Chapter B: Beast
The roar from behind took Kiri by surprise. The arrow was shot but missed the mark he intended. Kiri went back to the other guard. “What was that Baban?” Kiri asked Baban. “Beast,” said Baban with a little worry on his face. They slowly moved away from the cave. They could hear others shout along with the roars. Both took out arrows and pointed them towards the cave, ready to shoot. They heard a voice coming towards them shouting help. They saw each other “Baala” said Kiri. Nodded among themselves, sat on a knee ready to shoot anything that came out of the cave.
“In this strange yet beautiful world, there are beings and beasts. The stranger thing is sometimes beings become beasts and beasts,beings”. As the arrow came towards him Advaita was startled. He stopped thinking about his Dad’s words. The arrow landed just below him. The roar and arrow both made him panic. He tried to jump to the next branch. As he jumped he saw the person moving near the cave again. He slipped again but was able to hold on to the branch. He regained his composure as he realised that the roar had taken off the attention of him. He slowly moved to take the arrow that was stuck on the branch.
“Shoot it, it’s coming out” shouted Baala as he came out. “Move Baala,” said Baban as he saw Baala coming out. They waited but nothing came out. Baala just sat on the ground. “Where are others?” Asked Kiri, his eyes still towards the cave. Baala didn’t reply and was getting up from the ground. There was complete silence around. Suddenly a huge beast came jumping out of the cave. It pounced on Baala. Its front legs took Baala to the ground. Beast grabbed Baala’s throat with its jaws. Baala screamed. Kiri and Baban were in shock.
It was not a normal beast that they had seen before in forest. The skin of the beast was white with black stripes rather than yellow and black stripes which they had hunted previously. Before they could regain from the sudden attack, Baala was dead and beast was on the move.
Advaita saw the beast as he took the arrow from the branch. He misplaced his step as he saw the beast jump on Baala. He started falling from the tree. The fall was not fatal and he had just few bruises. He was in front of the open area now.
The beast jumped off of its first prey and dived ahead right in front of Advaita. He didn’t make a move and stood still. They both roared at each other. Kiri and Baban both shot an arrow towards the beast. Kiri’s missed but Baban hit the back of the beast. Beast turned towards Baban and plunged upon him before he could shoot one more. Kiri had lost his composure and could not get the second arrow to place on his bow. Advaita took his bow and placed his arrow towards the Beast. The arrow hit the beast on its neck. Seeing this, even Kiri got hold of his arrow and shot at the Beast which was on its way to jump at him.
The arrow from Kiri had hit the Beast on its forehead.Both fell on the ground with Beast giving a blow from its paw as it fell on top of Kiri. The beast collapsed, as Kiri screamed. Advaita was just standing there not sure whether to move or not.
Advaita saw no movement from either the Beast or Kiri. He moved close to them. He saw that both were dead. The white skin made him look at the beast in awe. Generally he had heard his folks say the beast being yellow with black strips. He looked around the scene, he was scared. There was blood all around the place. He collapsed near Baala’s body. His mind was completely blank.
After few minutes Advaita got up and started collecting all the arrows that were there wondering how a chase for his life led to these many deaths. He did not know where to go or what to do next. He decided to go the opposite side from where his tribe was, deep inside the forest. He was not sure what was ahead but he definitely could not go back.
As he was about to move, he heard a noise coming from the cave. He heard a roar from inside!