I opened my eyes for the first time but was almost blinded. The searing heat buffeted me, the bright colors hurting my small, new eyes. I picked up one paw, two paws, three, four, and ran. I sprinted on all fours. I left behind my birthplace for the forest fire that had come to claim the others of my tribe that had not escaped. The last thing I heard of my mother before the fire creeped up on her was, "Luta!"
I had been running for a long time now. Too long. I saw a flash of light purple before I stumbled and fell. I closed my eyes, wishing for the mom that I had lost - that I'd never see, never hear again. At least I could not small the smoke anymore, I could breathe clearly, but barely. I breathed heavily, the air scraping against my lungs that seemed to be made of sandpaper. I saw the familiar dancing colors through the blackness of my eyelids.
Suddenly, I felt a tug at the scruff of my neck, like my mom used to carry me. However, this jaw was alien, harder, almost unfriendly. I decided to open my eyes again but only saw my surroundings bouncing around me. I did not know who was carrying me. Were they ever going to put me down? What were they going to do with me?
I closed my eyes once more, for the jumping motion of the world was causing a bit of motion fatigue to threaten me. The rocking of the movement of the animal who was carrying me became a regular rhythm, an almost soothing one at that. I soon fell asleep, glad to be out of this world for the tragedy that had recently occurred.
I woke up on a soft bed of raw cotton, picked freshly from the plant, just like my old one. I did not open my eyes just yet, biting my bottom jaw, hoping, wishing, with all my might that the fire had just been a dream, and today was the real day that my eyes would open, that everything was okay. I waited for my mother's soft coo of my name to drift by my sensitive ears, yet it never came. After about an hour - that seemed like forever - of waiting, I finally accepted that it had been real and opened my eyes to the unfamiliar surroundings. I sat up slowly, realizing that it was almost just like home. The same styling of the wooden walls, the same kind of sloped rooftop, even the same breed of tree. This could still be home. This could still be home. This could still be home.
All of my hopes that the dreams were a reality were suddenly crushed as I saw a female lavender tunny coming in the doorway. My heart sank, all was lost.
"Oh! You're awake." she stated as she saw me. Her voice was very strong and rough, yet soft, smooth and feminine. Her coat was a nice, plush lavender, with darker marks in some places and a deep, forest green underbelly. She came a bit closer. "You went through a lot yesterday, I can tell." she said. Then she laughed to herself as she saw the confused look on my face. "Oh! Sorry! I haven't introduced myself, have I?" she smiled, her brilliant eyes sparkling. Her left eye was a deep ocean blue, her right a pale orange. "I'm Dragonsnap, but most call me Snap. I'm the leader of the tribe."
This was way too much at once for me to comprehend at once. The leader? Strange location? How did she find me? Were my first thoughts. "How.. how did I get here?" I squeaked, my small voice echoing. The words kind of slipped out.
Dragonsnap sat herself beside my bed. "I found you on your stomach yesterday afternoon. You looked like you had passed out. I picked you up and took you here immediately. I wasn't going to leave a pup out in the Dark Woods by themselves! I heard your breathing, it sounded horrifying." she then looked to the entrance. "I saw the destruction that had happened to your native tribe." she said solemnly, shaking her head. "It's practically gone. Forest fires will do a number to you." She then turned immediately back to me. "Your name, darling?"
My voice was hoarse. I barely ever used it, I had never really had a reason to before. "L-Luta," I stammered. I sniffed a bit as I restrained tears. My tribe was gone. I'd never see it or my family ever again. I took a deep, shaky breath. I let the tears flow. I had no reason to appear strong.
Snap looked at me sympathetically. She stroked my head softly. I plopped back onto my bed, wiping at my eyes. My mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, all gone. I never wanted it to change. A week and they were gone. I began to cough a little bit. The smoke had done definite, permanent damage to me. Dragonsnap seemed surprised. "Sweetheart," she said sadly. "Let me get Vera for you." she said. She dashed out quickly.
Who's Vera? I wondered. I figured it wouldn't be long until I found out.
Less than a minute later she returned with Vera, a deep blue tunny with light green spots on her paws and around her eyes. She had a white tail and white swirls on her body. One of her eyes was red, the other green. She had a bulky brown bag around her shoulder. "This is the pup you found?" Vera asked Snap. Her voice was small, sweet, soft and quiet, like my mom's, but it was missing the motherly part. Snap nodded quickly. Vera looked at me, evidently worried. I stared back, never breaking the gaze, my eyes puffy and clouded. Vera moved close and set down her bag. She smelled like the roses from my home. It was distinct, as roses from different areas will have different scents, and she smelled like the ones form my home. My home, not this place. I wondered about it and put the thought aside for a less important time.
Vera took out something from her bag. It was a fine powder that was a ginger color. She took out a small bit of water and poured the powder in it. She shook it up. "Open up, sugar," she said.
I reluctantly opened my small mouth. I feared the strange mixture. I wondered what it would do.
Vera gave it to me. It was surprisingly sweet and satisfying. I smiled after finishing it, feeling expectantly drowsy.
Vera smiled and left. "Let her rest." she said to Snap. Snap nodded and left hesitantly.
I feel asleep he moment they left.