(A few days ago, I had a dream that I was writing a fan-fiction for my blog. It was a cross between Game of Thrones and Disney and when I awoke, I could not stop thinking about the idea. Below, You will find a first chapter, with the potential for more. This is a work of fiction and is not to be sold in any way shape or form. It is simply for my amusement and the challenge of writing these characters in a strange and dangerous world. All the characters are owned by Disney and I do not claim ownership of any of them. Please let me know what you think in the comments below! Without further ado, welcome to The Kingdom.)
The ship rocked gently over the ocean below as it sailed its course, headed for, Mowgli had been told, the grandest kingdom in the land. The cabin where he had spent the trip was small, but comfortable, Held together by sturdy wood which occasionally groaned as the boat leaned this way or that.
It was Mowgli’s first time on a boat. He wasn’t really one for seafaring, unless you counted riding atop Baloo’s belly down the river, which he didn’t really. He wondered what the old bear would think if he could see Mowgli now. He still had a soft brown skin tone and thick black hair which covered his head like a mop. But no longer did the he wear the red loin cloth he’d bore since his upbringing. Now, the Englishmen had dolled him up in a white ruffly shirt with buttons and black pants which wrapped tightly to his legs, making him feel as though he were being suffocated. They also gave him white socks and shiny black shoes with little bronze buckles, but he kept those off most of the time, preferring to feel the ground beneath his feet as he walked.
Unlike many boys his age, Mowgli had grown up in the jungle, which was hard for most of the grown men he’d met in his life to believe. When the Englishman showed up in the village, they had thought it a joke. He’d been raised by a family of wolves along with a black panther named Bagheera and, for a time, a sloth bear named Baloo. To him, they were the closest thing he had to family. Yet the time had come for him to grow up and so they had sent him back to the man village where he had lived for the past year.
That was until the Englishman and his crew showed up.
He was the prince of some far away land, which Mowgli had never heard of. He had pail white skin like a ghost. His jet black hair was as wavy as the ocean and unlike the rest of his crew, he had a bold smile that was almost too comforting. They had arrived on a large wooden ship and requested to trade with Mowgli’s village. The leader of his village, Akanksha had been hesitant at the offer, but the prince had invited him to come back to the castle so that he could be shown the trade route and rewarded with mountains of gold in order to help seal a long and prosperous relationship. Once Akanksha had agreed to make the journey, Mowgli had begged to go. He wanted to see more of this Prince’s world and he wanted to ride on a boat.
He had no idea that riding on a boat was so terribly boring. The first hours had been fun. He’d explored every nook and cranny, introduced himself to the crewman, shouted to the dolphins below and the seagulls above and even gotten to man the wheel for a very short amount of time. But he’d quickly found that there wasn’t much else to be done. He’d conversed with the mice on the ship – Mowgli was quite talented when it came to animal dialects – but even they did not have much to say. Their lives were filled with conquests of finding a good bit of cheese. This did not make for excellent conversation. He longed for the days of adventure in the jungle. He wanted to come up with some scheme to scare Bagheera while he slept. He wanted outwit Kaa. He wanted to out run King Louie. When he was bored he’d hum the tune that Baloo had taught him. The bare necessities of life will come to you. All of that was behind him now.
There was a loud crash as a wave hit the boat and sent Mowgli toppling from the small bed to the hard wooden floor. Water sputtered through the little porthole window, causing him to slip as he tried to stand. Above, men were shouting and cursing at each other. He quickly ducked out of the room and made his way through the wooden hallways, past the mess hall and the gunnery, and up the large set of stairs which led to the upper deck.
The deck was a madhouse. Large men quickly strapped down the cannons and secured the sails, which rippled and tensed under the harsh wind which blew all around. Overhead, a large black cloud was rolling in, as if headed straight for them. It looked like a shadow in the sky and Mowgli had a hard time taking his eyes off it.
“Mowgli!” shouted a familiar voice. The Prince ran to him and grabbed him by his shoulders. “You shouldn’t be up here,” he said.
“I wanted to see what all the commotion was about, your highness,” responded Mowgli.
The man grinned. “The commotion is that a storm is coming in and you need to be below deck.” He winked at Mowgli. “And I’ve told you before, your highness is far too formal. Call me Eric.”
There was a sudden crash as a huge bolt of shadow sent one of the sailors flying from the deck and into the ocean beyond. “Man overboard!” yelled another. But no sooner had he yelled it did another bolt of shadow grab him and throw him into the water as well.
Prince Eric spun around, his eyes narrowing as shadows with minds of their own started attacking his crew.
“What are they?” asked Mowgli, who was sure that nothing in the jungle had prepared him for this.
“The darkness. It’s found us,” said Eric, worry cutting through his voice. He turned back to Mowgli. “Quick now Mowgli, hide.”
Without another question, Mowgli lunged for a nearby barrel and lowered himself into it, pulling the top over his head. There was a little hole in the side where a cork might fit, but luckily for him, the cork was absent. He placed his face on the whole and peered out with a single eye.
There was a crack of thunder in the air and all of the men suddenly stopped and turned to look towards the bow of the ship. There stood a large creature, dressed in a black cloak. It was taller and fatter than any man Mowgli had ever seen and shadow dripped from it like wet black paint. The figure moved forward, causing the sailors to pull back, none of them wanting to get to close to it. Screams could still be heard in the ocean around them as waves rocked the boat violently. The overthrown sailors were fighting for their lives.
“You’re a long way from home little prince,” said a voice from underneath the cloak. It was deep and bold.
“As are you, Pete,” said Eric, the only one on the ship who was able to find his voice amidst the fear.
The figure laughed. He reached up a hand and pulled back his hood to reveal a large face with a fat chin. His mouth and chin were beige while the rest of his face was covered in black fur. He had two pointy ears and Mowgli realized that this creature was some sort of overgrown, walking on two legs, cat. Yet he was as large as Baloo and Mowgli was fairly certain cats were not supposed to come in that size. Pete continued to walk forward on the boat, down a large set of stairs.
“You have something I want,” snarled Pete. “Something you found in the jungle. Something you shouldn’t have.”
“You want the spices Pete?” asked Eric. “You can have them. Just leave my men as they are.”
“Aw yes but not all the spices,” said a meek voice. Mowgli moved his eye just enough to see Akanksha standing next to Eric, cowering in fear. “We’ll need some for the trade.”
“Spices?” asked Pete. “You take me for a FOOL?!” Pete grabbed one of the sailors nearest him by the throat and tossed him overboard. “Now where is he?!”
“Pete, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Eric was moving backwards, but not out of fear. Mowgli saw now that he was moving towards his sword which sat atop a large wooden crate behind him.
“Give me the boy!” Shouted Pete. throwing another sailor from the ship. The men were all pulling back now, terrified that they’d be next.
“Boy?” asked Eric. “We don’t have any boys here, only men. Well, except for you.” At that he turned and rolled along the deck. As he stood, he grabbed his sword and in a single swift movement, unsheathed it and turned to Pete. Yet the glory of this epic move was short lived as at that moment, a fat black raven lunged from the sky and grabbed the sword from his hand, tossing it into Pete’s club-like fist before landing on his thick shoulder.
Pete gave a low evil laugh. “Fine, if you have no boys here, than I have no use of you.” He pulled back the sword and then shoved it directly into the nearest man’s heart: Akanksha. The man who had taken Mowgli in when he had come out of the jungle after so many years fell to the floor, dead.
He pointed a finger like a sausage towards the ocean. “She, on the other hand, will make a fine meal of you all. A girl’s got to eat you know.” Pete looked out to the ocean and raised two fingers to his lips, blowing through them so that a loud whistle bit through the storm all around them.
“No, don’t!” yelled Eric, dashing towards Pete.
“Consider it a mercy that you die here. You won’t want to be alive to see the real storm, the one on the horizon. The winds of change are blowing, Prince Eric. Sadly, you humanized the one mermaid that could have saved you.” With a crack of lightning, Pete’s body twisted into a shadowy form and took off into the dark night sky. At the same second, gargantuan black and purple tentacles rose up from the ocean depths, surrounding the boat.
“No!” shouted Eric. His men were jumping overboard now of their own free will, more willing to accept death by drowning than whatever horrible monster this was. Eric turned to the barrel in which Mowgli hid. “Mowgli! You have to–” But he didn’t get to finish. The tentacles came down on the ship, tearing it apart and taking the prince with it.
The barrel was flung into the air and Mowgli braced himself as it spun several times before hitting the ocean’s surface and shattering apart. The cold water hit his skin, freezing him to the bone. He paddled his arms and legs on the water, trying to stay afloat, but the waves were enormous and the tentacles slamming down on the surface all around him only added to the fray.
He looked up into the sky and there, as if beaming through the black clouds was a single glowing star. Baloo had said that sometimes the animals of the jungle would make a wish upon such a star. What had he said? Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. Water flooded into his mouth and nostrils. He was struggling to stay above its surface. I wish I may I wish I might… Mowgli decided it was now or never. He looked up at the star and wished for life. He wished to survive so that he could see justice done against the evil fat cat. Pete. He wished to see the day when he could avenge the man who had taken him in and the prince who had protected him. He wished upon the star just as the dark clouds overtook it, snuffing out its light. A huge tentacle came down on Mowgli and everything went dark.