I was but just a cub when they came. I remember hearing the talons penetrating my mother's flesh as they hauled her flailing body into the sky, under the cover of the sun. I was helpless; they were already so far out of reach. Blinded by the cloudless sky, I recall looking to the ground where I witnessed the shadow of my mother… Her body being ripped to shreds. The rising tension between our realms was torn. We were finally at war with the hawks.
Since that day, shadows only served as a reminder of that gruesome day. I would walk around from then on with my eyes to the sky. Shadows, once frivolous, mimicking patterns on the ground, now were seen as a curse that I could not circumvent.
My father, sovereign of our realm, recognized our inevitable demise. The hawks were quicker, stronger, more evasive than us. But, the one thing that truly gave them the upper hand… was their flight. Our scientists were burrowed far beneath the soil, devising a plan to clear the skies, forcing the fight to the ground.
I was dining with my father on our rationed meals for we could not venture far from the burrow. The hawks already conquered most of our land. I took the last bite of my meal when the scientists burst into the room. “We’ve done it!” they scream. They were hauling a strange metallic box. There were flashing buttons and antennas protruding every which way. It turns out this box held the capacity to send a condensed sound wave through the skies. Apparently, the sound wave would disrupt the hawks’ cochlea causing them to lose control of their flight. I was speechless. For the first time, I believed we could actually win this war.
We set up the box which was donned the name Screech in the public square. The crowd that gathered around would have been much larger if the hawks hadn’t massacred a majority of our brothers and sisters. Everyone looked on anxiously. I could see the glimmer of hope in everyone around me. My father looked down at me, “No one has endured more hardships than you since the beginning of this war.” Tears began to well in my eyes. He stepped forward and addressed the crowd. “My son will be the one to trigger the weapon!” There were no objections from the masses. For once, I didn’t need to force a smile.
As I walked toward the machine, scientists gave me nods of approval and admiration. I finally reach the weapon. Screech is carved across the top. A scientist approaches me and shows me how to trigger the sound wave. He then hands me the key that will surely be the destruction of our enemies. It’s a heavy key although it’s not much bigger than my paw. With both hands I inserted the key into the launch lock. I give one last glance to the crowd and quickly jerked the key to the right.
Screech began to vibrate and emit an eerie hum. The hawks must’ve caught wind of our plan because I can see them swarming in from the south. I took no more than a step back before an electric current opens up a vacuuming vortex around Screech. I turn to my father and attempt to grab his hand as the vortex drags me into its midst. Yet, it was no use. The images of my world fade as I’m sent into the abyss.
I come to not long after. Where am I? I give my head a few shakes and look around. I’m fucking falling! I look to the ground for the first time in ages, yet there’s no shadow as I’m quickly approaching the ground from miles in the sky. I come to terms with my situation. I don’t know how I ended up here. Possibly a malfunctioning with Screech? Whatever. It didn’t matter now since I was freefalling at mach speeds toward the ground. The ground approached closer and closer, I observe the land during my fall. The features of the land closely resemble my home, yet there’s something that tells me this is not my realm. That’s when I collide with the ground.
That hurt… Wait a minute. I’m still alive? Somehow, I’m still alive! I look around and brush the gravel from my face. I theorize that the gravity of this realm is thinker than that of mine. Maybe that’s why the fall took so long. I finally look around and catch site of these strange structures. No doubt they were meant to house animals of some sort.
That's when I notice them, these strange animals approaching me. They are towering creatures that stand upright, but I can help noticing how ridiculous they look in their outrageously tall top hats. Hideous creatures. I want to flee, but my legs are paralyzed. I accept my fate. I must be in hell. The creatures then place me in a bag and the sky disappears.
They keep me in a cage for months, feeding me crushed chips which they force through the bars. The only source of water I have comes from a slender metal tube that I have to slave over to drink. Finally, they open my cell door and drag me out by the neck. They carry me through a maze of tunnels and out into the open. Finally, I get to see the sky for the first time since they captured me all those months ago. However, when I look straight ahead, I see a mass of the hideous creatures screaming and shouting at me. Holding up signs I cannot read. The sight of them makes me look down in disgust where I catch a glimpse of my shadow. No! The images of my shadow bring back the memories of my mother and the war. It frightens me; I feel suffocated. The people seem to despise my reaction, but before I can assess the situation, the men drag me back inside and throw me back in prison where surely I’ll rot for another year.
All that keeps me going now is the hope that I will someday escape, that I will someday make it back to my realm. Will the war be over? Did Screech work despite my setback, or are the hawks nipping at my lifeless comrades.
Either way, I believe I will be granted my revenge in this life or the next. For in this strange realm they call Earth, I am hailed as Groundhog.
Happy Groundhog Day...
I need a life.
P.S. Answer the question on the right side of my blog please! It would be greatly appreciated.