Part 2 - Yuiyui's Stand
I sprang up suddenly, panicked and confused. After a moment or two, I realized I was in my bed. I slowly calmed myself and laid back down. It was all just a bad dream...right? It had seemed so real, though.
I looked around. My tummy was telling me it was still early--closer to breakfast time than lunch. I didn't think what had happened in my dream was real, but I was still worried about Tamero, so I went to check up on him, just in case.
However, I arrived at his bed to find it empty. Feeling a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach, I called out to him.
'Tamero? Where are you?'
As if in reply, a fearsome howl echoed off in the distance. Tamero's bed was the farthest one out in our camp. Out of everyone, he was the most at risk of being attacked by outsiders. I immediately took off, running as fast as my legs could carry me in the direction the howl had come from.
Before long, I'd reached the forest on the edge of our camp. I spotted Tamero in the middle of a clearing. He was crouched low to the ground, holding a weapon he'd made out of an old gourd. I could tell from where I was that he was injured. His attention was focued entirely on his opponent--a Bracked Monkey. It must have been what made that howl I'd heard.
'Something's wrong with that monkey... He must have gone feral!' I gasped under my breath.
Even monsters who can normally control their instincts can be driven wild and lose their minds when they're especially hungry or hurt. Just like what happened in my dream. Sometimes, a strong blow to the head will bring them back to their senses, but often, they'll never return to their old selves. They leave their packs and vanish into the wilds.
I glanced at Tamero. He was already hurt pretty badly. I wondered if the Tamero from my dream was injured by this same Bracken Monkey. If the real Tamero was hurt more, he might turn feral, too! Before I realized it, I had stepped between him and the moneky.
'Don't worry, Tamero! I'll protect you!' I said.
'Yuiyui!' he gasped.
I was so relieved to hear him call my name, tears started running down my face. He hadn't gone feral. That part of my dream hadn't come true, at least.
'Hey!' Tamero exclaimed, 'This is no time to be crying! This guy's gone wild! We need to knock him out fast, or...'
His voice trailed off. A look of alarm spread across his face as he glanced behind me. I turned around just in time to see the Bracken Monkey launch a flying kick right at my head.
'Yuiyui! Look out!' Tamero gasped.
Right at the last second, I parried the monkey's kick and counterattacked, sending it flying straight into a thick tree trunk. The wind knocked it out, the monkey looked shocked and confused for a moment, before passing out.
'Wow, that really was a close one. I sure am glad I learned that move from the Creepy Sheep,' I said as I dusted myself off.
Tamero let out a deep siigh, and slumped down on the ground.
'I should've known you'd be okay,' he said, 'You're the strongest one in our whole pack, after all.'
'Well's a girl's gotta knock a good self-defenes move or two!' I giggled.
I realized then that I had Tamero's complete attention. I knew it could be my chance to finally get through to him.
'Why didn't you call for help as soon as that Bracken Monkey attacked you?' I asked, frowning.
'Hmph. Why should I call for help when it's something I could've handled myself?' he shrugged.
'But you weren't handling it! And even if you HAD won the fight, you're so injured, you might have ended up going feral, too!' I told him.
'Y-Yeah, well, so what if I had?' he scoffed, 'That's got nothin' to do with you...'
I couldn't believe that he'd have the nerve to say that to me! Didn't he realize how much I cared about him? I couldn't take it anymore. While I'm normally a very patient panda, he'd gone too far. I grabbed Tamero by the shoulders and looked him right in the eyes.
'Listen, Tamero. I know how hard you work. I agree with you that getting help from others all the time without trying for yourself is just being lazy. But you're not that kind of panda! Don't let your fear stop you from getting help when you need it. You can rely on everyone in the pack! You can rely on me! You might like the idea that you're some strong independent loner, but in reality, when you push everyone away, you're just being self-absorbed!'
I stopped to catch my breath and waited for Tamero to say something in response. He lowered his face. I couldn't telll what he was thinking. After a moment, he opened his mouth and began to speak.
I didn't hear anything past that. There was a 'fwip' sound and suddenly a sharp pain shot through the back of my head. I started to feel dizzy, but I sensed something moving around behind me.
I figured the moneky must have woken up and thrown a stone at me. I was quickly losing consciousness, but I knew if I passed out, Tamero would keep trying to fight on his own. He might end up turning feral...
'Please, Tamero...' I gasped, 'I don't want to lose you... I'd be so sad if I couldn't see you anymore...'
There was so much I wanted to tell him, but I just couldn't find the words. My head was swimming. It became harder and harder to think straight. As a panda who's very conscious about being ladylike, it's a little hard for me to admit this, but I knew all my self-defense training had made too rough for this to kill me. So why? Why was I...
And then it happened. My thoughts slipped away, and were replaced by pure instinct. I had become a mindless, feral Coco Panda.
Continue Reading A Coco Panda's Tale
|⇐ 1: Part 1||3: Part 3 ⇒|