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Something No One Wants To Come Home To

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I sat in the living room of my grandma and aunt's house, watching TV and waiting for my aunt to come out, so she could take me home.

Honestly a little bored by now, I watched a creepy news report about some scary lion who was roaming around near the suburbs where I lived, and they described him: orange pelt, black mane, green eyes, always-extended claws. And animal control didn't dare try to go near him, because these strange-looking lionesses constantly followed him. I didn't believe a word of it, though. Nothing ever happened where I lived. Often I would wish myself to Pride Rock or Toontown, somewhere where things happened. I was suddenly startled by my aunt's loud and obnoxious voice. Yeah, that news report was definitely a dream. What's keeping her anyway?

"Another week? How am I supposed to take my neice home?" If she got me annoyed enough, I'd sometimes go the distance and compare her to Zira, Scar's most zealous follower. But at least she cared about me, which was why I needed to break that habit. After slamming the reciever onto the stand, she walked into the room and told me, "I'm so sorry, Faith--Mom's car is still in the shop. I don't know how I'll get you home."

"I'll walk. It's not that far," I offered.

"Are you sure, honey? It's getting dark."

"Well it's not like we live on the Lower East Side or anything," I replied.

"Well... I guess it'd be alright. Do you have your handbag?"

I picked it up and waved. My aunt waved back.

The way back home was so seemingly empty, even though it was mainly the suburbs. The only visible movement was a fifteen year old girl, wearing a red, long-sleeved blouse with a few frills here and there, long black pants, and blondish-brown curly hair with fluffed up bangs. Two black dress shoes cautiously walked across the gravel in my driveway, and even so, I didn't have that relieved feeling I was expecting. The minute I'd stepped onto our driveway, I just knew something was wrong.

People usually entered through the back door, so as I headed that way I noticed the front porch light wasn't on like it usually was. That's cold, I thought. But they'd probably meant to do it but forgot, I decided.

But when I came around the back, my stomach flipped. "Ah, Faith, I've heard so much about you. Welcome to what is now my subdivision."

"Scar? What are you doing here?" Yeah, Scar as in from The Lion King. Those reporters really didn't lie.

"Were you listening to my earlier statement?" The lionesses behind him stared at me.

"Yeah, I was... But this is my house!"

Scar got up to circle me. "You are welcome to visit your family here any time, but you cannot stay." Fear struck me, and he translated, "Let's just say you don't live here any more. You have relatives, right?"

I had relatives, but I was feeling a lot like Simba by now. "You can't just drive me away from where I live."

"Oh, must this all end in violence?" Scar said with that smile of his.

I looked downward, too scared to look him in the eye. "Just let me see my family."

"Ah yes, they've missed you. Things have been quite different since you left, and I presume they shall stay different."

I emotionlessly walked past Scar, who smirked at me, toward the back porch. "I'll be here to make sure you leave when you're supposed to."

When I came into the house, my parents and two cats ran to me and hugged me, not physically hurt or anything. "It's been terrible since you left. We can't leave unless we have a really good reason," Mom said.

Well, at least they didn't wear rags, and the cabinets were stocked. Besides from Scar and his lionesses being here and sending me to live with relatives, everything seemed fine.

I hugged my cats close to me, then said, "I'm allowed to eat with you, but then I have to leave."

"It's best if you do that," Mom said cautiously. "It will be way safer."

Suddenly, I woke up in my room, and it was daylight. I was in my room as in my house. Mom came in to kiss me goodbye, because she was going to work. I looked out the window. Scar and his lionesses were nowhere in sight. I must have eaten late last night. That was weird.

Still, though, as I enjoyed a homemade iced coffee with whipped cream on the top, I cautiously looked out the sliding door window, making sure I didn't see anything "interesting."

I was on summer break, I remembered, and was greatly relieved. Today I just wanted to enjoy being home. So I sat at the computer, IMing my friend Kiana and not being able to hold it in any longer. I had to tell her about it--we told each other stuff like that all the time, and my friends didn't think I was weird for it. They thought it was cool, like I did. It may have been a little scary, but it was interesting somewhat.

I would've been like, "Get outa my house!" my friend replied. I grinned.

Later Tara called, another friend of mine. And yeah, I told her too. That's the kind of thing she finds interesting. Me too. "I would have cried!" Tara said, and I thought about how surprisingly cold it had been outside for this time of year, how emotionless I was able to act around Scar. But what was I to do, get on my knees and beg for mercy? I don't think so, and besides, he had none.

"Are you sure that was a nightmare?" Mom teased me that night, referring to the way I'd often wish myself away from here and to Pride Rock. Dad was even funnier when he said, "I did hug you when you came in the door, right?" and then he said, "Well, time to shoot Scar." Dad loves to hunt, but he's not a poacher or anything like that. He also makes funny comments I think I'll always remember.

I rolled my eyes. "I think the hyenas took any weapons we had."

It was only a dream, right? Right. But still, when my cat, Jane, who looks a lot like the sheriff of Nottingham from Disney's Robin Hood, went walking on the candy tray's lid on the counter and made a loud noise while making it cave in, my heart began to beat harder, because I was in another room and didn't know what the sound was. And because the kitchen faced, uh-huh, the back yard, where Scar stayed in my nightmare. I rushed out of the computer room, relieved to find only Jane, giving me an innocent look. I took her from the counter and hugged her, even though she wasn't supposed to be up there.

Mom and Dad had gone to bed, so the cats and I were the only ones awake. But I'd sleep tonight in my own bed, with Mom and Dad's funny comments in my mind and the secure feeling of Jane and Petra beside me.

But Scar's words would also remain vivid, just as vivid as that dream was. Maybe I did need to be a little more careful about what I wished for.

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