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"Don't say it, Bak. It only makes it worse."
"I know, Furth, I know. I just don't understand why they bothered to take us alive, just to starve us in this dank dungeon. It's almost enough to make one cannibalistic."
"Shhhh! You don't want to give our fellow prisoners any ideas."
"Brother, I am merely vocalizing all of our thoughts." Bak lumbered to his feet and paced the dirt floor, being careful not to encroach upon the others' turf. He turned his face upward toward the faint glimmer of late afternoon light far above his head, inhaling the faintest whiff of fresh air.
"Stop that! You're just wasting your strength."
Bak returned to the spot he had molded in the dirt next to his brother. "I remember Mother and Father warning us that others had disappeared from the area, but we were young and stupid, and didn't stay on our guard. That seems such a long time ago. What I'd give to be able to run freely on the plains once more."
Furth expelled an exasperated snort. "Enough! You're tormenting both of us. Why don't you lie down for a while and dream in silence. I'll watch your back."
"Ya can't blame a fella for remembering happier times. It sure beats wondering when the next meal will be, and whether it will be enough to keep us from turning on one another. ... Now that you mention it, I think I will close my eyes for a bit."
Furth dutifully remained vigilant as daylight slipped into dusk. He nudged Bak at the sound of approaching footsteps. "On your feet! Unless the king is just parading some people past to gawk at us, this could be our next meal."
They rose as one, stretching their limbs and arching their backs, shaking off the stiffness of inactivity. The prisoners jostled for position, the brothers working together to secure a spot from which they would have easy access to any morsels with which the king deigned to augment their subsistence. A nearly full moon silhouetted the group outside.
"It is a large group, but it looks like there is but one man bound to be dinner for the lot of us," Furth rumbled in Bak's ear.
as the single man was being lowered into their midst, the king called out, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"
The observers above heard what they took to be a roar of anticipation from the prisoners, but the prisoners perceived the unmistakable voice of their Creator admonishing them. "This one is innocent in my sight. Do not harm him!"
A huge rock was rolled over the opening to the den, blocking all light.
"Zo 'uch vor that 'eal," Furth grumbled, as best he could with jaw and lips unable to open.
"Innozent in de Creator's eyes," Bak marveled. "Dat iz a rare ding indeed!" He drew near the human, who was now as much a prisoner as he was, and stretched out alongside him. "Zhould you not ve weft to ztarve with uz, 'aybe you will ve vavored vy de king, and re'e'ver uz, and dat we wong to ve vree as well."
The man whispered in wonder, "That you are divinely docile, despite your hunger, does not amaze me, but that you would lie next to me and purr contentedly, that astounds me. I wonder, should I be released and gain the king's ear, if I could persuade him to release you all to the plains of your birth."
The human's sounds held no meaning for Bak, but with a sense of peace he rested his massive head on his giant paws, and they both slept.
"Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?"
The king's shout awoke all in the den, as a glimmer of dawn shown through the unblocked opening.
Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king."
Shortly after Daniel was lifted to freedom, a cacophony of terrified wailing penetrated the consciousness of the growling lions, who had begun to circle one another. They returned to their expectant vigil, and were not disappointed, as there were many morsels. This time God did not send an angel to close their mouths.
Loosely based on the sixth chapter of Daniel, with quotations from the NIV.
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Reader Count & Comments
14 May 2008
Very creative! Love the lion's clamped-mouth-speak and the sibling talk, too. You sure did use your imagination!
14 May 2008
Holly, this was just so good. Like everyone else, I loved the lion's closed mouth talk. You had me hooked from the beginning and it wasn't until the king said "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!" that I realised what was happening. Super job, too bad you didn't get it into the challenge.
09 May 2008
This is over the top amazing! Brilliant! This is a keeper and could easily be published...Love this POV, all of it!
09 May 2008
Congratulations! You're a "jewel" - come see the list, including you, of wonderful articles on the message boards:
09 May 2008
SO very glad you left the thread to this talented and shining piece.
Wow, can I just slip in your brain and out, just one time to see the creativity at work? So creative, I can't say enough about this piece.
08 May 2008
Holly, this astounds me! Who thinks of this story when given the topic "siblings"? How wonderful! I laughed out loud at your rendering of the lions' speech with their jaws clamped shut. Off the wall creative, and a wildly entertaining read.
08 May 2008
This was great! I loved how they sounded with their mouths clamped shut. It was so funny, especially to see them thinking of the humans as 'morsels' and Daniel saying that he would see if they could be returned to the plains of their birth. So creative! It's really good! ^_^
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