2. The Claw of the Man (part 3)

          “I trudged through mud, sticks, and leaves; I fought through thickets of thorns and jumped over snake pits. I survived plenty dangers trying to find my way back, but the greatest and most horrific obstacle I was forced to overcome was The Beast. I had been searching for hours without finding a single clue as to where our lunch had been roasting on the open fire. My father was most definitely aware of my absence, searching for me, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had the whole crew scaling the forest. Sipping the last drops of water from the old, leather canteen I had brought along with me, I racked my mind for any bit of information that could help me. Nothing. My mind was completely blank. It didn’t matter though, because at the next moment the bush behind me rustled. I shivered in fear. First I watched an immeasurable, midnight black nose rise out of the shrub, followed by a hairy snout, a mangled maw with the most frightening set of teeth I had ever laid eyes on. Taller and taller, the beast seemed to grow from the foliage until it towered over me. Covered in brown, shaggy, matted fur, I identified the beast to be none other than a monstrous silvertip grizzly bear!”

          “My instincts screamed to run, but some small voice in the back of my mind whispered, You don’t have to flee. FIGHT! You could win, or are you a coward? Like a fool, I listened to the whispering voice. Standing slowly, I drew my sword and prepared to duel. The bear attacked first, swiping his humongous paws at my head. I easily ducked, my heart pounding with adrenaline. Stab. Slash. Growl. Scream. We fought ruthlessly, each of us going for the kill. Minutes passed, by then my adrenaline rush was wearing thin. Blood was everywhere, the ground, the tree trunks, the branches, the leaves, in my hair, on my face, soaking into my clothes,  oozing between my fingers, dripping from the end of my sword, and matted in my opponent’s fur. I knew I only had one more chance, and then the battle would be finished, in one way or another. Charging with all of my remaining energy, I ran straight at the beast, aiming for his heart. Impossibly intelligent, he blocked my blow by merely knocking it aside, and then counter attacked by using his claws to tear apart my sword hand. The pain was unimaginable! My arm was burning with the fire from hell itself. I fell to the ground, the sound of a dying man escaping my mouth, louder than any noise I’d ever made. My opponent and I both knew who had won, and it wasn’t me. My body gave up, started shutting down, it would all be over soon. The bear circled its prey like a cat with a mouse. As I closed my eyes and fell into the beckoning darkness, I heard men storming through the forest towards us. I do remember smiling as my father's crew came into view. The monster was smart enough to know that he didn’t stand a chance against all of the men, so he wisely ran off. The last thing I remember from that day was my father holding me in his arms, crying for me to stay with him. It took all of my willpower, but I whispered back to him, Always, Father, always."

The End

7 comments about this story Feed