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August 10, 2017

Fiction: Bear meets Lion

On a cloudy day, Bear glimpses a ship right above him. He knows he is not allowed to go near humans but he couldn't stop himself. Without hesitation, he heads straight toward the ship. As he surfaces, he thought about what he will say when he comes face to face with a human. But the first thing he sees is the underside of a net and then he is pulled onto the ship. Bear looks around him but sees only blurry faces and shadows.

Above, thunder clap and rain begin to pour. Clouds cover the sky and turn day into night. Wild wind chased everything astray. The ship begins to knock about. Bear knows this storm must be made by one of his people, perhaps his father Cod.

Water begins to fill the deck and humans begin to run back and forth. They ignore Bear. Except for a girl. Bear watches her as she walks awkwardly toward him. As the ship sways back and forth, the girl falls again and again but she continues to make her way toward Bear. Bear wonders why she is on board. There aren't any other children around, at least none that he could see.

Soon, she kneels down in front of Bear and begins to untangle the net around him. When she is finished, she drops the net on the floor and it soon gets swept away by the water. The girl sits and watches Bear. Bear isn't sure of what to do. He should leave. The ship will get destroyed by the storm. But the girl. Bear wants to know why she is there and why she freed him. Water floods the entire ship and it begins to descend.

Bear grabs the girl before the ship sinks deeper down. He pulls the girl up to the surface. The girl coughs and blinks and coughs and blinks. Bear studies her. If not for her legs, she doesn't look all that different from him.

Rain pours and the dark clouds have enveloped the sky making it hard to see anything. But then the sky turns a little lighter and Bear could see the water calming down. There is no signs of the ship. Except for the pouring rain, Bear could hear nothing else.

A small whimper slips through the air. Bear turns back to the girl. She wipes at her eyes with the back of her hand. He hasn't noticed before but she wears a nightgown which he is certain will not protect her from the cold water. He holds out his hand. "Come, I will take you to land." Bear smiles. His sister Susu had said that smiles make him look more friendly. Bear haven't really learn the art of smiling. Susu had often told him he looked too grumpy. But the smile must have worked because the girl place her hand in his. "We will be going fast as I'm afraid if we don't, you won't last long here." The girl nods. Bear takes that as an understanding.

Bear starts slow and he keeps his eyes on the girl. Then he speeds up keeping his hand tightly holding hers. But as they move, the girl's hand goes limp. Bear holds onto her tighter. He can't stop moving, not when they are almost toward land.

When he spots the lighthouse, he slows down. Bear lays the girl down on the sandy ground. He presses his ears against her chest but he couldn't hear a heartbeat. Bear knows from the books he read about humans that their heart is what keeps them alive. If it stops beating, it means the person is dead.

Bear looks up at the lighthouse with its light shinning out to sea. Bear has been here before and he knows there is only one keeper in the lighthouse and he is often asleep. Even if the keeper is awake, Bear isn't sure how to get his attention. He couldn't climb up to the tower nor could he cry for help, not when he isn't one of them. Then he remembers something his sister Susu had told him:  their breath can save humans. He could help the girl breathe by giving her some of his breath.

Bear looks around but he sees only the shadows. He hopes there isn't anyone around. He turns back to the girl. He marvels at her legs - they were a wonder to him. Though he could walk a little, his tail keeps him from walking properly. Bear shakes his head. He has no time to think about legs now. He covers his mouth over the girl's and breathes out. He isn't certain if that is how it is done. He have never had to do it. But he keeps at it until he feels her lips moving. He pulls away and sits beside her.

The girl opens her eyes. Then she coughs and sits up. She turns her head and she looks directly at him. He isn't far and if she reaches out a hand, she could touch him. But Bear has learned humans don't trust easily and so he leans back a little.

The girl smiles at him. "Thank you," she says in almost a whisper.

Bear nods his head and runs a hand through his short green hair. Susu has said he shouldn't have cut it so short but now Bear wishes he really hasn't. He couldn't hide in his hair.

The girl bends her legs and wraps her arms around them. She looks out to the sea and at the moon that has came out.

Bear adjusts himself until he is beside the girl with a few inches between them. He keeps bits of his tail in the water. It makes it easier to be on land. He turns to the girl. There is a wistful look in her eyes. Bear wonders what the girl is thinking about. But then he turns away and looks up at the moon.

"Lion." The girl is saying something. Bear turns to her. "My name is Lion," she says giving him a small smile.

"Lion," Bear repeats. He had read about the creatures that runs on all fours but they look nothing like Lion the girl. "That's an odd name for a human."

Lion laughs. "My father loves animals and lions are his favorite, especially sea lions. He likes how silly they look." Lion sighs.

"Where is your father now?"

"He is...somewhere. I came to look for him."

"By yourself?" Bear isn't allow to go far by himself. Even now, he knows his sister Susu is probably watching nearby even if he can't see her.

"I miss him and I thought if I come to see him, he will let me stay with him." Lion rubs at her eyes.

"I'm sorry." Bear doesn't want to tell her the storm might be his father's doing.

"Don't be sorry. You didn't do anything wrong. You saved me." She turns to him.



Bear looks toward the water. Susu lifts her head out of the water, pulling her long blue hair behind her shoulders. She comes close to the edge of land but stops when she sees Lion.

"It's alright. Lion is my friend." Bear says as he turns and gives Lion a small grin. "This is my gaoler Susu, who is also my sister."

"I resent that." Susu crosses her arms.

Lion leans forward and holds out a hand. "It's nice to meet you Susu. I'm Lion." Susu takes Lion's outstretched hand which Lion shakes and then Susu shakes Lion's hand.

Bear tries not to laugh. Susu sneers at him but then her face becomes serious. "Papa wants you home. Now."

Bear turns to Lion.

"It's alright. I'll find my way back. I'm sure there is someone here who can help me." She points at the light house.

Bear nods his head. "Alright." Bear makes his way into the water and stops and turns around. He almost bumps into Lion as she must have followed him. She stands with her feet half in the water. He smiles at her green eyes which makes him think of the sea. "Maybe we'll meet again," she says and smiles showing her uneven teeth. She holds out her hand.

"Yes, maybe." Bear tries to keep from smiling too widely. He pulls off his pendant and places it around her neck. "For luck." He had shaped a piece of wood into a four-leaf clover. He had read about them being lucky for humans. He takes Lion's hand and gives it a little pressure and then lets go.

"We must go now," Susu says and places a hand on Bear's shoulder. He nods. Bear hears Lion shouting "Goodbye" just before he and Susu dive deeper below the water.

I'm participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge and today's theme is 'Diving into the deep end.' To visit other bloggers participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge, go here.
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