29) The protagonist is a talking bear.
I thought I would post the start of my story here. I decided to write about a talking polar bear in a world where every animal talks. I'm unsure what direction the story will go in, but I think the start is at least somewhat interesting.
The council of polar bears stand tall and proud as they surround the degenerate fox that dared steal from them. The arctic fox cowers, wishing it could disappear into the snow.
“Stand up and face your crimes!” yells Orson.
Orson’s face pulsates with hatred. He cares so much for his kin and will do whatever it takes to protect them. The fox whispers as snow gathers on top of her white fur.
“I did what was necessary to survive.”
Orson growls, revealing his sharp teeth.
“Your actions would have resulted in starvation if you hadn’t been caught! Give me a reason not to bite your head off!”
Fross, the oldest member of council, attempts to deescalate the situation
“Calm down, it is our duty to hear her side before making a decision. Fox, what is your name?”
Fross nods thoughtfully and asks,
“Zorro, are you aware of your crimes?”
She shivers as snow collects on her head.
“My only crime was getting caught.”
Orson growls again and takes a step closer to Zorro. You can tell he detests her lack of remorse.
“You stole food and left us to starve!”
The fox whimpers as she buries herself into the snow. Her white fur blends into the snow, concealing her completely. The snow is deep enough that it’s impossible to know her exact position.
“Huh where did she go?” asks Fross.
“She’s still within the circle, let’s move in,” replies Orson.
As the encirclement of bears advances, a white streak flashes before your vision. The fox darts under a bear’s stomach and emerges unscathed. She wastes no time and dashes towards the forest. The councilmembers turn to run with no chance of catching her, only one thing stands between her and the forest…
“Kuma stop her!”
The fox runs towards you, staring at you with her dark, yellow eyes. You can sense fear in her and assume she can sense yours’ too. Zorro wastes no time and attempts to sprint past you.
“What are you waiting for, claw her face in!” shouts Orson.
She is almost in arms reach. You may be young, but your reaction time is among the best of your tribe. You have no doubt you could hit her if you tried.
Thanks for the advice. I've always heard the "show don't tell" line, but it's especially helpful when shown in your own writing.
Here's another excerpt. This continues from the last one if you decide to attack the fox.
No hesitation, just as you were taught growing up. You swipe at her face and slice her throat straight open. She collapses and gurgles through her bloodied throat,
“This is only the beginning.”
Her last words are soon interrupted by cheering. The councilmembers gather around you and praise your heroic act.
“Kuma the fox slayer!”
“Just as we taught ya!”
And the one that sticks with you the most,
“I couldn’t have done it better myself!”
In a cruel twist of irony, Zorro makes an excellent meal. You take a chomp of her stomach, as blood spatters on your face. As the councilmembers make their way over, you yield your kill over to them. It is a showing of respect you’re sure they won’t forget. You smile as blood drips out of your mouth, you made the right choice.
Later that night you discover the extent of Zorro’s crime. Orson tells you she was caught stealing salmon from our stockpile. This was something that had gone on for months, with her stealing one fish at a time. If she continued, the winter’s mortality rate would increase tenfold. And as Orson always tells you, “crime must be stomped out with an iron boot”.
You go to sleep with a smile on your face. For the first time in your life, you killed without hesitation. You’ll tell your best friend all about it first thing in the morning.
The next morning
“Were you scared at all?” asks Nadette.
“A little, but once my instincts took over it washed away.”
She nods in admiration and asks,
“Just like how instincts took over when we were attacked by wolves, huh?”
You gulp as you remember how close you both were to dying. You were out hunting together, and a pack of wolves attacked the moment you were isolated from your tribe. You were scared and knew you were too weak to take them all on. Your only resort was running back for help, an act so cowardly that you'll never live it down.
“It wasn’t like that, this time it was different.”
Nadette laughs and nuzzles you.
“I know it was, I was just messing with you. You’re not the same cub who ran away from wolves. You’re… no, we’re stronger now.”
Nadette starts to leave.
“Where are you going?”
She glances over her shoulder, then continues walking.
“Just because you killed a fox doesn’t mean I’m not going hunting. You coming or what?”
You don’t even bother answering as you run to catch up. Before you know it, you’re all alone as you head towards the ocean side. There’s a thin opening between two giant icebergs. Nadette immediately jumps in. You jump in after her and tense up as the freezing water drenches your fur. You open your eyes and are greeted by the familiar deep blue.
The water is filled with all sorts of fish. You wade through the water and bite into the side of an unexpecting salmon. Jackpot! You clench the fish in your mouth and set it down on the ice. A couple more of these and you could have a feast that would set the feast of Zorro to shame. Nadette and you continue catching fish and dropping them onto the ice. You soon have gathered a dozen fish and decide to call it a day.
As you climb back onto the surface, you’re faced with the prospect of bringing the fish back to base.
“How do we want to do this?” you ask.
“One of us should carry them back home while the other stands watch. We don’t want any thieves stealing our food.”
You suggest that you’ll guard the fish while she carries them back. She agrees and leaves with two fish hanging out of her mouth.
“Run fast it’s almost nightfall,” you yell at her.
“Hmpph,” she responds, struggling not to let the fish slide out of her mouth.
You watch the sunset as she continues running back and forth. The moment darkness takes over, a chill is sent down your spine. The echoes of howling surround you as you see the red eyes of black wolves light up the darkness. The howls only get louder as more of them gather around you. You glance down at the fish you’ve been guarding. All that remains are four pink salmons. You could grab two yourself and run to safety. On the other hand, if you can prolong the wolves long enough for Nadette to get back, you could grab all four together.
Thanks for the help again. I'm going to just cut the line about the iron boot out. My characters shouldn't know what a boot is.
This was the first thing I thought of when I saw this prompt. I can try to set up a Pathfinder game in a few weeks.