Vice & Virtue: Noa

Chapter 13

“T’Challa please... I’m begging you, don’t do this...”

I’ve snuck out again, this time meeting him in the dense forest beyond the city.

It’s dark and the erie sounds of the forest creeps me out.

“I’m sorry that I have to hurt you, but it must be done. I do this for Wakan...” He’s stopped, listening intently.

“Go now!”

And then I hear it also, a jet. Quickly heading back towards the lights of the city, I’m intercepted by Erik. The Dora’s spread out, searching the woods.

“Is this where you meet, in the woods like animals?”

“Erik you have to leave... leave Wakanda.”

“No, it’s you who’s going to...”

“I’ve seen your death, seen you fall at the hands of T’Challa.” I interrupt.

“He’s dead.”

“Not anymore.” He says, coming into view.

Donning his black panther suit, Erik immediately changes into his.

“Erik, no!”

Ignoring me, they attack one another.

“Stop!”

The fight has moved to the trees, and I can no longer see them. Following the scuffle from above, I end up going deeper into the forest.

Losing them, I’ve lost my sense of direction. My eyes close.... trying hard to call forth the strength of the leopards. An ancient gift of my people...

Damn, I wish that I would have paid attention to the elders, when teaching us how to perform it.

A loud rustle causes my eyes to pop open. “Hello?”

The forest has gone quiet, not a sound... I’m straining to hear, my body frozen with fear.

Too late... It attacks, coming at me fast. I’m no match for it’s strength, as the power of its body hitting mines, knocks me to the ground.

Screaming, as its teeth sinks into my stomach, trying to fight it off is useless.

Striking at it, my fist makes a connection with teeth, before pain follows.

Any attempts at self defense are countered with ferocious, crushing bites.

I can do nothing as my body’s being ravaged, the life force slowly seeping away.

My last thoughts are of him, as the trees slowly disappear.

Her terrified scream, causes my heart to falter, and distracted his claws dig into my chest.

The blood gushing, I follow the directions of her screams. She’s in pain, I can hear it in her voice.

Moving from tree to tree, Im knocked to the ground. He’s on me quickly, and a kick to the face sends him backwards through the air.

I’m up, listening... I can no longer hear her, and following her scent mixed with blood, my heart almost gives out.

Dropping to my knees, her tattered clothing in bits on the ground. Blood stains, where a body should have been, she’s gone.

My heart breaking, the pain’s replaced by physical pain. A spear driven through my chest.

The Dora’s arrive in time to witness my triumph. My cousin lying at my feet, I can still hear his heart beating faintly.

“For my mother, you’ll live.” I state, hoping that he can still hear me.

“Take him.” Bowing, they lift him, quickly going back to the jet.

Fingering her blood stained clothing, what’s strewn about the ground, I say a prayer for her.

Taken by the animal that her people hold in high regard.... it’s poetic....

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