The Lake

The lion wraps its paw around my mouth and growls threateningly, "If you scream we're both dead.  I suggest you stay quiet.  I promise, I won't hurt you."

I struggle to get away, but my hands don't want to work.  I mumble against his paw, "How the heck are you talking?"

The moon finally presses through the clouds, and I can see his dark brown eyes roll with sarcasm, "It's a magic trick.  Now shut up."

I keep my mouth shut and turn my head to the side.  Through the branches I can see the car's lights.  From far away I hear sirens screaming, coming to save the people in the car.

The lion tenses, then whispers, "Ok, get up.   Stay low.  Stay quiet.  Try to run and I will kill you.  That's a promise."

"You just promised you wouldn't hurt me!" I snap.

He smacks me with a huge paw, "Yeah, if you don't do anything stupid.  Now let's go."

I get up slowly, on my hands and feet, and follow the lion.  He keeps an eye on me as he leads me away from the road.  The ambulance stops behind us, painting the forest blue and red where the shadows don't touch.

The light is soon gone and we're enveloped in darkness.  I follow the lion's tail through the thicket.  Then we step out onto the shore of the lake.

In the moonlight, everything is greyscale.  I look at the lion and gasp quietly.  On his sides are a pair of giant leathery wings, like those of a dragon.  He turns his head to me and winks, shaking out his thick black mane.  I notice two small antlers on his head, each with two points.  He chuckles to himself, "Yes, I am quite a sight, aren't I?  But you're not so cliche yourself."

At my puzzled (and fearful) expression,  he continues, "Go look at yourself in the water, Feline."

I do as he says, again, and go to the water's edge.  When I look down, I don't see the girl I thought I  was going to see.  Instead, the beautiful head of an arabian looks up at me.  Her mane is tinted with stripes of silver and black.  Her striped face gives her the impression of a zebra.

"What the...?" I reach forward to touch the water, and a hoof comes out where my hand should be.  I jump back.

Griffin chuckles again, "Do you like the new look?  I personally think it's slick, with the wings and all."


The End

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