Chapter 4: Heroes of the Wild
“Hi, I’m err, Mr Fuzzles.” Fuzzles the purple cat swallowed hard. His throat was dry, palms sweaty, mom’s spaghetti, riding low in his lower intestine, making him feel a little bloated. “Err what’s your name?”
The unicorn girl turned around and said in a sweet voice “My name is Sparkles, nice to meet you.”
“Hi, err, I was wondering if you’d like to, go for a walk with me?” Fuzzles said scratching the back of his big purple head as he trailed off at the end.
“I dunno, I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave the convention centre, it might not be safe.” The unicorn said bouncing slightly and pressing her hooves together.
“Oh well I would protect you, this cat has claws rarrrr” Mr Fuzzles said play slashing the air with his claws.
Sparkles giggled holding up her hooves to her snout and said “Well if you put it like that. I have no choice but to walk with you.”
“R-really?” The man dressed as a purple cat said. “Great” He said as he put his paw out to receive her hoove.
The girl dressed as a sparkly white unicorn put her hoof in his paw and they walked towards the main entrance of the whitefish convention centre.
“Get the fuck out of my way, furry freaks!” Zomnision shouted as he pushed them apart barrelling into the main convention hall. The convention floor was decked out with banners for the annual furry convention. Men and women dressed as various animals real and imagined, some in giant diapers for some reason, having the time of their lives. In a space they felt safe and secure surrounded by people just like them.
“What’s his problem?” Mr Fuzzles said as he got up and helped Sparkles to her feet.
“I dunno but he looked kind of sick to me.” She cooed softly.
Zomnision staggered, sweating, barely keeping on his feet, “Fucking fuck, what the fuck? I can’t, I can’t keep it in anymore!” He could feel it building, pressure. He let it slip a little bit pushing past a pack of silver wolves. They were standing in a queue for one of the booths selling oversized furry sunglasses. Little squeaky farts and burps he couldn’t keep in. Something was growing and multiplying inside him at a rate he couldn’t control. His vision was a blurr of sweat and fur. “Someone call me an ambulance!”
“You’re an ambulance!” Some anonymous idiot shouted.
“Is that guy on drugs?” A golden marmacet man said.
“What’s with the weird swammy get up?” A mauve giraffe asked.
“Is that cultural appropriation?” A rhinestone pequin in a giant foam cowboy hat said.
“That outfit is kind of racist” Someone said in a valley girl accent.
He fell slamming right into a black wolf with red highlights and bondage gear on. He was holding up a sign that said ‘FREE HUGS’ on it next to a stall with a rainbow flag selling t-shirts. The wolf angrily got to his feet and said “You got a problem you Jeanie looking faggot motherfucker?”
“Please help me!” Zomnision whimpered as the wolf man picked him up by his frilly collar. He was burping and coughing and leaking a strange clear liquid out of his mouth and nose and eyes.
“What the fuck is wrong with you man?” The wolf said as he pushed him away, wiping his furry paws on himself, looking at the strange liquid. “What is this? It stinks!”
Zomnision tumbled into a pile of furries who were writhing around in a big inflatable ball pool.
“Hey man you’re not a furry” A blue fox with straps across his chest said in the pile.
“Yeah get lost buddy, furries only” A green otter person wearing a pirate hat and eyepatch said.
“Yiff your own kind!” A grey wolf wearing a neckerchief said.
“Get a furself or get out pal” A brown bear in a bikini said in a threatening man’s voice.
“Please, I need help!” Zomnision gurgled, the noises in his stomach were audible to all now and there was movement under his clothes. He seemed to be puffing up, getting larger, his skin bubbling. “It’s in me, I can’t keep it in anymore, it’s growing!”
They furries couldn’t not see it now, Zomnision’s flesh was unnaturally distended. It was stretching as some build up of pressure was pushing his gut and neck and cheeks out. He was filling up like a balloon all the veins raising under his skin like he decompressing.
“What the hell is wrong with this guy, is this some kind of joke?” A man dressed as a Gerbil painted in the colours of the swedish flag.
“What do we do?” A goffer dressed as willy wonka asked.
“Pop him with a pin” A ferret cosplaying as Jack Sparrow asked.
“I can use my claws” A badger wearing an army helmet said.
“You’re not a real badger gary!” The gofferman said.
“I am too, that’s ignorant!” Gary responded.
“I can’t hold it anymore!” Zomnision screamed, his eyes popping out of their sockets, his skin tight and taught and white. There was so much force on his body they could hear his blood vessels popping, his bones creaking as they bent.
“He’s gonna blow!” An owl dressed as Hulk Hogan squawked.
A thundercrack of an unhuman fart ripped through the convention. Within a matter of seconds a thick green gaseous mist spread through the stalls. Saturating the entirity of the convention centre touching everything, filling the room like a vacuum. A green poodle in a top hat and monocle noticed it first breathing it in and passing out, but not before dropping the monocle in it’s drink. Next a parrot in a sombrero inhaled and keeled over. Panic spread as fast as the mist and a stampede for the door was inevitable but it was too late. They were bottle necked, trapped like crabs in a bucket as the mist engulfed them and put them down on the ground unlikely to get up.
Waves of multi-coloured wolves with mutlitcoloured hair and foxes and horse people fell to the ground. Within a matter of moments the convention centre fell silent.
A cop car jounced as it rolled slowly, hugging the sidewalk. The sun dipped in sky, the day was about ready to quit, dusk settling in around the small mountain town. A man in a long green army coat with long hair walked on the side of a forest road into town, a duffel bag slung over his shoulder.
The cop car had it’s lights on but no siren, it idled along next to the man. A fat cop in the drivers seat wearing a cowboy hat sat squat like a toad over his open window. He glanced at the lone wanderer as he tried his best to mind his own business
“Hey buddy! Yeah you in the green coat!” He spat into the loudspeaker he poked out of the window without actually having to lean in any direction. He just kept the car cruising as projectile shouting at this out of place stranger. “Where are ya headed?”
The man in the green coat said nothing, he didn’t turn, he kept on walking and minding his own business.
“Are ya deaf? I said where are ya going?” The fat cop spat over his bulbous belly. He wiped his mouth removing Cheeto crumbs from his ginger goatee that looked tiny in his fat face. His aviator sunglasses pulling it all together like two black holes in a fat sinkhole dimension. “Ya hitch a ride out here? You want me to give you a lift to the next town over, get you something to eat?”. The sun was dipping behind the trees, ready to close it’s eyes on the whole damn day.
The man kept walking towards the town, he looked unkempt, like he’d been walking for awhile or he was camped out in the woods somewhere.
“I said what are ya doing here?” The cop started to get short of breath panting into his megaphone, almost foaming at the mouth. The thought of being ignored an ulcer in his gut beside the actual ulcer in his gut. “You don’t ignore me you sonuvabitch, I’m the godamn sheriff! You better stop walking and answer me you piddly sonuvabitch”
The man continued to ignore him and kept walking.
The sheriff went from one to sixty in about three seconds and started rummaging around in his cab. Purple faced, throwing down the megaphone muttering and sputtering spittle about his face. “Ignore me, damn hippy ass piece of shit, vagrant degenerate!” He muttered feverishly as he tugged at his colt python in the leather holster sitting on his seat on top of a box snowballs.
“Hey punk, this is my town asshole, my town, you think you can just ignore me!” He said as he drove up on the drifter. He unloaded the python in his general direction aiming it out of the car window like he was giving a ticket from about three feet away.
One shot connected and the man fell to the ground and didn’t move.
The sheriff stopped the car, cracking the door open with a laboured squeaking, from door and from the shocks as he took his weight from out of the car. He looked at the drifter who was still, hiked up his pants over his belly and looked up and down the road to see if there were any cars coming. A shot in the back might be a tough sell to any passersby. Seeing no headlights, he was satisfied no one was coming so gun in hand he walked up on the downed man to offer him ‘assistance’.
He got to him at the side of the road and there was a lot of blood, he turned him over. He was a young man in his late to mid twenties with a small but stylish hipster beard and glasses with no lenses. A pair of white ear buds falling out of his ears as he rolled, playing some loud dubstep. The name on the army jacket was ‘Rumbo’.
“Why does that name sound familiar?” The sheriff said scratching under his Stetson hat with the barrel of the colt python. “Welp, you’re dead, better get you in the trunk before someone sees ya.”
The sheriff picked up the corpse by his shoulders and dragged him around the back of the police car. Sweating and heaving for air as he threw him in the trunk of the patrol car. Giving another furtive glance up and down the road before slamming the trunk and getting in the car and driving back into town.
He took US 93 towards the centre of town, traffic was light because of the snow and reclining hours. Most people wanted to be tucked up in bed or around the fire at this time.
He drove along admiring the skyline as the night started trailing in. The snowcapped mountains and the tall pine trees of the surrounding forest looked really lovely in the twilight. He hit a bump and heard his cargo shift. “Shit, you better still be dead back there” He called behind his seat. “Can’t be dealing with no hipster zombie outbreak, almost ice fishing season”. It was a real winter wonderland.
His heart did a u-turn as he saw a set of headlights coming in the opposite direction. A truck started to slow on the opposite side of the road and signalled him to slow with a hairy bare arm out of the window.
“Hey Jerry” The trucker called out from the high cab.
The cop slowed down and looked casual in his seat with his arm up as he looked up at the truck cab, craning his neck to see up into the window. A middleage man with thick arms leaned out of his window with a warm toothless smile and said “Hey jerry you knockin off early or something?” He chuckled to himself.”
“Just heading back Burt” Jerry said as he looked out his front windshield gritting his teeth.”
Burt looking around the patrol car and lingered on the back. “Hey Jerry I think you’re leaking break fluid, you might wanna check that out.”
“Will do Burt, gotta get back to the station now, can’t block up the main road like this nattering like a couple of fish wives now can we?” He paused for a break and gritted his teeth. “So if there’s nothing else, I’ve gotta get back.”
Burt laughed and said “Yeah sure, have a good one Jerry.” He leaned back into the cab but then popped out again and said with a new found urgency in his voice as if he just remembered a horrible dream. “Actually now that you mention it, I’ve been seeing weird stuff all day now”.
“I told you about drinking and driving Burt, I don’t wanna hear anymore old wives tales, no one believes the aliens poked your butt either.” Jerry said with a wry eyeroll hiding a nervous bead of sweat.
Burt leaned closer, swallowed and licked his dry lips. “I’m serious Jerry, saw these guys, they were like.” He made a gesture with his hand like he was putting something on his head. “Wearing these suits, like, err.” He stopped to think looking down and turned back and pointed emphatically. “Like environment suits or something like that. Looked to be spraying maybe, also chemtrails.”
“Have a good night Burt” Jerry said as he sighed and looked straight.
“Ok you too, give that wife of yours, Betsy, my love ok” Burt said as he smiled and fell back into his seat.
“Sure thing” Jerry said with absolutely no intention of doing that.
Burt pumped his horn and took off down the road picking up speed heading out of town.