The Jungle Book (2016 fan-version)

By LittleYellowFish

Fantasy / Humor

Chapter 11

Mowgli walked for hours throughout the night-lit jungle. He waited on a small river, seeing four vultures observing him from a branch. One of the vultures looked at the others, before swooping down to where Mowgli was, dropping a small scrap of meat. Mowgli smiled at the vulture, who flew up back to the others as Mowgli ate the food and continued onwards.

Mowgli walked further into the jungle, eventually coming across a field of yellow grass before a large river. He sat on the grass to rest for a moment, before hearing a loud horn being blown. Mowlgi looked up to see a man on the other side of the river.

The man was dressed in clothes, similar to the man in Kaa’s vision, and he held a long-barreled weapon in his hands. Mowgli and the man stared at each other for a while, before Mowgli ran back into the jungle and the man went back the way he came.

Eventually, Mowgli arrived at a dark swamp-like place. The vine-covered oasis seemed to made of individual caves of burnt stone. Each cave was covered in claw marks, which Mowgli examined carefully, not knowing that he was being watched.

As Mowgli looked at the claw marks, a voice said “a dangerous place for a mancub to be, isn’t it?”

Mowgli turned to face the tiger who jumped down from the branch behind him and stalked towards him. Mowgli stared the tiger in his dead eye, as the tiger said “go ahead. Run.”

“Why should I run?”

“Ha ha. Why should you run?” the tiger asked, clearly insulted. “Could it be possible that you don’t know who I am?”

“I know you. You’re Shere Khan.”

“Yes, I am. Then I’m sure you’ll also know that everyone runs from Shere Khan.”

“I won’t run from you. You made a deal with Bagheera.”

Shere Khan looked in surprise, before saying “oh yes. Of course I did. I cannot dispose of you until sunset, can I?”

“No, you can’t.”

“Hm. Well, mancub. What do you suggest I do with you instead?”

“We could uh... we could talk.”

“Talk? I’ve never been one for talking.”

“Well, it is always good to try new things.” Mowgli said as he sat down. Shere Khan slumped onto the ground, facing the man cub, as he said “so, where are you going to, mancub?”

“My friends tell me I need to go to a man-village.”

“Well, I do not consider myself your friend nor you mine, but I would tell you the same thing, unless of course you simply do not wish to become a man, and I could just kill you.”

“I wouldn’t really like that, and I doubt my friends would either.” Mowgli said. After thinking for a moment, he sighed and said “maybe it’s better I go to the man village.”

“Perhaps it is. You know, the one thing that spreads quicker than the Red Flower is word of mouth. I’ve heard about you, mancub, and your adventures. It seems you have quite a spirit and courage for one so small, and I suppose such spirit is deserving of my sympathies. So, even though I cannot kill you, my agreement mentioned nothing about not getting rid of you.”

“How?”

“I will take you to the man-village myself. But for a price.”

“I haven’t had a good experience with people who say that last part. What is it?”

“If I take you to the man-village, you must promise to never return to the jungle. If you do, I will have to kill you, and every creature who tries to keep you from me.”

Mowgli thought for a moment, and said “very well. I agree.”

“Good. So, half a day remains of my deal, and the village is not too far away. Come.”

Shere Khan walked out of the oasis, and Mowgli followed him further behind.

Meanwhile, back at Council Rock, Rama looked after the wolf cubs as Akela and two other wolves walked over. Rama said “did you find him?”

“No Rama. We’ve searched everywhere. We cannot find Grey. If we are lucky, then he may have found Raksha.”

A wolf sentry howled loudly, as Akela said “what is it?”

“Red Flower has been spotted nearby. It may be man.”

“It cannot be Mowgli, can it?” Rama asked. “Here it comes!” one of the wolves said, as the Red Flower ripped through the branches. The Flower quickly set the den into flames, as Rama said "run!" as the cubs narrowly escaped.

Rama looked inside to see Mowgli's inventions in the cave, as he gave the cubs to Akela, saying "take care of them!" as he ran into the cave and grabbed the contraptions in his teeth.

As the animals ran for cover, the flames consumed their land. Eventually, all the animals in the area were cornered at the river, surrounded by chittering monkeys.

Rama said "Akela, what is going on!?" before he heard his cubs squealing. He turned and saw the monkeys threatening his cubs with the Red Flower, before he jumped forward to defend them. He snapped at the apes, saying "harm one of my cubs and I will tear you apart!" before leaping at one of the monkeys. His attack was intercepted by a flaming stick, which was thrown from a tree and hit Rama in the chest.

Akela turned and said “no!” as Rama fell smoldering to the ground. The cubs howled with tears in their eyes as they pushed and sat on their father’s body. The rhinos said “what’s going on!?” as a large shadow stepped out of the flames. The figure pointed to Rama’s corpse, saying “this is what happen if you stand up to the Red Flower.”

“Oh no.” Akela said, as the shadow responded “This jungle is mine, now! HA HA HA HA HA HA!”

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