Short Stories - An Unlikely Friend
Today’s post is a short story this time! Hopefully it’s one with a beginning, middle and end, because I’m so used to writing very long chapters that don’t quite define an ending, so maybe this time I will.
Now, the inspiration for this “short”, because I don’t know how short it will actually be, was a visual prompt I’d found on the Daily Prompt app. You can find this app in the Apple store, Google Play, wherever. It’s great for writers, especially when you need something to inspire you, once you’ve hit a writer’s block.
Anyway, I’m digressing, so without further ado, here it is.
An Unlikely Friend
Lila sat huddled and scared. She was the last of her kind. She’d just witnessed the death of every one of her pack’s members fall to the ground, as if they weren’t great hulking lompuras. They were supposed to be omens of good fortune, of life. If a human ever saw one, they’d call it a sign from the gods. Of course, that was a long time ago. Now, they hunted her kind for sport. She knew that her kind were coveted by their leaders, their fur used to warm their chairs, their wings to decorate their clothes. It was humiliating and saddening. Whatever was left of her kind had hidden deep between mountain tops, forests and valleys. Should a human ever cross into their territories, they knew their protectors would scare them away.
Their protectors could only do so much though. They were dwellers of dark spaces, nothing like the lompura. Where their bodies were catlike and soft, theirs were scaly and hard. Where their wings were large enough to hold two humans each side, theirs were barely thin and slimy. Humans would call them dragons. Lila called them protectors. They were fierce with their fire breath, and their glowing yellow eyes. Of course, with their power, they didn’t look like the likeliest of friends for Lila and her kind, but somehow, they managed to form an unspoken bond, and every one of Lila’s pack were now safe.
What they didn’t expect was a few humans who would brave the protectors, who would try to outsmart and defeat them. Of course, dragons were always a careful lot. If one had been taken down, three more would try to fill the space. It just so happened, when the battle had begun, one human managed to find a way through their impenetrable defences and found the lands the lompura called sanctuary. At first, no one was concerned. It was just one human, the protectors could easily snuff out that life, but what they didn’t expect was that human’s ability to evade them.
Truly, for a while, no one suspected anything. It was just one human after all. A long time had passed, and Lila and her pack began to relax again, but that was a mistake. One day, that human had returned, its eyes were unblinking, as if waiting for Lila or her kind to move and when they didn’t, that was when they regretted it. Thousands upon thousands tore through the trees, brandishing weapons and fire that rained, no matter how hard each lompura tried to fly. They carried nets and cages and as soon as a lompura fell at the hand of the human, they were dragged to one, trapped. The cries of the elderly, the young, the warriors were drowned out by the incredibly terrifying roar of the human army, and Lila could do nothing but watch as each of her pack members were captured or killed.
She was the lucky one, the only one that managed to escape their clutches. Now, she sat in a clearing, open for all to see, uncaring whether or not a human found her, because there was no point in living anymore. They were all gone. She was now the only wild lompura left. She had no one. Great droplets of tears ran down her bearded cheeks, as she wined in mourning. A blurry image of a bent flower filled her vision, as the tears continued to fall. It had begun to rain now, but she didn’t care. She wanted it to be over. She wanted death.
Noisily sobbing now, Lila didn’t hear the rustle of a bush nearby, nor did she hear the light padding footsteps that approached. It was only when the creature inched slowly into her line of vision did she realise she wasn’t alone. On guard now, she pounced back up putting all of her anger and fear into the most menacing growl she could muster. Her wings were spread wide, and she leaned on her haunches, ready to attack if the creature decided to be unfriendly.
“Whoa! Steady! I’m not here to hurt you!” it begged. Of course, only one creature could create those words. She was facing a human. Remembering all her people, who were taken and killed, her sadness and fear turned to anger. She did not want to receive any help from any of their kind. They’d proved themselves untrustworthy.
“Easy now! Easy! I promise, I’m not like the ones who did that to you.” It gestured to her injured leg. It hadn’t been noticeable until now, but Lila realised her leg had been wounded while she escaped from the destruction upon her pack. She debated whether or not to trust this human. It was alone, and she could easily take him down, if she had wanted to, but her kind didn’t kill, except for food. She wanted him to leave, but she wouldn’t be able to do anything on her own, now that the adrenaline had worn off, and the pain in her leg became apparent.
Groaning in pain, she had no choice but to relieve the pressure on the wound. She wanted to clean it herself, but the human was still there, and she couldn’t take her eyes off it, just in case it attacked, or sent for others.
“Let me take a look at it,” it said, “I can help.” It was slowly approaching her, as if it were afraid of her. Of course, it had every right to be afraid, but Lila didn’t want it to know. She eventually decided to let it help, and if it didn’t, she could easily take his head. So, she remained still, watching it carefully try to get to the wound.
It examined her leg without touching her, nodding to itself as if understanding a great secret, “It doesn’t look poisoned, but you can never be sure. I’m going to add a poultice to it. It’s going to hurt, so bear it for a moment. It’ll ease the pain later.”
She couldn’t understand what it said, but when it brought out a small contraption from its sack, Lila sat up, ready for what the human wanted to do. It opened the contraption, and inside was a substance she’d only ever seen them use on each other before. She knew what it did, and she braced herself. Many times, those who had the substance applied to them had looked like they were suffering from it, but only days later whatever wound they had, had disappeared with only the slightest scar to prove it had ever been there.
After it scooped out almost half of the container, it looked up into Lila’s eyes, as if asking approval, “Please try not to kill me when I do put this on. I won’t be able to help you otherwise.” When Lila didn’t move, it returned its attention to her wound and slowly began to slather the substance on it. The first thing she felt was a coldness to it, and then the pain began. It felt like half of the hair she had on her leg were being pulled out. Roaring with the pain, she thumped her tail, trying to ease it.
The human stopped, waiting for Lila to calm down a little, before continuing to apply the substance. She wined and groaned throughout the process, her eyes shutting tightly as the pain shivered throughout her body. When the wound was completely covered, the pain had eased to a dull ache, and she could finally breathe again. Tears in her eyes once more, she glared at the human accusatorially, hoping the ferocity of it would instil a fear she knew was pointless.
In response, the human chuckled, running a hand through her fur, behind her ear, “I told you it’d hurt, but at least you’ll be able to stand in the next few minutes. Just give it time to heal, before you try.”
Since the human was attempting to help her, Lila decided to finally trust the human, if only for a little while. She did need to get back up, if she were to outrun the army that invaded her home. Finally relaxing, she sat her head on her front paw and huffed, no longer interested in what the human was doing anymore.
“You’re pretty calm, for a lompura who’s pack was attacked. I’m surprised you’re ready to trust someone like me.” It said, drawing closer to her. It sat next to her, stroking her ear as it did so, “I bet you’re one of the ones who lived back in the day when your kind were revered.” It smiled at her, but its eyes were sad, “If you were, it’d be amazing if you could speak and tell me your story. Of course, that’s not going to happen.” It paused, turning its gaze out across the field they were in, “I’m just glad that one of you even made it out.”
Whatever the human was saying, Lila still couldn’t understand, but she knew how it felt, just by looking at it. It was sad for her, and yet it was his kind that did this. She just couldn’t understand how humans could be so different from each other and yet the same. It was confusing. What she did know was that this human was trying to help. So, she’d let it, just this once. At least she had someone on her side, for now anyway.
Well! There you go! Whoo! That one is a doozy! I’m glad I wrote it though, because I’m actually experiencing a writer’s block right now, so this might just help me out of it!
So, what did you guys think? Do you like it? Do you hate it? Are you inspired to write your own piece? Let me know, and if you have any pieces, let me read them! I’d love to see what you guys come up with!
For now, I’ll leave you with this, and I’ll see you guys next time!