Category Archives: Short Stories

Fire Ant- Episode 1: Meet Charlie…

Plot: Meet Charlie, an accident in a group of scientific experiments mixing human and animal DNA. Unlike the others who are programmed to follow Dr. Adler’s orders, Charlie is a fire ant who broke the mold to become a hyper superhero.  

PRESENT DAY

Shane tiredly left the café after a long day at work. This had become his evening routine, it was a nice break from the noisy job he worked during the day. He paid the waiter with a soft smile, grabbed his briefcase and left.

A warm breeze made his loose tie blow to the side a bit. To get to his apartment, the 35-year-old had to walk through an eerie looking alleyway. Nothing had ever happened to him while taking this quick route, little did he know this would change. To keep himself calm, he would talk to himself to try and offset the ominous feeling he got while walking past trash cans and seeing rats scuttle close by. The area smelt of old trash.

All these thoughts disappeared in a flash as he felt a pair of hands shove him into the pavement below. The attacker, a thin, balding man with a knife and smiling looked down at Shane. “Give me your money!” Shane trembled, he was never one to attack even in self-defense.

Lots of memories came up of high school and being bullied-except this time his life was on the line. The attacker swiftly kicked Shane in the gut, with a grunt he fell backwards, his stomach aching. This was it. He would die in this horrible alleyway, he knew he shouldn’t have taken this route. Now he’d pay the ultimate price.

Trying to get a view of his crazed villain, Shane noticed a few feet behind the attacker, a shadowy figure, silhouetted against the street lights down the road. Perhaps it was his mind playing tricks on him, but he swore he saw a pair of antennae sticking from his or her head. His voice a tad bit high, but still human sounding. “Can’t we all just get along?”

Lunging his knife with a slight yell, the attacker swung for Shane, ignoring the figure.In a flash, the half-insect half-human grabbed the robber’s wrist and twisted, which proved to be effective, this hero was buff. His skin dark red, his arms extremely flexible as he seemed to be able to move very acrobatically. The odd creature then threw a kick to his stomach. He moaned in pain and didn’t try to move again.

His gloved hand grabbed Shane’s hand tightly, pulling him up. Shane had to look slightly downward to get a better view, as his hero was a little over 4 feet tall. His features were that of a typical fire ant, apart from pinchers and instead of six limbs sticking out from all sides, he had two arms placed on either side of his toned body. “Thank you, sir. You saved my life.” Shane’s voice quivered as he was still in a state of shock. “Name’s Charlie.” He said with a kind smile, looking up at the human he just saved. “Are you a monster?”

Shane asked in a nervous tone, hoping he didn’t offend him too much. “An unflattering word for an ant, but maybe to some!” Charlie rubbed his neck while giggling. Of course, seeing a talking, clothes-wearing insect brought upon quite confused feelings as Shane sat on a nearby curb with a huff. Maybe he was going crazy? Should he check himself into an asylum? It didn’t seem like a bad idea until Charlie sat by Shane, his antenna wiggled, slightly brushing Shane’s hair. From science class, he remembered that’s how ants could get a feel or smell of something.

The slight brush of this meant to Shane that either he really WAS crazy, or that whoever or whatever it was seemed concerned for him was in front of him. Cocking his head, Charlie tried to get a better view of his new acquaintance, he never seemed to stop giving off his warm smile. “You okay buddy?” With a pause, Shane couldn’t stop staring at the guy who saved him. “I think I’m going crazy. There’s a giant ant in front of me.”

He began to stutter. Charlie stayed quiet. “And the man, he attacked me! But, I’m not dead. You saved me.” Sensing his tone go up, Charlie put a hand on his shoulder. “Let’s get you to my place, okay?”After a short walk to the apartment, Charlie and Shane sat at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in each hand. “Are there more like you?” The ant nodded softly. “Born in raised in a lab, I saw a lot of weird stuff.” “So, you escaped?”

Charlie finished his drink. “Yeah. It was fun.” Shane’s eyebrow rises. “Fun? Not terrifying or scary? Fun.” Charlie smiled. “I guess when you have newly discovered powers, you either enjoy it or let it go to waste.” Shane paused. “So, what about other people? How do they respond to you?”

The ant nodded and eyed Shane. “They’ve seen me. I’ve had a few articles written about me. As I said, they’re others like me so perhaps people have seen them? The amount of genetically engineered animals is rising.” Shane was introduced to concepts he had never heard of. Weird science experiments, talking animals who were way bigger than usual. It all seemed like some odd dream. In all honesty, he was more shaken by being attacked than talking to an ant. However weird he was or where he came from, the fact remained that Charlie saved his life. “I better get going” Shane stood slowly.

Charlie gave Shane his phone number, in hopes a friendship would soon turn up. Not many humans trusted this ant, so having someone to talk to would be nice. Charlie’s apartment is now filled only with the ambience of cars driving by and the occasional dialogue from pedestrians laughing or talking loudly.

The city of Boston offered a lot of fun for him, whether it be catching criminals or trying to interact with the public, but when home alone the feeling of isolation was a bit sad. Removing his usual crime-fighting attire, a long-sleeved black shirt, black jeans and hiking boots, and hanging it up in a secret closet. He lied in his bed nude reading a book. Shane sat on the couch at his place, researching online about these odd genetically modified animals. Charlie was right, people knew about them. He found eyewitness photos of all types of strange creatures, from dogs, to wolves to other insects. He texted Charlie to let him know he made it home safely. The two would meet sooner than he realized.

ONE YEAR AGO

Waking up in a cold cell was something Charlie was used to. His brain felt functional in his newly found body, the transformation had completely taken over a month ago. Looking through the metal bars, he saw what he always saw, a white room, aligned with other metal cages and other humanized animals. All ranging in size, but Charlie is the shortest.

The other test subjects looked worse than he did, tired eyes, lying motionless. Some of them even quite sick. A nearby wooden door opened to reveal a balding, thin 50-year-old male in a lab coat, tie and slacks, his name tag reads Dr. Adler. Being fearless, Charlie didn’t cower like the others did as he put on rubber gloves and opened a nearby briefcase.

His voice calm and almost kind sounding. “You guys are looking amazing.” As he spoke, he approached each anthro animal and injected each with an unknown substance. Going along the rows, Charlie eyed him cautiously. When Adler approached the fire ant, he smiled and forcefully grabbed his hand through the bars. “You’ve always been a hyper one!” The needle pinched Charlie’s skin, he didn’t fight, barely winced at the pain.

As Adler finished his work for the morning and wrote down unknown scribblings in a journal, Charlie realized that if he wanted to escape, he’d have to use his newly found abilities. He was short. Which could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the situation. Slipping through the bars wasn’t an option, not only were they too small, but there were security cameras placed about. How could one escape without alerting the security guards or Adler? Sitting in a corner, Charlie didn’t lose hope.

There had to be some design flaw he could take advantage of. He didn’t know it yet, but the answer was right under his nose.

PRESENT DAY

Concentrating on paperwork could not be done today, Shane decided to go to the break room and get some coffee. It was still early, so he knew he could get away with it. Swirling through his brain was Charlie, his look so unique. What else could a giant ant do? The world itself was not what it seemed, and Shane wanted to learn more. He knew he shouldn’t do it, but he shot Charlie a text message.

Shane: Charlie! It’s Shane. I’m at work now but I did some reading on you last night. My brain hurts. Lol! Seriously, this stuff is incredible.

Charlie: You stalking me? 😉

Shane: Yes. Lol! Will I see you again soon bud?

Charlie: Totally!

Deep down he hoped he wasn’t bothering Charlie, then again, he did give Shane his cell number, so perhaps Charlie wanted the interaction. Shane smiled a bit, feeling a bit more at ease as he grabbed a coffee cup and began making his morning drink.

That afternoon, as the sun shined bright and a gentle breeze blew through the city, Charlie and Shane meet up at a small café. The ant wearing a denim jacket and khakis and Shane still in his work clothes, after a brief hug the two sit across from each other. “I read about your past, with Dr. Adler and his experiments. I found your story quite inspiring. The way you escaped.”

Using his antennae to first sniff the coffee, then take a sip he smiled. “You really did your homework. Gosh, you’re one of the only people who got back to me after saving them.” “What do you mean?” Charlie paused. “Well, usually when I save someone, they thank me and I never see them again.” The human couldn’t help but feel a bit bad. “That kinda sucks. You do so much for others.” Charlie didn’t notice, at a table to the left, an experiment like himself. Dressed in a black hoodie and black cargo pants.

Unlike Charlie, however, his intentions were not as kind. The animal’s ears twitch, listening to every word of the conversation. He sniffed the air trying to get a sense of Charlie’s aroma and smirked as he now knew who Charlie’s new friend was.

He stands up and goes down the sidewalk a few blocks, passing bookstores and pawn shops. Cars zoom by him, he gets to a relatively quiet spot and takes his cell phone out. The wolf spoke with a tinge of excitement. “Adler, I know where Charlie is.” Adler spoke on the other end in disbelief. “The damn insect! So long in hiding! You’re a genius! Follow him home. Bring him to me.” The canine smiled. “One more thing. He has a human friend with him. Not sure what his name is but I’ll try and get a picture of them. Wolfy out.” He hung up in a snap, tail wagging gently.

In his white, sterile office, Adler stood up, beginning to pace the room. His plan was working, sending out a few anthros at a time to deal with Charlie’s heroics might work. His cages now empty, his experiments out and about. They had been out for the past year, Charlie was the only one to escape under his supervision.

Adler didn’t want him to get out, unlike the others. His plan? Once apprehending Charlie, he could perhaps kidnap more humans and do more testing. The less humans, the more he could have under his wing. Charlie was a mistake; the others were very responsive to his actions. He didn’t dare make more until the ant was taken care of, the little bugger was an amazing hider. Now Charlie was closer than ever.

After a year of planning, everything seemed to fall into place. Shane and Charlie spent the day walking the city, a few folks recognized him, but didn’t say much. Perhaps the city was afraid of these humanoid animals, which was a possibility. The notion of creatures walking about the city wasn’t brand new, but new enough that most tried to ignore them. They would even attack unprovoked, granted it was rare enough that police didn’t arrest them on the spot, but no one would be surprised if that was the case.

Adler would try and call the police to tell them to arrest Charlie so he could get him, but the chief told him that of course Charlie was a city hero. He didn’t do anything inherently wrong, perhaps broke a few things on accident during a fight but Charlie was either tolerated or well liked. Adler tried everything before resorting to sending out his precious animals. After creating such a monumental leap, he didn’t want them beat up. But now, he realized that Charlie was no good. Not a follower, not a listener. A rebel. Doing things the legal way was not a possibility anymore. Charlie needed to die.

The red ant hummed as he removed his jacket and shut the door to his apartment. He put his coffee machine on and waited for a cup to brew, while he waited he flicked on the nearby CD player in the kitchen. Moving his head to the upbeat music (“Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell) , he got out coffee cream and sugar. Lots of sugar. The sound of glass shattering and feeling the weight of a large, fluffy wolf collide into him like a scary linebacker interrupted his afternoon routine. Charlie crashed on his back, the white canine on top of him, he wrapped his claws around his victim’s throat. Charlie got a good look at the snarling beast, he knew the smell came from Adler’s office.

After a year, he came out of hiding to strike. Charlie thought he was safe from the creator he once lived with, but realized it was too good to be true. Breathing soon became a bit of a chore, Charlie didn’t have the strength to push him off. However, he had something that not everyone knew of. Releasing one of his hands and making a fist, he sprayed a short burst of clear acid into the wolf’s eyes. His paws automatically hit his face, giving Charlie ample time to make his next move. Howling in pain, the ant stood up, grabbing the toaster he whacked the dog in the head, causing a cringy sound of bone against metal. The dog was quite a bit taller than Charlie, about 6 feet tall to Charlie’s 4 feet.

The beast then swung a punch, hitting him square in the jaw. Then swung again, hitting his cheek. The ant then leapt onto the wolf’s shoulders, his sticky hands becoming of prime use, he used one arm to grab his throat and yank him to the ground. The two sat struggling on the kitchen floor the wolf was too tall to control, he knew snapping his neck would be impossible and Charlie had a bit of an awkward grip on him to begin with.

He then eyed the cabinet sitting beside him full of pots and pans. He smirked and rammed the wolf’s head into the door, causing it to break, he whimpered. The dog fell limp onto one side, the ant sighed deeply as his face began to hurt. He stood up, deciding to still make his coffee, he sipped. As he did so, he eyed the knocked-out body and reached into the pocket of the dog, breaking his cell phone in case a tracker was present.

He then called 9-1-1.Once the wolf was apprehended by the cops, Charlie lied on his couch tiredly with an icepack on his bruised cheek. He let an officer sit outside his home for a bit. A splitting headache caused the ant to grow a bit irritable, so he decided to close his eyes.

 

The sound of a cellphone ring woke Charlie from his slumber, it was 8AM. His voice groggy, he answered. “Hello?” “Hey Charlie, it’s Shane. I was wondering if you wanted to go out again?” The ant smiled a bit at Shane’s kindness. “I’d love to bud, but I’m not feeling good.” “You sick?” “You could say that.” Charlie didn’t want to lie to him. He realized Shane truly did care and lying was something he rarely did. He sat up rubbing his eyes with his arm. “I had a break in. Doctor Adler knows where I am.” Shane paused. “My God! Are you okay? Want me to come over?”

As soon as he came over, Shane helped Charlie clean up the access glass. After a warm shower, Charlie offered snacks to Shane. “Has this kind of thing ever happened?” Charlie shook his head. “No. For a year I thought I was safe, Doctor Adler didn’t really slip my mind, but I got caught up with other things.” Shane smirked. “Like saving the world?” “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

Shane admired how Charlie was still able to smile and act happy through the pain. That was him. Smiling through everyday no matter what.

Entering a motorcycle shop at sunset a week after the attack, Charlie looked about. He realized he should have a getaway vehicle. The city offered public transportation and that had worked for a while, but if Dr. Adler could send anyone to him at any time, he felt unprepared and a bit vulnerable. Meeting with the shop keeper, the bearded male smiled. “You Charlie?” He said with a firm handshake. “Sure am!” “You kick ass. You’re a brave little fellow.” With a blush, he smirked. “Thanks! I appreciate it.” He showed the desk guy his motorcycle license, he had it since college. “An ant on a motorcycle, huh?” Going through the types of motorcycles was something the owner could do in his sleep, Charlie intently listened, weighing pros and cons. Charlie picked out a set of wheels, a black Ducati. Straddling it, he looked quite content. “How fast does she go?” “160.0 bhp” the male human said nodding. “You’ll need a helmet too of course. Have any questions for me?” Charlie smiled, still sitting upon his new toy. “Does it come in red?”

END.

BUCK: DARKNESS FOLLOWS

PLOT: Stetson is a deer who may look like a towering, toned behemoth who could easily rival Rambo, but his personality is not that of a macho guy. In reality, he is typically laid back he spends his days moving from town to town, meeting new people and getting odd jobs, never causing trouble for anyone. By night, his priority is to get hunters and abusers to turn the other cheek and get rid of their life of crime and evil. The reason? He never really gets into it, but his past is also covered in violence and a lot of heartbreak.

In steps a human named James, a guy in his twenties who is the owner of a hotel. He has an adopted sister, a yellow lab named Scarlet who is the sunshine of his life. Sadly, darkness will strike James-and with Stetson in town, scores have a good chance of being settled, the buck will soon learn that life doesn’t seem to give him much of a break.


 

 

NOTE: This story is a supplement to my feature length animated screenplay entitled “Buck”. Stetson’s sorted past is the feature film script-however I will drop little hints here and there in this short so I hope the reader isn’t too left in the dark.

Thanks and enjoy!

-Aaron

 



CHAPTER 1

 

Snow whipped violently through the air, the sound of heavy wind could easily be heard. The blizzard would not come and go quickly, the frigid weather was here to stay. The sky is a pinkish color, the sun just about to set to end another day.

A silver Ford truck pulls into a one-story home, located in the back woods. The headlights dimmed, a frumpy male with a beard and wearing an orange hunting vest and camouflage pants, stepped out of the driver’s side. He finished the bottle of beer he was drinking on the drive home and tossed it to the ground with a light belch.

The snowflakes so heavy, he couldn’t look straight ahead, his head faces the ground, the snow seeped into his boots as he walked closer to his house. He didn’t bother to take the carcass of a freshly shot anthro off the top of his truck, a five-foot-tall squirrel wearing a sweater and slacks, dripping with blood and a permanent gaze of terror.

Wind kicked up even harder, causing the human to shiver as his skin began to turn pink, he hurried into his warm home, the lock to his cabin door was oddly broken, but had been since this morning and he’d find time tomorrow to get it fixed.

His house completely dark, he flicks on the light to the living room, which held a fireplace, a small TV and a couch. Scattered on the floor were illegal hunting magazines for hunting furries he had purchased from various websites.

The hunter removed his jacket and vest, pulling out his wallet which had his name, Samuel imprinted upon the leather. Sam unlaces his boots and makes his way to the couch.

Before sitting down, he removed the pistol from his holster and put it in the locked safe by the front door. He sat in front of the TV with a macho grunt.  The glass on his windows creaked a bit as the blizzard now was in full force, he turned the television on to a news station.

Sam suddenly felt two pairs of hands grip his shoulders, he yelped and attempted to stand and swing at the attacker, but the pressure only got harder as he moved, he knew any more pressure would surly cause some damage if indeed the unknown threat was stronger, Sam’s breathing got heavy and his heart pounded in his chest as a voice spoke in his ear. “Stop moving and I’ll let go. I only want to talk. You don’t attack me, I won’t attack you. That’s a promise.” Sam yelled in frustration, as he cocked his head to one side, he saw who the muscular behemoth was, his shoulders broad, his arms the size of a bodybuilder, his height exactly 6’5, Sam sighed deeply, terror struck his brain and heart, never had he seen an anthro so tall, neither did he ever feel threatened by one either. His presence was a commanding one, the human could do nothing but nod.

The buck made his way around the couch, the sound of his hiking boots stomping on the ground a bit intimidating. He sat on the ottoman in front of the couch, even as he sat, Sam felt like he was being looked down upon by someone much bigger than he. From his unzipped green fishing vest, the mysterious deer pulled out his cellphone and showed Sam a photo of his own truck, with the carcass of the squirrel tied to the roof, a lump formed in the hunter’s throat as Stetson spoke again in his deep Southern accent. “Hunting anthros is illegal, but you knew that, correct?” Sam nods, looking him over. His muscles and six pack could be seen through his black t-shirt, around his faded jeans, a holster with a pistol which Stetson had his hand around, Sam swallowed hard. “Tell you what Sam, your hunting days are over, that’s a fact. The families you’ve ruined, the poor anthros, there kids and families torn apart by your actions. The fact you’ve done what you have for so long without a moment’s thought that maybe it’s wrong. It ends here. It ends now.”

He made his voice sound so evil that he himself could be passed as a deranged serial killer-maybe he was for all Sam knew. The hunter’s voice shivered. “Please, don’t kill me. I can change. Really!” Not moving his hand from the gun, he leaned forward, Stetson smirked. “I’m counting on that. Get a real job, clean up your act, become a productive member of society. No one will forgive you for what you’ve done, especially not me. You get one chance. You mess up? I’m coming back and won’t be so nice. Got it?”

He stood up and narrowed his eyes. “Yes sir! Yes! Don’t hurt me!” No matter who the perpetrator, Stetson almost always let them go if they indeed promised to never hurt anyone again. This was not the first time a wrongdoer had seen the likes of Stetson, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

The buff anthro exited the home throwing on his black leather jacket and brown winter gloves, the wind biting cold as it seemed to seep into his face. He walked to the left side of the house, where his green hummer was secretly parked. He had waited hours for Sam to come home, he hoped it had paid off and that maybe the hunting would be over.

The sound of crunching snow caused Stetson’s ear to twitch, turning around completely, he was met with Sam, wielding a small ax raised above his head and running full force into him. Stetson lost his footing on a sheet of ice as the enraged human smashed into him, he landed hard on his back with a grunt. It seemed the hunter had the upper hand. Sam swung the ax downward nearly missing his head, pinning the deer to the cold surface. Stetson gave a swift knee hit to Sam’s gut, slowing him down for a moment. Sam still could get a slice in and took the swing, the ax slices through the anthro’s arm, a bit of blood splatters onto the white snow below them. Luckily no bone showed, it seemed to be just a nasty cut. Stetson used his arms to wiggle out from Sam’s grasp and kick him straight in the face, shattering his nose and causing it to break.

He howled in pain as the ax flew from hand, Stetson slowly stood up, his arm began to sting in horrible pain. He looked down at the bearded, overweight man whose face was smothered in red fluid and smashed teeth, groaning loudly. “Fuck you. You’re meant to be hunted! HUNTED! Hear me?! LEAVE ME or DIE!” With a swift movement, the deer yanked his pistol out and shot Sam in the head once, a mist of blood was the last thing he ever saw. The gunshot echoed through the night, the buck holstered it and took deep, tired breaths. Bending down slightly, he realized his jacket was partly ripped and spurts of blood continued to show themselves, he sniffled, his nose feeling stiff from the frigid weather and hopped into his hummer, turning it on and letting he heat envelop the inside.

The hospital was too far from where he was, he didn’t feel like traveling an hour as the pain grew and grew, driving in the miserable weather with a bleeding wound on his arm just put Stetson is an edgy mood. As the snow whipped through the air and the windshield wipers went back and forth making a squeaky sound against the windshield, his mind wondered a bit to his past, as it often did. No cars were on the road, so really, he could be with his own thoughts.

Two years ago, he had committed acts of violence due to an event in his life, and swore he would only do so once, but now he seemed to have branched off. In his eyes, why leave anyone else hurt or killed? Stetson suffered such a terrible fate, it’s sad to think others could suffer something similar, that fact alone is what made the deer push forward. To at least confront evil doers and see if he could set them on the right path to a new job, or at the very least make them stop what they were doing for good. It was dangerous, but worth it. That was his logic and it probably wouldn’t change.

Now, he wanted to relax and maybe get his arm fixed and perhaps find a place to stay being that he had slept in his vehicle for two days, he turned on the radio to get his mind off the pain a bit, the woman on the station communicated in a monotone. “As a human, I do wish the best for anthros, but I do think we should be separated. We’re just too different to be co-existing.” A male then responded. “I think you’re wrong, humans and anthros co-existing is the best thing to ever happen. Think about it, we help each other. Unwanted anthros live with human families, friendships are made. I can’t help but think it’s a racial thing with you.” Stetson turned the radio off, he had found his destination.

 

Sam’s body lied in front of his house, gathering snow. The carcass on his truck beginning to freeze over. A pair of headlights shined over the bloody mess, a silver jeep rolled its way to the scene of the crime.

Out steps a beagle, in his mid-thirties wearing overalls, slender but in good health. He gasped slightly as he saw his friend Sam, with half of his face blown off. He had heard tales of hunters turning up dead, and he would take no chances. With a sigh, the beagle reached into his back pocket, pulled out his cellphone and angrily dialed a number. “Hey, it’s Lance. You won’t believe it. Sam’s dead, shot in the face. I talked to him was yesterday and I knew he was going hunting on his own.” He paused, letting the person on the other end speak. “Don’t put this shit on me!” Lance briskly walked to his jeep and slammed the door. “I don’t know who did it, but whoever it is, is gonna get an ass whooping. I’m coming over there, you got the gang over?” With a huff he tossed his phone to the ground, reached into the back seat and pulled out a bottle scotch and chugged it, alcohol calmed him, it was his antidote for any given situation. In-between sips, all he did was look at Sam’s half frozen body, the spots of blood being slowly covered by snow. He leaned back in his chair, collecting his thoughts. He knew seeing his hunting friends would help. Lance had relied on them for all his life, even as a teenager. A plan would be formed and executed. Vengeance would be initiated.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

Soft music played at Stetson made his way to the hotel, anthros and humans of all shapes and sizes sat at various tables, calmly talking, laughing or making out in the bathroom.

After checking in at the front desk, the first thing Stetson did was approach the young man who seemed to run the restaurant in the lobby. He wore a white dress shirt, vest and slacks. Not bad looking for a human as far Stetson was concerned-and he had met a lot of them. The deer looked down to make eye contact with him, the human spoke with a smile, his brown hair quite short and his blue eyes very kind. “Just you tonight? Table for one?” Stetson nodded as the 21 year old waiter grabbed a menu and led him to a booth in the corner. “You gotta bathroom near by?” Stetson asked with kindness, but a sense of urgency. The waiter nodded.

The bathroom was empty, the deer removed his jacket and gloves and dusted any excess snow off. He looked at himself in the mirror, from his vest pocket he grabbed a sewing kit and turned on the sink. The water stung his wound as he cupped warm water in his palm and began dousing the wound, he took deep breaths and became quite tense as the blood flowed down the drain, making the fresh wound more visible. Stetson held his breath as he began work on sewing. He was good at keeping his wounds fixed, he had read enough medical books and had a steady hand.

With a REDD’s Apple Ale placed in front of him and a fresh bandage wrapped around his arm, Stetson watched the other patrons chat among themselves. He hadn’t touched a drink in a while, and rarely did consume alcohol, he liked all his mental facilities at 100% but he needed something to help him with his nerves and slightly rough night. REDD’s and Mike’s Hard Lemonade were the only kind of alcohol, he liked every flavor, from apple, to strawberry, but orange was his favorite. He’d try new things, but stuck to his favorites when he wasn’t feeling adventurous.

A female yellow lab approached him, dressed in a black tank top and grey jeans, a slender body and an energetic presence. “Can I get you anything to eat?” she spoke in a genuinely happy tone, to be fair-Stetson had never met a lab who didn’t have something happy or nice to say. Her name tag read Scarlet. With a smirk, he ordered veggie soup to try and warm up from the blizzard he had just gotten out of. James and Scarlet seemed to interact a lot, like they knew each other very well.

This hotel looked like it made good business for the simple fact it was not a popular name and it certainly was not a five-star fancy place, James and Scarlet were the only two running the place this night, it was a small building where anyone could go and get a good night’s rest, enjoy the bar / restaurant on the first floor and maybe go swimming in the decent sized pool outback.

Stetson tipped both James and Scarlett and got himself a room for a week, he fell asleep, not even looking at the room for a second, not even bothering to remove his clothing, he flopped on top of the covers and took a deep breath.

 

Lance the beagle entered his apartment building, once he opened the front door and gazed at the messy couch and unmade bed, three other figures spoke. These three were Lance’s friends, a pink pig named Hoss who was about 100 pounds overweight and mean as an abusive drunk if something struck him wrong. The other two pals were male humans, a little over five feet tall, with bushy beards and bad manners. When Lance was not around, Hoss was the boss-and no one dared argue that fact. Those who went up against Hoss ended up in a month-long coma-and those were the lucky ones.

* * *

Lance said not a word as he sat on the hole filled recliner across from the trio. Sam was a member of their hunting gang, he talked the most, he had the most knowledge on anthros. He would be missed.

Hoss lit a cigar and puffed at it a few times, then crossed his arms. “Lance, you can’t just sit there and say nothing. We need a direction.” Hoss’ only friends were the hunting buddies, Sam’s death would never be forgotten by the pig. Lance glanced at his friends with saddened eyes and soft tone. “We wait until cops go over everything, surly whoever did this must have left some evidence.” Hoss coughed. “We wait? Sounds like you have no plan.” His blunt observations never ceased to have a crude tone, but he was respected and the most amazing fighter and the craziest (but best) driver. The beagle crossed his legs. “You guys ever hear of Stetson?” He glanced to the three.

All of them nodded, Hoss smiled a bit and spoke out of the side of his mouth, letting the cigar kill his lungs. “Yeah, that deer who slaughtered hunters a year or two ago? Think he’s behind this?” One of the humans, Jerry spoke-he always wore a camo baseball cap. “Could be, we’d have to figure out where he was-but I wouldn’t be shocked. I bet if he did it, he’ll come after us too.” Lance’s ears perked. “Maybe he’ll come to us? I mean, whether he killed Sam or not wouldn’t really matter, would it? If we could kill that buck-we’d be heroes. Hunters, human and anthro fear that son of a bitch.” The pig took a long puff, then tossed his cigar out. “I never feared that jackass. I could break his neck and shove those antlers up his ass.” Mike, the other bushy bearded hunter chuckled. “Hoss, I think you could kill anyone-he’d be a goner if you got a hold of him.”

He looked down at the two humans, at a little under 7 feet and arms the size of sledgehammers and a gravely deep voice that would make the most diehard horror fan crap their pants, not much could intimidate him. Even though they sort of knew Hoss wouldn’t kill them, just the mere size and scale of him was enough to send each of them into a slight shiver frenzy. The pig’s ears perked as he grabbed the keys to his white van parked right by Lance’s truck, he gestured Mike and Jerry over, they obeyed like two frightened kids who just got into trouble. “Tell you what Lance, I’ll do some digging and you get some rest. This little piggie is pissed off.”

* * *

James and Scarlett slept in separate rooms in a single-story home right next to the hotel they worked at, the two had quite a busy night-but James did not sleep so easily, even after he was in his pajamas and lying in the covers of his large bed. The time was 5AM. He often had trouble sleeping, his brain never really stopped.

Stetson hung his clothing up in the closet-he only brought one outfit with him, the clothes he wore on his back. He washed them nightly. If the outfit got ripped or tattered (that had happened once to him when a fight got way out of hand) he’d buy identical clothing (or as close as he could get) Never changing anything for something different. He found that this outfit was the most comfortable and durable, he had his hiking boots for years as well. His jacket was very heavy and worked well when the winter storms kicked up.

Of course, he would rent a suit if he needed to, but he probably only wore a suit twice in his life, if that. The deer liked to keep things as simple as possible, and bringing loads of stuff with him while traveling was just inconvenient. Everything from his outfit, to his guns all fit in one huge suit case. He left the suit case in the back of his hummer, less to carry, plus a shotgun was not easy to hide in a place full of security cameras. He carried a gun license, but even if he could bring his shotgun in-he wouldn’t. Someone could get a hold of it and go on a killing spree. The only weapon he carried with him in any public area, was his hunting knife, concealed in his boot. He put a fresh bandage on his arm, admiring the stich work he had done.

The hotel room was a bit bigger than he needed it to be, complete with a large TV, an outdoor patio, looking over the balcony and into the city below. A small fridge in one corner as well. He usually stayed in cabins or slept in his own vehicle, so this was an awesome change. He placed his knife in the drawer by his bed and decided to watch TV for a bit-his favorite sport was on. Golf. As he stared at the screen, his mind went to the fact that maybe his life was going to settle down.

A year ago, he was on death’s door a few times, and while he still dished out his words to various people who needed them, maybe his life would settle. No. It wouldn’t. He just killed a man, granted in self-defense, but any cop who looked over Sam’s death would know the deer had broken into his house. Did he regret doing what he was doing? Maybe after the incident which left his heart broken, he should have left things alone instead of going after the hunters who ruined his life? Did going after hunters really make him feel better? Perhaps not, but in his head, in the long run it did a lot of good. It’s no secret that furries are suppressed by humans and even members of their own species going after them for money or just pure enjoyment. He began to doze off, not knowing of the dark times ahead.

* * *

Still in his boxers after sleeping, Hoss did some searching on his old laptop and made a few phone calls to various locations, asking about a white-tailed deer, there weren’t many in the town.

The large warehouse where he sat was home base, where weapons for his hunting hobby were kept neatly in wooden boxes. Bright lights hang from the ceiling, a separate bedroom is in one corner, in the bedroom are snacks and other life needs. The floor is a smooth concrete and on some of the walls, the bodies of those he had shot. The pig had a lot of human carcasses chained up proudly, he wiped them down weekly so the stench did not get too overbearing, plus it stroked his evil ego a bit to look into the pale faces of those he had out witted.

After hours of searching Stetson’s name in news articles and social media all night, he did come up with some interesting facts.

He phoned Lance. “I called a hotel not too far from here, they’re open. Front desk guy, James was reluctant to say much, so that made everything hard. Cops said whoever committed the murder of Sam fled the scene not too long ago after finding fresh tire marks in the snow. Looking on a few maps, Stetson’s house is miles and miles back in another direction, and I looked through phone books, his name is not anywhere. Newspapers said he travels from town-to-town, but I’d say we should look at the hotel, would make sense for him to make a pitstop there-the next town over is a long drive as well. He’s probably planning on moving again, maybe he checked in under a fake name? We don’t want to leave anything up to chance. I also want to get him before the K9 units do. I’ll get the van and gather Jerry and Mike. We can be there in an hour if we hurry. If he’s not there, I’m sure James would make a fun victim-I need to hunt again anyway.”

 

CHAPTER 3

 

Getting his clothes out of the dryer, Stetson contently went down to the breakfast bar, which was in the front lobby. This time, James and Scarlet were not working. Sitting at tables covered in white cloth, were the same groups from the bar last night. the large tables in corners were set up-they had cereal, orange juice, oatmeal and just about every type of coffee, donut and muffin imaginable.

With his breakfast, the deer sat at a lone table, his coffee steaming as he put some cream and a sugar supplement inside. Females looked at Stetson’s large arms, antlers and incredible height, they thought they were being sneaky-the deer knew what they thought and was flattered, but ultimately relationships were extremely low on his list.

James sat across from the new guest. “Mind if I sit here?” “Go ahead, kid.” James had a bowl of cereal and orange juice by him, he still wore his pajamas and looked like he had just crawled out of bed, he sniffled and his voice a bit low and soft since he had just woken up. “I felt bad you were by yourself, sir.” Sipping his coffee and looking at the small crowds, Stetson spoke. “No need to call me ‘sir’. Stetson is just fine. I guess I can be a bit shy.” The human took a bite of his food. “Shy? You don’t seem, well like the type. Hope I don’t offend.” As Stetson spoke, he began eating a few fruits from his assorted bowl he had made up. “Nah, I know what you mean. Big muscular guy, shy? It does seem odd. I guess my past caught up with me and I sometimes have trouble fitting in. Can’t ever judge a book by its cover. You and Scarlet working tonight?” “Yeah, we get mornings off typically.” Stetson smirked. He liked that someone his age was so engaged with face-to-face conversation and his face wasn’t plastered into his cellphone.

Scarlet snuck up behind James and scared him with a slight ‘boo!’ The lab sat next to James. “Why do you scare me, sis?” “Awe! I’m sorry!” she said in a sarcastic tone, of course the love beneath this teasing was undeniable. She licked the human’s cheek, then turned to Stetson. “Morning Stetson!” He waved and sipped his coffee. Stetson was good at making small talk, and he did. Making little jokes and such, he seemed to be extremely laid back.

Quiet chatter filled the lobby, the deer’s ears perked as he paid attention to every little sound. Scarlet is dressed in a black tank top, ripped black jeans and black punk rock boots-a typical outfit she felt comfortable in, but also felt matched her calm and cool personality.

Stetson noticed that James’ sister was quite protective of him, the two obviously had quite a history. Just the way she would look at him and her tone of voice read that she had a very nurturing attitude. Once she was done speaking, she left to go sit a few feet from the breakfast area and put in some headphones. “So, Stetson, why do you have that scar? When you came in last night, I wanted to ask about it, but wasn’t sure how you’d react.” Stetson poured another cup of coffee as he spoke. “Met someone who didn’t appreciate what I was telling him. I run into jerks now and again.” The young man eyed the buck. “Was it that bad? A simple disagreement?” “You could say that-but I guess simple isn’t the word I’d use. Look, uh-if you wanna have lunch later or something, we totally can. If you’re not busy. I got nothing going on really.” The human nodded happily. Scarlet was listening to the deer from afar, she loved his deep southern accent, it sounded sexy and stuck out like a sore thumb compared to everyone else. As a dog, she could narrow in one sound and concentrate on it, and she was glad to have him calm voice in her ear as she turned her loud rock music down.

Parked next to Stetson’s hummer-a white Ford truck. Two bearded humans stepped out, wearing black bullet proof vests under flannel shirts. Hoss and his men had done their research, and by talking to another desk person on the phone, Stetson was surly there. Revenge was not far, it was right on the tips of their fingers and they were proud of it. Each of them held machine guns in large guitar cases. Hunting for a deer would be easy and a nice thrill for the two. Maybe they could even kill more anthros in the lobby and get some extra ego points.

The sun shined over the hotel, the sky blue and very little snow was on the ground. The large parking lot filled with cars of all shapes and sizes. Neither of the two humans, Jerry or Mike said a word as they approached the doors to the hotel, looked over the crowd and both entered the bathroom to prepare.

Urinals and stalls surrounded them, the floor tiled, the two were as quiet, but quick as possible. Not a single person was in there.   They quickly took their weapons out, their hearts thudding in their chests. Never had they done something so big. The men loaded their weapons-after they busted down the door, time seemed to move in slow motion, bullets flew.

The screams deafening, the gun shots even louder. The deer swiftly stands and shoved James to the ground, bullets nearly missing him. The entire breakfast bar and windows behind the set up broke and crashed. James hid under a table, dead anthros covered the lobby, covered in dark red blood and mangled fur. The walls were covered in red fluid and bullet holes, crying could be heard throughout the room.

Stetson slowed his breathing down, James cowered. From his boot, Stetson grabbed his hunting knife and threw it in the air, it spun swiftly, hitting Mike in the chest unexpectedly, he gasped for air and flops backwards. Jerry meanwhile hid behind a desk loading his machine gun, which stood to the left side of the lobby. He knew Stetson wasn’t far from him.

Peeking his upper body over the desk, he began to fire rounds, like a soldier in war, Stetson went down on his stomach and crawled towards Mike’s weapon, the bullets whizzed by his head, like short bursts of wind. Staying low, he pulled the shotgun from Mike’s dead hand and shot near Jerry. He ducked under the desk. The deer stood up and loaded the weapon, aiming it precisely at the front desk. He held his breath and peeked over the desk, no human.

A shiver went through his body as he walked around the destroyed lobby. He looked to James who was shaking under the table. “Don’t move. I’m not leaving you.” The young man blocked his ears and nodded. The room went eerily silent, Stetson stepped over shattered glass and broken plates. His ear twitched, he felt Jerry behind him, he swiftly turned and shot once into his face, causing a stream of blood to fly as he fell to the side. The deer knelt by the body and picked up his driver’s license to get some information. On the back of the license, an address was handwritten-where was this address and what did it have to do with the shooting? James ran to Scarlet, who was not moving.

 

THREE DAYS LATER

 

She was dead. The dog who entered his family and had been with him for years as his sister, now gone by two random gun men. It seemed like a terrible nightmare, so very sudden. Stetson was now his life line. Not that he didn’t have friends, but there was something about the deer that pulled him like a magnet. Was it his personality? Maybe, he was never rude and wasn’t as noisy as most of the hotel guests, but also was great in conversation when the appropriate time came.

James’ home seemed so quiet, the sound of a ticking clock was the only ambience, besides maybe a passing car or two. Usually his sister would be talking his ear off, or they’d be going to the mall. The emptiness in his soul, was nearly deafening.

A knock on the door interrupted his depressed silence, James let Stetson in, he was a bit surprised to the buck standing in the door frame, his ears down and his overall mood seemed quite affected by Scarlet’s death. “Holding up okay, James?” The young man nodded and gestured him in. His house was one floor, two bed rooms, all the usual items and rooms were there to make a modest home.

Stetson crossed his huge arms and looked to James sorrowfully. “If you need anything, please let me know.” “I want the people responsible dead, Stetson.” With a perk of his ears, Stetson leaned against the nearest wall. He knew this type of anger all too well. He had gone through it a few years ago. “James, this is bigger than I thought. I did some research and, it looks like a guy named Hoss set it up. I’ve heard of him, he’s a mean, nasty anthro who tortures humans for food and pleasure. I can’t rightfully let you go through with digging deeper.”

The two went into the kitchen, James and Stetson each held cups of coffee after a few moments of silence. “I want to see him die. You don’t know how much my sister meant to me, you know how sweet she was. Please. Stetson. If I don’t do this, I’ll never sleep, I’ll never feel satisfied.” Stetson sipped his drink and cleared his throat, James looked at him with pleading eyes.

If Stetson was being truthful, he felt bad. He felt maybe this human should get some closure. Typically, he never let anyone on his dark escapades killing those who he felt deserved it, but losing a family member was something he knew all too well about. If he took James with him, what if something were to happen? Talk about guilt-this human was innocent and probably his first violent scene was the shootout, which left him petrified for hours. Interrupting his train of thought, James approached the deer. “Please Stetson. Let me come with you. I know you’ll look into this deeper. I saw that scar on your arm, you don’t let things slide, do you?” The deer was a lot of things, but not a liar. “No. I don’t let things go easily. Which is why I can’t have you with me. I do things, things that only I should know about.” James took a deep breath. “I’m coming with you. This is destroying me, Stetson. Please. I’m begging you.” Unblinking, James turns his head up to look the buck directly in the face. Stetson nodded. This was the point of no return. He reacted to his gut instinct. Maybe James was right.

Hoss and Lance walk about a large warehouse. The large door locked behind them. Some humans are caged, some are out and used as slaves, carrying heavy cardboard boxes to huge rooms. Some cry and shake in terror and some simply do their work without complaining, they range from ages 20 to 40. As well as weak humans, anthros in camo and holding weapons, since these operations with harvesting humans was of course illegal and any police who entered needed to be dealt with. Select humans were also used as soldiers if they were deemed strong enough.

The beagle crossed his arms, looking at Hoss with a proud glare. “Hoss, you never told me you had this. This is amazing.” The pig smirks and leads him around the various rooms within this dark establishment. “What’s with the boxes?” “Weapons and crap, I’ll let you have a good amount of it. Good stuff for if Stetson decides to come marching in.”

Lance paused for a bit, leading Hoss to a corner. “Stetson? Isn’t he dead?” Hoss shrugged. “If my men succeeded, yes-but I’m not taking any chances. Would you? This guy is a killer, and he needs a taste of his own medicine. You’re with me, huh?” The beagle nodded slowly and adjusted his black t-shirt. “Always man. Just wait until we get a bigger place and start taking over more? Humans will be our workers and maybe we can take over.” The pig chuckled. “Now you’re talking. I should give my men a call, they should be heading back by now-damn it’s like watching toddlers.”

 

CHAPTER 4

 

The early morning sun rose, Stetson showered and hopped into the hummer once James was ready. The human wore a brown t-shirt and black faded jeans, he held a small suitcase. Taking a note from Stetson, he wore one single outfit and brought no more clothes. He yawned and rubbed his eyes a few times, but in reality his brain was going at full speed. Of course, the well of emptiness he felt for his sister wasn’t going to ever end. Scarlet was everything, she was the badass sister that kept James’ energy up and going, she’s the reason why he was probably able to gain the confidence to ask for a job at the hotel.

The vehicle rocked back and forth as the sound of the engine took up part of the ride, the roads became more abandoned as a few hours passed, Stetson did talk to James a bit, what to do if certain dangerous situations arise. The deer had a lot to think of as well, James was a good kid-but this was going to be new and dangerous territory.

 

DUSK

 

As he approached the destination, a bit of sand kicked up as he walked towards the RV. Why was there an address to a random address to a random RV in this guy’s wallet? Showing no fear, the deer approached the front door and tugged, but it was locked. Maybe something was in there, some evidence as to why that huge, but random shooting took place? A gun cocked behind him, the deer slowly turned. Thank goodness James was in the hummer if the owner of the RV decided to shoot him up. The hummer was parked about a half hour from the destination.

A female human stood a few feet from him, aiming a black shotgun at him. Her hair curly blonde, she looked about 40 and a tad bit out of shape, but she knew how to handle the gun. The wind blew, nothing was around but a few empty dirt roads and lots of sand. She spoke in a slightly gruff tone, not letting her guard down. “Who are you?” He put his hands up. “Stetson. I need to ask you some questions.” The air blew a bit, she lowered her shotgun. He didn’t seem to want to attack her, but still found his size a bit intimidating. She slowly nodded and invited him into her home.

The living space was quite small, a single bed, a few chairs, a dirty floor and a few windows with dead bugs stuck to the glass. Stetson sat down, he told her everything from what he did, to how he found her place. She sat silently and listened open mindedly. The deer looked into her eyes and spoke in the politest way he could. “Please Gloria, I just need to know why they were attacking us. If you’re friends with who you say you are, then I do need to know. We’re talking about lives here.” She nodded. “You ever hear of Hoss?” Stetson’s ears perked a bit as he sat up straighter and crossed his legs comfortably “Yeah. I mean, I’ve heard the name when I go to bars. Does he have something to do with the attack? I assumed he did, being that I did some research. Do you have specifics?” She nodded as she offered him a water. “Probably, he was my ex-husband. I know how his mind works. I knew some of his men very well, Lance was a beagle I knew quite well. Just as much of an asshole as Hoss was. I pretended to be friends with all his hunting buddies, only so that Hoss didn’t beat me for not treating his comrades with respect.” Stetson sipped his as his ears dropped. “I’m so sorry. Did he talk about killing humans or anything like that?” “All the time” she said sadly. “Really I was just a toy to him. Constant threatening and stuff.” He nods. She continued. “I also know something about a warehouse he had. Nothing more than that though.” He slipped her his cell number. “Call me anytime. Okay?” With a feeling of sorrow for her, he briskly walked off…

“What did you find out in there?” James asked as Stetson started the hummer and drove into the pink sky, the headlights on, the road long. “I’m going to get some info. You wait in the car. If I make a stop.” The human glanced to the deer a bit. “I want to come with you.” Stetson cleared his throat and looked ahead. “I don’t know kid.” James stared at him. “Stetson, please. You don’t know how much it pains me. I think about what happened every single day. It’s painful. I want to help you.” Stetson nodded. “I know. I can’t let you go to dangerous places yet. Do you even know how to shoot a gun?”

The human shook his head. The two were silent for a little while as the music from the radio filled the car. A certain comfort washed over the human as he looked at Stetson behind the wheel. He had the look of fearlessness, but also comfort. Almost fatherly. The deer jolted forward as a giant vehicle tailgated them. Stetson’s heart sank, he knew someone was after him.

A rush of adrenaline hits him as he reached over a very confused James and grabbed his pistol, driving with one hand. “Stay down James!” He cocked his head out the driver’s side window and saw the military vehicle, ramming into the hummer again. With a grunt, Stetson leaned out and fired a few bullets into the vehicle. Driving behind the wheel was a frumpy male with a bushy brown beard and hunting clothes.

He jerks the hummer to the right with a loud screech and drives on the sand beside the main road. The human kept his head low, his heart pounded in his chest as he heard the incredibly threatening noises right beside him. The ride soon became bumpy, the military jeep still followed. Sand kicked up everywhere. Stetson slowed his breathing, making sure his brain didn’t go into full panic mode, panicking would mean death for James. James was who he needed to keep safe. Stetson slammed on the gas, the engine became loud. His voice became a bit loud, he reached in the back and grabbed his double barrel shotgun. “James! Take the wheel and keep the hummer steady!” He removed his green vest and tossed it in the back of the hummer.

Without a second thought, he slipped into the driver’s side as Stetson hoists himself up on top of the roof of the speeding vehicle-thankfully James wasn’t a bad driver. James had Stetson’s life in his hands. He took rabid deep breaths.

Balancing on top of the hummer, the wind pushing his shirt up slightly, the deer aimed his shotgun at one of the tires of the jeep and fired. He missed. Sweat pours down his neck as he tries to steady his firing, a few bullets wiz right by him from the pistol the driver held. Stetson held his breath and fired the gun, with a loud blast and a giant pop sound followed, the jeep swerved out of control, going left and right in a zigzag pattern. James stopped the vehicle and the buck jumped off the roof, landing on his feet. He sighed heavily and wiped the dust off his clothing.

Stetson aimed the gun at the distressed driver. “Get out. Now.” His tone ice cold. The driver fired a few shots out his window, Stetson ducked swiftly and fired towards him, shattering the windshield. “Come on out!” Stetson angrily shouted.

The driver managed to sneak out of the driver’s side door and hide behind the broken jeep, Stetson went on his stomach and fired a hole through his foot. With a scream, the human fell to the ground, blood spewed from his foot, he knew death was upon him. Stetson turned to face him once he faced the angry driver. “What’s your name?” Through tears of pain, he uttered. “Ramsey! I’m gonna kill you!” Stetson knelt in front of him, he smiled a tiny bit. “I think the shoe is on the other foot.” His antlers also covered in specks of blood and dirt from the past few days of excitement. “Tell me everything you know about Lance and Hoss. You know them?” Ramsey nodded. “Yeah. All hunters know them, AND everyone knows you! You’re BIG money!” Stetson took Ramsey’s gun and tossed it to the side. The wind caused the sand to kick up, cars could be heard in the distance.

James watched from a distance as he hopped out of the hummer, but didn’t say a word. Stetson got directions to an old warehouse, where Hoss and Lance hang out. Ramsey shook with fear. Stetson looked to him in the face, holding his cheeks roughly. “You gonna hunt again?” The human shakes his head. “You gonna get a respectable job and quit hurting others?” He nods. “Good. Hope I don’t have to see you again Ramsey. Good luck.” Ramsey cried in terror as Stetson walked off.

The sun began to set as the two drove off yet again.

 

    NIGHT

 

Cuddling into a blanket in the back seat, James yawned and fell into a light sleep. The happiness he got from being with Stetson was odd. Someone he had only met a few days ago brought him so much comfort. He would guess that he always liked someone in control, someone with a good head on their shoulders. He liked the tough guys, the fighters.

The deer sat in the driver’s seat, he chewed on a toothpick as he leaned his chair back, he listened to James’ calm breathing. It was so weird to watch over someone again. Not just someone he rescued, but someone who connected with him. James woke up and went to the passenger side. “Hey Stetson. You okay?” Rarely did anyone ask this, the deer nodded. “Yup. You?” He nods as he gets a snack to munch on. “You have any family waiting for you?” Stetson sighed. “No. My wife divorced me and my daughter is no longer around.” Stetson sighed and rubbed his neck. James looked to him. “It’s okay. You don’t have to tell me, if it makes you uncomfortable.” Stetson looked forward. He moved his position slightly. “My daughter was killed by a hunter when she was eight.” A long pause filled the hummer. Stetson never told anyone the entirety of events that took place a year ago and changed his life. “Hunter shot her. Long story short, I went into a deep fit of rage. I did some illegal things, rescued a human ironically enough and rest is history.”

James’ heart went into his throat. Turned out there was more to Stetson than he once thought. The deer continued. “I was going to stop after I did all the illegal stuff, but in this cruel world a lot of humans and anthros need help. I got the skills, so I figured why not help others? I know I’m not the only one who’s family has been ruined. It’s either find a purpose, or curl up in a ball and be depressed about everything.”  The human placed a hand on Stetson’s shoulder. “I bet your daughter is proud of you.” The deer sighed and smiled a bit. “Maybe. Get some sleep.” James sighed and hugged Stetson tightly. The two fell asleep as the sun rises and the grass turned wet with dew.

 

MORNING

 

With a groggy stretch, Stetson looked to his side to the sleeping human, wrapped like a cocoon in his blanket. As he drove towards the warehouse, he got to thinking what James’ life would be like. Would he have a wife and kids? Would he be single and lament the days without his sister? If only he could predict the future, but sadly he could only help him so much. Being a friend was okay, but he knew deep down that darkness would follow on this day.

The warehouse wasn’t far away. He wasn’t doing this for himself, he did it for James and the love he had for his sister. Revenge was Stetson’s first thought when he lost his daughter, but knowing what he did may have saved others’ lives made him feel a bit warm. All Stetson wanted to do was to show James that the evil would be over, that he wouldn’t have to think about the nasty pig who killed his sister. Perhaps his efforts wouldn’t go unpunished.

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

The warehouse loomed over the hummer. James looked up at it almost in a dark awe. Winter air was beginning to form. The sand beneath them a dull grey color, like snow had fallen there the night before.

Stetson put on his leather jacket, brown gloves and loaded his shotgun. James sighed, clearly scared for his friend’s safety. “Stetson? Please let me go with you.” “No James. You stay here, I’ll leave the hummer running. If I’m not back in thirty minutes, you drive. You drive outta here and don’t look back for a second.” Upon saying those last words, the driver’s side window crashes with a loud bang. The chilly wind from outside pushed through the hummer, Stetson leapt onto the young man. He hands James a pistol and orders him to get out. The two ran at full speed, getting away from the hummer. The bullets from a sniper could be heard. The deer aims his shot gun forward as he shoots down a few guards outside, blood flies from their legs and they shout in pain. The human nearly becomes sick looking at the gunman lying in pools of their own blood and bone.

The back door to the warehouse is large and metal. Stetson sighs as he loads his shotgun. He pulls James back to the hummer, he starts the vehicle earnestly. “Stetson! What are you doing?” The deer drives a complete circle, ignoring James’ comment. At full speed, he slams into the backdoor of the huge building, the metal door splits in two as debris and smoke cover the inside of the building, the windshield cracked and the engine begins to sputter.

Before anyone has time to react, Stetson yanks James off his seat and runs him to a safe area.

Wooden crates cover the building, a tall ceiling with florescent lights hang. The sound of Stetson’s boots on the ground echo. Crouching behind one of the large crates, Stetson hears sounds of henchmen. James sweats with terror, his hands shake and his breathing becoming irregular. He kneels with his hero, goosebumps form on his skin. The thought of Hoss being here however, makes him want to stay and fight, Stetson’s breath is seen the weather only turns more bitter, the broken back door makes winter cold much more intense. “Stetson? Will we survive?” Footsteps become closer. “I think so kid. Stay down and only shoot if you have too.”

Coming out completely from cover, he eyes a lot of henchmen, all anthros and tall. Bullets fly and the loud bangs echo from across the walls.

A circle of about thirteen of them form around the deer as he fires bullets and aims his gun precisely, getting nicked a few times in the process, but shrugging off the pain. The shotgun fires, hitting some in the chest, causing them to fly backwards into the large crates with cringe worthy thuds. Another one shot in the face, which renders an unrecognizable bloody and muscle filled mess as Stetson’s shot gun bullet hits it. One wolf attempts to come up behind the deer with a knife, but he is hit in the stomach with the butt of the gun, a second later the barrel is aimed at his forehead and with a shot, his head explodes, splitting in two, causing blood to hit Stetson’s face. The deer removed his leather jacket, tossing it to the ground, beginning to sweat.

A few others are shot as they run out of hiding firing back and forth. With a deep breath, Stetson loads his gun, a puff of smoke covers the room, his arms ache, bodies litter the floor of the warehouse. Most are dead, some groan and vomit blood as they try to stand.

James runs to the deer, pale and shaking. “Are you okay?” He nods as he walks about the place, getting a better feel for it. His ears twitch as he hears sounds of crying and screaming, not from the gunman but from somewhere else. What other secrets was this place harboring? Past the crates, stands a red metal door, Stetson heads right for it, maneuvering his large body so he can cut through the narrow spaces between the crates

. Hoss comes out of the mysterious room at the end of the large building. Larger than life and smiling a bit. He smokes a cigar and crosses his arms. His height nearly matched Stetson, but much more overweight. The pig spoke as Stetson raised his shotgun, the red door directly behind him, piles of crates surround them. James stands behind the deer, Stetson glances to him. “Go. Now.” Hoss laughed a bit. “Stetson! You son of a bitch. It’s weird to even be talking to you. Your name has been plastered on newspapers and posters. Gosh, when I planned that whole hotel bit, I had no idea I’d land myself HERE. With you!”

He walked in a circle, James immediately hops behind a crate. Stetson turns, his barrel on him always. “You’re quite the killer-hunters fear you, all because your precious daughter got shot and you went on a little tirade. Well, I’m not scared.” Stetson placed the barrel of the gun to his chest, stopping him in his tracks. “You scared now?”
With lightning quick reflexes, the pig snatched the shotgun from his hands and snapped it with both arms, tearing at opposite ends. James gasped a bit as the pig lunged at the deer, knocking him to the ground. Stetson grunted as he felt a giant fist smash into his face and felt warm blood which seeped into his mouth. The buck jammed both of his thumbs into each eye socket of the pig, he yelled in pain. Another punch landed on Stetson’s face, nearly making him black out. Stetson slammed his foot into the pig’s crotch, he then threw a few right and left hooks. Hoss’ blood flew, his nose bubbled with snot and dark blood. Hoss slams Stetson’s head into the concrete ground, he yelped. Stetson has his hands around the pig’s throat like a vice. Squeezing. Hoss slams his head into Stetson’s, causing the deer’s ears to ring and stinging pain enter his cranium. Equally as fast as the pig, the deer gribs the hunting knife from his boot and slashes the pig once in the arm, a stream of blood flows and Stetson stands up, holding the knife in a fighting position. The pig yells.

Suddenly, a pistol is pressed against Hoss’ head. Stetson gasps a bit. He looks James in the eye.

“James. Don’t do this.” The human trembled, his eyes watered, his body sweat. The pig let go of his stinging arm which gushed loads of blood, not looking like he was going to hit the human, but glared. “YOU. You’re the reason my sister is dead. You sicko!” Hoss smiled. “You humans. So frail and emotional. Big tough Stetson helping you out? This isn’t the first revenge path he’s taken. You’re well on your way to becoming worse than he is human.” The deer wiped blood from his face and slapped the pig upside the head. “You touch him. You’re dead.” Hoss shoved Stetson, nearly making him fall backwards.

In a fit of panic, James shot Hoss’ kneecap, he screams in agony and falls to the ground, his knee spurts blood. James’ heart raced as he watched the pig writhe in pain. Stetson reached his arm around the human, standing to his side. “James. You go to the hummer. You’ve seen him. Your job is done.”

The teen aimed the gun at the deer in a fit of terror. “Stetson! I came here to FINISH this.” The buck raised his voice. “Don’t you fucking point that at me!” A long pause filled the warehouse. What happened to James? Was he going crazy? With those words and the deer looking at him with pleading eyes, James sighed deeply. He stood still for a moment. This was a dark path not going down. Stetson momentarily saw a darkness cover James’ face-a darkness he hoped to never see again.

James tossed the pistol outside with a large throw, his body tenses. Stetson looked to Hoss. “What else do you have going on here?” Hoss speaks between tears. “You’d love to know, wouldn’t you?” Stetson sighed deeply and flipped his knife once to show off. He pressed the blade against Hoss’ throat. “You tell me now and I’ll make your death painless. You don’t tell me, I’ll make your time here torturous. Who else are you hurting?” Now faced with death, Hoss became less confident and more weak and frail.

The large pig sniffled. “Humans. Tied up and used as our slaves. Go in. Look at the beautiful work Lance and I have done. Maybe you’ll wanna join us? Maybe you’ll realize what a majestic world it would be, if humans were merely our servants. No more racism. No more hate. Everyone had their place. When I get out of the hospital, YOU and JAMES are so dead. SO fucking dead.” He chuckled.

The deer sighed, kneeling to match Hoss’ position. “For Gloria.” He jams the blade into Hoss’ neck, slowly dragging it across his throat from left to right. The metal completely inserted into the smooth pink skin. He falls to the ground, gurgling heaps of vital fluid. Stetson watched him for a few moments, struggle to breathe, he held the open wound down with his hands. Perhaps trying to close it in a state of shock. His entire upper body a puddle of red fluid, nearly drowning him, with a wheeze, he lies motionless staring up at a deer who didn’t quite fit the profile of the hunted or the prey as most did.

 

CHAPTER 6

 

Humans of all ages and sizes, now were free to roam to find their homes. The locks and chains broken, hundreds of innocents now were outside the warehouse.

Stetson held his nearly broken nose with a damp paper towel as it had begun to bleed moments after freeing the humans, he looked to James and sat, leaning against his now broken hummer, still sticking out of the large door, the rear end clearly visible from the outside. He tossed James a water bottle and drank one himself. He took a deep and tired breath. He let go of the cloth, the bleeding had stopped. James sat right by his side. The two did nothing but look into the distance for a long while. The deer looked to his friend. “You okay?” James nods. “I’ll get you home, okay? Don’t worry.” He pet James’ back and gave him a quick hug. His ears perked at the sound of a motorcycle approaching.

 

AFTERNOON

 

The black cruiser motorcycle came to halt, the sand settled behind the back wheel and a beagle hopped off. Removing his helmet, he wore biker clothes and his jaw was a bit down.

Stetson stood to greet him, his jeans and t-shirt covered in dry blood, smudged dirt and little holes, Lance had never seen a deer this huge. The canine took deep rapid breaths. His work undone. His dream of humans becoming nothing but play things, done.

From his back pocket, Stetson aimed his pistol at Lance, who slowly put his hands up. “What the hell have you done? TRASHED all our work?” Stetson approached, chilly wind began to cover the area, the only sound that could be heard other than the murmurs of safe humans and Stetson’s large footsteps as he moved closer to the beagle. “Your keys. Give them to me.”

As the talking stopped, the sound of winds became more prominent. The dog looked to his feet, then looked up at the towering anthro. James ran to Stetson, but stayed behind him. The deer cocked the gun. “My idea is to take this human home, if you’re going to be in my way I’ll hurt you, as you can tell I made a mess of your guards and one dog won’t be an issue for me. Frankly, I don’t want to. Enough bloodshed has happened. I’d like to just relax. If you please. Make a choice. Either promise me you won’t hurt anyone ever again and you’ll never see me again, and leave all this shit behind, or fight me. Quick. Make up your mind.” Lance coughed and tossed him the keys without a second thought. Death was something Lance wasn’t ready for. The buck yawned and grabbed a holster from the back of his destroyed hummer and placed the gun by his side. Lance watched in anger as Stetson straddled the bike and helped James onto the motorcycle, revved the engine once and zoomed off. Leaving carnage in his wake.

The smell of gas hit James’ nose quickly, the motorcycle was a bit loud for his taste, but he felt so comfortable with the deer that it hardly mattered. The ride is bumpy, but Stetson controlled the bike with ease. James wrapped his arms around the deer’s waist and rests his head on his back. Tiredly watching scenery pass as they made it to the main roads. Finally. He felt fully relaxed. The images of blood and gore wouldn’t ever go away, but right now-he was able to just be in the moment with his hero. Being with a badass riding a motorcycle is in the end not what he thought would ever happen, but he accepted it with glee.

With a frail human wrapped around him, Stetson smiled a tad bit. It was odd at first, but perhaps it was good. Perhaps it gave the deer a sense of fatherliness that he never thought he’d get again. Maybe he’d never get it again. With a relaxed breath, he accelerated up a few hills, the wind blowing fast, the air cold as the sun tried to make its way through the looming clouds overhead, which it did. The deer got the break he was waiting for, but James being there made his time even better than he ever could have hoped for.

 

END

 

To Fetch A Dog (Leonard #7)

Plot: Leonard gains a disturbed admirer..

November 1

The shout of the word “SURPRISE!” jolted the detective back a bit, but he quickly shrugged and smirked as his fellow officers shook his paw and gave him congratulations.

A long, white table sits in the middle of the break room, covered in dog treats and some cookies and candy for the human interns.

John Hulbert, dressed in his trademark police uniform approached Leo and hugged tightly, his happy tone made those around him light up, it seemed he was the type of husky that could brighten any day. “Leo you mutt! How did you do it?” To the detective, this was all part of his work. Catching a serial killer seemed quite routine, but  he had alluded everyone and left not much of a trail-but it was Keaton’s dedicated and heartfelt nature that kept him up the entire night when everyone else was asleep to get evidence he needed. It didn’t seem harder than his other cases, he had run into more unsavory anthros and humans in his life.

The forty year old (in human years) shrugged and loosened his black tie, matching his black suit and white dress shirt, he grabbed a cup of water and stood chatting to John. “Perhaps it was that I got more time alone, Chris has been busy with a few house sitters.” John nodded. “How is Chris? Still the same loving human I hope.” The lab let out a quick chuckle, the only way to get him to truly smile was the mention of his son. “For sure, hyper as ever. Damn, I would think with all the crap we’ve been through he’d be more leery, I’ve always been afraid he’d go back to being more scared, like he was before. Seems he’s happy though.” John placed a paw on Leonard’s shoulder. “I think he feels protected, he’s very proud of you. He knows you both make a good team.”

As soon as the husky left-a young, beautiful black panther approached the dog. Wearing a blouse and grey skinny jeans. Perhaps in her thirties, her blue eyes big and full of emotion as she looked at Leonard. Her triangular ears moved about, her voice sweet, but had a certain peppiness. “Hey Mr. Keaton. I’ve read all about you. You’re quite a legend.” She had always listened to his rough British accent from a distance, but hearing it up close made her heart flutter. He looked at her as he rubbed the back of his neck and shrugged. “I suppose, thank you. Nice to meet you.” Really, he was flattered, but he’d never been called such a thing, Chris did put his dad up a pedestal, and it seemed cute. This seemed more weird since he had never even seen this feline. “I’m Vanessa!” She shook his paw excitedly.

Vanessa took up Leonard’s time, not that he cared-she had good questions about human rights and what it was like for Chris to have an anthro father, what his disabilities were and what he did at home. Seemed she had done her homework on him and this meeting was something the intern had been waiting for.

As the crowd died down and Leo grabbed his first and final dog treat before exiting, she spoke as he looked for his car keys in his suit coat. “If you ever need anything, let me know. Papers copied, coffee made-really I’m learning the ropes and anything like that would help.” He nodded. “Thank you. Have a good evening.” He gave a toothless, but genuine smile and left.

Chris loved his new apartment, staying with Ashley, the arctic fox did not turn out so well, irritation got the best of her. The human also loved that new anthros were coming into check on him when he got home from school, as amazing as Leo was to him-these younger anthros were more willing to take him out and have fun.

Plus, his father felt that he should be around furries his own age. More positives than negatives seemed to have come out of this new change.

In the evening, when Leo got back from the office, Chris was napping on the couch wrapped in a blanket. A note was left on the kitchen table by one of Chris’ helpers, telling of the day’s activities.

November 2

The morning started off normal, as Leo came downstairs after showering and combing his fur, Chris was the first jump at him with questions. The morning had presented Keaton with a tired state of mind, but he didn’t want to offend his son by telling him to stop talking.

A few years earlier, he would have sternly stopped his son from berating him with unending hyperness and love to him as he busily got ready for work-but now the lab knew how far his own sternness would get, and knew that letting little things get to him was not worth it when most days his life was on the line. His son was happy, and that in turn made his dad was content about it. “Hey dad, when you get home-can we go out? Can we see a movie maybe?” Leo smirked, fixing his grey dress shirt and red tie and hooked his badge to the waist of his faded jeans and patted his son on his shoulder. “Depends what time I get home, go get ready for the house sitter coming over.” They both exchange a quick hug and the black lab grabs his brown leather jacket.

He shook a bit of water off of him before entering the building, the sound of the rain could still be heard as he walked through the large hallways, his brown dress shoes squeaked against the marble floor. He placed his black bag on the floor once he entered his large office which overlooked the entire city of Boston. His large desk not extremely messy, the only thing always on their was the framed photo of him and his son. He opened his laptop as he slumped in the large chair.

He suddenly heard a knock on his door, his ears, perked. “Come in.” He thought it would be John, offering him a beverage or a snack like he always did-but it was the same panther from last night.

Leo looked to her, she wore an all black outfit-brand new. Not super fancy, but not cheap considering the brand name. Her skinny tail flicked as she sat across from the dog, she places a fresh coffee in front of him, she sounded upbeat. “For you, Leo! I noticed you didn’t have a coffee with you, like usual.” He rolled his sleeves up to his elbows and leaned back. “Oh, well-thank you.” She stared at him, up and down, Vanessa stood to his side, looking over his shoulder. “How was your morning?” He typed at an email, glancing at her. “Not bad.” Clearly, he was busy. She continued to talk. “Can I get you anything else or are you good?” He looked to her one last time. “I’m alright, we can talk during break, okay?” His tone was soft, last thing he wanted to do was to offend her for just being a bit overly curious, but he knew she wouldn’t go away unless he explicitly stated her to leave. The cat felt a slight surge of anger, but she smiled and nodded. “Okay, see you then Mr. Keaton.”

Venessa had a lot to do, the boss had given her more than enough papers to copy and type, but today would be difficult. As her claws hit the keys in a quick and methodical pattern, the thought of the black lab detective invaded her brain. She sighed, continuing her work-but the image came up again and again. She typed harder, faster tried to be more concentrated. She groaned as her work was not coming out well, sighed and clenched her fist. The words had no spaces, no paragraphs. Just a jumbled mess of words that all seemed to collide into one another.

She stood up nervously. Those around her either on computers or answering 9-1-1 calls. She was one of the few not dressed in a cop uniform, but she knew that was not the life for her-but she did find officer’s quite cool.

She was startled by Mr. Hermin, the doberman and her boss approaching her cubicle. She wished she could cover it in images of hot anthros, but knew that was not work acceptable.

His pointed ears moved a bit, his brown suit looked quite good on him. “Vanessa? Everything okay?”  She nodded and placed her paws on her hips slowly. Her tone sounded distracted. “Yeah, just tired and stuff.” He nodded and he crossed his arms. “Why did you go see Leonard this morning?” She looked him in the eye, her tone more upbeat once the name of her hero was mentioned. “To get him a morning coffee, and we talked for a bit.” He smiled. “He’s a good guy. Get those papers done, my friend!”

Once he left, the panther grabbed her laptop and headed out of the office. She walked down the main hallway where all the main offices were, she took a seat on the floor, a few feet from Leo’s office, resting her back against the wall. Her mind now able to focus on her work a bit easier, knowing she could hear what was going on in his area. She enjoyed envisioning the dog working on his next case, being all heroic and strong. This is what her mind wondered to until lunch.

“So, Leonard-I just want you to know that if you ever need anything, like a sitter for your son or any help outside of work as well as here, I’m here for you.” They were the only two sitting in the break room, other officers came in and out, but Vanessa sat across from her inspiration. Leonard nodded, and while deep down he really wasn’t comfortable with someone he just met coming into his house, he shrugged, figuring nothing would come of it in the future. “Thank you.” Being kind was the best action Leonard figured he could do.

The cat wanted so badly to hold his paw, she let her fear slide by and attempted to inch her paw close to his. Once she grasped it, he gently patted it and went up to clean his dish in the sink.

She smiled, figuring maybe he was shy of her-she knew she was pretty, Leo certainly wasn’t like the other males who’d jump at an opportunity to have someone as sensual as her, her skinny body, her black silky fur, her huge blue eyes, her smell flawless and her clothing tight.

She silently stood to his side as he began to walk out of the room, hoping that maybe he could get some more emails written up. The panther stopped him nonchalantly but grasping his shoulder, this question had been burning in her brain ever since she laid eyes on the muscular canine. “There’s another lucky girl-o-or guy in your life, hm? I-I understand, and I’m sorry for being so naive.” He shook his head. “Just Chris and I.” Her ear flicked and she smiled a bit. “YOU? Single? Hard to believe, you’re such a nice guy.” The lab exited the room without a word, she walked to his side-he really hoped she wouldn’t, but knew she would anyway. It was no doubt Leonard was good at reading humans and furries, and right now it seemed this panther was desperate. Perhaps she had lost someone? Perhaps something happened that made her so clingy. Honestly, he felt no danger from her, sure maybe she was touchy, but that was a trait of the average furry as far as he was concerned. “Well Leonard, nice to see you! I’ll chat with you whenever. Just shoot me a text or call.”

He nodded-and realized he had no way to contact her, which sort of made him feel better. She would be a work furry, not an outside of work furry, with that logic it would not matter how many questions she asked. Leo felt he could handle this.

Vanessa made her way through her front door, her home quite large and elegant. Tiredly, she put her bag down and began cooking a meal for herself, she preferred home cooked meals and almost never ordered out. To keep her figure, she had a very strict diet.

As the food simmered, she decided to go online and research Leonard a bit. She found the same articles she had read before, she found what college he went to, and for the first time she decided to print some photos of him. Not that she went online to deliberately do this, but she figured why not? He wouldn’t care if he never knew. She would go out and buy some frames shortly, she did feel a ping of weirdness, but again-not like he’d ever know.

Leonard and Chris spent some time on the couch, his son flipped through a few TV channels, but spent most of his day telling his dad about school. His son placed an arm around his dad. “Dad, have you you e-ever thought of leaving the FBI?” Leo was surprised this question came out, he glanced to his son. “Not really, why? Do you not like when I’m gone?” Chris said nothing and just shrugged. “I understand your worry, but it is what I do best. I know that, and I think you know it too.” Chris nodded. “I’m probably not going to work weekends anymore though, my boss is very open minded and understands that I need to see you and hang out with you. That would help, hm?” With his thought interrupted, Loe’s cell phone went off, which meant a text came through. Hey Leonard! It’s Vanessa! How was work?

A text? From her? Leo didn’t answer right away, and Chris of course asked who it was.

No secrets anymore. Keeping his son away from his life was not fair to him, Chris knew that sometimes things in Leonard’s life got scary and he had a right to know what was up.

He’s eighteen, he’s an adult, he can know. “Well Chris, it’s a girl. A panther named Vanessa. I think she might have a crush on me.” The human smirked. “O-oh! Really? Do you like her? Is she pretty?! Can she come over?!” The dog chuckled at his son’s sudden burst of excitement, but spoke seriously and honestly. “I don’t know, Chris. She’s a bit much. Not that I think she’s dangerous, but she’s a bit too touchy and-I’m not comfortable with her coming into our lives, maybe if she became a bit more subtle. I doubt it though.”

He stood up to go get changed out of his work shirt, putting on a simple tight brown t-shirt.

Suddenly, his phone went off again, this time she was calling him. He sighed and decided to pick up, staying in his bedroom. “Hey Leo! What’s up?” He could tell this was a huge moment for her, her tone of voice said it. “Going to make some food soon for Chris, how did you get this number?” As he spoke, he looked out his window-expecting to see her there for some reason. “Asked someone at the office…I hope you don’t mind.” He did mind a bit, and now was a good time to begin to chip at the truth. “I don’t mind a text a day, but-I am rather busy at my house. I can’t be on the phone too long.” Not a lie, not even a ‘white lie.’ Keaton’s time at home meant a lot to him, and it meant even more to his son. “Oh! I’m sorry, I will see you at work then, have a good one!” She hung up right away to the dog’s surprise. He headed downstairs to make Chris a sandwich, well Chris actually would make it while his dad watched.

The panther rubbed her eyes, she hoped she wasn’t too forceful with her texting or call. After eating her homemade chicken meal, she decided to have a glass of wine and set one of the photos of Leo by her laptop.

November 3  

Leonard had meetings to attend, he wore his black suit and loose red tie complete with his cop badge on his waist, a cup of coffee sat by him. He spent his time shuffling papers. Like every morning now, the panther entered his office-freshly showered, wearing a floral sundress, this time with a container of food. “Hey you! I thought I’d cook some stuff up for your son, I had leftovers and thought you’d like them.” Okay, even Leonard had to admit, this WAS a thoughtful gesture. She stuck the delicious looking food in the fridge next to his desk. “Meetings today, Mr. Keaton?” She knew at work, she probably shouldn’t call him by his first name-even though to her, they were on a ‘best friends’ agreement.

She casually walked around his desk, picking up the framed photo of Leo and his son. “Chris looks quite happy here. Only thing missing is a beautiful wife…”

The dog glanced to her, no smile, not even a smirk. “Hey, I’ll see you at break. Okay? I have tons of papers to sort through.” He now had to put his foot down, even if it was in a calm and hopefully friendly way. She paused, her happy personality seemed to dwindle ever so slightly. She nodded. “Yeah, I understand. Totally. See you later!” With a wave, she left and headed to the bathroom.

She took a few deep breathes, speaking to herself. “It’s okay…he still likes you…it’s fine! FINE!” After the scream…she took a deep breath and whispered to herself. “No need to get upset.” She slammed her fist into the porcelain sink once, causing a nice bruise to form on her fist then briskly walked out.

The meetings went well, new interns wanted to ask Leo all types of questions, since everyone knew his name and knew the cases he’s solved, he was content with everything for the most part. Tiredly, he went to the break room to settle with some coffee and a snack. The break room had a few officers walking in and out, but for the most part was empty. He sat at the large white table, the counter with the sink and coffee maker directly behind him.


Of course, Vanessa walked in again. This time, not as invasive, being careful what wording she used. “Meetings go well?” He nodded and drank his beverage. “Went fine, thank you,” He didn’t want to seem interested, he wanted her to learn that he has limits. He knew if he started asking her questions, she’d stay forever and follow him out. She knew he wasn’t interested in her like she had hoped. Being friends was better than nothing, but her mind kept nagging for more. If she ignored it, she’d lose sleep. She’d scream. She’d regret it. She wanted to go full force. A rejection would be better than his unknown reaction.

She sat next to him, purring slightly, a sound that Leo found odd, yeah he was a dog and dogs never made that sound, but he still found it a bit off putting, especially that she started as soon as she was a few inches from him. “Leonard, I really want to help you.” The dog’s ears went down, so did his tail, speaking softly and perhaps feeling a bit jaded by this point. The meetings made him tired, which didn’t help anything. “Vanessa, I’m fine. Really, I have all the help I need.” With a sigh, he looked her in the eye. “I don’t have time to debate this every single day. Okay?” The panther put an arm around his shoulders, perhaps he needed calming. “Leo, I don’t want to debate-I just want to tell you how I truly feel.”

With a snap in his tone, he stood up and placed his hands on his hips, the yell was a quick burst and only lasted a second. “I know how you FEEL! You don’t need to keep telling me over and over. I get it.” His voice so cold and full of hate, the panther coiled back a tad bit.

Vanessa took a deep breath and began to cry ever so slightly, embarrassment washed over the dog, his sternness turned to sorriness. “O-okay Leonard…b-but you didn’t have to yell.” She cried a bit more.  He didn’t want to comfort her, he knew getting closer to her would only provoke this strange behavior. Also, he did not want to be a complete jerk, he needed to find some sort of inbetween. He slowly sat across from her. “Vanessa, please don’t cry. I need you to realize that, I can’t be with you twenty four hours a day. I think you’re reasonable enough to understand why. Okay?”

With a brisk walk, she approached the drawer full of knives and she pulled one out, Leo’s heart skipped a beat.

Time moved in slow motion, he got ready to defend himself for any attack. The dog slowed his breathing down, eyeing the cat. She raised the knife and slowly dragged it across her wrist, red fluid dripped onto the floor.

Now in full protective mode, Leo ran over and knocked the sharp object out of her paw and grasped both of her soft wrists. “STOP!” The panther hugged the dog as soon as he had yelled, rubbing her face into his chest like he was some live formation of catnip. “You left me no choice!” The detective gently grabbed her paw, changing his tone from stern to vigilant. “Vanessa, you need help. Right now.” He grabbed napkins, placed them under cold water and applied pressure to the wound. After calling in medical professionals, she was calmly whisked away, she did not put up a fight-she merely took one last glance at her lover…

 

November 8

Saturday morning proved to be stress free, for some odd reason-Venessa had stopped texting.

Driving down the road in his freshly cleaned convertible with the top down, his brain wasn’t filled with thoughts of some gruesome case. The sun shined, the afternoon breeze was cool because winter would be just around the corner. Two full cups of coffee from a local coffee shop were by the dog’s side.

He became curious when an unknown car was parked rather close to his home. He removed his black sunglasses and entered the clean living room.

He nearly dropped the beverages to the floor when a pretty black panther sat a few feet from his son, the two were chatting away on the couch. A single white bandage was around her right wrist. She turns to meet his confused gaze. “Hey Leo! I was in town and thought of stopping by! Hope you don’t mind.” This had to be the last straw, he gestured Chris over to the kitchen, not angrily, but swiftly for sure, his son of course knew something was up.

He kept his voice low as the two entered the kitchen, which was separated by a glass door. “D-dad? You okay?” The lab nodded. “Stay in here, I’ll explain later, I promise.” Chris rubbed the back of his neck, he knew not to disobey his dad. Leo swiftly grabbed Chris’ coffee and handed it to him so he could sip it calmly as he waited. He knew Leo knew what was best for him.
The muscular canine entered the living room, she looked him up and down in his tight grey v-neck shirt and green slacks. His brown eyes read a sort of dark puzzlement as she walked up to him to grasp his paw. “Nice house Leonard.” Her tone full of sweetness with a hint of seductiveness, she raised her right hand and was about to touch his muzzle. He grasped her paw before she could do so and put it to her side. “Leave, now.” His tone austere, she was surprised that after the crying fit, he still treated her this way. “L-leo. What did I do wrong?” The dog sighed deeply, scratching his flat ear. “I have to be stern about who enters my home, and from the way you’ve been acting-I frankly am uncomfortable.” Vanessa frowned, letting her tail rub his stomach, she was way too close for comfort. She sighs and heads for the door. “I’m glad your son has more respect than you, dog.” Slamming the door, Leo relaxed once he heard the sound of her car speed off. Chris slowly walked in and put an arm around his dad. “A-are you scared?” His brown eyes didn’t read fear, but concern. “On edge, but not scared.” He locked his front door and windows.

For the next half hour or so, he explained the issue to Chris over the coffee and snacks.

“I’m sorry d-dad, if I had known, I wouldn’t have let her in.” His father shrugged. “I know, you were only trying to be nice to her by letting her in. As I’ve explained, I don’t think I’m comfortable with her. No matter what she says, don’t take it as one hundred percent truth.” After a quick tuck in, Chris was asleep on the couch.

Meanwhile, Leo got into his pajamas and decided to block her phone number.

November 11

Vanessa stopped Leo in the hall with urgency, handing him a very expensive bouquet of roses. “Leo, sweetheart I’m so sorry for everything. I’m sorry for stressing you out, I’m sorry for coming over. I’m sorry. I want to remain friends. You’re a good boy!” She sounded so motherly, the dog declined the flowers, looking to her with a scrutinizing look in his eye, but said not a word as he headed to his office, glancing at the officers making copies of records and hearing the sounds of office ambience. She surprisingly did not follow him, perhaps she knew he wasn’t in good spirits or perhaps she knew the wrong she had done.

As he sat at his computer, the office door opened to reveal John Hulbert. He shut the door and crossed his arms, looking at the lab with his blue eyes. “Leonard? Can I talk to you?” He nodded and leaned back in his chair. John pulled up a chair and he stopped smiling, whatever this was-was serious if Hulbert didn’t have a puppy smile on his face. “Are you okay?” Leo was rarely asked that question at work.

Are. You. Okay? The words jingled in his brain, a truthful answer is what his best friend deserved. This was the moment to open up, he needed and help and there was no two ways about it. “Not really. I do have an issue.” He didn’t give a ‘sad puppy dog’ face, but remained stoic.

John leaned forward, his paws folded, the handcuffs on his uniform jingle a bit. “What’s up, bud?” Silence filled the room. “The new intern, Vanessa. She frankly makes me uncomfortable. After she cut herself, she ended up in my house, talking to my son. I flipped out. Typically, I can take care of things on my own, but I can’t risk my son being in danger. It’s all my fault. If I hadn’t talked to her during the party.” John stands up and gives a deep sigh. “No, she’s crazy. She would have gone after you anyway if she was so nuts about you. Your concern is beyond okay. Obviously, she’s dangerous.” Leo knew he was right after he thought about his words. She IS insane and most likely nothing would have kept her away. She would have found some excuse to be with him. Her determination and darkness filled the detective up with nervousness.

Venessa did not show during break time-however another furry walked in on Leonard. Mr. Herman, he sat himself down. “Sorry to bother you on break, Leonard. Wanted to tell you that Vanessa has been fired.”

He paused to let Leo think on that for a bit. “Leonard, I’m so sorry for all the stress she caused you. It’s never okay to feel uncomfortable in your own workspace. John Hulbert told me everything, and you can put all that nasty stuff behind you.” As calming as Leo’s boss was, somehow the black lab knew this would not be the end of her, and that now it was time to be more careful than ever.

 November 17

Strangely, she didn’t try to show up to work, the detective was able to do his normal routine of paperwork, which actually was really nice. No cases were to be solved, he was able to go home early on a few occasions and go to the mall with his son, which was his favorite activity.

Her bookstore bag full of items, she was in a good mood. The cashier did notice all of the magazines had the same black lab on them, articles written over the years by human rights organizations and police officers. Not that he was famous really, but furries knew he had made a positive dent in the community.

Her home, two floors and a basement. The feline spent hours sitting at her kitchen table with a pair of scissors, cutting out images of Leonard and listening to music. With papers scattered over the floor, she began gluing the pictures to various walls in her living room. A feeling grew inside her she had never felt, a feeling of accomplishment and perhaps a bit of erotic tension. Once an hour was up, her living room was plastered with glued images of Leonard, from magazines and a few from Facebook searches. She was away from Leo’s work, but due to her having his number-she could call him anytime. She sighed happily and went through her contacts, she scrolled threw a few names-but Leonard’s was there, but was not clickable.

Scratching her ear, she decided to dial his number, she put the phone on speaker phone, an automated voice came on. The number you are trying to reach has blocked you. Goodbye. She chuckled, figuring this was a one time occurrence, a mishap with the phone company or her service. She dialed again. The number you are trying to reach has blocked you. Goodbye. Vanessa dials again, this time pressing her paws into the phone more firm. The number you are trying to reach has blocked you. Goodbye. Her mind became more concentrated, she sat down with a slump. She sighed, dialing again. The number you are trying to reach has blocked you. Goodbye. He blocked her. He. Blocked. Her.

The panther now knew it-and she didn’t want to admit it to herself. Her soul felt crushed. Her brain swarmed with anger and deep, unflinching and undying love. She screamed at the top of her lungs and tossed her phone clear across the living room. “FUCK YOU LEONARD!”

November 18

The dog walked in from work as his son took his nap, a ritual after school. The sun shined through the windows of the house, he bid farewell to the teenage housesitter who had watched Chris for a few hours, paid her some money and placed his bag to the floor.

Loosening his tie and removing his suit jacket, he sat at the clean kitchen table after closing the glass door. Opening his email, he saw much of the same pointless advertisements  he always did.

One email did strike him, something at the very top. The subject line read: OPEN ME from VanessaWalton@gmail.com. Moving his mouse almost hesitantly over the message box, like it would reach over and bite him in the face. He needed to click it, what had the crazy furry sent him? Clicking on the message, no words were written, just a link to a video posted on some social media site. Leo dreaded seeing what it possibly could be, he clicked it with a quick and slightly uneasy sigh.

The camera faces Vanessa, dressed in a pink bathrobe, her backdrop nothing more than an expensive bathroom. She appeared to be holding her cellphone to her face and recording herself, the angle above her head, like a mini bird’s eye view, her blue eyes staring deep into the lense lovingly, but with an edge, the angle also purposefully revealed slight cleavage.

Her voice not sweet and sensitive like it was most times they met, this time their was an air of desperation. Her voice slightly echoed through the bathroom, her hand steady, her fur combed neatly, most likely especially done for filming flattering frames. “Hello Leonard. This is what everything has come too.” Leo folds his hands and leans into the computer monitor. “I didn’t want to say it, I didn’t want it to be true, but you’re ignoring me.” She coughs, her hand less steady now, a lump forms in her throat.

Her sharp claws painted a deep purple color, her teeth revealed slightly as she spoke the disheartening words, a cat’s teeth were quite sharp and thin. “I know in your mind I’ve done wrong things, maybe I’ve said some stuff that rubbed you the wrong way and I am deeply sorry. Cats and dogs, always complex.” She softly chuckled, her voice pounded in Leonard’s brain, not because she was loud or her voice was annoying-but because he hated her heart so much that hearing her speak sent crazy and dark images to his mind.

“You don’t know what it’s like, detective Keaton. At night, I envision you…NO I envision us. Your muscular arms wrapped around me, protecting me from the uncertainty of the night and of my own bad memories. Your deep brown eyes, staring at my body-both of us at ease. Your head smooth and fluffy as I rub my claws through your perfect body.”

She smirks, her tone going up in happiness, Leonard’s heart feels nothing but dark and empty. “We speak to each other about our days, about our jobs, about our son-Chris. We’re so proud of him and how he’s able to overcome his special needs. You, no longer saddened by the cases that drill your mind, me no longer an uncertain feline with no man to come to for warmth. Chris, happy that he has not only a loving father, but an amazing mother to nurture him and tuck him in at night.” He growled a bit, getting extremely irritated by what he was enduring, it was like a boxing match. Does he face the terror head on and get a bit damaged, or does he tap out and let it all end like a failure? “Leonard Keaton I love you. Do you understand? I think you do-and I think this perfect life can happen. We have to erase the past, go beyond our friendship. Every night..this image of a perfect life hurts my brain, it hurts my heart, it hurts my soul. Losing sleep over the imagination is frequent-but our life doesn’t have to BE imaginary Leo.” The video cuts to black. He hopes it’s over. He hopes this feline has the decency to cut him off from the madness. Once the video cuts back, it is of Vanessa’s living room, no longer facing her visage, but a wall. A wall of cut out images of Leonard himself, plastered with glue and scotch tape, her voice heard clear as crystal as she shows him each individual image. The lab shivered in horror. “Call me crazy sweetheart, but I think this is nice. I think when we’re together, I will keep this all here. Here’s you in a tie, in a t-shirt, shirtless on the beach. Sometimes, I’ll even put myself in these pictures and imagine what it would be like to be in your presence. It is euphoric.”

The camera flips back to the bathroom and to her face which now looked much more grim. “Leo, I don’t mean to be firm o-or drive you away, but you are driving me crazy. You really are.” A tear escapes her eye, a frown begins to form, the camera shakes a tad bit. “I want this so badly, and I’m sending you this-because it’s from the heart, it’s from my spirit. Those times a-at the office when you grasped by paw, I n-never forgot that feeling. How I long for it again, your brown eyes, your puppy dog face. I want it. For me. I want you to know the life you c-could have. If you don’t respond within three days of this-then you’re a monster.”

Her voice goes a bit deep, her blue eyes no longer full of wonderment and happiness, but of slight anger. “I know you’ll respond, but just know that if you deny to even write-then you’re heartless. Look at me Leonard…look at the loneliness, LOOK into my eyes. You’re the only one f-for me, a-and you know it, you son of a bitch!”

Her soul was cracking, revealing the true underbelly, she hisses a tiny bit. “I love you, but I can be your worst enemy if you dare cross or ignore me! M-maybe I’ll even take Chris…i-if I don’t feel you’re fucking respectful enough. Everyone knows you can’t be a single parent with a-a human, Leonard. You NEED me…I hope you’re watching and listening. You love me, you need me for yourself AND for your son. Got it? Don’t be an asshole, write me.”

With that, the screen goes black.

Leonard removes his headphones and stands ever so slowly to prepare a meal for his son, he knows Chris is up from the sound of his ipad in the living room. His paws shake a bit as, his breathing is a bit heavy. Was he having a panic attack? Maybe a small one. Taking care of Chris was not really an issue, but trying to get work done was a bit tougher. He jotted a few words for his report he had been working on for a few days, but the feeling of being watched waved over him like a dark cloud refusing to dissipate.

November 19- Morning

Today, the energetic husky had a day off.

He started off his morning by showering and singing, throwing on a yellow t-shirt and light blue sweatpants and grabbing his suitcase.

He was going to a family get together, and he couldn’t be more happy than to see his mom, dad, cousins, brothers and sisters. He checked the upstairs, flicking off all the nights and humming to himself, the sun shining and the weather a bit cold. He sent a few last texts to his grandfather, who was scheduled to meet him at the train station soon.

All the lights were off, stove turned off, window blinds shut, he smiled and hoisted his suitcase towards the front door, opening it quickly with a wag from his bushy tail.

His heart went to his throat, he barked ever so slightly in fear and he dropped the suitcase with a bang, the panther he had seen at work,Vanessa was standing in the door frame. Smelling of sultry perfume, wearing a skimpy blue dinner dress, matching her energetic, but slightly chaotic blue eyes. She smirked as she saw the rightfully shocked officer’s facial expression. “Mr. Hulbert! I’m so sorry! I wanted to ask you a question, you busy?” Returning to his normal demeanor, but feeling a tad bit of fear as he knew the mental breakdown she had and the ‘obsession’ with a certain black lab detective. He rubbed the back of his neck and lifted his suitcase again with a chuckle that read surprise, but a warm heart. “Venessa! Jeez, been awhile since I’ve seen you. Staying healthy and happy I hope?” She nodded, her body read ‘I’m fine’ but her heart screamed in pain, pain of wanting love and affection from only one anthro. She spoke again. “Thank you, Mr. Hulbert-I’ve been better actually. I wanted to know if I could use your phone? See, I think Leonard blocked me by accident and I know about his depression and his son, I want to make sure he’s okay.” The husky sighed, his ears drooped ever so slightly. “I’d love to help, but I really need to go. I’m late for a family get together.” She interrupted him, stepping up into the house, her movements slow and sensual, he was a bit worried she might be coming onto him now. The dog watched the panther’s kinks, her sexual walk, her velvet smooth voice, the clicking of her highheels prominent as she made her way into his house. She smirked. “I’ll only be a moment, I promise dear.” He had no choice, he was not like Leo who would have scolded her a long time ago, this all happened so quickly.

John gave a nod and a half of a smirk, his nerves not shown at all. Being an officer, he knew he needed to stay in control of himself and watch her.

He was not quick enough for her, as he attempted to back away and let her into the living room, he felt an intense pinch go through his stomach. With a whimper, he tried to lunge to the cat to defend himself, but the dog found himself feeling quite drowsy within a moment or two and fell to the hardwood floor. This medicine did not knock him out totally, it was more of an anesthesia, making his brain and body go limp. His surroundings slowly disappeared as the medicine kicked in and soon all he could see were vague shapes, her voice echoed, the sound of the living room door slamming was a bit painful to his now fragile brain, he barely had enough strength, but he managed to turn himself on his back, facing upwards towards the villain who had tricked him.

She must have had a hidden hammer, because she suddenly held one, silver color, one that could be bought at any hardware store. Her eyes narrowed in anger, her dark heart coming out in full.

Vindictive and evil was all that went through John’s brain, and he could not defend himself from whatever would happen. “John, I know you can hear me. That medication will tire you, but you should be quite aware of what I’m saying. Nod if you understand.” He groggily did so, his voice sounded hoarse. “Y-yes. S-stop, now. Please.” She lifted the hammer, he didn’t have the strength to stand let alone try and fight back. “Tell me where Leonard is. I can’t get a hold of him and his boss won’t let me into the office. Where can I find my true love?” The husky sighed deeply, his fur stood up on end. “I-I don’t know.” With a whack from the hammer, John knew she had aimed and hit his arm, and judging from the snap it was broken. He barked loudly, a tear formed in his eye. She walked around his writhing body. “John, I can make this very hard for you, where is LEONARD?”

Mr. Hermin had not given Leo much to do, but he needed to fill out some papers for a case, Leo sat in his usual spot-his large office, leather jacket slung over his big leather chair, in a flannel shirt and jeans with dress shoes, he felt today would be quick and easy and he’d get home just in time for Chris’ school bus in the afternoon.

As he reviewed a case file for a colleague, his cellphone went off, which he usually turned off during work. Without really thinking, he picked it up, strangely no one said ‘hello’, all he could hear was two voices. One of a drugged up husky named John Hulbert and the bitchy voice of Vanessa yelling. “WHERE IS LEONARD?” He could hear she was breaking various objects, Leo leapt from his chair and briskly walked to Mr. Hermin’s office, he felt dizzy, but his brain was on a one track destination. “Hermin, we need to send officers to John Hulbert’s house-NOW. He’s in trouble.”

The doberman nodded, Leonard was never one to sound urgent, nor was he one to call for backup, but this time was different. A few officers of varying species came out in blue uniforms, heading for their police cruisers.

John could not focus on her yelling, the damage from the broken arm was worsening, the medication was wearing off, the dog looked pale, his eyes tired, he could not speak. He was in shock. He tried not to move his arm, the cat stood over him, various objects broken in and around the living room, her dress partly torn.

She gave a gentle kick to his busted arm, he barked loudly. “John-we can sit here all day, tell me where he is! I don’t think you understand how important this is.” The dog took many deep breaths. “I-I can’t tell you…bitch.”

Like angels from heaven, he heard the sounds of police sirens, officers had the entire home surrounded. Leonard was the first to get out of his vehicle, gun drawn and ready to enter the home. He knocked on the door. “Venessa, open up. This is the police. You hurt John and I will make sure you never hurt anyone again. Understand?”

The panther’s thoughts turned from extreme anger, to extreme love in a blink of an eye. She smiled. HIS voice was calling her, HIS muscular body was right outside the living room, ready to be cuddled. “LEONARD! Sweetheart, you don’t need to be mad.”

She ran to the door, bloody hammer still in hand, she dared not open the door-as much as her soul told her to do so. Unfriendly officers were outfront, she wouldn’t risk getting herself or her lover hurt. “John is nothing but a terrible dog! Getting in our way!” Leo knew she’d pull this, he kept his voice calm and collected. “Please, open the door and we’ll get you straightened out. Okay?” A long pause, if she truly loved him-she would listen to him. She wouldn’t want to make things worse with him. With a sigh, she dropped the hammer. In death, she knew she’d never see Leonard, but perhaps in prison, she would see him? It was a possibility. With his gun drawn, he backed away as the living room door creaked open and a frazzled black panther stood. She gazed at the muscular lab, it was almost sad. Really, it wasn’t though-because he ignored her depressed and desperate look to go after his friend who was on the ground and clutching his right arm, as he leaves she nearly wanted to reach out and touch the dog one last time-but felt it would probably get her shot.

He kneels by the husky, holding his left hand and speaking to him-he had never spoken in this tone to him directly, but knew he had it in him when comforting Chris. “John, look at me-you’re okay. Breathe. It’s over.” John did not speak, really all he wanted was for the pain to go.

A german shepherd grasped Vanessa’s shoulder, cuffing her swiftly, she was extremely distracted by the black lab and felt a bit of jealousy course through her veins as he looked at how calm and sweet he was being to John-but held it in. She had proved her point, and maybe one day he’d come to his senses and ‘date’ her if she got off on parole.

This was the hope that filled her. This was what made her climb in the back seat of the cruiser. Seeing Leonard again, was all worth it.

All she thought about was that moment the two made eye contact, nothing before or after. It was the closest she may get to him in a long time.

November 19- Evening

Chris sat across from John’s bed, who was now dressed in a hospital gown. He was responsive and chatting a bit to the young human, an IV was placed in his wrist to get the drugs out from the attack, his arm was a large and comfortable sling. His family would be their to visit the next day, Chris insisted on staying with John the entire night. The beeping from the machines didn’t bother him, nor did the nurses coming in and out-he knew he made John feel good and that’s what was important. John had a bit of trouble sleeping, but the sounds of the hospital ambience and the doctors soon brought his mind to a calm state and he was able to rest.

Leonard entered the bar close by to his home, Chris fast asleep and John in a surprisingly healthy condition. He sits down at a table, waiting to be served. He needed to be alone, the excitement from the day had completely wiped him out. As he looked at the menu, deciding on his beverage of choice, a female voice spoke to him-someone he knew. Wearing all black, thin, golden fur and a smile that would light up any room. Her tail wagged in excitement, she had not changed a bit. “What can I get you, Leonard Keaton?” He could not believe his eyes, he stood up slowly, his brain connecting dots. “Sandy?” She wrapped her arms around him. “How are you? It’s been too long!” Leo nodded. “Sure has.” She held his paw and continued to speak, it was like time did not catch up with her. She was in her twenties when they first met, and she didn’t look a day over thirty. Sandy must have kept good care of herself. “Can we catch up sometime? I could meet your adorable son?”

Normally, he wouldn’t want anything to do with any female who was interested in him-and it was no secret to him that in college he was her crush. With an open mind and an open heart, he nodded. “Yes. I’d like that very much, it’s so good to see you.” Once he ordered his drink-he sat…feeling not content about Sandy, but happy. As happy has he was when they were first together. That was her. She made anthros and humans happy. Perhaps she would be the change he needed. Maybe this meeting would be the chance of a lifetime to get out of the dark hole known as depression and welcome new opportunities.

End

   

Impact (Short Story)

IMPACT- By: Aaron B.

PLOT: A Police Dog’s life is forever altered by a gruesome and unpreventable accident.

Note: The following was written as an assigned project for my Driver’s Ed class. 

He was down, I knew it. Right as my jaw clamped around his wrist-my partner stood behind me, pistol raised and getting ready to get his handcuffs and get yet another baddie in the city of Boston, I knew the name of the city because I had heard it so many times on Mike’s radio.

The room we’re in is quite musty, smells awful – a one floor apartment. The lighting not very good, floors made of hardwood. The living room has one TV in the corner and one ripped up leather couch. Underneath the floorboards is where I smell the worse smell of all; drugs. Meth, coke, anything you can conjure up and perhaps more. As I leave the dank apartment with my buddy, my four legs start to ache. A lot of running, sniffing and jumping was doing a number on me. Mike made everything better, with a simple rub between the ears or a treat once we got into our cruiser. I know after catching this drug seller, we’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight once everything is called in and we’re home.

My friend and fellow officer, in his 30’s. He loves animals. He is divorced, but hey that doesn’t matter, I’d like to think he’s much happier with me anyway. We live together in a two story home, no kids, only trusted friends and other officers come to hang and have a BBQ or spend the day relaxing if the job allows it. Could I live an easier life as a dog? Sure. I’ve seen dogs at home with no job, but resting all day and thumping my tail uselessly on the floor just is not my thing. Running, getting dirty, catching those who probably deserve it is my thing. I like to feel needed and maybe others of Mike’s species seem to think I’m doing a good job. All the schools we go to, I can tell Mike speaks nicely. Can I understand all he says? Nah, but tone is everything with me.  Tone and whether you’ll give me food or not can determine how good of friends we’ll be.

The ride home is quiet, sitting in the passenger side.  The bad guy thrown in a locked cell at the station.  A content feeling washes over the two of us. Since the evening is cool, he lets me stick my head out the window.  It feels freeing and I like the feeling of surveying my entire city. If other dogs are walking, I do get stares, from smaller canines especially. Always like they’ve done something wrong, when probably all they did was urinate in their neighbors’ yard and are internally saying ‘hope that’s not illegal, hope that’s not illegal!’. Mike and I aren’t after them, so they’re pretty safe.

As we enter our house, my black police vest is slipped off, Mike gives me some supper as he sits to watch TV. He lets me outside back, with a nice long chain – I hate the chain and the rubbing on my neck, but it’s better than being cooped up.

I lie on my stomach, looking at how much of the porch light illuminates the ground beneath me, fooling with my paws, smelling them, sniffing the deck and listening to the sounds of cars going by in the far distance. Very fun stuff. Try it next time you’re at home with nothing to do. My triangular ears perk however, when I hear the sound of someone I know. I sit on my haunches, my tail thumps a bit back and forth, two eyes look at me and the pitter patter of paws approach a few feet from me. A white dog, about 18 pounds with V-shaped ears, narrowing to the eyes and slightly flat between the ears. A defined but not over pronounced stop at the end of the muzzle where it meets the head and a black nose.

Her name is Chloe, a smooth coated Jack Russell Terrier. Her tone sweet and very hyper. “Hey Caine! You smell nice!” I know. You might think that’s weird, but smell is what everything is about with us. She looks at me with such positivity, such light in her almond eyes. She nuzzled my brown and black coat, being that I’m a German Shepherd, I am quite larger than her. I give her a smirk. “I’m good! Tired, but good.” I don’t know what it is she likes about me. That I’m a cop? My deep voice? The muscles? All of the above? She speaks again, this time taking a seat next to me, ears cocking, exchanging glances. “Catch any bad guys?” I shrug. “Some guy on drugs; nothing huge I suppose. City is full of dopes and fiends, ready to sell or do things that they know they shouldn’t.” Chloe maybe only got half of that. “Caine? How do you know so much about humans? I love my companion. He feeds me, houses me, pats me, rubs my belly, but you say things that I just don’t get.” I think a bit. “With my line of work, you meet so many of them, maybe my mind is trained to examine them.”

The pup lied on her back now, among the grass, scratching bugs maybe. “You’re special, Caine. Unlike any other of our species I’ve ever met.” I think I blushed. “Thank you, just a regular dog doing what he likes.”

As the morning rolled around, I waited for Mike to get dressed and head back for a hopefully non-threatening day. I said a brief goodbye to my neighbor Chloe before getting into the cruiser. So many other cars on the road, I wonder how he keeps track of everything. I don’t even pretend to know what he’s doing that actually gets us from point A to point B.

Looking out the window and smelling all the restaurants we pass or the occasional coffee shop we stop at is quite enough to keep me occupied. I like to hear the faint sound of the police radio on the ‘dashboard’ I think Mike calls it. The back seat of course is caged, so I’m usually not back there. It’s not for dogs or law abiding citizens, that’s for sure.  I like to look at others walking there dogs. Funny how oblivious most of my kind is to violence. Well, I hope they’re oblivious. As I stare out the passenger side window, sitting straight up and hopefully giving a good impression, I do remember a few details. Not that we have great memories, but when I see a certain species I’ve worked with on a case, it tends to stick and I’m reminded of things. One of my first cases with him was when I saw what a great heart he had.

We had been driving for a long while, we had gotten a call of a disturbance near a warehouse, and it was pitch dark. Mike ordered me to silently stand to his side as we walked the sidewalk and approached the dirty, dingy building. It was our second year working together, we’re now on our eighth.

I smell hotdogs. Sorry, as I say, we pass a lot of food places and Mike was just getting himself a coffee. Ahhh…I’d bark for one of those beefy beauties!

Anyway, we approached this building I was a bit tenser and more growly than usual. I had no idea what to expect. My priority is him and those around me. I knew that, and whatever was going on here was dangerous. My gut told me so.  Mike told me to pipe down. I was about to bark and didn’t even know it. I needed to shut it. That bark could have ruined everything if a perp happened to be hiding and ran for it.

The large metal door creaks, we hear the sounds of crying. Crying puppies. The inside of this warehouse, covered in large wooden boxes, dust covers the floor. The only light that bounces off the area is the flashlight my buddy held. My paws click against the wooden surface, sniffing each and every crate, staying a few feet in front of Mike. As we walked the place, I started to smell blood on the floor. I could see it, but vision is not a dog’s specialty usually. No, I don’t see in black and white – a common human error. As soon as my human friend saw the drips of blood, back up was called in.

Well, we walked to the end of the building and I ran over to the sound of whining. Turns out, it was a litter of puppies. Some jerk had left a bunch of pups in the warehouse, unfed, malnourished. Why? Did he or she not want them? What would the reason be? I remember that image and it sent my heart to the pit of my stomach. Who was the human who left them there? They were obviously hurt by someone, judging by the bruises I inspected on them.

Those pups were so happy to see a cop dog, hopping on me the moment they knew it was safe and acting all excited. THAT was a moment that said to me, stay on the force because there’s true evil in the world. If I can stop one less crime that makes the world a better place. Mike still calls the owners who decided to adopt those cute pups to this day. That’s why I said he truly cares. Always keeping up with those who have been victimized…

BANG. Damnit! My eyes snap open, back to reality. A terrifying reality. Our cruiser was spinning uncontrollably. I didn’t see anything. I was busy in my own world, sort of falling in and out of sleep, reminiscing on the puppy case.

I notice the driver’s side door, busted, glass everywhere. I let out a few barks. I hear Mike scream. I had never heard a grown man scream so loud in my life. The cruiser tumbled to one side, with an equally loud smash. I whimper as I slam onto my friend’s body…I take deep breaths. My vision is a bit off. My head hurts immensely. Where are my bearings? Nowhere, whatever happened it was quick and vicious.

The driver’s side pinned down to the pavement, leaving the passenger door sticking straight up into the air. The sound of the car horn, going off and on. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. I don’t cry, even though out of pure terror I feel like I could give in. This is no time for panicking. I don’t think my friend is alive. I try to stand up to remove myself from the vehicle that would definitely never move again. Okay, well I know nothing about the cars that humans drive, but I KNEW I would never see that cruiser again. A sharp pain suddenly hits my back leg. I feel warm liquid pool down, I take one look and my left leg has a shard of glass sticking out from it from the shattered back window. Jammed in among the fur and right into my pink skin. Another deep breath, the sound of the horn is becoming deafening. I nuzzle Mike’s face, not standing, but still lying on my side. His body contorted in a way I knew human bodies weren’t supposed to look. Mangled is how I’d describe it. Brown coffee is all over the vehicle, the radio no longer works and just sends out static. My ears twitch as I hear from outside the sound of another blood curdling scream. As I remove myself from the vehicle, it is a slow and painful process hobbling on only three legs. I cussed more times than I ever had.

As I roll onto the pavement, I’m able to look at the destroyed cruiser. Steam rises from the engine, the car’s metal bent, broken, glass covered the asphalt. I hear the scream again, smelling a human and dog I never had before. I turn, looking directly in back of me, hoping that what was there was not this horrible.

Another car is flipped completely over. The underside of the vehicle is what I can see, it’s what’s sticking up in the air. The top of the car is smashed into the cement, the girl and the dog upside down. A blue four door car, the driver is a teenage girl. Beside her in the passenger side is a beagle. I limp as quickly as I can, my left hind leg bleeding and stinging more and more, luckily the car and police cruiser were extremely close together.

I heard her screaming, to a dog that sound is just about the worst as far as noise level. As my snout meets her teary eyed and bloody face, I see she is panicking. Her eyes big, her skin pale and covered in red liquid. The dog beside her was not moving. I didn’t dare look to see what he looked like, but blood was spitting out like a geyser from the poor dog’s mouth and I think his jaw had nearly split in two. The sun was just at an angle that I just saw the shadow. I needed to see no more. I didn’t stop to think why this had happened. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people or good animals. I now see a bleeding teenager in front of me.  I need to get her out.

I bend down low to the open window of the driver’s side. Sticking my rear end up in the air and using my front paws to balance myself like I’m about to stretch the way dogs do, my jaws wrap around the sleeve of her sweatshirt and I pull, thanking whatever dog or human God might be out there that the window was open. I don’t think I could have gotten it open. I pull more, she screams more. I wish I could calm her and talk to her. Her legs exit the car and I keep her lying down on the side of the highway. I laid down fully next to her, keeping my front paw on her stomach and licking her hand gently, she grasps onto my K9 vest like it’s a life-line. I think it was her life line. She looked up at my large face and black wet nose, breathing heavily, but not screaming as much. I wait there with her until an ambulance picks her up. I cock my head left and right, seeing Mike’s car and seeing this girl’s car. Bits of blood, flesh and bone sat between the two vehicles. I take a last deep breath, making my heart rate slow. Most of the bodily debris was from Mike. I could smell him. I knew I would never see him again.

The light is blinding, lying on my side. My eyes feel like they’re glued shut. I feel nothing but a bit of pressure on my left leg. I hear the sound of a rhythmic beeping, something hooked to my chest. I feel…sleepy again.

2 DAYS LATER

A group of amazing humans had fixed me up. Sure, I spent a lot of time at the vet with my leg bandaged, but I was certainly given lots of treats – who am I to complain? The room I was in was quite calming actually. I wasn’t among the barky dogs who sat in the waiting rooms, I had my own bed. The walls white, warm lights streaming down on me. A male and female vet injecting me with feel-good meds. The smells, so weird. From stale and musty smells, to smells of other breeds of dogs in the room across from me, I really don’t know what to focus on. I felt sick most of the time, threw-up even. Did I know everything would be okay? No. That’s the thing with us, one owner dies and we’re in your hands. No way I can speak up and get a nice owner or one that will at least respect me.

For the first time in a while, I felt scared. Once out of the vet, all bets are off. I could get one of those abusers, I could get someone who has me for a day and the moment I make a mistake they send me to the station or wherever cop dogs go when they are not working for someone. Well, I got lucky.

I wasn’t with another cop at least until my leg heals up. I dip my head into a bowl of food, getting used to the new house is a bit much. Resting off my leg and not being able to run around and exercise leaves me bored. As the lights of the living room get turned off, I lie on the very nice brown couch as a Jack Russell Terrier hops at my feet. Chloe takes a deep breath, staring into the darkness of the house with me. She speaks softly. “Caine? I’m so sorry about Mike. I don’t understand what ‘death’ really means, but I know it does mean never seeing someone again.” Crap, I was so tired. Not of her, but I still feel like the crash or accident or whatever it’s called happened hours ago. I sadly play with a tennis ball between my paws, rolling it gently. “I don’t know if I want to be a cop anymore. In one second, my life changed. I thought Mike would be my buddy until the end.  The end meaning me and him getting too old to work and watching TV all night. I didn’t wake up and jump on his bed to play with him the day it happened, I didn’t lick his face extra that day. I didn’t play ball with him. My last memory was of him getting coffee and my eyes half shut.” Chloe nuzzled my paw. “But you’ve saved that girl. She now has her loving family to go back to because of you. She’s going to live a long and happy life because of one cop dog who cared.”

I nod, I can’t disagree with her on that. I could tell Chloe was not used to me being so down and my tone so uninspired, perhaps now getting rude. “I don’t think you get how empty it is. Losing someone, so quickly. You’ve known them for years, worked with them, gained there trust. How can it all be over in one second?” Chloe rests her head on the arm rest of the couch, we’re both crowded on the couch. I cough gently. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be…so abrasive.” The white and brown dog nodded. “I hope we can give you a good new life and that maybe you can get back on the force if you want to. Or, you can just hang out with me here.” I rest my head as well, rain begins to fall from the sky. The sound of the droplets hitting the roof become a bit calming. Thunder booms slightly, but I don’t flinch. “I’ll never forget the sound of screaming. The sound of the horn blaring. The sound of the metal crashing. I still hear it.” Chloe looked to me, I could feel her bodyweight shift. She said nothing for quite a long time and fell asleep. I heard her gentle snoring, I spent the night looking into the darkness. Waiting to hear another bang that I hope wouldn’t happen. I kept my ears open for Chloe and her owner. I bat the tennis ball a little harder, hoping that it’ll cure my anxiety like it always had. Chewing on it gently, trying to lose myself in the thoughts of being an average dog. In the moment.

The rain fell harder. My ears perk as I hear vehicles driving, miles and miles away, splashing through puddles, some listening to music, nothing sounded out of the ordinary. I stopped playing with the ball…turning my attention to the living room window, listening closer to those distant sounds impossible for human ears to pick up. Not moving, but listening. Every time a car drove by I felt a small shudder. Lightning flashes a bit, the thunder gets closer. The rain now a downpour. I look at the droplets on the window, the blue flash of lightning illuminates the living room for a brief moment in time.

I heard the tone of cars in the distance. They scare me. What should be a fun activity for me – I should associate cars with parks and hanging with my buddies and shedding fur on the back seat – now was met with caution and trepidation. Whether I envisioned Mike, mangled and pinned to his driver’s side door, the lifeless beagle or that screaming teenager. The most terrifying thought hit me. The thought that might keep me off the police force. I think whatever happened to Mike could happen to anyone.

END

Unicorn’s Quest: Horned Conquorer

parental-advisory

URIcjRv7

Unicorn’s Quest:
Horned Conqueror

Aaron B.

“It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward…”
-Rocky Balboa

Scene 1: The Town of Windhelm

Once upon a time, in the town of Windhelm-puddles of blood and orange and red colored leaves covered the area.
Bodies were hacked and slashed-everything was in ruins.
Some of the more ‘tough guys’, around were still alive-and had faked death, and right after the attackers left-they stood and looked all around.
Not only were about half the town’s people dead-the homes had been burned…ash also covered the autumn leaves on the ground.

This town once thrived with life, sure the houses were a bit too small and the work was often strenuous-but everyone seemed to like each other.
Why was this attack brought on? Was this revenge for someone or something? Was it random? Who ordered the attack?

The ones who lived did ponder these questions, they couldn’t help it.
However-they felt now was the time to mourn the death of friends, both the soldiers and the common folk-the mill workers, the sword makers, the farmers-the ones who kept the town as alive as it was.
For now, everything they had done seemed in vain-due to this unforeseen and brutal attack…

Scene 2: Ira the Unicorn is summoned….

Windhelm was slowly and surely being rebuilt.
The weather was cool; a cold breeze blew through the air.
The sky is a light blue color, not a single cloud is in the sky. The sun shines down, but does not offer much warmth from the fall climate, you could tell winter was approaching.
All the trees had colorful leaves, which fell every once and a while and revealed large branches-some tress in fact had lost all there leaves-giving the land an even bleaker look.

The ground was covered in dirt and dried up grass; the entire area smelt of ash-evidence of the attack was getting smaller, but if you were to look at the faces of everyone building the new structures-you could easily tell that they were heavy hearted.
Some of the people just built without much thought, some seemed to just replay the events over and over again-not forgetting the blood curdling screams and the sound of flesh being sliced and skulls being bashed with mallets.

New comers had seen the devastation and offered to help, men, woman and other creatures.

The one positive to all of this, is that some of these people and mythological beings would now live here, and would offer even more assistance in everyday life.

Among these creatures, was a unicorn-she has all the physical attributes of a horse-one could say that if it wasn’t for her horn-she could with no problem, pull off the look of an average horse-the four legs, the long snout, the sort of stringy tail Being a unicorn though, she of course also had the slightly slanted horn protruding from her forehead, its sort of slanted-like a ‘backslash’.

Her eyes black and shiny-but also filled with emotion, these weren’t soulless eyes, look into them and you can see two things.
One, your own reflection and two-depending on her mood or reaction to something, the tops of her eyebrows would go up and down.

She has a white body, almost the color of fresh snow.
Her mane and tail, contrasted this nicely, both of which were black-like a shiny, black stone.

While most equines in this town were an average height and weight-this newcomer looked quite different.
She was robust-she could easily pass for a bodybuilder-look at her for a bit, especially from the side and it would be apparent that she knew how to take care of herself, her body and legs could be best described as brawny.
She wore a brown, leather blanket which covered her back and went up to the beginning of her neck. Attached to this blanket, a pocket where she kept gold coins to buy various things-she is not poor, her father, Mortous worked for the Equine Guard before dying..so money was no issue.

She trotted around the ruined town, watching people attempt to put everything back in its place-about half of the wooden homes were built.
No one seemed to approach her and offer her to help, which is sort of what she was hoping. She continued to trot around, listening to people have various, but soft conversations-she watched as the new outsiders entered there homes, she also watched as the people who had lived here a long time, try to replicate there old homes exactly-but without much success.

The equine creature walked along and turned a corner, there stood more houses, on two sides of a long path. This would have been considered the entrance to the town square, but instead-all that was left at the end of this path was the local bar, simply called “The Bar”-which a lot of humans and creatures seemed to gather at to try and drink away there problems.
She walked straight for the path and was going to get a drink, however-she heard the sound of a female calling her name, almost a whisper-but a tad bit louder.
“Ira? IRA? Is that you?”

The unicorn’s ears twitched a tiny bit and she cocked her head to the left, and saw who was calling her. Ira then approached this creature-she is about six feet in height. Dressed in a brown, casual skirt-her skin a dark green color, filled with scales.
Her snout protruded to reveal two, squiggly lines, which were her nostrils. Her tiny eyes a yellow color-she was a lizard. No doubt about it. The lizard looked at Ira-she sort of admired her face, and always liked the way horses looked.
The sort of cute, velvet nose-two small, rounded holes represented her nostrils.
“Ira, it’s a pleasure to meet you-I need you, quickly.”
The unicorn casually steps into her one-floored cabin.

To the left, a fire place which kept the home a really nice temperature-and a small table a few feet away from it, a cup and a dirty plate sat on top of it.

To the right, a large bed, behind the bed is a giant bookshelf-filled with potion books and recipes.
Above the bookshelf, an open window and lastly, sleeping in the bed-a pale looking human.

The lizard sits at the table; the unicorn sort of awkwardly looks around at everything in the cabin, she clears her throat and seems to be in deep thought.
The lizard has a normal sounding voice, she speaks very softly-but that could be due to the human being ill.
“Ira, my name is Sigourney.”
She then points to the bed for a brief moment.
“This is Noah, I’ve heard about you-you live in that enchanted forest. You’ve helped others before…you’re quite a hero; you also have a good repertoire with humans?”
The unicorn nods casually.
“Oh yeah, they’re neat!”
Sigourney is at first taken a back of what Ira sounds like.

First off, most unicorns speak in a very precise and very sophisticated manner-Ira tends to use a lot of abbreviations and will even use profanity-something that most unicorns really stay away from, unlike Ira-unicorn’s movements are very methodical…Ira tends to pace a bit more and she always seems full of energy-like she had one to many coffees in the morning.

Even her tone is a bit more ‘up beat’ than all the other unicorns Sigourney has ever run into. She doesn’t have a soothing voice like other unicorns-she’s kind of excited and seems almost hyper.
Ira’s voice also has a bit of a rasp to it, but it is quite slight-however, none of this really mattered to the lizard, she just found it to be very interesting-but she did like Ira’s attitude all ready, so many humans and creatures are quite gloomy-but Ira just has a very contagious personality-like you want to listen to her stories and want to ask her questions.

Normally, Ira would even be a bit more chatty and tell some funny story about her travels or when she confronted some unicorn hunter, but Noah did seem really sick and she didn’t want to give him a headache.
“So, this human you’re looking after-he seems sick…”
Sigourney nods and sighs deeply.
“Very much so, I found him amongst some rubble after the great attack on our town, and I wanted to do the right thing and take him in. He told me his parents were killed by…the leader of the attack. Whoever that guy is, but this young man is also quite ill physically. There isn’t a lot of food and water around now, I’ve been giving him scotch from the local bar-but he really needs clean water and food, humans thrive on it. I haven’t been able to go out; I don’t dare leave Noah for a long while. Everyone else is busy repairing the town…”
The lizard rubs the back of her neck, Ira watches her intently.
“Normally, as you can tell by my extensive book collection, I am quite good with potions. However, the villains who raided the town also took a good amount of my potion…”
Ira clears her throat.
“Unicorn blood has a lot of healing properties. I would be willing to give this human some…its worked before….”
Sigourney shakes her head.
“Ira, I thank you-I really do…but it won’t help as far as getting him hydrated and fed. See, this specific potion acts as a….’substitute’ for food and water when it is scarce. I’ve researched unicorn blood-sure, it heals wounds…but not this kind of illness…I’m asking you, could you-get the potion…I mean, if you can even find it…”
The unicorn’s heart leaps a tiny bit, not in fear-but in surprise.
She really wanted to know what happened to this town, and make sure other towns have not suffered a similar fate as this one.
Ira figured that she could indeed get the potion back, she’s used to high adventure-nothing new, Ira puts on a slight ‘heroic’ tone.
“I want to catch the bastard who ordered the attack-if he did something like this to one town, why not another? This could be problem-it would be better for everyone if I go off and find out who this guy is. I can get you the potions….the exact ones you need…he or she or it has them, and once I catch the perpetrator-then I can give you the potions. If he’s close by, I could theoretically come back…in about four days.”

The lizard puts her hand on the equine’s neck lightly.
“Ira, I couldn’t ask you to go off…and fight and risk your life…”
The white unicorn puts her head down for a split second, and then looks into Sigourney’s eyes.
“It’s what I do, again-if something like this were to happen again, more lives would be lost.”

The lizard hoisted a near by brown bag with a single strap dangling from it onto the unicorn’s neck, filled with left over potions that could help her get through a situation.

Suddenly, in a sickly sounding whisper, Noah calls Ira over to his bedside.
Ira slowly trots over to Noah.
Once she sees him up close, she then sees that he’s quite sickly looking, his eyes droop and his movements are slow.
“H-hey Ira…”
She smiles slightly at the human, her voice has a hint of happiness.
“Hey kid! Hope all is okay today.”
He rubs his eyes and then he ruffles his slightly long and curly brown hair a bit to get some dandruff out of it.
“I-I’m really excited…to see my first unicorn, you’re beautiful!”
Ira blushes a tiny bit and chuckles.
“You’re my new best friend!”
Sigourney then leaves the two to go chop some wood for the fireplace outside-Noah had been talking about unicorns ever since he got to her place, so for him this was huge, the life of this kid rests all on one unicorn’s shoulders.
He clears his throat, Ira winces a bit.
“I-Ira…you…umm, barely know me. You’re…risking your life for me. Why?”
The equine creature lies on her stomach so that her head is level with the bedside, now Noah can look into her eyes.
“Because everyone, no matter a creature or a human-deserves the right to live. You’re a living being, and no one should take that away from you…and, to be honest-I enjoy kicking ass!”
Noah lets out a soft chuckle; he then reaches his hand to her and pats her velvet-like nose.
“I trust you, Ira. You h-have a good head on your shoulders a-and you seem fearless…”
The unicorn smirks, Noah then sits up and wraps his arms around Ira’s neck-as a way of thanking her.

Scene 3: Blood and Beer

Before embarking on her journey, Ira made a quick stop to the local bar.
Humans and creatures from all walks of life came here, some lizards, medium sized dragons and even a Pegasus sat all around the large building.

The chatter was quite loud and boisterous, loud Celtic fiddle music played in the background.
The floor is made of wooden planks, the walls and roof made of stone.

At the entrance of the bar, small, circular tables made of rotting wood surrounded what would otherwise be a large empty space.
After these tables, is the bar itself, the long bar table is made of smooth, new wood. Behind the table is a collection of drinks, ranging from mild to strong alcohols-Ira chose to sit at the bar.

To the left of the bar table, in the corner is a stage, with humans playing the loud music-some of the creatures sit right in front of the stage and just listen to the band.

A male, Southern crow is the bartender, wearing a red vest.
He looks at Ira, her front hooves rest on the bar table-he admires her very broad shoulders and her strapping upper body.
“Hey dude! How are ya?”
The crow chuckles and is a bit surprised by her upbeat attitude.
“I’m well ma’am! Thanks!”
The unicorn thinks for a quick moment before ordering.
“I’d like a Cuba Libre please.”

Quickly, the crow mixes the drink-cola, lime and white rum. The drink also came with a nice lemon wedge for garnish.
Ira watched the bar activity as she took sips of her cold and refreshing beverage, being that she was sitting down-her upper legs sort of became her ‘arms’.
Unicorns have the ability to stand on there hind legs and manipulate objects-which is why she is able to sit and have a drink, she then turns her back to the bartender and watches the entrance of the bar, everyone seems to be having a nice time.

She looks to one side of the bar, a hulking, male human speaks to his pal-they’re both identical looking.
Both have bushy beards, one has a black one, the other a brown one.
The two are wearing Viking garb, Ira’s ears twitch back and fourth, she finishes her first drink in about two minutes and listens to the conversation, equine creatures have amazing hearing.
“Our town got destroyed…badly. God, if I could…I’d crush the man who did it. Kings, get way too much power over us common folk. Fuck, I just can’t believe it.”
Ira orders another drink-the same thing, but drinks only half of it, before going over to the two men.
She gets down off of the chair and goes on all four legs.
“Hey guys! What are your names?”
The two men look at the unicorn-she is both taller and in better shape than they are.
“Well my fine equine, I am Philip and this is my brother, Collins. You’re mighty attractive…for a unicorn.”
Ira nods quickly.
“Thanks, name is Ira. Ummm-I overheard you two talking about the attack on this town. Damn shame.”
Phillip sighs and looks at the unicorn, he is about fifty years of age-his brother is about thirty. He rests his arm on the bar table and sips his mug of beer.
“A king did the attack; word is he lives only a few hours from here….”
The unicorn nods in an inquisitive manner.
“No kidding. Can you give me a map?”
Suddenly, Collins, the man with the brown beard speaks up; Ira can tell he’s a bit cocky.
“Ya know what, Ira! I can give you some information…but you must fight for it!”
Phillip chuckles.
“Ira, my brother is quite boisterous-I didn’t mention that whenever he’s in a bar, he likes to fight…which I should have mentioned before!”
Phillip glances at his brother.
“Tis fine to fight once and a while, but do you really want to hurt this unicorn?”
Ira chuckles and nudges Collins with her horn lightly, startling him.
“Look bud, do I have to do this? You seem nice…and fighting seems so-ugh, typical.”
He stands up and pokes the unicorn in the nose.
“Afraid so, horsey. You win, I give you all the information about the attack. You lose, you pay me. Oh. and no using your magic shit-blood might be spilled on your beautiful, white fur..or hair…or whatever the hell equines have!”
Ira chuckles and gets right in the man’s face.
“As my father once said, blood is just red sweat.”

Collins chuckles, he watches Ira go back to her drink, chug it down and trot back to him, she’s already having fun.
Collins laughs and shouts over all the commotion at the bar.
“FOLKS! A FIGHT! Between me…and this lovely, lovely, unicorn!”

All the humans and creatures form a circle, like some high school recess fight, in the middle of the circle, Collins stands, then Ira quickly trots next to him.
“In the battle of human versus animal….MAN has won, again, and again. THIS shall be no different!”
The unicorn rolls her eyes, trots a few feet away from the man, like the beginning of some boxing match.
Ira then speaks in a sarcastic and almost ‘light hearted’ tone.
“If I throw a stick will you leave?”
Half of the bar cracks up laughing; Ira throws Collins a tiny wink, almost as a way of saying ‘no hard feelings dude, you’re quite fun!’
Collins cracks his knuckles and gets into a fighting stance.
Collins shouts sarcastically. “cute…reeeeeeally cute!”

The unicorn spreads her legs slightly, Collins then charges at her, punching at the air, she quickly moves-he was hoping since Ira is such a large target, he’d get at least one hit in-but aside from a slight and harmless smack, he got nothing.
All she did was trot quickly to the other side of the circle. Ira on the left and Collins on the right.
The male then throws a quick smack her way, Ira pulls away just in time, raises one of her front hooves and gives Collins a swift jab on the nose-Collins tumbles, back first onto the floor-he tried to get up, but the pain from that one hit from that metal hoof sent him into a dizzy state, he slowly stands.
“O-okay…I-Ira…Fuck! That hurt! DAMN!”
He lets out a quick chuckle, wipes his nose and sees a streak of blood on his hand.

The bar does a few quick cheers and applause before breaking up again, Ira goes up to him and whispers into his ear.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry! Did it really hurt?!”
See, Ira sometimes forgot her own strength when dealing with humans, rarely did she ever get into fights with them, but she had hung out with them, and one hit from a horse is not like a punch from a human, for obvious reasons.
Also, Ira doesn’t hate the guy-they were just playing really, nothing was meant to go serious, they were rough housing if you will.

An hour later, Collins and Ira sat at the bar, he held a napkin to his nose the entire time, which only bled for about a moment, but it would be sore for a long while, it started to get extremely swollen already.
He told Ira where to go and handed her a map-which she put in the brown bag. Collins explained that he had seen the attackers leaving, and since there is a near by castle-that maybe the evil king lived in there.
It was a pretty good lead; the journey wouldn’t be too long or dangerous…hopefully.
“Collins, thanks for your help. I’ll try my best to get this king you talk about.
Again, sorry about your nose…feel better. I had fun with ya!”
She gives him a fist (erm, hoof) bump on the back and orders him a free beer before leaving.

Ira decides to sleep at an inn, about a half hour away from Windhelm-and she slept extremely well.

Scene 4: Gaffer- Part 1

With her bag around her neck, Ira travels north.
Taking infrequent breaks, she knew it would be sort of a boring journey. Not having anyone with her really made things seem dull, she did talk to a few people-as she did stop into some towns. Indeed, she finds out more.

The king who attacked Windhelm is named King Millus, known for being manipulative and violent-but no one knew the real reason as to why he was so hateful, making Ira want to ‘meet him’ more.

The weather was chilly now, the sky a nice pink color.
The unicorn finds a small cave to lie down in, using her bag as a make shift pillow. The area is bland; she is in a sandy range.
Almost like a desert, but some plants do show up.
She is not close to any towns where she can spend the night; rock formations cover the area however, making the scenery nice.

Not being able to sleep, she comes out of the cave-and about a mile ahead of her, is a large wooden cabin-she begins to trot toward it.
The home is quite nice, she begins to admire it, and she then is startled a bit when the front door opens.
The owner is a hippogriff. He slowly steps out.

He has a beautiful white head, a golden colored beak and striking orange eyes.
His lower body is that of a dark brown horse, his arms are not arms at all-but talons.
The creature stands on his two back legs, the large wings which slightly protrude from the sides of his body flutter a bit before he speaks. His voice is soft and calming.
“Do you need a place to stay?”
Ira nods and is a bit taken a back by seeing a hippogriff for the first time.
She approaches him, still sort of admiring him, she smiles a bit.
“If you have room-I don’t see why not! Sure beats sleeping outside! Nice to meet ya, I’m Ira.”
The creature nods.
“Gaffer here…”

Once inside, Gaffer shows the unicorn around.
This place was hand built, by the hippogriff himself.
While the outside appeared to be wooden, the inside is all made of white, smooth marble. Giving the building a sterile look, almost like a hospital.

Once you walk through the door-you see a large expensive table.
To the left of the table, are shelves of expensive cutlery, in front of the collection, is a king sized, white bed-presumably where Gaffer slept.

To the right-drawings hung from a white, shiny wall. In front of the wall with the drawings, a large, maroon colored couch.

The ceiling is high, chandeliers hang, Gaffer obviously has a lot of money. Towards a corner of the house, is a large, metal door. Ira did not ask about it, she figured he kept odds and ends in there, and forgot about it.

Ira trots over to admire the drawings on the wall; they’re sketches of humans, very detailed sketches.
“So, you’ve met humans, huh?”
Gaffer walks beside her and smirks.
“Yeah-they come over and I draw them. They’re fascinating. Would you like something to eat?”

Ira munches on some salad; Gaffer eats some pasta with a glass of white wine.

The unicorn tells him of the now destroyed town of Windhelm.
“Well Ira, that is quite awful. I do happen to know a bit about this-and Collins was right-there is indeed a castle close by.
I’ve flown all around this land, and I happen to know a bit about the king. King Millius would be the man you’re after. He’s known for attacking towns and stealing…I’m almost positive he’d be your culprit.”
Ira nods, letting these thoughts swirl around her head a bit.
Gaffer begins looking at the unicorn, quietly lusting over her body, he always found unicorns to be attractive-in fact you could almost say as far as creatures went, he had quite the fetish for unicorns.
He rests his two claws on the table, lightly tapping his sharp talon on the table.
“So, Ira-would you like to spend the night?”
The unicorn knows he had the hots for her.
“O-oh…I don’t know, you’ve already fed me and I can’t thank you enough. I-I just don’t know if I can in good mind spend the night.”
Gaffer smirks.
“Ohhhh come on Ira! You have a nice personality, and you tell stories amazingly well. I’m so alone, come on!”
Ira sighs, she indeed finds this hippogriff to be odd, and maybe even a bit sexist due to the fact he hasn’t taken his eyes off of her.

However, she decides to stay-she figures if he even touched her, she’d kick his ass, she felt that sleeping outside just wouldn’t be the best.
Who knew what could happen? She’d never been in this area in her life-and wasn’t entirely familiar with everything.

Scene 5: Gaffer- Part 2

Crickets chirped, Ira lied on her side, the couch is extremely comfortable.

The hippogriff had draped a blanket over her before he went to sleep. Ira was in quite a deep sleep, however-she swore she heard a faint noise. Like someone crying, she then closes her eyes-dismissing the sound.
Then, the sound whacks her ears again, this time-louder.

The unicorn quickly stands up and looks around the room, her ears moving as the noise becomes a bit louder.
She tries to make her trotting soft, but it’s hard with hooves. She glances over at Gaffer, who is sound asleep.
Ira then hears the sound again, she stands still, and her hearing seems to be heightened. Her horn suddenly begins to glow, a dim white light so that the place isn’t deathly black.

The noise is coming from the metal door, tucked away in the corner of the house. She trots ever so slowly to the door, as she trots-she nearly bumps into the large kitchen table, she then methodically moves herself around it, keeping perfectly quiet. Even if Gaffer heard her, he’d assume she’d be going to the bathroom or something, problem would come if he decided to stand up and see her heading towards the ‘secret door.’
She now is a few inches away, she hears the crying again-muffled, but it is surly coming from inside whatever the door hides.
Ira looks at the knob, it glows white and automatically opens, creaking slightly, she then stops and cocks her head to the hippogriff-who is undisturbed by the noise.
She trots inside and the door gently shuts behind her.

The air is cold, very drafty. The floor is cobblestone, so are the walls. This room is dusty and old.
Straight ahead of her, is a beagle-dressed in rags for clothes and half of his right ear missing-or, more descriptively, sliced off?

The beagle yelps a bit as the horn on the top of Ira’s head glows brighter, his voice quivers in fear.
“P-please don’t kill me!”
Ira trots up to him, keeping her voice down.
“I promise I won’t. Why are you here?”
The dog coughs an unhealthy cough, he looks extremely thin.
“Th-the bird creature…c-captured me. A few days ago! H-he’s a psychopath!”
So this was the dark secret Gaffer was hiding?
Noticing that the dog’s voice is rising, Ira hushes him a bit.
“What is your name, unicorn?”
“Ira, nice to meet you. Anything else I should know about this fellow before I give his ass a good beating?”
“N-name is Roger. W-well, you should know that Gaffer actually…well, works for King Millus, they even both work together in the same room frequently.
I’ve heard a lot within the past few days, the king comes over here-they’re both best friends. They’re both evil, I tell you!
See, Gaffer speaks harshly of the king-so that no one knows of their relationship. Also, he’s selfish and would rather have you kill the king than to go after him.
Ugh, they’re both violent sons of bitches too. Raiding towns together, stealing stuff-please help me!”

Ira tries to wrap her head around all of this new information, she then nods reassuringly.
“The bastard is sleeping; I’ll take care of him and come back for you.”
The unicorn turns her back, but the beagle raises his voice again.
“No! I-if you attack him, he’ll just fly away….that is what he always does. Humans have tried killing him, it’s no use.”
“Don’t worry, I will take care of it….”
The dog sighs as the unicorn then leaves the dank and gross room….

Ira watches over the hippogriff, sleeping in his large bed. Curled up in expensive blankets, smirking a tad bit, perhaps he’s dreaming.
The equine creature takes a deep breath; she slowly crawls in bed with Gaffer.
The underside of her body rubs up against his warm feathers as she slips under the covers; Gaffer slowly awakens, groans in pleasure and begins to stroke the horn on top of Ira’s head with his golden claw, Ira speaks in a low and seductive voice.
“Hey Gaffer, how are you?”
He chuckles and yawns.
“Oh…just fine…what are you doing here?”
Ira senses that while Gaffer seems to be happy, that he is still a bit on edge.
If she attacks too soon, like Roger said-he’d just fly off.
She needed to relax him more; she needed to make sure that when she made her strike-it was the perfect moment.
The hippogriff then notices the warm and thick covers, getting slowly pulled off and tossed to the ground, however-the unicorn did not move.
He finds this type of magic quite awesome.
Ira then kisses him on the forehead.
“I saw you looking at me all night, your eyes reading absolute sexual fascination.”
She begins kissing him more, Gaffer wraps his wings around Ira.
“You unicorns are so damn perceptive.”
Ira hated this, Gaffer is a complete creep, his voice sends shivers up her spine, but she felt him getting more relaxed-losing his edge, she was on the right track.
“That we are Gaffer-so wanna fuck?”
Gaffer lets out a chuckle, just then, Ira flips the creature on his back and lies on top of him, her muzzle mere inches from his beak, Gaffer blushes a bit-but chuckles the same chuckle again.
“Fuck me Ira….YES! PLEASE!”
He kisses her muzzle a few times.
She takes her two hooves and puts them lightly upon Gaffer’s feathery chest-she kneels on his stomach, he laughs in an almost maniacal way.
“You like that, huh? You baaaad boy! Fucking a unicorn’s brains out!”

As Gaffer hung onto her every word, he started thinking of her tone of voice-that slight rasp, the ‘bad girl’ attitude, her muscles beginning to pulsate-the way she was completely in control, made him start to have an erection-he closes his eyes and smiles, he leans his head back-waiting for her to jerk him off.

Suddenly, the hippogriff feels a sharp pain in his neck, it was a pain he’d never felt before.
He tries to gasp for air, but Ira’s horn blocks him from doing so.

He feels warm blood spew from his neck and onto his chest, like a giant machete, Ira’s horn had stabbed Gaffer’s neck, she twists her head, a loud slash sound echoed through the house. Ira slowly removes her horn and steps off of the bed, Gaffer lies on his back, covered from his chest to his white head in dark read blood, she hit an artery-like she wanted to.
The white sheets ruined, Ira then looked at the gapping hole in the middle of his throat, his wings and claws spread out, his eyes and beak wide open in pure shock, blood drips from his neck and onto the bed, she then turns quickly and tries to forget what just happened.

The unicorn then goes back to Roger, and uses her horn to unhook the chains that bind him…

Scene 6: Catching a break….

Dawn was upon them, the sky was now a pinkish color, the sun was getting ready to burst through the clouds.

A heavy mist began to roll in, giving the grassy, but empty landscape an almost ghostly feel.
The blood from Gaffer had now fallen off of Ira’s body, the dog and unicorn now sat in an abandoned camp site-about an hour away from Gaffer’s home.
The site was complete with pots, pans, wood for fire and even a tent-which neither of them would be able to fit into. Ira drops the brown tote she had been carrying around.

Ira had started a fire in the middle of the two, they sat in front of each other, Roger had collected some food left behind from the campers, some roast chicken, Ira wasn’t really a fan of meat, but she ate it since there was nothing else around.
They both sat on there haunches, legs crossed and looking quite tired.
“Ira, thank you so much for helping me. I really thought I’d be dead in that house.”
The unicorn finishes eating and smiles politely.
“Of course, it’s what I do!”
The dog sighs happily, and then speaks again.
“So, if you don’t mind-I’d love to know a bit about you. You’re…unlike any other unicorn I’ve ever met. You’re spunky, you’re brave as anything….what makes someone like that?”
The unicorn sits in silence for a bit, she cocks her head to one side-listening to the sounds of the morning birds making there first sounds, the smell of dew fills her nostrils and a morning chill rolls in, but since the dog and equine are both covered in hair-it hardly matters.
She then looks back at Roger and clears her throat a bit.
“Well, my father was named Mortus.
He was the captain of the Royal Equine Guard. When I became a teenager, he’d get me up early bird special and we’d go for long trots across our land. He would teach me how to fight. He loved me very much, but our personalities were opposite.
He was what you may expect a unicorn to be-stern, graceful, kinda monotone voice.
For me, it’s just not natural. We’re all different, I can’t pretend to be this stern and stoic gal, and I think if I were to try it-I’d be miserable. Why hide it? So many people are miserable as it is!”
The beagle chuckles and lies on his back, the warm fire had begun to get even warmer due to Ira’s magic-Roger yawns and closes his eyes.
“Well Ira, don’t ever change. You’re a hoot!”
The unicorn chuckles a bit, lies on her stomach and feels her eye lids drooping….

Scene 7: Cryptopidae

The chain wrapped tightly around her neck, Ira whinnied in pain.
Once she got her wits about her, she realized that five muscular guards had found them-dressed in armor and pissed off faces.
Roger was wrapped tightly in chains, the unicorn tugged and tugged, her black mane whipping side-to-side, but the chain wouldn’t snap. She even tried magic from her horn, but that did not do any good either.
“Get this fucking chain OFF of me!”
The leader, an overweight guard, about six feet tall grabs Ira by the horn.
“Not a chance, bitch….”
Roger becomes pale.
The unicorn then lets out an angry snort as she is dragged an unknown location.

Two hours pass, the large doors to a stone castle open, the dog and unicorn are brought to a giant room, Ira’s hooves clop against the marble floor, the room’s acoustics are amazing.
The walls are adorned with portraits of King Millus, but he is nowhere to be found.
Rock beams support some of the walls and are smooth and well cleaned, as is this entire room.
Windows circle the entire room and are high and made of stained glass.
The ceiling is made out of clear glass.
The room is nearly empty, no tables, just a marble floor and the above mentioned details.

The leader then speaks in an authoritative tone.
“Ira, you’re going to be brought to a dungeon-where you will surly meet your end, Roger-you’re going directly to the king.”
Two guards pull Ira across the room and to a wooden door, they quickly remove the chain and kick her violently down some wooden steps, she yelps and nearly loses consciousness.

Ira tumbles sideways down the stairs and falls flat on her side, her legs begin to bruise.
She takes a deep breath and begins to twitch her entire body little by little; to be sure nothing is broken.

She slowly stands up-and like expected, her horn acts as a flashlight, and she staggers around this basement like area.
Dust floats in the air, the ground is made of sand, and the walls are made of dirty wood.
She watches her footing to be sure she doesn’t step in anything like trash or something sharp, a nasty smell hits her nostrils, like the smell of human waste. This certainly is where trash goes, but she certainly was confused as to why she’d die down here.
Ira trots around, going in no particular direction.

The room looks much larger than she once thought-suddenly, her hoof rubs against something cold, and she gasps!
The unicorn looks down and sees a skeleton-a shiver runs up her spine. Who did this? Was this person dead before they came down and was tossed after, or were they alive and died of starvation-or something worse?
Suddenly, something slithers across the floor!
Ira’s heart skips a beat as she tries to look around-what was it?! It looked huge, like some type of serpent, maybe now she knew why people died down here-it wasn’t slow, it was probably because of this-whatever it is lurking about!
A poor human wouldn’t stand a chance, but a powerful unicorn-might.
Ira takes a deep breath and collects her thoughts, panicking would be the worst thing to do now, she’d get killed in an instant.
As the light on her horn became brighter, she then sees this creature in its full form.

It is tall, probably seven feet tall, it crawls on many legs. Its body is that of a worm, its legs are small, it seems to have a face, but no eyes, just a gapping hole where a mouth should be and sharp teeth.
It is essentially a Centipede, with the mouth and teeth of a vampire.
This creature lets out a high pitched scream and lunges at the unicorn, she does a tiny hop to the left and attempts to slash it with her horn.
A nice scar forms around its neck, yellow, sticky fluid pours out of it-suddenly, Ira trips on the massive body of the creepy crawler.

The Centipede then wraps the lower half of its body around the unicorn, squeezing her tightly.
The legs of the creature rub against her under body, she looks up and a few feet from her-is the head of the massive creature. It screams, Ira only has seconds to think before she’ll become its dinner.
Ira pulls her tounge back as far as it can go and then bites down hard on the Centipede’s middle section.
It screams in pain and drops her, she lets go-and realizes that she had bitten a good chunk of flesh out of it.
She spits out the yellow, gooshy substance that is its blood and squints hard.
Angered, the creature again lunges at her-this time, Ira does not move, she uses her horn as a sword and with precise aim, is able to stab it in the mouth.
The Centipede stops in its tracks, the horn is now stuck in its chin, if you were to look closely, you could see the tip of Ira’s horn enter the inside of the creature’s mouth.
Ira then jolts her head back and watches the creature tumble to the ground.

The unicorn smirks and heads up the stairs from where she once fell….

Scene 8: Crowning Glory

Ira the unicorn steps into the room from once she came, her white body and black mane, covered in the yellow-snot like goo the Centipede left behind.

Her right hip is also cut, bleeding and brusied from the tumble she took downstairs. However, the room now is filled with guards.
About thirty of them, all armored to the teeth and carrying swords, the unicorn sighs aggravatitly.
“Oh my Gawd! Okay, you send me down to deal with some…creepy crawly thing, that isn’t enough though IS IT?! NO! Now, you all are standing here, waiting to kick my ass! Well, we can play this two ways, guys.
Either, you tell me where king Millus is and we’ll save ourselves a lot of tears and blood shed-or you all either get hurt and run away with your dicks tucked between your legs. Your choice!”

A few of the guards decided to take a swing at her, about four swords
went charging at her.
Ira used her horn to block the attacks as best as she could, but she knew she’d get cut in the process.
Two men were in front of her, trying to attack her facial area-using
her horn, she sliced both of there necks, a tiny bit of blood shot out
of both of them and they tumbled backwards.
One guard was on her left side, she used her upper left hoof to give him a good smack across the face, his nose broke on impact and nearly was sliced in two.
More and more guards came charging at her, she used her horn as a
slicing weapon, cantering left and right about the room, trying to
slice flesh, as she did so-blood gushed out like water coming out of a
shower head, spraying the marble floor.

Some guards charged at her with spears, she did have to think quick on
her hooves, her mind completely concentrated on the tasks at hand,
when she’d use her hooves to whack various attackers in the head, a
horrible ‘crack’ sound filled the room, her body began to sweat as she
had to fend off what seemed like endless waves of people.

She was indeed getting tired of this, she started stabbing individuals
in the gut and flinging them across the room-deliberately trying to hit
other attackers to see if she could finish this quickly.

The soldiers began dying off; a few swings of her hooves and the last
of them suffered from major concussions.
The marble floor now covered in blood-Ira too was just about drenched in blood herself, mostly her facial and upper body area. Her horn was also coated in red fluid, she
looked around at all the dead bodies-some groaning in pain, others
surly dead.
She slowed her rapid breathing down, trying to collect herself and find this king and finish this all for good-she also needed to find Roger.
Ira stands in the middle of the room filled with carnage, closes her eyes for a brief moment, takes a deep breath and trots forward with her head high….

Ira cocks her head left to right, not finding this king anywhere, suddenly-a loud bang is heard. She stops in her tracks; it was a deep bang, like something was trying to come up from the floor.
She steps back, part of the floor is now elevating, like the beginning of a rock concert.
It is not magical, but mechanical, standing on a podium that is now all the way up, is king Millus himself.
He holds poor Roger by a metal chain, which is clearly suffocating him.

The king is dressed in dark purple robes, a golden staff in hand and a silver crown. His face is that of an older gentleman, maybe in his early sixties, he has a short, silver beard and slicked back hair.

He steps off from the levitated podium and chuckles as he looks at the white unicorn covered in blood, there voices echo- the king seems to be looking at all the carnage Ira left.
“So, this is King Millus, hm? The mighty one, who destroys towns and steals potions, interesting to put a face to the madness.”
The king walks slowly towards Ira, and lightly taps her nose with his staff; his voice is rather high pitched surprisingly, but is also quite monotone.
“Ira, you certainly do care a lot. Killing my men, killing my best friend-Gaffer-but we’ll get to him! You know, being a king is quite amazing, my friend. You’re right; I did destroy towns-for YOU.”
Ira snorts in anger and stamps her hoof.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
The king then walks around the creature; Ira does not blink-she keeps a sharp eye on him as he calmly tells his story.
“Not enough mythical creatures get what they deserve. Buildings and towns-ruin the land. You creatures are beautiful, you, Gaffer, all the other unicorns and rabbits and such. You deserve to have no humans around-I will take it upon myself to RID this world of pesky humans, except me of course!”
Ira squints and is just about ready to whack this crazy guy in the jaw.
“This castle is so empty and large, perfect for housing and protecting you all. Don’t you see?! I’m saving YOU-so what if a few humans die? So what if towns must be destroyed, so what if I must steal potions to help you all health wise!”
He presses his face against Ira’s nose, looking right into her eyes.
“Thank me, Ira. Thank me for preserving life-the way it should be! We’re ugly compared to you animals, if less of us were around and more of you-wow…what a world it would be!”
King Millus then violently tugs on the chain that wraps around Roger’s neck, knocking him off of his feet-his head smacks against the marble floor. He drops the chain, he then goes up to the podium to grab a new chain.
“So, now Ira-you’re going to have to stand still, this won’t hurt if you don’t budge.”
He violently tosses the chain like a cowboy would a lasso, the end of the chain wraps around Ira’s neck, she neighs a bit and is nearly pulled to the ground, but she keeps standing, she tosses her head back and fourth.
“WHY do people love chaining me UP!?”
The king tugs harder
“Look Ira, I’m HELPING you! You need to stay here! Stop worrying about humans-it’s ALL ABOUT you!”
Ira looks at her hooves and notices a part of the chain, resting on the floor near her front hoof.
The chain is beginning to get too tight, her breathing is beginning to get cut off. This is not just an ordinary chain; it’s some black magic or voodoo stuff-her magic needed to come into play.
Ira lets out a few loud coughs; her eyes begin to water-she feels her self losing it.
The unicorn’s horn then begins to turn purple; the king looks on in astonishment.

A purple light begins to surround the chain, Ira takes a deep breath and after a moment of tense build up, the chain snaps off of Ira and is now wrapped around the king’s neck-he yells in pain and falls to the ground with a hard smack.
“IRA! NO!”
The unicorn then trots up to him, her breathing heavy, he looks up at her helplessly.
“You’ve obviously taken advantage of others, using your kingly privileges for awful purposes. One thing you seem to have forgotten about unicorns, is that we’re indeed magical. Sure, my magical powers aren’t the best-but in some situations, it helps. Now what, Millus?
First, you capture me…then you realize that it was a huge mistake! Kinda like biting into chocolate covered shit!”
Like with Ira, this chain gets horribly tight, in between gasps, the king speaks.
“I-I’m sorry IRA! I really AM! LET ME GO!”
Ira takes a deep breath, Millus’ head begins to turn left, his eyes turn an unhealthy shade of red, tears stream down his face, and he begins to scream.

Suddenly, with a terrible snap, his head has done a complete circle, the front of his face is now turned, and he collapses.

Ira then canters over to Roger and with her two upper hooves, lightly presses on his chest.
“Roger, please wake up! Gosh, you came THIS far!”
As she presses, she realizes that Roger was merely knocked out-he coughs loudly and begins to stand, hanging onto Ira’s neck for support.
The beagle then begins to cry a bit, he wraps his arms around Ira.
“Th-thank you so much! I-I thought I was dead…I really did!”
Ira takes a deep breath and lets him cry on her shoulder….

Two Days Later

The town of Windhelm is now completely built.
New homes, new people, new security measures as well.

The unicorn returned with the beagle, he now has a new place to live and new people to meet.
Millus had indeed kept all the potions, Noah is now completely healed and is back to working.
One of the townspeople gave Ira a sponge bath-now the unicorn was shiny, she had also taken a nap-which she really needed.

Sigourney and Ira speak outside of what it was like to get the potion-she feels awful putting Ira in all of those situations, but the unicorn seems to shrug things off.
“Well Sigourney, tonight I’m staying around, but tomorrow-I go back to my unicorn forest, filled with lollipops and rainbows and frolicking!”
The lizard looks at Ira in a dead serious way.
“Really?”
Ira laughs boisterously.
“Oh my, the look on your face was priceless, Sigourney!”

That evening, Ira makes one last stop at the bar, complete with new floors and a bigger room and new drinks.
She enters the dark room, thinking the bar is closed.
Suddenly-magical, colorful flames turn on, lighting up the entire room-about half of the towns people give Ira a hug and bombard her with questions about her quest.

Humans and creatures of all ages walk up to her as she sips her rum punch, sitting on a bar chair.
In her usual fashion-she tells each story with over the top mannerisms and peppered profanity, making half the bar crack up laughing.
Out of the blue, Collins sits next to her, his nose all healed.
“Hey Ira, I still don’t forgive you for kicking my ass!”
He then laughs and hugs her tightly.
“Ohhh, Ira! You’re a hoot! You are a hero though, first and foremost!”
The unicorn chuckles
“Keep on going, I love this!”
She then finishes her third drink; loud Celtic fiddle music plays as the evening goes on…

The End

Mr. Peabody and Sherman: Dogs With Benefits

Mr. Peabody and Sherman: Dogs with Benefits
A Fan Fiction by Equus21

Date: April 2, 2014
Time: 7:00PM
Location: The Wilbur Theater, Boston MA.

As I fix my bowtie up a bit, I know about one hundred…erm…’fans’ await. I comb my white fur flat, I make the front of my hair slightly stick up. I examine my green eyes, to make sure I do not look tired. I wash my face with warm water, I prouder my somewhat large snout.
People heard about Sherman and I, and I soon began receiving endless emails of people wanting too meet me-a lot of people were interested in my story and scientists wanted to speak to me about my accomplishments. I then decided to start a new element of my life, world tours.
After my incident in Egypt and other places, I decided it would be good to tell others of not only that adventure-but the one I had about two months ago.
I methodically put my round glasses, fix my hair up a bit and wait back stage.
I see the lights go down in the theater; people already have taken out cellular devices.
The booming voice of a male announcer comes on:
“Ladies and gentleman…please welcome- MR. PEABODY!”
The tiny intro video plays upon a projector screen, the screen lifts up after the shall I admit ‘epic’ video-then about forty seconds after, the bright spot lights shines as I walk casually across the stage and grab the microphone. I perform a general wave in front of everyone.
My tail begins wagging as I look at the audience, screaming-I feel the energy and excitement…I am ready to begin my story. I take the microphone off of the stand and clear my throat.
“Good evening!”
I walk to the edge of the stage-only a few feet for those people who got front row seats.
“How do you do? Well, now that you’re here we mind as well get to know each other. My name is Peabody. I suppose you know yours.”
The large projector screen in the middle of the stage shows a photo of my time machine and my son standing next to it.
“I suppose you’re wondering about this contraption…it belongs to Sherman, he’s my boy. I am somewhat getting ahead of myself however. Our story really begins with me…naturally.
At my youth, I was just an average genius. Puppy prodigy they called me! Got my degree at Harvard-I was three.
Then, I spent a brief period in the Foreign Service; I speak eight languages fluently…all at once including English.”
The audience still has there eyes glued to me-I can’t help but feel like a sort of elaborate professor.
“I then did a few research projects for the government, and I also dabbled in the stock market-where I was known as the woof of Wall Street.
Somehow, I felt something was missing in my life-I didn’t know exactly what it was. One evening, I found a baby that had been abandoned in a dumpster….found out his name was Sherman and I decided to adopt him as my own. I had to submit references.
So, I got some old friends to write letters, and then of course I was investigated thoroughly. My background was unimpeachable, with some arguing amongst the court room-the judge stated that ‘if a boy can have a dog-I see no reason why a dog can’t have a boy!’
Sherman now has a dad-although, I asked him politely, but firmly to never address me as such. He calls me Mr. Peabody, or in less formal instances, Peabody.
I soon found it was next to impossible to raise a boy in an apartment, guppies, yes-but a boy…no. They need running room.
So, going back to the time machine-I built it for Sherman’s birthday. I told him how to set it, now we go anywhere. It’s nice to be apart of history-all in all, it’s just the thing for a boy and an apartment. No doubt about it, every dog should have a boy.”
I am then again subjected to thunderous applause.
“Now…let us jump forward in time.
My boy is now in Middle School…almost finished with it, and we’ve seen a lot and been through good and bad times…but someone came into our lives that really made things interesting.”

Date: January, 2014
Time: 2:00PM
Location: Peabody Residence, New York

As Mr. Peabody finished the dishes in the kitchen, he hears his son come home from school.
While he had grown up a bit, he still was his usual happy self for the most part.
The dog takes a quick glance over him, same white t-shirt and black shorts he always wears, and his hair is not as neat as it should be.
Sherman’s father can tell in his voice he has something to say, so he gets nice prepared to listen.
“Hi Mr. Peabody! I met a new friend at school.”
He turns off the sink and turns to face him, he folds his hands in front of his stomach and smiles a bit.
“Oh…tell me about this new associate!”
“His name is Chris, and he’s not as hyper as me, but he’s still very nice! Sometimes he has trouble doing things a-and he’s not really that talkative…well, I mean sometimes he is, but he does get nervous. Oh! I guess he knows who you are!”
His father would admit, of course he always was glad when his son is open and making new friends.
“How often do you see Christopher?”
Sherman ponders this a bit, trying to form the right words.
“Well….not much, he’s actually not in any of my classes. He’s in a separate class from everyone else. I don’t know why though, I’m curious…”
“Well, maybe his life situation calls for him to be in such a class, maybe he’s too…classy for regular classes.
Sherman, I have no issue with him coming over for a bit-but before you call him or do anything, get your homework done…I’ll be here if you need help.”

Over the next few weeks, Chris became more and more comfortable with talking to Sherman, he liked his hyperactivity and he sensed he was genuinely nice.
Chris was taller than Sherman, he was about the same height as Sherman’s dad.
He dressed very neatly, usually tan or dark blue slacks and a flannel shirt and brown sneakers, his hair short, much like a summer haircut.
Christopher was always asking about Peabody, and he even told Sherman that he went to Rhode Island to see Mr. Peabody on tour.
All throughout lunch and in between classes, he told Sherman how he felt about the various topics Peabody spoke of, science, adopting a son and so on. The only thing was, is that Chris did not have time to do the meet and greet at the end of the show-which always bothered him.
Now though, he would get to SEE Mr. Peabody and have a conversation with him….to be in his house! Sherman was not surprised to hear that his new friend wanted to schedule a time when the three could sit down and have supper…and it would happen soon. Not only would dinner happen soon, but Sherman also told Chris that a sleep over would also be a fun idea-Chris usually had a lot of anxiety about going to sleep over at someone’s home…but the idea of being with Peabody overshadowed this fact.

Date: February 13, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Peabody Residence

Chris dressed in a nice white shirt and tie; he wore skinny black jeans and made sure his shoes were nice and shined. He packed his pajamas, his tooth brush, an extra pair of clothes and he was pretty much ready. Sherman lived about a half hour away from Chris’ home; his mother dropped him off to the apartment building-where Sherman waited excitedly outside. Sherman greets Chris with a smile and states that Mr. Peabody is very excited to see him and that dinner will be ready in about thirty minuets. As the two make there way upstairs, Sherman looks at what Chris is wearing.
“Ummm, dude, you know we’re not going out to some fancy place..right? This is a sleepover, silly Chris!”
The excited young man looks at him and smiles a bit.
“Well…I felt this occasion called for dressing up…your father will like it!”
Sherman chuckles and rolls his eyes, he finds it absolutely strange that someone could be so infatuated with his father.
Sure, Peabody is an amazing father, but to see someone get all giddy about him was sort of amusing to him.

They both enter the apartment; Chris politely takes his shoes off and straightens his tie. He shyly looks about the place, the large living room with the expensive couch and large television set, Chris looks at the sliver stair case and wooden stair case that leads to Sherman’s room and Peabody’s room.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the canine is frantically making sirloin of beef, served with chateau potatoes.
He has pots sizzling, the heaters turned on, flipping the meat all about. Yet, with all of this going on…he keeps his cool and plops everything onto fancy plates, garnishes it, pours water into wine glasses, turns everything off and takes his black apron off. Everything was finished in exactly thirty minuets.
Sherman and Chris were upstairs, when Mr. Peabody called them down, Chris’ heart fluttered a bit. The young man straightened his shirt and walked briskly down stairs, the table was beautifully set with candles and all the food smelling scrumptious.
Chris’ idol then comes out from the kitchen, wearing his famous rounded glasses and unmistakable red bowtie…he was only about two feet away from the dog he had seen so many you tube videos of, and had been so close to when he saw him speak in front of a live audience. Nothing…absolutely nothing was as grand as this however, Chris walks up to the dog, just as expected, Chris is only a tad bit shorter than Peabody.
“How do you do, Christopher? Peabody here, welcome to our humble abode.”
Ohhh! He said his famous line!
“H-h-hello Mr. Peabody! It..it’s an honor to meet you!”
Chris shakes the dogs’ hand in a very friendly, but mostly energetic way.
Mr. Peabody thought he had seen it all, but he certainly never saw someone in his own home treat him like some fan at one of his shows, usually the dog wanted to keep those two lives kind of separate so it didn’t interfere with him being a father, but Peabody let it all slide.
No way was he going to disappoint the very happy young man that stood before him.
Of course, Chris sat next to Peabody, Sherman knew Chris as more reserved. Sherman couldn’t help but nearly laugh as Chris just was throwing all of these questions at his dad, and his dad with one hundred percent accuracy answered them all.
They ranged from his life before Sherman, to why certain aspects of science work the way they do, the questions were all over the place.

After eating, Chris insisted on helping Peabody with the dishes, and normally Sherman would, but again-the dog understood Chris’ excitement and ran with it. That is when Mr. Peabody started noticing Chris’ subtle…issues.
Sherman did the dishes without really thinking, but Chris on the other hand-really needed a lot of guidance.
Of course not, everyone has different abilities and such, so they both did the dishes and Peabody used this as a teaching tool, so it all worked out well.
Once nine o’clock came around, both Chris and Sherman were in there pajamas. Chris slept on a futon in Sherman’s room, Mr. Peabody made sure everything was okay before heading downstairs to read, rain started lightly pattering on the roof.
An hour passed, Sherman was fast asleep. Chris lied away in bed, looking at the ceiling.
He thought he’d get right to sleep, but no. Was he lying in bed because he had just met one of his idols and was just over the moon about it?

No-for some reason, Chris began thinking a lot about his own home life. About how awesome of a life Sherman has, and how much of a mediocre life he was having at the moment.
The young man lies awake, tossing and turning. He heard Peabody walking around downstairs…he thought he should go downstairs, maybe a simple glass of water would help. Chris sighs and sneaks quietly out of Sherman’s room and into the living room.

Mr. Peabody is in a blue bathrobe, the rain gets a little heavier. Mr. Peabody was just finishing up cleaning the table, his back turned to Chris. He then stopped what he was doing and spoke softly.
“Hello Chris, can I help you?”
Wow…how did Peabody know it was him? Dogs do have that sense about people though.
“Oh…ummm, it’s nothing, I just….need a glass of water.”
Peabody could sense it was not just ‘nothing’, he knew that when Sherman had this sort of ‘nervous and fake happy’ tone, that something was going on. Peabody pours him a glass of water, Chris sits at the kitchen table. The rain thuds harder, instead of insisting there is something wrong, the canine just continues doing whatever-and waits for Chris to speak up.
“Ummm…..Mr. Peabody, can-can I talk to you?”
He sits right next to him, having these sorts of chats was something he had to get used to with his son.
It was something he became very good at over time, especially after getting his masters in psychology, which he got at the age of thirteen.
“So, I’ve been…thinking about a lot. About, you and Sherman.”
“I think about me a lot to, Chris” Peabody says with a sort of jokingly smile.
“Specifically, about…how amazing you are at raising him. I-I wish…I had a dad like you.”
Mr. Peabody senses a sort of grave sadness in his tone; Chris really can’t believe he is showing off this much emotion…not just in general, but to his idol.
“M-my life…is just….n-not good.”
“Chris, you can not go about comparing your life to others…that’s a losing battle.”
“Yo-you don’t understand, Mr. Peabody. I-I mean….like….”
Chris turns away and feels like he could cry, but does not.
“Sometimes people treat me horribly because…of how I am. Th-they never stop to talk to me, your son did..a-and you do…but all my life, I…I feel like I’m ignored by everyone and when I try to make friends, it never works out…a-and I know why. It’s the way…the way I was born, people know I have special needs, so they hate me. E-even my parents get annoyed, wh-when I have trouble doing chores around the house…th-they yell at me sometimes.”
Peabody sighs and looks down. Chris takes a deep breath and successfully keeps himself from tearing up.
“I’m so sorry, I truly am. I promise, if I can help you in anyway, I will. Do you want to sit down on the couch maybe? I have no trouble staying with you if you need it.”
Chris nods and they both go to the couch.
Mr. Peabody turns on the electric fireplace in front of the couch and crosses his legs as he sits. He grabs a glass of red wine for himself and puts his hand on Chris’ shoulder for a moment.
“Th-thank you Mr. Peabody, for just listening. I-I just….sometimes need to let things out…I-I feel bad I put you in that situation. I guess…I’m embarrassed…”
The dog puts his cup down and pats Chris’ head lightly.
“No need to be, it’s good you came to someone and opened up. That’s the best thing you can do.”
Mr. Peabody finishes his wine, Chris is fast asleep on the couch as the rain lets up, but it’s still somewhat creating a sort of white noise throughout the evening.
The dog grabs a small blanket from his room and tosses it over Chris, he takes his glasses off and decides to sleep on the recliner next to the couch so he can keep an eye on Chris.

Date: February 14, 2014
Time: 7:18AM
Location: Peabody Residence

The dog slowly opened his eyes, he could swear he could hear the faint sound of a piano being played. Peabody slowly stands up, puts his glasses on and goes to another room within the living room. He sees Chris playing the piano and singing lightly to himself, the song he is playing is “Suzzane” by Leonard Cohen
Peabody is sort of surprised that Chris actually has a very nice voice and amazing piano playing skills, and yet it sounds as if he’s never been trained. He lets Chris finish and then speaks softly. Chris wears a short sleeve brown flannel shirt and brown jeans.
“Good morning, Chris. Thank you for that musical prelude to our morning!” Chris stands up and chuckles.
“Sorry you had to hear that!” Peabody goes into the kitchen to get breakfast ready. “No, no, it was really nice, Chris!”
The young man sat at the kitchen table and eagerly sat for breakfast. Sherman comes downstairs, still very sleepy.
“Were you playing piano, Mr. Peabody?”
The dog points to Chris as he gets pots and pans out. Sherman puts his glasses on. “Really? Chris! You never told me you played piano! How was your night?”
Chris sighs a tiny bit and sort of avoids the question.
The breakfast being served was Belgian Waffles, topped with whipped cream, strawberries and a dash of sugar on the top.
Mr. Peabody began speaking. “So, my two comrades-we will be embarking on an adventure today! Eat up and we shall get moving!”
Chris looks up from eating.
“Where are we going, Mr. Peabody?”
“Not where Christopher…when.”
Location: WABAC machine {Wayback Machine} / Unknown Time Period
“This Christopher, is the WABAC machine…also known as the Wavelength Acceleration Bidirectional Asynchronous Controller! My most prized invention.” Christopher stands in awe as he sees a circular machine in the middle of a secret room in the Peabody house.
The machine is spherical shaped and bright red, a giant door begins to open on the side of the machine.
A small ramp appears in front of the doorway, the three get inside of the circular object. The walls are dark grey, aligned along the walls are countless switches and flashing buttons. Christopher sits at one of the few chairs, staring at everything.
“I r-read about this in your novel, Mr. Peabody…but actually being here is quite unbelievable! C-can we go somewhere?”
Sherman had already inputted a time and place for them to visit, they wouldn’t be there long-it was more to show off the machine’s capabilities to Chris firsthand.
Mr. Peabody sits in a chair that is in front of a giant window, he then hits the large red blinking button….in about two seconds, much like an airplane taking off; the three are pushed back by a giant force. Bright wavy lights flash outside of the machine, they go faster and faster as the machine picks up speed.
A loud, deep bang is heard, it is so loud that it makes the floor vibrate.
Chris then hears talking from outside of the machine. The door to the machine slowly opens, the door lightly hits the cobble stoned street.
Mr. Peabody stands in front of both Sherman and Chris, Peabody’s eyes get kind of large. Angry soldiers point high powered rifles and machine guns at the machine.
“Sherman, where exactly did you tell the machine to send us?”
Sherman rubs the back of his neck “I kinda…didn’t look….”
Peabody glances angrily at his son. Sherman and Chris are then yelled at to step out of the machine, they do so. Chris’ heart sinks to the bottom of his stomach-as a giant Nazi flag hangs right in front of them and four Nazis have all three of them at gun point….

Date: August 29, 1934
Time: 5:30PM
Location: Paris, France

Guns are being loaded; evening is now coming upon Paris. In the center of the town square, the time machine and the trio stand in slight fear. Mr. Peabody slowly raises his arms above his head.
“Peabody here…what can I do for you fine gentleman?”
One Soldier named Hans steps close to the dog, Peabody side steps so he is in front of Chris and Sherman, Hans is sort of the ‘leader’ of the four soldiers.
He is tall, his blonde hair slicked back. He smirks at the dog, his voice monotone and calm.
“This contraption could most likely be a benefit to the Reich, being that you three just popped out of thin air like you did. You see those two vehicles over there?”
Hans points to two black cars with small Nazi flags stuck in the hood of the engine approaching the center of the street, the headlights are on-the drivers do not exit the vehicles. Hans turns back to Mr. Peabody.
“Three people can not fit in one car….” Hans walks over to Christopher and grabs him, Chris begins screaming in terror, Peabody’s heart jumps a tiny bit, but he dares not move-or he and his son could get shot instantly.
Hans tosses Chris into the back of one of the cars. “Therefore, we take this lad, and throw him in one car….” He snaps his fingers, two nameless men each grab Sherman and his father and they are tossed into the vehicle next to the one Chris is in. Hans drives Chris a bit ahead, a nameless man drives the dog and boy-the car then picks up speed and is now following Hans’ vehicle. Peabody realizes the driver of there car is not just a regular Nazi Soldier-he is a general of the SS.
Sherman whispers to his dad, “Mr. Peabody, do you have the controller to the time machine?” The dog shakes his head.
“Chris has it…I was telling him about it earlier. No way would he know how to summon the machine though, poor lad is scared out of his wits. Now, quiet while I think.” Mr. Peabody notices that the car is heading for a bridge, beneath the bridge is shallow running water, the bridge is also quite long.
The car then stops right before crossing the bridge. Peabody leans over and notices the car Chris is held captive in, is heading for a large warehouse up a head. Peabody memorizes the name of the Warehouse, which he can see due to the headlights of Hans’ car up a head….Warehouse thirteen.
He embeds it in his brain, and then continues scouting the area. The dog then looks at his feet so that the driver can not see what he’s doing. The dog takes his glasses off…he looks into the sky…he knows that the trajectory of the sun is just right to perform this.
He then lifts his glasses up inch by inch, the light of the sun bounces off his glasses and instantly blinds the driver-he yelps in pain as the sunlight goes directly into his eyes, the car veers to one side swiftly, the barrier of the bridge breaks and the car falls a few feet into the water.
Sherman’s heart leaps to his throat, the car falls roof first. The driver is knocked out, and Sherman and his dad fall to one side. Mr. Peabody then unbuckles Sherman’s seat belt, then his own belt and climbs to the front of the car, he looks at Sherman, “You alright, son?” The kid nods slowly-still getting over the shock of what happened, Peabody then grabs Sherman’s hand and pulls him out of the car wreck.
Before leaving, Peabody quickly changes into the driver’s clothes-now Peabody is dressed as an SS general, he wears a black trench coat, on the elbow of the trench coat is the swastika, a white shirt and black tie, black slacks and black boots. As they step into the shallow water, Sherman shakes himself off of access water. “Alright Sherman, lets get out of here…” Again, grabbing his sons’ hand, they both run from the wreckage.
A short climb up later, they’re back on the streets of Paris. “Will Chris be okay, Mr. Peabody?” The dog sighs, “I sure hope so…” They both then walk down the street, the sun is just finishing up setting….

Date: August 29, 1934
Time: 9:13PM
Location: Warehouse 13

Christopher wakes up slowly, wooden boxes surround him.
The light is quite dim, his buttoned shirt taken off due to pockets potentially holding concealed weapons, he is just left wearing the brown jeans and a grey t-shirt, the warehouse is freezing. He realizes he is tied to a wooden chair. Hans wears a white lab coat. “Evening Christopher, my name is Hans…also known as…Dr. Der Böse Schändliche Nicht Gut Blauäugigen Magen Dreht Schlacht König! You will tell me everything about that machine….and how it works. We have your little controller…so speak up. Chris quivers in terror. “O-only m-my friend knows….h-how to use it!” Hans then goes to the back of the warehouse, he approaches Chris with a huge injection. “Let’s try that again….”

Date: August 29, 1934
Time: 9:25PM
Location: Alleyway

As Sherman and Mr. Peabody walk in a dimly lit alley way, they hear a jeep approach; Peabody whispers to Sherman “Just go along with what I say….”
The jeep comes to a stop; a soldier comes out and shines a rather large flashlight at the two. “State your business!” Peabody grabs Sherman by the back of the neck. Peabody speaks in quite a firm tone. “I found this boy rummaging through some trash-and I intend to take him to warehouse thirteen…give me your vehicle.”
The solider nods, he notices what the dog is wearing, and knows he is more than a regular soldier- he is of a higher rank than himself, he becomes a bit intimidated. He is sworn under and oath to abide by those who are of higher rank than him. “Y-yes sir…” Peabody speaks firmly yet again.
“One more thing…do you know of a back way into warehouse thirteen?” The solider nods, “y-yes sir, go over the bridge, instead of going straight, take a left. Drive for an hour…you will then see the back of the warehouse. Good evening, sir. Heil Hitler.”
Peabody simply nods, not giving the Nazi salute back. The solider quickly grabs the keys to his jeep and hands them to the dog-he and Sherman hop in the jeep and drive away. Sherman puts his seatbelt on hastily and turns to his father. “I can’t believe you stole this guy’s jeep!” Peabody turns to his son. “He did Nazi that coming! Now Sherman, open the glove compartment and tell me if you see a map.” He finds a map and hands it to his dad.
“Now, this chap was telling the truth….but I do want to see-“ his sentence is interrupted by the loud sound of a whistle blowing. Peabody stops the jeep, on a nearby side walk, a Nazi soldier yells and points.
“IT’S THAT DOG AND BOY! GET THEM!”
A large, armored truck then drives right in front of the jeep-Peabody makes a sharp turn to the left, nearly knocking Sherman into the passenger side window. “Hang on, Sherman!” The jeep zips through the streets, zooming past homes, going up and down hills-and the large truck gaining momentum.
The passenger of the truck takes out a semi-automatic gun and begins firing at the jeep, glass shatters inside of the jeep, Peabody’s eyes get wide as he realizes his son could be shot at any second!
“Sherman! Get your head down!” He does so.
Peabody swerves left and right, and begins accelerating, the tires screech violently. The dog’s heart pounds, he does not panic-he keeps his wits about him. He focuses mostly on the road ahead of him, but also glances at Sherman-his thoughts are interrupted by the truck banging on the bumper and the loud gun firing-causing his head to pound. “Sherman, open your door!” His son looks at his father like he has two heads. “Do it!”
Sherman hastily opens the door, Peabody unbuckles both seatbelts. Sherman is not sure whether or not either of them will even live through this…for the first time in a while, he begins feeling terrified.
Sherman notices that the jeep gage is as high as it’ll go, the jeep is now driving at full speed-in a split second, Peabody turns the jeep towards an abandoned home on a very quiet sidewalk-he grabs his son with one arm, holding him above his head so his son is not injured on the pavement-they both tumble onto the street.
Peabody keeps his sons’ head covered as he watches the jeep flip on one side once it hits the curb of the side walk-the truck smashes into the now destroyed jeep. The armored vehicle smashes violently- followed by a fiery explosion is only a few feet away from the dog and boy.
Peabody and Sherman lie in the pavement, they both breathe heavily.
“You alright, Sherman?” Sherman rolls on his back next to his dad. He rubs his eyes.
“Y-yes…just a bit scared.” Peabody pats Sherman on the head. “Good job not panicking and listening to me….good boy!” Peabody removes the Nazi outfit, being that it was tattered in the heat of the things, he fixes his red bowtie and glasses and they both walk briskly away from the fire-they both rest leaning up against the side of a nearby house…
As fire trucks and ambulances approach, Peabody thought of getting help-but if they’re in line with Hans or do not like the idea of them going to Warehouse thirteen, then everything could be ruined. Instead, Peabody sneakily grabs a first aid kit from the ambulance….

Date: August 30, 1934
Time: 5:00AM
Location: Woods

As they make there way into the woods, Mr. Peabody notices his son limping.
“You’re limping.”
The dog looks down and notices a good sized wound in his sons’ leg. “Sherman, sit on that rock over there-that wound might get infected…put your leg up to stop the bleeding.” His son nervously does so.
“Mr. Peabody, I-I…can’t believe what happened…” Peabody then opens the first aid kit he got off of the ambulance and grabs a white bandage and dabs a bit of alcohol on it; he then grabs an injection from the kit.
“Okay Sherman, this injection has a medication called Anti-tetanus serum. Being that you were cut by glass, tiny shards could still be in you or more likely, the glass was dirty and it now infecting your blood stream and you could get Tetanus” Sherman winces. “Mr. Peabody, what is Tetanus?”
The dog lightly taps the syringe to get air bubbles out and speaks.
“Tetanus or ‘lockjaw’ is a medical condition characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibers. Infection generally occurs through wound contamination and often involves a cut or deep puncture wound. As the infection progresses, muscle spasms develop in the jaw-thus the name lockjaw and elsewhere in the body.”
Sherman raises one eyebrow. “Mr. Peabody, I did not understand any of that….” The dog sighs and lightly holds his sons’ leg.
“Tetanus is bad. Count to three to prepare yourself for the shot”
Sherman takes a deep breath “…One…Two…”
Once his son hits two, Peabody injects the needle-Sherman yelps a bit and gets a bit irritated. “Ow…ow…ow! THAT hurt Mr. Peabody! You said count to three!”
The canine carefully removes the needle and tosses it into the woods, he puts a small band aid on the injection spot and wraps gauze around the actual wound. “You were focused on counting; therefore the pain of the injection was secondary. Now, let’s go find Christopher….”

Date: August 30, 1934
Time: 6:00AM
Location: Warehouse 13

Sherman kept on asking about Chris, and while Peabody would normally find constant questions redundant, he let it slide.
He understood his son was worried for his friend, and rightfully so. Peabody somehow knew that everything would work out for the best-he especially thought so when he saw the warehouse itself within just a few more paces.
Sherman and his father sneak through the exit door.
Since it’s the back of the warehouse, it’s pretty dark, but a dim ceiling light illuminates the room a bit.
To one side of the warehouse, is an oddly placed tea pot with cups on a mini stroller.
Not one sign of Chris is anywhere. Sherman stayed close to his dad.
Large crates were all around the room, the two crouched behind a large crate as they heard footsteps of a soldier with a baton.
Beyond the guard and crates, was another ceiling light, Peabody heard Chris breathing heavily from the cold air. The dog then looks at Sherman.
“Hand me your cellular device…”
His son does so, Mr. Peabody then looks up Sherman’s alarm clock app.
Sherman looks over Peabody’s shoulder and whispers “What are you doing, Mr. Peabody?”
The canine shushes him-then scrolls through various sound effects that can be used with that app. He then sets the alarm clock to two minuets; he slides the phone over to the far side of the room.
Peabody grabs his son’s hand and they briskly crawl to the opposite side of the room.
A moment later, the alarm clock sounds. The guard then marches over to where the sound came from, the dog and boy climb over a few crates quickly…they both leap from on top of a higher crate and are met by Chris, who is tied to a chair in the middle of the warehouse. Mr. Peabody whispers frantically.
“Chris, are you alright?!”
He begins untying the young man, when suddenly, from out behind a crate, Hans leaps from behind Sherman and grabs him-Sherman yelps a bit.
The dog quickly turns around to see Sherman is now helpless in the hands of Hans.
“Sooooo….dog! You came to see Chris! Now, you’re in a pickle aren’t you?”
Peabody narrows his eyebrows, lets out a small growl and speaks in the angriest tone Sherman has ever heard him speak.
“Let. go. of. my. son.”
The guard who investigated the cell phone noise then grabs Mr. Peabody from behind and knocks him out….everything goes black.

About an hour later, Mr. Peabody awakens quickly.
He, Sherman and Chris are now all tied to chairs.
Hans walks slowly back and fourth, he and the guard stand in front of all of them, Hans speaks in a delighted tone.
“We figured out what your little machine does-moving back and fourth through time. It would be so beneficial for the Reich and Hitler, our Führer”
Mr. Peabody speaks up.
“All of this is WAY out of Mein Kamfort zone! You can’t do this!”
Hans pushes a button on the remote Chris had, the machine is then summoned to the warehouse. Hans chuckles manically.
The stroller with the tea is then brought out; Hans admires the swastika on the side of the pot and slowly pours himself a cup, and also pours one for the one other soldier in the room.
Hans and the soldier each take a sip of his tea.
“Your son will be the first to go, dog…cry over his body for a moment or two-then you and your puns can….soon say bye. N-”
His sentence is interrupted by a cough…then another cough…and soon…he has a mini coughing fit, he then vomits onto the floor.
Peabody then easily hops out of the chair, he had untied himself moments before hand.
The soldier beside Hans merely passes out from nausea.
“Seems Hans, you have an issue. I’m afraid that tea…is not as safe as you thought.”
Hans looks at the dog, his eyes widen, his stomach begins turning and he begins to feel extremely ill.
“Before we came here, my son needed to make a pit stop in the woods. I grabbed a plant, called Wisteria. Most reports state that eating this plant will cause nausea, vomiting, cramps, among other things. Rest up while I untie my son and his friend.”
Hans tries to yell, but the stomach pains get worse and worse-the dog then steals the remote and leads Sherman and Chris to the time machine. Hans clenches his fist and breathes heavily.
Mr. Peabody is inside the machine, he is about to set the WABAC, abruptly, Hans leaps onto Sherman and Chris as they bored the machine-which frightens the dog-causing him to push the red button on accident-Peabody leaps after Hans, knowing that the safety of Sherman and Chris is vital.
The machine in a bright flash of light disappears to another time zone.

Date: Unavailable
Time: 6:00AM
Location: Unavailable

The sun is just rising above the tall trees, clouds are overhead.
Suddenly, Peabody and Hans find themselves wrestling on a dirt path. The controller to the WABAC is tossed in the middle of the fight and falls into a near by mud puddle. The dog pokes Hans’ in the eye and then stands up; Sherman and Chris stand by a few feet from the action. Hans can not physically fight anymore, he takes his large overcoat off, he begins to sweat profusely due to the poison in his bloodstream.
All of the sudden, the ground shakes, a deep rumble is heard along with the feeling of the entire earth vibrating. It happens a few times. Chris hides behind Mr. Peabody and Sherman puts his hand on his fathers’ shoulder. Rain begins falling from the sky. Mr. Peabody grabs the near by controller….due to it being wet, it is unusable for the time being. “M-Mr. Peabody…wh-what is the rumbling s-sound?” Chris asks with a giant lump in his throat.
The rain then begins falling, a torrential downpour begins, lightening flashes in the sky. The rumbling sound is now identified by Peabody as giant footsteps. Mr. Peabody gulps. “My two comrades, welcome to….the Jurassic era.”
Just as he says this…the head of a Tyrannosaurs Rex appears in front of them….its movements slow and methodical. It’s breathing deep and slow.
Sherman stands in awe of the beast and is very fascinated by it; Chris however is not as infatuated.
Chris quivers in paralyzing fear, the dinosaur heads right for Hans…who like Chris, is paralyzed with fear. As the massive giant walks towards the quivering Nazi, the legs of the beast are mere centimeters from Peabody and his two friends.
The T-rex sniffs Hans’ face, the force of the nostril blow nearly knocks him over. Peabody grabs both Chris and Sherman.
“We will slowly make our way down this slope to the left. Follow my lead and do not make a sound.” Chris takes a deep breath and nods-he knows that fear can not get the best of him. He knows he must follow Mr. Peabody’s instructions to the letter.
They tip toe past the beast….the three make there way down the slope, Chris sneezes, the T-rex looks over towards the slope…Mr. Peabody pauses….the beast turns its great head towards Hans, then the dog hastens his movement.
Hans looks into the eye of the monster, then abruptly lets out a blood curdling scream…which is then quickly cut off, followed by the monstrous roar of the prehistoric giant.

Date: Approx. 144 million years ago-Jurassic Era
Time: 7:30AM

The trio make there way to a new location in the woods, they’re soaked with rain water after walking for about a half hour. The rain has now let up.
The three sit beneath a tree, Peabody points out a few stegosauruses about a foot away from them. Chris sighs. Sherman looks to one side.
“Mr. Peabody, why is there a jeep over there?” The jeep is dark green, two passenger seats and a small trunk area.
His dad looks over to where his son looks. “Well, I think being that Hans was here, caused some sort of glitch in space and time. Nothing to worry about. It’s just…a quirk shall we say.”
Chris rubs his eyes.
“W-will the controller work?” The dog nods. “Yes, it’s water proof. I just wanted to get away from that giant beas-“
Sherman then taps his dad on the shoulder-the three turn around….four Velociraptors are looking straight at them as they sit.
There backs hunched over, there tails erect, the medium sized monsters’ colors dark red and black. There jaws slightly opened, all four eyes darting slightly across the three morsels…they seem to be as still as statues.
One of them makes a sort of ‘chirping sound’. Peabody then looks to one side and remembers the jeep that stands.
They can not just run….the Velociraptors would easily attack and kill the three of them; also summoning the time machine could be bad news as well. The bright light could also make the carnivores attack. Mr. Peabody grabs a large rock-the four creatures close in on them…slowly, teeth showing and claws rising. The dog tosses the rock up over the heads of the dinos. The rock smashes into a tree, causing the raptors to investigate.
The four of them make a run for it to the jeep-quickly, the raptors turn back around!
Chris lags behind due to extreme exhaustion, and is nearly snatched by a raptor, but the dog pulls him to safety-the jeep starts and zooms down the woods. Sherman sits in the back and Chris sits in the passenger side. Sherman shouts “They’re gaining on us, Mr. Peabody!”
The dog then moves the clutch to the jeep into high gear.
Mr. Peabody then looks ahead, about ten feet away from the jeep-is an open edge, like what they were riding on what some sort of path from a cave.
Peabody knows every second counts here-if the jeep goes off the edge, they’ll die…if the dinos catch them, they’ll die…slowly.
“CHRIS! Press the button to the remote when I tell you too!”
To the side of the woods and a few feet behind the jeep, a Dilophosaurus opens the large fins upon its head, lets out a high pitched, animalistic scream and squirts black, burning goo onto the upcoming raptors-then the prehistoric creature proceeds to follow the jeep, wanting to meat for itself-but that does not stop the raptors.
Now five dinosaurs are chasing this one, speedy jeep. The ledge to the cliff is approaching.
Mr. Peabody shouts “NOW CHRIS!” Chris does so, the WABAC appears to be floating over the edge, the door comes down and the jeep quickly goes up the ramp.
Mr. Peabody rabidly closes the door the machine…the door closes quickly due to the emergency switch being pulled by Sherman.
The dog then punches in the correct time and date to get back-wasting no time, the WABAC promptly put them back home……

Date: February 14, 2014
Time: 8:18PM
Location: Peabody Residence

As Chris, Peabody and Sherman leave the time machine, Sherman speaks extremely excitedly about the time they all had. Mr. Peabody kindly interrupts him.
“Now Sherman, you know how to get a tyrannosaur out to lunch!” Sherman looks at his dad as they make there way to the living room. “How’s that, Mr. Peabody?” The dog smiles and pokes both Sherman and Chris. “Tea, Rex?”
Sherman gets into his pajamas; he still speaks up a storm, Peabody just listens and chuckles as Sherman bounces around, being his normal self.
Peabody then notices Chris sitting on the couch, not talking to either of them.
The dog then looks at his son. “Sherman, why don’t you go upstairs and brush your teeth, I’ll take Chris home shortly and be home in about twenty minuets.” Sherman says good bye to his dad and new friend.
Mr. Peabody sits next to Chris on the couch, “Everything alright?” The young man sighs annoyingly. “No, Mr. Peabody.”
Before, Chris could hold in the tears due to mild anxiety, but now-he couldn’t. He full out cries in front of his hero.
“I-I….have never been so scared in my life! First off, I’m swept away to…flipping NAZI occupied France! Then, I’m held hostage by some….psychopathic doctor who wanted to hurt me…and verbally hurt me none the less!
Then, I’m toe-to-toe with a HUGE T-rex…get chassed by raptors and NEARLY…fall off of a cliff to my death-so NO! I never, ever want to do ANYTHING like that again! It’s your fault that I feel this way, dog!”
Mr. Peabody’s heart sinks to his feet, he never really did think of what Chris’ reaction to all of this would be.
Sherman is so adventurous and happy-and while Chris is happy most of the time, the canine assumed he would like going on a back in time adventure.
Chris is sure different from Sherman, Sherman is bouncy and smiley. Chris is a lot more nervous and emotional-and Peabody did learn about this type of personality in books, but now that he’s face to face with a young man who has such a personality, he can’t help but feel he failed Chris by making him feel terrified for hours. Chris starts becoming pale just by the thought of all the stuff that happened.
“Chris…my intention was not to terrify you….I did not know you felt so strongly about this whole…series of events.”
Chris looks at the dog, still crying, he doesn’t speak for a moment. “Mr. Peabody…I-I really didn’t mean to yell…..you are a fantastic role model for me, you…you did introduce me to new parts of life. A-actually, I learned a lot. It’s not right to be mean towards you….its just, I love hanging out with Sherman and you.
I-I..it’s just the whole time travel stuff…is not for me. I’m terrified of it and it makes me have panic attacks. I want you in my life…you are extremely beneficial to happiness and knowledge in my life. I truly like you. Not time travel though.”
Chris looks almost ashamed. “Christopher, I accept your apology. No need for you to be ashamed, I’m very glad you told me that time travel is not something you enjoy. I will keep that for my son and I, and I promise that when you visit-you do not have to partake in our wacky pastime. No hard feelings, you did it once-no need for you to feel fear if you don’t need to feel it. Thank you for your mature demeanor.”
Chris knew the dog wasn’t the ‘hugging type’…but he couldn’t help but give Mr. Peabody a giant hug,
Peabody hugged back, as he knew that some humans need that type of connection. “Oh, and Chris…tell your parents what we went through. You told me your parents or people around you…seem to dislike you. Tell them how brave you were in the face of danger and survived…come to me if they need proof. You are better than you think.”
Chris got into his pajamas, he decided to spend an extra night at Peabody’s home-being that he was dead tired. The dog allowed it, and again-he fell asleep on the couch. This time, it was instant and he did not feel nervous-he knew who he was with, he knew he was safe in this house. Peabody smiles at Chris for a moment, then crawls into his own bed.
Over the months, Sherman and Chris certainly did hang out. Mr. Peabody had a conversation about how Chris is to Sherman, told him about his anxiety and told him never to make Chris feel uncomfortable or be to noisy around him.
His son completely accepts it, he knows his new friend is quite unique.
“Sherman, from the moment you saw Chris was being ostracized due to having the difficulties he has-to the moment you let him into your house, those moments are what make friends. While you’re hyper and sometimes naïve…I’m very proud of you for taking him in and being his friend, Sherman….not many people would do what you did. Especially a kid taking someone who isn’t even in a regular classroom under your wing, I’m so very proud of you, son.”
Before the summer approaches, Mr. Peabody, Sherman and Chris all meet outside of a local café….they ordered drinks and spoke of what they would do. Surly, they would meet again….

Date: April 2, 2014
Time: 8:00PM
Location: The Wilbur Theater, Boston MA.

I stand in the middle of the stage and let my new life adventure sink in with the audience. “So folks, that is how Sherman and Chris met-I truly hope you learned a lot from this epic. It was a pleasure speaking to you, good night!” Some I’m sure were truly affected by this story, not only did my son learn about two interesting (and somewhat dark) times in history, but he also learned about people and how to deal with them. He learned that they’re many different types of people in the world.
Maybe some audience member learned that as well! The audience gives me a thunderous standing ovation; I take a small bow and walk backstage….
THE END