King of the Jungle Ch. 01bywarrior_wolf©
Hi everyone. Here is a story that I stated to write months ago before Starstruck, but I got major writers block so stopped writing it for a while and eventually forgot about it. After going through my computer files I found it again so I thought I'd have another crack at it. This is the first chapter, so tell me what you think and I will continue to write the rest. I've just finished school for 6 months so should have more time for writing now. As always, all characters are 18 years or over.
"You little whore," her father screamed at her as he slapped Max across the face. He had come back drunk as usual from his night's antics in the town. Unfortunately for Max, he didn't get drunk enough for him to pass out when he got home like he normally did. Max knew she was in danger this time. She always knew her father was perverted, constantly walking into her room as she was changing for no reason or having a grope every now and then. This time was different though. Something had happened in town to make her father angry. Whatever it was, he wanted to hurt someone and the closest someone was Max.
"You're my daughter and you'll do as I tell you. Now take off your clothes."
"Over my dead body," Max yelled back at him. She knew she was being stupid, knew she should just do as he said and let the alcohol have time to dumb him down, but she'd always had a fiery, stubborn personality and she wasn't going to give an inch.
Suddenly her father lunged at her, surprisingly fast for the amount of alcohol he had consumed. Max was knocked against the wall of her bedroom, hitting her head hard. The knock stunned Max for a few seconds, allowing her father to pin her against the wall. He started trying to rip her clothes off but was unable to get a good grip as Max started to wriggle around.
"Get off me you bastard".
"That's it, fight me. You're a slut, just like your mother was. She liked it rough to. Used to scream real loud when I shoved my hard meat into her."
"No." Max screamed, managing to push her father away from her. Seeing an opening she drove her knee into her fathers crutch as hard as she could.
"You BITCH" he screamed as he went down hard. Max started to run knowing she couldn't stay in the house any more. She didn't know where she could go. She lived alone with her father, about five kilometers out of town on the edge of the rain forest, with no buildings or people in between. She had to hide, somewhere where her father couldn't follow her. Max knew in her heart that she couldn't go back home after this. Her father was obsessed with raping her, obsessed with causing her pain. Max ran to the only place she had ever felt safe, the jungle.
As she burst through the back door she heard her father stumbling out of her bedroom. "Faster" she screamed to herself in her head. Max started to run across the empty field, thankful the moon was high and full, giving her light to see by. If she tripped over something now, she would be done for. Suddenly Max heard a click, similar to the sound of someone cocking a gun. As she looked over her shoulder she could see the moonlight reflecting off the barrel of her fathers hunting rifle.
"He wouldn't shoot me, even he's not that stupid", Max thought to herself as she continued to run. Her lungs started to burn and her legs felt like lead but she knew she had to keep on going.
"If I can't fuck you, no one will," her father yelled just before he pulled the trigger.
Pain shot through Max's shoulder and down her arm as the bullet hit her right shoulder. Max went down, hard. The pain was blinding, causing spots to form before her eyes. She forced herself to get up, running on sheer adrenaline now, knowing that her fate would be worse than death if he caught her.
Max heard him cocking the gun again. "Almost there," she thought to herself as she came up to the tree line that marked the entrance of the jungle. Max went down hard again as a second bullet grazed her left thigh. A scream escaped Max's lips, the pain in her leg was almost too much. She scrambled to get up, falling down again as her leg gave way. She could hear her father's footsteps getting closer as she resigned herself to her fate. She was going to die. As she started to slip away into unconsciousness a horrible thought crossed through Max's mind. "He's an expert marksman. He shouldn't just be winging me, no matter how drunk he is. He's playing cat and mouse with me."
As realisation came, Max knew that she wouldn't let this scumbag win. Forcing herself to get up, she started to again run towards the safety of the jungle. Bursting through the barrier, she was swallowed in blackness as the moon's light was blocked by the trees. Max found one of the paths that she regularly walked on and knew that she could now outrun him. Her father didn't know the jungle like Max did, no matter how good a hunter and tracker he was and he was too drunk to be able to follow her tracks tonight.
After Max had run into the jungle a reasonable distance, she stopped to look back. She could see the silhouette of her father standing at the edge of the trees. "Keep running little girl, it will make the hunt more interesting." Turning away with laughter ringing in her ears, Max stumbled deeper into the jungle.
Alec was padding silently through the jungle, following the trail of a warthog when he heard the first gunshot. Pulling up short, he sniffed the wind, trying to detect where the hunter was. Being night, Alec knew that he could easily slip into the forest if he had to, but leopards were still hunted in this jungle, especially the large, rare black leopard like himself, so he had to be careful. He could smell the man that lived near his territory on the wind. He was far away and no danger to Alec, so he continued hunting his prey.
* * * *
Max woke up slowly at the edge of a large pool. After running for nearly an hour she had collapsed from exhaustion and pain, falling into unconsciousness. As she looked around, she realised she had moved from her normal walking path and was in an area she didn't know. Max didn't know where to go, but she knew that she had to keep going. Her father would be after her when he had slept off his drunken stupor, and Max had to put as much distance between them as she could. Her father was an expert hunter and tracker and would be able to follow her trail quickly, especially as she was unable to limit her tracks because of her wounds. Having a quick drink at the pool, Max slipped into the water to try and break up her trail. Pain shot through her body as the icy cold water touched her wounds. She almost passed out again, but managed to stay awake as she swam, using her good arm across the pool. "I'm going to make it, it's going to be ok" Max thought to herself as she reached the other side. However the bank was steeper than she thought and she only managed to climb halfway out of the water before the effort became too much and she once again collapsed into blissful unconsciousness.
* * * *
Alec was not having a good night. The man had gotten close to his territory and the gunshots had frightened the warthog into hiding, making Alec go without dinner. Heading back to his home he stopped and sniffed the wind, catching a scent. It was blood. Following the scent led him to his favorite water hole. As he searched the clearing with his eyes, he stopped on a shape lying half in, half out of the water. Moving around to get a better look, he caught the scent again. There was something else, something besides blood. He knew that scent. It was the girl that belonged to the hunter, the one that often strayed into his territory. Although the girl had never seen him, Alec often followed her as she walked through the forest. He had no hatred of the girl like he did her father. The girl had never caused any harm while in his territory.
Alec growled softly to try and get her attention, to make her aware he was near. When she made no response, Alec slowly crept forward. Her eyes were closed, her breathing shallow and uneven. Something wasn't right. Seeing she was unconscious, Alec pushed the girl onto her back with his paw to get a better look at her. The girl moaned in pain as she fell onto her back. As Alec looked over her body, he saw the bullet wound in her shoulder. "The bastard", he thought to himself, knowing that this was the result of the shots he'd heard earlier. Stepping back from the girl, Alec turned back into his human form. Picking the girl up softly, he carried her back to his hut, deep in the jungle.
* * * *
Max moaned softly as she opened her eyes, coming awake fully. Her shoulder and leg both ached terribly and her head was pounding. Looking around at her surroundings Max froze. She was no longer lying in the jungle where she remembered last being, nor was she at home. She was in a hut of some kind, but as she looked out the window she could see tree branches and leaves. She didn't know where she was but she had to get out before her father found her. As Max threw back the covers she noticed her clothes had been stripped and a man's shirt put in their place. Her wounds had also been bandaged, but Max couldn't stop to wonder who had done this. She had to go, had to escape before she was found. Even though it would have been safer for the moment to stay put, Max was suffering from delirium due to her raging fever. She couldn't think straight. As Max stood up off the bed, she almost collapsed as she put weight on her injured leg, but managed to grab onto the wall to keep her steady. Pain shot through her injured shoulder, making Max dizzy, but she had to keep going. As quietly as she could, Max made her way to the door and onto the verandah that seemed to run the length or the hut. Making her way to the railing, Max swallowed a scream. The hut was built in a tree, about one hundred meters off the ground. Looking around, Max couldn't see anything to get down to the ground with. There was no escape. Tears started to stream down Max's face. She knew she was beaten.
* * * *
Alec walked quietly into the bedroom to check on the girl. He had left her asleep while he went to collect some food for when she woke. He had spent hours working on her last night. After stripping her clothes, Alec discovered the wound on her thigh as well. Her shoulder had been a mess and Alec didn't know how well it would heal. Her leg wasn't as bad but had needed stitching. He had given the girl some antibiotics from his kit, but knew that infection was still possible, especially out in the jungle and that she could still develop a fever.
Looking toward the bed, Alec swore softly. She was gone. As he turned to the door he could hear soft crying from outside. Stepping onto the verandah he found the girl huddled in a corner, quietly crying to herself. Hearing his approach she looked up slowly, fear and pain etched on her face. Alec's heart twisted as he looked at her. He didn't know what it was, but something about this girl made him want to protect and comfort her.
"It's okay, I'm not going to hurt you,"
"Who are you, what do you want with me?"
"It's going to be alright. You've been hurt. I've bought you back to my home. You're going to be fine." While speaking to the girl, Alec slowly moved towards her. He didn't want to frighten her, but he had to get her away from the edge. He could see from her face that she had developed a fever. Alec didn't want to panic her and make her jump off the edge.
Max looked at the man walking towards her. She felt no fear looking into his eyes. They were a strange colour, almost like cats eyes, but something about them made Max trust this man. Standing up slowly, Max moved towards him. She knew she was safe with him, knew he wouldn't lead her to harm. Max couldn't explain it, but she felt like they were connected, like he could see right into her soul and see her pain. Max was hallucinating. She couldn't see this man as a possible threat, even though he was a complete stranger. Luckily for her, Alec had only good intensions.
Taking a step forward, Max's legs finally collapsed from under her, still weak from the hours spent running through the jungle. Alec stepped forward and caught her in his arms, stopping Max from falling. Holding the girl against him, he looked down at her face.
"What's your name little one?"
"Max. My name's Max," she whispered softly as she curled herself around Alec's shoulder.