Heart of the Jungle

A jungle is no place for the faint of heart. No place for someone who doesn’t know—doesn’t accept—the law of the jungle.

Predators are kings.

And everyone else?

Prey.

Continue reading “Heart of the Jungle”

The Great Tiger

It happened by chance. A very unhappy, happy circumstance.

One night, when the tent was empty, and the clowns were drunk, and the crowds had all left, it happened.

I was in my cage. Not unusual. Not in the slightest bit.

At least, that was what I’d thought.

Until the wolf walked in. Continue reading “The Great Tiger”

King’s Jungle

I don’t understand it. Not at all. Not in the slightest.

And still

I can’t ignore it. Can’t.

Not when it calls. Not when it’s waking me up in the middle of the night. When my body is on fire, and my sheets are soaked in sweat and heat. When it calls, it doesn’t do so gently. Doesn’t whisper for me to wake, or rap on my door.

It screams.

With the breaking of bone and burdening of blood, it screams.

How can someone ignore that?

And when it wakes me, and it calls, it also reaches.

It beckons.

It beckons me.

And when the blood is like a river, my body a volcanic mess, and my rest unsettled like a rough wind.

How can I say no? Continue reading “King’s Jungle”

Tiger Cage

“Look, I just got the nerve to get in the cage, so don’t bite me now. Alright?”

The creature I’m speaking to merely stares. Yellow eyes boring into mine.

A tiger.

I’ve just gotten into a tiger cage.

And I’m terrified. Continue reading “Tiger Cage”

Lost in the Jungle

You’ve always thought that the wild was outĀ there. That it was escapable. Something you could hide from or shy away from. Something tangible. Something you could go out looking for or avoid entirely.

It’s not.

That’s not how it works at all.

You don’t move into the jungle.

The jungle moves into you. Continue reading “Lost in the Jungle”

Ferocious Appeal

I’ve never been anything but ferocious.

In a world where everyone is an animal, you have to be. That’s the way I see it. Especially in a world where your kind is going extinct.

You have to be ferocious to survive.

There are more predators out there. More people. And they’ll hunt you down. They’ve got no problem doing it. Trust me, I’ve seen it before. Where do you thinkĀ my family went, huh?

I’ve never been anything but ferocious.

Usually, it’s just directed at the world. At everything in general. Like trying to touch a porcupine. You bristle up, and they get the idea. They’ll stay away, leave you alone. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. To be left alone. At least that way, I’ll still be alive, right? That’s why ferocious is all I’ve ever been, and I’ve never shut it off. Never directed it anywhere but out.

But now?

Now is different.

I’m directed now. Continue reading “Ferocious Appeal”

Tiger Chase

There are two types of chases.

The first is the most common. Where you’re running away from something that’s running at you. Both of you are giving it your all because you just might get away, and your pursuer doesn’t want that. You both are completely aware that there’s a chance for you, the runner. The one fleeing. Because the pursuer can’t go on forever. Eventually, they’ll slow down. And, eventually, they’ll fall so far behind, they won’t be able to catch you.

That’s the sort of chase dogs give. Or humans.

It’s the more common form of chase because it holds more truth to it. Generally speaking, neither pursuer nor pursued can continue forever. And, just because they’re pursuing, doesn’t mean that they’re unstoppable.

At least, that’s generally true.

But not when it comes to the second form of chase.

Having someone run at you full speed, with everything they have, is intimidating. Scary. But it’s even worse when they don’t give it their all. When they don’t run.

When your pursuer walks.

That’s the second form. The scariest form.

Because, your pursuer isn’t walking for no reason. They’re not walking because they can’t run. They’re walking because they’re confident. They know.

It doesn’t matter.

If you run, and if they run, it’s pointless. Useless.

Because they know that, in the end, they’ll catch you.

They’ll catch you.

This second form of being chased is far more terrifying. It causes panic. You feel claustrophobic because you know that the walls are closing in. That, no matter where you turn, it’s just another corner, another snag that brings your pursuer closer.

It’s the type of chase that fires give. That storms give. That tigers give.

Only the fiercest of hunters pursue this way.

And, as I run, I know it in my bones:

You’re not like a dog. Not like a human.

I see your tiger eyes. Your slow walk.

And I know.

You’ll catch me. Continue reading “Tiger Chase”