Zuri stood atop a hill. Her hair was blown back slightly in the wind. Her faithful dog Mika stood by her side and panted in the brightly shining sun. She looked down upon an army of men. To anybody else she looked like a loyal Nephite. To Zuri this was a world changing moment. She felt like her whole life was being crushed.
Her brother was going and so was her father. They were going to war against the Lamanites. Her father Teancum went as a captain and her brother Alec went as your common soldier. Zuri felt her emotions overwhelming her and rushed off into the forest to avoid anybody seeing her crying.
She walked slowly along a dirt trail, thinking about the past days. She heard somebody’s footsteps behind her and stepped off the trail figuring her aunt (who she was staying with)had sent somebody to find her.. She didn’t want to be found. Zuri looked out onto the path to see who had been the cause of the footsteps and saw Mika. She laughed feeling a little foolish and stepped out of the trees.
Suddenly Mika growled in her direction and she jumped back, into the arms of a grown man. He clamped his hand over her mouth to hold back her screams. She squirmed around and found herself looking into the eyes of a Lamanite. His dark skin was painted and he looked quite angry.
Mika jumped on him and knocked him over. Suddenly more Lamanites came spilling out of the forest and one grabbed her while a lot of them threw rocks at Mika. Zuri knew Mika could have won any of them in one on one combat but there were so many of them and Mika soon lay whimpering at the side of the road.
Zuri slumped against whoever it was that had captured her. Her dog was dead and her brother and father were both at war. Her mom had been captured by the Lamanites a long time ago.
The Lamanite picked her up and put her into a supply wagon. Zuri sat slumped against the side with her eyes closed.
A long while later The wagon came to a stop and the lamanite made camp. They placed several guards around Zuri and she closed her eyes and ignored anything the Lamanites said. She heard howling in the dark and her heart ached for Mika. Her Lamanite guards were slumped over and Mika guessed they were asleep.
She stood up and went over to one. She pulled his sword out of its sheath and was pulled down by its weight. She walked through the camp towards what she guessed was north. She heard whimpering and saw a dog tugging against its chain. She set the sword down and walked towards the dog whispering “’s okay boy, eeeeeeasy. “She unhooked the collar and he took off like lightning.
Zuri picked up the sword and walked away. She told herself that she didn’t need another dog. She would always remain loyal to Mika. The other part of her mind told her she could be loyal to two dogs.
A few hours later Zuri was too tired to keep walking. She sat down against a tree that was just a few steps off the path and told herself she would just rest for a minute. Soon she was asleep.
The next morning she woke up to the sound of a dog whimpering beside her. She figured it was Mika and reached out to pet her. The dog let out a short bark and she jerked back. Suddenly she remembered that Mika was dead.
There were fruits growing in the tall trees that surrounded her. She climbed one and picked a few. When she climbed back down the dog was still sitting there. It was a skinny dark brown dog and it gave her a pleading look. She tossed it one of the fruits and it ate it quickly. She tossed it another and started walking.
She thought about what she might call the dog. Maybe Dawn she thought. But then she criticized herself for starting to like another dog.
She looked around. The dog had abandoned her.
When the sun was at its highest point in the sky the dog was back with its head tilted and giving her a puppy dog look. She climbed a tree and picked several more fruits. When she climbed down she held one out in her hand.
Without thinking she said “here Dawn, her girl” and the dog walked slowly to her. While Dawn ate the fruits out of her hand she petted its head gently.
The dogs stayed with Zuri, just a few paces away for the rest of the day. Zuri’s conscience told her she should stay loyal to her original dog but she couldn’t get herself to tell Dawn to leave.
She was also starting to wish that she had taken the sheath of the sword she was carrying around; it was starting to feel really heavy.
Suddenly she could hear clanking of swords on other swords. She hurried to the top of a hill then rushed down into the battle. She swung the heavy sword around awkwardly on managing to knock the wind out of a few men. She caused very little real damage.
Then somebody hit her with the flat side of their sword and she was knocked out. She awoke a few hours later. Dawn was sitting beside her growling at anybody who approached. A man stood a few paces away. “The army is no place for a girl” he said.
“My dog was killed and I was kidnapped by the Lamanites, then I escaped and I found you guys fighting this battle and so I rushed in” Zuri said.
“Your dog looks fine to me”
“I meant my other dog” Zuri said impatiently. “Do you know Teancum?”
The man said “well I did, but then I left the nephrite army and joined the Lamanites.”
“How could you?”Zuri said, but then the man hit dawn with the back of his sword and pulled Zuri away kicking and screaming.
“Captain Teancum will be easy to work with once he hears that we’ve got his little girl for ransom” The man said. Zuri kicked harder, but it was of no use.
Once they got to the Lamanite camp Zuri was tied up and left with several guards. She thought one of the younger ones was pretty cute, but then she realized the guy she was calling cute would kill her without a second thought and she closed her eyes so she wouldn’t see him.
This caused her to think of the two dogs she had lost in the last 36 hours. She resolved not to have any more dogs since she was obviously such terrible luck. Her pain made her cry so hard she fell asleep.
Later that night she heard men shouting and heard someone say that the Lamanite leader Amoron was dead. Zuri wondered what had happened, but nobody would tell her. The next day the Lamanites rushed off to battle leaving very few guards. The guards that were left fell asleep because of how little sleep they had gotten the night before.
Zuri cut herself free with a knife she pulled out of a Lamanite’s belt and ran in the direction of the battle ground she had been at the day before. On her way there she found Dawn sniffing along in the direction of the Lamanite camps. “You are a loyal dog after all” she said then she kissed the top of Dawn’s head.
Soon she could hear the clanking of swords again and went in that direction. She found a Javelin lying on the ground and she picked it up. It was almost as tall as she was, and a very awkward thing to carry.
She asked the first Nephite she saw about the location of Captain Teancum and he said “Haven’t you heard little girl, he died last night when he went to kill Amoron”. Zuri’s anger consumed her and she ran into the center of the battle.
Zuri fought the Lamanites in a fierce anger. She hated this sort of thing. She decided to never get near a battle again. At the end of the battle there were two dogs that rushed up to her side. At first she thought that Dawn had a friend, but then she realized the second dog was Mika.
Zuri didn’t know whether to be happy because Mika was back or sad because Her Dad was dead. In her aching heart she decided to be both.
The next day she began the walked back to the Nephite territory. She wondered where Alec was. Every day she hoped she would see him.
Several weeks later she reached the Nephite city of Moroni. The few weeks marching with the army she had built up in her mind what would happen when she found Alec. Then she noticed him amid all the celebrating Nephites. He was taller than he had been and his hair was lighter. She ran to him with Mika and Dawn close behind her and said “Alec!”
He looked down at her as if he didn’t recognize her and the he said “who are you?”
“I’m Zuri, your sister” she said in a slightly surprised voice.
“My sister was kidnapped by Lamanites” Alec said.
“But I’m standing right here “Zuri said.
“My little sister wasn’t so annoying; just go away “Alec said.
Zuri walked away. She would go to her aunt’s house and when he went home he’s find out.
“What’s wrong girl” A cute boy with tan skin said.
“Oh, nothing” Zuri said not wanting to tell a stranger her troubles.
She looked up at the boy and realized he was obviously of Lamanite heritage because his skin was much darker than tan. “Well my dad’s dead and my brother doesn’t think I’m alive” Zuri mumbled.
“That ought to be hard” The boy said.
Zuri glanced up shocked. The boy’s ears were as good as an owl’s. Then he offered out his hand. Zuri took it without thinking. Then he pulled her over to a beautiful brown horse. He jumped on and pulled her up. Then he took her on a wild ride through the Meadows. Mika and Dawn followed close behind.
3 thoughts on “26: The Lamanite’s Prisoner”
I love this one!
This is definitely a one of a kind story with a unique plot.
Poor Zuri! I feel like there is a lot to explore with her character.
She has been through a lot, and what I wonder in reading this story is what she really wants. Bad stuff happens to her, but I'm not really sure what she plans to do to get out of it or to fix it.
I get that she dies (I think?) and so that last bit is after she's killed by the Lamanites, but I still feel like the story would be stronger if it answered some central question or desire. For me, seeing her dead dog come to life again in the afterlife is not quite working.
I think the story of Teancum's daughter could be so rich and wonderful, though–I hope this gets revisited.
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