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Tripsticks

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:14 pm
by EvilSqueegee
Sheets of rain crashed to the ground so hard that Tripsticks wondered if he could swim. He could barely see five feet in front of his face. Above the trees, the sky roared it’s threats -- claps of thunder, natural screams of vengeance. Rumbles in the distance growled warnings and curses at him.

“Blah blah blah,” the raccoon mocked, looking upward, entirely unintimidated. He did, however, adjust his grip on the handkerchief bindle underneath his belly -- his latest haul was still dry, at least, even if he had to walk like an idiot to shelter it from the rain. “If you were really pissy with me, you’d come down here and do something about it.”

The sky flashed with lightning and cracked with thunder in response to his taunts.

“Yeah yeah.” As far as he was concerned, it was better to be pissed on than pissed off. The day the sky grew a pair was the day Tripsticks would worry. Not that the lesser of two evils was great, mind you: soppy, dripping fur hung from his body, reaching for the ground like a desperate toddler eager to grab up as much mud as possible. Also like a toddler, the only thing this could possibly result in was a mess that Tripsticks would have to clean up.

At least it wasn’t dog shit this time.

His path took him winding through the forest. The wind down here was broken up a little -- emphasis on little -- by the thick, wide treetrunks. He was scuttling through a portion of the woods that wasn’t traveled often, and that’s exactly why Tripsticks chose to live there. He hated people. He didn’t really need a reason to, though he was certain he’d have more than a few if he ever bothered to check. The point was, he was a ‘coon who lived on the edge of society, and he liked it that way.

His house-tree (not to be confused with a tree-house) was the biggest and thickest one around, at least, that also could be easily climbed. Whether or not he was compensating for something, it was the best apartment a raccoon could ask for. It was up off the ground, out of reach of bigger, bullier animals. There was plenty of storage space for stowing away the treasures he managed to, uh… liberate... on his travels. It was dry on the inside, that was the important part right now. One day, he intended to cut a little window out, as soon as he managed to figure out how to keep the wind and rain from sneaking in through it -- there was a river right next to the tree. He liked the view.

He scrambled up the oak’s trunk, grabbing a knot in the bark and shoving the little circular door open. Yes, that’s right, his house-tree had a door. He wasn’t some barbaric animal, after all. Slipping the door closed behind him and mumbling about how he needed to make a damn cloak for weather like this, he turned and surveyed his place. It was a routine inspection: Never enter your own dwelling without checking everywhere for serial killers.

Or, you know. Spiders. Not that there was much of a difference.

He didn’t see any. Everything seemed to be just the way he’d left it. The tree hadn’t been entirely hollowed out -- the walls were thick enough to still be useful. His bed consisted of a pile of fabric he’d stolen from a merchant’s stand ages ago, and there was a small leather bag against the wall directly across from it. On the far side of the room was a small bag filled dried fruits and jerky. In the middle of the room was the source of light: A small glass jar filled with fireflies. It wasn’t much light, but it was enough. Not only did the bugs shimmering luminescence dance along the walls like tantalizing little sluts on a stage, but it was safer than any other alternatives he’d managed to find. Given that his house was made of pure wood, his options were fairly limited.

Now all he had to do was dry off. Getting his drenched palms into his stash would cause more problems than he wanted to deal with. He tossed his bindle across to the leather sack and headed over to the bed, snatching up one of the handkerchiefs. It was just big enough to serve as a tiny little towel, and he scrubbed himself as dry as he could manage. It wasn’t dry enough, though -- mother nature had certainly spanked him tonight. Spanked him so drenched he wished he had gills. He’d sped the drying process up as much as he knew how… and all he could do after that was wait.

So he stood there, dripping, for a while. Then he fell back onto his haunches and sat there, dripping, for a longer while. Then he fell over and dozed off, dripping, for an even longer while.

<center>* * *</center>

A crack of thunder startled him awake. “IT’S MINE!” he shouted before he was even fully conscious, bounding into the air and striking a pose his body was simply not built for -- a martial artist’s stance. Thunder cracked again. He blinked, holding his pose for a moment. As he regained mental faculties, his stance wilted and his heartrate started to come down.

“...Right. Raccoon. Fucking idiot.” He rubbed his eyes, then looked at the door with a bleary expression. He plodded over to it and yanked it open. It wasn’t raining anymore, but the storm’s wet fury had been replaced by a battering wind instead. He must have been really exhausted -- it wasn’t even wet outside anymore. At least, not noticeably. The bark of his tree was dry, at the very least. The storm wasn’t over, but at least he wasn’t going to drown when he looked up at the leaves anymore.

“TRYIN’ TO SLEEP IN HERE!” He slammed the door shut before the weather could respond. That made him feel a little better.

“Nerve ‘o some folks,” he grunted. A yawn punched past his will the way a charging rhinoceros punched past a sheet of paper, and he slapped his tiny little paws against his face a few times.

“Ugh. Wake up!” he encouraged himself. His self wasn’t listening, though. Why bother waking up? It’s not like he was going to just open his eyes to see some shapely, tantalizing dame sprawled eagerly across his bed. As nice as his apartment was, he still felt like his inability to fit a human woman in here was an unforgivable flaw. It didn’t matter how much he trimmed his manly coat of fur, or how much effort he put into keeping it shiny and clean, some things just weren’t physically possible. Maybe one day he’d find a better place. Then he could legitimately ask, <i>your place or mine?</i> without being in a dream.

God he needed to get laid.

He took a deep breath and sighed. His eyes danced across the room, and his gaze came to rest on the bindle and bag. “Suppose I’ll just have to settle,” he groaned, and plodded over. It was the same thing he said every time he went for the stash. It was the same thought he had on every outing he took, sneaking around the town. No matter how many times he thought it, said it aloud, sang it in a little sing-song tune, whined it, or scrawled it on the inside of his treetrunk with a claw, it never made him any less sad.

The depression cleared right up when he finally untied the bindle, though. Sorting through a fresh haul was always revivifying, invigorating, and rewarding: Quite the little thief, he was. He never failed to impress himself.

He started placing the pieces of fabric out, laying each one flat. He overlapped them slightly; though he was the only person who’d ever see his art, he did very much like things to look pretty. As he worked, the fireflies flickered and blinked out, as if joining the storm in its disapproval of him. He looked up at the jar and narrowed his eyes.

“Oh don’t you give me that, you little shits,” he pointed. “You don’t even HAVE morals.”

They didn’t light back up right away. It took them a moment, and he folded his arms, tapping his foot. They finally caved and flickered back on. When they did, he took a step back and surveyed his work:

Panties: Pink panties. Blue panties. White panties. Frilly panties. Plain panties. Big panties, small panties. Thin panties, thick panties. All kinds of fabrics and patterns. His gaze froze on a pair that had an unsightly stain he must have missed in the darkness of his mark’s house, and an expression of disgust splashed across his face.

“Ew,” he exclaimed, stretching out a clawed toe and dragging the dirty garment away from the others. He leaned as far away from it as he could manage without falling over, his little arms spreading out for balance. He flicked it away. It stuck to the wall.

“Ew!” he said again, much more emphatically this time. “You are disgusting!” he threw both hands in the direction of the garment, still hanging on his wall, palms open wide in a confused gesture -- as if begging the world without words how this even happened in the first place.

He then paused. Maybe he was spending too much time alone. He was yelling at a pair of panties as if they were the woman they belonged to. Talking to her, in fact, with information he felt she needed to hear. He frowned, but this time, it was with legitimate concern.

“You’re losing it, Trip. Get a grip.” He shook his head. If he was losing it, that meant the Curse was writhing in his soul a little more strongly than it used to. He took a deep breath and exhaled, calmly, trying to focus on the most human things he could. Food! Love. Hate. Working a job. Wearing clothes. Women wearing clothes. Women wearing less clothing than they should…. panties.

He opened his eyes and looked down at his haul.

“The things I do for love,” he clapped and rubbed his paws together. Carefully, he inspected each garment, until he picked out a single pair. The One Pair to Rule the Haul. The trophy steal, the thing that both proved he was still a thief, and still a sick, perverted, despicable person on the inside. The thing that anchored his humanity.

Tonight’s choice: Pink. He folded the garment up and tucked it into the leather bag, then latched the leather bag shut again. The storm roared in outrage, like a socially awkward white knight getting offended on behalf of women who wouldn’t pay it any more heed than they would a stray rat on the street.

“Cram it, bitchtits,” Tripsticks grumbled, looking over his shoulder at the door. “Grow a pair and then come knocking.”

He was just reaching for the small satchel he kept his fruit and jerky in when an ear-shattering explosion rocked the entire tree. It knocked him off his feet and everything started to lean to one side. His ears were ringing and his entire body was pounding with adrenaline -- he could smell smoke.

Looks like the weather had balls after all.

In a panic, he did the only thing he knew to do without thinking: He stole. From himself, of course, but he stole none-the-less. The most valuable things in the room were his food and his trophybag, so they were snatched up. The tree was leaning to the side a little more each second, creaking and snapping under the force of the wind. The smell of smoke was getting stronger. Tripsticks ran for the door.

The door was stuck.

“If I live to see tomorrow, I am going to FUCK you, little man,” Tripsticks snarled at it. His apartment had gone from shelter to cage in one second flat, and even worse, it was starting to heat up. it was getting harder to breathe, and he did not want to be trapped inside when it fell into the river. So, he wrapped his little arms around his goods and backed all the way up.

“Three,” he counted under his breath. The tree shook and he barely kept his balance.

“Two,” he said, crouching, eyes focused on the door. He was interrupted, though, by the sensation of the tree finally giving way and falling over.

“I WASN’T READY YET!” He shrieked, and launched himself against the door. Where he hadn’t been able to open it before, his newly adrenaline-fueled approach was more than enough. The little portal was blasted right off its hinges and he went sailing through the air, screaming a girly little scream of girly little terror.

He hit the ground, bouncing and rolling with a string of shouted curses and expletives. His two little bags went flying in either direction, and he could hear the sound of half of the house-tree crashing into the river. The sound flooded him with a sudden pang of guilt -- the fireflies.

“Rest in peace, little guys,” he offered up, though nobody was there to hear it. He pushed himself to his feet after a while, the wind ripping through the forest around him almost picked him up and threw him like a bag full of leaves. When he was certain he wasn’t spontaneously going to gain the power of flight, he scrambled over to his trophybag and snatched it off the ground. On the bright side, fight-or-flight was a perfectly human experience, and he could feel himself thinking more clearly already.

Not nearly as clearly as when he went for his food bag. He ran over to it and put his paw on the thong that was sewn to either side of the bag, when he heard a growl. He stopped, sniffed, and his eyes ran down the length of his arm, then up the length of the bag. He found himself staring at the muzzle of a wolf, snarling, and looking pretty hungry.

Tripsticks froze.

“Good doggie?”

Tripsticks: Part 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:37 pm
by EvilSqueegee
Son of a bitch -- Literally.

Tripsticks reviewed his options. He could dart to the wolf’s left, which MIGHT get him out of the range of those really… pearly white teeth that thing had. Holy crap. Wolves aren’t supposed to brush. He pictured them stained red with his own blood, and that only made him swallow harder.

He could dart to his right, back to his house-tree. Or, what remained of it, anyways. He could still smell smoke, and he could hear the flickering sounds of a small fire. Okay, so out of the wolf’s range and… fried Tripsticks? No thanks.

Backing away would be an awful idea. The river was right behind him. He couldn’t risk getting his trophy-bag wet, if that happened he might lose his sanity. And really, that was the bigger concern, here. Wolves and fire and raging rapids aside, he was very certain that his number one priority was not going stark-raving mad. He focused, again, on the dog. He tried to picture himself towering over it, at a full six feet, and then -- in the name of sanity -- he did something entirely insane.

He ran directly at the wolf. Right between it’s legs. On his way by he was sure to snatch up the food-bag they’d just been having a silent confrontation over, and with his one free hand (his trophy bag was slung over his shoulder) he reached up with a clawed hand-paw and smacked the damn canine right in the nads as he burst out behind the wolf.

“Suck a DIIIICK!” he shouted, rocketing along the forest floor. It was much faster to run on all fours at the moment. Raccoons were quick, but traditionally speaking, they weren’t faster than starving, rabid animals.

And, as he soon found out, near-castration didn’t help things any. Leave it to Tripsticks to take a real problem, one with some real serious consequences, and then make it personal for some god-forsaken reason. It was a tendency he regretted immediately as the wolf quickly caught up, frothing at the mouth in a rage beyond reason, and made a pounce for him.

“SWEETFUCKINGTITTYSTICKS,” he screeched, hurtling himself out of the way just barely in time. He could feel the air blasting out of the wolf’s nostrils. The clean, mechanical-sounding SNAP of the wolf’s jaw closing about an inch from his ass extended the exclamation into a whining shriek of terror, and he jerked to make a hard right turn around a tree. He caught the bark of the trunk with one paw, and swung around it -- sending himself scrambling up the wooden pillar faster than he’d ever seen a cat move.

Somewhere in the mess, he managed to sling his food-bag over his other shoulder, securing it and freeing the use of his hand for other things, like not dying. He shot up the treetrunk in a panic, the wolf leaping up and snapping its jaws at him, missing just barely for the second time.

“I SAID SUCK A DICK,” he shouted back down at the animal when he was far enough up the tree that he felt safe (well, safe enough, let’s be real here.)

The wolf barked back up at him, as if it understood his taunts. Tripsticks hugged the treetrunk and looked around. He had not survived his mother’s cooking his entire childhood, escaped being murdered by bandits, avoided being thrown in prison by the Watch only to get eaten by a hungry dog! And when he died, he was going to do it as a man, not a fucking furball, karmic curses be damned. And, most importantly, when he did die this heroic, mythical human’s death?

It wouldn’t be as a fucking virgin!

“Okay, Trip.” He panted, trying to catch his breath. He’d survived this far -- the storm cracked more thunder overhead.

“FUCK OFF, I’M TALKING TO MYSELF, AND YOU’RE INTERRUPTING!”

Christ. Steal a few panties and suddenly the whole world thinks you’re a perv. Now, where was he?

Ah. Right. “Wolf below, and he’s probably just made it his life’s mission to pin you down and fix that virginity problem for you. Storm above, seems to be rooting the wolf on. What do you do?”

He made a mental note to sick an angry canine on the fucking asshole who’d cursed him. If he ever found out who they were… or where they were. Or if it was actually a person and not a freak accident. Or anything at all. The point was, there would be vengeance. Sweet poetic justice… right as soon as he figured out how to get out of this alive.

“You… uh..” He glanced around. The tree he was in had branches. Branches that reached out to other tree’s branches.

“Tightrope walking. Great,” he exclaimed sarcastically, shaking his head this way and that in mock approval of his plan. It was his only plan, though. There was no plan B. There was no backup. It was this, or dying. He certainly wasn’t going to sit around for the storm up above to share the love with this tree like it had the last one.

And so he shimmied over to the closest branch that looked sturdy enough to hold his weight. He was about as heavy as a housecat, and not far off from being just as nimble -- though, really, that was less the result of him having been turned into a raccoon and more the result of him having learned the hard way back in town, growing up. This was the kind of thing he’d done once or twice before, trying to reach merchant’s safes and stores of food. At the time, though, he’d had much wider arms, and he’d been wearing shoes. At least he had a tail now.

The wolf paced beneath him, back and forth, watching. It was too angry to give a shit about being confused at the raccon’s abnormal behavior. You aren’t supposed to look down in these kinds of situations, but Tripsticks appreciated the motivation. He performed well under pressure, and there was plenty of pressure to be had. This, naturally, resulted in him performing quite well.

Right up until the storm had it’s say, again. Not in lightning, but in pure wind. It came without warning, and before he even had the opportunity to curse about how it was making his branch sway, it picked him right up off of his feet and sent him flying through the air like a freaking sports ball.

“FFFFFUUUuuuuu---...”

The wolf watched him rocket through the air. He could only see it for a second or two -- it looked like it was darting off to follow him. Over the river he flew. He had just a moment where he could appreciate the view, just a moment where everything seemed to look pretty. He could see trees as far as could be, the horizon stretching off in either direction. Beautiful stuff, really.

“...---uuuuuUUUUCK!” FWP-FWP-crackle-CRASH-”OW!”-Creak-Crunch-crackle-FWP-FWP-”OHSHIT-” <i>SLAM.</i>

Tripsticks landed on his back. He looked up at the broken branches and completely obliterated bird’s nest above him. He’d hit just about everything he COULD have on his way down. That was probably a good thing, in the end. It’d broken his fall. He was still alive.

“That better not have been the Ugly Tree,” he whined. He tried to stand up, but something about having just had the ever-living shit kicked out of him by the air rendered both his body, and his ego, unwilling to comply.


On the bright side, odds were that wolf was not going to try and follow him past the massive, turbulent river. So, if Fate was on his side -- and why wouldn’t it be, he was pretty certain he’d just had enough <i>bad</i> karma shoved down his throat to qualify for a world-record in existential prostitution -- he might actually live to see tomorrow.

“Move, legs,” he groaned, sounding much like a child throwing a temper tantrum. After a few moments more, he had enough strength to push himself to all fours. He thanked his lucky stars that he hadn’t landed on the trophy bag. He kept his knife in there. He’d be dead right now if that had gone as poorly as it could have.

...He stopped, looking over his shoulder. If that was luck having just saved his life, then he might not be so safe from the wolf. He gulped, and hurriedly limped further between the trees. He shouldn’t push it any further than he had to. Fate might favor the bold, but it also liked to sacktap anyone who really asked for it. And so, he forced his now weak and damaged body to move onward -- toward civilization, where the damn wolf wouldn’t want to follow him even if it could.

As he went, he set up a small, mournful shrine for the dead fireflies in the back of his mind. They hadn’t deserved to be abandoned like that. He was going to smear every ounce of the blood on his hands onto the son of a bitch who did this to him the day he finally caught them… whoever they were.

~Fin~

Re: Tripsticks

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:45 pm
by EvilSqueegee
<u><b>Prologue</b></u>

Old Man Kunis was not the kind of man who deserved to wield the powers of magic. That’s the way the world went, though: People with power never really turned out to be who they said they were, they always wound up doing things they shouldn’t have -- things they probably wouldn’t have even dreamed of doing themselves, if they hadn’t the power to tempt them.

He was a special kind of corrupted man, though -- the kind who truly didn’t see his problem. He meant well, perhaps making him the most insidious kind of villain there is. The road to hell, after all, certainly wasn’t going to pave itself. And who in their right minds would do such a thing knowingly?

His generosity was most evident in his four students. Young ones, they were, but each bright in their own way. Some of those ways were more special than others, mind you, but each one had ‘potential.’ And he never let any of them forget it. He also never let them forget how much they were wasting it, or how much he wished that when he was their age, he’d had someone to show him how time was ticking away.

Old Man Kunis wasn’t going to live forever, and he knew it. The children, though? They could get an earlier start than he had. An earlier start on studies, on magic, on goals, on life.

Of course, Old Man Kunis’ students had ideas of their own. Don’t teenagers always?

* * *

Fargo flipped his hair out of his eyes. He was by no means a kid who stood out, visually -- tall as an evergreen, skinny as a twig. He kept his eyes on his familiar, Brownie, who had its nose to the ground. Brownie was a massive dog. He was a good dog. He had a good nose. It usually smelled food more than anything else, though. The others always thought he was a perfect match for Fargo as a result. Fargo didn’t understand what they meant, though, and figuring it out would require the E-word: <i>Effort.</i>

“Man… I’m hungry,” he whined, looking around as if he was going to find something to eat in the middle of the forest.

“There’s a shocker,” Dana said, quite pointedly muttering to herself in a voice everyone could hear. She bent over to check her hair, looking at her reflection in a puddle on the ground. Both Fargo and Dick looked at her when she spoke, immediately paying their full and undivided attention to the pretty girl. If she noticed, she didn’t let on. She certainly took her sweet time standing up, though. Red hair spilled down her back, not that either of the boys were paying attention to her hair of all things.

Mika shoved her glasses up her freckled face. “It’s gotta be here somewhere. This is the only place that adds up.” She ran a hand through her bushy, curly brown hair and looked around with eyes that were likely drilling through the crust of the earth itself. Her voice was, as usual, unimpressed as could possibly be, but it was no less matter-of-fact than if she’d read that sentence right out of Old Man Kunis’s encyclopedias themselves. She wasn’t someone Fargo liked arguing with; she always won and somehow he felt stupid whenever it happened. One day, he’d be able to read. Maybe then he could keep up with her.

Dick nodded. “Gee, Mika, You’re right!” he said emphatically. There wasn’t an ounce of sarcasm to his voice, either. Fargo had, for a while, doubted that anyone could be as… perfect… as Dick. He’d been proven wrong. In fact, Dick’s smile alone was often enough to tame even the most furiously upset of teachers. His golden hair didn’t seem to acknowledge physics, and even through the little drizzle they’d walked through earlier, it was still perfectly in place. Dick probably had no idea if Mika was right, but he was just dumb enough to know she usually was, and guess.

His guess paid off this time. Brownie barked, excitedly, and then took off in one direction, a brown blur moving way faster through the woods than anything that large should be allowed to.

Everyone looked to Fargo for a moment, and he just sort of shrugged. “What? I don’t speak dog. He feels hungry.”

“You’re soul-bound to a canine spirit, and you don’t even speak its language,” Dana observed insultingly, starting to walk after the familiar. Her hips swayed just a little too much -- Fargo could tell she was trying, but he didn’t quite mind it so he didn’t say anything.

“Spirit tongue isn’t a normal language,” Mika corrected Dana’s nitpicking as the group started to follow the redhead. “He doesn’t need to speak it anyways. Brownie understands us just fine.”

“Neat,” Dick beamed, taking good, solid strides next to Fargo. “Isn’t she smart?”

“Yep,” Fargo sighed, like he’d failed another test.

“I can hear you guys,” Dana called over her shoulder. Dick didn’t seem to pick up on the irritation in her voice, though. Maybe it was just because he was too nice. Too happy.

The group caught up with Brownie after a little while. He stood, frozen, his nose pointing at a small bush. Fargo, being the one who’s alchemical sample had mysteriously vanished, stepped forward. He rubbed the back of his neck nervously and looked at the bush. It was a gangly little thing. Spiderwebs glistened with dew and rain-water, and he thought he saw something moving in there.

“Maybe… maybe it’s not here, guys,” he said, his voice a little jittery.

“Oh grow a pair,” Dana folder her arms. “Would you rather face Old Man Kunis telling him you misplaced yet another experiment?”

Fargo swallowed.

“I’ll check!” Dick offered, and walked right past Dana before she could protest. He shoved his arm into the bush and rustled his hand around. While he searched, he looked to Fargo. “You know, if you didn’t spend so much time with those alchemical ingredients, you might actually remember where you keep putting your experiments.” He wasn’t chiding his classmate -- only trying to help. That really white smile made it impossible to hate the guy, no matter how badly Fargo wanted to.

“Yeah,” Fargo replied, lazily. His stomach growled.

“Aha!” Dick pulled his hand back, and produced a small rock. It was marked with runes and a strangely-colored, flakey coating crusted all around it. He held it out and Fargo took it from him.

“Fine,” he sighed. As his breath left his nostrils and spilled over the little rock, though, it cracked… and a sudden, powerful, but most importantly LOUD explosion of sound burst out of the stone. It was a big enough bang to scare everyone -- birds took flight in a panic, and all the other students just about jumped out of their skin. Well, everyone but Dick, anyways: Dana took a step back, Mika’s hands snapped up to the sides of her head, and Fargo jumped backward in ways that would have made a professional athlete jealous.

When he landed, Brownie had leapt up into his arms, covered his eyes with his paw and braced for impact.

“...You’re pathetic,” Dana quipped, looking at Fargo and Brownie. She was angry.

Fargo’s knees were shaking and he held onto his dog like a child hiding under the blankets from a monster that lived in his closet.

“Naw,” Dick patted his shoulder. “Just startled. Anyone would be!”

Mika took her glasses off, produced a handkerchief, and cleaned them. “That was loud,” she stated firmly. “Was it supposed to do that, Fargo?”

“N-no,” Fargo shook, finally letting Brownie out of his arms. The dog didn’t go far, curling behind it’s owner’s legs. The thought of Old Man Kunis failing him Fargo again sent a shiver down his spine. He couldn’t go back home. He was going to fail with a big, fat F and then he’d never graduate. He’d be sent back home empty handed. He couldn’t let his folks down like that.

“Maybe Old Man Kunis will give you extra credit,” Dick offered, grabbing his shoulder reassuringly. “He knows you’re trying. He likes that.”

Fargo nodded, slowly. Maybe he would.

Or maybe he’d just expel him and leave him to die.