Author : Vanessa Kittle
Something was wrong. Bear sniffed the air. There was no meat where meat should be. The sky was bright but there was no meat. The flocks of watchers were not watching. His stomach hurt. He sniffed the place where the greens came to bring meat. He pushed the place and it moved. He pushed harder, and got his muzzle in. He pushed with all his strength and he was through, into a new place he did not recognize. It was too small. He might be trapped.
He ran, crashing until he came to a better place. Here the ground was softer and wet. He would find his own meat. None of the smells were familiar. Where were the giant ones and their powerful calls? Where were the screaming ones with their terrible smells? He caught movement out of the corner of his eye. He ran towards it faster than he had ever run before. The meat was small and would not fill him, but it was still meat. He leaped, mouth wide, and grabbed the fleeing meat in his mouth. A sharp pain rushed through bear’s head. Tiny fires bit his nose. He roared in agony and dropped the tasteless meat. It smelled like meat but it was not meat.
He looked up. There was a new smell. It was like the smell of the greens who brought his meat. He followed the scent and came to an open, bright place with soft earth under his paws. There were two watchers sitting on the ground. They were not green, but they smelled green, and they were eating meat. He charged towards them to get some.
The small one screamed and ran behind the larger. Bear reared up. He sniffed. The meat they were eating was not his meat, but their smell was good, too. Maybe they were his meat? Bear roared and raised his paw to strike. Suddenly, he froze. His paw would not move. His mouth would not move, nor would his legs.
The watchers were making the sounds of the greens that meant nothing to him. The small one picked something from the ground and threw it at him. Bear tried to move and roar but he could not. Something hard struck him on the head. The small watcher made sounds like the screaming ones did back in his home.
And now a large rumbling and howling beast came towards him. Its giant mouth opened. The greens came from inside the beast. They leaned bear over until he fell to the ground. Then they carried him into the beast where they were all swallowed together.
When bear woke he was home. His meat was where it should be as the sky grew bright. He went to it and ate. His stomach felt better as he devoured the meat. It was the best he had ever tasted.