Title: The Light in Her Eyes
Author: Trey McElveen
Date: Unknown


Sarafina had trouble sleeping that night. Not only the fact that, once
again, she had been passed over in her season, but the sight of other
mothers cuddling their cubs wrenched her heart from her chest. She longed
for the feeling of a tiny warm body huddled close to her, to kiss away the
child's tears, to nuzzle her own little son or daughter. To hear the words,
"I love you, Mom."

She spent time with the other cubs in the pride. Often, she offered to
babysit so the mother could grab a drink from the water hole or participate
in the hunt. But it... it just lacked in something. The time she spent
talking to the cubs and playing games was wonderful, but in the end, she
always would give them up to their mother.

Sarafina pondered all this as she lay on her back, alone at the edge of the
water hole. Night had taken over the skies, and the great Kings of the Past
were one by one taking their places in the heavens. She looked up and
counted all the ones she knew, and sighed unhappily. "When I die," she said
aloud, "I'll have no one to look down on and watch over. I'll have no
children of my own to wait for in the stars."

She sobbed softly. "I'll be all alone forever." She rolled onto her stomach
and wept into her paws. "Right now, my son could come to me and ask what
was wrong... My daughter would come and comfort me... But they will never
happen." she thought. "I'm destined to die alone." She began to wail, her
heart pouring out in tears that ran down her cheeks and soaked the fur.

Suddenly, the water hole was immersed in a warm radiant glow. The light
penetrated Sarafina's paws and she raised her head. All about her, the land
was as bright as day, even though she remembered watching the sunset hours
ago. She gazed about and saw the source of the light. It had no form, and
it seemed to hover above the ground. Sarafina stared straight at the light,
without fear. It did not hurt her eyes, even though it was much brighter
than the sun itself. She knew at once that the light was Aiheu Himself.

The light began to move towards her. It floated efforleesly above the tall
grasses, stirring them slightly. A warm wind picked up and caressed
Sarafina, and she purred at its touch. The light advanced, and Sarafina
followed it with unblinking eyes as it approached her. She purred loudly as
the warmth of the light and the wind reminded her of sleeping with a past
lover, his presence warming both her body and heart.

The light stopped and hovered just above Sarafina. She gazed into its
brilliance and spoke not a word, but her blue-green eyes begged the light
for a miracle. She need not have asked. It descended upon her, enveloping
her body with its shimmering glow. An unfathomable pleasure permeated
Sarafina, and she arched her back and called out in ecstacy. Her entire
body shuddered as the feeling overtook her, and she slumped back against
the ground, purring happily in the presence of her Lord.

The sun rose, and the warm rays pried open Sarafina's eyes. The glare from
the light hurt her, and she quickly sealed her lids as she rolled to her
stomach. She grunted softly as a slight feeling of discomfort rippled
through her belly. "I'd better lay off the antelope for a while," she said,
chuckling to herself. She rose with a bit of difficulty and walked the few
steps to the edge of the cistern. She lowered her and lapped up a few sips
of water to quench her early morning thirst. But when she looked up from
her drink, she noticed that the sun was well on its way to tree-tall. She
had slept most of the morning away.

Sarafina sighed. "They'll all be worried sick about me at Pride Rock," she
thought. She looked once more to the water and gazed into her own
reflection before leaving. Something caught her eye, however, and she
leaned closer to the water to gaze closer. Her creamy face was reflected
perfectly in the glassy water, and she stared wordlessly as her reflection
stared back. She gazed into her own eyes, and there in her reflection she
saw her eyes glimmer in their own inner light.

She gasped and covered her mouth with a paw. Quickly, she sat bolt upright
and placed her free paw on her stomach. She gazed down into the water hole
once more, and sure enough, she had the light in her eyes. The events of
the previous night came flooding back to her, and she closed her eyes,
remembering the light, and how it had encased her in happiness. She then
understood, and offered a silent prayer to Aiheu.

She stood, and began to make her way towards Pride Rock. And as she left,
she gazed up to the sky and whispered, "Aiheu abamami. Thank you, my Lord."