Thursday, May 28, 2020

[Bunny Story] Teddy gets lost. Again.

Teddy came out of the closet to find carpet under his paws. He was pretty sure that his Aunty Michelle didn't have carpet in her house. A lack of carpetless floors meant he'd probably taken a wrong turn in the bunny tunnels again. Was it his fault that the maps Speedy had him print out were so tasty? Was it his fault that he could only pull his tablet out of BunSpace in his condo?

Speedy had tried to get him to summon a ghost bunny to help navigate, but Miss Lola had said that he had to learn even if it was the hard way, and Mr. Mick had said he was taking a nap. Teddy wasn't sure why a ghost bunny would need a nap, but Mr. Mick had been very insistent about it.

A large, brown form loomed over him. "Hello!" said the creature.

The creature had a slobbery tongue, a jingly collar and was bouncing up and down in spot in a way that spoke of way too much energy. "Er, hello." Teddy offered cautiously.

"I am Rory, why are you in my house?" The creature asked.

"I'm Teddy, and I am lost," Teddy answered honestly.

"Hello, lost," Rory said. He saw Teddy's look and added, "That's the sort of thing my Dad likes to say. He thinks he's funny."

"Is your Dad a human? My human Dad likes to make similar, equally non-funny jokes." Teddy said.

"Yes. He is human. He is a good cuddler, but he spends too much time staring at a box." Rory looked over his shoulder to a door before turning back. "Would you like to play tug?"

Teddy looked at their comparative sizes. Rory looked like he weighed at least thirty-three kilograms. "I think you'd win."

"I play fair! My Dad thinks he's better at it than he is." Rory trotted off and came back with a toy rope that was a little ragged. He dangled an end for Teddy.

Still rather dubious, Teddy took his side and got dragged as Rory backed up.

"Okee, hold on!" It was probably a good thing animal communication was mostly mental, otherwise a mouthful of rope would have stifled the instruction. As it was, the ruffs and mock growls were distorted.

Teddy dug claws into the carpet as Rory backed up and started to tug. The dog wasn't pulling very hard until he felt the rabbit had good traction. The harder he pulled, the more Teddy had to bite down, and unfortunately, rabbit teeth were very good at snipping things in half, even hefty dog toys.

When the rope broke, Rory went ass over tea kettle into the fireplace with a loud crash and clatter.

Teddy, startled, dived under the couch.

Rory's human appeared. "What are you doing?!"

The dog got himself up with a shake and wagged his stump happily, looking at innocent as he possibly could.

The human looked at the puffs of white fur that were slowly falling to the floor.

"Did you eat a pillow?"

Rory tried to look affronted at such an accusation. Him? Eat a pillow? Never! The ones they currently had weren't very tasty.

His human shook his head and went back into his room.

Teddy stuck his nose out from under the couch, "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine! That didn't hurt. Maybe tug isn't a good game." Rory said sadly. "Fetch is fun, but it's a human game. The way they throw things away to have them brought back is strange."

"Humans are strange." Teddy agreed. "But.." He looked towards the closet, "I'm supposed to be visiting my Aunty Michelle, I should probably try and find her."

"Aww. Okay." Rory said sadly. "You'll come back, though, right?"

"I'll try!" How hard could it be to get lost again? Teddy was getting very good at it.

The closet door had swung shut, so Rory had to try and turn the knob with his mouth while Teddy tried to get his nose in the crack to pull it open. It wasn't a quiet effort.

"What ARE you doing? The human asked, causing Rory to scramble backwards. Fortunately, this opened the door and allowed Teddy to get inside before the human got a good look. He wasn't very good at hiding from humans yet either.

Rory gave his best innocent look, sitting and holding up a paw while his stump of a tail thumped against the carpet.

"Was that a rabbit?" The human asked himself. "I've got to stop talking to Lorna so much. I need coffee." He looked at the new cloud of floating white fur that was settling on the carpet. "A lot of coffee."

Rory was happy to bounce up and down and follow his Dad into the kitchen. Maybe he'd get a treat! Maybe his new friend would visit again! Maybe he'd get a treat!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sock story for Fern.

There are monsters who wear socks.

These monsters wear socks when they don't have to.

These monsters wear socks indoors when it's warm.

They wear socks with sandals in the spring and again in the fall.

They wear socks with the itchy bits on the inside, and the slippery side on the out.

But the scariest monsters of all.. The ones people dread. are the monsters who wear socks in bed!

Friday, May 17, 2019

[WoW Fanfiction] Chewie is a sad Tauren.

We're gonna pretend that Leiska is Leensa, an elven paladin not a cat.

Babychewie was a sad Tauren. Everything was coming apart; it was almost worse than when Garrosh was in command. Sylvanus had locked up his chief, and she'd murdered a powerful ally in cold blood, who knows what she was doing to the powerful Orcs behind the scenes and Saurfang was gone.

All the voices of reason stolen away or murdered, and for what? To burn down women and children? To slaughter artisans and innocents? It was enough to make him wonder if he was watching the end of the Horde.

The large shaman sighed over his drink. He couldn't even get whisky in Zandalar. Oh, sure, the Goblins would import it, but it often sold out before he could even get his hands on it and at Goblin like prices. The rum just wasn't enough. It was never enough. The humidity made his fur sticky. The endless heat made him cranky.

The Alliance had murdered a king, and what did the Horde do? Murder it's own.

A large mug got plunked down in front of him; it's contents the shades of amber he was always happy to see. And while he didn't generally like watering down his drinks with ice, in this heat, he was happy to see the cubes inside.

"Someone looks bummed, sister," Raelana said, patting Chewie on the arm. She flomped onto the stool beside him. Rae's armour, usually more absent than present, was gone and she wore a blouse knotted under her breasts and netted leggings.

"It's not unjustified, sister," Leensa said, plomping herself down onto the other stool. Her usual battered armour replaced with a cropped blouse and long shorts.

"Mmmrgh." Chewie managed, taking a swig of the whisky.

"Smuggled it out of Ironforge ourselves!" Rae said happily.

Leensa grinned. "And by smuggled, she means we broke in, smashed heads, raided the tavern, took a few kegs and came looking for you."

"Kegs?" Chewie asked, perking up.

"Kegs," Rae confirmed wriggling her long eyebrows. "They're sitting under an ice elemental. He's not happy about it, but that's his mage's problem."

"So, what're you up to besides moping?" Leensa asked the shaman.

"I am not moping."

"Are too," Raelanna replied.

"Are three." Leensa agreed.

Chewie sighed. "The Horde is dying."

"Is not," Raelanna told me.

"Is not three," Leensa added.

Chewie blinked and looked at the paladin who just shrugged at him. It'd seemed amusing to her at the time.

Rae clapped her hands and rubbed them together. "Look. We can sit in a bar drinking fantastic whisky and moping about what's going on and doing nothing, or we can sit in a bar drinking fantastic whisky and then go discover what the hell Sylvanus is up to and who is with us to stop this insanity."

"With paladin subtly, of course," Leensa added with an innocent smile.

Chewie groaned.

"I mean, she was a great Banshee Queen, she had someone to rein her in when she got too big for her britches, but as Warchief.. nuh uh. Gotta go."

"So let's figure out a way to keep her AND get a good warchief going. She's got the heart of the Horde in mind, too bad she has no soul."

"Can't we just resurrect Vol'Jin?" Leensa grumped.

"NO!" Chewie and Rae yelled in the same voice.

"No," Chewie repeated. "With all the weird stuff with old gods and souls going awol and the loa and .. no. Even if his spirit hadn't moved on, even if the legion hadn't corrupted his body when it killed him, just no. It would be far too dangerous and an all-around bad idea."

"At least Syvie didn't make him Forsaken." All three shuddered.

Rae downed her shot on whisky, a shot that was one third the size of Chewie's. "Let's go kick some ass."

Leensa downed her own. "Right!" she paused. "Where are we starting?"

"With the Goblins," Chewie said, downing his own whisky with satisfaction. "Easily bribed, get everywhere, and if we give them stuff to blow up, they'll be even happier."

"See! This is why we like you, Chewie, you come up with ideas that involve explosions!" Rae jumped up off the stool, wobbled a bit, and steadied.

"No.. I didn't.." He sighed. He felt like a babysitter with these two. He was trying to herd babies with big swords and no sense.

"Ohh, and head butting! Let's get our armour. Grab your hammer, Chewie! We'll meet you on the docks!" Leensa got off her stool more carefully than her sister. She didn't quite have Rae's alcohol tolerance.

Chewie looked at his empty mug and wondered if he should finish the rum too. He might need it before another adventure with the Blood Elf sisters.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

[WoW Fanfiction] [NSFW] [NC-17] Maurata and Rhasody : Snuggle time!

The two Pandaren women were lying entwined in Master Chin's guest room. Rhasody found the neck rests a bit squooshy so she used Maurata's upper chest for a pillow instead. Maurata was idly circling and playing with one of Rhasody's nipples.  Still hot and sweaty from enthusiastic sex, the covers were pooled at their feet. Maurata's tail was still, not even twitching at the end.

"So.. " Maurata started, "Have you ever thought about going out into the world beyond?"

Rhasody raised an eyebrow in query. She wasn't quite ready to find the energy to speak yet. Even opening her eyes seemed like too much work.

"I mean, you've obviously got the Wandering Isle wanderlust as you came here, but .. Have you ever thought about what's beyond Pandaria and the horizons? What its like in the great city of Silvermoon or the tree city of Darnasus or.."

Rhasody opened one eye. "You'd follow Firepaw to Durotan, wouldn't you?"

Maurata made a scoffing noise, "Of course! Cloudsinger is all about tea and leaves, she wouldn't know a well-grilled goose if it fell in her lap."

Rhasody couldn't help but chuckle at that. It was probably a good thing Maurata was as good a cook as she was an eater or she'd starve. She managed to find the energy to wrap a very much abused pig-tail around a finger to play with. Maurata's hair was a mess, she shuddered to think what her own looked like.

"Orcs probably have more substantial meals than Elves." Rhasody teased.

"This is true. We'd have to sneak into the allied cities to look around. But can humans even tell the difference between a Huojin and a Tushui?" Maurata's hand was circling lower.

"Nuuurgh.." Rhasody managed before picking up Maurata's hand and plonking it back on her tummy. She didn't know where Maurata's endless energy came from, even with all the food, but she really didn't share it!

"I heard that their guards can read auras, but surely one Pandaren looks the same to another.. And how can EVERY guard read an aura? I bet the ones that can are only on the important entries.."

"You want to go to Stormwind, don't you?" Rhasody asked warily. She was still feeling a bit warm and fuzzy that this epic journey seemed to automatically include her. She should probably consider the wisdom in invading a human city uninvited.

"I REALLY want to see a griffon! And I hear the view from the cliff over the harbour is amazing! And then there's that ride through the sea to the dwarf town! That sounds fun! I'm told you can watch the fish and everything!" Maurata was giving Rhasody sad turtle eyes.

"You must really want to go, you haven't even mentioned food." Rhasody teased her girlfriend.

"Oh. Human food." Maurata wrinkled her nose in disgust. "It's all boiled and mushy. They use almost no spices, think black pepper is a delicacy and mustard is spicy." She sighed, "I tried to enlighten one of their cooks but he got very upset. I had to dump a thundercloud on him and make a quick getaway. At least Orcs, who think everything should still be bloody on the plate, are open to trying new things!"

"What about Dwarves?" Rhasody asked, unintentionally drawn into the comparison of racial cuisine.

"It's nothing to bring home, but their drinks... Oh my, do dwarves know how to make mead! Why I bet Chen himself learned a thing or two!"

"So I will be carrying you out in a wheelbarrow. Got it." Rhasody teased.

"Wait -- so you want to go?" Maurata's eyes sparkled.

Rhasody held her lover's hand to her lips to nibble on the tips, she was suddenly feeling a lot more energetic. "Nothing sounds better than exploring all of Azeroth with you."

"Just Azeroth?" Maurata asked, hand wandering south once more. Her eyes sparkled, "I heard that the humans found a way to travel to another world!"

"And probably started a war there too," Rhasody replied. The snark would have been stronger if Maurata's deft fingers hadn't parted her folds to stroke within. Her lover was also nibbling on her ear and breathing softly into it.

"I will employ a Tauren phrase.." Maurata teased as Rhasody rolled onto her elbow to nuzzle her neck. "Make love, not war."

Rhasody was fairly sure that was more an elf thing, there certainly were enough of them across the world. She, however, wasn't about to quibble when Maurata's tongue was starting to do such interesting things with her own.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

[Bunny Fiction] [Looney Toons] A Good day for a forest hop.

It was yet another fine day in the forest. The birds were chirping, there were white fluffy clouds that seemed almost painted on to the two-tone blue sky, there was a large black duck arguing with a dopey hunter with a gun. A grey and white rabbit was mostly in a hole, elbows propped on the ground as watched the hunter and the duck argue.  A small black and white bunny hopped up to the large grey and white rabbit.

"Nyah, what's up Doc?" The rather famous grey and white bunny asked of the small black and white bunny.

"Duck." Came the black and white rabbit's reply.

"Okay, confused little rabbit, what's up Duck?" Bugs Bunny, for who else could it be, pulled a carrot seemingly out of nowhere and started to snack.

"It's actually Ducky." Ducky explained.

"But you are a rabbit." Bugs pointed out.


"Named after a duck."

"I didn't name me." Ducky was happy to point out.

"An excellent point my diminutive little friend." Bugs said.

"You can't just go around the forest shooting at any old animal who crosses your path!" The black duck was trying to explain. He was waving around his arm like wings and spitting a lot.

"I think I can!" said the hunter, getting his gun ready.

"Oh, not this again." Bugs said, hauling himself out of his hole. "Look Fudd, every time you shoot that gun, every animal goes scurrying every which way and interrupt any very important naps I happen to be taking."

"You stay out of this, rabbit!" said the duck.

"That's Daffy," Bugs said in an aside to Ducky. "You're a better duck than he is."

"You know.." Elmer said thoughtfully, "Rabbit season and duck season overlaps this year."

"That's a lie!" Daffy spluttered, more arm/wing waving.

"Maybe," Elmer Fudd said slyly, "But who'll be around to tell?"

"I hate it when they make me work." muttered Bugs. "Stand back." He told Ducky and pulled a black orb with a sparking wick on it out of nowhere. He threw it to Elmer. "Your problem now!"

Bugs picked up Ducky and didn't quite dash back towards his hole.

Elmer threw the bomb to Daffy. Daffy yelped a "Not it!"  and threw it back.

The two rabbits sat by Bugs' hole and watched the bomb get thrown back and forth as the fuse got shorter and shorter. "This is where it gets good." Bugs said.

Ducky put his paws over his eyes. He didn't like hunters, but he didn't think that the mess was fair. He just didn't really know how to intercede.

"Don't worry, Duck. I'm a nice rabbit." Bugs patted Ducky between the ears.

Before Ducky could decide what evidence had ever been presented on Bugs' niceness, the bomb exploded.

Glitter went everywhere, inside the gun, in feathers, it blew Elmer's hat off, sent Daffy backward several steps and a sign fluttered down from the sky that said "Human season!"

Several not-duck birds decided this meant they should use Elmer for target practice.

"Ahh!" Fudd managed as he ran from white splatters falling from the sky and mocking caws and cheeps.

"See? I'm mostly nice." Bugs said, dusting off his hands. "Wanna come in for some tea and carrots?"

"I do like carrots," Ducky said, head in a bit of a spin. This was a very strange place he'd found through the closet. He was starting to see why so many rabbits just stayed home.

"It's the sugar content, mostly," Bugs was saying as he went into his hole. Ducky found the stairs easy enough to hop down. "But it became a tradition, y'know?"

Bugs stopped and leaned up and over Ducky to look out the hole, "Hey Daffy, you want some tea?"

The glittering duck appeared, "You're despicable."

Bugs tilted his head to one side and waited.

"Yes, I want the tea."  Daffy stomped down the stairs past Ducky.

"He's my best friend you know." Bugs confided.

Ducky was glad his best friends were far more sensible.. and less glittery.

Monday, October 15, 2018

[Commission] [WoW Fanfiction] Maurata & Rhasody - Noodles and Sha

Maurata & Rhasody being adorable.
Commissioned by Yaks

Maurata had absolutely given up on returning the turtle to the water and so had named him Kaj and just had him ride on her shoulder.

There were no gates to the village of Dawn's Blossom. It was a matter of climb some stairs and you were in the square, Maurata couldn't even remember a story of a time of gates, even in times of war. Chances were, some Pandaren at some point in time and thought the aesthetic was important and removed any gates that had ever existed. It wouldn't even really surprise her if there had never been gates in the first place.

"So, really, no sha? At all?" Maurata asked as they passed through the archway and into the village square. "That must be nice."  She was very studiously ignoring the guard who was having his lunch break and paying absolutely no attention to them.

"All peace and harmony until your turtle takes a warship to the flipper and tries to sail into the maelstrom," Rhasody answered wryly. She'd been through Dawn's Blossom only one since arriving in the homeland, but it seemed a nice enough place. No one stopped to wave or smile, but they didn't growl or anything either.

"Oh! Chin's open!" Maurata exclaimed, grabbing Rhasody by the hand to tug her along faster. Rhasody had no idea how Kaj stayed on Maurata's shoulder with all her bouncing around.

Rhasody was also starting to think the theory that the mainland Pandaren were more relaxed and controlled than their island cousins had skipped past Maurata entirely. The shaman had only degrees of enthusiasm and bounce. If there was a sha of happiness, Maurata was its avatar. Assuming sha ate buns and potstickers, of course.

"Master Chin!" Maurata greeted the vendor with a deep bow. Kaj placed a flipper on a pigtail to keep his balance. Rhasody had to admit even amongst the collection of cart vender's, Master Chin's smelled the best.

"Watersinger Maurata!" He replied, already fetching two bowls and filling them with noodle soup. "Just the lady I am happy to see!"

"Oh, I'm happy when people are happy to see me!" Maurata said, tail swishing as she sat on a stool, patting the one beside her for Rhasody.

"Are you ever not happy?" Rhasody teased, sitting on the stool.

"When I'm doing laundry. I hate laundry." Maurata did her best fierce, unhappy, face. It wasn't very convincing.

"I'll be happy to do your laundry," Rhasody told her, taking Maurata's hand and kissing the back of it.

Maurata did the hand-fan-face gesture and fluttered her eyelashes. "Deal, I'll provide food, you do laundry."

Rhasody wondered if paying the village laundress to do the laundry would count.

Chin, having waited for young love flirtation to subside rubbed his hands together, "You see, I have a little problem." He said, drawing their attention back. "I sent my nephew off to the Arboretum to get me some more honey for my peanut sauce --"

"I KNEW IT!" Maurata exclaimed. Several Pandaren, Rhasody, and Chin included stared at her. She coughed into her hand. "Er, sorry. I just had this theory about the type of honey you used and.." she let the explanation fade at their looks and put her elbows on the counter, cupped her chin with her palms and smiled her best, "Sorry Master Chin, you were saying?"

Rhasody may have rolled her eyes.

"Yes, well, my nephew has not returned. I thought at first he may have just stayed the night at the Arboretum having watched the serpent races or perhaps met... Ah, a friend. But as he is long overdue, I grow quite concerned."

"We can go look, right Rhas?" Maurata offered.

"And when we get back you'll feed us again?" Rhasody said hopefully, having slurped down noodles while the two were talking.

"I shall feed you my best noodles AND you shall stay in my guest room for as long as you need!" Master Chin declared.

Rhasody bowed, "Deal!"

He returned her bow.

They both looked to Maurata who had only started to eat her noodles. "What? NOW?" She said with a sigh, getting to her feet. "I'll return the bowl, Master Chin." She said sadly, tail down as she walked towards the gate, still eating.

Rhasody DID roll her eyes. "We'll find your nephew, Master Chin, don't you worry."  She jogged to catch up with Maurata.

* * *

They were about halfway to the Arboretum when Maurata heard the unique sound of shalings. To Rhasody it just sounded like hissing into a well and she didn't quite know what to make of it but when Maurata broke into a trot, she pulled out her bow and followed.

Upon seeing the overturned cart with the shadow monsters trying to shove at it, Maurata moved Kaj to her backpack and manifested a totem in the middle of the road.

Rhasody dumped her own pack at the side of the road and pulled back and arrow. Her arrow flew straight and true and right through a shaling that turned to her with a long, hollow, hiss. "What the... How do you kill these things?!"

Maurata was trying to evaluate what spirits were available. "They're not alive. They're just goop from a negative place and negative emotion given form. These ones are mostly anger. Guess someone forgot to pay their bar tab."

"Really?" Rhasody muttered, "She makes bad jokes at a time like this?"

"Well, I'd make a good one if I wasn't busy!" Maurata fired back. The totem at her feet exploded and shot lightning at all the shalings who paused in mid-attack. "Now'd be a good time to do something!"

"Oh yeah, let me just strap a sha blaster to my back," Rhasody grumbled, focusing on her bow and channeling her chi into her arrow before releasing it into the nearest shaling. The arrow struck true and Rhasody let go of the energy as the arrow was halfway through its mass. The shaling exploded and dissipated into a dark puddle of goo on the ground.

"And that's how we do it!" Maurata exclaimed, pulling power from the clouds and firing bolts of lightning from her fingers.

Rhasody shook her head to clear it and gain focus, having been distracted by watching her probably-girlfriend blow up half a dozen shalings.  She fired three arrows fired at once and three shalings exploded. Rhasody would admit, silently to herself that maybe she was trying to impress her probably-girlfriend.

The shalings seemed to have decided whatever was under the cart was of less interest than Rhasody. Even with Maurata blowing them up with lightning they chased after the hunter who was firing exploding arrows.

"That's perfect!" Maurata called as Rhasody jogged backward, firing arrows.  "Keep them busy!"

"Keep them.." Rhasody boggled at Maurata's ideas of good tactics. "If I get eaten, I'm not forgiving you!"

"Don't worry! I can heal you!" Maurata said and waved with her fingers as she went to investigate the cart.

"Wait! What are you -- " Rhasody fired a few more arrows, "A little help!"

"You're fiiine!" Maurata assured Rhasody as she peeked under the cart. "Good news! Found Chin's nephew!"

"He's alive, right?" Rhasody called, blowing up a few more shalings as she kept circling around backward. She was starting to get a bit dizzy and a bit concerned about her arrow supply.

"That would be what makes it GOOD news, Rhas!" Maurata said with a head shake. "BAD news would be he's... Er, well, sha food."

Rhasody blew up the last shaling and flumped right in the middle of the road. "Just let me lie here for a while. I think I used every trick I've got."

Maurata came over and leaned over the hunter to give her a smooch. "And you did wonderfully!" A water elemental appeared at Rhasody's feed to rub them. It felt very strange but she wasn't going to complain.

Another elemental followed Maurata over to the cart and helped her turn it back on its wheels. "You alright in there... Er, I don't think Master Chin told us your name."

"I am Zhan-Jo," the adolescent Pandaren said, accepting Maurata's hand up. "My girlfriend Ji-Sun was angry I did not stay longer." He looked around at the puddles of Shalings on the ground. "I had not thought her THIS angry." He looked at the jugs of honey, most of them broken. "My uncle is going to kill me."

"No! No despair!" Maurata said, clapping a hand over Zhan-Jo's mouth. "Especially not at a recent sha site! Your Uncle will be very happy you're in one piece and healthy! You were very smart to overturn the cart and use it for protection! Your girlfriend will be happy you're fine! You should come home with us now and everything will be fine."

Rhasody's eyebrows were raised. She wasn't quite sure if Maurata's reaction was over the top or not, but the shaman seemed quite serious about it. She sat up and the water elemental gave happy little cheeps before disappearing back into the ditch beside the road. With a sigh, the hunter got up and pulled her backpack on.

Doubtfully Zhan-Jo picked up the poles at the front of the cart and maneuvered it into the ruts of the road and started back towards Dawn's Blossom village.

Maurata clapped her hands together and skipped over to Rhasody. Rhas put her arm against the shorter woman and rested her cheek against Maurata. "Well, that was fun!" Maurata declared. "Shall we get back to Master Chin and have more noodles?"

Rhasody laughed and pulled away. "Right, must find the noodles. Very important."

Maurata did her best to look mock affronted "Dinner is one of my three favorite meals of the day!"

Thursday, October 11, 2018

[Commision] [Cat Fiction] [Part One] The Case of the Missing Hot Dogs.

Commissioned by Glen.

Chapter One

It was a dark and rainy night this one time in Greater Vancouver. The Greater Vancouver Regional District could be found in the south-west corner of British Columbia; a province of Canada that lived on the west coast beside the Pacific Ocean. On this night there was a crescent moon that was bravely trying to fight through the cloud cover but wouldn't have enough strength to succeed for at least another week. The story we are about to enjoy takes part in what is called a suburb by those in Vancouver and a city unto itself by those that live in it. The residents call it Coquitlam, a beautiful city with many delightful things. The Salish people have wandered the area for over nine thousand years but the silly white folk think the city's origins really began in the nineteenth century when French mill workers thought it was a good place to live. White folk are often wrong about a lot of things but the city named after a "red fish up the river" is where we find ourselves on this evening.

One particular location in one particular part of Coquitlam was a house built in the 1970s population boom. The region decided to build a highway and a great number of people decided to drive up and see what was at the end of it. This house was second in from the corner and was across from a twenty-four gas station and a regional park. During the days and evenings kids and not so kids could be heard playing in the lacrosse box. On this particular evening, it was quiet, the lights from the gas station blurred neon across the puddles in the street. The puddles were dancing from the raindrops splashing into them. Those puddles were shattered whenever a car drove through at speeds excessive of the posted limit. Many residents felt speed limit signs were guides on what the minimum speed should be, not the maximum. Community posts on Facebook always had rumblings about "a child is going to get hurt!" If Facebook had been around when the community was founded, there probably would have been posts about it then. Unfortunately, throughout the years many children had been hurt but the cars kept on speeding through.

The main source of sound on this evening was the trains rumbling and sounding their horns at the crossing. A lonely sound to many, but the trains were declaring that they were there. The trains reached out to remind people of their existence and their importance at bringing freight across the mighty country of Canada. Police sirens occasionally could be heard, unfortunately nowhere near the speeders of the street. But it was a quiet evening for the most part.

Out of the older house crept a small, cream coloured, rather fluffy, cat. She'd had to use a back window because the front door often squeaked. She had a furtive glance over her shoulder as she hopped up onto the fence that separated the front yard from the backyard and then hopped back down again, barely moving a blade of grass. There was a light breeze that ruffled her long fur as she paused, making sure her absence hadn't been noticed. She wasn't supposed to be out and about after all.

She crept across the yard to the neighbours where an old VW Microbus sat, seemingly forgotten. It was an orange and white vehicle with flat tires that had definitely seen better days. One headlight was missing, there was a dent in the roof, and the hatchback didn't close all the way. The body probably had more rust than original metal. It lay forgotten and unwanted in the corner of the front yard. Unwanted, that is, except by one cat who called it her nighttime home.

The cat wriggled in through the hatchback with practiced ease. The lights from the gas station provided more than enough light for her to see. The technician was standing behind the kiosk smoking the green leaves and happy in his own little world. Living in British Columbia the cat was more than used to the green leaf and its smell, but she didn't quite understand why the humans lit it on fire and breathed smoke. Happy feelings were found from rolling around in the bits of the green leaves to bruise them and get them to release their secrets. Any sensible cat knew that.

The vehicle's treasures were few but precious. There was an old laptop with a missing R key that her human had called 'antiquated' and had put in the pile for recycling. She'd, with great effort, managed to smuggle it out and into her hiding place.  She'd had a great battle to get the table of the Microbus to cooperate and then she'd had to wrestle one of the old cat beds out. Her human had kept insisting it was old and ratty and had to go in the garbage but the cat thought this was very silly. Humans were often quite silly. She'd stolen the bed and let the human think he had finally done thrown it away. She was happy to use it for a place to curl up when she was using her laptop.

There was an even more ancient captioned telephone beside the laptop. The cat hadn't managed to get her hands on a cell phone for texting yet, so she had to pretend to be mute and deaf when she wanted to communicate directly with the humans outside of her home. She felt bad claiming disabilities she didn't have, but one had to make do when dealing with the human world. 

As hiding places went, it was a comfortable one. It kept the rain out, it had bits to play with, lots of places to hide, and enough leaves and ground cover between the van and the house so no one saw her pirated electricity and phone lines. The pine trees overhead kept the sun out in the summer and helped keep some of the warmth in the winter.

It was the perfect place to get one's self a better dinner than kibble.

Chapter Two

The hero of our story is a simple cat with simple needs. Her pet human called her 'Captain Fluffnstuff' and variations thereof. It was surprisingly close to her cat name, so she humoured him and pretended it was her name. It was amazing how far wrong humans could go when it came to naming their furry companions. She once met a dog named Bob. Who called a dog Bob? The less said about human naming practices of fish the better. Even worse than calling a dog Bob was naming your dinner. Fish were food, not friends.

Captain Fluffnstuff, who will humour us even further and let us call her Fluff and variations thereof, was a young cat of slightly above intelligence. What made her unique is not just her long luxurious coat and fluffy tail but that she is far more ambitious and curious than the average cat. While other cats may lay across a laptop's keyboard for the dual purpose of comforting warmth and irritating their human, Fluff wanted to learn and study human technology. It hadn't taken her long to figure out the internet. It had taken her a bit longer to figure out what to do with the internet.

Now she could spend her evenings doing just about whatever she wanted. She had access to credit cards that may or may not have belonged to her human. She had access to delivery drivers who were too tired and too jaded to even blink at instructions like 'Just give it to the cat' or 'leave it on the step.' She'd learned rather quickly that if you tipped well, they'd do whatever you wanted. Getting daytime deliveries from Amazon had been trickier, but getting the VW its own address had solved things. She got UPS to stick things under the rear axle and she'd fish them out when she could. She'd even managed to get a tarp under there so she didn't have to deal with soggy boxes. There was little worse for napping than a soggy box.

Fluffnstuff wasn't a hunter by nature. She'd chase off the mice and other animals if they bothered her, but for the most part, she was willing to live and let live. After all, why would you need to go to all the trouble of hunting down a rodent if you could just order pizza from online and have it delivered? If worst came to worst, there was also kibble in the house. There were far more interesting things to do than stalk through the mud.

So, she placed an order for dinner and started reading Reddit. The humans had all sorts of funny ideas that she liked to dispute. Sometimes her logic was a bit fuzzy, but then, so was she.

Chapter Three

Captain Fluffnstuff awoke with a yawn, giving her front paws a quick clean. She wouldn't admit to sometimes drooling is her sleep as it was undignified. A queen never did anything undignified, at least, not where anyone else could possibly see her. With a yawn and a stretch, she checked her dinner order as 'delivered'  She must have slept through the arrival on the delivery car unless it was that overly enthusiastic teenage human who liked to ride his bike all over the place. The silly human must bike kilometer after kilometer, although she supposed he didn't have to visit the gas station very often. Unless he liked to smoke green leaf with the attendants.

She wriggled out of the back of the VW Microbus and sauntered over to the front porch. There was a small bench there that was probably for sitting on but all it ever got used for was collecting the advertisements of grocery stores, the plethora of newspapers that Coquitlam seemed to produce and whatever had been ordered and left.

Something truly tragic was quickly discovered. There were no hot dogs. She had placed the order. The order had in fact been confirmed. There was the flat box that the bicycle delivery human liked to use. His preferred boxes were useless for naps since they were so shallow but she tried to humour him without much complaint.  Captain Fluffnstuff didn't quite run back to her home away from home to look up the delivery status, but it would be reasonable enough to call it a sprint. The delivery was confirmed as left on the porch. She paced back and forth not quite sure what to do.

Coming to a decision she texted the bicycle delivery human and said she can't find the hot dogs is he sure he left them behind? That was polite and diplomatic and human, wasn't it? She wanted to howl and call him a thief, but she didn't think that would help her get her dinner. Someone was a thief and they'd enjoyed her hot dogs! She'd paid for it and everything with her pet human's money!

It seemed an eternity before she got a text back that assured her he'd left it in the usual place, dude.  Fluff wasn't quite sure what a dude was but she was fairly certain she wasn't one. After all, if anyone knew what they were or weren't it was the person who it applied to and she certainly didn't recall being branded a dude. She even checked her collar tags to make sure. None of them said she was a dude.

With a rumbling growl, she turned on her tail, the faint scent of hot dogs all that was left of the dinner she'd been very much looking forward to. She looked around the yard and up at the trees and across the way. There were plenty of thief suspects to be found. It was unlikely that the gas station worker would cross the road for a hot dog or two when he had his own broiling away. However, the crows had been known to steal things and Raccoons were notorious thieves. Most people thought that the squirrels would be vegetarian and avoid such things as hot dogs but the little coffee addicts would probably eat just about anything that they thought had been left for them. The owl wasn't likely to swoop so low as to eat hot dogs but one never knew.

She sighed the sigh of the long-suffering. She would just have to investigate and find out who stole her hot dogs and then there would be trouble for the thief!

Chapter Four

Raccoons had lived in the yard since before there was a yard to live in. No one had remembered to tell the original family of raccoons that they were supposed to be territorial and kick the males far out of the nest and the girls were supposed to wander off and find mates. Mostly this family had found friends and mates from every which place and dragged them back to their own territory. This led to there being a somewhat raccoon mafia that had taken over acres of territory.

When the white humans came into the lands they caused some problems by cutting down trees and putting up houses. These problems, however, were balanced in the raccoon mind as the humans tended to leave all sorts of lovely garbage around and also have small furry creatures they could steal and eat. Chicken eggs were a particular favourite but a chicken itself would do in a pinch.

Raccoons became devious at figuring out how to get past the things humans like to call raccoon protection. It was very nice of the humans to give them puzzles to play with. Why they even tried the silly bear protections once in a while, but really, everyone knew raccoons were far smarter than bears. After all, when a bear showed up the raccoons cleared out, did you see a bear doing that for a raccoon? No, of course, you didn't. Bears just weren't that smart.

The raccoons had already been taught with fast claws and loud hisses that the furry creatures who currently lived in the houses were not to be messed with. Momma Raccoon's nose still had the marks all these years later. In the cold winter months, she liked to tell her great great great grandkits the stories of the horror of the flashing claw.  Pappa raccoon, who hadn't gotten the memo that he was supposed to have moved out years ago, just rolled his eyes and counted his nuts.

It wasn't hard for Captain Fluffnstuff to corner the raccoons to ask them questions. Where had they been when the food had been delivered, she asked. They were very excited to chitter about the yummy smelling food coming from the human on the bike but they knew better than to steal the cats' food because then they would get in trouble with not only the human with the broom but the captain herself. They'd heard the rattle of the bike and the squeak after he'd put the food down and the rattle as he left again.

They said they'd thought about going and investigating because it did smell very yummy, but they had lots of potato peels to sort through. They were happy to hold up the peels as examples. They muttered that the broccoli was soggy and they didn't know why the humans ever bothered cooking it since no one ever ate it anyway. Fluffnstuff could sympathize, it didn't smell that good when it was being cooked either. The mammals all agreed that the humans should throw away more cheese.

Fluff wasn't convinced that the raccoons hadn't be involved, they were called nature's thieves for a reason but she decided she'd go on to talk to the grumpy old owl rather than pursue this particular string further.

Chapter Five

If someone had told the barren owl who lived in the old pine that she should be up on the side of a mountain somewhere rather than in the middle of a city, she'd have snapped her beak at them and hissed. She was a very good hisser. If a cat hissed at her, she would hiss right back, flex talons and beat her wings at them. The cats and she had come to an agreement that had been passed for the generations of mutually ignoring the other. She was an old and cranky owl now, but she knew she could still give any pesky cat a run for their money. She could still chomp a tail if she had to.

She lived in the old pine that had been struck by lightning twice. Fortunately, she'd been nowhere near the tree either time. It had recovered although after the second time it never again grew quite as tall as it's neighbours. Perhaps even stubborn old pine trees could learn their lessons.

The owl didn't much like the rain, it made her feathers soggy and flying much harder work. Her joints were always aching these days and it took a while to warm up before she could take a proper flight. She preferred to just take short hops and glides rather than go hunting all over. The raccoons often helped by leaving bits and drabs of garbage lying about after they'd had their own dinners. The mice they attracted were good for dinner. Sometimes the raccoons would complain about her pellets at the bottom of the tree. She was of the opinion that really if the pellets were such a problem,  the raccoons could find a new set of trees to live in.

She ruffled her feathers as she watched the noisy cars and ignored the cat stalking about. The cats were always after something, but as long as they weren't trying to steal her dinner she wasn't about to pick a fight. Occasionally, the fluffy one would even leave her things. Of course, sometimes she had to take them because they forgot the pecking order of the yard! Really, was it so hard to be respectful of an owl who had been here since before the cat's mother had been a kitten?

Captain Fluffnstuff had to climb up the tree, which made her irritable. While pine trees weren't that hard to climb, it did mean she got bits of bark and pine needs in her fur. Sometimes the debris would get right wrapped up in her tail fur and it would take forever to work out. To make matters worse, if the owl was feeling particularly grumpy, she'd vomit up pellets to bounce off Fluff's head.  Fluffnstuff was grumpy because someone had stolen her very yummy dinner and then made her climb a tree to find out who had stolen her very yummy dinner. Someone was going to get a snoot full of claws.

The owl saw her coming, the owl saw everything that could be seen. Perhaps she even knew who had stolen her dinner. When asked the owl rolled her eyes and fluffed her feathers and pointed out that she'd still have mustard on her if she'd stolen the food. The owl was far more articulate than a bunch of silly raccoons and had a reputation to uphold. Fluff couldn't remember if the raccoons had had any sauces on them, but knowing them they'd have licked it off each other anyway. T

Fuff wouldn't have seen or heard the owl if she'd gone after the food, but she would have heard the raccoons especially since they tended to fight over everything. So less likely it was the raccoons and more likely it was the owl. However, the owl denied anything to do with it and showed that her wings were still dry because the mice hadn't come out yet. Fluff was pretty sure that wings could be dried fairly quickly and the owl was a grouch, but she couldn't really prove either. After all, maybe feathers did dry faster than fur. The owl was old though, she wasn't up to preening and her feathers looked a bit ragged at the best of times. Fluffnstuff really didn't think the owl was her culprit.

With a sigh, she climbed back down the tree. It was time to wake up some crows.

Chapter Six

The Crows were busybodies that had hiding holes and perches everywhere. They were as likely to head to the rookery in Burnaby as they were to just sleep in the trees in the yard. It all depended on the whims of those around them. They were notorious thieves and they'd steal food, windshield wipers, coins, or just about anything that wasn't nailed down. They'd once managed to work together using a small hammer to even steal a bent, rusty, nail that was half sticking out of the windowsill.  They'd been told they couldn't do it and crows love a challenge.

The crows of the yard, as a whole, objected to the term 'murder of crows' and called themselves a flock. When they were feeling fancy and a little bit silly, they'd refer to themselves as a congress and then caw merrily because congress just another word for a bunch of murders? Not that the crows were murderers, of course, it wasn't their fault if the carrion hadn't quite carried on when they arrived. Why it was only the civilized thing to help them carry on with their carrying on.

Captain Fluffnstuff wasn't particularly fond of the crows because they were silly, pranksters, and were entirely too fond of puns. However, they were the biggest thieves around to be found. The problem was, they didn't typically fly at night. When the did flap around at night, the owl was pretty likely to swoop down and rap them on the heads with a closed fist for bothering her. While a flock of crows probably could take on the average owl, a very cranky old owl wasn't worth the battle. However, the owl had been sulking in her tree and avoiding the rain so it's possibly a sneaky crow or two could have come in and stolen her dinner. It was all getting very complicated.

 Fluff looked up at the tree and started another climb. She found four of the crows in the middle branches, fast asleep. Two had their heads tucked back over their shoulders while the other two were just looking like perched birds with their eyes closed. Fluff wasn't even going to begin to guess who was who, all the crows liked to look alike to confuse and it worked. She clung to the tree for a couple of minutes, tail lashing against the bark. Really, it was the least they could do to notice she was here.

With a swing and a pounce, she landed between two crows. They still didn't wake up. They did, however, wake up, when she shoved one off the branch.  There was a ruckus as all the crows seemed to wake up at once and start flapping around madly, cawing and fussing and doing all sorts of silly crow things. Fluff wrapped her tail around her paws and waited patiently for them to come to their senses.

When she was started to doubt that crows actually had any senses to speak of, they finally settled back down on the tree and started to demand what she'd been up to and why she would ever push them off a tree. Her explanation of she needed them awake didn't seem good enough for the crows and they threatened to push her off the branch. This did offer a matter of some concern to Fluff since she didn't have wings. While she would easily land on her feet it was still a matter of landing with her weight on her joints and paws and it was less than pleasurable. She sighed and offered an apology that the crows seemed to believe.

Things improved for about fifteen seconds because right after the apology she asked them if they'd stolen her dinner. You'd think she'd asked them if they'd stolen the crown jewels of parliament or some such thing. They were offended and upset and caw'd and caw'd some more.

The door of the house opened with a squeak and a blonde head stuck out as it looked around the yard. Obviously, the human was trying to figure out what was upsetting the crows, but it's not like Fluff could explain to him. Humans didn't listen and she wasn't supposed to be out. This evening was turning into an unending supply of problems and she still hadn't found out who had stolen her dinner. The human muttered to himself and closed the door with a firm thud.

Giving up on the crows, she crawled down the side of the tree that the door couldn't see. It was time to face something even worse than crows, it was time to face.. The squirrels.

Chapter Seven

The squirrels of the yard were an unrelated gang who had formed around one particular squirrel. The leader squirrel had grown up in Algonquin Park in Ontario and had some very strange ideas on squirreling. The squirrel had decided that snow and mountains weren't for him and upon deciding that he decided that wherever the sunset would be warmer than where it rose. So, the squirrel found the first large truck heading west and got comfy in the back. He hopped out at rest stops to find food and water and then just found the next big truck going his way.

The squirrel had arrived at a port near the ocean filled with big trucks, cursing humans and many seagulls. It was then he discovered he really didn't like seagulls. Seagulls, it turned out, were loud, messy, and didn't much like squirrels who tried to steal their food. He had some strong thoughts about how seagulls didn't really need french fries, that they had an entire beach of shells they could crack open. Muttering about how it was a pain in the tail to find a new home the squirrel had made his way east until he found a locale that had more trees than seagulls and decided it was home. Of course, he'd had to evict the family of squirrels that thought it was their home, but it was a minor thing after he stole half their nuts and gave the nuts to the crows. The crows, having been quite successfully bribed, were happy to dive bomb the native squirrels at any given opportunity.

So, the eastern squirrel had set up shop in the tree with plenty of nuts to keep him company and bribe crows with. The downside was, he started to get lonely. Especially on the few days that Coquitlam got snow each year. Sometimes it was two feet of snow, sometimes it was two inches, but it was a very rare year that saw more than a grand total of eight days of snow.  In the squirrel's opinion, one day of snow was too much. While snow did create the ice crusts over the mud puddles that were fun to slide on and crunch it wasn't really worth the overall price of cold. So, the squirrel had started to attract other not-so-usual squirrels into his family and soon they'd taken over a couple of trees and kept the local humans completely confused as to why their coffee grounds kept going missing.

The squirrels were addicted to coffee.

They'd bribed a cat to get them one of the press down coffee makers which had the advantage of not needing zappy lines, but the disadvantage of making cold coffee. Cold coffee from used grounds was less than ideal so when they could, they would follow a human into the gas station and steal the gas station's coffee. The easiest time to steal coffee was in the middle of the night, however, it was also the time of the worst coffee. The squirrels had taken to sleeping in shifts just in case an opportunity came along that would make a quick theft possible. If they happened to get a donut or chocolate bar in the process, even better. The raccoons were always happy to open a chocolate bar for them in exchange for half. The eastern squirrel didn't believe in fighting when bribing was much more efficient.

Captain Fluffnstuff wasn't surprised to find the Eastern Squirrel awake in his den when she arrived. Her fur was full of even more debris from the flora of the yard. There was even a small down feather stuck to her collar, probably from a crow since the owl would have been very grumpy if she thought Fluff was trying to steal a feather. Whenever she saw the squirrels the eastern squirrel was awake, he never seemed to sleep.  When she had suggested that perhaps he'd had too much coffee he had become even grumpier than the owl.

Taking a deep breath hoping she wouldn't get squirrels as excitable as the crows had been, she explained about the theft and if they'd seen anything. It was fairly unlikely the squirrels of the yard had turned into omnivores but she wasn't willing to put anyone past anything at this point. After all, hot dogs were pretty tasty.

The squirrels conferred in a scrum, their bushy tails bouncing up and down as they chattered amongst themselves before turning back to the captain. They explained they had not seen her dinner nor had they seen any residents of the yard near it. But for a reasonable fee, they might be willing to investigate the tree residents more thoroughly as they could manner in the trees far better than she could.

She sighed and said she'd keep that as the backup plan. After all, the squirrels were devious and inventive, she wouldn't put it past them to get her to pay them to hide their own tracks. They could have stolen her dinner to sell to one of the other residents after all. The squirrels could be vicious little mercenaries.

Chapter Eight

Captain Fluffnstuff returned to her Microbus to contemplate the situation at paw. All she really knew was that her hot dogs had been delivered and then gone missing. All the potential food thieves denied knowledge of the theft. Even owl hadn't seen anything. They'd all heard the delivery human's bicycle so he hadn't been lying about delivering it and the food place was still warm. At some point between his delivery and her waking up from her nap, her hot dogs had been stolen from her.

To complicate matters her fur now had bits and sorts all throughout it and she would have to make sure she got them all out or the human would know she'd snuck out. They would then start a mission to find every single one of her escape routes to try and prevent further nocturnal freedoms. It wasn't as if the humans could prevent her from leaving when she wanted to leave but they could certainly make it more of a pain that it needed to be.

Captain Fluffnstuff had to be back inside by dawn when the male human would get up to leave the house. He got to use the front door, of course, because he had hands and only beings with hands got to use the door. That caused her to wonder if the raccoons would be allowed to use the door if they could reach the doorknob. She would save that as a suggestion for the next time the human irritated her. She was fairly certain the answer was no, raccoons were not allowed to use doors. She was very certain that the human would get very excited if there were raccoons in the house. It's not like raccoons knew to clean their paws before going inside after all.

Halfway through the night and she'd still not had dinner, had a thief to catch and fur to groom.  She was short on clues and even shorter on inspiration. Obviously, it was time for a nap.