Chapter 1: Bunnies
Amanda rose back up and turned around, straight into the faces of three mean-looking wolves. "Aww, look at that! Amanda saved a baby bunny! Too bad it's my BREAKFAST!" The middle one sneered, and, surrounded by the witch-like cackles of the two female wolves on either side of him, he snapped up the bunny. The sickening sound of crunching bones ran through the canyon. Amanda gasped in horror at the blood dripping from his jaws. "How could you be so cruel to Sam!?" She screamed, and ran through the canyons crowd, shiny tears dripping from her brilliant green eyes. Her white and lilac fur, patterned by dark purple flames, flew all around her.
"Amanda?" Amanda silently rose from the soft sand and looked at the golden-brown fox, Pancake. "I saw what... Happened... At the canyon. Are you alright?" Amanda shook her head and flopped back onto the sand, burying her face in her paws. Although the day was hot, Amanda felt ice-cold all the way through. "Amanda! Look!" Amanda looked up, and saw the same three wolves, silhouetted against the rising sun, cornering another bunny on top of the massive canyon.
"Stay back if you want. No idea how they got up there, but if I have to get up loose rocks onto a tiny ledge... Actually yeah that sounds bad, I'm not doing it. You go!" Amanda looked back, and saw that Pancake wasn't there. With a reluctant sigh, she continued scrambling up the rocks, getting bruised all over by falling stones. Finally, she got into a pattern, and the climb almost seemed like a dance! Except, the wolves above were still torturing the bunny before they went in for the kill.
"Leave the bunny alone!" Amanda growled at the wolves as she jumped in between the bunny and the wolves, and prepared for bullying about how she was a vegetarian. Somehow, none came. Instead, she heard a whisper of thank you, and the sound of running paws, then silence. Such silence seemed to be worse than the bullying, and the wolves stared at each other, both sides having eyes like daggers. Suddenly, the female on the right lunged at Amanda, and Amanda suddenly found herself screaming and falling. The ground got bigger by the second, and the whole of Jamaa seemed to be silent except for Amanda. After what was only seconds but seemed like hours, Amanda hit the ground, and there was a dead silence.
Chapter 2: Five More Minutes
"Ugh, five more minutes, mum." Amanda groaned. "Actually, make that five more hours... Or maybe years..." Voices seemed to be miles away. She felt someone shaking her, but she kept her eyes closed. She reached out to bat the person away. "Ugh, go away Sam, I told you to leave me alone. And mum, I said five more- OUCH! I think I broke my... Eh, who cares." She finished, and fell back into a deep sleep.
Amanda sat up slowly, and found herself on a bed. "Hey, I'm on a giant jellybean!" She giggled, and looked at a figure moving into the room. "AHH! GO AWAY MR. HOT DOG! I TOLD YOU, I'M A VEGETARIAN!" She got up and began walking towards the figure in the moonlight, and collapsed. She closed her eyes for a moment, head pounding.
"Is Mr. Hot Dog gone yet? If not, ask him to turn off the sun." Amanda yawned, and stretched all four legs, and felt her back left leg hit something. "I said GO AWAY Sam. Wait, Sam, aren't you dead?" Amanda jolted up and opened her eyes, and although her vision was swimming wildly, she spotted three figures looking down at her. "Hi mum, I'm getting up now, stop bugging me." She crawled up and hugged the figure's legs.
"Hold on, your not mum! Your... Your... I recognize you! Your... A panda named... Lime? Lizzy? Eliza?" The middle figure, now becoming a panda in front of Amanda's eyes, smiled at the arctic wolf and spoke softly. "Liza. This is Cosmo, and this is Sir Gilbert." Amanda rubbed her eyes and opened them wide at the three alpha's. "You were, uhh, either asleep or completely bonkers for three weeks." Cosmo chuckled. Amanda let go of the panda's legs. Peck entered the room. "Amanda, you have visitors!" She heard the pad-pad-pad of running feet and just as a flash of golden-brown and white turned the corner into the room she heard: "AMANDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" Recognizing the two voices, Amanda squealed and ran up to the bunny she saved, Bobble, and Pancake, squeezing them in a tight hug. "I can't believe we are in Cosmo's den! And that you're alive! In Cosmo's den! And alive!" The hyper fox grinned. The bunny nodded. Amanda sighed, still a little tired, and hugged her friends even tighter, with a grin spread on her face like jam on half a piece of toast.
Chapter 3: Cardboard Cut-outs
"It's nice to have a normal walk with my two best friends, without worrying about the stupid wolves 'cause they are away! WOO HOO!" Amanda grinned, her steps bouncing all over the hard, dry Appondale soil. Suddenly, something popped out of the soil. It looked like a half lion, half phantom! "Oh COME ON!" Bobble groaned, obviously wishing for something normal. "Hang on! It's only cardboard!" Pancake laughed, skipping around the pop-up. "ONLY cardboard?" Amanda, Bobble, and Pancake gasped, staring at the creepy cardboard phantom lion. The voice reminded the trio of someone, but they were concentrating on other things.
"Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Cardboard isn't meant to speak! Neither are phantoms! Or lions!" Pancake tilted her head at Amanda. "Well, Amanda, neither are bunnies, foxes, or arctic wolves! Hang on, how does that work? Huh. Mira and Zios must be half human or something... Oh gosh, how on Jamaa is that CARDBOARD LION PHANTOM THINGYMABOB getting this knife from nowhere, and going for Bobble?" Amanda shook her head at Pancake, very much confused. "I have nooooo idea. Jamaa is suddenly very strange. Ugh, I am sick of animals trying to kill BUNNIES! WHY NOT SEALS OR SOME VARIETY AT LEAST!?" And with that, Amanda pounced onto the cardboard animal with a snarl, and tore it to shreds with powerful jaws, while the other two stared at Amanda- the mouse had become a mighty lio- Wait, no... Tiger.
"Well done. You are a great trio. There was a reason for that. You see, phantoms are taking over lions and using them to fight us. Please, will you help?" A well known wolf emerged from the shadows of the Appondale tree. "Greely?! Oh wow, five alpha's in one week!" Pancake elbowed Bobble. "Oh yeah, uh... Sure!" A hint of a smile showed on Greely's face, but it was only quick. "Meet me back here, same time tomorrow." He blinked slowly at them, and padded away.
Chapter 4: First Encounter
"Let's go for a walk! Just... Not Appondale." The golden-brown fox shivered, remembering the creepy cardboard cut-out. Bobble nodded. "Umm... Sorry guys, I kind of want to have some me-time. You know, a walk on my own." Amanda said, hoping that she did not hurt her friend's feelings, but she really did want some alone time. "Alrighty, see ya later alligator!" Bobble and Pancake chorused in giggles.
The lilac arctic wolf brushed through the long, dark green grass of Sarepia Forest. She breathed in the clear air of the trees, mixed with nearby snow of Mt. Shiveer, and the faint smokey smell of the campfire. It's amazing what you notice when you're alone. Amanda thought, breathing in deeply, listening to the birds and their songs. Suddenly, she pricked up her ears, hearing a strange noise from behind some bushes.
Silently padding towards the bushes, Amanda held her breath. Parting the bushes, she gasped at the scene in front. A lion was slowly rising, covered in dark purple streaks randomly scattered around. He was surrounded by five gleeful phantoms. The lion's eyes burst open, revealing a swirling pattern of deep purple and black. He slowly looked around, scanning the area. Realizing that she was about to be caught, Amanda let out her breath of air and drew back. But it was too late. With a strong swipe of the lion's great paw, Amanda flew into the circle, concealed by thick bushes.
"Oh come on!" Amanda rolled her eyes, getting up from the cloud of dust. "What does a girl have to do for a bit of peace and quiet nowadays?!" The lion gave her an amused look. The five phantoms looked at each other. "Maybe a strong, beautiful arctic wolf like her could be on our team." The biggest one said thoughtfully. Amanda gave the phantoms a look which clearly said You can talk?! But then her look softened. "Although you guys are my enemies... That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me! T-t-thanks." The biggest phantom, clearly the boss, nodded. All six advanced towards her.
"Seriously? You're tying me up in big, strong thick chains so I ca- Ohhhhhh..." With a defeated sigh, she flopped down onto the ground. "Hey, what's this place?" Amanda looked up and grinned. Bobble and Pancake were here! She was saved! The lion turned his back on Amanda and slowly crept towards the two animals, who were still taking the scene in. "Umm... A little help here guys?" She asked. Pancake gasped an apology, and ran to her. Amanda closed her eyes and counted to ten slowly to calm herself. When she opened her eyes, Bobble and Pancake were also in chains.
Chapter 5: Chains And Cages
"Ugh, where are we? Why can't I have some peace? Is the world out to get me because I stole Pancake's pancake?" Amanda looked around. She was alone in a small cell which was covered by phantom sludge. "Hello? Bobble? Pancake? Where are you? Guys!" Just then, a phantom-lion walked past, giving her a glare which silenced her.
Some adventure experience would be useful 'round about now. Amanda thought. She vaguely remembered something about a hidden lever, so she shook her head to clear other thoughts. Rising to her feet, she looked around. Spotting a possible spot for a hidden lever, she took a step towards it. And fell flat on her face. Four short chains were locked around each of her four legs. Sighing, she looked at a passing phantom-lioness that gave her a quick look of amusement before passing.
Lying down, Amanda stared up at the ceiling. Some voices that sounded like Pancake and Bobble yelling her name echoed faintly, but Amanda didn't move, telling herself that she was imagining it. I can't feel my paws. She thought, coughing from the thin air. The echo's seemed to be getting louder, but she was too afraid of the snarling lion just outside her cell to yell back. Watching the lion, now, Amanda noticed that it was snarling louder, and facing away. Something flew from where the lion was facing and exploded on it. The phantom-lion disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Using a phantom key, Bobble leaped up to the keyhole and unlocked the cell door. "Thanks, but I have these stupid chains here. I think they could be unlocked by one key, they are connected. Too bad keys disappear once used. Ugh, the world is soooo mean right now!" Amanda groaned, then shrugged. "Who am I to tell fate where to go, though?" Bobble and Pancake nodded, and ran off to grab another key.
Flicking the chains off, Amanda ran up to Bobble and Pancake, giving them a big hug. "Whoa, Amanda! You're going to turn us into real pancakes!" The fox gasped. Letting them go, Amanda looked around at the sludge covered place. "Let's get out of here."
Chapter 6: Eavesdropping
"Hold on. I don't want to go just yet. I think a meeting might be on with the phantoms, nobody is here and I hear voices." The curious fox put her nose to the ground like a dog and started running. Bobble and Amanda looked at each other, then followed.
"How many twists and turns could a place have?" Bobble panted between breaths, trying to keep up with her long-legged friends. Silently, Amanda grabbed Bobble with her strong but careful jaws and swung Bobble onto her back. Amanda kept up with Pancake easily, both of them having determined gazes. Finally, Pancake skidded to a stop.
Bobble hopped off Amanda's back and watched through a small tear in the dark purple curtains. Amanda and Pancake watched through a larger tear. "I have called you all here today, my phantoms, to finally show you my device that allows you to have the power to turn lions to our glorious side!" The phantom king raised his arms among the cheers of other phantoms, while the trio smiled to themselves.
"So far, we have turned ninety-seven lions into phantom lions. Currently, they are all training to unleash an attack on Jamaa that will destroy the alpha's and put those stupid dirty animals in a war against themselves, and all we will have to do is urge them to fight and take out a few animals... Or a few hundred." The phantom king cackled and lifted a glass orb. "This black glass orb contains the spirit of a dead lion, and the spirit of our dear phantom prince, who sadly passed on. If any of you should dare to smash it, you would release the lions from our reins. I will make sure anyone who does that will be severely punished!" The trio grinned at each other. This would be easy!
The lions marched in as soon as the king called them, and stood in lines, surrounding the phantom king. The gleeful phantom king raised the orb above his crown as the phantoms looked on in awe. The trio picked up a sharp stone each and looked at each other. "Three... Two... One..." Pancake mouthed. "Now!" They threw the stones with all their strength towards the black orb. It all seemed to go in slow motion. The cackling king, who had his eyes closed. The trio, with growing grins. The phantom lions, unaware of the stone, but watching the curtain. The phantoms, looking on in horror, and the spinning stones. Smash! The stones hit the target, shattering the orb.
"RUN!" Amanda whisper-shouted, swinging Bobble- who was watching the phantoms battle the lions, and other phantoms in pursuit of the trio- onto her back. Pancake didn't need to be told twice. Amanda followed the frantic fox towards a window. Oh no... Amanda thought, watching Bobble and Pancake leap into the river below. Her fall from Coral Canyons had left her with a fear of jumping off things. "Come on, Amanda!" The fox shouted from below.
Amanda looked between the angry phantoms, and the river, where her friends her urging her to leap. The day where Amanda had tumbled almost to her death played through her mind. Tears pricked her eyes. The phantoms would surely kill her, but jumping out... That was safe, but Amanda was scared. Scared of the past, scared of the present, scared of the future. "I can't do it!" Amanda sobbed. The phantoms were almost upon her. "Yes you can! Jump! Please Amanda!" Bobble yelled, unable to bear losing Amanda. Amanda closed her eyes, trying to stop the flood of tears, and desperately trying to make a decision. Just as the first phantom lifted it's electrical arm, Amanda jumped.
Chapter 7: Happily Ever After
"Whatcha writing?" Pancake asked, trotting over to Bobble and Amanda, who were lying on the ground, writing in a book. Bobble looked up at Pancake. "Amanda is writing a story. A story about three friends who were asked to help defeat some phantoms who were turning lions into phantoms. A story of courage, fear, and friendship." Pancake smiled and flopped down onto the dusty Appondale soil next to her two best friends.
Suddenly, screams ran out from Jamaa Township. The trio rose and shook off the dust. Amanda looked at her friends with a smile who had been through so much with her. "Let's go save Jamaa."