Down on the wasteland, barely distinguished from the dry soil around it, there was a dusty-gold body. Timon only noticed when the buzzards descended; they'd been circling for hours now, and the moment the first one dropped down his attention was caught.
"Ey, Pumbaa," he said, tugging on his ride-slash-mount's ears. The warthog pulled his head up, pausing mid-prance. "Over there. Looks like some poor guy didn't make it."
Pumbaa snorted. "Look at 'em, the bullies," he said, nodding toward the carrion birds. "Can't kick a rock without seeing one these days."
"Talk about your bad neighbourhoods," Timon said. "Hey! You know what this calls for...."
"Heh hehh," Pumbaa agreed. Timon leaned down, giving him a good Giddy-up! slap between his eyes.
"Let's get 'em."
It would be a mistake to say that the buzzards didn't know what hit them. They were smart birds, if unimaginative; after the third or forth time even they'd put two and two together. Timon and Pumbaa weren't making many friends, but the buzzards had better things to do than pursue the enmity. The flapped away, leaving Team Meerkat-And-Warthog victorious once again.
"I love it!" Pumbaa chortled. "Bowling for buzzards!"
"Gets 'em every time," Timon said, dusting himself off. "Now, let's see what we chased 'em off, maybe give the guy a proper--" He trailed off. "Burial," he finished, staring in confusion at the empty wasteland. "...huh."
He'd never known buzzards to attack empty ground. Maybe they'd been out in the sun too long?
It was the contrast that caused Simba to wake.
He'd been thirsty and hot and struggling to breathe the hot air; he was still thirsty but he was colder than he'd ever been, and he was struggling to breathe because the air was full of something that looked like smoke and wasn't smoke.
It was dark, but it wasn't dark like night. It was dark like thunderstorms but the sky was quiet; everything was quiet except for the creaking of dying bushes and the groans of settling skeletons and the scrabbling of rats in the boneyard.
Why was he in the boneyard?--hadn't he made it out?
"Nala!" he called, and that struck him as wrong; he remembered getting out, because Mufasa had come to rescue them. "Dad!" he yelled, and that was wrong too--and as soon as he called, he knew why.
From far away, like an echo or imagined thing, came his father's dying roar. Simba cringed, small and afraid among the dry bones. He was lost here, alone, and the clouds were getting darker. Back the way he must have come, back toward the bluffs that ringed the Pride Lands, all he could see were thick brambles with thorns like reaching claws.
When the roar subsided something else replaced it, something angry and hungry and mercifully far away. "Dad," Simba said again, to the bones, to the fog, to nothing. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT YOU DO TO CHARACTERS YOU LIKE. YOU SEND THEM TO SILENT HILL.