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Contest! Finish "All the King's Men" 
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
You lazy, lazy people. I've already finished mine and am in the process of spelling checking, grammar correction, and the like. ;p

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Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:24 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
zeroslash wrote:
You lazy, lazy people. I've already finished mine and am in the process of spelling checking, grammar correction, and the like. ;p

Lazy? No. I just don't (or didn't, since Rick extended the deadline) have the time to do it. I'll get working on it next Wednesday, because that's when I'll finally be done with everything happening in my life right now.

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Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:31 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
I'll get to work on mine on the 14th. I have a final for my Chemistry class on the 13th, and Winter Break is after that, so I'll have all the time in the world after that.


Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:43 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
ctcmjh wrote:
I'll get to work on mine on the 14th. I have a final for my Chemistry class on the 13th, and Winter Break is after that, so I'll have all the time in the world after that.

Exams are evil I get out on the 21st but I have my ways :lol:

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Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:27 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Although i already passed mine in, the extended deadline gives me more time to finish what i'm doing at home for the holidays to get this taken care of. =P

Hope everyone makes it also. I like to test out my copy against others that i know are naturals at writing!

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Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:15 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Um, guys...
...
...
The piece is pretty well done. I'm just going to gut some things. But I won't be posting anything unless I get back from somebody. So, yeah.

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Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:39 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Well, I finished it. It took a couple days, but I did it. I just want to get some feedback in the Fan Projects section, and then I will fix any errors you nice people find for me. After that, I'm going to post it here for official entry. So sometime tomorrow. I am just glad that it's almost over for me.

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Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:14 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
copper wrote:
Well, I finished it. It took a couple days, but I did it. I just want to get some feedback in the Fan Projects section, and then I will fix any errors you nice people find for me. After that, I'm going to post it here for official entry. So sometime tomorrow. I am just glad that it's almost over for me.

cool cant wait to read it :)

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Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:51 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Well, here's my entry. It may not place, but I tried. I hope it is readable for you guys.


Quote:
2

“Not now, Kevin!” Fido said, regaining some of his composure.

King, meanwhile, was sitting motionless, a look of complete terror on his face. He couldn’t believe that he could say something so stupid to a bunch of dogs. It was no wonder they were all staring at him like he was an alien. If only he could just wake up in a prison bed, once again human, everything could work out. If only a magical jerk hadn’t come into his life and try to teach him some ambiguous “lesson” that more than likely didn’t even exist. If only he hadn’t tried to kidnap Fox in the first place, then maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t be in this mess.

Say something king……. No! Just run home! Nothing could be worse than this……. Run to the bathroom and try to escape through the toilet. They’ll probably think you’re just getting a drink!....... Why didn’t I use that as my ‘I have never’ turn!?....... Why don’t they just look away?....... All of these thoughts raced through his head in an instant, giving him a headache to top it all off with.

He knew he had to do something fast, but his overwhelming fear kept him motionless. But as he looked at the faces of the dogs left around him, a strange sensation took hold of him. It started in the pit of his stomach and began to move into his throat. Before he knew it, this warm feeling exploded out of his mouth in hysterical laughter. He was clutching his sides, afraid that he would fall apart from the force of it. As tears started streaming down his sides he heard a voice, quiet but firm. It was Fox.

“Uh, King? Are you okay?”

After a few minutes, his laughter subsided and he was finally able to respond to the now concerned faces of Fox, Fido and Sgt. Ralph. Kevin had decided that the game was too boring, so he shuffled off to play “surprise tackle” with a few unsuspecting police dogs.

“Hahahah… I’m sorry, Fox, but the look on your faces when I said that was Priceless! I kind of wish I had a camera.”

“So, wait, you were kidding?” said Fido, looking slightly relieved.

“You really shouldn’t joke like that. I almost had a heart attack with that one!” Sgt. Ralph said, a smile starting to form on his muzzle.

“Oh no,” king said with a completely sincere expression on his face. “I was telling the honest truth just then. I never have sniffed anyone’s rear end before, and I don’t plan on doing it anytime soon.”

That bout of laughter was magical. It completely erased all of the fear and anxiety that he had felt just moments ago. He knew that he must be in shock or something, but he really didn’t care. This feeling of relief was giving him renewed confidence, and he was finally able to think clearly. He knew the inevitable question was coming, but he wasn’t expecting it to come from where it did.

“Wait, how is that even possible!?” The little mouse named Spo said. “I mean, I thought that that was half of what dogs did. I’ve been stuck on this one’s head for a few weeks now, so I know that dogs do it whenever they see each other. They can’t help it.”

“Well, little morsel.” King all but growled, baring his teeth for Spo to see. “It is possible if you were stuck inside a house most of your life with no other dogs to interact with.”

“Wait a minute, King. Pete is bad, from what you say, but he lets you out all the time.” Fox said. Inwardly Fox was full of anticipation. He had waited for King to open up about his past for a while now, and he saw this as the perfect opportunity.

“Well, Fox, I have only been Pete’s dog for a little while. I was referring to Pete’s mother when I said that. But I don’t want to boor you all with my life story, so why don’t we just drop it.” He said, not wanting to lie to Fox any more than was necessary.

“No way, this is too weird. I have to know how you could go through your entire life without sniffing even a single rear end.” Sgt. Ralph said, perplexed.

Fido shot him a look. “Maybe we should just let it go. King must be pretty hungry right now. I doubt that half a Pay Day will fill him up.”

As if on cue, Officer Bill stuck his head out of the kitchen.” Meat’s done. Who wants a burger?”

Dang, So close! Fox thought, as he watched king barrel past all of the police dogs to the table. He was always trying to get king to open up, and when he was finally about to say something, he gets interrupted! It was infuriating, to say the least. He couldn’t let this opportunity just pass him by. Tonight was the night that he would get King to talk if it was the last thing he did! Well, I better get a burger before the others gobble them down. He got up slowly, a plan already forming in his mind.
------------------------------------------------
“You cooked this?” King asked Officer Bill, poking the bleeding meat that was stuck between a couple pieces of bread.

“Yep. Go ahead and eat up, King, you’ve got to be hungry.” Officer Bill said.

King nervously took a small bite of the nearly raw meat. His taste buds exploded as his entire mouth went into a state of Nirvana. A groan of pleasure escaped from his mouth, and all he could say was “wow!” King hadn’t eaten real food since Pete had taken him, and even then, he had been stuck with prison food. He hadn’t eaten a good meal in weeks, and he welcomed the chance to finally eat some real food. He wolfed down the first two burgers in a matter of seconds, and was reaching for the third when he noticed everyone staring at him. Again.

“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just been a while since I had real meat.” King laughed nervously, his hand still reaching for a third hamburger. “Is there a set number for everyone? I’d hate to take away from anyone…”

Officer Bill just chuckled softly for a moment before answering. “It’s okay, King, there’s plenty to go around. We’re just amazed that you can fit so much in that little body of yours. Well, that and you inhaled those burgers faster than I could blink!”

“Yeah, you eat faster than Mr. Tackle over there!” Spo said before Fido could stop him.

“Do you want something to drink with that?” Fox asked King, trying to change the subject. He could see that King didn’t like being the center of attention.

“Sure what do you have?” king asked.

“You okay with Orange Soda!?” Fox yelled from the kitchen.

“Why don’t you just bring the cooler out here? I’m sure everyone else is going to want one.” Officer Bill shouted to his pet.

Fox drug the blue cooler filled with ice, orange soda, and a few beers for Bill out to the table. He passed orange sodas down the line until everyone had one, gave Bill a beer, then got King some water before sitting back down. King had opted for water because he didn’t want a sugar rush. The conversation had already drifted away from King, and had entered the category of “varied,” with everyone splitting off into separate groups of conversation. King found himself stuck with Fido on his left, and Sgt. Ralph on his right.

Fido was trying to strike up a polite conversation with King, but King was busy wolfing down his fifth burger. Ralph was never much of a conversationalist, but he too was trying to get King to talk. This corgi was too mysterious for Ralph. He was the leader of the K9 unit, and he couldn’t get a word out of King. This dog is harder to read than a criminal mastermind! That was the moment when Sgt. Ralph knew just what to do about King.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After King unceremoniously ended the lunch with a loud belch, followed by a hurried apology, his cheeks a deep crimson , he found himself on the couch, more content than he could ever remember being. All he could do was try to keep his eyes open. He was so content, in fact, that he didn’t even care that Sgt. Ralph, the head of the K9 unit, had sat down beside him.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sgt. Ralph stood at the doorway to Officer Bill’s study, a couple of orange sodas in his hands and a look of resolve on his face. He didn’t think he would ever need to interrogate a fellow canine, but he just had to check this King out. He was way too suspicious, and his revelation earlier in the day had only served to heighten the sergeant’s misgivings. He knew what to do, and he intended to get the truth out of that dog.

Okay Ralph, just go over there, strike up a friendly conversation, and get things started; that’s all you need to do. Remember, he won’t remember a thing if all goes right. You’ve been trained for this, so just go over there and do your job! With that little pep talk out of the way, Ralph went to the couch and sat next to a sluggish little dog.

“Hello, King, how are ya feeling? I hope all that food isn’t upsetting your stomach.”

“I’m fine, Sgt., just a little tired. I can barely keep my eyes open!” King said, managing a smile.

Here’s your in, Ralph. If he’s never sniffed a butt, he may not know other things about dogs. “Well then, King, how about an orange soda? Oh, and you can just call me Ralph.” Ralph asked, offering one to the little dog next to him. He tried to contain his excitement as the corgi took the offering.

“Thanks, Ralph. The sugar rush should really help!” King greedily chugged half of the soda before stopping to take a breath. He sighed before turning back to Ralph, “So, is there anything you wanted to talk about? I kind of assume that you do, since there’s no other reason to talk to me.”

“King, don’t be so hard on yourself! You are the new dog, and I’d like to get to know you better. I am the head of the K9 unit after all. Just consider me part of the welcoming committee. Hahahah!” Ralph tried his best to hide his true motives from King. He was just biding his time until the soda started to take its toll.

After what seemed like an eternity of small talk about various neighborhood happenings, Ralph noticed that King had started to act differently. His eyes glassed over and he started to get a slight slur to his speech. This was the moment that the Sergeant had been waiting for “Hey King, everyone is wondering what your story really is. Why don’t you tell anyone?”

“SHHH! That’sh shuposed to be a shecret. I ain’t tellin’ anybody.” King said with a smile as lopsided as his ears.

“Oh come on, king, aren’t we friends now? You can tell me.” Ralph said with the sweetest tone he could muster. “Why don’t we go find fox and you can tell us both. I know he’s as curious as the rest of us; he’s just too polite to admit it.”

At the mention of Fox, King suddenly got a depressed look on his face. “I really hope that Fox doesn’t find out about me and that I love you Joel.” His voice was dripping with rage as he spoke his former name.

Ralph, meanwhile, was struck dumb by what King had just said “ Wh- Joel!? The guy who kidnapped Fox and escaped from prison Joel!?” He looked around to make sure no one else was around before adding in a harsh whisper that was seething with rage “How do you know him!?”

“I-I knew him in a former life,” King managed to mumble. Even with his mind swimming in orange soda, he knew that he had screwed up. Oh god, why did I mention my name!? He’s going to find out about me! The whole neighborhood will know!! Fox won’t want anything to do with me! Oh god, Fox!!!

King was in a state of panic by now, his train of thought and the effects of the orange soda only making things worse.

“Ralph, please! Please, please, please don’t tell Fox! I can’t lose him as a friend! He’s the only one I have!! Tell me you won’t let this slip to Fox! Tell me!!!” King was on the verge of tears at this point, desperately clinging to Sgt. Ralph’s fur. He had a pleading look in his eyes, and a tenor of pity had permeated his voice as he whispered a final, desperate plea for silence.

Just one look told the German shepherd that King had broken down completely. He put on a look of compassion and rubbed King’s shoulders soothingly, saying “ It’s alright King. I won’t tell fox. Just calm down. You are still tired, right? Well, why don’t you go to sleep?” It was then that he made an almost imperceptible movement, and pinched a nerve between the smaller dog’s shoulder and neck, sending King into blissful unconsciousness.

“Sorry little fella, but I need you to forget what happened.” The police dog whispered. He got up, grabbed the empty orange soda can from King’s paw, and walked slowly away. His normally grim expression gone, replaced with one of suppressed rage as he went to join the party in the living room. I have to keep an eye on that dog. If he really does know Joel, he may try to contact him. I have to be ready when that happens.


3

“King…”

There was darkness everywhere, but it felt oddly relaxing to King. He knew that he could relax in the pitch black forever. There were no worries, no police dogs, and definitely no Pete. But, as always happened, he got interrupted by a familiar voice.

“King!” It was louder now. He tried to ignore it, but he knew he couldn’t for much longer.

“King! Wake up!” He felt a paw gently shaking his shoulder. He quickly opened his eyes, but shut them just as fast as a blinding light burned his retinas.

“Augh! Fox turn off that light, would ya!?” King was cringing, trying to block all light from his already closed eyes.

“Well, I don’t know about you, King, but I don’t have the power to turn off the sun.” Fox said wryly, a smile cracking his muzzle. “Now come on, I’ll walk you home.”

King looked a little annoyed at that last statement. “Wait… you’re taking me home now? I thought you were going to keep me here and force me to interact with everyone.”

“The party’s over King. It’s been over for a while now. Everyone left about an hour ago. Now come on, the sun is setting and I want to get back home before dark.”

They walked silently for about ten minutes, each lost in their own world. As they rounded a corner, however, Fox suddenly stopped midstride. King, who was too deep in thought to notice, ran right into the husky’s back. He fell back with a little “oof!” escaping from his mouth.

“Hey! Could you give me a little warning ne-,” But King was cut off before he could finish.

“King, we need to talk.” Fox had a grave look on his face, and King knew that it must be serious. “When we played that game, you said that Pete wasn’t your original owner. You said something about his mother instead. Now, king, I have been very patient, but you need to tell me about your past. If I’m going to help you, I need to know what you’ve been through.”

King just stood there for a second. He knew this was coming, but he had hoped that Fox would just give up on it. He enjoyed Fox’s friendship too much to lie to him. Yet as he looked at those piercing blue eyes staring him down, he knew he had to, otherwise Fox would never let this go.

“Ugh, Fox, are you sure about this? I mean, I don’t want to bum you out or anything, but my life has been pretty boring.”

“King, I don’t want excuses. I want to know what made you this way.”

Swallowing his regret and putting on his usual scowl, King began to speak. “Fine, Fox. I’ll tell you my life story if that’s what you want. I was born in Wales, on a breeding farm near Cardigan, just over the border of Pembroke shire. I was born with a rare disease, and was sick for the first six months of my life. The only contact I had with dogs was my mother. She would visit me for a few minutes every day before going out to take care of all of my brothers and sisters. The disease permanently messed with my balance and speech. That’s why I am so clumsy, and you don’t know this, but I didn’t say a word until I was two years old.”

“King, I’m so sorry, I had n-,” Fox began, but it was his turn to be interrupted.

“Please, Fox, don’t interrupt me until I have finished.” King took another breath and continued. “Now, during this time, all of the other pups my age were getting homes and families. My mother would tell me how happy they were to be getting new families and I began to dream of the day when I would be adopted out to a nice couple. It was the only thing that kept my spirits up.

Now, as I said before, the sickness lasted six months. When my fever finally broke and I was able to walk, the owners let me go outside for a few hours each day. By this time it was autumn and most of the puppies my age had been adopted out, and those who were left were scared to come near me, thinking that I would get them sick. It didn’t help things that I couldn’t even bark, much less carry out a normal conversation with anyone. I would just walk around, happy that I could finally feel the warmth of the sun on my face.

During my sickness and subsequent isolation, I learned how to read. I got lost in the world of literature, imagining myself as the most famous of heroes. I had no idea what the truth was. In hindsight I guess I should have known. It was so obvious.

The truth was I was a sickly pup that couldn’t talk, was constantly falling over, and had no social interactions with other animals. I was a nonentity, and the owners of the breeding farm knew that I was nearly unadoptable. That is, until they got a call from America.

The old spinster who called was named Amelia. She was the typical aging southern belle, except for her obsession with perfection. Everything had to measure exactly to her standards, and if they weren’t, she would force it to match them. She called the breeding farm because she decided that a proper woman of her age needed a proper dog, and if corgis were good enough for a queen, then they would suffice for her.”

King stopped at this point to take a breath. He noticed that Fox was waiting with bated breath for him to continue. He was about to smile at this, but remembered where he was in his story, and that he needed to act the part he was playing. He added a tone of sorrow and resentment into his voice as he continued.

“She called the farm and asked if they had any mute dogs. The breeders thought this was an odd request, but they also thought that this American might be their only hope for adopting me. They told her that they did indeed have a well- read and calm young corgi that happened to be mute from a disease he was stricken with as a pup. They negotiated a price, and on the next day, I was in a crate in the cargo hold of a plane, on my way to America. I was a year old at the time.

I don’t really remember that much of the actual plane trip, other than being scared out of my mind, and going to sleep about halfway through. What I do remember is arriving at Ms. Amelia’s home. A tall man opened the cage door, picked me up, and carried me to a drawing room. I was excitedly looking everywhere I could for my new family. I found it really weird that there was no one in such a big house. The tall man, whom I would find out later was the butler, told me to sit down in a chair and wait for “Ms. Amelia.” I was curious, so I did what he asked without question. About five minutes later, she arrived.

As soon as I saw her, I was amazed. Amelia was an old woman, probably in her eighties when I first met her that day, but the thing everyone noticed about her was her imposing demeanor. She commanded and got respect with nothing more than a wave of her hand. In short, she was a scary woman. I had never met anyone like her, even before she opened her mouth, I was expectantly waiting to listen.

When she did speak, my hopes of a happy household were crushed. Her first words were “Your name is King,” She said it without emotion, just staring at me, making sure to keep eye contact. Those were also the nicest words she ever said to me. I’ll never forget what she said next.

“From now on, King, you will be taught how to act properly. I asked for a mute dog because you will never back talk, bark, or growl at me. When I ask for you, you will come; when I give you a command, you will obey it; when I tell you that you are doing something wrong, you will correct yourself immediately or you will be punished. These are my rules, King, and you will obey them.”

With that speech out of the way, she got up and called the butler back in. She told me to follow him, and he would teach me proper etiquette.

I was supposed to be her dog, but I was really just an errand boy. I would satisfy her every whim so that the household staff could work their everyday jobs. I was a prisoner, stuck inside that house at all times. Sometimes at night I would look out of the window and wish that I could go outside. If I did even the smallest thing wrong, she would smack me with her cane, telling me what I did wrong and how to correct it. I hated that woman, fox, but I thought that this was normal. I didn’t know any better.

I finally got up the nerve one night, severely bruised from her latest beating. That night I opened a window, snuck out through the garden, and started walking on the sidewalk of the unfamiliar territory that was my neighborhood. I had only gone a few feet, however, when I heard a growl behind me.

“Hey, little pup, what are you doing out so late?”

I looked behind me and saw a large Rottweiler standing behind me. He had a jacket on and a menacing look in his eyes. I tried to communicate with him, but I don’t think he understood my signing. I still couldn’t talk at that point, so he started to get angry. He called a few more dogs over, and started threatening me. I was scared to death. He was saying that he was a police dog, and that he was going to throw me in the pound. I couldn’t talk to them, and I couldn’t disappoint “Ms. Amelia”, so I did the only thing I could have done. I ran.

I ran through the hedge of Ms. Amelia’s home, through the garden, and practically jumped through the window before slamming it shut. That was a mistake. Within a minute, the butler was in the library, staring at me. I was still breathless and panting. He pretty much guessed what happened, but didn’t say anything to me. He just followed me to my bed.

Over the next few months, I started to get my voice. It started out as a whisper, but got stronger until I was able to speak in the voice I have today. I didn’t dare tell that woman about my voice, afraid that she might get rid of me if I did. I started having conversations with the other staff members, though, and they taught me how to talk normally. I was around three by the time my conversational skills were up to par.

It was also around this time that I found my only escape from that prison, and that was the internet. I found out about the internet from a young human who worked as a maid in the house. She showed me how to use a computer, and even guided me through the pitfalls of the internet. I now had the world at my fingertips, and I enjoyed every minute of it, even though I could only go online at night after Ms. Amelia fell asleep.

It went on like this for a couple more years. I would go online at night to look at every piece of information I could find, and during the day, I was physically and mentally abused by that spiteful old woman. It was then another life changing event happened. Ms. Amelia died.

After the funeral, her will was read, and everything she owned was left to Pete, on condition that he took good care of her “beloved” corgi, King. Pete immediately fired all of the staff, sold everything in the place, and finally sold the house itself. After a week, Pete had carted me off to Babylon Gardens, and I am only now getting used to his, uh, “unusual” ways of taking care of me. I guess that he resents me, since we were not only raised the same way, but he is being forced to take care of me against his will, but that still doesn’t give him the right to do what he does.

Well, Fox, that is my life story. It’s not all that long or interesting, but you asked for it.”

King finished his story at this point. He had a look of disappointment on his face, but it wasn’t an act. He was disappointed in himself for having to lie like that to Fox, the one person who genuinely cared about him.

“Wow, King. I just don’t know what to say to that. I mean, I knew your life had to have been hard, but I didn’t know that Pete’s mother was so cruel. I’m glad you told me, this explains a lot.” With that, Fox started off towards King’s house, doing nothing more than motioning for king to follow, he was so engrossed in his own thoughts.

They reached king’s house just as the street lamps were coming on. Fox shivered in his bomber jacket, but he didn’t want King to know. He just wanted to get home to think about everything he just heard. “Well, King, I suppose this is goodnight. I’ll see you again soon, okay?”

“Alright, Fox, goodnight. Oh! And thank you for making me stay. Those burgers were amazing! I had a really interesting time. Give my regards to the K9 unit next time you see them.” King gave Fox a quick hug before heading inside the house he shared with Pete. As he closed the door shut, however, He heard the only voice that could make his skin crawl.

“Did you have a good time at the party?” Pete asked with a knowing grin on his face.

“Like you don’t already know!” King shot back.

“I know that you are quite an accomplished liar. That little autobiography you gave to Fox was truly inspired. You should try getting it published, you know!”

“I have to be a good liar to live with you. I had a choice between being crazy or being pitied, and I chose the better of two evils. Besides, you knew I was a good liar before you even transformed me. That’s probably one of the reasons why you picked me in the first place. You knew that I could cover my tracks.” King’s mood was just getting sourer by the minute.

“Tut, tut king. If you don’t control your temper, I might think twice about giving you a surprise.” Pete was looking awfully pleased with himself as he saw King’s ears perk up.

“What kind of surprise?” King asked, eyeing the gryphon suspiciously.

“Why it’s ipecac, of course! You are on a special diet King. You can’t have all of that rich food in your system. Who knows what damage it could do?” Pete was almost laughing at this point.

King’s face drained of color as he stared horrified, at Pete. “Wh-What?”

“Now don’t struggle, King. It’ll all be over soon.” Pete said as he grabbed the struggling corgi’s arm before he could run away and started dragging him toward the bathroom.

Clawing at anything he could reach, King could only yell “NO! PLEASE! FOX, TAKE ME WITH YOU! PLEASE!

Fin

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Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:25 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
I like it. And I like it how you made King "reveal" his "secret."

copper wrote:
It was then that he made an almost imperceptible movement, and pinched a nerve between the smaller dog’s shoulder and neck, sending King into blissful unconsciousness.


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Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:35 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
ctcmjh wrote:
I like it. And I like it how you made King "reveal" his "secret."

copper wrote:
It was then that he made an almost imperceptible movement, and pinched a nerve between the smaller dog’s shoulder and neck, sending King into blissful unconsciousness.


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Well, of course all members of the K9 unit are taught the vulcan neck pinch. I thought that was common knowledge. The police commissioner happens to be a huge trekkie, after all. :lol:

Oh, and the best way to cover up the truth is to tell a plausible lie.

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Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:21 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
King might as well create fiction stories and sell them. Lol. Great addition here copper.


Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:10 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Its great Copper, a well written and entertaining story... good all around...

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Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Well thank you guys for your wonderfully uplifting comments. I can only hope that the great and powerful Rick Griffin agrees with you! :lol:

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Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:09 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
can I just write it for fun? cause, theres no way I'll finish in time, seeing as I'm already writing a short story for school


Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:19 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Crazy-8 wrote:
can I just write it for fun? cause, theres no way I'll finish in time, seeing as I'm already writing a short story for school

This thread hosts finished works, to be evaluated and published on the homepage as part of the official continuity. Otherwise, it's fan-fic and you can post it in the fan-projects subforum

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Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:22 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Been working on a draft of the second chapter. I'll try to have something up tomorrow, but no promises.

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:41 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Sinder wrote:
Been working on a draft of the second chapter. I'll try to have something up tomorrow, but no promises.

And there go my chances. Alas, it had been fun, nontheless...
Can't wait to see your work Great Sinder :D :D :D

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Sinder wrote:
Been working on a draft of the second chapter. I'll try to have something up tomorrow, but no promises.


And here I was hoping for a runner up prize. If Valerio's out, then I may as well forget about that. I can't wait for your story, Sinder, it ought to be great!

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:18 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
copper wrote:
Sinder wrote:
Been working on a draft of the second chapter. I'll try to have something up tomorrow, but no promises.


And here I was hoping for a runner up prize. If Valerio's out, then I may as well forget about that. I can't wait for your story, Sinder, it ought to be great!

can't be less than that, Copper. It's Sinder, not chopped liver :D

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:32 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
valerio wrote:
copper wrote:
Sinder wrote:
Been working on a draft of the second chapter. I'll try to have something up tomorrow, but no promises.


And here I was hoping for a runner up prize. If Valerio's out, then I may as well forget about that. I can't wait for your story, Sinder, it ought to be great!

can't be less than that, Copper. It's Sinder, not chopped liver :D


Uh, what? I don't quite get what you're saying there. Could you rephrase that?

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:41 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
I have part two complete and am working on part three.
Edit: Geez, people. How can you expect others to give your story any worth if you don't? It doesn't matter if Sinder's in the race. You've done the best you can, and you should give that worth to your story. It's not the end of the world. Don't sell yourselves short.

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:00 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Tha Housedog wrote:
I have part two complete and am working on part three.
Edit: Geez, people. How can you expect others to give your story any worth if you don't? It doesn't matter if Sinder's in the race. You've done the best you can, and you should give that worth to your story. It's not the end of the world. Don't sell yourselves short.

In fact, I wrote it and I enjoyed a lot doing it. But I also was hoping for a glorious contest, and when it comes to top writers, the only tough choice for Rick will be between Sinder and, hopefully, Two-Twig. If Dean came along, everyone could then go belly-up and wait to see a story of his on the site.

Quote:
Uh, what? I don't quite get what you're saying there. Could you rephrase that?

in other words: we all (except for two-twig and Dean) are mere commons before a prince, when it comes to writing a story. Sinder IS my first inspirator, after all.

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
valerio wrote:
Tha Housedog wrote:
I have part two complete and am working on part three.
Edit: Geez, people. How can you expect others to give your story any worth if you don't? It doesn't matter if Sinder's in the race. You've done the best you can, and you should give that worth to your story. It's not the end of the world. Don't sell yourselves short.

In fact, I wrote it and I enjoyed a lot doing it. But I also was hoping for a glorious contest, and when it comes to top writers, the only tough choice for Rick will be between Sinder and, hopefully, Two-Twig. If Dean came along, everyone could then go belly-up and wait to see a story of his on the site.

Quote:
Uh, what? I don't quite get what you're saying there. Could you rephrase that?

in other words: we all (except for two-twig and Dean) are mere commons before a prince, when it comes to writing a story. Sinder IS my first inspirator, after all.

There you go, selling yourself short again. Stop that. We're all aware that Sinder and Two_Twig are master writers. That doesn't mean that you can just give up.

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
[rant]
Oh fer the love of fur!

*begins slapping people around*

Are you people insane?! What are you thinking? Have you elevated some people above what they really may be?

This was my issue to begin with. I was afraid that because since uber-fan1 (not naming any names) posted an entry that everyone else would just throw in the towel and forget about it. I became increasingly concerned as the stories trickled in and then stopped that Rick would have no choice but to pick of the two or three trickles because everyone else didn't give themselves a chance. It's no fun a contest like that, because then it really isn't a contest. And that is no way that I'd ever want to win one. Hence, my consistent badgering of people to get off their hands and enter something, anything, no matter what they thought of it. I was happy when more people started entering, really I still am. That gives the contest a more healthy atmosphere. But if your going to drop out of something out of fear? Why'd you enter to begin with? You know what though, I don't care who enters, I'm still entering my work. Even if it came in last, or even a second pick (if i'm lucky) or any place or not place at all, I'd still be happy. You know why? It's because I tried my hardest and gave it my best against the best. Or, more importantly, what people thought were the best. No matter what the circumstances were. And the best part is I didn't drop out of fear. That's why. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an entry to finish editing and post.

[End Rant]
[ @Mods: I'm sorry if I stepped out of line or did anything but this nonsense is really getting on my nerves.]

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Just because there's good competition doesn't mean you should throw in the towel. >_>

And you shoudln't be looking at other writers like that though, Valerio. it actually encourages me to get better at my writing more when i see good competition, hence why i entered in the first place. =)

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:48 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
GameCobra wrote:
Just because there's good competition doesn't mean you should throw in the towel. >_>

And you shoudln't be looking at other writers like that though, Valerio. it actually encourages me to get better at my writing more when i see good competition, hence why i entered in the first place. =)

Heh, the most amazing thing of it all is that everyone's decided to take my cheap rant seriously... Does *anyone* here remember that *I* suggested the very idea (see first entry)? That I was the *first* to submit a story, and went through many editing and corrections, thanks to the help of Lightwolf, Housedog and Obbl?
*shakes head* C'MON! I want to win this opportunity just as any other contributor, here!

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:54 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Pfft, Sinder
So what? Should you stop writing? NO!
Seriously...

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
People, don't argue :)

This contest is for your fun and entertainment. And it doesn't matter who participates.

If someone is considered as one of the best writers on forums, that doesn't mean that he will win for sure.

So don't look on others. And don't believe that you'll loose for sure. You must give it a try ;)

So write people. Write what your mind created.

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:14 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
valerio wrote:
Tha Housedog wrote:
I have part two complete and am working on part three.
Edit: Geez, people. How can you expect others to give your story any worth if you don't? It doesn't matter if Sinder's in the race. You've done the best you can, and you should give that worth to your story. It's not the end of the world. Don't sell yourselves short.

In fact, I wrote it and I enjoyed a lot doing it. But I also was hoping for a glorious contest, and when it comes to top writers, the only tough choice for Rick will be between Sinder and, hopefully, Two-Twig. If Dean came along, everyone could then go belly-up and wait to see a story of his on the site.

Quote:
Uh, what? I don't quite get what you're saying there. Could you rephrase that?

in other words: we all (except for two-twig and Dean) are mere commons before a prince, when it comes to writing a story. Sinder IS my first inspirator, after all.


Thank you for clarifying that comment, Valerio. I now understand what you were saying.

I entered the contest, and I'm staying in it. Nothing would make me just drop out. I guess I'm just a masochist or something, but I have little confidence in my own writing abilities. That being said, I am eagerly awaiting Sinder and Tha Housedog's entries. They ought to be quite entertaining!

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Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:36 pm
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
oh come on like a graduated english major can write

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
that solid gold fiddle is mine

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
It'll turn your fingers green Sinder

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Sinder wrote:
that solid gold fiddle is mine


Of course it is, Sinder. Of course it is. Can't wait to see it up here.

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Sinder wrote:
that solid gold fiddle is mine

Only ifyou can steal it from my cold, dead hands ;)

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
valerio wrote:
GameCobra wrote:
Just because there's good competition doesn't mean you should throw in the towel. >_>

And you shoudln't be looking at other writers like that though, Valerio. it actually encourages me to get better at my writing more when i see good competition, hence why i entered in the first place. =)

Heh, the most amazing thing of it all is that everyone's decided to take my cheap rant seriously... Does *anyone* here remember that *I* suggested the very idea (see first entry)? That I was the *first* to submit a story, and went through many editing and corrections, thanks to the help of Lightwolf, Housedog and Obbl?
*shakes head* C'MON! I want to win this opportunity just as any other contributor, here!

To be fair, you're not even that good, Valerio ;)

OH HUSH I'M KIDDING COME ON NOW

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Phff. Sinder wants a fiddle.

I just want my mark in history! *points to the sky*

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Sinder wrote:
that solid gold fiddle is mine


The devil, you say!

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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
You know what? To out the window with editing and get this off my laptop before I go crazy. So, here's my little entry. I know it's too long and maybe I bit off more then I could chew. But Rick said do whatever so I took that as license. So, here you go, enjoy! And good luck to everyone!

Before anyone could react, the huge Doberman leaped for the tiny, frightened corgi.


“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” King screamed! It got even worse when the big dog grabbed him. Down they went! Through the floor, wood cracking all around them. Behind them, King could see the others try to grab Kevin. But his size was too much. In fact, it seemed to King that the farther down the flooring they went, the bigger he got! A huge cruel smile was smirked upon his giant face.


The monster laughed as they plunged into the earth. Dirt crumbled around them. The more King tried to struggle, the farther down into the earth they seemed to go. Past roots, gravel, and sand. Past basalt, granite, and lime. All the while getting darker, all the while getting more painful. Then there seemed to be a faint, reddish glow coming from somewhere. The heat intensified. And King suddenly realized what was happening.


“No!” he shouted, not to there, not to there! What have I done? What have I done? Haven’t I changed enough? After those final thoughts, King could only scream one thing.


“Noooooooo!!!” And then everything turned red.


---


“Gasp!” King snapped awake, jerking himself up from his bed. He was soaking wet from sweat and shaking heavily. It wasn’t the first time he had had this nightmare. But still, why was he having nightmares to begin with? What was he, 2? Technically, he was 6 in dog years, but he shouldn’t dream about this kind of stuff still. Actually, what had really happened was still rather minor. There was a rush tackle made by Kevin. And poor King was so shocked that he was snapped for a minute or two. After a stern reprimand from Fido, Kevin apologized after King came to. King explained that he had been trained not to sniff because it was seen as bad behavior. He also said that he had no instinct. So he wouldn’t know what to do with the information had he been able to sniff in the first place. A couple of the K-9’s were still skeptical, but Fido had jumped in to his rescue. He explained that though rare, it is a known psychological disorder among dogs.


Afterwards, things settled down and the party had continued. There was only a few minor issues after that. One or two instances of food, chocolate being a key no-no for King. And then a question of where to, and not to go wee. King had nearly gone on a tree that someone else had and almost started a territorial dispute. The misunderstanding was once again smoothed over by Fido. And things were mostly normal after that. Still, King felt uncomfortable and embarrassed going to meetings. And he had one today. King had, through a series of rather questionable events, won himself on to the Good Ol’ Dog’s Club planning board. Which, coincidently, comprised of Ralph, Fox, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Bino, Fido, and now himself. He sighed heavily as he went out the door to find a tree.


He tried his best to sniff them out, but he couldn’t make out hide nor hair of user, just which ones that had and hadn’t been used this morning. He finally found one, and then made his way back inside and to the bathroom. He ran into Miles on the way in.


“Good morning King!” he said cheerfully.


“Morning”, King said quietly, hoping to avoid conversation for the moment.


“Hey now, what’s this?” Miles persisted, noticing King’s tact, King sighed. He told him about the nightmare he just woke up from. And said that he’d had it a few times before.


“Hmm, you know,” Miles began, “Sometimes the spirits use dreams as a warning, although not necessarily meaning good or evil, but sometimes of things to come.”


“You guys believe in spirits?” King asked, never really thinking that he thought the wolves believed in anything to begin with.


“Oh yes,” Miles continued, “They guide us through our lives with dreams, visions, visitations. Some are gifted to hear them, others not so much.”


“Like, Tarot and Sabrina?” King asked.


“And my grandmother. But we all hear from them from time to time in our lives,” Miles said, “If it still bothers you, you should probably see a psychic. My grandmother‘s the pack shaman as well you know, so you could see her as well.”


“Really? I’ll try and see if I can’t get in touch with Tarot somehow again,” King said, but he looked away thinking of someone else, “But not today.”


“Looking forward to the meeting this evening?” Miles asked. It was only then that King noticed his tail was wagging and he was grinning a bit big. Quickly he toned it down.


“Yeah, yeah,” He answered, “That reminds me, I gotta go get ready. See you later this evening.”


“Have a good time then,” Miles said, cheerfully whistling and wandering away in the woods. Oh, if you only knew, he thought.


---


“NO!!!” he said again.


“But didn’t you hear Fi-,” King was about to say.


“NO!!!” was the answer.


“Will you just li-,” Ralph tried to put in.


“NO!!!” for the third time.


“Look, it‘s only just a li-,” Fox tried to say.


“FOR THE THIRD AND FINAL TIME, NO, NO, NO!!!” Bino shouted at the top of his lungs. He had bout had had enough of the silly argument.


“Technically it’s the fourth time,” King said, much to Fido’s amiss.


“Actually, I counted sev-,” Spo was about to say.


“Not Helping SPO!” Fido said, cutting him off.


The argument really hadn’t started at the beginning of the meeting. Really, the meeting had started out what to do for thanksgiving and the Saturday after. Then there was talk about what to do for Christmas. This was going so well, Fido thought to it good to bring out an idea to light that he had had for a long time now. And, subsequently, whenever he tried to bring it up, was quickly hushed and shouted down by Bino. He wasn’t going to let that happen easily this time. Especially not with the good fortune that had come his way a week earlier. Keene Milton had approached Fido with the idea of starting a second club, (funded by the ferrets of course) for all pets of any species. Fido thought this was brilliant. And told him about his old idea, which, was basically the same. He later met up with Fox, and King himself was open to the idea.


Then they told Peanut, and Peanut was ecstatic. He then suggested that why bother having two clubs and split the society? Just have separate club meetings for the dogs like always, but then have other bigger, parties, with the other pets. That way, there wouldn’t be disputes over a persons supposed credibility or eligibility status. He also thought that it would also help stop the silly nonsense fights over who loved what. Which, he thought rather pointless because it wasn’t anybody else’s business anyways. They all had thought this made sense. Fido agreed that it might help stop the fighting on that front as well. King also agreed, and simply echoed what Peanut said to make the point stronger. Except that it didn’t matter to him which cats they hung out with, just so long as it wasn’t a certain purple one that threatened to tear appendages off once. Peanut told him later that Grape didn’t mean half the things she said, and all that should be needed to fix it was some time and an apology.


However, once Bino had heard ‘other pets’, he clearly had only thought of cats. And those filthy cat-lovers that went with them. He didn’t care about the other, other pets (rabbits, squirrels, ferrets, etc), they can start their own club. He didn’t, for once, care about the funding from the Milton’s. All he cared about was what he thought was a problem. And his problem, right now, was that his fellow hard line dogs were getting soft.


“Have you all gone stark raving MAD!” He said, pacing back and forth.


“First off, your crazy for even listening to Peanut, letting alone letting him on this board in the first place,” Bino continued, glaring at Fido.


“You know the real reason why is that he has more fun ideas then both of us combined,” Fido said in response.


“Second off,” he said, completely ignoring Fido, “Is that this whole second club thing sounds like a fishy cat-lover conspiracy! Funding from the ferrets? Sounds like just the thing to try and get me to waiver. Well, it’s not going to work. Not for this cause any ways.”


“And finally!” Bino said, “If you let dogs start hanging out with cats. Then sooner or later they’ll want their feline friends coming to DOG meetings. I do NOT want the club being torn apart! The dogs club will be for dogs, and dogs only!”


“But it still will! The only difference would be,” Peanut tried to say.


“Absolutely NO!” Bino interrupted again.


“What is it with you and cat-lovers?” Fido said, a little irritated, “Can’t you just leave well enough alone and get over it?”


“You want me to just allow any weirdo in the club?” Bino retorted back. “I’m not about to let every good dog start smooching up on cats!”


“Take it easy,” Fido said, trying to remain calm, then in hushed voice, “There’s still young ears here remember?”


“Well, they need to GROW UP!” Bino said without regards, King smirked, if you only knew the meaning of those two words. It’s a good thing they were in Fido’s basement. Even though the shouting was a little less disturbing with the door closed, the rest of the house might of got a little nervous. (There was a D and D game going on upstairs.) Like he was at the moment. He didn’t like arguments too much. He really just wanted to get along with other people. And, unlike the other dogs, he had a little more reserve and self restraint.


“Look, you might be the one who needs to grow up and accept change here,” Fido said, “I’m trying to do something for everyone and your shoving them away! Why!? Why are you so against it?”


“Because, like I said before, anybody with a cat is just wrong,” Bino said, clearly adamant, “They’re never going to have a life together like the way that me and Shasha are. That’s why!” Which reminded King to check the time. He had gotten a watch just for this purpose. Even though he hadn’t really liked watches at first, but he saw the usefulness. Good, he thought, still enough time.


“But, phew,” Fido took a deep, steady breath, “I’d never thought I’d have to make this point, however. What, what if they could? Would you not mind then?”


And it was the first silence of the room. Bino was completely and absolutely stunned. Fox had his mouth open. Ralph was taken back with eyes wide. And, as King looked at Peanut, poor Peanut. He had caught his breath and looked like he was about to explode. He was also gripping into the chair. There, I said it, Fido thought. Now I just have to wait. Why am I not shocked, King thought to himself? Oh right, I’m human, and don’t care what pets do with each other. He carefully looked around, trying to gauge reactions. It was Ralph who spoke first.


“Oh wow,” he said, “Fido, I never thought, wow. Ooph.” Fido had elbowed him in the stomach, and he promptly stopped. Then he spoke again, much to Fido’s dismay.


“Oh jeeze!” Ralph said, putting both hands on his eyes, “Oh jeeze, just. Ack, now I can’t un-see it!”


“Hah, there, you see?” Bino said, “It’s never a good idea no matter what the circumstances are.” This time Fox spoke.


“You know what, that was my reasoning and problem to begin with,” he said, still a bit taken back, “But, if Fido wants to change some things around here and it’s good for everybody, why not? I’ve always wanted to have a few more friends. And, if things are going to change no matter what I think, then I’d better be willing to accept it.”


“Fox is right,” King said, backing up his friend, “It doesn’t matter what you or I think. Babylon Gardens is going to change. For better or for worse. We just have to go along with it and be ready for when it happens. What we need to do is ask ourselves how we’re going to be remembered in this time of change. Did we do our part and help it change for the better? Or did we cause problems, make situations worse, and generally cause chaos? And if the leadership of our Club thinks this second, all pets group is a good idea, then by all means, I’m all for it.” Heh, I just said that didn‘t I. King thought, wow.


“You can breathe now Peanut,” Ralph said, noticing that his face had gotten a little red. Peanut relaxed the breath and eased his grip on the chair. But it didn’t stay eased for long.


“Well, THIS leadership will have nothing to do with cat-lovers, their sympathizers, other pets, or even fishy ferrets,” Bino said, “Now if we’ve wasted enough time on the subject. Next on the list is-*.” But Bino didn’t get to finish his sentence.


*kish*


And then, the second silence of the room happened. And everyone had their breath held in. Even King. Because, as far as he knew, Fido wasn’t one to get violent. Oh sure, he had been part of the group that tackled and arrested him, but, that was his job. Otherwise, he was a well mannered, reserved, slow to anger, and not one prone to disobedience. It wasn’t like him to send his sun glasses shattering to the floor. Unless there was something that was seriously, passionately bothering him. Bino was so stunned he didn’t move.


“All right, I’ve just had it up to here with your immaturity,” Fido said, almost growling and stepping up to Bino’s face.


“You are so full of it that you don’t want to see things different! Well, I’m telling you this right now! Things ARE going to change around here!” Fido said, more then a little irritated, ripping the aforementioned list out of Bino’s hands.


“There IS going to be a second club attached to the Good Ol’ Dog’s Club for everyone. And There WILL be a ratification meeting for it in three weeks!” Fido wasn’t done just yet, to top it off, he continued, “AND, I’ve already set up planning committees for the second club! Joey is on one, along with Maxwell, and they WILL help decide on what activities the second group will be doing. And THAT, is FINAL!” Bino had to stare for a second before responding.


“…Over my dead body,” he finally said, slightly hushed.


“I can arrange that,” Fido retorted.


“Oh please, you wouldn’t be able to arrange proper utensils at a dinner table,” Bino started, “Heh, I bet you can’t even sort out which bowl to use in the morning. Why I even be----*”


*BAM!!!*


Bino was dumb struck as his hands went to the side of his head. Had Fido just clocked him in the face? He couldn’t believe it, he just couldn’t believe it. What had gotten into Fido? Something had to be done, he thought. Fido needed to be brought back to his senses. Fido turned around and walked a couple steps away.


“Any more smart mouthed comments?” Fido asked. Bino waited for a few seconds more.


“Just one,” he responded, and with that, fisted Fido in the back of the head. Fido stumbled forward for a few steps. Then he did something that surprised even King. He wheeled around almost on a dime. And started to charge Bino. Bino responded, ready to meet Fido’s oncoming pounce. King saw all that was happening. Ralph trying to grab Fido’s arms. Fox trying to get a hold of Bino’s leg or tail. Spo ducking underneath the collar wincing. Peanut almost falling off his chair out of fear. Something had to be done. Somebody needed to step in. While afraid, King knew what he had to do.


Quickly he stepped in between the two. They hadn’t cleared any distance yet but lucky for King, corgi’s were quite fast. He held up both fists in the air at stomach level. It worked. Both would be combatants barreled into his stubby fisted paws. Both getting a little winded. King knew though, that that wouldn’t be enough. Ducking down as punching to the right as quick as he could, he aimed straight for the soft area below the knee cap on Bino’s left leg. As Bino was stumbling down, he quickly turned around and did the same to Fido’s right leg.


With both of them in pain and at his level now, just one more thing was needed to be done. He quickly grabbed both of them by the shoulders and smacked their heads together. It wasn’t enough to knock them out, but it was enough to knock them back and daze them for a few seconds. King let the heavy breathing and the painful grunts continue for a minute or two more. When both opened their eyes again, they were still eyeing each other. Even though they were being held, Fido by Ralph, and Bino by Fox. When he was a younger human, before he ran away King, had wanted to take a couple self defense classes.


“Have, have,” Ralph started, almost breathless, “Have you ever thought of joining the K-9 unit King?”


“NO!” he replied, “I can’t believe you just asked me that!” He then started pacing back and forth between the two.


“Like, I can’t believe what just almost happened. Are you both mad!?” he began, “Wanting to kill each other over, what? Love? For real?” Fido looked down, a bit ashamed. Bino continued glaring.


“So that’s it huh?” King continued, not talking to either one in particular, “This is just gonna be the Hatsfields against the McCoys, the Montagues and the Capulets, the north and the south, the, well, you get my point!”


“And you wonder why I’m always so nervous around you guys! Always ready to resort to beating the tar out of each other,” King continued, “You know what, I’m down right ashamed of both of you right now! Your brothers for crying out…wait, okay, that does make sense, but still!” King then turned to face Fido.


“And you, look at you!” King reprimanded, “A police dog? Wanting to get in a petty fist fight?” Fido bent his head down further and closed his eyes. Clearly abased.


“I thought you better then that. I mean, I know a job like yours can be stressful and all, but I sort of expected K-9s to show a little more self control off the job too.” King said, he then turned around to face Bino.


“Look, I’m -*” Fido started to say.


“I’m not done!” King said, he then stared straight at Bino eyes. Essentially trying to block his view of anything else.


“Grow up? Leadership? Relationship?” King said, clearly angry now, “You wouldn’t know the meaning of those words even if they manifested themselves and hit you in the face! You’re a leader right? You SHOULD know what that means! A leader has be understanding, compromising, forgiving, accepting, ready to face new challenges head on! YOU are NONE of those things!” King paused for a second to take a breath. Bino, more then a little upset, tried to get a word in.


“Oh, so you think you can -*” He tried to say. But was quickly cut short with a slap to the face. He had just been told off. And by a corgi no less. And he figured unless he wanted to get hurt more, he had best keep his mouth shut for now. Ralph once more noticed Peanut’s face. It was slightly redder then the last time.


“Peanut, breathe!” Ralph said, sighing again. Peanut quickly obeyed. The short pause allowed King to recover for a moment and started to get his final thoughts together.


“But you know what,” King started to finish, “You know what the good news is?”


“That there’s cookies?” Spo said. King just glared at him and he ducked back under the collar.


“The good news,” King continued, “is that you CAN. You just have to give it a try. It isn’t that painful. And if I remember correctly. Fox had told me once that you were willing to be whatever kind of leader the other dogs wanted you to be. And, that you were a dog of the people. Right?” King wasn’t really expecting an answer. While Bino wasn’t ready to give one, he had to admit, King was right. He did say that.


“So, first things first,” King said, “Both of you! Apologize! Right now!” He waited, crossing his arms. He knew that would catch them both off guard.


“I’m so-*” they both quickly began at the same time.


“Sigh, you first,” Bino said, grumbling. It was your fault anyways, he thought.


“I’m sorry Bino, I should’ve acted better,” Fido said, meaning every word.


“I’m sorry too,” Bino said, even though it hurt to say the very words. Now, how to put King on the spot, oh yes.


“All right, now what do we do?” He said, looking at King for an answer. So, you think you can just say what’s what huh, he thought, let’s see you do a better job.


“Okay, here’s the deal,” King said, looking at Bino, “You could always compromise you know. Is the only thing holding you back from the all pets club is the cat-lover thing?” Bino only vaguely nodded.


“All right then, I’ll tell you what,” King said, “If we can prove that cats and dogs can have a relationship together, will you agree to the second club?” Bino was silent for a moment. Then he looked at Fox.


“What do you think Fox?” he asked.


“Well, I’ve always been a bit curious myself from time to time,” he said, “It’s part of my problem. The other part is the hostility everyone seems to have about them and there doesn’t seem to be a reason why other then, you know.”


“Ralph?” Bino said, looking him in the eye.


“Well, Fox is right,” Ralph said, trying not to be bashful, “That’s pretty much the same reason I have.”


“Well?” King said, looking back to Bino.


“Okay, so I did say I was a dog of the people, I said that,” Bino said, “But that means all people! Not just two or three! If you want real change, your gonna have to convince the dog community! I want you to get at least, at least, a majority vote. And, I don’t want any cat-lovers that are discovered to be on any boards, in any meetings, or at any events for a year!”


“You know that’s not a good idea,” King started, “We just can’t leave out their input for a whole ye-*”


“How bout this,” Fido interrupted, “We first have to prove that cats and dogs can have relationships. We then have to convince the dog community that the second club is a good thing. And, we also have to get a majority vote in a ratification meeting. I’ll even concede that any cat-lovers discovered next year, and only next year, can’t participate in club boards for a year. Is that good?” Bino thought for a moment. It wasn’t what he wanted. But, if things were going to change, he wasn’t just going to lay down and die. He was going to go out fighting. Kicking and screaming if he had to. Bino looked at Fido and noticed something different. He was almost pleading.


“Sigh, you really want this don’t you?” he asked, giving just a little.


“Yes, I do,” Fido replied back. Adding more pleading with his look. Bino softened a little more.


“All right, but,” he said, “Remember, a majority. You HAVE to get a majority. Anything less and it’s a no go.” Fido nodded.


“So be it,” he said.


“All right, we got a lot of work to do,” King said, “We need some volunteers to actually do some fact finding.”


“So, who‘s going to be we?” Ralph asked, “I don’t know when I’ll be able to help.”


“Well, we can be me, Fido, and Fox,” King said, “I mean, if you guys want to that is.”


“Sure, why not” Fido said, not arguing.


“Sigh, yeah, I guess so,” Fox said, “Even though I don’t believe we’ll find anything.”


“What about me?” Peanut asked, clearly excited now that the tension in the room had subsided.


“Uhh, I don’t think that’s a good-*” King began, but was unable to finish.


“Oh please! Oh please! Oh please!” Peanut said, trying not to beg and smiling, “I’m a fast reader. I can go through thick books in seconds.”


“That’s right, he can,” Fox said, “I gave him my copy of Dune in one morning, plus some other books, and he returned them all in the evening that same day.”


“Sigh, all right,” King said, “You know though, it’s a fairly, mature subject.”


“Eh, I, I can handle it,” Peanut said trying not to sound nervous.


“What do you guys think?” King asked Fox and Fido. They both shrugged.


“Sure why not,” Fido said, “It always helps to have some enthusiasm on a team.”


“Oh yessss!” Peanut said, “When do we get started!”


“How does next Tuesday at my place sound? Late morning?” King replied, “Is that good for everybody?”


---


Part 2


It was fairly quiet. The sound of their footprints were muffle by a fair layer of snow. Well, it was only quiet because King had just taken a breath to pause. They were on the way back from a quick walk. The sidewalks were empty because it was late in the day. Telling all that took a lot. Hopefully, she was impressed by it, at least a little bit. Though to tell the truth, he wasn’t sure if she’d give any indication that she was. Oh well, at least he had told the truth. It’s not like he as going to lie to THIS girl.


“So, that’s what happened?” she asked, walking beside him.


“Yeah, yeah,” King said.


“Were you afraid?” She asked. King thought for a moment.


“Well, of course!” he said, “Especially after I hit Fido. I was afraid they were all going to pile me. You have no idea. I was shaking all over afterwards.”


“Aw,” she said, hugging him, “So, what are you going to do then?”


“We’re going to meet at my place first,” King replied, “Then head to the library. Do, do you want to come?”


“Heh, I’d love to,” Shasha said smiling, “But, that’s your guys thing. I don’t think I’d be of much use in a, uh, uh library.”


“I don’t know, you could be,” King said, “At least, I think I know you better then that.”


“Hm, hm, well, maybe you do,” she said back, then, scooping up a handful of snow, “And maybe you don’t!”


*splat*


“Aw man, that’s c-cold!” King yelped in surprise as the wet snow dripped down the back of his scarf, “All right, if it’s snow you want, it’s snow you’ll get! Come on!”


He balled together a large handful and tossed it in her general direction. She dodged easily of course, and continued to pelt him with little handfuls. About two months ago, King had finally go to take a walk with Shasha like she said he could at the 4th of July party. The only reason being of Bino busy in planning committees. Being an organizer took a lot of work. And not a lot of time for play. At least, if you want to be a good organizer. And especially during the holidays, Bino put a lot of effort into making things go smoothly.


Which, of course meant not spending a lot of time with Shasha. Being slightly bored one day and wanting to be out of the way at home as much as possible, Shasha found herself wandering towards King’s door. Actually, they were both out on a walk when they bumped into each other. King had to admit. They just continued on walking together and, as she had nothing to do that weekend, asked if they could walk again. King agreed. And they had since then, gone out a couple of times, took regular walks, and generally kept in touch with each other. King had found himself growing quite fond of the relationship. Which, was a nagging concern in the back of his mind. Did being turned into a corgi meant that he was naturally attracted to other dogs?


“Hey, you okay?” Shasha said, interrupting his brooding. He had just realized that he had been holding a bundle of snow for a good few seconds now without throwing it.


“Huh? Oh, yeah, yeah,” King said, tossing it away, slightly to Shasha’s disappointment, “Just, I was just thinking that it‘s, well.”


“Well what?” she asked.


“Well, that it’s just a little weird that I like you that’s all,” he said, “I mean, you do have a boyfriend so, I dunno.”


“Heh, well if it makes you feel an better,” Shasha said, “I like you too, and I think it’s a little weird.”


“Really?” King asked, his tail wagging slightly.


“Really really,” Shasha replied, “Hey, my house is just a couple lamp posts down. Wanna race?” Her tail was wagging, and her face was smiling, how could King say no to that?


“All right, on 3, ready?” King said, “One, two, hey!” But Shasha was already off. Clearly not understanding that on three, meant on three! Oh well, he sighed, better catch up. He darted after her. Trying not to go on all fours to give her a head start, well more then she already got, he tried to keep focus. But still, he couldn’t help but keep his eyes off anything but her. Which, of course, made him to not see everything in front of him.


*PING!!!*
*SPLAT!!!*


Which, painfully enough, included the lamppost that was directly in front of him. Still, that would’ve only dazed him, but it hadn’t of been so bad if he hadn’t of hit the patch of ice. Which of course, knocked King unconscious.


“KING!” Shasha yelped, turning around. She trotted back for him.


“King! King! You okay?!” she said. Almost panicking for a second, she listened for breathing. Relieved that he was, she sighed a little.


“Shasha you stupid, silly girl!” she said, being hard on herself, “Why’d you cut ahead like that huh? Sigh, come on King” She spoke to him knowing she wouldn’t get a response. Then, gently picking him up, walked him the rest of the way to the house.


---


*PING!!!*
*SPLAT!!!*


King had felt the hard metal pole smack against his forehead and knew he was in trouble. Then he felt the snow give way beneath his feet. He then felt the slick hard ice slipping away from his toes. Then he felt the hard surface on the back of his head. Then he slipped into darkness. At least, he thought it was darkness. If it weren’t for the thousands of millions of stars scattered about his view. Oh wait, he thought, he had been here before. High up in the cosmic plane away from the rest of the world and the mortals that lived in it. Oh great, he thought, this was going to take all the rest of the day.


“Oh come on now,” a familiar voice said, apparently mind reading voice, “I can slow down time for you, there happy?”


“Quite, at least a little bit, but I have to ask,” he said, turning around to face, to face, the Great Kitsune? “Wha-? Where’s everybody else?” Then King realized that he was on a different plane of the cosmic expanse. Here the stars were all blue. And they permeated the very air surrounding him. A star whisked across his face and he instinctively brushed it away. He then noticed that he was standing on a Roman like stone pillar. The Great Kitsune though, was in his regular podium.


“Uh, what’s going on?” King asked.


“Well, you of course, silly,” the Great Kitsune responded, “Been having nightmares have we?” He was smirking a little.


“Not funny and you know it!” King shot back, “So, why on earth am I back here?”


“Well, I heard a very loud ping,” the Great Kitsune said, still smirking, “That meant you leveled up right? Heh, heh.” King thought for a moment. And THEN he got the reference.


“Oh come on! It‘s DING!” he said, “And you can’t honestly be serious!”


“Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh,” the Great Kitsune began, laughing, “Heh heh, heh, phew. Oh come off it King, you seriously need to lighten up a little. You have to admit, that was good though.”


“Yeah, I guess,” King said, still slightly confused. He let his gaze wander about a little.


“So, let’s sum up your progress shall we?” the Great Kitsune resumed, “You’ve been helping in club events, you’ve been helping planning events. Your in a relationship with a dog. A cute one at that. And your about to help with a big project that involves both dogs and cats. Not a bad turnaround if you ask me.”


“So, so,” King said, forgetting somebody for a moment, “You brought me he to turn me back to human?” He asked, having a big grin and his paws clenched together.


“Hmm, still asking about yourself I see?” the Great Kitsune said, “I’m disappointed. I thought that you might ask to help somebody else. But I guess I was wrong.” King was at first shocked, then, realizing what he had just said, tilted his face and ears down, being fairly ashamed.


“Is, is there something wrong with me? I, I should‘ve thought about, her,” he said, feeling the sting of the rebuke, and almost close to tears, “Why didn’t I think about her? In fact, why am I thinking about her? Is that make me wrong? Do you think that I’m, that I’m, wrong for falling in love, with a girl dog?” Yeah, he thought. He did just admit that.


“Oh you needn’t worry,” the Great Kitsune said, “It’s quite natural for young dogs of your age to-*”


“But I’m NOT A DOG!!!” King cried out loud, upset now, “I’m still HUMAN! I KNOW I’m STILL HUMAN! AND, AND, I’m FALLING FOR A GIRL THAT I CAN’T EVEN HAVE! EVEN IF I WAS A DOG!” He was sobbing, now. Completely broken, laying on his stomach with his head buried in his crossed arms. King wasn’t really one to crying, but he could’ve sworn that if he cried any more he’d be in a puddle.


“Well, you know,” the Great Kitsune said, “The best way to take away a person’s hatred, is of course, to fill it with love.” King was able to think about this for a second. The Great Kitsune was right. But, was that Pete’s plan from the beginning? Was it even Pete’s plan?


“You know better then that,” the Great Kitsune said, reading his mind, “Pete would’ve done and dusted you off leaving you as miserable as you were.” Now, that did sound like Pete, but, surely there were other miserable souls the cosmos could poke at and torture right? Why mess with him?


“Because there is something that you have to do here before you can go back to being human,” the Great Kitsune answered, “Now, if it makes you feel any better, yes, it is going to be soon. Not as soon as you’d like, but, soon enough.” Well, that was a good thing, he guessed. Then, all at once, he thought about Shasha again. Oh great, he thought. I’m gonna be leaving her alone. That’s not right. He then began to think of who he could leave her with, and started to think of how he should do it. The Great Kitsune interrupted his thoughts once again.


“Also, you want to know the real reason I brought you here?” he said, not expecting a response, “Well, you remember me saying something about rewards, well, I think you’ve earned one or two. Even though you’ve still got LOTS to work on, I thought that a little positive reinforcement might help. So, you have any ideas?”


“Uh, uh, you mean, I can just, choose?” King said, slightly surprised, “Just like that?”


“Well, you know, it has to be something intangible,” the Great Kitsune said, “How about not having any more nightmares? Tell me, why are you having them again? Oh, yes, this.” And with that, King felt himself going back in time.


---


“You know what? Let’s play tackle,” Kevin said, and with that, he leaped at the corgi.


“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” King screamed, feeling the crushing weight of the immense dog as he was gripped by his powerful hands. King immediately closed his eyes shut. The terror didn’t stop there. They somersaulted, and then rolled into the wall. The house shook with a thunderous roar.


*BOOM*


When next King opened his eyes after he stopped screaming, Fox was right beside him.


“King! King you okay!” he said nervously.


“Gah, guh, guh gah, guh guh,” King mumbled, pointing to Kevin who was being given a very stern reprimand from Fido and Sergeant Ralph.


“King, it’s okay! It’s okay!” Fox said, “Your safe now. Calm down!” King calmed down a little at this, but still shook. He had been horrified tremendously, Fox now realized. Fox turned around and eyed Kevin, not noticing his approach. Kevin had his head down and his ears lowered. Both Fido and Ralph were at his sides. King half cowered at his approach.


“Look um, oh gee, look, I’m sorry,” Kevin said, “I really only wanted to have a little fun. And um, I’m really, really sorry man. I didn’t mean to scare you like that, honest. Um, can, we still be friends?” At this he offered a paw shake. King was still a little wide eyed at his approach, but figured the best thing to do would be to take it. Kevin seemed delighted at his response. Then he asked King what he hoped he wouldn’t.


“I just have to wonder though,” Kevin began, “Have you never really sniffed anyone?” Kevin was given a quick glance from Fido and Ralph.


“Look, King, you don’t have to answ-*” Fox began.


“Ah ha ha ha, well, what I mean is,” King said, trying to think, “I’ve never sniffed anyone here. Ha ha. Not that I would be able to understand any of that sniff anyways. You see, I can’t tell smells apart.” And again, everyone in the room gave him a shocked stare.


“What?” Fox asked, “You mean you can’t smell food and stuff like that or, eve-*”


“Oh come on,” King said cutting him off, “I guess I should’ve said, I can’t tell dog smells apart. I could sniff you all I want, and get nothing from it. So, on principle, I just, don’t sniff. Plus I kinda had it trained out of me since I wouldn’t know how to use it anyways.”


“Oh wow,” Kevin said, but Ralph seemed unconvinced, Fido stepped in here.


“Actually, that can happen,” Fido said, “While rare, it is a very possible disorder among some dogs.” King sighed, feeling better.


“Well, that was a downer,” Fox said.


“I wouldn’t say that,” King replied, then he picked up his toothpicks, smiling, trying to ease the rest of the group, “Let’s try this again.” Everybody liked this idea and, after gathering their lost toothpicks, got back in comfortable locations.


“I have never,” King said, pausing for a few seconds, “been kissed by a beautiful girl.” King knew for a fact that no one would have done this. And for a moment, he was right, there were several grumbles around and people were handing him toothpicks. Except one. He looked over at Fido with a curious look.


“Gimme,” he said, holding out an open paw. Everybody stared at him open mouthed. For, as far as they knew, Fido was still single.


“Fido? Fido?” Fox said, in disbelief, “You have a girl Fido?”


“Correction,” Fido said, “I have an angel, heh. Now hand those over so we can go eat.” King begrudgingly did as he was told.


“Hey Fido,” Fox said, still trying to get an answer, “Who is she?”


“Let’s just get some food guys,” Fido said, ignoring the question.


“Ehem, by the way Fido,” Ralph said, trying to change the subject, “When do you think you’re going to get Bino to accept that second club?” Fido thought for a moment.


“Heh, I suppose whenever King decides to start sniffing again,” he said, looking at King with a look that told him he was just kidding. King smiled.


“Ha hah, like that’s ever going to happen,” awkward laughter continued as they gathered their food.


---


King thought about what had happened that day for a moment.


“You know, I’d like to not run into something like that again,“ he finally said, “How about a little instinct? I don’t like to be socially confused all the time if you don’t mind.” He picked himself back up now. A bit more slightly optimistic.


“Hmm, you know, the reason you weren’t given any instinct to begin with was so you don’t casually fall to the pitfalls it has,” the Great Kitsune said, “It’ll tell you a lot more then you want to know, you know. And you may just be overwhelmed with all the new information you get. You sure you want this?” King stood up straight, folded his arms again, and put on his best smirk that he could muster.


“Eh, come on,” he said, “I can handle it.” Even though he was echoing some of Peanut’s words from earlier, he was certain that he could.


“Sigh, I’ll tell you what,” the Great Kitsune said, “I’ll let it come slowly. And since you weren’t born with it, I’ll let you control what and what not information to absorb. It’ll be different for you, I’ll grant you that.”


“Phew, hopefully that’ll help things a little bit,” King said, there was just one more thing he was curious about. Was how long his prison sentence was going to be now?


“I needn’t worry about that if I were you,” the Great Kitsune said, “Just forget about it. And if your lucky, you might get none at all.”


“So, uh,” King said, just a little confused, “When will I start to notice a difference?” The Great Kitsune shrugged.


“It all depends, and since you didn’t ask for anything else,” the Great Kitsune said, “I’ll throw in a little something extra too.”


“What would that be?” King asked, puzzled.


“Heh heh heh, that would be telling!” The Great Kitsune replied, “But, in order for anything to start working, I need you to do something for me.”


“Hey, wait, about what you said earlier,” King said, “Will I know that I’ve done what I came to do when I do it?” The Great Kitsune thought a moment.


“Yes and no,” he said, “However, do be a more careful soul and TRY to avoid lampposts and icy patches in the future.”


“Hey, that was an accident,” King said, “but all right.”


“Good, now, cover your eyes and start squinting, it’s going to get very, very bright,” the Great Kitsune said.


“Why, what’s going to ha-*” but King didn’t get to finish his question.


---


King woke up, and, like he was told, he was staring at a very bright, intense ceiling light. His first inclination was to squint and cover his eyes. Then he realized that he had his back on a couch with his head at an arm rest. He also noticed that his feet were touching somebody. Oh, it was Shasha, she must’ve carried him, to her house? Well that makes sense. Then, remembering, he patted his head. There were two ice packs there. Then he noticed the pain.


“Ow” he said, groaning a little, that, unfortunately caught Shasha’s attention.


“Oh, your finally awake! I was getting worried!” Shasha said, wagging her tail. King blinked again at the bright ceiling light.


“Nnnngh,” King said, “What happened after I hit the light?”


“Well, I brought you inside, of course, silly,” she replied, “I put you on the couch and daddy brought you some ice.” King could tell, he felt the intense cold on his head and saw water trickling down his face.


“Oh, and he called Miles,” she said, “Your in no position to go home tonight.” King nodded, at least she was right on that.


“Okay, I’ll sleep on the couch,” he said.


“Your not doing that either,” Shasha said sadly, “Daddy’s going to be out late tonight and wants to use the couch when he gets home.” Oh joy, King thought.


“That means using the dog house, sigh,” King said, “Well, I guess I can sleep on the roof.”


“Your NOT doing that either!” Shasha replied, “It’s going to be chilly tonight. And daddy put a warm quilt and some pillows in there for us. Besides, it’ll be warmer with the both of us in there. And it’ll be fun to snuggle a bit.” King laughed a little, there’s no getting out of this sleepover.


“Oh, all right,” King said. He then tried to move some limbs. He stretched one or two, then wiggled all four of them. Shasha giggled a little at his antics, but he didn’t mind, smiling with her. While sore, everything seemed to be okay. Then he tried to sit up, and after a couple of times, finally did.


“Oh, and daddy also left some food for us on the table,” Shasha said, “Just in case we get hungry later.”


“Well, I don’t know if I will or not,” King said, “But maybe.”


“So,” Shasha said, wagging her tail hopefully, “You sure your okay?” King did his best to keep sitting up.


“Erf, yeah, yeah, I’m good,” he said, leaning back on the couch.


“So, uh, want to do something?” He asked. Just leaning back with a hand over his head.


“Hey, let’s watch a movie,” she said, “Daddy’s got plenty.”


“Sounds like a great idea,” he replied, “Why don’t you pick?”


“Okay,” she said. The TV was right in front of the couch in an entertainment center. There was a shelf for movies on both sides. She goes over to the left side and starts rummaging.


“Ah, here’s one,” she said, “You like romances, right?”


“Ugh. That depends, which one is it?” he said cautiously. When he was with a coll-, er, in college with a girl, he had learned to tolerate such movies.


“Oh, it’s called Ever Aft-*” she started to say.


“Hey, that’s a good one,” he interrupted, he was feeling a little better, and he could move a little.


“Hey, you hungry yet?” He said, ravenous all of a sudden. That slip must’ve taken out of him a lot more then he thought.


“Yeah, I’ll get the food and you can sta-*,” she began. King didn’t like that.


“No, no,” he said, hopping off the couch, still a bit wobbly, “I’ll get the food, you start the movie.” She looked at him a little puzzled as he headed for the kitchen. King let his nose take him to the food. He climbed up a chair. First he grabbed Shasha’s bowl, and climbed back down. He brought it over to the couch and set it beside her.


“Hey, thanks,” she said, “It’s not every day you get your dinner brought to you.”


“Eh, don’t mention it,” King said, then he went back and got his plate. He then put his plate on the couch. Then he climbed up on the couch himself. While he sat next to Shasha, he didn’t sit too close. That didn’t stop her. She still leaned into his shoulder. Lonely girl, King thought to himself.


“Ready?” she asked.


“Sure, play it,” he replied. Shasha hit the play button on the controller. After a few warning screens, the movie started.


---
---


King couldn’t sleep. Not because it was the cold, or that he was too warm, or that someone was snoring beside him, it was just, dreadful. While Shasha had gone to sleep almost right away, King had yet to be restful. He was still thinking about he stern reprimand that he had been given by that supernatural being. It apparently pierced him like nothing else. He felt like he had to say something and apologize, but what? He thought for a minute or two. Then he looked over at Shasha and carefully rubbed her shoulder. She moaned a little, but fluttered her eye’s open.


“Hey, what’s up?” she asked, “Your not having those nightmares again are you?”


“No, but, we, we need to talk,” he said, leaning against the wall. She leaned up and eased herself against the back.


“What is it King?” she asked, fairly worried.


“Look, you know, you know how I was out after hitting my head right,” King began.


“Um, yeah,” Shasha said, a little puzzled.


“Well, I had kind of had a crazy dream while I was out,” King said.


“Oh, what kind of crazy dream?” Shasha said, sitting up.


“Well, I was in this huge, starry expanse standing on a stone pillar,” King said, “And I was facing a giant, nine tailed fox. I think he’s supposed to be a spirit of some type.”


“Oh my goodness,” Shasha said, “That is crazy.”


“Yeah, apparently, my current life was being judged, but it wasn’t all bad,” King continued, “In fact, the fox thought that I was doing so well that I deserved a little reward.”


“Oh, well that sounds like a good dream,” Shasha said.


“You’d think,” King replied.


“What happened?” she asked concerned.


“Well, I was given the option of asking for, well, almost anything,” he said, “Anything plausible. And guess what I asked for.”


“Umm,” she thought for a moment, “I don’t know. I wouldn’t know what to ask for in that kind of situation.”


“Well, I made a mistake,” King said, “I asked something for me. Not you, not anybody else, just, stupid, selfish me!” He was still angry with himself.


“Well, that’s only natural,” Shasha said, “Of course you’d want to wish for yourself. I would.”


“But you don’t get it!” King said, “I could’ve changed so much and I flubbed it! And he let me know too! You don’t know what it’s like. Feeling that you could’ve made things for the better but selfishly asked for your own wants. It feels awful.”


“Oh King,” Shasha said, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” Speak for yourself girl, she thought.


“You know what else,” King continued, “He also said a bunch of weird stuff. But the thing that most stood out was that I was going to be leaving. Soon, and for good.” He waited for Shasha’s response.


“Oh, ohh,” Shasha moaned, “That would be awful. I’d be so lonely again. That means I would have to try and go back to Bino. And he doesn’t pay that much attention to me.”


“Ugh, that dog. If he only knew half of what he had, he’d spend every waking moment possible with you,” King said, “If only there was a way to make him appreciate that, then I’d feel better when it came time to leave.”


“But, but why do you have to leave?” Shasha said sadly, “Is it because of me? Would you leave me King?” King was a bit more then stunned.


“What? No, no,” he said, “I would never leave you to just leave you. I couldn’t just do that.” Shasha smiled at that.


“Well, let’s work on what to do about Bino then shall we?” Shasha recommended.


“Heh, all right, so, how shall we get him focused on you more,” King started, “That’s gonna be a tough one.”


“King,” Shasha said.


“Yeah?”



“Did, you really mean it?” she asked.


“Mean what?”


“That you would never leave me to just leave me?” she replied.


“Yeah, yeah I meant it,” he said in return. Happy with that, her smile got a little bigger. They talked about their plans late into the night.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Last edited by xhunterko on Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:56 am
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Post Re: Contest! Finish "All the King's Men"
Part 3


King looked out the window nervously. It wasn’t like him to be late. True, Fox had his faults, but being late wasn’t one of them. Still though, the other two were accounted for. Peanut was sitting on the couch excitedly talking to Miles, and Fido was talking to Lucretia. Asking about how she raises her cubs, no less. Speaking of, the cubs were in their room playing video games. And King was still nervously looking out the window for, ah there he was. It wasn’t long before Fox showed up at the door. He apologized for being late, but that was because of his dad.


“He’s still strapping on an extra bucket,” he explained.


“Sigh, you sure it’s okay with your dad that he gives us a ride?” King asked.


“Oh, he loves it,” Fox said, rolling his eyes a tad, “So, what do you expect us to get done today?”


“Well, we’re going to find stuff,” King said, “That of I am certain. I just hope it’s enough to show Bino how ignorant he is about the subject.” Fox and King sat on the couch next to each other. Noticing Fox’s arrival, the others quieted down a bit. King looked at Fido.


“Sorry about that knee,” King said, bashfully.


“Eh, I can still use it,” Fido replied, “You know though, you weren’t too bad. I shouldn’t have acted like that. But, you know, he just gets me so worked up sometimes.”


“Oh, brothers do,” Lucretia said, “You should see Miles and Daryl fight over the last deer leg sometime. Heh.”


“Hey,” Miles replied, “We don’t get that much into it any more. Not now that there’s plenty to go around.”


“Still, you boys do like a good scuffle every now and then,” she said back.


“Heh, I guess your right,” Miles said, then his ears picked up as a motorcycle barreled down the streets.


“And that must be my dad,” Fox said, and with that, a corresponding horn was heard outside.


“Come on guys, lets get this show on the road,” Fido said.


“All right,” Peanut said, nearly radiating excitement. They all walked out the door with smiles on their faces. While they had to share buckets, and the new side car, they didn’t mind. It was a bright, sunny day with only a little chill of a breeze. And that meant sunglasses and scarves for everyone. And if you ever wanted to see a sight that would bring a smile to your face, it would be four dogs and a mouse barreling down the road on a motorcycle at high speed. All smiles none the less.


---


They were quiet when the walked up to the library. Well, naturally quiet, it was a library after all. It was a large brick building with steps leading up to a stone porch. And a entry way of stone pillars in the front. Just like the one I was standing on in my dream, King instantly thought. Uncanny. Still, they went silently through the glass double doors.


“Ah, good to be back again,” Fido said a little dreamy as they walked


“You say that like it’s something extraordinary, “ Fox said. “Why where you here before?”


“Uh, to get a book of course,” he said nervously, dodging the question.


“Okay, so, where exactly do we start looking?” Peanut asked, looking around.


“Well, I’m going to the computers and getting on the internet,” King began, “There’s always information there.”


“Okay, I’ll check the books,” Peanut said, pointing to himself. He fondly started heading off to the right side of the library. Which, as King happened to notice, was the fiction side.


“Wrong way Peanut,” Fido said, pointing to the left side, “Veterinary sciences, biology, and zoology. Third row from the end is veterinary. That is what you want.”


“Aw,” Peanut said, he reluctantly turned around. He had never really had a taste for non-fiction. He had found most of it boring though. But still, they were on a fact finding mission. May as well check the facts.


“So, what are you two going to do?” King asked, looking at Fido and Fox.


“Well, would you like to check the magazines with me?” Fido said, looking at Fox.


“Magazines, feh,” Fox said, “Never had a taste for them. But, if you think it’s a good idea, all right then.”


“Come on,” Fido said, walking them up to the end rows, “Trust me, you won’t regret it.” Fox shrugged. King smiled and let them go their separate ways. Then he headed to the far left where the computers were. And an all to familiar realm waited. Of course, he knew the internet. He was stopped though by a sign. It read that a library card was needed to gain access to the internet. He had no card, at least, not as King. Sighing, he walked up to the service desk on the right hand side of the doors. He already knew that all that was needed was a small donation. He signed up, paid, and tucked the card in his wallet and back in his collar.


He picked a computer that was slightly in the center of a row. It’s screen was black, but that’s okay, it was just a screen saver. He moved the mouse to reveal the desktop. He was shocked. Lo and behold, what did he find as the background image? Why, nothing but a dark, pitch black expanse, filled with tiny, blue, blurry stars. He quickly checked all the monitors in the row, hoping it to not be a coincidence. Unluckily for King, it wasn’t. Well, well, well, he thought, So much for subtlety. Still, at least that meant he was getting somewhere. So were the others.


Peanut was still confused though. Veterinary medicine was a mess of titles and short books, and names and numbers to go through. He had started looking up and down the shelves with an earnest. Checking over each and every binding as though his life depended on it. It still kind of did, well, not literally. He was still anxious to know. Maybe then he could finally… He put his personal desires aside and focused on the job. He had seen Fox and Fido go up farther in the corner of his eye, and wondered how they were doing. Still, he looked closer at the titles in front of him, he was now at the second column, scanning books left and right. He scanned several titles left to right. From the whimsical to the profound. Then he got to the second column of the shelf and then there was, there was.


Peanut stopped. It was a small book at the beginning of a shelf, but it stood out to him. He was almost afraid to touch it. Perhaps, that maybe, it might disappear at the very touch of his fingers. The title of the book in question, Peanut had to read over it twice. And then again. He blinked also several times, just to make sure he wasn’t sleepy and had misread the title. Yet it was still there. Carefully he pulled the book out of it’s place. He swallowed as he looked at the cover. It was fairly plain, but it still had the title placed in bright red dead center. He was about to open the book when he heard a familiar voice.


“Awwwwwwwww,” Fox said, “That is, that is. Sniff, that is so, cute. Sniff.”


“There, see I told you that you wouldn’t regret it,” Fido said, “So, what do you think though? You think that once everyone knows that, they’ll come to accept it?”


“Sniff, I, I, I don’t know. Sniff, I mean, I’m going to have to think about this for awhile but, man,” Fox said. Curious on what was going on now, peanut held on to the book as he stealth walked his way over to the other side. As he went, he noticed several other books. Dozens of them actually, on the subject matter. In fact, the whole shelving space was devoted to the subject as he went down the line. He made his way to the end and stepped into the hall and snuck his way down to the aisle. He then peeked his head over so he could listen in and not be seen. Too late.


“Come on over Peanut,” Fido said, looking straight at him, “There’s nothing wrong over here. It’s just, cute.” Peanut obeyed, and trying to straighten himself up, prepared for the best. He looked over Fox’s shoulder. Oh wow, he thought, that was cute. The pictures were just adorable. Peanut was stunned. Just stunned. He then happened to look at the magazines date…1920?


“Heh, nice pick by the way Peanut,” Fido said, noticing the book he still clenched in his paw.


“Huh? Oh, this, it was, just, nothing,” he said, trying to hide it at a book end of a shelf.


“Hey now, that’s not where books go,” Fido said, “You know better.” It was just now that Fox noticed it.


“Hey, what’s that?” he asked, and quickly nabbed it out of Peanuts hand.


“HEY!” he said, slightly embarrassed. Fox looked at the book. Looked at Peanut, looked at the book, then looked at Peanut.


“Really?” Fox said, Peanut lowered his head.


“Your going to tell Bino about me now aren’t you?” He said, sniffling.


“You know what, I’m not, here,” he said, handing the book back.


“I just didn’t think you’d pick something, you know, responsible,” Fox finished.


“Hey now, I told you I’m, I’m,” he said, trying not to sound nervous while looking at the book. Not ready for this, he finished in his head.


“Heh, don’t worry about it,” Fido said, smiling, “I’m not.” The two looked at him.


“I don’t get it though, the magazine says 1920,” Peanut said, still recovering a bit, “Where did all of this go? Why did it get, uh, swept away?” Fido sighed.


“Kind of sad at that,” he said, “Let’s go find King and I’ll tell you on the way.” They walked down the aisle to the computers as Fido thought it over. He tried to remember most of what he had looked up. They saw King in the center and headed that way with their finds.


“Well, it started with the wars,” he began.


“The wars?” Peanut asked aloud without noticing he did.


“Hush,” Fox said, “I want to hear the story.” Fido didn’t seem to mind though as his voice trailed off.


“Yeah, while both sides used pets for courier and espionage, it was only until after the last years of the first world war that it was discovered that a cat and dog mix performed exceptionally better then either,” Fido began, “When the war ended though, and the hybrids came home, some people seemed to think that they were fairly cute. So during a short time between the wars hybrids became the ‘in’ pet.”


“When World War II began again in 1939, once again, hybrids were called into the field,” Fido continued, “They were seen as a great asset in espionage and stealth warfare. And surprisingly, only used by the allies. The Germans believed that the pure race mandate applied to the pets as well. Much to their downfall.”


“So, what happened to them all?” Peanut asked. They were within hearing of King now.


“Sigh, well, well,” Fido started, a little saddened.


“The cold war,” King said, finishing for him, “Many hybrids were taken by the intelligence agencies. They were sent on no return missions and weren’t expected to come back. It was also highly discouraged by the agencies as well. Their story was that many of them had contracted a new disease. Or they were enemy spies. The disease fears caused the FDA to issue new guidelines for pet vaccination. It was also highly discouraged by kennel and shelter teachers. It became so bad, that the service hybrids felt scandalized and betrayed. They war time service was also discredited. And many of their significant contributions were classified.”


“Yeah, where’d you find that?” Fido asked.


“On this site here,” King said, “It has a whole bunch of other history as well. Oh, it’s full of facts and references. I even found one here in the library. In short, they were going the wrong way about keeping the hybrids safe.”


“Yeah,” Fido said, “That’s pretty much it.”


“So that’s why there’s a lot of hatred,” Fox said, “I’ve always wondered why. But, it’s all okay now right?” Fido looked at him.


“Yeah, it’s all right. There’s nothing wrong against it. Except that there’s a few stringent guidelines you have to follow,” he said, wincing, “It’s just, part of a lengthy process. And no, you can’t get by with it. Things just aren‘t simple anymore.” Fox looked at Fido for a moment.


“Who is she Fido?” he asked.


“Huh?” Fido said, trying to look confused. King looked at him, knowing what Fox was after.


“Fido, you don’t have to answer to anything-*” he began.


“Oh no you don’t. You knew exactly where to go, you knew exactly what to point out to Peanut,” Fox began again, pointing a finger in Fido’s face, “You KNEW exactly what we were going to find! You knew all of this and yet your still trying to play dumb!”


“QUIET PLEASE!!!” the librarian at the reception desk hollered at the top of her lungs. Fox lowered his voice.


“I even saw your wince just then,” he said, a little upset, “I KNOW! For how long Fido, huh? The party we had for the K-9 unit a year ago? When were you going to tell people? Huh? Why do we even have that no cat-lovers rule to begin with then? Why let all the hate happen?” He was angry now. And maybe even upset with only himself.


“Look, we’re in a library, keep it down,” Fido said, remembering the librarian‘s warning, “And, if your just here to spy for Bino…”


“But I told you I’m NOT!” Fox pleaded, with a look of shock on his face, “I like Peanut, and I’m friends with King. I’m here for them and you. I just want to know why do you let Bino, me, and the rest get away with so much hate?!”


“I don’t let them! They do it themselves,” Fido countered, “In case you fail to remember, I let Peanut back in even after I heard the allegations! Don’t you think that I don’t get hurt after they say those stupid things? And if you want to know that badly, then fine! Yes, I AM in LOVE with a CAT!”


A wooden mallet struck a wooden desk making an echoing beat. Though that wasn’t necessary to cause silence this time. It only lasted for a moment though. Fortunately, the library was empty of pets and there was only a few humans around. Peanut was shocked. Of course, not that he knew, but that Fido admitted it.


“Wow,” Fox said.


“There, happy?” Fido said, irritated.


“Look, I’m sorry, just, wow,” Fox said, “I just, I just, wanted to know for myself. I mean, not that I’m going to say anything. I swear. When do you think you‘ll let everybody know?”


“Look, Fido, you don’t have to answer,” King said, still a little amazed himself.


“Look, we’ll tell everybody eventually,” Fido said, “Maybe sometime after this new club thing takes off. Okay?” Everyone nodded. Then Peanut took a fancy to the magazine in Fox’s hand.


“Hey, can I check this one out?” he asked. Reaching for it.


“Uh, sure go ahead,” Fox said, “I’ll still need time to think about this though. I didn’t think we’d find anything really. Just, wow. You know though Fido. I think that, over time, just like we‘ve accepted Tiger because of his name and all, I think we can learn to accept this.”


“I think your right,” Fido said.


“Well, well, your warming up to this really well,” King said to Fox, “What’s the change?” Fox smiled.


“I, I don’t know,” Fox said, smiling meekly, “I guess, I know now and, I don’t feel hate like I used to. I guess.”


“Well,” King said, pleased, “That’s a good thing right?”


“Yeah,” Fido said, “I guess your right.”


“Hey Fido,” Fox said.


“What?”


“Other then, you know, what made you two want to find out?” Fox asked.


“Well, as you get older, and you grow deeper in love,” Fido said, “You get to feel certain things. And you see the cold, hard facts in front of you. And then you feel the warmth and desire of your soul, and well, you just have to know.”


Peanut nervously nodded in agreement.


---


Peanut Butter Sandwich walked into the door of his home. He opened, and closed it quietly. He had something he wanted to tell. But, he wanted to try and be sweet. But the thing was, how? He heard his Mom humming in the living room. After hanging his scarf up in the closet by the door, he walked in and watched her for a bit. She was wiping off a lamp table and, turning around, saw him standing there.


“Hello honey, how’d it go?” She asked him.


“Oh, it went, okay,” he said, trying to contain his excitement, then, using his house voice, “Um, um, do you know where Grape is at?”


“Well, yes, she’s sleeping atop the refrigerator,” she said, pointing to the kitchen.


“Ok, thanks!” he said, then he tried to hurry off.


“What’s that by the way?” she said, pointing to the rolled up magazine tucked in his collar. Peanut just wanted to show Grape this issue of Pet Family magazine.


“Um, can I just show this to Grape please?” he asked, trying to look at her with puppy eyes. Mrs. Sandwich laughed.


“Oh all right,” she said, “But will you tell me later?”


“I don’t know,” he said, “I’ll just, see how this goes first okay?”


“Okay,” she said, smiling. He walked off for the kitchen. Then, after stopping at the appliance, he realized that he would have to get on top the counter somehow. He couldn’t reach the counter top, not even by stepping on his toes. Grunting, he went back to the living room and grabbed a dole from a stuffed chair. Mrs. Sandwich watched him, what was that dog up to? After setting the foot rest down, he was able to climb up. But not high enough to reach the top of the fridge where Grape was at. Even though he could here her breathing now, he knew she was fast asleep. He’ll show her. He cupped his hands to his mouth, took a deep breath, and suddenly cut himself short. What was he just about to do? Did he really almost yell Grape awake, like always?


He decided that he couldn’t do that. Not for something like this. Sighing, he got down off the counter and retrieved a bar stool from the kitchen closet. At first he scraped it along, then he stopped once he realized how much noise it was making. Carefully he picked it up, and then carried it to the counter. He then set it on top, trying to scoot it to the wall as quietly as possible. After he was certain it was secure, he climbed back up and sat up on the stool. Now he was looking straight at Grapes forehead. Still sleeping, he thought. She could sleep through a lot. So, how to wake her up now was the question? He knew he couldn’t sit there all evening and wait. Then a silly idea popped into his head. He had often seen his mom give Mr. Sandwich a kiss on the forehead sometimes when he was taking a nap to wake him up. Peanut swallowed, eh, how hard can it be?


He puckered up his lips, and leaned forward. He stopped, suddenly panicking, and breathing very heavily into her hair. He sat there for several minutes like that. All paranoid that if he waked her this way that he would get mauled. Or that someone was watching, or that he would slip off his seat, or some other such nonsense. He eventually regained composure and gave a heavy sigh. He put a paw on the magazine he was carrying and closed his eyes. Was he ready for this? Were they ready for this? Well, there wouldn’t be any they if he didn’t tell Grape. Then he thought of another idea. He had also seen his mom wake up Grape sometimes by simply petting the back of her head. Okay, Peanut thought, I can do that. Right.


He leaned back against the upper cabinet to stretch himself. Then, steeling himself for the worst and taking a deep breath, he slowly began to reach a shaky hand out to the feline. It connected, and he carefully rubbed his hand down her back. After getting halfway, he quickly drew it away, expecting something. But nothing happened. Puzzled he tried it again, a little harder this time. She stirred, stretched, turned her head around, and then, when she saw Peanut, blinked a little.


“Peanut?” she said, almost not believing that it was him.


“Yeah, hey, you awake?” he said, still trying to keep his voice down.


“Um, yeah, but, wow,” she said, smiling, “This is different. What do you need pooch?”


“Can, can, phew,” Peanut began, while technically she said he could, he was still nervous when asking for snuggles, “Can, I come up there with you for a bit? I want to talk to you about something.” Grape was a bit surprised. What had gotten into Peanut all of a sudden.


“Sure,” she said, indicating a spot next to her. Peanut carefully climbed up on the top. He then had to turn around to lay down.


“Can you turn around?” he asked her. A bit puzzled, still, she relented, and faced the room. And he faced the wall, essentially putting them back to back. She could tell he was nervous. Then she noticed something sticking out of his collar.


“Hey, what’s that there?” she asked.


“Oh, this, is what I wanted to show you,” he said, pulling it out, but instead of handing it to her like he would usually do with something, he set it aside.


“Although, I want to let you to be some of the first to know,” he began.


“To know what?” she replied, still trying to figure him out. Then he told her about Fido’s plans for the second club. And how the ferrets were getting involved. That it was going to be for everybody, not just dogs. He told her about Bino’s unwillingness to accept, but was forced to compromise. He said the main reason was cat-lovers, and that if they could find enough information on it that would convince him they were ok. Then he’d allow the second club.


“Well, other then how stupid of a reason that is,” she said, “Did you find any?” Peanut sighed. Grape suddenly got a sinking feeling.


“Sniff, well, that’s, that’s what this is for,” he replied, trying to hide sobs, “I want you to know, though. That I’m not suggesting anything. I’m not, s-saying anything. I’m not even asking anything. I just, sniff, want you to know too.” He scooted the magazine over to a corner and turned it upside down. Then he got up and started to climb down.


“Hey, where you going?” she asked.


“To play a game of course,” he said, trying to smile, but Grape knew better, “And to think a little okay? Oh, I wouldn’t look at that yet. You won’t be able to sleep. Can you do that for me?”


“Yeah, sure I can,” she said. She then watched him put away the furniture that he had gotten out. Grape watched him, smiling. Wow, what a change. She wondered if it had anything to do with the cat-lover thing. She didn’t want another crisis to come out of it again. Then, peering over to the corner, she looked at the magazine. Rats, it was face down. Clever. Still, looking around, she reached over to pick it up.


“Didn’t he say to look at that after you get back up?” Mrs. Sandwich asked, smiling. Standing in the kitchen doorway. Grape panicked, how much had she seen.


“Grape honey, it’s all right,” she said, seeing her frightened expression, “Why don’t you just sleep on it?” Mrs. Sandwich gave Grape a warming smile. And with that, she walked back into the living room. Grape had a deep sigh of relief. Once more she looked long fully at the magazine. She wanted to see the puzzle that Peanut had placed before her. But, she did say that she would sleep on it, so she thought she’d keep her word. She stretched, curled up, and turned her back on it. She was back to sleep within minutes.


---


Bino sighed. It was 3 weeks later, and he was already a half hour into his speech, and hopefully that was enough. He looked at his audience. Clearly they were mesmerized by his oration skills. Minus a few drooping heads in the front, everyone else seemed to be rapt with attention. He decided to add a few final words.


“And so, what with the honor and respect of the club at stake, I demand of you, to step up and say NO!” Bino said, as riveting as he could muster, “We need to keep the purity of the club in tact. We need to keep to our values and traditions. And most of all, we NEED to make sure that law and order is kept, and applied to everyone. Phew.” He looked around, a few heads were nodding, so he was on the right track. Smiling, he looked at Fido who was standing on the other side of the stage. He handed the microphone over to Fox who was seating in the center. Finally with something to do, he got out of his seat.


“Ahem, thank you Bino for your, uh, enthusiastic speech,” he said, trying to remain neutral, “And now if I will have the audience’s ATTENTION!” He waited as his holler stirred the crowd.


“Good, I will now like for you to view our other debater sitting on the left,” Fox said, “Ladies and gentle-dogs, may I present Fido Byron, K-9 unit, club co-founder, teacher, and friend.” A small applause broke out as Fido approached center stage. Fox could tell he was blushing as he took the microphone from him.


“Thank you Fox,” Fido said to him, Fox returned to his seat in the back.
“Heh, he doesn’t have anything,” Bino whispered smugly, leaning over to Fox’s ear. Fox was irritated at this. He gave Bino a rather sour look. Bino, a little shocked, backed away. Then, Fido began his speech.


“Well, from the pamphlets we handed out earlier, you all know what’s already at stake here. I just want to ask everyone to have an open mind about all this,” Fido began, “Is that okay?” He waited for a few nods and agreements.


“All right, when one talks of law applying to everybody,” he stated, “One should also be applying that law to themselves. Granted I’m the worst of all in that regards, but still, I’m not the only one. Especially when it comes to respecting boundaries of others and rules and regulations of play, there are a few prominent members of us that are at fault.” Bino’s mouth gaped, clearly he was talking about him, he thought.


“I don’t know about you, but I value all opinions and feelings, not just my own,” Fido said, “I have tried to look out for the well being of everyone in this community. And I wanted to do more, hence why I joined the K-9 unit. There are also some traditions that should be held on to, cherished, and respected. That doesn’t mean we should just toss away new ideas. They should at least be tried, welcomed, and embraced. If only for a little while.”


“As for purity, heh, purity, a funny word isn’t it?” Fido said, “How about the pure love of one heart towards another? How about a pure voice of reason that rings within us all that guides our actions to be true? How about, sigh, sorry, I was getting carried away. I do that whenever I mention pure love.” Fido smiled, watching the crowd for a bit. Perhaps that was a bit much. But he couldn’t tell if the faces he saw were concerned, puzzled, or confused. Maybe all three.


“Well, you know that I want to start a new club,” Fido said, “I also don’t want to leave out the old club. So I thought, why not have both? We could just meet here like always. We could have our own events. Our own schedules, heh, even our own facility if we wanted. I mean, come on, the Milton’s would pay for it. And we wouldn’t have to do a thing.”


“I mean, sure the new club would have cats in it, but a lot of you live with cats,” Fido said, “But it would also have rabbits, birds, mice, squirrel, and other animals too. No one would be left out. I mean, I don’t like knowing that the other pets are sitting home bored with nothing to do.”


“Then why not let them start their own club!” someone in the back shouted. Bino smiled, at least he had had some effect. This was going to be easier then he thought.


“So, your saying no to the Milton’s dollar, am I right?” Fido responded, the voice was quiet, “Because if that’s the case, then you won’t see a single dime. We may even have trouble securing our favorite places for activities and events. At least with the combo club, there won’t be any of that.”


“Cat’s can play tackle right” a familiar voice asked. Fido smiled, oh, if only you knew how well. He let the fond memory in for a second, then snapped back to reality.


“Look, I’m sure cats can play whatever games dogs can,” Fido said, “They just don’t choose to.”


“You said rabbits right? If so, that means we could do a real ‘fox’ hunt,” someone said. There was some slight, nervous laughter. Including some coming from Fox himself. That was something to remember.


“Hey you said mice right? We could have a real cat and mouse game then,” Fido thought he heard that voice before. Was that one of Joey’s friends?


“Ohh, I know, we could really play catch the tail easy,” another one of Joey’s creepy friends said, “I would finally get some points. Cats have some rather long tails.” Some nervous agreement was spoken about this. Someone had yet to bring up a point Fido was hoping they would. He didn’t have to wait for long.


“But, what do we do about the cat-lovers then,” Rex said from the back, the room got quiet again, “I don’t like the fact of being looked at as a cat-lover because I hang out with cats at a second club.”


“We could always resend the rule,” Fido proposed. There were a few murmurs of conversation that didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Then Bino had had enough. He walked up stage and took the microphone.


“Hey!” Fido said.


“Because, the reason we all know why!” Bino said, irritated at the crowd, “Dogs and cats can’t have relationships! That’s why!” A few silent murmurs of agreement went out over the crowd. Fido swiped the microphone back.


“First of all, why would that have any bearing of starting a combined club in the first place?” Fido asked pointedly, “It’s not that dogs are going to like cats if you put them both together. I just don’t want other pets to be left out of all the fun we’re having. But I have to ask, is that the only thing that’s holding you back?” He waited, and the crowd quieted. No doubt thoughts churning in their minds. Bino didn’t wait though. Smirking, he took the microphone again.


“So, you think they can huh?” Bino said, “We all no that it’s impossible. And since that’s impossible, so is the second club. It just wouldn’t work.” Fido took it back again, then, he asked the same question he asked Bino at the meeting three weeks ago.


“Well, I, I never thought I’d have t-to bring this up but, phew, phew,” he said, boy, he didn’t think he’d be that nervous, then, he got the rest out with a shaky voice, “What, w-hat, phew. What if, if, they, they, could?” He closed his eyes and hoped a riot wouldn’t start. But it didn’t.


Silence. There was nothing but silence. Even Bino seemed stunned, again it seemed. Fido didn’t know if they were waiting for him, or vice versa, either way, it was getting painful. He just realized that he was nervously clutching the microphone. He kept holding it, tightening his grip. Fido was trying to keep calm, but it wasn’t working. He then tried to keep the microphone away from his nose so they wouldn’t hear the heavy breathing. It didn’t work though. One look at Fido and you could tell that he was visibly and emotionally scared to death. The audience began to feel for Fido just then. They knew what he was trying to do. But since cats and dogs couldn’t have relationships, at least, to their knowledge, it couldn’t happen. Some one spoke up finally.


“Look, Fido, we know what you’re trying to do here,” Ralph brought up, “But, it’s just, well…” but Ralph didn’t get to finish. Bino took the opportunity to easily wrest the microphone out of Fido’s hands. It was a bit sweaty.


“Impossible, of course,” Bino said, confidently, Ralph was miffed by his interrupted comment, “My misguided brother here, however, seems to think that it’s possible. However, -*”


“I WAS GOING TO SAY,” Ralph hollered back, taking Bino by surprise, clearly more then irritated, “THAT IF THIS IS WHAT FIDO WANTS TO DO, THEN JUST GET OVER THE STUPID CAT THING AND LET THE CLUB HAPPEN! IT’S FOR FIDO, AND THAT’S SOMETHING I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE ON!” Ralph did not know that he was shouting. Or that he was very, very angry.


“What about the relationships that can’t happen that are going to form?” Bino asked smoothly.


“I Don’t Care Anymore!” Ralph said, trying to control himself, “So, you don’t think they can but Fido does? All right, Fido, PROVE IT!!!” A couple shouts of agreements were heard in the crowd. Fido suddenly perked up a bit more and became slightly more confident. He took the microphone away from Bino.


“Is that the only thing holding you back?” Fido said with emphasis, looking out at the crowd. A few heads nodded.


“Well, we all know that he can’t prove it,” Bino said quite smugly, “It’s impossible.”


“Impossible? Impossible?” Fido said, gaining confidence, “Would you like to head outside and see just how POSSIBLE it is?” The audience members quickly changed their faces to a shock of surprise. A few gasps escaped from some members as well. Bino was unfazed.


“All right, all right, heh,” he said, “Fine, if you think you have proof, then let’s take a look at just what this ‘proof’ is shall we?” He started walking towards the door and motioned for the members to follow. His steps were wide, proud, and had a little skip to them. He didn’t even know what was coming. Bino stood outside the door as he heard Fido give filing instructions. He had the crowd stand to the side by the trees and along the door frame. Bino found himself a little in the drive way of the club. Then Fido stepped out and stood facing Bino. If this was a western, they’d be ready to take steps. Fido and Bino eyed each other for a couple seconds.


“So, where is it?” Bino said.


“First, I’d like for you to step backwards about 15 paces please,” Fido said, it was his turn to be smug, “I would also like it if you not move from that spot or turn around.”


Bino had no idea what was going on, but complied anyways. Then he noticed Keene Milton and King on the sidewalk. Wait, wasn’t King supposed to be at the meeting? He then looked to everyone else as the two made their way up to Fido. He shook both their paws. The general audience was a bit confused, and maybe a little curious.


“I see your ready Fido,” Keene said, “Shall I radio the guys?”


“Not yet, I’ll say when okay?” Fido suggested. Keene nodded.


“Okay, now everyone, I would like to say a few words before we get started here,” Fido said anew, in as loud a voice possible, “I, never wanted the new club to be about this. I, never wanted to split the leadership. I, never, ever, wanted to tear the club apart and cause division. I wanted to include everyone and bring the community together.” Fido had pointed to himself and emphasizing the word ‘I’.


“However, since somebody had a problem, I couldn’t just do it,” Fido said, finishing up, “And, if it’s proof they want about cats and dogs, well then.” And at this he turned back around to Bino.


“I will BURY them in proof,” Fido said, he turned to Keene, “Ready.” Keene nodded. Keene took out a small radio from his collar.


“Truck one, ready to go!” he said. Nothing happened at first, then Bino first heard the truck rumbling down the road. He heard it go by just for a little bit, then it stopped. Then everyone saw the truck come backwards and then pull up right behind Bino. While you couldn’t see what was in the yellow dump truck, it was quite clear who it’s target was. The last thing Bino saw was everyone gasping and holding their paws to their faces. Bino still stood defiant, waiting for whatever was about to happen. Then he heard the bed of the truck lift up. And he got more then a little afraid.


“Oof!” he yelped, as the contents spilled from the truck onto his head. Magazines, journalistic magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, and paperbacks, all on the subject. Truth be told, he was buried under a good sized pile them. He couldn’t stand, so he started to dig around letting his eyes adjust to, to. He blinked, blinked again, blinked a third time. Then he pinched himself just in case. He wasn’t the only one blinking. The audience was too.


“Go on everybody, we won’t call the second truck just yet,” Fido said, waving towards them, “Help yourself.” The truck had by now pulled to the sidewalk out of the way. Lester, one of the dogs in front, took the initiative. While skeptical, distrustful, and ready to spite, he was a bit unprepared for this. He walked up to the pile with a few following, and grabbed the first magazine closest one in reach.


“Oh, oh, oh wow, just, oh, wow,” he said, wagging his tail, “Aw, that, that is cute.” The small group crowded around to get a view. And it was met with similar results. The curiosity get the best of them, the rest of the audience eased up to the pile and started to take their share. King could tell Fido was beaming. The idea was working so far.


“HAH! These are just magazines! There’s nothing official about any of this!” Bino hollered from the pile, “As far as we know, these are all made up!” A few heads went down in the crowd because of this. Then they eagerly looked at Fido.


“I didn’t know photo doctoring was around in the 20s,” Spo said.


“Hush Spo,” Fido said.


“All right, he does have a point though,” Ralph said from the crowd, lightening everyone up a little, “But so is Bino. What else do you got?”


It became clear to Fido that he had only needed to convince the crowd that he could break Bino down. At least, that’s what he was hoping. He nodded to Keene.


“Truck number two, ready for you,” Keene said, not trying to rhyme on purpose. The second truck came like the first one did. And this time Bino felt the heavy weight of books. These were just simple books. Nothing thicker then two hands. These were in the category of how to, guide, discipline, and care and keeping of. As well as some good will stories. Like before, everyone backed away. Then they waited for someone to move forward. It was Ralph this time. He boldly stepped out of his place in the crowd and grabbed the first book he could get his paws on. He pushed his shades up on his forehead like he always did before examining something. He too, succumbed the same way Lester did.


“Oh man, man, that is, that, that is so cool!” he exclaimed, he had picked up an obedience manual, of all things. But as everyone gathered round and started to make their picks and pass them out, they discovered that that was not the only subject. No indeed. Bino thought he was losing it. He had to stay in control. He looked through some on what he could grab from the top layer. He saw a pattern in them though.


“HAH, your all crazy if you believe this junk!” he hollered again, “I STILL don’t see any OFFICIAL proof! So HAH, HAH!” He again, was hoping there wouldn’t be. Then he heard Keene call in a third truck, heard it come down the road. Heard it pull backwards, and heard the dreaded flatbed lift, and he felt the heavy pounding of thick, thick books. He climbed as much as he could up, and picked one out. He cried as he looked at the cover. He tried hard not to be heard as everyone gathered around and made their finds. He heard the murmurs of joy. The exclamations of wonder, and a couple friendly pats on the back. There was even talk of stashing the pile in the club house for a library. Bino wasn’t about ready to give up yet.


“A MAJORITY! YOU still need a MAJORITY approval!” he hollered, waving his fist about. He did his best to begin climbing out. Fido sighed, he then turned to the crowd.


“Ahem, as per an agreement, I would like to proceed with voting,” Fido said, “The leadership would like to vote to approve of a voting agenda.” Fido liked being formal. The whole crowd raised their paws. Fido was hopeful.


“Since we have approved of voting, I have two items to have approval of,” Fido said, swallowing a bit, “I would like for the members to approve of the second, unnamed club, and I would also like to rescind the no cat-lovers by-law.” He crossed his fingers. One hand went up, then another, then a few more. Then it slowed down a bit, he still didn’t have a majority though, and his head and ears drooped a little. If this didn’t work out, he would leave everything, everything for, and then his thoughts were interrupted.


“Guys, what’s the hold up?” Rex said, holding up his hand, “It’s for Fido for crying out loud!” A few murmurs of agreement and a few sighs were heard. The next time Fido looked up, he was a little surprised. Every hand was raised. He smiled, and tried not to cry as he felt a tear in his eye. He wasn’t the only one crying. Bino had finally gotten out of the pile. He was leaning on his knees with his hands on the ground. He was sobbing.


“Impossible, just, impossible, sniff,” Bino whispered to himself, “Right? We were told it was impossible. Why? Why? Sniff. Am, am I being thrown out? Will I be forgotten? Will, will, I be unloved?” Bino was shaking heavily. Fido could only think, poor guy. He carefully made his way over to him only to be beaten by somebody.


“No Bino, you won’t be,” she whispered in to his ear, “Not by me, or by anybody else here.” Bino collapsed into the neck hug, daring to peak at who he was being hugged, by. Shasha? Fido carefully knelt down beside him. Bino didn’t react, what choice did he have? He let Fido give him an arm hug and continued to cry.


“I don’t think it’s a matter of what your loved by,” Shasha said, “Just so long as your loved.” Bino looked from Shasha to Fido. Fido didn’t have a girl around his arms.


“I, sniff, I guess I can agree with that,” he said, trying to cheer up a little, “Just so long as it’s another gi-*” He was stopped with a kiss in the face.


“You silly, you know what I meant,” Shasha said, she continued to nuzzle Bino for a few good minutes.




Epilogue
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Grape walked through the locker room, looking at all the costumes. They were mostly heavy duty cardboard armor sets and helmets, but there were a few robes. There were weapons on the wall as well. Battle axes, swords, scimitars, spears, foam guns, foam dart shooters, rapid fire type foam guns, single fire type foam ball guns. There was also the occasional robe and pith helmet too. Grape didn’t really like being a mage, too much special effects stuff for her. She liked keeping things real. She would’ve picked a close combat type, but she didn’t feel like getting really roughed up today. So she took a pith helmet from it’s place on the wall. She stared at the hand crafted equipment made from that was made from a milk jug with admiration. She found that she wasn’t staring at the helmet, but something else, something distant in the back of her mind.


“Um, Grape,” she heard a familiar voice behind her say, “The rooms starting to clear out, and once that happens they’ll start the game in five minutes. Are, you okay?” She sighed and placed the helmet on.


“How do I look?” she asked Max, turning around.


“Eh, you look awesome,” he said, “Just don’t forget that lighter armor or you’ll be a prime target for other archers. No armors count as double hits you know?” At least he was having fun, she said, grabbing the matching armor set. She fit into it, and looked herself around, and then, not knowing what she was doing, looked down and sighed.


“Hey, Grape, you okay?” Max asked again, “Did, I do something again?” Grape suddenly realized the effect her pondering was having on Max. She tried to snap herself to the here and now.


“Heh, no Maxie,” she said, hugging him, “Why do you ask?”


“Well, you’ve just been, distant lately,” Max said, drooping his head into her arms, “Sometimes it’s like, I’m not even there. Sniff.”


“Aw Max,” she said in return, squeezing him harder, “I love every minute I have with you. I’ve just been, well, thinking about a lot lately.”


“Oh, oh okay, sniff,” Max said, cheering up, “Mind telling me?” Grape thought for a moment.


“No Max, not yet,” she said, releasing him, “I will when I get ready to.” She noticed that the room had only one or two other players still getting ready.


“Okay,” Max said, in a better mood now, “So, ready to kick some tail?” She nods.


They walk out onto the baseball field that had been converted to serve as their battleground. Actually there were two baseball fields. One on one end of the park, then, another diamond away, was a second baseball field. They were flanked by the woods on the left, and the rest of the park on the right. The bleachers of the first field, know as ‘Green’ to them, had observers in the bleachers. The other pets who came to the ‘First Annual Epic LARP of The Babylon Gardens Pet Club’ were sitting in the bleachers on the right and left hand sides. Flags and banners were provided to fans to root for their favorite teams. The second field, known as ‘Maroon’, had the team that Peanut was on. Grape couldn’t see him in the mass of pets, all in battle armor and weaponry, but she knew he was there. She filed in line with her team of twenty five pets and took the back line. That way she could provide cover fire.


Peanuts team had already lined up and was waiting on the judges. After the judges made their rounds (Ralph and Kevin in orange vests), they blew their whistles. Everyone knew the rules and risks, so they just charged into the fray. Covering the distance pretty quickly, the front lines bashed into each other and the fighting began. Kills were counted when a player lost all their targets. Targets were paper plats taped onto the armor and helmets. Archers and mages were given some benefit of the doubt as to where they hit because of the size of their shots. It’s a good thing Grape thought to bring tons of ammunition with her though. She was doing pretty well she had gotten down two spearmen, a three swordsmen, and a mage, when she was attacked by a double bladed warrior.


Thinking quickly, she dodged out of the way, trying to get back some distance to fire. She was losing ground fast, where was Max, she thought. Then, without thinking, she had had enough. Quickly she grabbed a spear from a fallen foe, and threw it at her assailant. Straight in the stomach, and she was awarded an instant kill by a judge. The rest of the line wasn’t looking too good though. They were at 9-12, not good odds. She took a few random shots in the air deep in the enemy lines. And was rewarded with three lucky shot helmet kills. Feeling good about herself, she took aim.


“ORC!!! ORC!!! ORC!!!” the judges called. Orc? Grape thought, what Orc? Then the big, lumbering monster came hollering out of the forest.


-----

“Now, remember now,” he was being told by Fox, “Don’t seriously hurt them.”


“I know,” he grumbled, still a bit sour.


“It’s just for fun too,” he said.


“I know,” he grumbled again.


“And your supposed to be having fun too,” Fox said.


“I KNOW! Guh,” Bino said back, “I still don’t see why I got to play the orc! Do you know how itchy Styrofoam can get? Sheesh.”


“Well, we all drew names from a hat,” Fox said, “And yours came up last.” They were both waiting in the woods for the judges call.


“I still say it’s a conspiracy,” Bino said irritated.


“You’ll always think it’s a conspiracy,” Fox retorted.


“Like you’ll always think that bomber jackets and dog tags are cool?” Bino smirked.

“Oh, don’t you get me started on that!” Fox began, but he didn’t have time.


“ORC!!! ORC!!! ORC!!!” the judges called. Bino sighed, if it weren’t for that fact that he got to beat some pets with a large battle (although plastic) axe, he wouldn’t of had gone for the thing. But still, if it was one way to smack sense into people, he’d take it. Fox watched Bino take off in silence.


----------

Grape was stunned as she saw the heavily armored monster come charging out of the woods, swinging his great axe around. Quickly he made his way to the surprised combatants on the fields, felling warriors left and right. To him, it didn’t matter which side he was on, he was just out to kill them all. Grape realized this, and she tried to go behind the ‘Maroon’ line to get a good shot. Apparently though, she wasn’t sneaky enough, for as she got close to the trees, he turned and headed in her direction. She had challenged him, and that turned out to not be a good idea. He barreled though warriors and mages. He had already thinned the teams down 6-7, with Grape looking to be a target.


Grape smirked and lined up a row of shots and fired! And no ammo came out of her weapon. She was shocked. Quickly she rummaged through her belt to find a full slot. The orc neared, and she knew if she didn’t find one soon it’d be game over for her. Where was Max? Then a blur of brown fur dashed in front of her eyes and barreled into the monster. Grape soon saw that it was Peanut, Peanut had rescued her. Knocking aside the orc’s weapon more than once, Peanut swiped at him with his two straight swords. He slashed the orc’s multiple targets off. Then, as a final blow, swiped away his stomach targets. The orc fell still and silent, and turned over in the snow. A cheer went up from the champion’s side. He turned to face her. And she couldn’t help but beam.


“Are you all right?” he asked her, lifting his helmet lid up.


“Why yes, I’m quite, HEY!” she yelled, because, at that moment, out of nowhere, came Max flying into Peanut. Knocking him down, Max swiped a surprised Peanut’s weapons away, and delivered the killing blows. Grape was more then a little irritated.


“NOW you show up!” she said.


“Huh, I, I thought he was going to hurt you,” he said in defense.


“And what about those other times!” she said, still upset.


“Grape look,” but he didn’t get to finish.


“HMPH!” she said, “Well, dead or not, I’m still going to say thank you!” Pushing Max aside, she bent down. And gave Peanut a kiss on the nose.


“Thank you soldier,” she said, “For saving my life today. Hopefully I may be able to repay the favor.” Max stood there with his mouth open. Good, she thought, he needs to be taught a lesson or two.


“D-d-d-d-don’t m-mention I-it,” Peanut was able to stammer. She then looked at Kevin and pointed to Peanut.


“He should probably be taken off the field,” she said, “Paralysis of the Kiss can take a while to recover from.” Kevin nodded, and hauled Peanut off to the sideline. She realized that she was getting a few more open mouth stares from the opposite team. She took her opportunity.


*THOT THOT THOT THOT THOT THOT*


“Your all dead, by the way,” she said smirking to the three lookers. Placing a hand in their face, they groaned for a bit but fell down. The rest of the battle went to ‘Green’ team.


----

King looked out the observation deck at the chaos that was going on. He was in the ‘Green’ field deck building, just behind the bleachers. He watched with a pair of binoculars at what he had helped cause. He sighed, and settled back into his chair. He looked over at the ferrets watching every thing going on through the windows. King however, was thinking to himself. Did he do what he had come here to do yet? He thought. Wasn’t getting cats and dogs to bond together more a good thing? He thought and tried to feel himself out. He didn’t feel much except for a familiar head lean against his left shoulder. Gently, much to her disappointment, he pushed Shasha’s head away. No, was the answer he finally came up with. He sighed and lowered his head. Shasha once more put her head on his shoulder, he let her this time. They stayed that way until the end of the second game. Enjoying each others company while they still had it.

The End

_________________
Also on twitter: https://twitter.com/xhunterko


Last edited by xhunterko on Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:57 am
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