "Alright." she sighed. "Let us call a meeting."
* * * * * * * * * *
Three forms, one much larger than the other, paced silently in the tall golden grass, making them almost invisible. It was a lion with a nearly black mane and two hyenas, stalking an antelope not ten feet away.
One of the hyena's feet skidded on the uneven terrain, causing a few pebbles to move.
The antelope's head shot up from its grazing and it looked around. Its muscles bunch as it prepared to spring away. It never had the chance, as the lion leaped form the grass, landed on its back, and viciously tore into it's neck.
"Nice catch, sir." the larger of the hyenas said.
"Mwepesi is right." the other one agreed. "A very fine catch."
Mwepesi growled at the other. "Stop trying to suck up to him, Ndogo. At least use your own words."
"Shut up, both of you. Come here and pick this up." the lion growled. The two obeyed and they trotted behind him as he lead them to Pride Rock.
The King Scar was stretching at the top. He tilted his head when he saw the approaching party. "Simba, hunting is the lioness's job." he told him.
Simba had Mwepesi and Ndogo drop the carcass at Scar's feet. "I know, Father, but I wanted to show gratitude to you for everything you have done for me." he said, dipping his head. Gratitude was the same reason he has crushed bugs to turn his mane black, to imitate his 'Father's'.
Scar smiled. "Why thank you, son." he said before tearing off a piece of meat. A little bit back, a group of lionesses watched him with hungry eyes.
Later, the King was sunbathing at the edge of the Pride Rock, half-asleep. A small band of lionesses were talking quickly behind him.
"Nala, you're crazy." one of them whispered. "This won't work."
Nala had a determined look on her face. "I need to try, Akili."
The other lioness was a much older one, with white around her muzzle and a dull look in her eyes. "If you fail, all of us will be punished."
Nala's look softened. "Please, Sarabi. If I don't try, we will just keep suffering. If I do succeed, we will be free."
Before the others could say another word, Nala ran to Scar, ramming into him. His eyes snapped open as he was pushed off the cliff. He managed to clutch the edge with his claws. His back ones were dangling in the air and he couldn't lift them enough to get up. "Help!" he cried. "This lioness has gone crazy!"
Simba, who was taking a drink from the nearby pond, heard Scar's cries. He bounded to the Pride Rock to see Nala about to shove her claws in Scar's face. He snarled and tacked her, making her head bash against a rock. He turned and helped Scar off of the ledge.
"How DARE you attack me?" Scar growled once he had gotten onto a flat surface. He turned to face the other lionesses. "And how dare YOU for not coming to help me?" He turned back to Nala. "Simba, kill her."
Nala staggered to her paws and her eyes widened. "What? No!" she said, backing up until she was against the rock. "Simba, don't."
Simba started forward, his eyes in slits. "You have tried to kill the King Scar, my Father."
"He's not your father!" Nala cried. "Mufasa was your father! Don't you remember?"
This just made Simba angrier. "Mufasa was weak! He taught me wrong, he lead wrong." He was almost nose-to-nose with Nala now.
"I was your best friend! What happened to that? We were so happy." Nala asked, her heart rate increasing.
Simba closed his eyes for a moment, his memories of his cubhood flooding to his mind. His face hardened again and he opened his eyes. "They don't mean anything." he snarled. He raised his paw and slashed it in front of him.
The whole of Pride Rock was silent. Scar padded up behind Simba. "Clean off your paws, son." he smiled. "You are ready."