He woke up to the sounds of silence and the smell of smoke. Namor stretched his massive paws, and yawned, his sharp teeth gleaming. The white tiger opened his mouth to taste the air. Yet, all he could taste was dread.
He was sleeping in a forest that had grown around an abandoned industrial plant. Namor remembered when the humans used to live here: they cut down trees, drove animals from their homes, and filled the refreshing air with black smoke and bright yellow embers. The stream that the animals drank from was run with oil. Fortunately, the humans left and Namor thought that all the turmoil had ended. It did, but an unfortunate aftermath followed.
The factory was still in the forest. The water still ran black and sometimes, and the tall part of the industrial building would spew small puffs of black smoke and yellow embers. Sometimes the embers would cause harm to the forest. Sometimes the embers would cause harm to him. His tongue ran over the small patches of fur missing due to the small specks of fire.
Another part that troubled Namor the most-there was hardly any prey. They had either been driven away from their homes or they had died from starvation. There were hardly any other tigers in the forest. Namor knew their fate as soon as the humans arrived. They had been hunted down and killed; the humans did not want them around the industrial plant. He remembered watching the humans walking around with the pelt of his friends on their backs. Namor was one of the lucky ones.
His stomach growled loudly. Namor stopped in his walking and groaned in pain. He sniffed around to see if there was any prey, but as usual, there was none. Namor walked over to a small patch of daffodils. He was so hungry, even they looked tasty. Namor moved his head to the flowers, and ate the buds. As he munched, he scowled and shook his head. The flowers were tasteless. Yet, Namor he had to eat them to survive. He slowly swallowed the flowers, and stuck his tongue out afterwards. Namor wanted to go to get a drink of water, but he could not unless he wanted to end his life then and there. He would have to get a drink another time.
Later in the day, Namor climbed on a bluff that overlooked the industrial plant and forest. He purred softly as the wind blew through his fur. His bright blue eyes watched over the unusual forest. Namor looked to the tallest part of the metal building, watching small puffs of smoke come out. Namor often wondered if there were still humans in there. He wondered what it was like inside the metal building. Namor quickly shook his head of his curious thoughts. He would never go inside that cursed place, never. Namor lied on his belly on the ground. His tail flickered at the black flies that flew around him. The white tiger rested his head on the ground, napping as the wind continued to blow in his fur.
Morning quickly turned into late noon. Namor walked over the entire forest looking for a lake, or at least a small puddle of water that wasnt stained by oil. He had worn himself out, and he was hungry again. There was nothing around him but plain grass, and he did not want to eat that. The first time he tried that, he couldnt get the taste out of his mouth. Namor stumbled over a rock, and fell over on the ground. He was breathing steadily; his tongue rolled out of his mouth and on the ground. The light in his bright blue eyes began to fade away. He looked up to the sky, the sun-scorched sky. He didnt care anymore. He didnt want to eat flowers, he didnt want to chase lakes and puddles, and he didnt want to think about what happened to all of the prey and the other animals anymore. He didnt want to live in this place that was called a forest, or half a forest, or whatever it was. He wanted it all to stop. Namor wanted it to be over. Namor closed his eyes and never wanted to wake up.
Namor opened his eyes and roared in vexation. He jumped up to his paws. Namor quickly put a paw up to his ear; he felt as if he had been bitten by something. Namor looked around his surroundings and saw that it was still daytime. He also saw that he was still stuck in the industrial forest. Namor snarled in discontent. He wasnt dead.
Then a voice squeaked, Are you alright?
Namor looked around him, and saw no other animal. He opened his mouth to taste the air; he tasted a sweet scent.
Hey, down here!
Namor looked down to see a black and white rat. He cocked his head in puzzlement as he stared at the small creature. He asked, Did you just bite me?
The rat chuckled. Sorry about that. Those flies kept picking at you. I couldnt stand to see them eat you alive.
Oh, Namor spoke, well
thank you. Er, thank you for saving my life.
My pleasure, the rat replied, Im just glad to see another animal in the forest thats alive! Whats your name?
Namor. the white tiger spoke with a purr in his chest.
The rat licked her hand and rubbed behind her ear. My name is Nevara, but friends call me Nevy. Her eyes flooded with sadness and she looked down at the ground. That is
if any of my friends were still alive. She looked up to Namor with a smile on her face. Its nice to meet you, Namor.
Namor bowed his head. Nice to meet you as well. Tell me, where did you come from?
Nevy pointed to the metal building. I came from there. I live there, actually.
Namors blue eyes blinked. You live in there?
Yep! I used to have a nice home out here in the forest, but I lost my home when the humans came. After they left, I took the place for my own.
Namor licked his paws. Interesting. Namor sat upright. Im sure that its not as comfortable as the forest.
Nevy scoffed. Are you kidding me, blue eyes? Its much better than out here. Theres actually food inside.
Namors ears perked up. Food? He cleared his throat. I mean, theres plenty of food out here as it is.
Like what? Nevy challenged. I know that you tigers eat meat, and I know that there hasnt been any other animals out here for a long, long time.
The white tiger turned his big head to the industrial plant. Well
what kind of food is in there?
The humans kept plenty of food in this large metal box. Inside, theres plenty of food and drink to keep you alive and moving! Nevy folded her paws together and shivered. Its cold in there, though, and food is cold in there as well. You just have to take it out and wait until it cools down. Thats what I usually do.
Namor muttered. Of course theres food in there. he said sarcastically. Namor licked his paw, his ears flickering in humor.
Nevy shot him a glare. If you dont believe me, then go in there and see for yourself!
Namor stopped. Im not going in there.
Suit yourself, fraidy cat. the rat remarked. She began to walk away.
I am not a fraidy cat! he snarled.
Nevy turned around and folded her paws. Then come on! Jeez, Ive seen worms with more backbone than you. She paused. Her eyes softened as she saw Namors tail sliding down the forest floor.
Nevy walked over to him and sighed. There arent any humans in there, if thats what youre worried about. She placed her tiny paws on one of his paws, signaling him to follow her. Namor gave a low growl, then began to move.
The tiger and the rat were getting closer to the abandoned industrial building. They came across the black river that separated the building from the forest. Nevy and Namor exchanged glances, and stared into the river.
How did you come across it last time? Namor asked.
Nevy answered, I had used a branch to crossover, but I think it fell into the river.
Namor sighed. He stared across the river carefully, and observed how far it was from where he stood. Namor turned to Nevy. Climb on my back and hold on.
The black and white rat climbed on top of his head, and gently grasped some of his fur. What are you doing? she asked as Namor was backing away from the river.
The white tiger crouched low to the ground. Im going to try to jump over it. Its not that far of a distance.
But-! she squeaked. Nevy held her breath as Namor began to run. He bent his legs a little when he reached the edge, and leaped over the black water. Namor landed sliding on the ground, unsheathing his claws to put him to a stop. He gave a sigh of relief as he saw that he had done it.
Nevy, he began to say, are you alright?
Im fine, thank you. she replied as she climbed down. Now, follow me. Namor felt a chill go down his spin as he felt the ground below him go cold. It didnt feel anything like the forest floor, it felt hard and it looked shiny. Namor bent his head down, sniffing the shiny floor. When he lifted his head, he saw that the black and white rat had scurried between two shiny doors. Namor hesitated to continue, but then he kept on moving. He carefully slipped in between the doors, and entered into the darkness. His eyes glowed in the dark, desperately searching for Nevy the further he walked away from the door. He caught her scent, but didnt see her.
Namor mewed, Nevy? Nevy, where are you? Suddenly, the darkness turned into bright lights. Namor jumped and snarled in surprise. His ears lowered, he bared his teeth, and unsheathed his claws at the sounds of machines whirring. The white tiger began to calm down as he saw that there were no humans around. Nevy ran behind Namor and pushed on the door.
Sorry to scare you like that, blue eyes. she spoke. May you please help me close this door?
Namor walked over, and closed the door with his head. He turned his head to the machines. What did you do?
I turned on the power which turns on everything. Dont be frightened.
Namor scoffed. Me? Frightened? He followed Nevy down the hall of machines. He espied some machines with sharp objects that werent moving. What happened to those things?
I took the nuts and bolts out. They were too dangerous to live around.
So youre quite familiar with these machines?
Nevy shrugged. I guess you can say that. I just find my way to live around them. Her feet pattered loudly as she ran into a room that had objects coming out of the wall. Nevy smiled. Here we are! The metal box! She ran over to the string that was connected to the handle. She turned to Namor. Here, pull on this string with your teeth.
The white tiger walked over to the string. He grabbed it with his teeth, and pulled with all of his might. The door to the metal box open, and a chilly breeze went into the air. Namor gasped, his mouth hanging open. His blue eyes were captivated by the sight of food. He saw food packed on every shelf. All of it was human food, but it looked good to him.
You were right. Namor whispered. Nevy climbed to the top of his head.
She giggled. See? I told you! She jumped inside and took a piece of cheese. Take anything you want! Its all ours!
Namor sniffed inside, inspecting everything. What are these two bottles full of? he asked.
Nevy said while waiting on her cheese to cool down, Thats a special kind of a drink that the humans drink. It makes them all sleepy. Try some if you want.
Namor grasped the bottle with his teeth. He walked over to the table where Nevy was, but he accidentally released the bottle from his mouth and it shattered on the floor.
Nice. Nevy said as she munched on her cheese.
Sorry. he muttered. He sniffed the liquid that was now on the floor, and licked it. Namor gave a snarl, shaking his head. Its pretty strong, he spoke, but
it does taste good. Namor gave another lick, then another, and then he sapped the drink until there was no more of it. Namor gave a loud purr of content and poked his head back into the metal box.
What else does this box have? he said with curiosity. He spotted a small plastic box that had strips of meat visible inside. Namor pulled it out, and stuffed his face with what was inside. Nevy watched as Namor devoured the strips of meat in seconds. He took out another plastic box and ate more strips of meat. Once he was finished, he rolled out on the floor on his back.
Nevy peaked over the table. I see youre satisfied.
Namor nodded. I thought I would never say this, but this place is
he yawned. Is there a place to sleep around here?
Nevy climbed down from the table. Well, theres a room where the humans used to sleep. she walked down the hall into another room which was the bedroom. Nevy climbed on top of the bed. Up here is where you can- she looked down and saw the white tiger asleep on the floor.
-sleep. she finished. Nevy smiled and made herself comfortable on the bed. The rat yawned and went to sleep.
There was a loud clash woke Nevy up in the middle of the night. She sniffed the air and she smelled both the humans and Namor. She saw that Namor was gone from his sleeping spot. The black and white rat ran into the kitchen, and saw no one in there. She sniffed for Namors scent, and followed it down the hall near the entrance. Nevy spotted the white tiger snarling and heading outside to the forest.
Wait! Nevy squeaked. She ran after him outside, following him. Namor! Where are you going?
The tiger stopped and turned to her. Oh
Im just going for a walk.
Nevy walked up beside him. Whats wrong?
Namor stared at the floor. The scent of the humans. I-Im sorry, I couldnt stay in there much longer. The scent was
too much. He turned to the black and white rat. I owe you my life for guiding me to food. I hope we meet again.
W-Wait, youre leaving?
The white tiger nodded. Im afraid so.
No! Nevy shouted as she pulled on his tail. You cant leave! I mean
youll starve out there! Theres nothing else left!
Ill take my chances. he replied.
she spoke. Nevy stopped and let go of his tail.
Namor turned around and stared at Nevy. But what?
The rat sighed. But I dont want you to go. Ive
there hasnt been another animal around here in so long, Ive
Ive become lonely. She looked up to him, her eyes full of misery. Please stay.
Namor stared at the ground. Im sorry, Nevy, but
I cant. With that, the white tiger jumped over the black river and disappeared into the darkness.
A day had passed, and starvation hit Namor again. His tongue longed to taste the red liquid that deeply intoxicated him back at the abandoned industrial plant. He also longed to Nevara, but how could he? He abruptly left her, and she was all alone again. And so was he.
Namor shook his head of the thought. He couldnt turn back. He muttered to himself that he had to move on. The white tiger grunted as he saw another patch of daffodils again. Namor bent his head down to the flowers, and only sniffed them. The smell was much better than the taste.
The tigers ears perked at faint sound far away. It was coming from the industrial plant. Namor heard a distressed squeaking sound. His heart nearly dropped as he recognized that it was Nevys squeaking. He ran over to the industrial plant, and he saw the black and white rat dangling on a branch just above the black river.
Nevara! Namor shouted.
The rat squeaked, Namor! Is that you!? Please, help me! The branch, its breaking off!
The tiger strained to stretch his paw out to the rat. He snarled in defeat. I cant reach you! Walk towards me!
No! It could break any second! she said, trembling.
Namor quickly tried to think of another way. He saw the branch about to hang off of the cliff side. Without thinking, he moved his head to the edge and clamped his jaw shut on the edge of the branch. Nevy nearly fell off as it shook. She hissed, Are you trying to kill me?
Climb onto my head! he shouted in a muffled voice. His paws were about to slip off the edge.
If I move, Ill fall in!
Nevy, if you dont, then well both fall! he snarled. The rat sighed. She gradually moved close to his nose. Nevy climbed on Namors white furry head, then went up his back. Namor released the branch, and it fell into the black water below. Namor backed away from the edge, and sat down on the ground. He gave a sigh of exhaustion. Nevy climbed off his back; the two sat there staring at each other.
Namors ears lowered. Nevy- He was cut off after Nevy ran at him, nuzzling her face in his leg. He tilted his head curiously.
You came back! She then realized what she was doing, then backed away. I mean
you came back to save me. Thanks. Heh, now were even.
Namor hesitated. Well
yes. I come to save you. He stared deeply into Nevys eyes.
I didnt mean to hurt your feelings the other night. I
will you forgive me?
The black and white rat smiled. Yes. I do forgive you. There was a short pause of silence between them. So
I guess that youre about to go, arent you? she asked softly.
Namor let out a purr of amusement. Leave you by yourself? You nearly killed yourself trying to get over to the other side. You need someone to look after you.
Nevy laughed. I guess youre not a fraidy cat after all if you came back again, blue eyes.
Of course not. Namor replied. Im a tiger, he bent down and nuzzled his head gently against hers. and your friend.