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Puppy Wrangler
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Too bad, I liked Zach....

Wonder what they are up to? What is their endgame?

Great job, Valerio. I am loving this so far.

My characters
Everybody has a story to tell. What's yours?

Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:51 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Foster Mansion, Babylon Gardens

Sacrifice one life to save many others.
When you’re in a position of responsibility, you don’t want to make this choice, you do your best to avoid the very circumstances that would force you to choose.
But when your best is not enough, and are faced with this choice, and you don’t have time to reflect, instinct tells you to go for the sacrifice. It is simply a natural choice.
Ask Martin Foster to cut off his limbs, instead, when it came to animals.
Like now.
But what was the choice?
The shelter he was working so hard for? The dozens of innocents that had a right to a family after years of suffering?
Or the pets of Babylon Gardens?
“So, Foster human,” said the grim, deep, inhuman voice from the other end of the line. The voice of a nightmare come to haunt the community from a past that everyone hoped had remained buried. “Now I kill this bunny, then other precious pets will follow. Unless you open the shelter. One...”
“ALL RIGHT!” cried Martin in the headset, hoping that the monster had heard. Faced with this choice, he couldn’t sacrifice a single innocent. Especially Zachary Arbelt, who had tried to go help the ferals he felt responsible for, knowing what awaited him if he went alone. No, Zachary deserved to live. At any cost.
Babylon Gardens Temporary Shelter for the Abandoned and the Ferals

The killing blow didn’t come, but the monstrous striped grey Rottweiler mix kept his paw pressed again Zachary’s throat.
“Very good, human Foster. Open the gate, now.” The satisfaction in the creature’s voice sounded even creepier than its threats.
Evelyn was mesmerized by that monster’s coal-black eyes. His quadruped posture, his voice, his gaze... That wasn’t just an extremely dangerous dog, he was the incarnation of the most ancient human fears. A shadow somehow bound to the dark past of Whiteman House. A past that still struggled to kill, just like the ‘champions’ who passed through the arena of a long gone Pet Fight Club...
“Miss Sunman,” said Martin. “Now listen carefully and don’t discuss my orders: First, activate the speakerphone, so the dog can hear.”
“On the speakerphone,” said Evelyn to the dog.
Martin’s voice came clear to the canine ears. “Miss Sunman, give the order to turn off the power. Then open the shelter’s gate and leave it wide open. Keep away from the dog. Then if he’ll allow it, go help Zachary.”
“Boss...” Evelyn felt as if her heart was being ripped apart. But this wasn’t the time to criticize his decisions, especially not in front of that monster, or poor Zach... “Liam, go to the board. Turn off the power. Now.”
Liam, he too, divided as he was, nodded. He backed a few steps without stopping to stare at the monster, then turned and ran to do as he’d been told.
The dog seemed satisfied. He showed the tremendous joy of a predator ready to lash out. “You are a wise person, human Foster. I promise it won’t take long. Oh, and let the line open. You must hear the sounds of them dying.”
The warning light on top of the electrified fence went out. A moment later, the electric lock snapped and the gate opened.
The dog waited until the gate was completely open. He nodded slowly, and let go of Zachary. “A deal is a deal. Go to your pet friend, human Sunman. I’m busy.” The creature proceeded on all fours towards the shelter, the living embodiment of the most primitive feral. He knew Evelyn would do as she’d been told, thus becoming a hostage herself.
So pathetically foreseeable! Humans cared for their kin far more than for these hapless pets. Human Sunman would become quite precious for the next deal, after this pleasant task.
Evelyn wanted to run to help the rabbit, who now had fainted, but she just walked on without stopping to look at the beast in the eye. Part of her knew that this was not like the Killer Whale she had met before. These eyes showed both malice and intelligence. This creature knew what he was doing, and he felt a demonic pleasure. But, like that Killer Whale, this dog was just as brutal, built to kill, completely merciless. Evelyn knew that she was going to die the moment she had left the shelter. She could never defend herself or Zach, she could never outrun that beast.
But she owed it to Zachary, not to let him die alone…
The murderous dog didn’t even care to close the gate. He took his sweet time, searched the kennels and pet houses, one by one, sniffed the air.
He was looking for prey.
At least, Evelyn had a good idea to gather the guests on the far side from the entrance... For what it would help. Come on, children, try to flee! Why are you staying there?! Each step the monster took toward that section, the less chance there was to make it…
But of course, she knew the answer.
Panic. Who wanted to be the first to risk his life under the fangs of such a beast? How could you move a single step, when instinct told you that hiding would save you?
Of course, the moment the first blow was inflicted, panic would forced everyone to flee. The beast could kill as many as he wanted and mark the good deeds of Mr. Foster in blood. The shelter would be no more, temporary or new.
But why in God’s name? What have we done do you!?
Lost in those thoughts, Evelyn hadn’t even realized that something had gone wrong in the beast’s plans until she heard the sound of metal, wood and plastic being demolished, followed by monstrous roar that shook the air. ”WHERE ARE THEY?!”
The woman was still kneeling in the grass, clutching Zach, dabbing his bleeding ear with a handkerchief. And for some reason, at that moment she felt at peace. She smelled the flowers and the grass, the breeze was cool on her face, and the sun was not even hot.
It was a good day to die, after all.
And the beast was approaching her like a tiger ready to strike. The face was contorted in an unnatural fury, Evelyn had never seen such fangs in the mouth of an animal. “Where. Are. They? Their scent is fresh, it is everywhere, and they’re not here! You hadn’t the time to move them elsewhere. Where are they?
In answer… Evelyn Sunman smiled.
“What are you smiling for, human Sunman? You are about to die.”
“I smile because Mr. Foster has foreseen this contingency, and I was right to trust him. I smile, because human intelligence beat you, brute. I smile, because now I know that whatever you plan to do to me or Zach will be your last stunt. I know.”
The murderous dogs leaped at the woman. No finesse, no plans, no delays. He’d get his trophy anyway!
Evelyn hugged Zach tight, but didn’t give to the monster the satisfaction of looking away. In that endless split second that separated her from those spit-glossy jaws, she didn’t see her life passing before her eyes. She thought, instead, that the shelter was safe and that many innocents would find a nice family.
Thank you, Martin.
Then time went back to its flow. And there was a sort of explosion, when something collided with violence against the dog! The shockwave actually made her startle. All Evelyn could make out in those moments was a single bundle of fur rolling on the ground, snarling, growling, fangs snapping like bear traps.
Then the two combatants separated, and the woman saw that the animal that had just saved her was ”Antares!”
The Ukrainian ‘King of the Mountains’ pride of the Special Forces Alfa’s K9Us, was facing his enemy mirroring his feral posture, his eyes bloodshot. “Run to the shelter,” he said only.
The fearsome voice that Evelyn heard from the sweet puppy she had always known was more effective than a whiplash. She got up and ran to safety with the rabbit tightly held in her arms. As she got inside, she pulled the gate closed. ”The power, Liam! TURN ON THE POWER!”
The warning light on the fence was rekindled after a moment.
Evelyn stopped only enough to take the cordless. “Boss! Your plan worked! When are the police coming? Boss..?”
The line was still open.
And no one answered. “Martin, can you hear me? Please, come in!”
It was then, that Evelyn remembered there were two murderous dogs.
“Oh, Lord, no...” The woman was about to punch 911, when Zach began to tremble all over. With the worst timing ever, the shock, the bite wound’s infection, and blood loss were claiming their toll on the poor rabbit.
For a couple of seconds, Evelyn moved her gaze from the feverish creature to the phone. Then she ran to the infirmary. Once again, she had to put trust her boss. For what she knew, he had called the reinforcements already.

The two dogs were studying each other carefully, moving in circle, slowly, mirroring each other in their stance.
The murderous feral spoke in a monstrous growl. “So, it’s just you and I. And do you actually think you can beat me, you pampered mutt?”
Antares displayed a sneer of pure hatred. This was his first time in a fight for life, but he’d been trained for this, it was in his very blood. Every cell of his body screamed to release the might of the military dog. Show no mercy! “I was going to ask you the same thing, you coward. Are you ready to fight a [i]real[//i] opponent?”
In response, the feral charged with all the strength he had, his jaws wide open. His posture was perfect both for inflicting a serious wound and overwhelm the opponent with the sheer weight of his body. He had defeated cougars, with that tactic!
And that pampered mutt was imitating him. Hah! He had a nice surprise incoming...
Instead, at the last second, just a moment before the fatal collision, a fist of tremendous might hit the feral’s snout! The nose broke with a sharp sound. The most sensitive part of the face of a dog threw out a bolt of unimaginable pain! The beast’s thoughts became an incoherent bundle immersed in a red-hot star. The feral whined/howled, and rolled on the ground holding the injured organ. Blood trickled through his paws.
Antares stood up. “The benefits of knowing how to use your paws for something other than running, you coward,” he grinned. “Come on, get up! I’m not finished with you!”
The killer dog leaped at Antares, his anger now completely out of control. “Die die die DIE!” It was the only word that came out of his mouth, along with the bloody foam.
Antares was slammed to the ground, hard. He had his arm pressed against the enemy’s throat, while his jaws snapped at a frenetic pace in front of his face, almost with a metallic sound.
But those formidable weapons were also the perfect weak point. Antares snapped his head forward and his jaws closed in a steel vise around the already wounded snout.
The pain of the monster sounded in a new, long howl. Tissues and bones creaked again. The beast tried desperately to free himself, and in doing so managed to claw deeply at his opponent’s flank!
Training. The Foster dog ignored the wound, and he didn’t let go for fear of being wounded again.
Antares only needed the space for maneuver, to put an end to the fight!
Antares’s paws grabbed the beast by his arms. His legs went under his belly. “Play dead,” he whispered.
And with all his strength, The King of the Mountains threw the monster dog over himself.
In the direction of the electrified fence.

To his credit, when it happened, Dr. Stanwick didn’t look up while stitching up Zachary’s wound. The doctor could operate under enemy fire, and this situation was not too different.
Evelyn, however, looked away from the window, when the killer dog’s body hit the fence. She didn’t look, but she did hear the endless whine of an animal’s death. And for how much the beast deserved it, Evelyn felt a surge of pity for that grisly death.
It took almost two minutes, before the monster stopped fighting. Then the warning light went out.
The woman turned back to the doctor, questioning him with her eyes.
“Shock, mild infection, a couple of bad bruises, but no internal damage,” said the man, bandaging the ear. “Aside from this wound, he should be fine after some rest. Bring Antares in here, instead. And tell Liam to prepare extra rations, that boy surely deserves it,” he added with a smile.

Evelyn came out of the infirmary, just in time to see the guests of the shelter emerge… from the double bottoms of their kennels. “Is it over?” asked one of the kittens.
Evelyn nodded, dumbfounded. She didn’t know anything about that trick, Martin had been smart to prepare the special kennels. She should feel angry toward her boss, but the woman recalled that the man had a passion for Sun Tzu.
Deceive your friends, if you want to deceive your enemy.
And it had worked. Had the beast suspected, all would’ve been in vain. “It’s over,” Evelyn smiled. For what concerned the shelter, the crisis had passed ...
Police and ambulances were arriving.
Evelyn walked past the charred remains, without looking, ignoring the reek of burnt flesh. She cared only for the angel that had saved her. “Antares, oh my God, are you..?”
“Just a scratch,” he scoffed, keeping one foot pressed to his side. The ‘scratch’ looked as if four butcher’s knives had dug into his side, but he showed no sign of suffering. His stubby tail was wagging, and he had protected his friends and made Dad proud. He couldn’t be happier. “Are you all right?”
The woman hugged the majestic creature. And when Antares returned the gesture, she was amazed at how delicate that fighter could be. “Thank you. God, I thought that… that...” Then he regained control and whispered, “What about the other..?”
Responding with the same low whisper, Antares said, “It must be over for him too, by now. Count on it.”
Sandwich House

As the attack at the shelter was beginning, the second killer hound was taking care of an even more important target.
From the top floor, Peanut and Grape, as if it was a waking nightmare, were watching that monstrous dog, the snarling, black-striped grey feral, who was climbing the stairs, licking her bared teeth. The fragments of the main door lay behind the female assassin.
“You can run, little Sandwiches, but you can’t hide. Be good pets. It will end in an instant.”
Foster Mansion

Martin himself could not do anything at that moment.
He was out of the house. Alone. Disarmed. In the middle of the lawn. His face was an impassive mask. His voice devoid of emotion.
“Let’s end this here, then,” he said, keeping his eyes fixed on the third of the killer dogs. The biggest of the pack, a pitch black male, who was waiting for just those words!


Last edited by valerio on Wed May 04, 2011 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun May 01, 2011 3:39 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
wow is all i can say I love how you did the action scenes they were awesome.

so pie is free but cake is not?

Sun May 01, 2011 6:33 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Parker House, Babylon Gardens

Simon Parker had just been given valuable information, from the most unlikely of sources. And the details he had heard seemed too credible to be a macabre joke.
His puppy tended to act so… weird, sometimes, but his master also knew that Joey had never lied to his family, never. It was, after all, the best trait he had inherited along with his brother Fido... “Chief Norton? Look, we’re short on time. I discovered one important thing about those killer dogs who are keeping us under siege! My dog Joey told me, he’s got friends with good ears, okay?
“It’s not Pet Fighters, do you read me?! They’re the sons of the last female of the Whitemans! Yes, when the police cleared out that accursed arena for good, there was a litter of three pups, just newborn. The Whitemans had decided to start a new business, raising puppies born from PFC’s champions and selling them to other arenas. These guys are smart, not reptilian brutes!
“Their parents were put down, but not the cubs, not right away. And while the bureaucrats fought whether it was right or not to kill the pups, someone from PETA infiltrated the kennel, released the creatures, and faked the documents to make everyone believe euthanasia had been carried out... Yeah, and it seems that instinct drove those beasts back where they were born… What?”
Joey sat on the stairs. Squeak, his mouse friend, was sitting on his shoulder. She was out of breath from running to him and carrying the news received from Joseph-Boris Trotsky.
Joey saw his Dad become the color of chalk.
Simon felt himself wobble. “Where, did you say? Yes, I understand. I... I’m sorry for the inconvenience... No, never mind, my duty. Good luck.” He put down the phone and turned to Joey. The man approached him and sat down beside him then took the dog’s paw in his hand. “Joey... There is bad news.”
The poor dog swallowed. He was Fido’s youngest brother, but he wasn’t as brave. In fact, he was more scared now than ever. He hated to be so helpless…
“One of those dogs is here at the Gardens. At the Sandwich’s.”
Sandwich House

When Henry Milon had founded that Pet-Friendly community, he had included as a rule the ‘open door policy’. Pets could come and go wherever they wanted just by turning the handle.
The doors themselves were not the sturdiest of models. A burglar would have to be the biggest masochist to go visit a place filled with animals watching 24/7 in each and every building.
The house where Jill and Earl Sandwich lived together with their pets, Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly, was no exception, although it would take more than a kick to force the door open, like in the shows.
Those doors surely hadn’t been designed to withstand the impact of a monstrous 200 lbs Rottweiler mix, a mass of pure muscle selected and bred for a single task: to kill.
Until a moment ago, the most serious concern of the Sandwich family was the safety of the rabbit Zachary, who had fled into the woods to make sure that the cubs of the raccoons killed by these monsters were all right.
Now they had to fear for their lives!
“Mm-mm, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich... And I’m so, sooo hungry...” said the black-striped grey female, moving slowly, on all fours like a stalking tiger.
Peanut and Grape had come to see what had produced that sudden noise like an explosion downstairs. And now they didn’t even have the courage to move a single muscle. That… thing was a Matagot, the bogeyman, a demon that had nothing to do with the thousands of years of evolution and cooperation that eventually produced man’s best friends.
That was the fruit of evil, the harbinger of death. And death spoke in a strangely… happy voice, like a gourmet contemplating the finest banquet. “You can run, little Sandwiches, but you can’t hide. Be good pets. It will end in an instant.”
And it was so close now. Peanut and Grape knew that if they tried to run, now, it would be of no use. That thing looked like it could leap over buildings!
“Stay away from my children!” The voice’s sound came together with the click of a cocking gun.
“Ohh, here’s daddy: good, I needed some ham.” Again, the female demon licked her teeth, not at all discouraged by the sight of the man aiming a shotgun at her.
Earl knew he had committed a grave mistake, he should’ve shot without warning, he knew what he was facing!
But now he wouldn’t hesitate. “Peanut. Grape. Go to your room. And you,” said to the female, without the slightest tremor in his voice, “stop where you are. At this distance, I’ve never missed a shot.” And that was true, his father was a hunter and had spent much time teaching Earl. Too bad Earl hadn’t inherited the attitude to kill…
“You know what? Me neither.”
To his credit, Earl shot.
The dog was faster. The bullet drew a line between the beast’s shoulders, but she didn’t even notice it. She hit him with the full weight of her body. From Earl Sandwich’s chest of came the ominous sound of broken bones!
The pain was terrible, but at least it seemed that the lung was not punctured. Earl used the rifle like a stick to keep those snapping jaws away from his face, but it was like trying to stop an avalanche. “Run…” he gasped.
From the doorway of their room, Peanut and Grape watched their direst fears become reality before their very eyes: the evil monster of their nightmares was bent over their Dad, ready to tear his throat out!
Jill was paralyzed as well. She didn’t know what to do, she hadn’t a weapon, she could only hope she could protect their children when Earl…
Then the unthinkable happened – and that was Earl’s salvation. The monstrous female could not possibly imagine that those pampered mutts could be a threat to her... That’s why her guard was lowered, when Peanut Butter Sandwich attacked her!
“LET HIM GO!” A sentence roared with unexpected strength by Peanut, everyone’s friend, the shy dog afraid to show others his comics, the merry doggie to whom Grape turned to quench her fears.
Peanut Butter covered with a single leap the distance between him and the female killer. And his teeth closed on her throat!
It was impossible to determine who was more surprised between Earl, Jill, or Grape. Part of her was exalted by the first real manifestation of the champion that her dog would become...
But, unfortunately, Peanut wasn’t an adult. His teeth could’ve hurt a peer in a fair fight, but for the evil female, those teeth were less than pinpricks.
The Rottweiler had only to shake her head to get rid of that annoying flea! Peanut was thrown back like a rag doll... and hit the wall with his head. His body went limp in an instant, he fell down and didn’t yowlp, didn’t move...
“PEANUT” No more caring about her own safety, Grape left the room and leaned over her beloved dog. “Nononono...” while their mother did the same.
Jill placed two fingers on the throat of her son. “He’s fine,” she said, trying to comfort Grape, but the nurse knew that Peanut had just suffered a serious head injury. He needed a CT scan, and quickly! “Grape, we...”
It was then that Grape Jelly did something that rationally she wouldn’t have attempted.
Her Dad was still in danger.
PEANUT WAS WOUNDED! Her Peanut, the first creature of this world to whom she had given her heart and soul! Her only reason to endure every pain and every obstacle!
At that moment, Grape was no longer a pet. Her hatred burned like a supernova. The world became a series of frozen frames. There were only her and the demon who had dared to hurt Peanut!
At that moment, both cat and Rottweiler wanted the same thing, with the same ardor.
Grape was faster.
Her claws dug four parallel lines into the monster’s left eye. It sounded like a bubble bursting. *Pop* it went.
The Rottweiler let out a monstrous howl of pain, as she arched back her head, tracing an arc with her blood.
Grape felt happy. The tiger in her wanted more blood, wanted to put an end to this madness! On the other hand, she must take care of Peanut...
“Grape!” The cat realized she was being called for some seconds. “Grape! Come, quick!”
The cat ran to her parents’ bedroom, while Jill carried Peanut. Before entering, she turned her eyes in time to see that Earl, standing on his feet, was trying to walk down the stairs, leaning on the handrail, holding his chest in pain. He was barely able to stand, in those conditions. He could only hope the monster would go after him, seeing him as the weaker member of enemy pack!
“WITCH!” Roared the female assassin, ignoring the man. The left side of her snout was a crimson mask. Her fangs were a row of white daggers. “I’ll eat your arm, for this!”
And at that moment, they heard a second shot! The Rottweiler mix was pushed forward as if she had been kicked by a horse... but she didn’t fall. Instead, with a growl that shook the walls of the house, she turned!
“I don’t think so,” said Janet Masterson, aiming her Beretta. “Eat lead.” And fired again, in a replay of the earlier scene. But Janet knew where to aim and had all intentions to kill. She emptied her magazine into that running monster.
The bullets had more or less the effect they would have had against a speeding locomotive. They penetrated the flesh in the chest, shoulders, dug a line in the skull, but that didn’t stop the deadly creature from crashing against her at full strength! Janet distinctly felt her left shoulder sprain as she fell to the ground, but she was more worried that she was about to be ripped apart.
At that moment, something rammed against the monster, and ripped one of her ears with a single bite!
“Ivan,” cried Janet. “No! Stay away!”
But Sergeant Ivan Danko was not willing to give the slightest heed to his companion of many adventures. She had been his partner since he was a puppy, they had taken care of each other every single day. And if that meant risking his life, now... well, he didn’t care!
The Doberman was like a pup in front of his enemy, but he stood his ground between her and Janet. “Help Earl, he must go to the hospital,” he growled, taking a step back towards the door. “Come on, coward. Are you afraid of the one who can bite you, eh?”
The murderous female was about to attack him, to make him swallow those words along with the rest of his face... Then she saw the police.
The remaining patrols of Babylon Gardens and their dogs had arrived. The moment she tried to leave the house, she’d de, either by gunfire or by bite. Even she couldn’t stand the combined fire and strength of those opponents.
The female exchanged a last look with the Doberman. She was panting like a bull. The wounds were beginning to weaken her, now. “I’m not done yet,” she whispered. Ignoring Earl, she turned and ran up the stairs, covering them with three thunderous leaps. If she had to die, she’d bring with her the true targets, first!
The police were running in. But it was already too late. Without stopping, the female threw herself against the door. The wood went to pieces like paper mache. “Time to sleep, little– ” her blinded eye didn’t see a golden object with sharp corners falling on her head.

The police arrived on the first floor in time to hear the blows follow one another with a grim cadence, accompanied by the hysterical screams of Jill Sandwich.
In time to see the woman let go of the bloody bronze statuette that was the prize Peanut had won at an exhibition for the most educated mixed breed pets.
They say ‘Hel hath no fury like a woman scorned’. Evidently, they had underestimated the anger of a mother intent on defending her young. Suddenly drained of all energies, Jill said to the police, “Peanut has a head injury. He must be hospitalized now, or I’ll crush your heads as well. Grape, I go with Dad, you go with Peanut, okay?”

The pets and their owners had gathered in a dense crowd around the Sandwich driveway, while the patients were being carried onto the ambulances.
When the ambulance left, Bino said, “Peanut can’t die. He just can’t, it’s not possi—” *Slap!* “Ouch!” he added, after Max had slapped him.
“Don’t even think about it.” The black cat was sheathing and unsheathing his claws. “He’ll make it. He’s too tough for a simple bump...” Then he heard what Chief Norton was saying to Agent Bill.
“... Found trace of the third?”
There was a third!?
“No. They offed one at the shelter, and this was the second...”
Max and Bino exchanged glances. “Martin ...”
Foster Mansion

“You are wise, human Foster. “I promise it won’t take long…”
The dog said something else, but at that point Martin wasn’t listening. He covered the phone with one hand. “Antares,” he said, “Run as fast as you can to the shelter. Kill that godforsaken beast. It’s an order, soldier.”
It was like having pressed a button. The dog nodded, grimly, and took off. If his Dad had given him such an order, it meant there was no other way out of this situation. And Antares hadn’t been trained to disobey a direct order.
“Every kennel has a double bottom,” said Martin. “I ordered the guests to hide quickly and not breathe if necessary, in case of emergency. I hope they obey, or it will be a massacre. Janet shouldn’t be long before she reaches the Sandwiches.”
“Do you think the second dog went there?” asked Aldebaran, who looked inpatient to join the action.
Martin nodded. “I’m sure of it. They want to hit me through those I most care about: the guests of the shelter, Peanut and Grape. And you.”
“This is why I stayed, right?” asked Aldebaran.
Again the man nodded. Followed by his pets, he walked to the main door.
“In the case the second dog decided to come here, right?”
Martin passed the threshold... and before his pets could stop him, he shut the door behind him!
A light door, composed of several layers of Kevlar and carbon fiber against a thick layer of manganese steel. It was the closest thing to an anti-bazooka defense he had installed.
While his sons uselessly punched against the door, Martin entered a code number into the electronic lock keypad, and then pressed the button ‘Armed’. All secondary doors closed, and steel plates slid down against the windows. Foster Mansion had become impenetrable by anything less than a tank.
The man leaned against the door, his face pressed close to the intercom. “I’m sorry, my beloved sons, Dad is sorry.”
“Dad,” cried Alcor. “Open the door! Come back inside, please!”
“I can’t,” replied the man, trying to hold back the tears. He stroked the door as if he could pet them. “There is a third dog, I’m sure. They counted on the fact that I would send Aldebaran to Peanut and Grape, to remove the last obstacle between them and me. I would have done it. And if they found the house closed, like now, they would’ve killed every pet in the Gardens, one by one, just to draw me out. I’m so sorry, children, but it must end here, it must end now, or other innocents will suffer. And I can’t allow it, just like I can’t permit you to expose yourselves to protect me.”
On the intercom’s screen, the white cat and dog were huddled against the arms of Aldebaran. They all had swollen eyes on frightened faces. “You are the most important thing in my life. I can’t face this thing knowing you’re in danger. Aldebaran, you and your brother are the men of the house now. Take care of your siblings, okay? The house is in panic mode: the lock will open automatically in an hour, or by punching in the dates of your adoptions, MDY, on this external keyboard. Aldebaran, you got everything?”
The black dog nodded. “We love you, Daddy.”
“I love you, my children” Martin turned off the intercom. He took a deep breath and turned toward the park.
He had never felt so vulnerable, looking at the green expanse. Never so scared.
But he wouldn’t give in to his fears. He walked through the park.
Until last night, he was convinced of having to pay for his sins, for the innocent lives of Helias, Honcho, Ringo... and for his brother, Joel. One selfish decision had destroyed four lives.
His sacrifice would be his atonement. Whatever happened, today, at least he was certain that the pets of Babylon Gardens and his shelter would be safe. His family would live on even without him. They’d inherit everything. He couldn’t help their pain and loss, but he could make sure they would live a good life.
“I’m here,” he said while holding his gaze straight ahead, his voice monotone. “I am alone. Disarmed. You have fifteen to twenty minutes before this place is filled with cops. You will never have a better opportunity. Show yourself.”
The nearby bushes rustled.
The dog emerged, a male specimen of terrifying size, big as a man. Pitch black, as if darkness itself had taken consistency. His eyes were as red as blood. Like his siblings, he proceeded on all fours like the regressed predator he was. Muscles rippled at each step, his bulk looked bulletproof. Even together, Antares and Aldebaran wouldn’t stand a chance against him. Martin was happy he had put his beloved ones at safe.
“Are you ready to die, human Foster?” If the voice of his brother was scary, this sounded like a graveyard had opened to let out the voice of its most restless soul.
“I am ready to do what I have to. But first I want you to promise that you’ll leave in peace, after you’re done.”
“Despite you not being in the condition to ask for anything, human Foster, that I can promise. We want you, the others are only collateral blood.”
“Why do you want me?”
The dog walked around the man. Martin didn’t move.
The beast sniffed the air. “You are not afraid.”
“I don’t fear you, and I don’t hate you,” said Martin. “I fear for those I love, and you have staked everything on that. You want me to die knowing that I’m helpless. At least, your siblings have failed, or they’d be here already to join the party.”
“Or maybe they’re already done and are waiting for me.”
Martin smirked. “And miss the fun? After all you did to come to this?” His gaze didn’t waver. “You survived through the years as a pack, as a whole. You wouldn’t split unless death did you part.”
The monster nodded. “You’re a good observer.” If the monster was worried for the others, he didn’t show it.
“Why? You studied me, watched me, you know who I am and what I’m doing. Why do you want to do this to me? I have not done anything, and would do you no harm... Although I’ll protect those for whom I am responsible, at any cost.”
“Revenge,” said the black monster.
Martin raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“Our parents died in this place. Countless animals have been sacrificed in the years to your lust for blood. And now you reopened it. Your claim to erase the past of Whiteman House is hypocritical.”
“What are you saying?” Martin wanted to scream, but his attention was focused on every little flexing of the canine muscles, waiting for the indication that would lead to the fatal leap...
“We hate you, human Foster. You, and all those stupid animals who think to bury the past so easily. With you all gone, your precious ‘Mansion’ will fall to ruin, no one will inhabit it. I’ll scatter your remains all around this property, to mark it as mine. No one will ever come again.”
Martin knew beyond doubt that there was no reasoning. This was his fate calling. He had avoided it for too long, now he could both amend and stop a threat to the community. His life was well worth it.
His face became an impassive mask. His voice devoid of emotion. “Let’s end this here, then,” said Martin Foster to a creature who wanted to hear just those words!
The dog jumped.
Martin stood.
Only one chance... Now!
The man’s left arm stretched out, slipping into the dog’s open mouth. And the hand into his throat!
The momentum pushed the dog against the human, both onto the ground, and Martin’s hand stuck even deeper into the dog’s throat. The gag reflex prevented the beast from closing his jaws against the limb that was invading his respiratory tract.
Martin clutched his hand against the trachea, and pulled with all his strength... And felt tissues giving…
At that point, panic and pain got the better of the mechanical reflexes. The black dog’s mouth shut with all its might.
Bones shattered like so many sticks. The muscles gave with a noise like torn paper. One bite to amputate Martin Foster of his arm.
Too late to undo the damage inflicted. The dog removed that piece of flesh from his mouth, but he was still choking. Even without that obstruction, his windpipe was crushed. His oxygen-starved body was demanding for fuel it couldn’t have anymore.
Martin had wrapped a piece of his shirt around the wound. In his eyes, the murderous beast looked… funny. He looked stunned at having discovered himself vulnerable, for failing. For something unexpected like a hand stuck in his throat. He had gagged on a mouthful!
And yet, the Rottweiler monster tried to get to his prey. He was wheezing and convulsing, but hatred still burned in his eyes, he couldn’t surrender, couldn’t...
A hand rested on his nose. A gentle touch, a caress. An unknown gesture for that dog. A stroke that made him forget, for a moment, that he was dying.
Martin Foster had crawled up to him. His face was pale due to the bleeding, the improvised bandage was completely soaked. The pain must be terrible... and yet, in his eyes there was no trace of anger. Only so much sadness. Sadness for a life destroyed at its very beginning, piety for a lost soul. “I’m sorry,” Martin whispered, weeping for the loser.
If the black dog wanted to say something, the best he could do was speak through his eyes to that strange human being. ‘I don’t fear you and I don’t hate you,’ he had said...
Then the man used his hand to close the dog’s eyes, gently. “Rest in peace now.”
And the heart of the last survivor to the horrors of Whiteman House stopped beating.
Martin smiled. It went well, after all... Oh, here comes the cavalry. About bloody time, heh… And please, turn off those sirens, I’m sleepy… so sleepy

Episode 10


Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

Sun May 01, 2011 10:20 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Great couple of updates, valerio. Peanut, Zach, and Martin Foster, huh? So much sadness. Your fanfic is good. I love it.

The action scenes were great as well. I can't wait to read the next part.

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Sun May 01, 2011 5:55 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Duuuuude that was intense! There is so much amazingness my head may explode! Like I actually had to make popcorn for this man, no joke! You're amazing like that!


Mon May 02, 2011 12:26 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Episode 11 - Aftermath
Written by VALERIO (later revised by OBBL)

“Unit 2 to Haichiko Mercy. Sara, call Veterinary Surgery, we have a patient in critical condition. Dog, male, five years. Impact head trauma. He’s unconscious, but sta–” The green-jacketed paramedic swore with a word that would’ve scared a sailor, when his patient started to have seizures! The man turned to the woman who was ventilating the dog. “The drill, Dani, now! And you, Tom, slow the heck down!”
There was a fourth presence in that section of the ambulance.
A female, lavender cat.
Grape Jelly Sandwich, the dog’s mate. Her hero who had just risked his life to save Dad’s. Peanut had attacked one of the last murderous Whiteman dogs, the monster that was going to kill Dad…
And the monster had just shrugged her neck. Like a doll, Peanut had been thrown against the wall.
Grape still remembered that horrible sound, when his head had hit the wall.
Peanut was just... broken. He had just stopped moving, but Mom had said he was fine, and now, and now...
Grape looked at what was happening. She saw the surgical drill puncture Peanut’s skull, saw the blood oozing from the wound. The doctors spoke of ‘intracranial pressure’, but it couldn’t be true. The one on the stretcher couldn’t be Peanut, he... he couldn’t be hurt, it was impossible! The worst thing that could happen to him was to be insulted by Bino! Peanut was just too good a dog to be… to be…
It was a dream, yes. A long, long bad dream. She’d just wake up, she must pinch herself a bit and she would wake, that’s it!
“Hey, girl, what are you doing?”
Grape looked curiously at the woman – Danielle, right? – as she held her paws gently. Why was she worried about her? Peanut was sick, right? Dream things were so weird, sometimes!
The woman turned the paws of the lavender cat, revealing the wounds she had inflicted to her palms with her claws. The woman took alcohol and gauze, and cleaned the wounds. The alcohol stung, but Grape took no notice. She didn’t even notice that she was sobbing the whole time, that her vision was blurred and her eyes were swollen and reddened. Her throat was sore; had she called him by name? She didn’t remember, didn’t remember anything.
She just wanted Peanut to be okay...
The ambulance’s door slammed open. The paramedics loaded Peanut Butter on the stretcher. The med stats that ran from mouth to mouth were an alien language for Grape. She just wanted to see him open his eyes, she just wanted to see him wagging his tail and hear him call her ‘Jellybelly’... That’s not much to ask, Lord, is it?
Then her thoughts, if possible, took a downward slope even more accelerated, when the stretcher stopped a step away from the operating room. The cardiac monitor was blurting out alarming sounds, doctor and nurses looked at each other scared, before reacting.
“Hyporeactive pupils,” said the doctor. And the monitor values were approaching the critical threshold.
“C’mon, champ, don’t you do this to us, don’t you dare,” said the veterinarian, ironically, the same woman who had visited him not long ago for the routine check-up and shot. Back then she had given Peanut the candy bowl. Now she was preparing the cardiac plates. “Charge to 150... Clear!”
A nurse pulled Grape away.
Peanut’s body arched with the first jolt... but it didn’t achieve the desired effect.
“Charge to 200... Clear!” again, to no avail. The monitor went flat line.
Grape smelled the terrible smell of burnt fur the reality of what was happening had become all too clear, and the monitor was telling her that the heart of the only creature in the world that she had ever loved had stopped!
Her anguish came as a long howl. This time the nurse struggled to hold her, while the doctor tried for the third time, before trying CPR… ”PEANUUUUUT!”
Chapel of the Canticle of the Order of Saint Anthony Abbot, Babylon Gardens. Three days after

The figure of Father William Ghetti examined with a sad gaze the three coffins lined up under the cross. An altar boy was spreading incense with a smooth motion of the thurible, another held the stoup.
The priest took the sprinkler, and with gentle movements he spread the holy water on the coffins.
“O Lord,” he said softly. “Please bless these three innocent souls, and welcome them unto your womb. In thy infinite mercy, forgive their sins in life, great and small may they have been, because for them the highest price hath been paid. Short were their lives. Grant them eternity, and a second chance to find peace. Amen.”
The man sat on the bench, while the officers took away the coffins. The altar boys retreated quietly as the small, empty church fell back into silence…
“A beautiful eulogy, father,” said a familiar corgi, sitting on the bench behind him. “If only they deserved it, I’d even shed a tear for them.”
The coffins were large, more fit for human beings instead of the monsters that had recently terrorized Babylon Gardens.
The priest turned and smiled to the small dog. “Coping with a loss is not our most difficult test, King. To forgive, is. And these creatures deserve our forgiveness just like any other sinner I have talked to and blessed.”
King had his own opinion on that matter, but he was fairly sure the priest would’ve exorcised him, after hearing it. It was Fox, sitting next to him, to give voice to those thoughts, although in less… explicit terms. In one word, actually. “Why?”
Father Ghetti sat down beside the silvery-furred husky. Stroking his head, he said, “They never had a choice, even before they were born. Even brother Wolf can teach us that we can choose good, civilization... But these creatures were… created. The miracle of life has been turned into a curse. They were victims, before being butchers. Also, I will respect the last thing Mr. Foster said. His last words were ‘Forgive them’.”
“Yeah,” King said, staring at the empty space where the coffins had been. “Great consolation for his pets, and even greater for Grape, or Zach...”
“Can I ask you one thing?”
“What would you do them?”
King threw a puzzled glance at the priest.
Father Ghetti was serious but not angry. He looked like a patient parent with a stubborn child. “Would you kill them again? Tear them to pieces? Curse them until your throat runs dry? And then start again? Would you feel better?”
King lowered his eyes and ears. He had started crying, and he hated it. Fox hugged him.
Resting his head on the husky’s chest, King said, “Why give them a service and a grave? The Pound cremates the strays to save on costs, and those poor creatures are innocents. What did these monsters do to deserve a service and a grave?”
Father Ghetti stroked King’s back. “When the time to pass comes, there are no merits, my child. If it is up to us to choose to build or destroy, use or waste our mortal lives, our Lord won’t grant them more suffering, after. That is why this Chapel has its own cemetery for these lost souls: To remind us of His gift of forgiveness.”
“Will you pray for them, then, Father?”
Ghetti smiled. “Every day they will be given a prayer and a flower. This they deserve.”
King looked at Fox, unable to imagine that in a previous life he wanted to make a feral out of him... “Sometimes I wish that humankind would disappear.” Ghetti was right, this pack of assassins had been sentenced when the Whitemans had decided to have a selected litter by the survivors of their Pet Fight Club. Feral or not, wolves were still sociable creatures, with strong family ties, and the ones that had joined the Equal Chance Program were cool in their own way.
These three mastiffs were death machines. Born to be, literally. And then the priest was right, they had paid the highest price for a nature that they didn’t choose to own. And it hadn’t been a clean end, either. What worse could one do to them?
King folded his hands and prayed for his brother, and for others that had fallen...
Haichiko Mercy Hospital

“Hey, mutt,” said Max The black cat was standing beside the bed where her Peanut was lying.
Looking at him, who would have said he was in a coma? Catheters and hydration/nourishment tubes aside, he wasn’t connected to a breathing machine. The bandage around his skull was thin – the head trauma turned out to be less serious than feared, he hadn’t needed an operated on his brain... yet, it had been enough to keep the poor dog in a coma.
He seemed to be sleeping.
“You really should wake up,” the cat continued to whisper. “Grape, without you, she’s dying, you know? We can barely get her to go grab a bite to eat at the cafeteria. She won’t go home, she’s not moving from here, she...” he sniffled. “We’re all down. Joey’s Club has become a sort of funeral home. Sasha is even sadder than when her dad abandoned her. Tarot shut herself in her room and refuses to talk. Sabrina isn’t faring better, but you know what? I don’t care about those people, Peanut. I care that you are fine, because if you’re good, Grape is good. I can’t stand to see her like this, withering day by day, so you just pretend that this is a Frank Capra movie and come out from wherever you are, you hear me? Do it for her.”
“Thank you,” whispered a voice behind him. Max almost had a heartattack, believing that Peanut’s ghost had materialized behind him! And to see a pair of luminescent eyes in the darkness of the room didn’t help Max for sure! Max let out a squeal of fright.
“It’s me, silly,” Grape said, coming to his side. “In other circumstances, I would have told you to shut up not to disturb him… But now I so wish he’d hear you and wake up. He’s not hearing me…” Her voice was weary, and depressed... Max was not exaggerating when he had described her conditions. Love could be a wonderful thing, but now it was like a parasite that was eating her inside. She hadn’t been giving herself a tongue-bath either, and if it hadn’t been for the collar she could’ve been easily mistaken for a stray.
Max patted her neck. “Heh, at least there’s some humor left in you...”
Grape’s face became angry. “Speaking of clubs, I guess that at least someone will be happy with what happened.”
It was clear what she had meant, but Max didn’t make the connection immediately.
“They’ll be throwing a huge party at the Good Old Dogs Club, now that the most embarrassing mutt in the Gardens is out of the game.”
“Grape, they aren’t...” Max tried, “Nobody is celebrating anything, at the Club. As a matter of fact, they keep in touch only to know how Peanut is doing. Bino looks like someone’s ripped his tongue–”
“Surely they didn’t care to pay visit, did they?”
Max hugged Grape. He didn’t do it with ulterior motives, there was nothing more than a sincere desire to comfort a dear friend, but he kept looking at the inert figure, as if any moment Peanut might open his eyes and ask mutely, with a stern look, how could Max take advantage of the situation to steal his girlfriend!
“Why are you shivering?” asked Grape.
He chuckled. “A malicious attempt to get your attention. You know me.” And he started purring.
And Peanut wasn’t looking at him with rancor, he didn’t know what was happening, as a matter of fact he was–
What the heck are you thinking, idiot?!
Peanut would not die. He’d be up and running soon, all happy, and Grape would be fine. We need you so much, mutt, so why do you keep on sleeping?
“As soon as he wakes up, you’ll see that Bino will come visit him to torment him. You know he can’t leave him alone, especially not after that picture trick.”
Grape kissed Max’s cheek. “What matters is that you’re here, alley cat. You were sweet to come.”
The lavender cat let herself be guided to the bed placed next Peanut’s. “Maxie?”
“Tell me.”
She lay down so to curl up next to the dog and hold his paw without knocking down the drip. “Thanks for everything. Peanut would not like that I was alone, at this juncture. I love you.”
Max nodded, and left the room. You don’t know how still much I love you, ma belle! This time, his eyes misted for himself. I’m sorry, Peanut.
Still, he wished that they would rip his very beating heart from his chest, rather than having Grape this way!
Ambrose House

“That darned idiot!”
Tarot brought a tray of biscuits to the guest who had so… effectively summed up the situation. “Swearing won’t be of help, Pete.”
The anthropomorphic blue-feathered griffin, looked ready to give another blow to the table he was sitting at, but the Pomeranian’s stern gaze of her emerald eyes kept him in place. “You’re right: a more direct intervention is in order. That idiot Foster and his ‘sacrifice’: The dark forces of Whiteman House were just waiting for his blood! At this rate, that ectoplasmic bomb will explode with all its might, and you and your girlfriend just sit here and waste energy!” He picked up a biscuit with honey and ginger and quickly shoved it in his beak. “Needs cinnamon.”
Tarot sat at the table. “I’m just learning to cook. What kind of action do you think is required?”
Second biscuit. “Just summon your food instead of wasting time. Smash-and-grab, and he’s out of the coma. Do I have to be any clearer?”
“Let’s give him more time. He’s strong, but he’s not used to that… environment.”
Pete looked like he wanted to throw fire from his eyes. Third biscuit. “Time is something we don’t have! It’s been seven days of this ‘coma’. If the dog dies, Babylon Gardens will be lost. These foolish mortals think they have solved the problem by killing those ferals. They have not yet figured out what’s in store for them. You and I must act now.”
Tarot lowered her head. “I guess you are right.” She really, really trusted Peanut. The spirits had chosen him, and had chosen well, but he wasn’t ready to face the otherworld so soon. She hated to concede to this jerk of a griffin, but she also would do everything to protect Peanut.
Whatever the risks.


Last edited by valerio on Wed May 04, 2011 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tue May 03, 2011 10:23 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
oh no! So much sadness and depression... I'm actually at a loss for words as to what to say... amazing as always though Valerio, but you're makin me sad here! Is there any happy on the way?


Tue May 03, 2011 1:36 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
There is, and a lot of it, worry not! ;)


Tue May 03, 2011 2:02 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
It happened so fast.
There was Dad.
And there was this big, big, big, BIG dog.
A bad dog.
She had hurt Dad.
She wanted to do something… ugly to Dad.
And he was angry.
He had attacked the big, big, big, BIG dog.
He had never attacked anyone.
He had never bitten anyone.
Bad dogs taste awful, yup! He must say that to Grape. Ew!
But the bad dog had thrown him away. He had tried, really. And the bad dog had thrown him away by shaking her neck.
He had felt a pain in his head.
And the darkness had come.
He could not open his eyes, but he could listen.
He had heard gunshots. Hey, they sound just like firecrackers, funny!
He heard Grape shouting his name. I’m fine, Jellybelly, don’t worry, come on!
He heard thuds, and mom was crying and shouting. It was the first time he had heard her cry, it was such a sad sound. Mom, don’t cry, and you too, Grape! Or I’ll cry, too, so there!
Why couldn’t he open his eyes? And why all of a sudden did he smell hospital? Oh, no! Dad took us back to the vet! Let’s hope there is that nice doctor. Let’s hope they pass me the candy bowl again!
There were so many people talking all at once. There must have been a lot of animals who needed a visit. Grape, where you are, why are you still crying? I’m here, silly!
“Hyporeactive pupils!” “Head trauma...” “Pulse dropping...” Who are you talking about? There’s someone really hurt! “C’mon, champ, don’t do this to us, don’t you dare...” Hel-lo vet! “Code blue!” “Emergency Cart” Um, I feel tired. Maybe I’ll have a nap, yes... Grape, don’t shout like that, what manners! “Charge to 150... Clear” Yowlp! This HURT! “Charge to 200... Clear!”
Peanut Butter Sandwich sighed, as he turned off his Nintendo.
He was laying in his and Grape’s room, in their common bed. But for now, he looked upset.
“Aw, Grape, you made me die. Again.”
The dog put aside the console, then stretched himself voluptuously, and yawned. He looked toward the window, and smiled. “Heh, talk about retribution, Grapey. Coming...” He yawned again, and went to the window. Summer was entering their room with a nice aroma, made of freshly mowed grass and flowers, and the peaceful hum of insects.
Peanut leaned out the window. “GRAAAAPE!” he shouted back, wagging his tail.
The female cat continued, however, to stay where she was, in the shade of the tree, shouting his name.
And her face was that of a desperate cat, her voice a cry full of anguish, not of happiness.
Peanut was afraid again. “Grape? Grape, I’m here! Please, look up here! C’mon, this is not funny!” He waved his arm, but it was like talking...
To a ghost!
Peanut backed off as if an invisible hand had pushed back. His heart was pounding so hard he thought it would burst his chest. Fear was turning his blood into liquid ice.
“What’s happening?” he asked to no one.
“You heard her calling you, at last,” said a voice behind him. A voice he knew, that despite the surprise, made him feel immensely relieved as he turned. “Tarot”
The Pomeranian was standing in the center of the room, paws folded in her lap. Her eyes were shining with that green light that appeared when she talked to the spirits. “You should not be here,” she said, in that emotionless tone that Peanut found funny, on other occasions. There was something… different in it, now. Worry, yes. That must be it.
“Uh... what are you doing here?” Peanut asked her.
“This is not your place, Peanut Butter. You must not stay here.”
He looked around. “Huh? It looks like home to me.” He sniffed the air. “It smells of home.”
“They want it to appear that way. They took pieces of your memories, toyed with them to turn them into the bars of a prison. Peanut, tell me, what have you been doing, lately?”
Peanut blinked. “Uh.” He looked at his friend, scratching his head fur. “I played, took naps, played again… That’s funny, now that I think of it.” He touched his stomach. “It feels like I spent days in this room, but I’m not hungry.”
“Because they forgot what physical sensations are. Their reconstruction is flawed. Now you can see that. Peanut do you trust me?”
“Uh... yeah, sure. But I’d like you to tell me the hunger trick. You know, Grape eats a lot, sometimes, and she’s so scared of getting fat—”
“The longer you stay here, the more you are in danger,” Tarot said, calmly as is she had given the time.
Peanut looked toward the window. He didn’t understand, his senses told him he was home…
The dog blinked again. His head hurt, now, just like it had hurt when—
When he put his paw off his head, he saw it was smeared with blood.
The BIG dog.
“Tarot..?” Now he was scared, but not for the wound in itself. He… he was glad Tarot was here, but he wanted “Grape. Where is she? Why doesn’t she hear me? Grape? Jellybelly, can you hear me?!” He turned around and shouted. “GRAAAAPE!”
The golden-furred female nodded. “Their hold on you is weakening. This is good, so do not be scared, my dear friend, for it will be over soon. Now look.” A card appeared in her paw. Peanut recognized it immediately.” Major Arcana number twenty-one: The World.” He liked to show what he learned, and Tarot was always happy when he learned something from her card lectures... “Good luck and perfection, only those with all the virtues can reach the goal.”
Tarot nodded. She turned the same card, showing, instead of the back, a new image.
“Major Arcana number seventeen: The Stars. Those who work in the purity will be welcomed by the heavens.”
The third image made Peanut shiver, but then he remembered the first lesson she had taught him. “Major Arcana number thirteen... Death: indicates the end of a given situation, preparing for renewal.”
The fourth and last image, however, seemed to shine with its own light, warm and comforting. Peanut wagged his tail. “Major Arcana number six: Love. It represents the people who know that love is the most important force in the Universe.”
The card disappeared. Tarot closed her eyes in that way that made her smile even though the mouth remained impassive.
“You have still a long way to go, Peanut. The fates of many depend on you, that’s why the Spirits chose you, and I know they chose well.” She opened her eyes, and floated in front of him, then took his paws between hers. “It’s a heavy burden, but your wonderful heart can stand it. That is why they want you here.”
“I don’t understand.”
Tarot nodded. “Do you remember the times you played pretend?”
“Sure!” He was wagging again.
“You have a fertile imagination, Peanut, like many of your peers… but only you, in Babylon Gardens, have the creative spark to create a comic.”
Now he was puzzled again. “Uh, The Adventures of Spot (Superdog)? What does have that to do with now?”
Tarot looked more serious now. Peanut had never seen her like that. She sounded even more ominous than when she predicted bad things if Grape hadn’t ‘fully accepted him’… “They live off your imagination, Peanut. They need to play pretend that they still belong to this world. They can’t accept they are gone, not after doing their best to stay here. Your imagination draws them to you.”
Peanut wasn’t used to such words and tone. He was getting stressed, and he desperately wanted to be with Grape. “I… still don’t get it. Who are ‘they’?”
“If you want to know, then I suggest you prepare for an interesting show, mutt,” said a new voice. Only then Peanut saw who was standing on the threshold.
And, talking about big… Peanut swallowed. “Hi... Pete?”
The griffin was so large that the door barely contained his head. His eyes were like two yellow suns. It hurt looking straight at them for too long.
Tarot was shaking her head. He hadn’t even seen her irritated so far. “He’s not ready to see everything at once, you know it.”
The griffin’s beak bent into a mischievous smile. “You said it yourself: The longer he stays here, the more he’s in danger. I’m only helping.”
Tarot sighed. “Proceed, then.”
There came a ‘Snap’ as only two enormous fingers could produce.
Like the set of a theater stage, the walls, the bed, the furniture – in short, the entire room was dismantled piece by piece by an invisible force, every piece pulled up at a fantastic speed.
Revealing the nature of that place.
The Haunted House.
Whiteman House, as it was before Uncle Martin demolished and built his mansion. It smelled of mildew, damp earth, weeds and dead things. The broken windows were covered with rotten boards, blind eyes through which thin shafts of light passed in an eternal twilight. Even the furniture was left as it was, left there to rot. Nothing had been taken away from that terrible place where something so horrible had happened, something that no human talked about.
But the attention of Peanut Butter was not focused so much on the place where, as a puppy, he had spent whole nights sharing horror stories with Grape.
Peanut’s attention was focused on the ghosts. On those restless souls of animals – cats, dogs, rabbits, raccoons, mice, adult and pups, kittens, cubs – who looked at him with longing, without saying a word. As if he were a piece of fresh meat, and they looked very, very hungry.
“Welcome to a place where a couple of humans sacrificed countless innocents lives,” Pete said, his voice tinted with sadness, his eyes closed. “These are the ‘they’ we’re talking about, mortal. They were brought here to die in many abominable ways, they fought to the end, they prayed, they cursed, and some of them died many times before their bodies died the last times. They are still here, waiting for that life that had been denied them so brutally.”
Peanut remembered that bad dog, and how she had the same look on her muzzle as she climbed their stairs, promising to eat them... “Tarot, I’m scared,” he whimpered.
The griffin, nestled next to the dog, just shook his wings, producing a current of astral energies that held off the supernatural crowd. “These are just lesser spirits,” he said with a hint of disdain in his voice. With his beak, Pete pointed to the main door. It was wide open, and from there came a blinding light. “Now you know. Now go away. Tarot will guide you where your place is. And remember: Even in your dreams, you have to avoid this place. Always.”
Tarot led Peanut to the door, holding his paw gently. An emerald flame spread from her paw, wrapped Peanut’s body in delicate spires like emerald smoke. The Pomeranian smiled again with her eyes, as they proceeded between two wings of ghosts who couldn’t break the barrier she had created.
Peanut looked at them. At first, they had seemed as if they wanted to eat him, instead… now they just looked sad. They were pleading him. Although they weren’t speaking to him, he knew they needed him, there were so many and they were so alone with their pain. The cubs only wanted to play, the adults only wanted someone to talk to, why couldn’t he stay with them?
“Don’t look at them, Peanut,” said Tarot, snapping him out of the trance. “Close your eyes. Trust me.”
Peanut nodded, and did so, shutting tight his eyes. But he couldn’t shut his ears, and now he heard whispers full of rancor, hatred, betrayal… And the scent. Oh, Santa Claus, it was awful, like nothing he had ever smelled before. It was Peanut’s first taste of death, and it was making him queasy He thought that the BIG dog was really bad, but... these things were so much worse. Their mere presence teased fears even deeper than he could believe possible. He was sure that at any moment, his bladder would give way, just like that time when he got drunk on Orange Soda...
Then the whispers stopped. The smell of death was no more, and the coldness of Whiteman House was no more.
“It’s over,” said Tarot. “You can open your eyes now.”
Peanut did.
And he was alone… or, rather, not.
He was in a hospital room.
And Peanut saw himself lying in a bed with the covers pulled up to his chin. There were lots of tubes coming out of his arms, his head was bandaged and there was a machine that was going beep-beep like a broken alarm clock...
And there was Grape.
His beautiful, sweet kitty was all curled up into a ball on a bed next to his. Her breathing was irregular, fast, as if she wasn’t really sleeping. As if she was waiting for him to wake up. Her fur was all ruffled. How long had passed since she had tongue-bathed? To think she hated to be dirty! Peanut could not imagine his Grape in such a bad shape. How long had she been there, if she had reached the point of neglecting herself like that?
Nevertheless, Peanut did an experiment: He put his ethereal paw to his physical body to tickle himself. Of course, his paw sank into the flesh without any effect.
O well, he had to try. Peanut then went around the bed to move next to hers. Now that he knew he could not even touch her, only one thing was left to do...
Peanut bent down to brush the lavender cat’s ear with his ghostly lips. “Grape,” he whispered softly, “Wake up.”
Grape opened her eyes. She lifted her head so fast that her neck muscles protested. Had she really heard..?
“Grape...” Peanut whispered, as weak as a kitten.

The nurse at the Haichiko Mercy’s reception yawned. Her gaze ran the clock above the entrance: Twelve more minutes, and her shift would be over. Yay!
Everything went absolutely smooth. Twelve more minutes, then she would fly home for some cuddling with her boys, a quick snack/breakfast, and then off to bed…
The code blue signal made her forget those resolutions instantly. Room 220. Oh, no, not that poor boy, please no! She thought, while calling for the doctor on the speaker.
Nurse Sparks was fond of all of her patients, humans and animals both, but that Peanut guy was a real hero during the attack of those bloody ferals. He just didn’t deserve to end like this, especially after he seemed to have stabilized...

The same thing Dr. Chesters was thinking, while running to room 220 with his two assistants. He’d do his best for this special patient, without any pressure from those crazy Milton ferrets, Foster’s loudmouth lawyer, or from Jesus on a Harley in the flesh!
As they turned the corner, the staff saw Jill Sandwich, the patient’s owner, standing in front of the room. She was just standing there, her hands firmly clasped against her mouth, crying.
Dr. Chesters had no need to question her. Experience had taught him enough to recognize the liberating tears of joy. What he didn’t understand, however, was why the machines were reporting a block of the cardio-respiratory functions of his patient...
Chesters approached the room’s entrance. And he saw why. And he showed a knowing smile. “Well, it seems that someone has woken up well,” said the man, softly.
Peanut and Grape, the sheets removed, the dog’s sensors and drip detached, were entwined in the most passionate embrace of their life, as if they wanted to glue to each other. It was impossible to tell where the mouth of one ended and the other began. The paws themselves seemed undecided on where to go. Grape had to restrain herself to exploring Peanut’s back, while she wanted so much to caress that buffy naked neck of her beloved dog.
Peanut had no problems caressing her behind her ears, to keep her beautiful and very soft tail pressed against her back to sink his paw into... Their teeth produced almost metallic clicks, so strong was the kisses they were exchanging.
When they eventually broke, they were panting like bellows. They looked into each other’s eyes, without blinking, as if they were afraid of seeing that wonderful vision disappear. Grape was purring so hard, she was shaking the bed. He seemed intent on destroying the mattress with the frantic beating of his wagging tail.
“A week..?” He said, breaking the silence. He felt so sad for leaving her alone and worried sick for all this time…
Grape nodded. She didn’t want to tell him in the face, didn’t want to, but she had kept inside all that anguish, couldn’t just bottle herself anymore... “When they brought you here, at some point your heart… stopped, and I thought that... that...” Without warning, she hit his chest with a fist! Peanut yowlped.
“STUPID” The cat growled, then gave him more fists, although weaker and weaker, always repeating that word. “Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid mindless hero! You saved Dad, you know? Stupid hero, I thought I would die when I saw you lying there, so motionless...” Then she stopped hitting him, and hugged him tight, sinking her snout into his thick fur chest. “Don’t ever, ever do that again! I don’t want to lose anyone, I don’t want to lose you! I don’t want to live without you! Do you understand?!”
Jill’s hand rested gently behind Grape’s back. “You too were very brave, my girl,” she said, sitting next to her children. “You faced that monster with the courage of a real tiger.”
“Really?” said Peanut.
Jill nodded. “She saved you, giving me time to get you to safety. You should have seen her, she had grown five years.”
“But I didn’t do it for Dad,” Grape sobbed, and then raised her head. *Sniff!* “I did it for Peanut because he is so special, I love him more than...” she held back the next words before saying something really stupid.
Jill stroked her head. Their mother looked rather... proud of what she had just heard and understood. “I know you don’t want to say it that way, Grape Jelly. You love us all with the same force as ever. But you’re right, Peanut is special to you. Just like Dad is special to me... You’re growing up, my little girl, and you’ve just realized something very important about love. I am so proud of you.” Then she hugged her cat. “My little tiger.”
Peanut said, “Can I have a hug too?”
“How about having one from your old man?” asked the familiar voice Earl Sandwich.
“DAD!” The two pets cried together. Grape remained in the arms of her mother. Peanut tried to get up... and he felt his head wobble. “Woo...” and fell back against the pillow.
The nurse pushed Earl’s chair to the bed.
Earl helped Peanut sit up. “Slow down, champ. A week of coma leaves its mark. It will take a few days to fully recover.” Then he hugged his dog, as much as his aching ribs allowed him to.
At that point, Peanut wept in turn. “You’re okay, you’re okay... That bad dog was going t-to...”
Earl repeatedly stroked the back of bare neck. “Of course I’m good, my brave wolf. You were amazing, without you I would not have made it, I’m so proud of you…”
*Sniff!* “Maybe I better not do it again?”
Earl’s ruffled his head fur. “You have nothing to apologize for. It was mostly my fault for putting us all in that situation... Say, champ: Now the good doctor will visit you to see how you’re doing. Then we’ll call the neighborhood for some visits. Would you and your fiancée like to meet some friends? They’re all worried sick about you, Peanut.”
Grape blushed. It was the first time ever that Daddy used that word with them.
Peanut nodded, even if it cost him a warning from his head. “Of course! And tell them I’m sorry for upsetting them. How many will come, you think?”
Earl winked at him. “You’ll see soon. Come on, honey.” He let his wife push his chair. “Let the heroes have their hour of glory, they deserve it. We’ll have time to spoil them rotten.”


Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:42 am, edited 5 times in total.

Tue May 03, 2011 5:44 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
DAWW! That is a cute update! I love it.

I wonder if Bino shows up...

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Tue May 03, 2011 10:45 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Yay Peanut is ok! Pete isn't really one to beat around the bush though is he? He's kinda epic like that! Cant wait to see who visits though, should be fun!


Wed May 04, 2011 12:58 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
It took Dr. Chesters an endless hour to check up on Peanut. The man knew of patients that recovered quickly from a coma, but he had still yet to see a patient who hadn’t suffered any side effect from lying immobile for one week, especially after a head trauma. In fact, Peanut Butter Sandwich was fine and healthy like a racing horse.
Not that he was complaining, nossir! The veterinarian loved when he could have his own little miracle. He said to Peanut he could be dismissed in a couple of days, tops, just to make sure, on the condition that Grape Jelly would let the staff get her back in shape as well. And that meant proper meals… and a good bath.
The cat had winced, but in the end she had surrendered: To stay with Peanut again, she’d have walked through the valley of death, a bath was a minor bother.
A few minutes later after being back in Peanut’s room, their bellies filled to capacity, dog and cat heard something like the rumble of an endless earthquake. Grape’s mind went back to when an epic-sized crowd had gathered to celebrate the return of Fido from the Academy. And yes, this must be the first time since then, that Babylon Gardens’ pets were gathering to celebrate a hero. Even if it hadn’t been Peanut, who paid the highest price…
First to enter were three silver arrows. Or rather, they dashed in at a speed that almost made them fly. “UNCLE PEANUT!” Howled the three Milton wolf cubs, jumping on the bed. Grape barely dodged the attack. Peanut was sure he had just lost three ribs, but he was so happy to see those critters! “Hey, you’re growing so fast,” he said, hugging them as best he could.
The three cubs were frantically wagging their tails. “I’ll call myself Deathaxe Peanut Butter!” Said the yellow-eyed one. “I gonna be Spacelaser Peanut Butter!” Declaimed the green-eyed male. “My name’ll be Lightsaber Peanut Butter,” said the blue-eyed third cub.
“You’re a girl!” Protested the other two. “You can’t have a boy’s name!”
“That’s okay,” Peanut said, ruffling the female’s head. Smaller she may be, but she was the head of the bunch. “You shall be called Grape Jelly Lightsaber then. You know aunt Grape was really brave and strong, too, right?”
Blushing, the female cub turned to the cat. “It’s true. Sorry, Aunt Grape! “
This was a thing she loved about him, Grape thought: he knew the right thing to say… when he wanted to. In fact, he had been of great help to introduce the wolves to the community, they owed him big time, and the cubs adored him.
Speak of the devil, in came the parents. Miles shook Peanut’s hand heartily. “I knew you’d be fine, son. As soon as you’re out of here, we’ll have the juiciest BBQ steaks you ever dreamed of, how about it?”
Peanut was about to reply, when Miles’ mate, Lucretia, bent over him and gave him a BIG kiss! And that surprised Grape just as much, whose neck fur stood on end.
When the female wolf broke that kiss, the poor Peanut seemed ready to be served with chips. “Wowow!” he stammered. He had just discovered that wolves smelled like cinnamon.
“Wolf you may not be on the outside,” said Lucretia, tracing his chest over his heart, “But you got the courage of a whole pack. It’s a quality I admire very much. I wanted to be there by your side, that day.”
“Uh-huh,” he nodded. He was still thinking that he really liked cats, but this creature was really whammola!
Miles laid a paw on his shoulder. “It’s something we take very seriously. We consider you an honorary member of the pack, and Daryl and Celestia agree. If you’re okay with it.”
“You mean... I’m sort of an honorary wolf now? Well, cool. Thank you very much, Miles, Lucretia. And extend my greetings to the rest of the family when you see them, OK?”
“Count on it. Now we’ll leave you with the others for the congratulations. We’ll see you later, okay? You guys can stay, if you like, but try not to break him.”
“YAY!” exclaimed the puppies, throwing up their arms.
The wolves went out, and only then did the pets in the room notice the crowd that had gathered. On their behalf, in came a delegation. First entered Bino, followed by Fox, Max, Sasha, Selene, Lucky and Felix, Fido and Joey, the last two dogs in turn accompanied by the inseparable mice Spo and Squeak.
Bino, walking tall as one would’ve expected from him, went to Peanut, and cleared his throat. A dead silence fell in the room just like in the corridor. Rex was recording with his camera.
“I will tell you this once, so listen well, mutt.” That was the tone of the great occasions. “You taught me something, and for this I am grateful.”
Peanut and Grape couldn’t believe their ears, but didn’t say a word. It was obvious Bino wasn’t finished yet.
“As Fido’s brother and President of the Club, I was allowed to see the bodies of those monsters, at the Vet’s morgue. And upon seeing them, I knew that it would’ve taken a great courage only to look at them in their eyes. I was positively afraid that they would wake up and kill me, despite being more dead than rocks.
“You two, but especially you, Peanut, did something that goes beyond courage itself. Us other pets are not cowards at heart, of course, but only a select few have that special fire burning inside. Something unique. Like Fido, who can always do the right thing because he believes in it, not because he’s got rank. He’s special, and you are too, Peanut; perhaps even more, because you’re not a police dog, you weren’t trained. You fought your fears and protected your Dad no matter the cost. So, you deserve a special reward, in return.
“As Founder and President of the Good Old Dogs Club, I bestow upon you...” he reached out to Fox, who was holding a small red velvet box. The silvery-furred husky handed the object to his ringleader. Bino then gave it to Peanut. “…The Good Old Club’s Highest Honorary Member N°1 Kit. The Kit includes a golden medal, laminated card, Pets’r’Us voucher and double vote at meetings. Congratulations!”
Peanut took the box as if he had just been given a holy relic. “Thanks,” he said, still looking at the object. “I don’t know what to say, really.”
Bino cleared his throat again. This time his eyes were misty. “Just say that we’re friends, and we’re even, stupid cat lover.” His voice almost broke, and then Bino hugged him hard. “Welcome back, champ. We missed you. And promise you won’t miss the meetings,” he added, breaking the hug. “And that you will be there for the next secret snowball battle.”
Peanut was wagging his tail. “You can count on it!” He still didn’t know what to add. He had just witnessed the end of an era between him and Bino, but he guessed he’d have time for coping with this pleasantly unexpected development.
Bino stepped back to make room for his older brother. Fido was holding a Canine Unit service jacket, with the golden letters ‘K-9’emblazoned on blue, wrapped in a cellophane bag. Fido was very serious as he offered his gift to Peanut. “The day that you want to join the body, you’ll be welcome at the Academy. In such a case, this will be your uniform. Take care of it like a real cop would.”
“What he actually means,” Spo said, as always with a voice disproportionate to his tiny size, “is that you had better join the big boys club, or we’ll kick ya into joining! “
Fido sighed. “Not helping, Spo.”
“It’s a wonderful offer,” Peanut said, stroking the mouse’s head. “I am honored, really, but I want think about my family, right now. Grape, above all else. But thank you anyway, Fido. It would be great working with you.”
“The honor would all be mine.” The police dog put his gift in a corner near the flowers that had been sent in copious amounts, in the latest week. “Joey..?”
Like Bino, Joey also expressed his feelings through a big hug. “I’ve always known that you had a heart too big to stay in there,” said the younger dog, tapping at Peanut’s chest with a finger. “The Common Life Society has organized a big welcome back party, you can’t miss it.”
Peanut thought briefly that he should buy an organizer... “You changed the club’s name?”
“Yes. By unanimous vote. Ain’t it cooler?”
“It surely is, and I wouldn’t miss it for all the toys in the world.”
Joey handed Peanut a small, green box. “This is our special member kit. Much like Bino’s, it includes voucher, card...” He opened it to reveal, on top of the listed stuff, a copper medallion showing a dog and a cat entwined like the snakes of the caduceus. “...It’s beautiful,” said Peanut.
“It’s nothing,” Joey said, blushing. “We collected our pocket money. It’s our bravery award. I’m glad you like it.”
Peanut closed the box. He was beginning to feel overwhelmed by those attentions, but he kept slamming his tail happily against the mattress.
Joey hugged him one last time and then leaved room for Sasha. The candy-eyed lady dog gave a peck on the tip of Peanut’s nose. “I missed you so very much! Will you concede to me a date at Heathcliff’s and make a comic when you’re out?”
“Of course!” Peanut stroked the bridge of her snout. “I’ll do a whole story just for you, okay?”
“Great!” She almost squealed with excitement. “I’m sure it will be a masterwork! Are you sure you want to stay with Grape? You’re kinda too cute for a cat, although it’s very romantic.”
Grape hissed dangerously.
“My girlfriend,” said Bino, all proud.
Peanut shook his head. “Sorry, but I’ll stick with my kitty.” He turned to kiss her on the nosetip, causing Sasha to go all ‘Daaww!’
Then came Fox’s turn. The husky too held a cellophane bag, which contained two very familiar objects... In fact, only now did Peanut notice that Fox wore a red bandana instead of the familiar yellow one…
Because that particular piece of cloth was neatly folded inside the cellophane bag, along with a certain brown jacket with white synthetic fur collar. “These are your winter bomber jacket, and your favorite bandana,” said Peanut. And there was a squeaky bone too!
“That’s correct,” said Fox. “Now they are yours, and I want you to put them on, when the proper season comes. I would be very happy if you did, promise? “
Peanut nodded mutely, while Fox put his gift together with the others. The poor ‘hero’ was really on the verge of an emotional overload. Like a puppy, he was all curled up against Grape. “Now, now,” she said, stroking his still bare neck, “These baddies will stop tormenting you soon, you’ll see.”
*Tee-hee!* He squeaked, his face growing red by the minute.
Selene was of no help, as she approached, carrying a box, bigger than the previous ones, covered in black velvet. She opened it, revealing two collars, similar in shape and color to those Peanut and Grape wore normally... But these were ultra-luxury models, whose medals in the shape of fish and bone, respectively, were made of red gold and white gold. They seemed to shine with their own light!
“Wow!” Both cat and dog’s eyes had shrunk to pinholes.
“Inside the collars,” said Selene, Founder and President of the Schrodinger Circle, “You’ll also find a Gucci wallet, and the cards of Sovereign Members. Even if you’re not of breed, the Circle would be honored to have you at our meetings, from time to time.” She closed the box and put it in the gift pile. “And now excuse me, I have to go home to wash this plebeian hospital smell out of my fur. Again, our sincere congratulations, Peanut Butter Sandwich. Grape. And remember to take a bath before you come to the Circle.” She gave one last pawshake to both, and went out, as always walking tall and seductive at the same time.
Max watched her walk away as if he had just witnessed the passage of a deity. During those seven days of waiting, so similar to a period of mourning, no one had even dared to share a moment of tenderness. There was much praying, and Father William Ghetti had never seen such a procession of people and animals pass through the doors of the Chapel of the Canticle. It was a true-hearted proof of Babylon Garden’s strong connections...
Max went over to Peanut. “I wish you were a lady cat, mutt: I’d send everybody to heck and marry you. I am tremendously proud of you, and happy to have given way to a tough cookie such as you. Grape couldn’t have better fiancée, let one who knows tell you!” And he winked knowingly.
At that point, Peanut definitely hid behind Grape’s back. He kept giggling like a little girl.
Felix and Lucky got him out of his ‘hideout’, the first taking him by the shoulders and the second by the tail. Then they both crushed him in a bear hug that almost sent him back into a coma. “Now we have to become the Four Musketeers,” said Lucky.
“Yeah,” said Felix. “You’ll be our D’Artagnan. We will be the terror of all baddies!”
“For now, I would prefer him to arrive in one piece at the end of the day,” said Grape, taking Peanut back to bed. “He owes me a week of cuddling in arrears, you know.”
“Then we’ll make it short, hero,” said another familiar, squeaky voice.
“Hey, Keene!” said Peanut
Keene Milton, head of the rummy, richest gang in the Gardens. He was coming along with three persons: Mr. Steward, the ferrets’ steward, Tara Simmonds Auburn, in the flesh, and… a cat.
A cat no one recognized, but of course, everyone’s attention was focused on the Pridelands writer. A grey tabby, with darker stripes all over his body, orange eyes, and a golden collar from which a golden maple-leaf tag hung. He looked at Peanut and Grape with true admiration, as he held a DVD box at his chest.
“For strictly legal reasons,” said Mr. Steward, in his flat voice, “The only persons allowed in this room, beside me, Mr. Keene, Tara S. Auburn and her pet, Res, are Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly Sandwich. I must ask all of the others to clear this room and ask for autographs later.”
Bino shrugged. “What do I care, I never was a fan of that cat stuff,” he scoffed, and left without a second thought. Only Rex tried to record the event until he too had to step out. He gave a thumb up and a big grin to the Sandwich pets. One could hear Max drooling on the other side of the room. Grape felt really bad for him, after all he was as much a fan as she was. For sure, this day was to be spoken of for a long, long time, in the neighborhood. Now the Schrodinger Circle had just gained two superstars, and even Joey’s club would gain its fair share of reflected glory.
Mr. Steward pulled down the blinds. Since pet patients of that interspecies hospital could be noisier than humans, their rooms were better insulated.
The cat called Res walked to Peanut’s bed. His gaze couldn’t stay fixed on the dog or on the lavender cat. His ears were flat with shyness, yet his body language talked of excitement. He was actually acting like a fanboy.
The woman put her hands on Res’ shoulders. “This is something only you two are going to know, Peanut and Grape. I admit I was reluctant, at first, but… well, Res promised not to write another single letter if I didn’t give in. And I trust his judgment, especially considering this is the first time he’s charging forward with something.”
“Write about what?” asked Peanut, who wasn’t the guy to refrain from asking things.
Pridelands,” said the cat, with a whispery voice. Was he talking at all?
Although, Grape was slowly connecting, although she refused to believe it yet. “You… what?”
Ms. Auburn and Res exchanged a look, then she said, “Res is the real writer of the Pridelands, since its first short tale. For legal reasons, you see, he couldn’t claim himself as the author, and since I always helped him revise his stories, it was him who asked me to… represent him. He loves to write, he really puts all of himself into it, and I make sure he gets his money right. I am a façade, to put it simple. I’m sorry for this trick, but again, this was his idea.”
Before the two bewildered pets could say or do anything, Res said, ”Mom rescued me back when I was a stray, I owe her my life, and she’s never been anything short of a loving, caring human for me. Although she can be a real perfectionist, sometimes…” he chuckled. ”Grape, Peanut, when I read about what happened I checked every source before coming to this decision: You two are the most courageous souls I have ever known of… outside of a movie, that is. So, I started scribbling a tale inspired to your characters and the events that happened here. The story will be published in the next Pridelands anthology… with your permission of course. Also, I really wanted to meet you.” He grabbed Grape’s paw, still clutching the DVD box. ”From one cat to another, I really wish I had your guts. Just like anyone else involved. Will you please accept my offer?”
If Peanut was going overload, Grape thought she had just fallen off a cliff. So many things in one single day, and just after that week of terror and fear… “Guh,” she mumbled. Yes, it was like karma had decided to make up in style.
She was barely aware of Peanut’s arms around her. “Just say yes, Jellybelly. Can you imagine it? Us in a Pridelands story! Will it be in continuity, Res?” It was a miracle his tail hadn’t fallen off his body.
The cat nodded. ”And this is a something special to view together just for today. It’s a preview copy, so no recording permitted and no spoiling.”
Grape took the box Res was giving her, and opened it: it contained a card with the Auburn house private address and numbers, and… a copy of the movie Pridelands II: The Dhier Face!
“If you say that you can die happy, now, Peanut, I’ll skin you,” Grape said, without dropping her smile for a second, like after a fat canary. She closed the box and dared a peck at Res’ cheek. “Of course I accept. And thank you for sharing all of this with me. I’ll keep your secret safe, at the cost of eating Keene.”
“Hey! My lawyer’s bigger than yours!” exclaimed the ferret, breaking the happy tension, causing everyone in the room to laugh.
Peanut and Grape hugged each other and both grabbed Res, involving him in a pure fanboyish squeal of joy. Now only one thing was needed, to make this day absolutely perfect. Peanut, still clinging to Grape and Res (mostly because the effort and excitement had worn on him again), asked, between pants, “There’ll be also Uncle Martin and his pets, right?” Then he looked toward the door. “Uh, why are they still out? Alcor? Mizar? Antares? Aldebaran? You out there? “
Only then he realized the effect his words had had on his cat. “Uh... Did I say something wrong?”
Grape and Keene’s ears had drooped together with their heads, and their eyes had filled with sadness.
Peanut again felt that familiar shiver of fear running down his spine. “What’s happening? Please, someone tell me what is...” he didn’t have the courage to finish the sentence.
In fact, nobody had said anything so far. Perhaps they had tried to distract him? Wanted to protect him from the truth? Peanut jumped when Grape put a hand on his shoulder. The cat nodded. “Uncle Martin, he is... He fought against one of those dogs.”
Every trace of joy dissipated. Peanut’s eyes misted. His head was hurting bad, now. No! No, please, Lord no Santa Claus! Not Uncle Martin!


Last edited by valerio on Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

Wed May 04, 2011 6:22 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Wolves smell like cinnamon? *Sniffs a random wolf* I don't smell it....

Lucretia gave him one heck of a kiss, huh?

All of that happening at once. And Fox giving away his bomber jacket? Peanut must be quite the hero.

What happened to Martin Foster!? :?
And on a side note, when you said red gold, is that the same as rose gold? Rose gold might actually sound better for grape. :oops:

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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Another awesome piece I must say

so pie is free but cake is not?

Wed May 04, 2011 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
copper Wrote:
And on a side note, when you said red gold, is that the same as rose gold? Rose gold might actually sound better for grape. :oops:

According to Wikipedia, rose gold and red gold are the same thing.

Wed May 04, 2011 12:39 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
copper Wrote:
Wolves smell like cinnamon? *Sniffs a random wolf* I don't smell it....

Lucretia gave him one heck of a kiss, huh?

All of that happening at once. And Fox giving away his bomber jacket? Peanut must be quite the hero.

What happened to Martin Foster!? :?
And on a side note, when you said red gold, is that the same as rose gold? Rose gold might actually sound better for grape. :oops:

Perhaps Lucretia is using a good toothpaste :lol: And yes, that was some nice kiss from the queen of the forests ;)
Yup! Peanut is the superstar and It's just started!
Oh, coincidentially, you're gonna see what happens next right now 8-)


Wed May 04, 2011 2:00 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
While the hero’s welcome was starting in Peanut’s room, Jill Sandwich walked into her husband Earl’s room.
She closed the door, quietly, walked to the bed where Earl was lying, awake, waiting for her, and only then she fell on her knees, her head buried in her husband’s lap. Her shoulders were shaking, as she sobbed uncontrollably, giving release to the monstrous stress she had accumulated since the attack of that monstrous dog. Then Peanut’s coma, when all hope for him seemed lost… and the pure hatred she had felt for the veterinarian when she had proposed euthanasia for her son, her baby! But most of all, absurd as it was, she felt horrible for another thing…
“I killed a dog, Earl,” she said between sobs. “I killed a dog, I did it to protect our children, but I killed a living being. I hit her head until it broke, and then I kept hitting everything that was inside, and I did it because I was afraid that she would rise again...”
Earl stroked her hair, letting her vent. And what could he say to console her? He had failed first, when he had hesitated, putting himself and everyone in danger.
Just one shot. One shot of his .458 Winchester Magnum loaded with 9x19 Parabellum would’ve transformed the head of that beast into a cloud of blood and bone fragments. He knew he had to do it, and he had hesitated.
Just one look/And we’re dead, dead, deeeead…
Earl had hesitated. And he was still alive only because Peanut, that wonderful creature that until that day couldn’t have hurt a fly, had thrown himself, at the risk of his life, against the monster’s throat, giving him and Jill time to reach safety.
Earl had hesitated. Knowing his biography, one would have thought that such move was more compatible with Jill’s personality. Jill, who had grown up on a Labrador breeding farm, learning veterinary medicine from her mother. Jill, earned a degree in medicine to become a nurse, make a career that would allow her to realize her dream. Jill, who dreamed of a big house at the Gardens, at least three dogs and the money to maintain that lifestyle.
Earl? Earl’s family was pure middle-class, leaning on lower. His father was a man hard as a drill sergeant, but fair. Meritocratic.
Earl still hated him. Not with the passion Martin Foster used for his long-gone parents, but certainly enough to have cut off all contacts with his old man.
John Sandwich was a man with an iron will, a man of the rules to a maniac level, a man who tried to transmit his views to Earl, Reuben and Caprice. He liked to live like the 50s, never spoiled his sons, hated having pets around, and was an excellent hunter. He had never been violent with his three children, but also never failed to make them feel useless, trash, waste of his DNA (as he put it quite often), when you weren’t up to his ‘standards’.
Caprice had run away from home at eighteen. Once a year, she sent Christmas greetings from Canada, where she had gone to live. Far enough from their father, she hoped.
Reuben had gotten himself a farm, he raised fine animals and cultivated the best wheat in the state. His produces were the best garden food that an honest benefactor could offer to his guests.
From his father, Earl had gotten only a disdain for hi-tech. For the rest, he was quite allergic to any rules limiting pets’ rights and freedoms. He was quite good at finding loopholes to favor his two children. That made him a sort of law counselor, in the neighborhood meetings. He loved his pets, he loved animals in general, and that was why he had come to live with Jill in the Gardens.
That was why he had hesitated.
A part of him, a stupid, sentimental, irrational part of him, had hoped to convince that bloodthirsty monster to surrender. Despite the fact that the creature had already killed off other innocents animals. Despite destroying the door to break into their house. Despite her every word dripping with blood lust. Despite her threatening his children.
He had hesitated.
It was up to him to defend his own family, and he had lost it, and Peanut almost paid with his life—
Earl barely registered the pain from his ribs, as the crying made him shake. He didn’t even have the courage to look into his wife’s eyes, to tell her he was sorry for being such a wuss when he must be strong… Peanut, will you ever forgive Dad for forcing your hand?
For about ten minutes, they remained there, Jill gently hugging her husband, without saying anything. There were no adequate words. And in the end, however, for how much they could brood on what-if scenarios, on real or imagined faults, there was one thing that mattered most.
They were alive.
They had survived the ordeal. As a family. In this, they had no regrets: they too could make mistakes like everyone else, but they were still a family. They had fought during this dreaded week too, praying every day for the moment in which Peanut would awake, and their prayers had been answered. And through that experience, Peanut and Grape had also grown, they were a couple now. And their parents were very proud of them.
Using the remote, Earl positioned the bed so he could at least sit a bit, for how much his ribs allowed him to. “You know, dear, I think it’s time to take a vacation.”
Jill nodded. During Peanut’s coma, the idea of any kind of distraction had sounded like a pure blasphemy. In their gloomiest moments, the Sandwiches were having waking nightmares about Peanut’s funeral…
“We will bring the Foster pets with us too,” Earl said. “They need a change of air for a while, he wouldn’t want them to brood at home.”
Jill nodded, feeling her eyes misting again. “God, do you think they’ll recover from what has happened?”
Earl thought about it for a moment, then nodded. “They are strong, and they are very united. That man was nothing short of gutsy to do what he did, they won’t dishonor his gesture by falling into despair.”
You know what they say about the cavalry, right?
It was funny, that it had become a stereotype for ‘being too late’. In the western movies, the cavalry was right on time to save the day. It was a given, just like ‘white hat vs. black hat’ to indicate the good guys and the bad guys, before ‘The Stagecoach’.
And, for once, the cavalry had made it right on time. The medical units had rescued him, the mortal that had sacrificed his arm to the beast for a greater good, just like Tyr had sacrificed his hand to the monstrous Fenrir, had escaped by the skin of his teeth.
And, more importantly, fifteen hours of intensive surgery paid by the Milton Estate had allowed them to reattach Martin Foster’s arm. In that tragedy, the nameless killer dog had done the human who had fought him a favor: He had bitten off Martin’s arm with a clean, single bite, then he had removed the severed arm without chewing on it... even if that, ultimately, hadn’t saved him from choking to death after the man had already crushed his windpipe from the inside.
It wasn’t the only price he had paid, but for once he was happy for it.
He was happy to be signing all of those papers that had been arranged in the case of his demise. Totally worth a carpal tunnel.
After signing the last dotted line, Martin Foster looked at the pile of documents, nodding, then gave the pen back to his lawyer. “Thank you, Carl.”
The lawyer put the documents into the folder. “My pleasure. Now enjoy your pampered rich man’s life, you wretch, okay? Or I’ll put you under house arrest. See you.” He left the room, leaving him alone with his pets and his uncompromising and generous assistant.
That is, ex-assistant. “Well, Madam Director,” Martin sighed. “It looks like congratulations are in order, for your promotion. I’m sure you’ll do an excellent job, just like I’d do.”
The woman standing in front of the bed nodded. “I’ll just skip the death wishes parts, boss. No offense meant.”
“Hey, you’re the boss now, Miss Sunman.”
“But you’re still the owner, and you’ll be overseeing the Shelter’s activities.”
Martin nodded. “I will choose the security, myself, man by man. This time, it will take a heck of an army to get close to my guests without an invitation. And I will come to visit them at least once a week. I’ll also bring the ice cream, don’t forget. I know you can order it, but I know who likes what.”
“You’ll keep on perching on my shoulders like a vulture, will you Boss?”
“You’re right. I put too much into the project of the Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals to leave it in anyone’s hands.”
“Remember that I still have the ruler, Boss.”
The Foster pets, lying on two beds, each arranged at the sides of Martin’s bed, giggled.
Martin raised his right hand, since his left one was tied to a suspender, to allow the tissues to bond after the operation. “I yield to violence, Miss Sunman. Now that work at the site has resumed, your priority will be to ensure that it’s completed without further delay. In the meantime, you’ll supervise the recruitment of the new non-security staff; reduce the volunteers to a minimum, and... then...”
Evelyn Sunman’s wooden ruler, the only souvenir of her years as a public school teacher, had appeared in her hand as if by magic, and she was tapping it against her left palm.
Martin swallowed. “I’m doing it again, am I?”
“I’ll let you rest, Boss. I have given orders that you’re not to be passed any calls, unless they come from the guests. By the way, you should thank them for the get-well cards they made you.” During the week, the animals at the temporary shelter had filled a picture album with pawmade pieces of art, from scribblings to sketches to real drawings. In each one, you could see they had put their hearts in them. By law, they couldn’t visit him, but conference calls were allowed. It helped Martin a lot to stand the forced immobility…
“I’ve brought you your iPod, Kindle and notebook. There is a filter against any kind of news. Only movies and TV shows. From now until the end of your stay, you will get a good brainwashing like any other true American and you’ll be pampered by your children. The first sign of trouble from you, and I’ll have you sedated. See you around, Boss.”
Evelyn left the room. Before closing the door, she winked.
Immediately, moving so not to cause damage to the suspended arms, Mizar, Alcor, Antares and Aldebaran placed themselves all along Martin’s body, hugging him, nuzzling his neck. Alcor purred loudly. The room was full of flowers and get-well cards from the community. The air smelt like a luxury greenhouse.
“Enough with the nonsense, the overwork...” Martin stroked in turn all his loved ones, giving them kisses on the forehead or nose, according to how they wanted it. He wished he had two more arms. “From now on I’ll do what I had promised to myself when we came to live here: To spend my time with you. I won’t try to risk everything again... I don’t want to waste a single minute with you. I love you.”
Even the three dogs sounded as if they were purring. Alcor, Mizar and Aldebaran had suffered enough when they had seen their Dad die under their eyes, or so it had seemed. It didn’t matter if they had all the money and fancy houses in the world, they just couldn’t live without him. Without saying a word, they had all promised to themselves that they would’ve followed their Dad if he hadn’t made it. He had not only saved their life, adopting them: he had given them love for the first time in their existence. Martin had… cleaned their souls from the dirt and grit of an existence that was hard and short-lived. Without him, life had no meaning!
But, on the other hand, they couldn’t scold him, now, for what he had done. Not only he had come to his senses, but he had sacrificed an important part of his job at the new shelter, and they knew how much he cared about it. Martin Foster had finally decided that his family came first. So, there was nothing more his pets could say to him to bring him to his senses.
Despite this tragedy, Antares, Aldebaran, Mizar and Alcor, were happy. Things were going in the right direction, for once…
“Sorry for ruining this pretty picture,” said a voice from the door. The animals turned their heads abruptly, staring at the newcomer with suspicion.
Martin, however, smiled. “Dobroe utro, Comrade Kostya.”
The D.A. Alex Michailyevic Konstantin entered the room. He closed the door behind him, took a chair and sat down leaning with his arms against the back, like he used to do when he was interrogating a suspect. “I couldn’t bring Vodka, comrade Foster. What about some good news, instead?”
Martin nodded. “Must be some good news, if you’re bringing it yourself. I’m all ears, comrade.”
“The first is that this week we have finally arrested the members of the Coffin Gang. Blame the name on the media.”
Martin stared at the ceiling. He was smiling, but not for the nickname.
He smiled because at least another grim chapter in Babylon Garden’s history had been closed. The criminals who ran a funeral home that threw deceased pets into a mass grave instead of cremating or burying them to gain money were behind the bars. Father Ghetti would be really happy.
“Do you think they’ll stay where they are?” Martin said, without taking his eyes off the ceiling. That was his worst fear: that a good lawyer could waste all those efforts... Martin grabbed Aldebaran’s paw and squeezed it tight.
Kostya nodded. “They can try, but Mac’s confession on the media is proof enough. Worst case, they’ll be sentenced six months…”
Martin went pale. His pets’ eyes widened.
Kostya grinned. “…for every single animal they threw in the mass grave. That makes a lot of time, without parole. Plus, a fine of $2,000 per animal. That makes a lot of money. Relax, ‘Uncle Martin’: for once, the system will do its job. And since they were expendable, the low-rank handwork in the cartel, they won’t get some super-lawyer to bail ‘em out. Mac and the others will get old in their new home, just like the Whitemans.”
Martin let out his breath. He hadn’t realized he had stopped breathing while listening to the details.
Almost casually, Alex added, “Just do me a favor, Foster.”
“Whatever you want.”
“Don’t you dare take things into your own hands during a legitimate investigation again, or next time I’ll have you arrested. Am I clear on that?” He was all business.
The two men exchanged a long look. Martin nodded, slowly, his face grim. The interview-confession of Mac, the torturer who worked at the old shelter, in cahoots with the Coffin Gang, was the result of Martin’s initiative. He had gone to the hospital, and had practically tortured Mac into talking. It had been a terrible risk, Martin knew it, but he would’ve done it again and again. That inferior lifeform had tortured and killed countless guests at the old shelter, had almost killed Alcor and Mizar. Martin’s act may be, no, was questionable, but he was out for revenge, rather than for law. He enjoyed every second of Mac’s pain. And he wouldn’t regret his actions in the least, for the rest of his days.
Martin nodded again, smiling. “And what would be the other good news?” he asked afterward.
“Peanut Butter Sandwich came out of the coma some hours ago.”
“REALLY!?” Martin almost jumped out of bed. Fortunately, his two huge dogs kept him on the bed.
Alex stood up. “He’s on his way to your room. He’s being celebrated by his friends, and looks like someone forgot to tell him you were okay. Now take care, your family needs you.” Alex was a tough guy, and his subordinates feared him. Although he was born and raised in the United States, the DA was still able to take a purebred Russian Mafioso and slap him silly. But when it came to animals, he showed his soft side.
Anyway, as he left, Alex thought that if there as a karma, Foster had got a nice bite from it, heh. He had been punished enough, and accusing him now would destroy all of the accusations against the Coffin Gang. No, better for everyone to keep the details under the radar. Martin was an intelligent man, although impulsive, he had gotten the message…

A few minutes after Kostya had left, Peanut Butter, in a wheelchair pushed by Grape, entered the room
“Uncle Martin!” The dog jumped down from the chair, and with the help of Antares jumped on the bed. He hugged the man’s chest. “For a moment I thought you were dead, but you’re fine! I thought that, that...”
Martin scratched his back “Sshh, it’s all right, champ. A real hero does not cry, you know?”
“I’m not a hero! I just want us to be okay and go home! No more heroes, enough! I want to go home, I want everybody to go home, there!” He went on for several minutes, before, finally, the stress, good and bad, of that eventful day, got the best of him. He fell asleep in a moment. Antares took the exhausted creature and secured him on the wheelchair.
Martin relaxed against the bed. He too must be more tired than he thought, because he fell asleep a moment later, cradled by Alcor’s purring.
And this time, he didn’t suffer any nightmares.
... Unlike Zachary.
In one week, the rabbit had slept about ten hours, and only thanks to heavy sedation.
The hysterics that alternated his apparent quiescent states had forced his veterinarian to close the poor rabbit into an isolation room. At first, they had tried to bind him, but he had almost sprained his wrists during one of his crises. Someone suggested a pharmacological-induced coma, if the alternative was a heart-attack or a fatal breakdown.
For now, Zachary was huddling in a corner, staring at the padded door. In one corner stood the tray with his meal. Zachary had not touched it, he’d barely nibble his food. Stress and malnutrition were showing, on his body. Ivan the cat would’ve proclaimed by far the poor rabbit as the winner in one of those absurd macho diet contests.
Zachary’s fear kept him fasting. Fear of distractions, fear of lowering his guard for the slightest moment.
Because at that moment, the dog would come for him. That infernal beast whose breath smelled of rotten dead animals, whose voice was the whisper of a dark angel, bringing the promise of endless torments...
The padded door began to open. Slowly, without a creak from its well-oiled hinges.
Zachary watched the door with growing eyes. He smelled of his own wastes, for all the times his bladder had responded to his terrors. The rabbit couldn’t believe his heart was still whole for all the times he had felt this terror...
A black-striped, ashen-grey paw poked in, slowly.
Zachary closed his eyes, he hid his head in his arms. “You’re not real, you’re not real, not real...” It was just a memory, a bad memory. And then it was not his fault! He didn’t need to be scared at all. He had run a risk to make sure the raccoon kits who trusted him as their ‘Opener of Ways’ were okay. He wasn’t to blame! He had done the right thing!
Zach opened his eyes.
The door was closed. Locked. As always.
The rabbit relaxed against the wall, panting. He felt relieved. Perhaps what the doctors said was true, his Dad had said to trust them. He only needed to relax, leave everything behi-
With a terrifying roar, its jaws wide open to reveal a mouth black like the cave to Hades, the beast leaped at him!

Episode 11


Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

Wed May 04, 2011 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Zach is going insane huh nice cant wait to see what happens to him :P

so pie is free but cake is not?

Wed May 04, 2011 3:28 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Hey, I noticed an extra chapter here that wasn't in the original Italian version! And Res is here! ^^

Out of curiosity, may I ask if other additions like those be expected in later updates?

Wed May 04, 2011 7:04 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Very nice extra update, valerio. Poor Zach...

Well, Martin seems fine. I wonder where the sandwiches are going on vacation?

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Wed May 04, 2011 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
loomCAT Wrote:
Hey, I noticed an extra chapter here that wasn't in the original Italian version! And Res is here! ^^

Out of curiosity, may I ask if other additions like those be expected in later updates?

Yes, I decided that, if I had to go all the way to properly translate my work, I had at least make worth it, so I'm cleaning up scenes, rewriting dialogues, adding chapters, etc, so expect some more surprises in the future ;)
Also, I just couldn't resist inserting Res after Rick gave that epic explanation, nossir ^^


Thu May 05, 2011 12:31 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Episode 12 – Uncle Reuben had a farm...
Written by VALERIO (later revised by OBBL)

Sandwich House, Babylon Gardens, 8am

Clues of a happy cat and dog.
“We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben! We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben!”
They dance. They dance waving and shaking every part of their bodies and showing the best smiles allowed by the stretching of their mouths.
“We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben! We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben!”
The bags had been set the night before. A hearty breakfast had been eaten.
And was there a substantial difference from the journey that the Sandwiches had taken last year.
“We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben! We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben!”
To begin with, since then Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly were deeply in love, a couple. This new trip, that their parents had wanted to recover from the stress of the so-called ‘Day of the Killer Dogs’, for the two pets was the equivalent of a honeymoon for their anniversary, in the place where their love had blossomed!
“We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben! We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben!”
Secondly, there wouldn’t only be the Sandwiches, on this trip.
“We’re gonna go see Uncle Reuben! We’re gonna—” The single beep from the street interrupted them in the middle of a step. Peanut and Grape dashed to the door. “We’re ready!” they said with a grin, while their parents came a little later.
“At last,” said Earl. “You two were digging a hole in the floor.” The man opened the door. “Well, that’s some powerful horn, I wonder what kind of model... Oh Zeus!”
Peanut and Grape were no less amazed.
Martin Foster was accustomed to thinking big, perhaps to compensate for the hardships he had suffered before fate had kissed him with the highest PowerBall winning ticket ever. By the same token, he’d make sure his guests at the shelter and his pets didn’t miss anything. And he had co-adopted Peanut and Grape to make sure their lives would be fine even if something happened to their parents.
‘Thinking big’, for the occasion, included a bus as big as a police station! Its engine growled like an army of cougars. The hull of the beast was white with black and red flames running along its sides.
The side door opened, and out came first the Foster pets. “Hey, tiger!” Said Alcor, addressing Grape, and went to hug her. Within seconds, six furs exchanged an intense ritual of hugs and greetings.
Martin Foster and the driver came out shortly after. Martin was beaming like a child with his favorite toy. His left arm was still kept inside the sling. “Hello, neighbors!” He gave an affectionate pat on the side of the monster. “Volkner-Mobil Bus for families with many pets! All the comforts a German motorhome can offer for a coast-to-coast trip, plus...” He took a remote from his pocket, and pointed to the vehicle. He pressed a button, and the portal Earl had mistaken for the luggage compartment opened. A mobile platform slipped out of the bus, showing...
Earl almost wept with joy.
The mobile sector was a mini-garage, and contained a gleaming silver sports car. “Maserati 4-door GTs, Ferrari 4.7 V8 engine, six-speed sequential automatic transmission. With this baby you can go to the grocery store in Alaska and return in time for dinner! So, didn’t I promise you that I’d treat you just fine?”
The driver helped Jill to carry the bags. She felt a bit embarrassed about this money display, but it was true that Earl, because of his still healing ribs, couldn’t drive. And when Martin had offered to get a common vehicle, she had thought about a big car, perhaps with a trailer, but not… this.
Jill was about to ask her neighbor what he had paid for this thing, then decided against it. She could imagine already, and her head was spinning at the thought.
Earl was caressing the body of the Maserati almost reverently. Peanut and Grape were observing what they could through the closed windows. Could almost smell the new leather and the wood. Peanut was wagging his tail. “It superextracool!” he said.
“He’ll be driving it?” Earl asked, pointing at the driver, sighing like a girl in love.
Martin nodded. “Riley Garrison is an Indianapolis veteran, and has more licenses than I think is legally possible, but I would like to leave the pleasure of driving this baby to your sweet lady, if she agrees to it.”
Jill froze in the act of entering the bus.
Earl didn’t think he got it right. “I’m sorry?”
“Mom can drive,” Peanut said, shrugging. “So?”
Martin smiled like Wiley Coyote when he came up with one of his plans, and produced two folded printouts. “You see, champ, to drive that car one must be a heck of a pilot… Oh, the magic of blogs. Read and weep, Earl.”
Jill threw herself at her husband. “Give me those papers!” she screamed, but Earl dodged her. Curiosity had gotten the best of him, and he was in full rules-disrespect mode. “Ah-ha, dear. Shame on you, you’ve kept your shady past hidden from your own hubbie...” he read the sheets. It was the second surprise of the day. He let out a long, low cat call. “Wow!”
“NO!” Jill was flushing in the face, but she was also giggling. “Earl Sandwich, if you don’t give me back those papers immediately, or worse, if you show them to our children...”
It was like giving an order to do exactly the opposite. Earl gave the incriminating sheets to their pets, who already were pleading with their wide toothy grins.
Jill sank her brick-red face in her husband’s shoulders. She would have beaten him, if it weren’t for his injuries. “I hate you! And I hate you too, Martin!”
Martin was sporting his trademark ‘everybody’s pal’ grin. “I live for these moments, my dear.”
“Wow!” Said Grape.
“She was really beautiful,” Peanut said, wagging his tail.
The first sheet showed a young Jill Sandwich in white car pilot overalls, standing together with a guy dressed in the same way. Each of them stood on either side of a spotless red Bowler Wildcat, on the starting line of the Dakar Rally. She was holding a red helmet, and her face had all the grit of an Amazon. Her hair was a shade more red and shiny.
The article that came with the picture praised ‘Calamity Jill’, the Rally’s new promise, raised under the wing of the champion Christopher Waller.
“How did you get that stuff?” Jill asked Martin.
He shrugged. “I was looking for a driver for my baby,” he patted the Maserati. And since I didn’t know where to look for a pro, I asked the blogosphere. Too bad that I had so much free time, otherwise I would’ve asked someone else to look for info. Blame it on those bad doggies.” It looked like he was the only one who could still joke about the creatures who had nearly killed him and Peanut.
Earl was genuinely fascinated. “Honey, why did you ever keep all of this hidden? I never imagined that you had such a stormy past. I like it.” That would also explain how his beloved angel could kill a monster Rottweiler mix with a bronze statuette used as a bludgeon.
Jill shook her head. “That Jill was a rebel, a bad girl. Between junior college and university, I let myself go. I wanted to experience new sensations, and... And I did a lot of things that I’m not proud of. That’s why I never spoke about it, I want to forgot that Jill ever existed.”
Earl gave her a kiss on the lips. Their pets went all “Daww!”
“Silly. But you know you could’ve talked about the rallies, at least. You know how much I like cars.” In fact, motors were his passion and his income. Earl had golden hands, he could work an economy car or a military jet without a sweat. During his service, he had earned his praises…
But he also wanted a family with pets, and a tranquil life. He had happily sacrificed his career to marry and come live in Babylon Gardens.
Jill shook her head. “No way, hon. Not without adding other things, and Calamity Jill is long-gone, nosy-parkers. Give me those, you two.” She grabbed the sheets from her pets’ paws, crumpled them into a ball and threw the ball at Martin’s face. “Okay, I will drive your stupid car, but don’t you dare show this stuff around, or the next time you need an injection, you know where you’ll get it!”
Martin grimaced. “Ow. Okay, okay.” He secured the car back in the garage, and turned to the driver. “Are you ready, Riley?”
“ We can leave whenever we want, Mr. Foster.” said the man, in a flawless British accent.
“YAY!” All of the animals rushed headlong into the camper. Martin was the last to enter. “Heigh Ho, Heigh ho,” he sang out, closing the door. “It’s off to road we go...”

As Martin had promised, there was enough space for everyone – bedroom for the human couple, and a mini-dorm with bunk beds for the others, a separate cot for Martin. Bathroom with shower, kitchen, living room with LCD TV, satellite internet...
“It’s like traveling inside a hotel,” Peanut said merrily, sitting on the couch. “Are there any video games?”
“PSP and DS should do, I hope,” said Martin. “Had to save on space, and I didn’t install any desktop media. Oh, there are a couple of AirMacs in those drawers. Of course, we have enough food for everyone to last a week.”
“That’s great,” said Peanut. “The manager of that service station was such a bully.”
Grape remembered that day very well, when they had stopped midway for a break and the manager had warned Earl not to bring his pets inside the market area without a leash. He had removed Peanut and Grape’s collars, and Grape had, for a moment, relived her terror of being abandoned. Jill had worked hard to console the poor cat, and Earl had gotten a serious case of face-chewing, later that night…
Martin pet the two Sandwich pets, before sitting down on the couch, himself. Alcor went and lay on his lap, purring. Martin started scratching him between his shoulders. “Hmm, someone needs attention?”
Alcor grabbed him and nuzzled against his right shoulder. “Mine.”
“All right with your arm?” Jill asked. She had assisted her neighbor during rehabilitation. Martin had shown an exceptional will power and stamina, recovering much faster than expected. He always said that it was thanks to his father, he had gotten stronger, but his eyes wouldn’t smile along with the jestful voice.
“Yup. The butcher at the Haichiko Mercy thinks I can retrieve all the basic functionalities within two months. To tussle with Antares or Aldebaran, I’ll have to wait a bit more. But I’ll be fit enough to open the Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, when we get back.”
“So this is it,” Earl said, sitting beside the driver. He, like Jill , was quite excited about the new shelter, especially because they’d be working there, with a hefty wage! Earl as chief mechanic, Jill as pet nurse, the work of her dreams!
“Yup. You’ll see, it will be a residence, the first of a new generation of shelters, hopefully. I will keep the current temporary structure up for emergencies, one never knows.”
“Uncle Martin, how’s Zach?” asked Peanut, out of the blue, although no one had stopped worrying for the poor rabbit.
Martin shook his head with a sad sigh. “Still sedated. His nervous breakdown was more severe than expected, but Stanwick has him stabilized. It will only take a little longer than expected. He’ll be alright, Peanut.”
One of the murderous dogs had kidnapped Zach to use the rabbit as hostage and force Evelyn Sunman to open the temporary shelter’s doors. Poor Zach had literally been brutalized: the dog had beaten him, ripped off a piece of his ear and nearly killed him. That creature was so sensible, and already Tiger had shaken his nerves repeatedly out of some unnamed paranoia. What must it have been like, for the rabbit, to be tormented by death embodied?
It surely gave him tremendous nightmares, day and night. He was literally hallucinating, it was a miracle he hadn’t become completely catatonic, although already he was barely responding to stimuli. Only drugs were working, now.
Luckily, Dr. Mordecai Stanwick was an expert on PTSD, when it came to animals in general, having worked on several military fields. He knew what to do by the book, and that was Zach’s luck. Jerry Arbelt, Zach’s owner, had warned Tiger: Any more of his antics at the expense of his housemate, and the shelter would have a brand new guest!
Peanut meanwhile was rummaging through the backpack he had brought aboard. “Ohh, I hope I haven’t left it at home... Aha, here you are!” Wagging his tail, he took a yellow bandana and knotted it around his neck, covering the collar. “Am I cool, now?” He asked Grape.
“Awesome,” she said, lightly rubbing the piece of fabric that Fox had given him to celebrate his heroic deeds and the end of his week-long coma. “Just try not to ruin it, lug, you know this was Fox’s favorite.”
“A real country dog, here, young man,” Jill said, ruffling his head.
Peanut turned on his DS and loaded a session of Call of Duty, then began to play with Antares and Aldebaran. “And who’ll be guarding the house while you all are away?”
Martin took what he needed to fix himself a sandwich with rye bread, ham, cheese and mustard. “Bino and his friends of the GOD Club will. They can stay there 24/7 as long as there’s someone on watch. Not that there is a real need, what with all the security measures that I have installed, but I like to think that someone will be enjoying my place while we’re away.” He finished fixing the sandwich and took a bite out of it. “A house without animals is a sad house. That’s what I always say.”
Grape had opened her PC and had started typing at a frantic pace. “I don’t know if that was a wise move, Uncle Martin. Is your insurance good?”
“Up to Acts of God. Should suffice. I hope.”
“Are you writing your Pridelands fanfic, Grape?” Peanut asked. Everyone suddenly tried to look at the screen! A purple-faced Grape lowered the screen immediately. “And what did I tell you about NOT looking over my shoulder?!” she spat.
“Aw, I wasn’t looking,” said the dog. “I asked cuz now that we’re in touch with… the series’ writer!” he added holding his tongue before saying the real name of the talented artist, “Well, I thought you wouldn’t submit your work to… her.” He grinned mischievously, raising his eyebrows repeatedly. “Is that a saucy ficcie?”
Grape looked at him as if she was seeing ET. “Peanut!”
“Oohh, so is it? Is it?” He had started wagging and trying to open the notebook. “C’mon, you know I like your—”
“And next time,” Grape said, retracting her fist and opening the PC, “I’m gonna kick you into a coma for a year, got it, mutt? And the same goes for you all.”
The Foster pets nodded vigorously. Grape went back to writing.
Massaging his head, Peanut said, “It’s not fair, Grape! You know I like your writing, but only Joey gets to read your Pridelands ficcie. Why him?” He whined, then he looked at his console. “Aw, I died too!”
Grape bared her teeth. She wasn’t kidding. “I’ve got my reason, mutt! So you better not try to read this stuff, got it? And now leave me alone, I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Peanut shrugged, as he restarted the game. He wondered why she acted as if she felt ashamed of her work. The only pieces he got to read of that fan fiction were very romantic, he loved them… But he had the right to privacy from her, too. “Sorry,” he said, looking at her.
She didn’t turn her eyes from the screen, but she smiled all the same. “You know you’re forgiven already… love.” And when he giggled, she felt herself blushing. It still was so… strange, to be so intimate in the presence of others…
“Dead again,” said Antares, as the bus started.
“Aw, santamackerel!”


Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

Thu May 05, 2011 2:55 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Sandwich Farm, Luton County, 5:25 pm

Jill was sleeping peacefully together with her pets, when the intercom let out a ring like an aircraft’s. The woman opened her eyes, grunting, in time to hear Martin Foster saying, “Your attention, please. This is Captain Foster speaking. We inform our passengers that in five minutes we will have reached our destination as per schedule. Foster Touring thanks you for choosing our vehicles and hopes to have you aboard again.” The bell chimed again.
Jill sat up, and smacked her lips. “Ugh, I feel like I swallowed a rat.” She reached for her purse she had left on the nightstand, and pulled out a breath spray. Three sprays made her feel as though she once again belonged to civilization. Then she turned and gave a kiss to Peanut and Grape, who had remained where they were, huddled closely against each other on the other side of the bed. “Come on, sleepyheads, you heard Uncle Martin.”
“Mrgf?” mumbled Grape. “Arrived?”
Jill got up and went to wash her face. “Yeah. God, my hair is a mess, and you two look like you were defeated by a towel. Come here, let’s fix this up.” She opened the drawer under the sink. Jill took a brush and passed it to her pets. “Hurry up.”

“Wow,” Mizar said, examining the oasis of new constructions and open fields. “I’d say this Uncle Reuben guy knows how to treat himself too.”
“We bought this farm together,” Earl said. He stood up and stretched, within the limits allowed him by his ribs. The trip had been smooth so far, but he couldn’t sit down for prolonged periods yet, and he hated to be forced in bed. “At first, things went well, and we also expanded the house for when I decided to start my own family...” The man shook his head. “We didn’t agree on how pets should be treated. Reuben’s concept of ‘pet’ as an equal member of the family is… not like mine. He’s not a bad person, mind you, in fact, he treats his animals much better than his other peers would do. He just doesn’t want them inside his house. Once, in winter, one of the barn cats had fallen ill and if I hadn’t gone there to see how she was doing, I would have found her dead the next day.
“I took her to the vet just in time, with snow up to my ankles. Salome was saved, but I had a violent argument with Reuben, before giving him one right in the kisser. A few days later, I left the farm for good. It took about one year before our wives decided we had to make peace.” Earl chuckled. “And no brotherly rivalry can stand the determination of a woman, believe me.”
“I had a hint,” said Martin, remembering how Mizar and Alcor had told him the tale of the first trip to the farm as narrated by Peanut and Grape themselves. “That’s why, other than to travel in style, I bought the Tirpitz. Just in case, our pets can sleep like at home, hold a fur-party, do anything they want while our consciences stay clean… Err, Earl, why are you looking at me like that?”
Earl was looking at Martin with bewilderment, to say the least. “You called this motorhome Tirpitz? Like the Nazi battleship?” Tirpitz, was, in fact, the name of the twin sister of the infamous Graf Speer.
“Like the German battleship, neighbor. I am a devoted fan of technology, I don’t care about the country that manufactured it. And in case you are interested, my grandfather was in Europe when the Nazis took away his first wife because she was Jewish. He barely had time to embark for the United States, but she ended up in Birkenau.”
Martin shrugged. “Like it or not, the Boche knew to make weapons. Too bad that so much talent has been wasted on the wrong side.”
“Amen. My grandfather was busy in Operation Overlord.”
Martin raised an imaginary glass. “To our finest.”
“We’re here,” said the driver. The bus stopped a moment later.
“However, Reuben must not learn of this thing’s name, all right?” said Earl. “Or we’ll be served hemlock salad.”
“Okey-Dokey, mein Herr!”
Earl was tempted to close him in the mini-garage.

“Here he is, the city boy an’ his rich friend,” said Reuben, walking toward his brother. “Wanna slap our faces with your fat money, eh? Gimme yor back, Son of Cain!” He gave a firm handshake to Earl and an equally hard pat on his back. Earl’s ribs launched a long lament, but Earl kept his smile, promising himself to make him suffer…
“Don’t break him, Reuben,” Jill warned him, coming down the bus with Peanut and Grape.
“Jill!” Reuben went to give her a kiss on the cheek. “Always beautiful. You the man of the house yet?”
“A woman’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” she laughed.
Meanwhile, the five sons of Reuben and Kate, two girls and three boys, had thrown themselves at the poor pets, who, knowing by experience what was awaiting them, were staying were they were, almost not breathing, as they were being treated like stuffed animals…
“Now, boys, don’t you ruin them pets. They’re the heroes of the day, right boys?” Reuben leaned over to shake hands with Peanut and Grape. “Earl told me all about your deeds, and to celebrate I told Kate to make a Shepherd’s Pie just for you. Happy? Ah, here he comes the glory hunter,” he added as Martin got out the vehicle. At the sight of his left arm, his face became serious. “You stuffed it all down the throat of that monster?”
“Only down to the elbow. And please, call me Martin.”
They shook hands. “Man, with five like you, we could’ve kicked the Kraut outta Berlin in a week instead of leaving it all in the hands of them Reds. Anyway, the simple fact that you take care of Earl’s interests makes you my best friend. Welcome to my humble home.” He looked at the motorhome. “Hmf, I can forgive you buying German ‘stead of American, but you’ll park it properly, not in front of my porch. Now, I take it you got your pets too, right? Call ‘em out, my kids are noisy like a bunch of locusts but they wouldn’t harm a beast if it came to their lives. Sometimes I wonder if I’m their father.” He looked at Earl, who shrugged.
“Did you hear that?” Martin said, turning and gesturing. “Come out and meet the young Sandwiches, hop hop!”
Antares and Aldebaran walked out first. Earl thought that perhaps he should’ve mentioned something about the size of the black furred twins.
The boys, who were already running toward the motorhome, stopped, fazed, mouths hanging open in wide ‘O’s. Antares grabbed the two eldest in a single hug, while his brother picked up the other three children, raising them without effort and covering them with sloppy doggie kisses. Once recovered from the surprise, all of the kids reciprocated the attention. When they’d tell it at school, no one would believed them, there weren’t dogs this big in the whole county!
“Everything clear?” asked Alcor, emerging shyly. He didn’t mind physical contact… Only, he wasn’t… confident with someone who was not his human. Same thing went for Mizar.
“KIMBA!” screamed the smallest of the boys at the sight of the white cat. He jumped from Aldebaran’s arms and went to embrace the poor cat, whose fur stood on end. Human infant or not, he got a solid bear-grip!
“BOLT!” yelled his brother and sister, despite the fact that Mizar was a female, and had no arrow drawn on her side.
The other two were sitting on the shoulders of Antares. “You’re so big,” said Felicia stroking his muscular neck. “You’re a watchdog, right?”
“Brother and I, we were born and trained as soldier dogs. So you better behave with our brothers and sisters, or you’re gonna be sent to military prison.”
The two kids laughed. Martin appreciated their easy attitude with those big monsters; usually, people got scared out of their wits at their mere sight… He guessed there were advantages of living on a farm.
“Well, my barn can accommodate this army as well,” said Reuben, taking his kids from the giant dogs’ shoulders. “Peanut, Grape, you know the way, show them in: you have many friends who can’t wait to see you both.”
Barking excitedly, Peanut was the first to dash for the barn, followed by Grape. The others decided to follow at a slower pace – after all, they guessed, it was likely their stepsiblings would like to have some times for their old friends first.
Riley parked the Tirpitz close to the car and tractor shed, mainly because there was no room for the larger vehicle.
“Any news about Caprice?” asked Earl to his brother.
Reuben shook his head. “I only know what you know. We have to wait for the usual postcard. Say, what did you think you were doing not telling me what kind of monsters those dogs are? They look like they can finish a month’s worth of Rufus’ food with a single meal! You’re all my guests and such, but that was one mean joke!”
Earl gave him a pat on the back: “I owed you one for Salomé, slave driver,” he said, calling him with the nickname he used back when they quarreled every day. “However, don’t worry: our mutual friend has stowed the food they need in his bus. Right, Martin?”
Before Martin could answer, Reuben said, “Forget it, citizens! Never let it be said that the eldest son of John Sandwich can’t feed his guests, beasts included. But after that, you’ll owe me one, brother.”
Jill and Reuben’s wife sighed, shaking their head. This was going to be a long vacation...

The door was open.
Peanut leaned inside. “Mary Ellen?” He said, shyly but smiling, “Clarabelle? Betty-Lou?”
Silence. The barn had that familiar smell... well, of hay and animals. It was here where Uncle Reuben kept the farm’s cats and dogs... “Anybody home?” He went into the barn, the place illuminated by five large windows, two on each side and one on the opposite wall. His feet produced a pleasant crackling when they treaded the dry hay scattered on the floor. They must be out, hunting for mice, I guess. “...Girls?” he tried one last time.
Then the world around him exploded in a flurry of orange fur, red fur and gray fur! Peanut was thrown against a bale of hay, nailed down by three predatory figures who were purring like motors! He knew who they were, but still he felt as if he was about to give up the ghost.
“Look who’s back,” said Mary Ellen, the brown, orange-mottled cat.
“The cute city dog!” continued Clarabelle, the red cat.
“What about that slow motion pillow fight you owed us, pretty boy?” asked Betty-Lou, the gray cat, with that familiar seductive gaze. Last time, the audacity of those three females had sent Peanut in BSOD mode. This time, instead, Peanut wagged and said, “Sure! I missed you so much, you know?”
“Wow, the puppy is a brave boy now,” said Mary Ellen. “So, Romeo, wanna introduce us t’your friends or you an’ your girlfriend want to spend some time on the roof first?”
“We cleaned your favorite corner,” said Clarabelle. “But y’all rather wait for the night and some moon, right?”
“How cute, he still blushes like a kid,” said Betty-Lou, and put her finger on his nose. “Too bad you’re busy, sugar. We thought ‘bout ya sooooo much. *purr*”
“Aba ugah burble uh buh duh fuh...” And, just like then, Peanut felt as if his brain had turned into jelly.
Finally, Mary Ellen decided to save Peanut from that embarrassment. “Girls, some manners you got. Do y’all want to break him like last time? Shoo, shoo.” She pushed away her ‘sisters’, who protested, but also winked and blew kisses to the dog. “See ya tonight, sweetie,” said Clarabelle.
Mary Ellen shook her head. “Incorrigible! Forgive them, Peanut, but a cute hunk like you is rare stuff... Hey, nice bandana, just in Rufus’ style.”
Peanut put his hand behind his head. “Well, yes, I put it on for the occasion. It’s a friends’ gift.”
“Hi, Mary,” Grape said at that time, entering. Immediately, the other two barn cats surrounded the lavender cat, examining her from head to foot like two bridesmaids, stroking her fur and checking her tail. “What do we have here?” asked Betty-Lou.
“She really grew up into a purty young lady,” agreed Clarabelle. “Hmm, really beautiful tail for a city cat.”
Peanut chuckled at the sight of Grape blushing. Yet, at the barn cats’ words, he too couldn’t help comparing Grape’s changes since last year. She had become more… adult. Her chest was more defined, her fur had become fluffier, and, yes, her muscles were better outlined. Growth spurt, he thought. Grape was no longer just a cat, she was becoming the true female that would accompany him in their life together…
He quickly rubbed his misty eyes as Mary Ellen’s voice said, “Welcome to the club, honey. It’s their way of saying that you’re a big cat now.”
“So,” asked Clarabelle. “Have y’all stopped playing scaredy cat?”
“You were such a shy little thing, back then,” said Betty Lou. “I could have buried ya with a teaspoon of dirt. *Tee-hee*”
“Ahh...” For how much she owed to those three felines, even deciding to go visit Peanut on the roof, that night, instead of sleeping inside the barn and avoiding him, she still felt way embarrassed at their attitude.
“Hmm,” said Alcor, stepping in with Mizar. “Looks like this vacation’s gonna be fun.”
The barn cats stared at him in the same way Grape looked at him the first time they met: with eyes wide open as if to want to drink that sublime vision.
“I saw him first!” they said in unison, completely forgetting Peanut and Grape.
The white female German shepherd immediately put her arm on his partner’s waist. “Sorry, ‘sugar’, but this is private property. Very private.” She threw a warning glance to the cat. “My dear Dongiovanni.”
“Aww!” The poor cats had the same face of a child who had just lost his lollipop.
Alcor snorted. “Hey, I am entitled to have my adoring fangirl club!”
“As if you didn’t have any, at the Gardens. Dad had to rent a mailbox, since with you is Valentine’s Day all year long.”
“Look who’s talking! The male canines buried us with white chocolate! We could make a fortune selling the leftovers!”
“Guys, take it easy!” Broke in Mary Ellen. “We will have plenty of time to know each other in a more… appropriate manner.” And by the look she threw at Alcor, it was clear what she meant. “Then again where are the other two? Too shy meet to three hard-working barn kitties?”
“Maybe they’re puppies!” squeaked Clarabelle. “EEEE, been so long since we had us some cute, adorable little furballs!”
Grape and Peanut looked exchanged an amused look. ‘Well... in a sense they are puppies. Antares, Aldebaran? Come in, it’s all right.”
The twins entered stepped in.
At that sight, the cats’ eyes lit up like stalking lionesses! “It’s Christmas,” said Betty Lou, almost drooling.
“I love chocolate beef,” Clarabelle said, licking her lips.
“MrrROWR,” Mary Ellen purred. “Can we keep you in our dreams, beautiful?”
Grape and Peanut were holding up against each other, laughing heartily. It would be worth coming here on foot, only to see those two titans hugging to protect themselves from the ‘intentions’ of the barn cats who, with gleaming eyes, were approaching their prey with that hungry look…
“Don’t worry *hehe*, big lugs,” Grape said, wiping her tears. “They don’t bite. For now...” And she burst out laughing again.
“Shame, shame, girls,” said a new voice from the door. “I can leave you alone a minute, and already you’re ready to cause scandal.”
“RUFUS!” cried Peanut, and ran to embrace Uncle Reuben’s Australian shepherd. “I’m so happy to see you again!”
“Heh, the pleasure’s all mine, pup. But look at yourself, you’re really grown!”
“Hi, Rufy,” Grape said, hugging him in turn.
“Hello to you too, Grape... Hmm, you’ve turned into a pretty little lady yourself. Too bad you don’t live here.” He winked at her.
“Not you too, please.” It was no mystery that the species barrier didn’t pose a problem between dogs and cats. In fact, Mary Ellen had scolded Grape, however kindly, for her fear of feeling attracted to Peanut. What had she said, then? Just ‘cause the boy’s ears are longer and his tail’s shorter don’t make him no kind of monster. He’s got a heart just like you and me. And a big, generous heart, indeed...
Well, grape thought, it didn’t necessarily mean she could talk about… certain things with such ease. In this, she envied those animals.
Rufus laughed. “Ahh, a poor ol’ hound can’t even joke? Not to mention that I couldn’t compete with such a ladykiller, and a hero as well. Reuben told us all about your prowess, champ! My congratulations!”
“Ahh, it was nothing,” said Peanut, trying desperately to change subject… Then he remembered something he had not done since the last time! His eyes lit up, “Could we go for a ride with Made of Win? Pleeease, I’ve never ridden a horse!”
“I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until tomorrow, then,” said Rufus. “The horses have finished their shift, for today, and my old self too.” He yawned, and went toward the hay. He patted Peanut’s shoulder one last time. “Sorry for not being a good host, today”. He climbed up the stack and fell asleep almost immediately.
Clarabelle and Betty Lou, who until that moment had eyes only for their city friends, went to curl up into a ball next to the dog, purring.
Grape noted a certain… sadness, in their expressions. She was about to ask what was going on, when Mary Ellen gestured the city pets to come out with her. “Everybody out, now. Let ‘im get his beauty sleep.”
Once outside, Mary Ellen closed the door softly. She looked toward the barn with that same sad and resigned expression. “Poor lad, he’s really trying to give his best yet, but age is getting to him. It’s rare he can make it to the night.”
“Oh.” Peanut went sad too. “What will become of him then?”
The cat shrugged. “Well... I guess he’ll go fer a walk in the woods. Like the others before him. He just needs to decide when the time is right...”
Peanut didn’t understand. But he saw Grape’s expression, and remembered something – wasn’t that the way one talked about the old wolves when they went to..?
“HOW CAN YOU TALK LIKE THAT?!” He shouted. “Mary Ellen, you can’t be serious! Rufus is not that old! I owe him a dead chicken, he… he encouraged me to declare myself to Grape even if it was an epic fail, and…” His shoulders fell. The lingering stress from the recent events combined with this bombshell of bad news made his head spin, it was simply unbearable. “You can’t allow it,” he said in a tremulous whisper. He shed his first tears. “You can’t.”
“Shoot, sugar,” said Mary Ellen, putting a hand on his shoulder. “It ain’t on us to decide. At some point, we can no longer keep up with our tasks, it’s life. Reuben will feed us all the same, but we don’t wanna be a burden to anyone.” She showed Peanut a faint smile. “Ours is a hard but good life. We life it in full, we leave it with a clean conscience. Nothing to regret, here.” She touched her chest, over her heart.
Peanut didn’t have the courage to look her into her eyes. This was… too much. He had challenged death, he had defeated it, and Grape too. He couldn’t imagine anyone giving up their life without a struggle, just like that. As if it was something you just turned off! If he hadn’t feared looking childish, Peanut would’ve put his paws over his ears to not listen.
Kindly, Mary Ellen took him by his chin and turned his head. “Hey, sugar. I know you don’t like it, and don’t think fer a second we like it, kay?” she was quite serious, now. “Rufus has been our special, special friend during these years. He taught us everything we know to be good barn cats, he protected us, helped us… loved us. Don’t you dare spoil these days with your sniveling, got it?”
Peanut nodded weakly. A bad thought flashed in my mind: that of all the moments in which this thing could happen, this was actually the least suitable!
Then another thought struck him with equal suddenness, filling him with joy! Perhaps, instead, this was the best moment, after all!
“Why are you smiling like that all of a sudden, sugar?” asked Mary Ellen.
Peanut looked at Grape. She looked like she had the same idea. They both grinned.
“Mary Sue?” asked Peanut.
“Mary Sue,” answered Grape.


Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

Thu May 05, 2011 9:53 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Huh. Call me crazy for focusing on this detail, but I've found it odd that you refer to Martin as "Mary Sue." I've noticed it in the later chapters of the untranslated episodes as well.

So much for this being a breather episode! Poor Rufus...

Thu May 05, 2011 11:43 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
loomCAT Wrote:
Huh. Call me crazy for focusing on this detail, but I've found it odd that you refer to Martin as "Mary Sue." I've noticed it in the later chapters of the untranslated episodes as well.

So much for this being a breather episode! Poor Rufus...

It came out as a private joke between me and IceKitsune, who found somewhat annoying that Martin could solve things too easily. It was starting with 'A Dog's Heart' episode that he lost the 'Mary Sue' aura.


Thu May 05, 2011 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Reuben Sandwich was an old-fashioned man, a hospitable and friendly host who had never left a guest unsatisfied. But it was up to him to decide who was or wasn’t worth entering his house. Once, he left at the door a senator touring the county in the campaign for his re-election. The politician lost the race, and Reuben gained respect. One neighbor gave him a plaque that read ‘The Rank Stops Here!’
Reuben Sandwich had an insurmountable rule: no pets inside his house. Period. On his property, humans and non-humans played their roles and had their room. The only one to violate the sacred rule had been Earl, Reuben’s brother. When it came to pet rights, Earl was as much drastic as his brother, only in the opposite direction.
Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly could not care less about that rule or any point of view about it, at that moment: they were in a hurry, they had to make a very important request, and they were the heroes of Babylon Gardens! They felt fully entitled to enter the house running and shouting as if their lives depended on it “UNCLE MAAAARRTIIINNN!”
They ran through the kitchen, startling Mrs. Kathrin Sandwich, who was putting the roast in the oven.
From the kitchen, and into the living room, still shouting the man’s name out loud. Up the stairs they went, while Reuben seemed too surprised to be outraged by the breach of etiquette. The farmer glanced warily to his brother.
Earl shook his head. “I don’t know what’s going on, cross my heart.”

The door swung open, and the two pets ran in the room like football players at the Superbowl. “UNCLE MARTIN!”
“I heard you since you invaded the kitchen,” said the man, intent on a laptop at his desk. “Excuse me just a second, I was sending this email... done.” He closed the laptop and turned his chair. “So, what can I do for you that is so urgent?”
Peanut and Grape called their new Uncle ‘Mary Sue’ for his tendency to solve problems with his money, just bailing those who he cared for out of trouble. Like when he had co-adopted the Sandwich pets to make sure to grant them a good life if something happened to their parents, or when he had decided to build a luxury new shelter/residence for the ferals…
Peanut grabbed the man’s knee. “Uncle Martin... It’s hyperextrasuperurgentimportant! I must ask you a biiig favor!”
Martin stroked his head fur, but stopped smiling seeing how much anxiety there was in those sky-blue eyes. “Hey, champ, you know that everything you ask is hyperextrasuperurgentimportant to me. What is it?”
Peanut swallowed. He acted like a bomb was about to explode. In fact, Peanut exploded in a barely coherent speech, his face sunk in the Martin’s lap. “It’s Rufus! Rufus is too old to work anymore and they don’t want to keep him and then he wants to go die in the woods, and it’s not fair because he’s so old...” He repeatedly struck Martin’s thigh with his fist. “Give him a new family, please please please! He is a good dog, he can’t die, there!”
During that speech, Martin knew only that Rufus was the name of Reuben’s dog. Everything else was being told by Peanut, and that dog didn’t seem exactly in his right mind...
One thing was certain, however: if Peanut was so upset, it was not for a triviality. Martin stroked the dog’s head. “I promise that everything will be alright, boy. Ah...” The man raised his head to meet the stern gaze of Earl and Reuben. “I’ll work on it.”
Peanut looked at him as he was his hero.
“Can you tell me what the heck got into your mind?!”
Peanut didn’t understand what had gotten into Dad’s head. He was really, really angry, and any attempt to calm him produced only more rage.
While Martin was talking to Reuben, Earl had taken his pets out of the house, and without warning had started scolding them as if they had done something really, really, really bad. He was actually scaring them.
Of the two, Grape was the one to be most terrified: the last time she had seen an outburst like that, was when her first Dad had ripped her collar, before abandoning her... “Daddy, please don’t do this...”
“You have no idea what I went through with Reuben, the pride I had to swallow to reconcile with him. Now you barge in and run around criticizing the way he handles his own animals? Well, I’ve got news: I don’t like it either, but what you did was rude. Especially since you involved Uncle Martin: you know how much he loves you, you could at least give him the courtesy not to create new problems for him? The man is already obsessed with saving the world, he’s recovering after losing his damned arm, and adding another weight on his shoulders will-not-help, especially now that he needs rest! Is it so hard to figure it out?! Darn it, we’ve already had enough trouble as it this, without you undertak-”
“Earl,” said Jill. If seeing that man lashing at his children was the rarest sight, hearing a similar freeze in his wife’s voice was even rarer. It worked better than a whiplash, into shaking him out of his rage. “That’s enough.”
Earl realized too late what he was doing.
He was venting. He was venting the stress accumulated with the crisis and Peanut’s week-long coma. He had failed to protect his family as the man of the house, he had tried to bottling that stress, ignoring his therapist’s advice, thinking that taking a vacation at Uncle Reuben’s would work a miracle on his nerves.
Big-time mistake.
Instead, a simple request of help from his children for their dear friend had become the excuse to vent the stress. Instead of talking with them, calling to his reason, he had caved in to his pure, simple rage.
“God, I...” Earl realized what he had done. He hadn’t the words to say how sorry he was.
Peanut and Grape were standing there. Frozen. They had backed up until they were almost sticking to the wall of the garage. They didn’t dare breathe. Their ears were completely folded on their heads, tails tucked between their legs. Their eyes were bulging. They were too scared even to cry. Grape was curling tightly into Peanut’s arms.
Earl extended his hands toward them. “Oh God, guys, I’m so sorry, I—”
Peanut’s face became grim. “Bad dad,” he said, staring at his parent as if to attack him. “You don’t care about Rufus, but we do. He-he’s not a… thing!”As he spoke, his tone kept rising up a notch, and a growl accompanied his increasing tone. “And Uncle Martin doesn’t mind to help us, it’s not true that we make him suffer!!”
“Children, I didn’t mean to say...” Earl reached out to console him... And, much to his surprise, the same teeth that Peanut had used to defend him from certain death closed with a tremendous *snap* within a whisker of the man’s flesh!
Earl withdrew his hand, touching it as if he had actually been hurt. ‘Incredulous’ wasn’t enough to describe him.
“And you made Grape suffer! You’re bad!” He growled one last time. Tears started flowing freely, as he walked away holding Grape to him. “I don’t want to talk to you anymore,” he muttered, scowling as if he had regressed to an angry cub.
Earl was about to follow them. Jill’s hand clenched his wrist in an iron grip. The woman shook her head slowly. “Leave them alone. You’ve already done enough damage as it is, dear.”
“...So now you know how things are, around here, Martin.”
Martin took a sip of apple juice. “I understand. I can’t say that I like it, but I understand it. If I had to choose between euthanasia and the agonies of old age and illness, for my animals, I would prefer the first. I’m not ashamed to say it. But in my life I have fought for creatures that were considered goners, and instead have given so much. And, with your permission, when I leave, I want to take Rufus to the shelter. I will strive to find him a family, and at worst he will still be in good company, he’ll receive food and adequate medical care. As of now, he’s no longer up to the job, right?” He took another sip, without taking his eyes from Reuben’s face. “I could help you gain an advantage from this situation.”
“How?” asked Reuben. “Buying some fancy alarm system you city boys use?”
“Another dog.”
“I’m listening.”
Martin filled his glass from the pitcher. He took another sip of juice. “You’re not some stupid southern redneck, Reuben. If I were in your shoes, I’d keep Rufus only for one reason: because the ol’ hound has to teach the basics to the new pup, just like he did with the barn cats. After that, you’ll allow him in the woods, right?”
“Right. Not bad for a city boy. So, what’s your offer?”
“An adult. Some of my shelter’s guests can accommodate your needs, they worked on farms. First two check-ups and shots for free; free pet food, the best money can buy, for a month. And if you have any problem with your new dog, I’ll help you find one more suitable.” Martin put up his offer with his best showman’s smile, even if he wanted to vomit while describing an animal as a… commodity.
Reuben nodded. “A good offer. Really good... And what if I say no? That I want to decide on my own as I’ve always done?” His eyes pointed to the plate ‘The Rank Stops Here!’ That had been given to him for kicking out a senator.
Another sip. “Peanut and Grape would be very unhappy. And then I would be very unhappy, too. And people don’t like me when I’m unhappy.”
The Sandwich stubbornness sparkled in Reuben’s eyes. “Is that a threat? What’ll you do, call your expensive layer and start seizing my land? Send out your thugs to burn the crops?”
Martin replied with that atonal voice that preceded the storm, “I stuck my arm into the jaws of an assassin dog and crushed his windpipe with my bare hand. What do you think I will do to you?”
Reuben shut his mouth. They stood there, facing each other like two gunmen at the OK Corral. Brown eyes against gray eyes. Contempt against frost. Anger against determination.
Eventually, Reuben’s mouth stretched into a hint of a smile. “Heh.” Then the smile became more pronounced, “Ah-heh.” And then the eldest of the Sandwich brothers burst out laughing! He slapped his hands on his thighs a couple of times. “Ahhh, finally! A city boy that acts like a man, for heaven’s sake! I was thinking there was no hope for your generation!”
Martin answered with a polite smile, and waved a toast.
Reuben helped himself to a glass of whiskey. “I find it strange your dedication to animals, if you’ll allow me, but what the heck, it’s your business. If you understand how things work here, I’ll respect your point of view.
“I accept your offer, young man. It’s hard work, we start at dawn and end at sunset. We don’t serve food with strange names, here. If they want to take a bath, there’s the pond, the beds are the haystacks in the barn. We travel only to go to the market or to the vet. And if he or she gives me problems with the cats, it’s the door. All clear?”
Martin nodded. “Fair enough. Don’t worry, as I said, these dogs come from farms that have closed for the crisis. They are tough, and trained.” He stood up. “Give me five minutes, and I’ll have a complete profile to show you. Do you prefer a male or a female?”
“Female. If she’s as good as you say, she should give me a good litter to train and sell.”
“Wise decision.” Martin stood up, feeling the urge to take a shower. He understood why Earl had punched him, once. “After the papers are done, I’ll inform the little Sandwiches. They will be really happy.”
Peanut hadn’t seen Grape attack the bad dog that wanted to hurt Dad. He had been told, and yet he could not imagine Grape so angry.
But she had been angry, that night a year ago, when he had told her that he would’ve stepped back, would have gone out of her life, to allow her to stay with Max.
Grape had gone ballistic. Peanut had been scared by that reaction, since up to that moment he didn’t know she was in love with him, that she would rather die than losing her dog.
This was much, much worse. And it was even worse than Dad’s fury, because he loved her and he had sworn he’d never do anything to hurt her.
It was as if a devil had possessed her. She was like the feline equivalent of that bad dog. She stared at Peanut with two enormous eyes, fangs fully bared and ears folded back, her fur standing up. Peanut was sure she wanted to eat him.
“DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME, YOU MANGY MUTT!? YOU ARE AN IDIOT! An idiot with no equal! Do you realize what you just did!?”
Grape’s paw was tightening his collar in a vise that was making it creak. If that paw had been around his neck... “And I was even more stupid for letting you do it! Dad must NEVER get angry like that, do you understand?” Her breathing was as fast as that of a tired horse. “Never! Never! Couldn’t you think, before rushing into the house like that?” To be sure the message was clear, she shook the dog using his collar.
Peanut didn’t even have the courage to open his mouth. Part of him was telling him only that this vacation was turning into a bad dream. Yes, he only had to close his eyes, then he would wake up in his room, next to his sweet kitty, not this demon, and he would call Rufus and he would discover that all was well and...
*Snap!* The latest jolt broke his collar. Peanut fell to the ground. The bandana that Fox had given him fell lazily between the two animals.
Peanut swallowed. A dream a dream a dream... “Grape,” he tried to call her, but the cat was still immersed in that sort of panic-induced trance. All the traumas of her old life had returned with reinforcements, and at that moment all that Grape Jelly was seeing was the road, hunger, loneliness... She was walking in a circle, clasping her arms to her chest as if she was shivering with cold. “He must never get angry like that, never, never...”
Peanut stood up. His cat was in need of consolation now. He would have apologized to everyone, he would’ve told Uncle Martin to do nothing, if necessary – whatever, just to not see Grape hurt like that anymore. First he’d give her a hug, she liked it, made her feel better...
“GET AWAY FROM ME!” Grape’s arm flashed.
Peanut didn’t even feel pain.
She had slapped him.
*Drip, drip*
The last time was when they were at the vet. He had been a good dog, and they gave him a lollipop. She had slapped him because she was so worried about him.
*Drip, drip*
But this time she slapped him hard.
She looked surprised, now, as if she couldn’t believe what she had done. “Peanut... I...”
Peanut touched his cheek. Oh, it hurt, now. It really stung!
When he withdrew his paw, he saw the red that covered the palm. Then he looked at Grape, in whose eyes was growing the horror at what she had just done. “Peanut,” she repeated, shaking her head.
*Drip, drip*
“You scratched me,” he said. Maybe it was the shock, perhaps too many bad emotions of that day, maybe the fact that he just couldn’t imagine that of all the people she could hurt him... Yet his voice was strangely calm, only tinged with curiosity. “You hurt me.”


“Peanut, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I... We have to get to a doctor…”
But as she stepped forward, he made two steps backward. His voice was devoid of emotions. “...I just wanted to do the right thing. I love Rufus, and you... Why do you hate me?”
Grape shook her head. “No, Peanut, nononono. I don’t hate you, we don’t hate you at all, it’s just that...” She took a step forward.
Peanut stepped back again. He bowed his head to one side. The blood of the wound painted his bare neck down to the shoulder. “You say that I am a hero, a champion, and then you hurt me. Dad, you... I thought you loved me.”
“Don’t say that!” Grape’s words escaped her mouth with a terrified tone. “Don’t say that! Don’t think that! I love you so much, more than my life! Peanut, please come here…You need treatment.”
Instead, Peanut Butter turned and ran away.
“PEANUT!” She stood as if paralyzed for a moment, then ran after him. “Peanut! Come back, I’m sorry!”
But he kept running, faster than he ever did. The cat had no hope of bridging the widening gap. The sun was disappearing on the horizon, when the dog ran into the wheat field, quickly disappearing from view.
The desperate cry of Grape echoed for a long time over for the green expanse. “PEANUUUUUUT!”


Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:47 am, edited 4 times in total.

Thu May 05, 2011 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
poor peanut he just wants to do the right thing cant wait to see Grape and Earl fix this

so pie is free but cake is not?

Thu May 05, 2011 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Wow. That was a quick update.

Yikes! Scary Grape is scary.

Also, Reuben's attitude about animals is one that might work in the real world, but when placed in the Housepets! environment, it comes off as a bit spooky. It's amazing HP fanfiction isn't darker than what it is considering all of the weird implications Rick's made in the actual comic.

Thu May 05, 2011 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Good update, valerio. Full of the negative. Guess we have to take the bitter with the sweet, though, right?

Peanut is about to grow up a little...

My characters
Everybody has a story to tell. What's yours?

Thu May 05, 2011 11:10 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
loomCAT Wrote:
Wow. That was a quick update.

Yikes! Scary Grape is scary.

Also, Reuben's attitude about animals is one that might work in the real world, but when placed in the Housepets! environment, it comes off as a bit spooky. It's amazing HP fanfiction isn't darker than what it is considering all of the weird implications Rick's made in the actual comic.

To think that the first time I saw her that way was, as cited, in Star-Crossed, just before the memorable kiss scene. Never forgot it.
Yup, Reuben is a great chance to see how...weird is the way pets can be treated when seen as workforce. I got more with the farm, in mind ^^

copper Wrote:
Good update, valerio. Full of the negative. Guess we have to take the bitter with the sweet, though, right?

Peanut is about to grow up a little...

Yup, Peanut and Grape will learn something from this...

Also, retconned Martin Foster's old family name name from Martin Weaver to Martin J. Robinson, in accordance with the comic. Thank you for your attention.


Fri May 06, 2011 12:55 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
valerio Wrote:

Also, retconned Martin Foster's old family name name from Martin Weaver to Martin J. Robinson, in accordance with the comic. Thank you for your attention.

Wow, that certainly didn't take long! ^^

Fri May 06, 2011 1:09 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Sandwich Farm, Luton Country

“You look nervous,” said Antares.
Indeed, the three horses were watching the two huge dogs as if they were in front of hungry cougars.
“You’ve already eaten, right?” Money For Nothing, a black stallion, asked.
Aldebaran exchanged a look with his brother. Then, both turned to the horses with smiles that would have scared a grizzly! “Not yet,” they said in unison.
The horses stepped back all the way in their stalls.
Mary Ellen, the barn cat who had offered to be the guide for the four new city pets, facepawlmed. “Citizens, oy!” Then she grabbed the twins by their stubby tails and pulled them away with unexpected strength. “As a punishment, no ride tomorrow!”
“Aww!” They said. “We have not even visited the hen house,” said Aldebaran.
“Over my dead body. Those poor creatures will die at first sight.”
They had just come out of the stables, when they heard Grape’s voice echoing across the fields. An unmistakably desperate voice.
The twins exchanged a brief glance. Without delay, they ran in the direction of the voice, leaving behind themselves a thick trail of dust and a suddenly very worried Mary Ellen ...

Reuben gave a glass of whiskey to his brother. “This will clear your mind a bit.”
Earl gladly accepted the amber liquid. It was the first time he felt like the most disgusting of maggots... and it was a feeling that ate his heart and stomach. He, who had never done anything more serious than rebuking his kids for some minor domestic accidents that came with puphood, had turned Peanut and Grape into his emotional punching bag. He had unloaded on them all the anger and fear built up by the assassin dogs crisis. He had believed that his dreams would be haunted by the vision of the fangs of a monstrous dog closing at inches from his face. Instead, now he was sure he would be dreaming for a long time of the terrified expressions of Peanut and Grape.
Terrified of their Dad.
Earl took the glass in one gulp. “God...” He had frightened them. And the worst part was the knowledge of making Grape relive the specter of her abandonment. Help him, a part of him thought, if Reuben had taken advantage of the moment to criticize his sensitivity to pets, that day would have ended very badly…
Instead, Reuben refilled his glass, without another word.
Jill, sitting on the couch next to her husband, stroked his leg. “We are all still under stress, love. It’s a difficult moment. As soon as the kids come back, we’ll have a nice family meeting and we will set things in a more civil way, hm?”
Earl nodded weakly. “The way they were looking at me...”
“Hey, neighbor, you’re going to brood over it forever,” said Martin, sitting on the couch, examining a couple of files of his shelter’s guests, “or will you pull something constructive out of your complacency?” Those words attracted the irritated looks of everyone present.
He didn’t care. Somebody had to be the ‘baddie’, rather than adding stress to further fester an already explosive situation. If Earl and Jill wanted to vent it on someone so badly, better be Martin J. Foster, born Robinson, what with his long-time abusive family, than those two innocent pets, ‘guilty’ of wanting to help a dear friend…
As if nothing out of the ordinary was happening, Martin handed Reuben a file. “This female is perfect. Not as strong as the male specimen, but way faster, a real runner, excellent to drive the more… unruly cattle. Think about it, okay?” At least, that day would come out with something good: Peanut would be happy with the news. Reuben had promised to give out his decision before they all went to bed. After that, a quick phone call, and—
Antares’ roar exploded in the room with the sound of the door flung open almost off its hinges! The big black dog walked in, carrying Grape in his arms. “Dad!” repeated the dog, “Something bad happened!”
Grape’s fur was matted all over with tassels, she was barely conscious, and the twins’ terrified look didn’t help. Mizar and Alcor, who had spent the time playing with Reuben’s children, rushed in at that moment. Kathrin Sandwich admonished her husband with her gaze: to the heck with the ‘no pets inside the house’ rule, for now!
Earl leaned next to his cat. “Grape! Oh God, girl, what happened? Where is Peanut!?”
Grape seemed to finally understand where she was. She threw herself at her parent’s neck, hugging it tight and burst into hysterical tears. “Dad! Dad, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault, my fault...”
Jill saw at that moment that the cat’s right paw was… bloody.
Earl hadn’t noticed. He kept petting her in a vain attempt to calm her down. “Your fault for what, child? Please, tell me what—”
“Earl!” Jill cried out.
The man turned his head. He felt terribly tired, his ribs throbbed, and to this already stressful situation a very sad Antares added something not less frightful to see.
Peanut’s bandana… and his broken collar!
Feral! Was the Sandwiches’ first thought: wouldn’t have it been absurd? To survive those monster dogs just to end up in the jaws of some country feral…
“It was me,” said Grape. “I... I was so angry with Peanut, because he had made you so mad and I was scared you’d abandon us, and so I lashed out against him and I-I b-broke his collar, and then...” she couldn’t focus, her eyes were glassy with panic.
It was Martin who brought her back to reason, even if he wasn’t nice at all. He grabbed her neck fur and shook her, hard.
It worked. Although still panting, her eyes went focused, now. Cupping her cheeks in his hands, staring at her in the eyes, Martin spoke to her articulating his words. “Grape, what happened? Where. Is. Peanut?”
The cat looked at her bloody paw. Her voice was absent, colorless. “I hit him. He just wanted to console me, and I hit him in the face with my claws. He’s wounded. He ran into the cornfield. He was too fast. I searched for him, called him, but I couldn’t find him. Then came Antares and Aldebaran...” The cat hung her head. Murmured one last time, “I’m so sorry...” and fainted in her father’s arms.
“Grape!” Earl held her tight.
“We smelled the blood trail,” said Antares. “Aldebaran is looking for him.”
“That field is huge,” said Reuben. “Thicker than Nam’s jungle. You may be one step away from Peanut and not see him, even if you had the world’s finest nose. Boys,” he said to his older children, while standing up. “Go get the flashlights, now!”
“Alcor, Mizar,” said Martin. “Follow Antares.” And, to Reuben, “They were strays. They can walk for days looking for a crumb of bread. If there is anyone that can walk through that field without stopping, it’s them. Antares and Aldebaran too can cover vast distances without tiring themselves. Trust me.”
The boys came back with enough flashlights for everyone. Reuben nodded. “Any help is welcome. Jill, you with us? Scott, go fetch Rufus.”
Jill took her flashlight. “Earl, you and Martin will be waiting here. We can’t have you to burden us.” Her tone admitted no replies
She was right, after all: both men were in no shape to participate in the search. Martin nodded. “Let’s take care of Grape. She’s in full nervous breakdown... Guys?” he asked to three remaining Sandwich kids. “Fill a basin with cold water, and get me a couple of towels. Oh, and also a glass and a pitcher with sugar and water. All clear?”
The boys ran to obey. Earl looked at his neighbor and friend as if he were a Martian. “How can you be so self-controlled?”
Martin gently caressed Grape’s head. “These creatures are the most beautiful things in our lives. Don’t you agree?”
Earl nodded. He could not imagine a life without Peanut and Grape, and he hated God for giving these creatures such short lives…
Martin smiled. “We must not be strong because we’re the men of the house, Earl. We must be strong just for them. Because they trust us, and we must never let them down. In this case, panic would disappoint the expectations of Grape that we’ll do anything to help Peanut. That’s why I can keep my cool, neighbor: Because panic would be of no help.”
His fur was wet.
He was cold.
He was hungry.
He was dirty with leaves and tassels.
And his cheek was hurting, burning.
But nothing was hurting him as much as the void he felt in his heart.
Peanut Butter Sandwich, he was huddled on a shapeless heap of old straw, inside a cabin. He had no idea how he got there.
He remotely noticed the smell of old wood, rusty nails, feathers... The place smelled of abandonment.
Better. This way, nobody would find him. If nobody wanted him around, he would remain there, he would die there so he could stop getting Mom and Dad so angry... “...Grape.”
Peanut tried to touch his cheek, but the inflamed wound gave him a new, painful reprimand. He wasn’t bleeding anymore, but the fur of his neck and left shoulder was encrusted with red that was rapidly becoming brown.
He felt a terrible headache, his thoughts were like whirlpools. He just couldn’t focus.
Grape had wounded him. Had she clawed him just a bit higher up, she would have gouged out his eye just like she had done with the bad dog.
Peanut was a bad dog. Very.
Why had everyone told him he was a hero, then?
He just wanted to help Rufus.
Grape didn’t love him. Perhaps she had just tolerated him, so far. Let’s be honest, in the end it was him who had cornered her into that relationship. She felt so awkward and uneasy with him, in public. She’d be better off with Maxie, yes…
Peanut’s body shivered hard for a couple of minutes. He was cold, but at the same time, he felt so hot...
His gaze focused on the hole that was once the ceiling. The sky was beautiful, clear and full of stars. There was a new moon, the stars shone in all their glory. At the farm there were no street lights and house lights to block the stars. There was an equally beautiful sky, lit by just a thin crescent moon, when he and Grape had kissed the first time. He had never forgotten that experience. The memory never failed to make him all warm and fuzzy inside...
He smiled, but again his wounded cheek reminded him that it wasn’t a good idea.
Peanut started to cry, biting his lower lip. The salty tears touched the wound, causing more pain, and more tears he shed in silence. He didn’t want to howl and whine to the sky like a puppy, nossir!
He felt so alone.
“Hello, dinner. And breakfast. And lunch.”
Peanut swallowed, trying to control himself. “Who’s there?” he asked, shifting his gaze to where the voice had come, to a portion of the ceiling that hadn’t collapsed yet.
The gleam of two eyes like obsidian preceded the appearance of a black-plumed figure. “Only me,” said the raven. “My name is Nevermore.” The bird bowed, with a wing spread as if to greet an imaginary audience. “But you can call me Never, tasty treat.”
“I am not a treat,” said Peanut, for a moment oblivious of his discomforts. “I’m a dog.”
“True. And plump, too. And sick. And tired.” The raven licked his beak with his triangular tongue. “I love self-service!”
Peanut studied the bird in silence for a moment, before returning to look up to the sky. “I hope that you won’t have long to wait.” He sniffled. “At least someone will really like me.”
The crow flew from the beam to the broken window. “Bet on it, meal. I was a bit tired of having to make do with the leftovers of those stingy barn cats. Some skin and bones are their idea of ‘banquet’ for me. My family had to leave due to food scarcity. But not me, oh no! Ol’ Never wants the cake all for himself. And what brings you here, meal?”
“I want to die,” said Peanut. “Alone.”
The bird rubbed his wings. “You’re a true friend!” Then he yawned. “Listen, do you mind if I take a nap, while I wait for you to start stinking? You know, it’s not polite to distract food from its noble intentions.” He sank his head between his wings. “‘Night.”
Watching him, even Peanut felt like sleeping.
He had no fear, now. Perhaps Rufus felt the same way. Perhaps other animals had come to die here. Looking at the stars, at peace with themselves.
Peanut wanted to do the right thing.
Leaving the others alone was definitely the right thing...
At that moment, just when his conscience was drifting into the fatal slumber, someone knocked at the door. A moment later, with a squeak of rusty hinges, and the creak of old wood, a familiar figure appeared in the doorway. “Anyone home?”
“Hey, Rufus!” Peanut sat up, tail wagging.
Nervermore awoke suddenly. Seeing his meal quite cheerful and lively, the raven decided that go back from where he had come. He flew back to the beam. His eyes flickered one last time, while he perched and disappeared in the shadows...
Peanut smiled... “Ouch! I’m sorry, but my face hurts.”
Rufus examined the four deep parallel cuts. “I believe it, son. Heh, nothing says ‘I love you’ like a good scratch from a beautiful cat.” He sat down next to the younger dog. “Now, boy, what’s with the long face”
“She hates me. And she’s right, I am a stupid dog!” Peanut pressed his fists against his temples. His head hurt so much...
Rufus put his hand on the other’s shoulder. “Then I am happy that you are.”
Reuben’s dog showed him a reassuring smile. “Well, you’re the first city pet to actually care so much for me. Reuben had many visitors over the years. I met so many nice people and pets, but not one of them wanted to help me like you are trying to do. Peanut, I really appreciate that you want me to live a peaceful old age.”
*Sniff!* “Thank you, Rufus!” And he hugged him tight. He needed so much for someone to appreciate his gesture.
A few minutes later, Rufus broke away from the younger dog. Both lay on the dry straw, staring at the sky. “Peanut?”
“You know how old I am?”
“I dunno. How old?”
Peanut stared. “Wow.”
“I’ve lived a long and happy life, Peanut.”
Peanut turned his head to him. Why was he talking like that now?
“I had everything that an ol’ country dog could have. I don’t miss the luxuries of you city pets. And I don’t want to end my days dragging myself from the couch to the lawn and back, too weak to chew, blind, incontinent...” Rufus sighed. “I want to do like those who have preceded me. I want to watch a bright sky, under the stars of the Praesepe.” He pointed to the cluster of stars that shone above them. “Surrounded by the love of my friends, knowing I have done everything I could. No regrets, no fading memories of my lost years… But you can’t understand that, Peanut. Not yet, fortunately.”
Peanut swallowed. “Why?”
“Because you’re young. You have a long and interesting life ahead, surrounded by the love of your parents and of Grape, supported by friends, and the certainty that Mr. Foster will make sure you aren’t missing anything.” Rufus turned his head toward him. “You’re a lucky dog, Peanut. Don’t throw it all away for a difficult moment. You’ll see, when you get to my age you’ll remember this talk and laugh about the fears that are gnawing at you now.”
Peanut’s wound told the younger dog Rufus was wrong. “If Grape loves me, why did she hurt me? I-I couldn’t even imagine doing such a thing to her. I just wanted to help her...” He wanted to cry, but he felt too exhausted even for that...
Rufus chuckled. “Oh, so you think she hates you? Let’s see, do you remember what you did your first night together, there on the roof?”
Peanut remembered. His mind, so in need for comfort, found that memory like he had found a warm blanket. He wrapped himself into it and the cabin and Rufus disappeared…
It was again that summer night, a year ago. He and Grape had spent hours studying the constellations – that is, he had explained them to her one by one, until he got a hoarse voice. Then they had kissed again. Their first, clumsy attempts at this new game, but Peanut and Grape felt like the King and Queen of the world. They were happy. They were together.
Then, cuddling, they had fallen asleep on the roof. Dawn had come soon after, and Peanut had awakened in time to see her already awake, watching over him with all the love that she could silently express…
Peanut sighed while the cold reality was creeping back around him.
“Not a bad memory, I’d say,” said Rufus. “Hmm, let’s see... Then there is the hospital. They told me that you were in a coma for a week, right?”
Peanut nodded.
“And what did she do, then?”
“She slept at my side.” When he was embarrassed, Peanut touched the tips of his fingers, tapping his claws. Like now.
“Mm-hm.” Rufus showed him that ‘can’t-fool me’ smile. “The whole week or just a day or two?”
“…Whole.” He still remember how the smell of the clinic had permeated her fur, how she had neglected her appearance to be near him, getting thinner day by day, barely eating, just to stay with him...
“Mm-hm. She must really hate you, eh? Bad, Grape, bad!” Then Rufus laughed, a merry laugh, which warmed Peanut’s heart.
The young dog tried to laugh too, but he was forced to use half of his face, and sounded like a funny zombie.
“Have you ever been scared, Peanut?” Rufus asked, suddenly serious.
“Um, sure.” The BIG mean dog. If he focused enough, Peanut could see her even now, lurking in a dark corner, red eyes and that hungry smile... She was dead, but Peanut remembered her all too well, remembered her awful taste when he had bitten her. Her voice, the first evil sound he had ever heard…
Rufus nodded. “Imagine the greatest fear of all, Peanut. A fear so powerful and terrible, a fear that will never leave you. Ready to gnaw at you at the slightest opportunity, to transform your thoughts into a stinking, rotting mess.”
Peanut wrinkled his nose as if he could smell such a thing. “That must be a terrible fear.”
Rufus sat up. He was very serious when he said, “That is the fear that dwells in the heart and soul of Grape, Peanut. And you know it. She turns to you because you are her comfort. Today, when your Dad went mad, that fear came back and told her she’d go back on the street, a stray with no future and hope, alone and loveless. A fear that told her it was your fault – She wasn’t being rational when she hit you, Peanut. It wasn’t hatred that unsheathed her claws. She would’ve hit anyone, and you were just unlucky enough to be within range at that moment... Peanut?”
Peanut also had sat up on his elbows. “Yeah?”
“They all love you, and they’re worried to death for you. All of them. They’re looking far and wide for you, and I think you’ve lost too much time just standing here.”
“How did you find me?”
Rufus looked down, blushing. “Heh. Let’s just say this is a quiet corner for romantic dates.” He gave a pat on the pile of straw. “If this stuff could talk...”
Peanut too felt himself blushing... No, it wasn’t by embarrassment. It was the fever, it was really taking a toll, now. “Rufus, I don’t feel very well...”
The old dog nodded. He took Peanut under his arms and helped him stand up. “I know. It’s the infection, we’ve waited too long. My bad, for wasting time chatting like some ol’ gossip. At least – you’re heavy for such a skinny-looking dog, you know? – I hope I was of help.” He helped Peanut walk toward the door. “You know, it was a pleasure to chat with you, city boy. We should do it again. But first you gotta reunite with your family and get yourself patched up.”
Peanut was barely conscious. He felt so light…
“And always remember one thing,” Rufus smiled through the mist wrapping Peanut’s conscience. “When you have a problem with Grape, tell her you love her and then hand her a dead chicken. It always works.”
“Heh. I’ll remember.”
They arrived on the doorstep. “Can you do me one last favor, city boy?” Asked Rufus.
“Prove to me that you really understood what I said. Draw in a deep breath and call them. They’re out there, and they’ll run to you. I am a bit too far over the hill to drag your sorry tail all the way home.”
Peanut nodded. “Of course, Rufy... Hey, I thought only Tarot could do the eyes thing.”
The Reuben dog nodded, while his eyes shone with an intense emerald light... Peanut had so many other things to ask him, but for now he better do what he’d been told…

The howl was like a jolt, for Antares and Aldebaran, who ran as strong as ever. Antares called through the headset attached to his collar. “We found him, Aunt Jill! The abandoned cabin! Hurry up!”
Soon after, in the distance, the beams of Martin’s Maserati headlights turned in the direction indicated. The roar of the engine of the vehicle driven by Jill was approaching fast.
Antares was the first to reach what was left of an old structure that barely had the walls and the skeleton of the roof. Peanut was supporting himself on what was left of the door beams. “...I am here...” he repeated, a moment before collapsing into the arms of the big black dog.
“Hey, little brother,” Aldebaran said, raising the body and licking some blood off the wound. “Brace up, we’re gonna take care of you, okay?”
“It ‘s just a scratch, not the end of the world,” said Antares.
“Rufus...” Peanut said, in a faint voice. “Thanks.” And then he lost consciousness.
Antares and Aldebaran exchanged a puzzled look. They attributed those words to the fever, after all, the poor guy was hot like a furnace.
There was nobody in sight, but a raven perched on a beam...
In that exact moment, Mary Ellen gave one last caress to the snout of her dearest and oldest friend.
Clarabelle and Betty Lou gave a last kiss on the face of Rufus, whose generous heart had finally decided to stop. Just like he had wanted, under a bright sky, surrounded by the love of his friends, the culmination of a life well lived. In his last breath, he had smiled.
The cats stood there, kneeling around him, purring.
“And you shall have everything a dog could ask for,” said Mary Ellen, chanting like a lullaby.
“Open fields, the best food, the best toys,” Clarabelle continued.
“Clear skies, and a home of your own,” Betty Lou concluded. “Be happy, up there, and thanks for everything, luv.”



Last edited by valerio on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

Fri May 06, 2011 5:42 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
all i have to say is awww the ending was great I almost cried

so pie is free but cake is not?

Fri May 06, 2011 7:41 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
...Excuse me for a moment.

*sobs in a corner*

Fri May 06, 2011 9:27 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Awww that was really sweet and sad. I'm glad I finally caught up, was nice to read it all in one go, great way to start the morning. :mrgreen:


Fri May 06, 2011 11:24 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Season I
Episode 13 - Meanwhile, at home ...
Written by VALERIO (Later revised by OBBL)

Foster Mansion, Babylon Gardens, 10:00 am

The last time Bino had shown such an expression, it was after the success of the Good Ol’ Dogs Club annual Easter Egg Hunt.
The grin of a very happy dog, full of teeth, green eyes strangely similar to those of a dinosaur after a good meal.
It was disturbing.
“Gentledogs, we have the keys to the Kingdom!” Bino said, rubbing his paws.
There were six of them: Him, founder and President of the Club, Fido the police dog, his older brother and co-founder (as Bino never ceased to remark), Sasha, Bino’s girlfriend and Fido’s housemate. Fox, Rex and King. Actually, the Corgi had not been invited by Bino, but Martin Foster, the owner of the mansion and its surrounding park, the second richest resident of Babylon Gardens (well, seventh richest resident, considering the Milton Ferrets were six), had made it a condition that King was present during the period Martin, his pets and the whole Sandwich family were on vacation at Reuben’s farm.
These dogs had been bestowed a simple task: to guard the house. At least, that was the official reason, since the place had a security system worthy of Fort Knox.
In fact, Martin hated that his house was empty, and if he had to ‘lend’ it to someone, better be pets. And Bino, with all his faults, was a good organizer and knew how to keep his pack in line. The damage would be somewhat limited.
“When will you gather your divisionen, mein Fuehrer?” asked King.
“Oh, hardy har!” Bino said. “Anyway, the meetings start tomorrow. Today we mark the territory... so to speak,” he added quickly at Fido’s warning stare. “Well, troops: ahoy! Last one there’s a cat!” And with those words, Bino dashed forward like a cheetah!
The pack followed with excited barking. Fido, of course, despite the surprise, was quick to cover the gap with his brother – after all, he had been specifically trained for such situations.
Bino multiplied his efforts, but he knew he was losing ground. He didn’t keep his eyes off Fido, who did the same. Everything would be decided at the photo finish! Now the front door was near–
“Watch it, snails!” thundered Rex. The Bulldog didn’t even wait for the other two dogs to make way. He came upon them like a charging bull, and all three ended up digging a furrow in the gravel along the driveway to the porch...
Where Fox and King were waiting for them! Fox was panting like a bellows, but also sporting a big smile. King climbed down from the shoulders of his husky friend… “Gypped!”
A drop of saliva fell from Fox’s tongue and onto Bino’s snout. Bino cleaned himself. “How the heck did you get here first? And with this heat, too!”
Fox helped Bino to his feet. “Every Christmas, when Dad takes me to his relatives, I join my cousin in a sled dogs race. You know...” he indicated himself with his paws, “Husky? King is a feather, compared to a fully packed sled with a musher. His weight is barely training. Who’s the cat, by the way?”
“Meow!” said Sasha, merrily, raising her brown-colored paw.
“Right...” Bino muttered, while entering Foster house. The temperature difference was pleasantly noticeable. “Hmm, air conditioning. The last one in close the door, Martin forbade us to waste power.”
Sasha did as she was told. The automatic lock closed, and the electronic panel attached to it lit up.
A moment later, steel panels came down to cover all windows! Foster Mansion fell into total darkness, for a moment, then the lights came on.
The other dogs looked around nervously. Bino sneered at them. “Tss, here they are, my lost puppies. Just relax, the house is in antipanic mode, Martin forewarned me.” He omitted that the man had told him to warn the others as well… “Martin gave me the code to disarm the system.” He put his hand in his collar, to extract his wallet. Martin asked him to give a copy of the code to Fox, at least… “What would you do, without me—” And then he froze. Completely, just like a deer paralyzed by the headlights of a truck launched at full speed. The pupils in his eyes almost disappeared.
“Bino...” asked Fox. “What’s wrong?”
Bino swallowed loudly. “Ah, Fox... You know that in summertime I put my collar in the washing machine at least once a week, right?”
“And of course I empty my collar for such an occasion, right?”
“Yes?” Now the dogs were forming a tight circle around their no-so-much-leader.
Bino tried a desperate smile. “And that this time I could’ve forgotten just a teensy weensy bit... to put the wallet back in the collar?”
A wallet that, in that precise moment, was the object of a throwing game between two cats. A black, aquamarine-eyed male. The other a blue-eyed russet striped tabby
“Do you think he’ll make the connection?” asked the second cat, throwing the prey to his friend.
“Nah,” said Maxwell, the tongue sticking out. “He’ll think he forgott it on the table. To avoid being hunted down to Mexico, it will suffice to put it back where we got it.”
Felix grinned. “Some exercise will do you good, man, you’re growing a bit of pot down there.”
Max pinched my belly. “Not true,” he muttered.
“Anyway, new friend of Peanut or not, this was totally worth it, since Princess asked us this favor.” Grape, or Princess Periwinkle, had a long score to settle with Bino, for all the mischief he had caused to Peanut. And her fellow Musketeer’s suggestions were proving quite creative…
Max launched the wallet to Felix. “Fetch!”
In a sense, he was obeyed.
But it wasn’t the red cat, Grape’s old friend since before she came to live in Babylon Gardens, to get the wallet, but a big Alaskan Malamute! The dog landed between the two cats with his prey held in his mouth and a big smile on his lips. He wagged its tail.
“Oh, no, Lucky...” Felix said, standing up. He knew that mischievous look all too well: After all, Lucky was a member of the gang of the Three Musketeers (Four, since the day Peanut had joined). “Lucky, don’t you dare...”
The dog giggled and took two steps back.
Max approached him from behind, as silent as a shadow.
Except that Lucky was used to Princess’ stalking. He knew what was coming, and when.
In fact, when the two cats jumped on the malamute, he dodged and rolled away to the side. Max and Felix wrecked against each other in a humiliating heap of bones and furs.
“Can’t get me, nyahh!” Lucky barked, waving Bino’s wallet, and then gave them a Japanese raspberry. Then he turned and slapped his butt! “Come on, lazy cats! Heeere, kitty kitty kitty!”
“I’m gonna kill him!” Felix growled, getting up.
“I’m gonna kill him first,” Max growled, double-time offended for being laughed at by a dog!
Both felines dashed at Lucky the moment he ran for the woods.
“That is to say that we are prisoners, here!?” King snarled. “Congratulations, fearless President! And what’s your next move?”
Bino was standing in front of the panel lock. The display read ‘-0d 5h 40m 32s’ and the countdown continued. Just relax, man! But however hard he tried, he just could not remember the code to disarm that stuff. “It was a date,” he mumbled to himself. He was positive, but which one?
The dogs behind him kept looking over his shoulders. “His birthday?” suggested Rex.
“We must remember to throw a party with a BIG pie!” interjected Sasha.
“I say it’s the day he moved here,” Fox tried.
“I say it’s the date when I went to live with Fido,” offered Sasha. She sighed. “Uncle Martini is so romantic!”
That didn’t help Bino to focus. “It’s the date when he adopted his pets, idiots,” Bino snapped. He was proud he had remembered that… Too bad he still didn’t know which date was!
“You don’t need to be rude to her,” Fido warned him. “Didn’t Mr. Foster suggest an alternative code, any instruction for such emergencies? This device should allow one to contact the police at the touch of a button…” He reached out to study that panel, but Bino slapped his paw.
“Do you mind?” growled the Club’s President. “Of course he told me how to bypass the system! There is a command that opens the door and keeps it open for a few minutes. Just press this!” And without hesitation, Bino pressed the button ‘Reset’.
The panel gave a short wail. Then the display marked the new countdown: ‘-0d 23h 59m 59s’
Bino facepawlmed. “Why me?” He whined.
King would have bitten his ankle, had it not been that he was afraid of getting a dirty mouth. “Please tell me that someone else knows we are here, human or pet.”
Fido looked at one of the closed windows. “My K9U colleagues know I’m here. When they see I’m not returning, they’ll send someone. They have the codes to disarm the system.”
“Yay!” said Sasha. Then, a question mark appeared on her head. “And when will they come looking for us, Fidey?”
Fido put his paw behind his head. “Ah, my shift starts… tonight? And until then, they usually leave me alone.”
“I hate you,” King said to Bino. “Thanks to you, we’ll be spending the whole day all alone, in this place with air conditioning, big soft beds, TVs, DVDs, music, computers, books, comic books, gym with swimming pool, food to feed an army—” It was at that moment that the Corgi realized what he was saying.
The dogs looked at each other for a looooong moment.
“And what’s the problem?” asked Fox, eventually, sporting a predatory grin.
“Lucky! Curse you, stop!” Instead, it was Felix to stop, bent over, hands against his trembling thighs. And that winter-designed lug was there, at a safe distance, still as lively as if it was a cool autumn day...
Speaking of cool, judging by those clouds in the sky, a respectable downpour was approaching.
Max still had the breath to run after Lucky, but despite his earlier promise, he couldn’t harm that canine, not if he wanted to live. There were two dogs Grape cared for in the world. One was Peanut, the other was this guy who had recently emerged from her past. Her first housemate. “Maybe I can’t kill you, boyo, but I still can inflict mucho pain, without leaving a visible mark. Try me.”
The dog took the wallet out of his mouth. “Okay, you got me there, buddy. You fetch!” Then, with a casual gesture, he let the wallet fall into the park’s lake.
Max saw his life flash before his eyes. If the contents of that wallet were ruined, Bino would skin him alive and serve him at the Club’s next meeting with an apple in his mouth!
“Hop!” Leaning to one side, Lucky grabbed the wallet before it touched the water... But ended up falling on his butt in the water.
Joy, another life lost! poor Max thought. At that point, he jumped forward on all fours. “You won’t get away this time, you mangy...”
Instead, Lucky stood up, put his wallet in his mouth and ran away. The chase went on for a while, and ended at the beginning of the grove on the east side of the estate. There, Maxwell found his wallet abandoned on the ground.
The cat sheathed his claws. He looked around, ears moving like radar dishes, but didn’t notice or perceive any sign of threat. “He must have figured out that he better not mess with me,” he said, catching his breath. He quickly examined the wallet’s contents, finding everything in its place, lock codes included.
Looking around once again, Max thought that maybe he could take a nap, before joining Felix. Hmm, it was pleasantly cool, with all the shade from the vegetation, and the smell of the tree was intoxicating. To think that once this was a wild area where pets weren’t allowed to go… And the public park didn’t have a grove like this. The last ‘hideout’ had been thinned down, after those stupid PETA guys managed to kidnap Fox. And there were cameras everywhere, a guy couldn’t have a romantic moment! They weren’t human babies, for Pete’s sake! Maxwell was sure he could’ve conquered Grape’s heart if they could’ve had a date in his now gone favorite tree corner…
The black cat facepawlmed. I really need to get rid of that train of thoughts! But how could he? That purple queen had really gotten a piece of his soul, a feat no female had managed with him, the latin lover of Babylon Gardens!
Max sighed as he put the wallet inside his collar. Instinctively, he flexed his claws, while looking at the trees. Maybe just a scratch. To relax, that’s all, it won’t kill any of these beauties... Yes, those trunks begged to be marked by his claws!
“Hm, I know that look,” said a female voice. A very familiar one. Max’s ears pricked up like antennae.
“Someone is pondering a prank,” said the figure hidden in the shadows of the trees. Strips of light shone on a white muzzle with thin whiskers and a pair of steel-gray eyes.
Max stared. “Selene..?”
The cat emerged from the shadows, a figure of pure white on the front half of the body, black as night on the back half, head to toe. “Long time no see, alley cat. What’s a respectable girl got to do, to get a date?”
“Guh...” It was hard to leave Max that way, speechless and thoughtless. Except when Grape had told him she was a female. He had thought he had died and gone to heaven, then.
Before Grape, there had been Selene. Top Queen, President of the Schrodinger Circle, pure elite. The other top males were to her but walking dispensers of genetic material.
Max was the only one who could boast of having brought some spice in Selene’s life.
Unfortunately, the social rules ended up pulling their weight on their clandestine relationship. Selene had to choose her world, and leave Max free to explore new possibilities. To put it politely.
And now that he was alone again... She had come back to him.
It was not so bad after all, this Karma thing!
Max showed off his best conquistador grin. The sun was reflected on his teeth, making them dazzling. “I would never have started without you, my darling.”
The cats walked to each other until they could hold paws. “Who knows how many poor, heartbroken girls, heard you pronounce this sweet poison, plebeian scoundrel.”
“You can repeat that as many times as you want, my dear. Nothing that comes out of your lips can stop the prancing steeds in my heart and soul.”
“So you still remember the words we shared during our first date,” Selene said. “This deserves a second chance,” she then whispered bringing her lips to those of Max “Want to see if you’re right..?”
And maybe it’s better to quietly move our gaze away, at this point.
“Ready?” Asked the fur ball that was King.
“Ready,” Fox said, holding his best friend as if he was a large basketball.
“A good one.”
“A good one… Hop!” Fox launched King into the pool!
“CANNONBALL!” Howled the corgi, before splashing down. The impact caused a small tidal wave. Bino, who was lying on a bed, intent on sipping a glass of barley water, found himself completely drenched!
“WhatheFUR!” The hound growled, dripping from head to toe. He sat up. “King! You miserable… You’re gonna pay for this!”
“It’s funny, actually,” said Sasha. “WEEE!” And, holding two fingers on her nose, splashed into the water in turn. Drenching him again.
Muttering curses worthy of an old longshoreman, Bino took the bed and moved toward the solarium. The heat and light produced by the mirrors conduit would dried him up in no time and fill his fur with vitamins.
“Hey, Fido!” Rex said, intent on playing ball with Fox, who had joined the others. “Where are you going?”
The police dog was leaving the pool. Once outside, he went on all fours and shook several times. His head fur tuft had become a shaggy mass. Then he stood up and looked at the collars lying on the hangers, deciding not to put his on, after all there was no hurry to leave the pool. “I’m going to the kitchen, I’ll fix myself some apple and carrot juice. You guys want something?”
“Nah, go ahead,” said the bulldog.
Fido nodded. Luckily, there was enough food in that place to keep them stuffed for months! And Martin would’ve pardoned them even if they raided the pantry down to the last crumb – however, he wouldn’t have allowed them to get all unruly to the point of—
Lost in those thought, Fido hadn’t noticed the person in front of him – or, rather, he noticed her when they collided. *Huff!* “I’m sorry… friend?” When he saw who it was, he was definitely shocked, unable at the moment even to pronounce the name of...
“Sabrina,” said Sasha from the pool, waving her arm. “Hi there!”
“Uh, err...” Fido didn’t know what to say. Actually, thinking about it, it was the very first time he had stood so close to her in front of the other guys. It made him feel all weird inside. “Hello. When did you get here?” He stuttered. The door and windows were still closed, so the black cat in front of him had to have been there already, waiting for them. Or for him?
She was looking at him with that cute smile she had back when he had just come back from the Academy, to find her waiting for him in his own room. Fido felt like blushing. Why was she here? Perhaps she hoped to find a quiet corner to cuddle together in that building? Or in the park..? Did she need to tell him something urgent? Or—
Without taking her yellow eyes from Fido’s green ones, Sabrina grabbed him by his shoulders.
Any thought in the mind of the police dog dissolved like a planet hit by the shockwave of a supernova in the moment that, before his best friends’ eyes, Sabrina kissed him passionately!


Last edited by valerio on Sun May 08, 2011 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri May 06, 2011 2:07 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
So much love and happiness in this update. Really picks you up after the last few.Thanks, Valerio! :D

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Fri May 06, 2011 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Foster Mansion Park, Babylon Gardens. 11am

Portrait of happy cats: Maxwell, a black feline with a well-deserved reputation of being the neighborhood’s scoundrel, and, laying in his arms, the most beautiful feline female of Babylon Gardens. Both protected from prying eyes by the thick grove with its shadows.
A butterfly perched on the tip of Max’s tail. Selene chuckled.
“Penny for your thoughts, my darling?” He asked, stroking her face. Her fur was pure silk, just as he remembered. Hmm, he had missed those moments...
“Oh, just a shattered stereotype.” Selene kissed the tip of his nose. “Say, did you want to leave me to die of old age before at least visiting me?”
Max had the decency to blush. “Well, I remembered you had chosen your pampered life over ourselves.”
“Not that you insisted, right?” Her tail stroked his leg.
“Your honor, the clues speak of the end of a relationship marked by the wrong star,” Max said, quoting an episode of ‘Doc & Smith’.
Selene sat up, leaning against the tree. “So the sentence should be rewritten. Let justice triumph.”
Even Max sat up. “What happened to the lady who wanted to return to her golden roots?”
“She got bored,” she said, stroking his throat with a finger.
Maxwell purred loudly. “Then you turned to the right alley cat. I really missed you.”
“You too. But tell me, are you sure it’s over with Grape?”
Max put a hand on his chest. With a solemn expression, he said. “Cross my heart, my darling.” Then he turned to the sky as if he had just been stabbed, then fell into the Selene’s lap. “She chose a vile mutt to my style and my charm. Be understanding as I remember, give back a bit of dignity to your unworthy servant!”
The cat seemed to think it over, looking at the thick branches. “Hmmm, I don’t really know, Maxwell. You have so much to be forgiven for: First that weird Sabrina, then a tomcat such as… Grape Jelly Sandwich. Talk about lowering your standards!”
“Hey,” he said, passing a finger on her nose, “You know I like playing with fire. And that purple tomcat was fire. Too bad she swings the wrong species.”
“Good for me, alley cat.”
Max drew his smile full of white teeth. “So, I’m still your favorite pastime?”
“The only one,” she said, reaching to kiss him again.

“Daww, so cute!” said Lucky, doing a mawkish expression with two Bambi-big eyes. A weird sight, considering that the big guy had learned the hard way to defend himself on the street. “Princess will be so proud of us!”
The red tabby by the name of Felix nodded. Grape’s plan was working in full: Get Max a girlfriend, and spoil Bino’s day for all the times the ringleader of BG’s dogs had offended the poor Peanut.
A plan that, as far as Bino was concerned, hadn’t quite succeeded.
Six hot and bored dogs, locked in the most luxurious building of the Gardens, with air conditioning, food enough to last a month, all forms of multimedia entertainment, pool and gym. And, above all, all the day for themselves, before someone decided to come look for them. The house was sealed. Only the police could open it, tonight, when they’d come searching for Fido. If someone got hurt, there was even a generously provided pharmacy, and Rex, as the dog of a doctor, had some basic knowledge of emergency veterinarian medicine.
It was paradise.
And one of his angels had just fallen.
At least that was the recurring thought, which had swallowed up all others, like a black hole, in the mind of Fido.
But it was a fall that he wanted to last forever, while he exchanged his longest and most tender kiss with his beloved girlfriend.
With Sabrina, the cat.
In front of Bino, Fox, Rex, King and Sasha.
A pack of dogs completely speechless with astonishment. Apart Bino, they were all in the pool, too surprised to get out. They stood there, floating like so many corks. If there had been a fly, it would’ve been the loudest animal in the gym.
When Sabrina eventually pulled her lips from those of Fido, he saw that, in her golden eyes, all those terrible and negative emotions that had loomed like ominous presences over their relationship, a relationship too long kept hidden from the world, had disappeared.
Sabrina had conquered her fears. Now there was only her love for him. And Fido, his heart beating like a jackhammer, his mouth ajar in a slight pant, knew what to do in turn. He simply owed her, for taking this step. Although a part of him screamed this was a tragic mistake, he simply ignored it.
He loved her, and if there had been a mistake so far, it was bending to the ‘social rules’. This wasn’t about his job, that had been a pathetic excuse. This was about something he should’ve done without caving in to other people’s judgment. Peanut and Grape had proven an interspecies relationship could be a taboo, not the end of the world.
And Fido loved Sabrina, and the heck with the world!
Still panting, the police dog gave his black-furred mate a reassuring smile. He wrapped her waist with one arm, and turned to the pool. “Folks, well, as you may realize, this gal is my long time girlfriend. I apologize for keeping it hidden from you.”
King was the first to move. He went up a ladder and left the pool. He went on all 4s and shook vigorously. “Apologize for what? After seeing those two, Peanut and Grape, at the concert, you act like two awkward nuns. And now excuse me, but I feel like fixing a sandwich.” And he headed toward the kitchen, leaving behind himself a trail of droplets.
One by one, the others came out and shook. Now the gym smelled strongly of wet dogs.
Fox and Rex walked to the couple. They showed an implacable gaze. Sasha looked just undecided on what to say, she had idolized Fido as the top dog of the neighborhood. Fido, the embodied male dream of all the lady dogs. Fido, for whom Sasha wrote the sign, ‘I want your puppies!’
Fido looked at Bino. He knew that his brother was about to enjoy this moment like the finest food ever. In fact, Bino was almost licking his lips in anticipation: he must have prepared some speech, with the quality of indignant Founder and President of the Good Ol’ Dogs Club!
Fido decided he’d let him go at it: after all, Bino had always known, and at least he had respected the privacy of his older brother, waiting for the downfall. Fido owed him that much, he’d stand whatever they’d throw at him. He felt… better, as if a heavy weight had been removed from his soul. Now he could face any trial, knowing Sabrina would be with him every moment, not just when his schedule allowed them…
When Fox and Rex were close enough to the couple to start a brawl, their expressions still stern, Sabrina was ready to teach them a lesson or two about what a psychic cat could do. She actually felt surprised that she had taken so long to do this. It was comprehensible that Fido was scared for his career, but she knew he had taken this path by his own will, since he had come to her window, that night, playing ‘Quoth the Raven’, stealing her heart with his honesty, his handsome features, his generosity. Fido had been a dedicated mate, and she had been patient with him. He needed time, and she would’ve done this all again, down to the last second, if it meant hearing him say in front of his best friends, ‘This is my girlfriend’!
The moment of truth had come: Cat and dog would have faced it with dignity, stiff upper lip and all that stuff. Together.
“CONGRATULATIONS!” Exclaimed the two dogs with one voice.
Fox gave a playful jab to Fido’s chest. Rex rubbed his fist on his head fur. Then they both exchanged turns in crushing his ribs with a big hug.
Fido was out of breath, speechless, and... perplexed by that reaction. Bino’s jaw had fallen to the ground like a ripe fruit. His eyes too threatened to fall like marble balls.
“About time you decided to tell us, naughty doggie!” Fox said, shaking his arm, grinning like a wolf. “I was afraid we would have to grow old before you showed your girlfriend!”
“A wonderful choice,” said Rex. Then he took Sabrina’s paw and shook it so vigorously that she nearly lost her collar. “You know, I’m your biggest fan, lady.”
“Oh, really?” She said, rubbing her paw, especially to make sure that it was still attached to her wrist.
The bulldog blushed slightly. “I’ve been to every Yarn Ball, just to hear you sing. You have an angelic voice. Fido is lucky to have someone like you.”
“And you’re lucky to have a tough cookie like Fido at your side!” Fox added, and winked at his friend.
“So you also knew?” Fido felt his head spinning. All that time spent worrying for his ‘secret’, all that time wasted for his own fears, while he could’ve confided in them… He didn’t know how idiotic one could feel!
“Well,” said Fox, tipping at his nose in a mock casual gesture. “Sometimes you really smelled like her, but I would say that the final clue was...” The husky rubbed his chin as if reflecting, when it was obvious that he was just pretending to. In fact, a moment later he snapped his fingers. “Ah, yes! When I heard of your ‘illicit interspecies relationship’, as Spo had called it.”
Fido was even more perplexed. “It was that time you got me by surprise…” he was arguing with Spo, since the nosy mouse had brought up the subject of Sabrina. Fido had really lost his cool, then, and was threatening Spo into secrecy, when Fox had cleared his throat, making him feel like dying! “But you said that you had only arrived in time to hear the end of what we were saying. Right..?”
Fox shook his head. His smile was more like an expression of resignation. “Fido, Fido, Fido... We’ve known since we were pups. You and Bino have been with me every day and every night, for those two months of depression I suffered after the death of Felicia, I have no better friend than you two and King. I think someone even suggested that I was your mystery girlfriend... and you actually thought that I’d have ill-judged you because you have a relationship with a cat? Or worse, that I would have compromised your career in the name of a pathetic prejudice?”
Exactly like Peanut did when he was nervous, Fido tapped his fingers together, turning his eyes away so as not to meet Fox’s blue eye. “Um... yes..?”
Fox slapped Fido, with enough force to turn his head 90°!
Then Rex did the same, turning his head back toward the husky.
Sabrina said nothing. Fido felt as if the bells of Notre-Dame had decided to join in a Christmas concert inside his brains, and his teeth were threatening to fall. “Ow.”
“That was from me,” said Fox, sternly, “because you have offended me, mutt: I kept your secret safe in the name of our friendship and to respect your privacy, and now I discover that you were afraid of me? As if I was a potential enemy? Heck, do I call myself Bino?”
“Hey!” Bino said. “Look, I’m still here, okay?”
“That was from me,” said Rex, before Fido could reply, “because you didn’t trust us. You’re a good dog, you’re a model, you’ll always be there for us, adults and pups, and the first to criticize you because you love Sabrina, I’ll break his back. Got it?” And to emphasize the concept, he popped his knuckles with a machine gun-like sound.
“But... but...” Bino stuttered, addressing his two most trusted friends. “Fox? Rex? What about the times we picked on Peanut because he likes cats? The cat tail drawing, remember?” Back then, Peanut had showed Bino and the others a drawing of a dog with a cat tail. Before Bino decided to expel him from the GOD club on the ‘no catlovers admitted’ rule, he had asked Rex and Fox an opinion, and their contempt was most definitely clear! Also, Fox had not spared the acid, when Peanut had tried to convince his peers to try to read through those Pridelands books.
Fox gave Bino a look cold enough to freeze boiling magma. “Bino, with all due respect, you’re the Club’s President, Fido’s brother, and you are a skilled organizer. Your rants are funny to listen to, and we would ignore them if it wasn’t for the fact that you’re not a bad dog. A true jerk, sometimes, but a good guy at heart.
“But we never conspired against Peanut and Grape as a couple, and everyone with a good eye knew those two poor guys were doing their best to hide their feelings for each other, in public. And we respect that you have respected Fido’s privacy, although hoping we’d bark him up a tree for it. But let it be clear that we do not share your point of view on interspecies relationships. So, I fervently hope you won’t start to gather the extremists for some humiliating plan, or you’ll have to pass over our dead bodies, Bino. I am your friend, and believe it or not I am proud of it. Don’t let me become your enemy.”
Fido placed his paws on the Fox and Rex’s shoulders “That’s enough, boys, Bino is smart and I think he got the message.” Then he went to his younger brother, who still looked as if he had just discovered he had landed on an alien planet.
And Fido hugged Bino. He did it putting all his heart in it. “Thank you for your help, bro. Between us, you have shown real guts. You showed respect and love. And your speech to Peanut, back at the hospital, proved you’re a good leader as well. Whatever happens, I’ll be by your side, Okay?”
Bino nodded, and hugged him back, although tentatively. “Hey, I should be saying that. What would you do without the ringleader, ol’ glory sponge?”
“I couldn’t play Scrabble, for example, right now.” At Bino’s puzzled expression, he said, “Sabrina is just great, she could teach a class with the words she comes up with. So, wanna join us? We’ll let you use words from the ‘Doc & Smith’ slang, if you want.”
Bino scoffed. “Tss, I could easily win even without your generous concession. A cat can’t beat me, it’s in the swing of things.”
Fox nudged Bino. “Except Grape. She can beat you up pretty badly.” That caused a general laughter, except for a blushing Bino, who whispered, “I hate you.”
Then, Fido saw that Sabrina was rubbing her temple, with the expression of someone who got a sudden and powerful headache. He put his paws on her shoulders, massaging as she liked it. “Hey, beautiful.” He gave her a kiss behind her neck, causing her to purr. “Something I can help heal?”
“You two lovebirds will make me barf rainbows” Bino said while drying himself with a towel. Fox and Rex, who were doing the same, whipped his butt with them. “Yowlp!”
Fido had uttered that phrase the first time they had a date, as a couple. Sabrina was so excited and so scared at the same time, it seemed that she was physically ill. All evening, she had barely spoken a word, until he had said ‘Something I can help heal?’ And then she had started talking, feeling much better, at the end...
This time, the black cat shook her head slowly. “The weather, love. I believe that a storm is coming.”
A moment later, all animals stared at the ceiling, while the echo of thunder reverberated along the walls.

The microwave emitted a merry ding.
King opened the door, inhaling deeply. “God bless you, Martin big brother,” he said in ecstasy, and pulled out the vegetarian TV Dinner.
Because of family financial hardship, Joel and Martin had to (not so) occasionally feed on offal and vegetable waste from the supermarket. Then, when Helias, Honcho and Ringo had entered into their lives, old man Robinson had been straight: no money from him to feed those extra mouths. So Joel and Martin had given their pets part of their food, learning to appreciate even the leftovers Martin would get from the cheap restaurants he worked in.
Joel had learned to appreciate the value of a good meal, whatever its form. For this reason, now that he was a dog in all respects, he didn’t protest too much when ‘master’ Pete served him kibble.
Luckily, Martin too wanted to spare his pets all kind of low-quality food, so he shared real food with his furry family. Which meant that King hit jackpot wherever he walked into that kitchen. And even microwaved food beat the trash of his younger days…
King took the plastic cutlery. He took a potato, dipped it in sauce and raised it to his mouth. Chewing, he wondered vaguely what it would be like to be a dog for the rest of his life. Pete had spoken about such a possibility, but was it really a sentence?
Joel Zechariah Robinson had no friends. The law still was after him. Even if Martin could bail him out from the accusation of kidnapping Fox, an act for which King kept beating himself up, there was his escape from prison to pay for… And King had the impression that the judge wouldn’t believe that a man had been bailed out by a Griffin’s magic. Nope.
But after serving, he could go back to his brother and his family. Martin had made it clear that he would welcome Joel with open arms. He could start a new life...
But he would lose Fox. He would lose his first best friend ever. Fox didn’t love him out of gratitude for being rescued, or for blood bonds. Fox was a nice guy, he had accepted this new guy in the neighborhood without raising a question, he had been patient with King’s antics, giving him time to cool off. He made petty things special, such as tussling, fighting over a squeaky bone, talking about the most random subject or just doing nothing.
Fox was a dog, and King felt an immense love for him, felt ashamed to no end for making him suffer, and in this Pete had surely taught him some lesson. He hated being a pawn of that featherbrain, but it had its fringe benefits…
Such as Sasha.
King felt himself blush down to his tail. That girl was... incredible. She made him feel good in her own way, made him feel free from all worries, gave him butterflies in his stomach. She could be an airhead, but if Bino put all his heart into her, she must be much better than anyone thought... Other than being really pretty…
King had told Bino that he had never tried to take her away, and had not lied. But he could not stop thinking about her. At her way to wonder at the most mundane things, as if every day was brand new and filled with good promises.
And her scent that flooded his nostrils when she hugged him—
*Squish* went the fork, digging in the potato.
King shook his head. “Curse you, Pete!” He snarled. He loved Martin, but he also didn’t want to lose this world. Perhaps this was the griffin’s idea of punishment for making innocent animals suffer out of his rancor for a squalid family life… For sure, he had recurring nightmares of him transforming into a human in front of his pet friends. It way beat the dreams of being naked in a crowd.
Anyway, ‘Enjoy it while you have it,’ as father always said. The only truth conveyed by that old failure of a drunkard.
King was about to plunge the potato into the sauce when he realized that the prongs were not stabbing a potato.
The Corgi looked with curiosity at the eye that he was about to eat. His mind still could not focus on that anomaly. There was no eye in the potatoes, so where had this thing come from? King continued to examine the details of the gruesome object, a perfect white ball, veined with the red capillary network, green iris with a slit pupil that suggested it belonged to a cat.
Then the pupil dilated as if in fright!
“Oh CENSORED” King dropped his fork and jumped back, falling to the ground together with the stool he was sitting on. A moment later, the unmistakable spasms of retching could be heard.
King stood up, wiping his mouth with the back of his paw. He suppressed the hysterical laughter that was coming up his throat along with another bolus of bile. “Eh... Ah, ah, what fun, Pete! Really! ‘Big Brother is watching you’, that was the message? Potato wit, ha ha! See? Doggy can tell his jokes!” He rubbed his sore butt, happy he hadn’t hit his head, or Fox would’ve worried himself sick.
The thought made King smile. Although he now had a new housemate, that husky still treated him as his best friend, putting him even over that hateful Bino... *Sigh!* He had lost his appetite for good. Might as well drink an orange soda, maybe being drunk would make him feel better. “Everybody naked,” he muttered/sung, while opening the fridge door.
He saw what was inside, and this time he fainted.
The stone bounced several times against the surface of the pond before sinking.
“Eight,” said Felix. “Now you owe me twenty bucks.”
“But that’s not fair,” protested Lucky. “I don’t have all that money! You already got my next month’s allowance!”
“Not my fault if you’re an impulsive gambler, mutt,” said Felix, grinning like only a cat could do, while handling a pebble to his old dog friend. “Who knows? This time you may be lucky. Also, you know you can pay me in installments. Lucky boy, you are, to have such a generous friend.”
The Malamute growled. “You know I hate being teased for my name…” He took the pebble without a second thought, and launched.
Felix knew that the boy had no chances: His Dad, Kevin, had taught him all the tricks for a perfect launch. Felix could’ve humiliated that beefy lug any moment, but he also wanted to take his sweet fun. And he could also raise the bar a bit more, kitty wanted his own pet…
A new sun suddenly lit up in the sky. An earth-shaking thunder followed two seconds later.
A cold wind began to lash the park. The vegetation rustled with a mournful chorus.
Felix swallowed nervously as he stared at the sky.
The malamute watched him with his head bent slightly to one side. “Hey, you all right?”
Felix shuddered, and rubbed her arms. It was just a dark and stormy night, when his first family had abandoned him, in front of his home, not even a crumble of food, and he had pleaded with them…
The cat didn’t realize he was crying until he felt Lucky hugging him and cradling him.
“Shh, it’ll be all right, Musketeer. Now that we’re all reunited, things are gonna be fine.”
Felix nodded, breaking the hug. “You’re right, lug. We’re the Three Musketeers, we survived the road. Together, we’re unstoppable!” He bumped fist with the dog then wiped his face. “Stupid bad memories. Now let’s find some shelter.”
“Okay. But first...” Lucky threw the last stone. A rebound, two, three, four... “Yay! Twelve! Now you owe me fourty!”
Felix grinned. “Told ya, lucky boy.”
The two animals ran toward the woods, and Lucky’s protests faded in the distance
The water began to roar into powerful slashes, creating a continuous ripple on its surface.
Nobody saw the dozens of bright green dots that lit up one after the other, under the surface.


Last edited by valerio on Sun May 08, 2011 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat May 07, 2011 4:42 am
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Post Re: Valerio's translated fanfics
Foster Mansion Park, Babylon Gardens, 13:00 hours

So it’s a summer rain.
The blue sky is quickly covered with heavy gray clouds, eagerly claiming space to vent their energy.
The wind whips the vegetation, involving it in an unnerving and relentless chorus.
Lightning unites heaven and earth together in a firework spectacle both terrible and fascinating. The thunder sings of a clash of titans, testing the hearts of the brave.
The water comes soon after. A powerful roar, the ultimate weapon of the gray vault for those fools who had still opted to stay outdoors and challenge their luck.
An exciting show, to be enjoyed by standing in its middle, for this particular black cat.
The lightning shone like suns, reflecting on his toothy smile. In his eyes there was the challenge to the majesty of nature’s ire, while Maxwell Costner held is beloved cat in his arms. The water was falling in large drops through the thick branches, as if they had turned into a second, lazier cloud layer.
“Tell me, when was the last time you found yourself so close to the top of the world?” asked the cat.
The drops crashing on their fur turned into a thousand tiny mirrors. “Too long,” said Selene. She felt drunk with the world around her, its smells, its sounds. “I used to watch all this from the safety of my room, safe, and if it made too much noise, I closed the window... Do you think that lightning will hit us?”
“Are you kidding? Don’t you know that black cats bring good luck? And with me, it’s worth double.”
A new lightning lit up the world. The trees cast shadows at unnatural angles.
And something else.
Exaltation turned into terror in a heartbeat.
“Max? What’s wrong?”
What’s wrong? Didn’t you just see them?
Obviously not, or she wouldn’t have asked. If it was a joke, she was performing very well.
And they were, too.
An army appeared out of nowhere, an army made of furtive shadows, hiding behind the trees so that only part of their shapes was visible. And all those eyes... shining like emerald pupilless beacons...
“Max?” Now the voice of Selene was not amused. She was nervous. “Stop squeezing. You’re hurting me.”
Max felt all the hairs stand up on his back, and he was sure his tail had doubled up in size. Worse than those silent figures, fur wet and dripping, expressionless, coming out of nowhere, was their smell.
An aroma both sweet and rotten, of stagnant water, mud and algae. It permeated the air like the stench of some liquid grave.
Max instinctively retreated a few steps while holding Selene tight to himself. Every instinct screamed to him to flee, but where could they go? They were surrounded!
“Max...” Selena’s voice was getting louder and louder. “Maxwell! Let me go!
He didn’t. Judging from the way his eyes were dilated, she was sure that if she scratched him, he wouldn’t have even noticed.
Then one of the apparitions took a step toward the couple.
Then another moved, leaning against the tree. Then another ...
At that point, all escape routes were cut off.
And Max bumped into someone behind him.
The cry of both cats echoed through the forest.
Foster Mansion

Fox leaned into the kitchen. There was room enough in there to get lost, he had to admit it. “So, are you fixing a sandwich or are you preparing lunch for everyone?” He shouted gleefully. “King?”
Fox shook his head. The corgi must have retired to watch TV, or perhaps he had gone into the cellar to set up the Scrabble board. And he had left the snack fridge open. *Sigh!* King was a good boy, in spite of his gruff attitude, but he must start learning to interact better than now, although he was making progresses. At least, the Corgi was really being nice with him. Not that Fox was sorry to take care of him, in fact there was something in King that made the husky quite protective, like with a younger litter brother. But King needed to be more sociable, that much was true.
Fox went to close the fridge.
And when he reached it, he saw that he had been wrong about his friend. “King..?”
The poor dog was standing there, huddled against the corner, his knees tightly bent against his chest. He was trembling all over and his eyes were tightly shut, ears flat. His teeth were bared in a grin of pure terror.
“KING!” Fox leaned on the corgi, who didn’t seem to notice his presence. He tried to shake him, but without success. At that point, the husky gave him a few slaps on the cheeks. “Hey! Hey, buddy! Come on, tell me something. What happened?!”
King opened his eyes, but Fox saw that he wasn’t looking at his friend.
He was looking over his shoulder. The Huskies followed his gaze… toward the fridge?
Fox snapped his fingers in front of King’s face. “Hey! I’m here, everything’s fine. What did you see?”
“GAH!” King finally seemed to be back. “Hey, Fox...”
The dog got up, and helped the corgi to do likewise. “Hi there, stranger.” He smiled. “You really scared me, this time! What’s in the fridge that shook you like that?”
King rubbed his eyes, then pointed to the still open appliance. “Can’t you see..?” He asked with an incredulous tone.
Indeed, there was nothing wrong. The refrigerator’s walls were not gross with blood. The piece of ham with a Post-it reading Bon appetit, boys! was just a ham, and not the piece of a…
King went back into grumpy mode. “Someone needs a lesson about sense of humor,” he muttered.
Fox decided not to investigate. “We’re going to the recreation room for a game of Scrabble. I’d have asked you to come, but now I see you seriously need some good ol’ social distraction, so you’ll be on my team. Come on, now!”And, wagging his tail, he pulled the smaller dog toward the door.
King smiled. “Heh, why not? And then we can play a game of Trivial Pursuit: you and I will tear them to shreds...” Then he startled his friend by hugging him. “Thank you for everything,” he said. In a sense, he was surprised by his own move, but at that moment he wanted to transmit all the affection he felt for Fox, for protecting him from all harm. “Hmm, you’re really soft.”
Fox returned the hug. He felt awkward by that sudden display of affection – not that he minded it. In fact it was the first time King had proven himself so… intimate “Ah, you’re welcome. And thank you. I love you too.”
King reluctantly ended the long embrace and sighed. “C’mon, let’ go: time to kick some ego, now.”
“WHAT THE FUR!” Max didn’t know whether to feel relieved or still terrified. Surely he didn’t sound like the latter. “DON’T DO THAT AGAIN!
Max hadn’t shouted out like that since his last experience at the old Haunted House. Now he knew he had set up a new record in the fright meter.
“Do whatagain?” Felix asked in a loud voice, to make himself heard over the storm. “What’s gotten into you two? You look like you gone crazy! What happened? Did Cupid dip his arrow in curare?”
Max turned his head toward the grove... And no one was there. If he had ever seen those shadows with their luminescent green eyes take life to grab him, now they were gone. There were only the trees, calling out with their rustling, to offer them protection from the elements...
To trap him!
“I...” Max gulped. “I don’t...”
“Aww!” said Lucky, who then gave a pat on the cat’s back, almost knocking him to the ground. “Little Maxie’s afraid of thunder! Ain’t he cute?!” He ruffled his head fur.
Felix and Selene giggled. Max was already soaked, and was now experiencing the embarrassment of his life before his newfound girlfriend. He shot a leonine gaze at Lucky. “You’ll see if you won’t pay for this, mangy chaperon.”
“Now, Maxie,” said Selene, stroking his head. “Calm down, we owe them, and even Grape, if now we can spend some time together again. This weather is not their fault.”
Felix joined his palms and bowed. “Wise is your guide, young Jedi. And now let’s go to Martin’s house, we’ll spend this infernal weather with a roof over our heads, at least.”
The quartet walked towards Foster Mansion. “Why don’t we go to our place, instead,” said Max, without stopping to look back from time to time. His old neighborhood had never seemed so comfortable now...
“Foster’s is Disneyland, man,” Lucky said. “I won’t get soaked to run to some booooring place. No offense, Maxie.”
Max thought he still wanted to stay very, very far from that grove and its sinister shadows. If that had been a hallucination, he had never smelled one before... Haunted House once, Haunted House forever, I guess…

When they reached the building, they discovered something unexpected, though not unpleasant, given the weather conditions.
“Didn’t you say that the door was locked?” asked Max
Felix nodded, perplexed. “It should still be...” Then he shrugged. “Perhaps this weather messed up the computer and turned off the antipanic mode, who knows? Just as well, no? I’m hungry like a wolf, and I especially long for a hot bath and a hairdryer.”
Inside Max’s mind there kept humming that insistent little voice, asking why, if antipanic mode was off, the windows were still sealed, la-la la-la...
“A stupid glitch,” growled the black cat, ignoring it.
Selene stroked his dripping shoulder. “Did you say something, adventure cat?”
He showed her his special smile. “Only that I was right (as always): I’m lucky charm.”
The quartet went into the brightly lit room. “Hey, anyone aboard?” Lucky howled.
The answer was the slamming of the door behind them, followed by the familiar lament from the panel lock.
Max flexed his claws. “I hope for your sake that Bino and his gang are not out there to enjoy the show. Or you’re dead!”
“S-t-a-t-i-s-t-i-c…There!” Sasha clapped her paws while Fido counted the points and then wrote them down on the block scorer.
“Well, said the police dog, biting the pencil, “It looks like our Sasha keeps her lead. Followed by King, Fox, me, Sabrina, Bino and Rex. “Congratulations, Sasha!”
She wagged her tail. “Thank you, Fidey! I like this game. And you, Biney,” she pouted at her boyfriend, “shame for not telling me about it.”
Bino began to pass around the letters bag. “Honey, I didn’t suspect you had such a culture! We’d do even better if Sabrina didn’t use all those esoteric terms.”
“It’s Latin,” said the charcoal-black female cat, calmly. “We determined that it is allowed, since it is the basis for scientific culture.” She had used the square pieces to write Ex Tenebrae Libera Nos. Now she just had to find a way to write the second part of that rough spell: Tribu Nobis Vestri Tutela, Rutilus Vulpe. ‘Deliver us from the darkness. Give us your protection, shining fox’.
Tarot was right: opening her heart to her love for Fido, defeating her fears, had given her the strength to approach this accursed place, in a more direct way. First thing first, Sabrina had hung crowns of flowers and hazelnuts at each door, to weaken the negative presences that crowded this property. A rough remedy, largely ineffective in the long run against spirits so hungry for life... But the best to protect those who had set foot in that house for a day or two. For this, she had come first the moment she had heard Bino boasting about his task: to give them an opportunity to get out with a sane mind from that place. But, as the ‘system malfunction’ was proving, the restless spirits had all intentions to do their best to keep their unwilling guests company …
Sabrina threw a loving look to Fido, who returned and wagged. Small gestures, but to do such a simple thing in public, without the shadow of fear looming, gave her a new strength!
Then her eyes went to Fox: a veritable stroke of good luck, for once. The Husky’s body shone with the pure, positive energies King had somehow transmitted him. Energies she could channel to form a barrier around the table. Once she completed the spell, Fox would turn into a living ward against the lesser spirits for all of them until they got out.
It would have been easier if she could have had them join her in chanting out a spell, but then she would have to explain to her friends things that humans had kept secret for years. Things that would’ve instilled fear in them. And fear reinforced the influence of the restless spirits of Whiteman House.
Luckily, the most influential dark presences were still confined in the otherworld. Neither Sabrina nor Tarot knew why, but they didn’t want to look into this horse’s mouth, for once.
The cat fished for letters from the bag and placed them on the rack. Only then did she see how she had placed them.
HELPXUS, they read.
“Draw some difficult letters?” Bino said with a smirk of superiority.
In a sense, she thought... And at that moment, the familiar voice of Lucky boomed from the hall!
“Hey, anyone aboard?”
Time seemed to stop, for a moment. “And where did they come from?” Bino asked, watching Sabrina. She shook her head resolutely. “They weren’t with me.” And, worse of all, this could break the barrier before—
Bino jumped to his feet. “The door must be open!”
He winced as if he had been shot in the stomach. “D’oh!”
Nevertheless, the dogs all got up too – except for King. “You aren’t coming,” Fido asked, flanked by Sabrina, while the others ran towards the hall.
King stood up. “Bathroom. If they got the magic key, let me know. And yes, I like being able to use a decent structure for once, instead of having to always go in the garden. Sue me.”
“Then I’ll keep you company,” offered Sabrina. “I’ll wait here, okay?”
King looked at her puzzled, but said nothing as he jumped off the chair. Funny cat…

Sabrina looked at the dogs leaving the room. When her gaze went back to the board, the letters now had another disposition. Silent pleas for help, that proved that she had just lost that round.


Sabrina didn’t know what to do. She felt the hostile presence, but also sorrowful ones, pleading ones. She felt pity for them. Would she have felt their pleadings if her fears and self-pity had been predominant?
The evil presences had joined the innocents like in a sinister symbiosis, they reinforced each other in an endless cycle. Sabrina had enough experience and knowledge to know what would happen if she addressed either side…
What she didn’t understand was why Martin Foster and his pets seemed immune from their voices. Martin was very open-minded, for a human. He was as open as Peanut was, the evil of Whiteman House should have had affected him, by now.
Or, perhaps, the presences were working in more subtle ways.
Sabrina pressed her fingers against his temples. She needed more time, more data, she needed to speak with Martin. Luckily, Tarot was taking care of Peanut…
Perhaps, the restless spirits were using Martin as a smokescreen, so he’d draw innocent souls to the hungry ones. Save one to eat a hundred. It was a good tactic, but it belonged to the most sophisticated kind of entities And Whiteman house, on whose foundations Foster Mansion had been built, was not a place of dark cults from which to summon such entities. It was a terrible place where innocent people died in the cruelest ways possible. She needed to know more about this superior entity, the real puppet master…
Sabrina gritted her teeth in a fierce grin that would have frightened Fido. Too much to learn, too little time...

King entered the bathroom. He really wanted to stay with Fox and the others, but first he had to talk to someone.
As he had hoped, there was a life-sized mirror. King stood before it, then tapped a couple of times on its surface. “Show yourself, you big parrot. I know you’re there. And I know that mirrors are your favorite thingamagig. Come on, don’t be shy...” he kept rapping as if on a door, producing a musical sound… until his finger sunk in an area that suddenly became liquid!
The ripple caused by the white-furred finger reverberated like a circular wave across the surface of a lake. King allowed himself a smug smirk as the waves disappeared, and a new image appeared in the mirror, behind King’s reflection.
The image of an enormous blue-plumaged gryphon with golden eyes and beak.
“Well done, King,” said Pete. “Welcome to the rabbit hole.”


Last edited by valerio on Sun May 08, 2011 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat May 07, 2011 1:00 pm
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