I came to and my head was pounding. It was one hell of a drop and, to be honest, I'm surprised my body survived it. But where was I?
I had never seen a palace like this before! The walls were a beautiful, slate gray and ran up to shake hands with the sun.
There was a small stream that ran between the walls all the way to a stunning outdoors made up of trees, rocks, and the most amazing shrubbery I had ever seen!
This was a foot-for-foot scene from the Lion King.
I couldn't contain my excitement any longer, I just had to get out there!.. and that's when I saw him: a massive, black shadow standing just above my head.
I have never been so afraid of a shadow before, my mom always taught me to be tough and adventurous. But as my soul was taking its last step from my body, the shadow and I locked eyes.
He looked concerned, yet had a gentle warmness behind his worries.
The shadow picked me up and explained that he was the Guardian of the Palace, and his job was to protect all of its inhabitants at all costs.
As he picked me up and got me to a comfortable seated position the Guardian explained that he didn't see me as a threat and would love to show me around the Palace grounds...
my fear was momentarily overcome with excitement -- and that's when we heard them -- the Keepers...
I will never forget that noise. It was comparable to a man gurgling blood, trying desperately to absorb the air and mutter his last words.
"No time to explain, young one. We must leave this place and seek haven!" The Guardian roared as he grabbed me and ran down the stream to the outside.
I thought we were safe. The Guardian thought we were safe. Things were going to be okay!
The Guardian and I locked gazes and I felt the warmth from him once again.
The air moved around my head.
The Guardian fell. I knew what happened instantly. The Keepers shot him, and they were going to come for me next. I sat there, unsure of what to do while waiting for my certain death.
As the Keepers came closer, a blinding light cast a blanket over my eyes, and prevented me from seeing the Guardian's murderers.
I woke up in a hospital bed with my mother sitting next to me. I could tell she had been crying because her eyes practically swell shut at the first tear drop.
She jumped as I said her name and attempted to turn me into a fruit puree. I joked and told her that of she keeps crying she might leave the hospital blind.
Her and the Ranger explained to me that the Guardian had to be killed in order to me keep me safe.
"HE WAS PROTECTING ME!"I bawled out. But before the tears had time to roll down my cheeks I felt a familiar warmth...
The Guardian! He was standing there too, right next to my mom!
"I'll always be here to protect you, young one." He whispered.
"Thanks, Harambe." I smiled.
He's never left my side.