The lion king past his prime still commanded glory, ignored by those unable to see his scars from ancient battles. The lioness wandered from a different strata searching for familiar grounds.

They circled, smelled the scent of forgotten lives, then joined. She licked his amber coat and feared the salty taste. He sank his teeth into the softness of her neck, drank the warmth and took what he thought was his.

 The jungle-gods screamed as they watched her body rise from the dust and lope into the red sky with a heart of thunder.

Emily Florence