Last month in the AQC Spec Fic forum we had a little contest. Write between 800 and 1500 words from the POV of an animal. The animal finds it is able to reason as a human and speak. The animal must go to a carnival or some other function. The animal must be looking for something or someone. At some point your character will need to talk to a human.
So with those parameters here is my story. At one point it was tied for first but was eventually edged out by Tom and Jerry.
So here is the short story, just for fun.
This time man-scent didn’t mean danger. Lobo was amazed to feel the pain fade away. His eyes snapped open and he saw the man stand and turn. He would have lunged and clamped his jaws on an arm or a leg, except that the man spoke to someone else, and Lobo understood the man sounds.
“What are you doing, Nilrem?”
That voice sounded harsh to Lobo.
“I thought the wolf was dead, but he isn’t. Best to leave before he awakes, wouldn’t you agree?”
Nilrem had done something. The pain was gone. He had lost the fight, he had severe wounds. But now he was healed, and he could understand the man sounds. He didn’t smell fear on the one called Nilrem.
“The king wants you out of the kingdom, so I’m getting you out of the kingdom you rouge wizard!”
The men mounted the horses and rode away.
Lobo got up and walked to where the men had been a few moments earlier. He could smell horse, man, and ink. Ink? Yes it was ink. There was a parchment left on the ground near a bush, the source of the ink scent.
Lobo looked at the parchment and saw the man marks, but he could read the man marks! Astonished Lobo read, “You must warn the king. There are men who will kill him at the carnival tonight. I cured your battle wounds, you are in my debt. Payment is warning the king.”
A note to a wolf? Yet things looked different to Lobo. Now scents had names. Sounds had more meaning.
The man place wasn’t far. Lobo avoided the place. No hunting there. The pack didn’t go there. The pack…
The pack, his pack. Lobo turned to return to his home, note forgotten. He didn't know who the king was anyway.
Pain seared through his shoulder. His back twisted. Lobo dropped to the ground. The anguish raked his body. Lobo gave up trying to go home. Once decided the spasms and throbbing passed. Slowly Lobo climbed back to his feet. The man place wasn’t that far.
He turned and began to go down the canyon towards the man valley. The pain lessoned with each stride. The wolf stopped and turned back. Throbbing agony erupted once again, stronger than the last episode. Lobo passed out.
He awoke later. He felt whole again. He thought about returning to the pack, but his shoulder began to throb. So he turned back towards the men’s habitation. The throbbing faded. Lobo decided that he would find this king and warn him. Then he could return to the pack and get his revenge…
Lobo began to trot as he followed the scent of the horses. He followed the trail then slowed. He sprang to a low rock outcropping and sniffed the air. Fire! He sniffed the air, no not a wild fire, a man fire. He perked his ears. Man talk near the fire, not far, down the ridge, but off of the trail. Trial, yes that was the name for it. Lobo sprang from the ledge and into the brush. He worked his way down the ridge and crouched by a large outcrop of rocks. He settled down and laid his head between his front paws and perked his ears.
It was a large collection of temporary dens. There were many fires, and many people around. There was a larger group near a fire close to his vantage point.
“Tonight during the carnival.”
“Too many people around,” a second voice said.
Lobo could see two of the men sitting near a small fire. He could smell burning meat. There were other odors Lobo couldn’t identify, but it was other man food odors. Man had many smells. The two men had different colors of head fur. One was dark brown; the other man had a tail on the back of his head. No, not a tail, his fur was very long and black. He also had fur covering his face.
Furry face poked a stick in the fire. “King has to die, but why during carnival?”
“I can get lost in the crowd,” Brown Tuff explained.
“How are you going to do it?”
“Knife,” Brown tuff held up his blade. Man had strange claws and teeth. That was what made man so dangerous. Brown Tuff had a steel fang in his paw and could throw it.
The fire scent was strong, but Lobo caught Brown Tuff’s scent as well.
Suddenly several dogs began to bark.
“What has them riled up?”
The men got up and began to look around. Lobo decided now was the time to leave. He trotted towards down the canyon heading to the valley where there were many man dens. The sounds of the barking dogs faded as he lopped towards the mouth of the canyon.
The sun was setting as Lobo entered man pack territory. A huge dog barked and growled, the fir along its back stood on end. Lobo growled back, and barred his fangs. The dog whimpered and backed down. Lobo crossed into their land.
Lobo heard the rhythms and sounds of music. He could smell spices and meats. He could smell sweat, fear, love, and misery. The number of competing odors was nearly overwhelming. There were dark canyons with sounds and smells coming from openings. Caves? The dens of men were strange to Lobo. He walked down one canyon and came out into a large open area. It was lit with fires on the ends of sticks. There was a higher area near one end of the open area. Several humans were on the higher area making the rhythmic sounds. There were brightly colored banners, and several places with cloths stretched over poles. Meat scents and other smells of what Lobo supposed was food odors wafted from several of these.
More people were entering. There was a lot of laughter and talking. Lobo walked around the perimeter. No one seemed to notice; to them he looked like one of the many dogs that he had encountered.
How to find the king? Who was the king? Lobo sniffed the air. There was another scent, a clean scent. A man in purple with something on his head was on the raised section. Everyone was bowing. Ah! The Alpha Male. That was who the king was!
Suddenly Lobo smelt Brown Tuff. He was walking towards the king, and he had his steal fang in his hand. Lobo growled and ran forward. Brown Tuff was pulling his paw back, raising the fang. Lobo was at a full run now and with his powerful hind legs launched himself. With a growl and snarl Lobo bit down on Brown Tuff’s exposed neck.
Sweet blood filled his mouth. Flesh gave way and Lobo tore out Brown Tuff’s throat. A woman screamed and people fell back. Brown Tuff fell dying to the ground. Lobo rode the body down. When they landed the steal fang fell from the assassins’ lifeless paw.
The Alpha Male’s eyes were wide eyebrows raised. His mouth was agape.
Lobo looked up at him and said, “You should listen to your friends when they warn you someone wants you dead, instead of banishing them from your kingdom.” Then Lobo turned and began his journey back to his pack.