Jungle Lord Story
by John Pirillo
Edging. Slithering. The thick fanged fern bit at the form as it pushed, shoved, cut its way forward, making sure that its track was covered as it moved, that its movements were as veiled as possible. A baby Dorset...a brightly plumed bird with feathers that spread from behind its tail like a gigantic fan in all colors of the rainbow tensed, its beaked nose sniffing at the air. It was one of the few creatures of the jungle that might scent the Monster making its way to its goal, but even that creature made the mistake of dismissing the scent.
They were intelligent in their own ways, but it was more so, and cunning, swift and final, like a knife thrown silently, but surely to its target.
The fern thickened into tiny elephant brush, which the natives had borrowed from a land they had heard of from a long time ago before they were migrated to Fairie in mass movements that caused the lives of so many. But desperate and anxious to escape the tyranny of the white races, they had risked everything in the hopes of finding the Promised Land. The land that the Great White One had sworn would bring them peace at last.
So the monster swept through the elephant brush as swiftly, silently and as deadly as it did through the fanged fern, leaving barely any trace of its movement, so subtle, yet so precise its movements.
As it made its non-linear path to its goal it paused a moment to consider the clutch of dragon eggs that were held in the claws of an uprooted Thorn Tree. The Thorn Tree was a vast cluster of needle sharp branches that no animal or bird dared to plunder for food, and sometimes liquid nourishment when times were dry. It was vast and unplunderable, containing many poisonous insects that also used it to hide from the predators that even they feared.
The Jungle knew only one law. That of survival. That which survived was fit. That which did not, was pray.
The Monster paused for several long moments, gazing at the clutch of dragon eggs, imagining what it might do with them, its fangs becoming wet with desire, but it was not enough to hold it from its goal, it continued to slide, slither and crawl relentlessly towards that which it had come for. Nothing was going to stop it, or get in its way. It was not going to lessen itself to battle for goals that were beneath it. It had one goal and one goal only and that goal neared by the hour.
It had been pursuing its goal for a week now, which would have worn out and exhausted most predators, but this one knew no such boundaries. It could subsist on whatever greens it could suck upon for moisture, whatever insects landed nearby for sustenance. It didn't need to eat so much, nor drink so much. It was trained in the art of killing and the art of survival. Both skills were highly developed within its being.
If one didn't know better, one might think this Monster a god, for surely the beasts of the jungle who did not know of it, but who might, or had in the past, they would surely know this predator to be a fierce some and frightening creature...that's how powerful it was.
A fierce monsoon blew in, tearing at the cover of the Monster and it wriggled swiftly beneath a fallen log, burying itself in the damp earth, allowing the trickles of rain that began plunging swiftly from treetop to treetop, tipping leaves and tilting their contents to the earth, causing swift running channels of moisture to grow into swift streams of water that carried poisonous snakes, insects and multi teethed creatures who lashed out at anything within their reach.
None of that phased the Monster, for it lay buried in the moist earth, a tube of a plant swiftly hollowed out by its nimble fingers, and planted between its fangs so it could breathe even if the water overtook its face and buried it deeply. It was a fearsome predator, because it knew no fear, feared nothing, or element.
It was master of the world it existed within. Always had been. Always would be.
The monsoon was accompanied by sheer sheets of brazen lightning that ripped at the top greenery above, ripping branches from stout trunks and scattering tiny whirlwinds of burning leaves and grass into the air. Soon a number of trees were a holocaust of flames, but the roaring winds of the monsoon quickly became soothing and calm and the steady rain became a gentle quashed of the flames, once more protecting the jungle from the ravages of the more savage aspect of nature. The burning leaves fell to the ground and were washed away to the bases of the mighty trees about, and would in a matter of days crumble and dissolve into a fresh fertilizer for the green giants.
All these things the Monster knew. Experienced. Expected.
Finally, it rose from the foot of water that had settled over it and glided silently, but steadily onwards, seeking first soft land, then firm land, until it could once more pursue its goal. A goal it had sought for many days now, but would not be deterred from finding.
A scent caught its nostrils and for a brief moment they flared in recognition. Its eyes lit up almost like burning cinders ignited by the monsoon lightning, then dimmed as the scent was carried away by a cross wind. But it was not fooled. It knew the direction was certain now. It was near its goal.
But it did not hurry. It never hurried. It was precise and certain. Deadly and swift when necessary, slow and cautious also when necessary. It never failed, because it always weighed its options from every angle possible before plunging into action.
And so it continued its cautious path across the jungle floor, not once rising upon its feet until the scent grew so powerful it could no longer hold itself back.
It leaped to its feet, several hundred pounds of killing muscle, fangs, with a sharp claw that could gut a dinosaur or dragon. It leaped to its feet and ran like the devil it could be, with the jungle suddenly dropping into silence, as it swept through fern after gigantic fern, and huge clusters of shrubs that hid its view, but not the scent that was driving it madly and powerfully towards its goal.
Finally, it leaped thirty feet into the air, its Fang arching ahead of it, then lowering as it landed nimbly on its feet, hunched over, ready to attack.
It's pray turned slowly around. She was tall, lithe, muscular and beautiful. With long braids of golden hair and bright, sparkling eyes. She held out a hand. "Come, Lord Graystone, time for dinner."
Lord Graystone sheathed his knife and smiled. "How did you know it was me?"
"Because no other creature would be stupid enough to come from behind me."
Lord Graystone laughed. "Or strong enough I imagine."
She reached out her hands and he took hers. "You are the kind of Monster that no woman in her sane mind would ever turn away."
"Then I am honored to be that Monster for you." He said with a slight bow of his head, even though his eyes sparkled with mischief.
"But one thing I don't understand."
"Why did you lunge from your hiding place with Fang in your hands?"
He turned slowly around and she gasped. Half hidden in the trees, but now hanging down by its one leg that was still locked onto the lower branch he had leapt over was another kind of monster. A pirate zombie. One of the Hollow Man's creatures. Its head was severed from its body and laying on the ground ahead of it. It looked shocked, surprised and desperate.
"How did you know?"
"Captain Nemo took me on a hunt for the creatures once and I have never forgotten its scent. When I first came back from visiting Sherlock in London, I immediately caught its scent."
"But you are miles from where you returned."
He smiled and took her into his arms and crushed her against him.
"And it was miles from where it entered, but not its scent. Their scent fouls the air forever."
She shuddered in his arms, then settled in and sighed. "When will this war end?"
She could feel his proud heart beating powerfully in his chest. His long hair flowed into her own, the scent of the jungle thick upon it. She breathed in the muskiness of his scent and savored the strength of his powerful muscles that held and protected her. She could almost feel the heat of his brilliant mind burning furiously with thoughts as he considered her statement. Never one to be in a hurry, he would weigh and consider her thought before dismissing it if necessary or adding to it, also if necessary. He was not her master, but her one and true friend, and neither held anything from the other.
"Does it matter when or where, as long as we have each other?" He finally spoke, his words tender with the only kind of warmth she had come to know from him.
She looked up at him. "There is one monster that neither you nor I can defeat."
He shrugged. "The Monster you speak of can be our friend or our enemy. I prefer to worry about the Monsters I can see and touch."
She laughed, and then they kissed a long, long time.
And about them the jungle began to come back to life again, with hoots and calls, slithers and slithering, brushes and brushing as creatures, both tiny and large came from hiding and roamed once more freely in search of food. The foul stench of the Hollow Man's creature was fading from the air and with it the threat of a pending doom, which for now at least, was quashed.