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A note from BenJepheneT
Aight', truth be told, this isn't my first time posting stories. I've come from ScribbleHub first, so it isn't much of a stretch to call me a whore.
 
But, for the sake of exposure and more opportunities to open criticism, here I am. This is the first story series I'm looking to have a serious commitment with, and to put actual, hard-on effort into it, and I really want to know what the netizens see of my best effort, and how I can improve it.
 
So get as cruel and sadistic as you'd like on judging my writing. I'm gonna need it.
 
Ben J' out.

Golden light spilt from the soot-caked windows, filling the warehouse with its blazing brilliance. Rays of light pierced through the glass like they weren't there at all. Under the glorious bask, dust danced around the stagnant, stuffy air, flying around like skates on ice.

One particular strand no bigger than a blade of grass, blown by a tiny breeze that seeped through the cracked walls, was thrown about with his fellow brethren. There it flew, around and around till it lost all sense of direction. It began falling, spinning in dizzying rounds before landing onto the concrete floor below-

-landing on a fresh, metal-stenched puddle of blood without breaking a ripple.

There were other puddles spread around the dust’s resting place, oozing across the concrete floor. They all smeared and splotched the floor a crimson mess enough to drive a janitor mad. Splatters of red drifted across the surface in heavy beads, leaving streaks of red off its grey face. The whole scene seemed as if it rolled straight out of a mad painter’s dream, visualized through his mad strokes from his mad brush.

Standing among the demented scenery were two broken animals.

A brown bear stood on one end, his back facing the warehouse's one door. He crouched over his knees, panting as he caught his liquid breaths through his drooling snout. Wounds and scratches of the deepest kind were seared all across his body, cutting through his skin and meat, leaving his nerves and ligaments fragile and exposed to the open air. Caking the wounds were flakes of drying blood covered by gallons of hot, steaming red, flowing off every cut and mark. His once brown, frizzled fur was tainted into a dark, intimidating scarlet tinge. His clothes, torn with claw marks dragged in threes, were left dangling over his bleeding body with only patches of white left.

As the bear threw breaths, a big drop of red rolled off his forehead, dripping into one of his beady eyes. He cupped a giant paw over the eye, dragging it all the way to an open wound on the top of his head, where one of his ears should’ve been. Blood filled and oozed as he pulled his hand back.

“That hurt,” he commented as he flung a splatter of blood onto the ground. A deadly, audible gargle accompanied the two words as it leaked out of his broken throat. His voice didn't sound like a bear's at all. They sounded more like a rag of shattered glass getting crushed.

“So," he said, "this is it. This is what we’ve become. Two civilized children- no, men of the civilized century, born in a civilized world, brought up by civilized parents, raised in civilized teachings, abiding civilized rules and laws-”

He stopped his words halfway. Another particularly thick strand of blood had woven its way through his fur and onto his eye again. This time, he didn’t bother; he simply flicked his head and shook the liquid red off his sight. Crimson splattered all across the last remains of his clothes; onto the floor and all over his body.

“-fighting like damned animals in a wretched warehouse."

As he said those words, a nasty grin spread across his snout. He lifted himself off the ground into a straight-backed posture, revealing his massive build suspended under over his broad, boulder-like shoulders. Blood flowed off his bulging forearms; stray drops dripping onto his beefy, stout legs. A walking definition of the word “brawn”, even with all the bleeding wounds and injuries. If he indeed felt any pain from them, he didn’t show. In fact, his demeanor seemed all the more powered and enhanced by the red.

"But ain’t that what we are?”

Standing on the other side was a wolf.

The wolf had a lean, tall stature showing from his straight-backed stance, disturbed occasionally by rhythmic, heaving breaths. He wore a black tracksuit and track pants, blending with his black fur like shadows in the dark. Both were tainted and stained; smeared with blood into a murky, reddish tinge. He had a hand in his pocket, and the other one over his short, stubby snout, seemingly hiding something from the bear's sight. He bore no visible scars or wounds, though his ruffled look and the crumpled state of his attire suggested some roughing before hand.

The wolf also had red eyes that seemed most unusual for a canine like him. It was the color of a brilliant red akin to a gem. They seemed feline and watchful, unlike the beady, serious stare wolves usually have. They somehow dominate the wolf's existence with its sheer presence alone, that people would see his eyes before they see him.

And there the wolf stood, glaring at the bear with his weird, cat-like ruby red eyes from his extraordinarily ordinary presence. After what seemed like a moment, he swung his hand down and stuffed it into his pockets, revealing a chewed-up, soggy lump of meat hanging just below his wet, drooling jaw. A combination of slimy saliva and blood dripped down to the floor as the wolf unlocked his jaw, simply letting the ear drop onto the floor in a dull slap.

The bear’s grin held up for no longer than a second before caving in to a deep scowl.

“You’re not stepping out of here. Not with my ear. Not anywhere else.”

The bear shoved a bloody hand into his frayed back pocket and pulled out a gleaming, metallic tool. There was an oddly-shaped ring just below the slab of iron where he shoved his knuckles in.

“Screw the whole animal nonsense. I’ll use whatever the hell I want to put you on the ground,” he said as he wrung the blood off his brass knuckles.

The wolf didn’t reply. His unblinking eyes stayed exactly where they were, unfazed and unmoved by any words the bear threw at him.

He only scoffed a breath out of his drooling snout.

The bear felt something primitive tick in its dark, angry heart and in the next instant, threw all seven feet of his colossal figure into a raging charge towards the wolf with nothing but murderous intentions in mind.

 


 

The wolf stood below the blinding lights, the glare stabbing into his eyes like sharp knives. He winced as he squinted away from the immense burn. His eyesight began singing out as he squinted away, like flames eating his papery vision.

“May the speaker step forward to the podium,” an ethereal voice sounded off from above.

Heaven was his first thought as his singed out eyesight began swimming back into view. He couldn't remember anything that would remotely caused death to him, but then the blasting light seemed to shine ever more brighter than last time, making him wonder if it was really the case after all. Maybe he really did meet with an unfortunate accident. Maybe his time really was up, and that it was his day of judgement.

“May the speaker step forward to the podium.” He heard the voice call to him again. The voice sounded fuzzy. His sensitive, perky canine ears picked up an odd static as the voice commanded him to ‘step forward to the podium’ once again, though he was struck odd by the 'speaker' part. That one strike of oddity pulled him back to reality and that maybe, just maybe, he wasn't dead. Yet.

What else is there to do? The wolf stepped forward.

He found out he was far from dead. He was, in fact, alive; proven by the pure, boiling streams of blood carrying shock and awe throughout his body.

The wolf found himself not to be in heaven, but in an auditorium. A fully-seated auditorium, at that. A fully-seated auditorium so unbelievably large and that even his canine eyesight couldn't see the end. It was so vast he felt tiny and alien, intimidated by the ever-ascending darkness dawning above. He glanced towards the seats that spilled wide and far. On it sat almost every animal imaginable by the wolf. Species of all kinds, ranging from reptiles to mammals, from humans to animals, from mixeds to hybrids, all grouped and sat in one quiet, chaotic horde. His mind was blown out from behind as he spotted every species Mother Nature had to offer within a sea of flapping ears, branching antlers, curling horns, and giant tusks. Every gene there is on the planet was seated right before him. From the far left, he spotted a leopard in a tank top in a discussion with a gazelle as if their predatory origins never existed. He cranked his head to the right and saw a large elephant seated right next to a tiny mouse the wolf could barely spot. To his front, a female human and a bison, hand in hand, deep in a relationship the wolf felt obligated not to pry any deeper.

Those, and so much more, the wolf saw. Every specimen of nature’s giving, the wolf saw it all. He couldn’t believe his eyes, much less believe the sight beheld before him. He felt as if he'd been living on some distant island and was just introduced to civilization and hundreds of years' worth of history and advancement.

“May the speaker step forward to the podium,” the voice bellowed from above again.

The wolf got snapped from his trance. He glanced around his surroundings and found himself to be on some sort of a stage. In front of his was a podium, built with painted black wood and an excess of glass that made it look fragile and very, very expensive. He walked up to it and lowered himself towards the little gooseneck microphone arched on the middle. It was fitted just right for his height.

“May the speaker present his name, age, and species to the seated audience,” the voice commanded.

The wolf heard the voice loud and clear. The swallowed a lump down his throat, lowered his snout to the microphone and felt a cold blast of panic washing over every inch of his black-furred body as the realization set in as subtle as a freight train.

The wolf was standing before a fully-seated auditorium, a fact he only recently registered into his head. The canine reveled in the horror as hundreds if not thousands pair of eyes stared at him as he trembled with the microphone between his fingers. Gazes and gawks of so many different eyes - the slitted stare of reptiles; the round, empty goggles of mammals; the oh-always suspicious glances of humans, all multiplied by the power of a number too high for Shiro to even fathom.

There he stood, rooted with sudden stage fright. It would’ve been fine if someone were to warn him firsthand that he was required to put his voice out to a population to a small city. Even if so, he'd still be struck full of fear. This was a whole other level. He was like a mouse against a hungry cat, staring at his definite and certain doom. He was supposed to talk, unprepared, towards the mass before him.

Towards his future schoolmates, no less.

“May the speaker present his name, age, and species to the seated audience.”

The voice echoed into the wolf’s head as he crouched over the podium, as still as a rock like he was some statue depicting a bumbling fool who can't talk beyond a mindless mutter. The light from above now morphed into some sort of a mocking spotlight, presenting the wolf to the audience like a roasted pig in a banquet.

“May the speaker present his name, age, and species to the seated audience.”

Mumbles started to seep out of the audience. Whispers and calls began leaking out of the curious folks. The wolf knew what came next was only jeers and sneers. He covered the microphone and took a deep breath as he ran quick words in his head, readying himself as his claws slipped off the little black ball of cotton, building a wall of concrete courage and blind bravery in his heart. He unhinged the lock on his jaws and opened his mouth.

“May the speaker present his-”

“Shiro,” the wolf blurted out, “it’s Shiro.”

Shiro the wolf spoke into the mic, his deep, husky voice booming from the auditorium’s too-effective sound system, shattering that wall of blind bravery in his heart like it was simply glass. His last ‘ro’ came out like a ‘ruh’ as a tiny bit of dignity seeped in at the exact worst moment for restraint. He shoved the moment back into his head, hoping it won't crop up in the future as an embarrassing callback in his sleep or anywhere else, whenever, wherever.

“Sixteen. Wolf. Mixed,” Shiro fired those words out, hoping that his words will just end there and the voice would send him away, off the stage and away from the guillotine.

Evidently, that isn’t the case.

“Now that the speaker has presented his vitals, the seated audience may present the speaker with a set of questions, limited to one set per audience member,” the voice sounded from above, among the lights. As the voice continued, people were already getting up from their seats as they shuffled and 'excuse me'd their way to the centre.

“Questions can only be regarding the speaker’s birthplace, lifestyle, behavior, and whatever the Secretary may see fit,” the voice explained, “Questions regarding the speaker’s private life will be unadvised and be unanswered under the supervision of the Secretary.”

“The audience members may begin forming an orderly queue before the mic. Failure to do so will result in the audience member's right of speech exempted by the Secretary. Failure to comply will be met with adequate punishment."

Shiro could only glance around in a daze as people waddled into an orderly queue before a microphone stand just below the stage where he can see. He was surprised at first, seeing as how in this day and age people would listen when being told to line up properly. Then the anxiety returned when the first audience member stepped towards the mic.

A tiny little goose stepped up onto a soapbox placed just before the mic-stand. The little goose donned a short, black blazer that draped over his white, buttoned shirt. It was tucked in a long, black-colored pants that dangled over the his skinny ankles.

“What’s your net worth,” he honked.

“N-net worth?” Shiro was thrown off guard. He was already on edge, having forced to answer questions by a live audience as if he's some celebrity on a panel or a suspect in court. He decided to toss that question into the back of his head and focus on the now, leaving that speck of confusion clawing from behind, demanding for an answer. The now didn't seem so good either.

“Uh...”

Shiro racked his head up to find an answer. He knew what 'net worth' meant. Sort of. There was a man who left a magazine in a bus station once and Shiro was bored. He picked it up and read something about 'property and liability' under a huge, bold header. Then he realized he couldn't understand a single word and put the magazine back where he found it and continued being bored. Now Shiro was burning his brain to remember what the article said before failing regrettably. Never once had he considered the money in his wallet as long it’s enough to get him a sandwich, much less his ‘net worth’.

“My clothes, I guess?” Shiro tugged the black, striped tracksuit on his body. It wasn't a joke, but it still warranted few snorts of laughter sounded from the audience. The goose gave an amused honk himself."

“Nice one, but really, though. How much is your worth?”

Shiro had to be honest, “I don’t know.”

Shiro heard the goose snort before hopping off the soapbox. If he wasn’t mistaken, Shiro thought he saw a glint of scrutiny in the goose’s gaze as a new animal stepped up. Mild whispers grew from the back.

A Doberman came up behind, pushing the soapbox away. From the way he walked, Shiro could see a vigorous flow in his steps. His build seems athletic, like he had been working out for a considerable amount long ago. He held a no-nonsense demeanor on his stern, no-nonsense face as he spoke into the mic.

"Who sent you here."

The Doberman's bark was harsh and straightforward, almost unforgiving, at that. His question sounded less like one and more of an unavoidable statement demanding for answers. Shiro actually felt intimidated for a split second.

"E-excuse me?"

"Who are you working for?"

Shiro had no idea what the Doberman meant. Even with his elusive words, Shiro actually felt he was at fault for not being able to answer. His grave, serious voice had a threatening weight that made him shudder on the spot.

"I'm not working for anyone-"

"Bull."

The Doberman cut Shiro as abruptly as his one-worded reply shot in like a streaking bullet; his voice flattening Shiro's shut like an anvil. His flapping ears perked up sharp and acute as a snarl broke across his snout.

“You’re here and you don’t know why? Bull. Who do you think you are?”

Shiro grasped fruitlessly at the flitting words streaking across his head in bouts of panic.

“I-”

“Don’t give me more bull, you mutt. Just who are you?” the Doberman growled back, smashing Shiro’s presence lower and lower.

Shiro got kicked into a daze by the dog's hostility. His head spun as words hurled towards him in machine-gun fire rate. He was being called out for something he didn’t know and now this Doberman is throwing him a philosophical question out of nowhere. What should he answer? What can he answer?

“I-,” Shiro couldn’t get past the I part of his answer. He’s as stuck in his mind as one would be in quicksand, or drying cement. He could think no further other than ponder on the Doberman’s hostility and how the hell is he going to talk his way out of this. He still hadn’t gotten his head wrapped around the ‘why am I here’ part. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this a crisis.

“Huh?” The Doberman was practically lunging for Shiro from below.

“I-”

“I what, huh? Who are you? Don’t you bull us again,” the Doberman barked, “just who are you-”

“May the audience member step away from the mic,” the voice from above boomed in.

Shiro jolted from the voice from above in a mix of surprise and relief. He cranked his head to the high lights above before wincing away after recalling how painful the lights were to unprotected eyes. He glanced towards the Doberman. He too, was looking up onto the voice above. His once aggressive snarl died down to a frown, then slipping into a low, mournful look. The Doberman gave Shiro one last glint of a glare in his canine eyes before tottering away from the stand, huffing a frustrated breath as he went.

"The next audience member may proceed."

The next audience member was a chinchilla. A rather small one, at that. It took Shiro a hard stare to spot the little rodent doing her best pushing the soapbox back on the stand to reach the mic.

The little chinchilla had radiant brown that seemed to surf across her fur, with a little bowtie clipped onto the end of her tail. Cute, she seemed to Shiro. She even had a batting pair of eyelashes to complete her look. She took three quick leaps as she reached up for the mic.

"I like your fur," she squeaked, "It's so level and smooth! Who's your furdresser?"

It took Shiro a double-take to realize that 'furdresser' was the rich-man's way for addressing a barber.

"I don't-"

"Is it Gibson? McMillian?"

"I-"

"Such a distinct style to it, is it Sorben-"

"I don't… have a furdresser."

"No? Then is it a private artist? You can tell me his name, or her, or theirs-"

"I don't have any artist. I cut my own fur."

Surprisingly, the fact that Shiro cuts his own fur got a bigger response than the fact that he didn't have his own exclusive 'furdresser', or an 'aritist'. Everyone turned to their sides and started whispering, sneaking gazes and glances as they went. Shiro was curious himself. Didn't everyone cut their own fur?

"O-Oh…" The chinchilla was taken aback and off the soapbox she went in three leaps. Her giant, rodent eyes lingered for a second longer before snapping away in hops.

A leopard stepped up next. Shiro had an inner-turmoil figuring out the leopard's sex. It was until the leopard spoke when Shiro could determine it was a he. The leopard had an unbelievably androgynous look, with a slim figure underneath his tank top and an admittedly attractive presence.

"You've got good eyes," he commented, "A beautiful red. Like a ruby."

"Um... t-thanks?"

"That's all I have to say."

Shiro was left confused for a good second as the leopard proceeded to sashay away. He had a good glance at his whisking, spotted tail and a glimpse of his green, almost toxic-like pupils as the leopard whisked away from sight.

A camel in a flashy-looking, hot pink bomber jacket covering his massive hump strutted in. With one knotted arm he swung his hand, snatched the mic off the stand, twirled it around for a second before shouting into it.

"YO, SHIRO RIGHT? THAT TRACKSUIT-"

The camel's shrill voice pierced into Shiro's ears sharper than a needle. Shiro ears rang for a good five seconds before he could manage any thought in his head.

"M-my tracksuit?"

"YEAH, WHERE'D YA GET IT?"

"T-the market?"

"MARKET? WHICH MARKET? THE AUCTION? THE BACK MARKET? OR IS IT EXCLUSIVE? CUSTOM-MADE?"

"Uh… the night market."

"WHAT MARKET IS THAT? FOREIGN? SOME BLACK MARKET EXCLUSIVE-"

"T-The parking lot night market."

"PARKING LOT? WHAT BRAND IS THAT?"

"It's just a normal parking lot."

"A NORMAL PARKING LOT? YOU MEAN… LIKE STALLS? COMMON ROADSIDE SALES?"

"Y-yeah?"

"SO IT'S JUST NORMAL CLOTHES?"

"Yes."

"Oh."

The camel stood around for an awkward second before placing the mic back on the stand. He shuffled away, the sparkles from his glitter-caked toe-kickers sparking into Shiro eyes as they slid away. Murmurs began growing from the audience. A new creature came after him, pushing the soapbox back in front of the stand.

This new creature was short and rather stout, with a rather big nose. Shiro didn’t know what the creature was, at first. He’d seen her kind on television but couldn’t quite put his finger on it until she started speaking.

“You got a rich daddy?” The boar scoffed as she spoke.

Shiro was stunned for a second there. Rich daddy? Like a rich father or some kind? Shiro could tell he had an expression on his face because the boar clarified herself, but not before rolling her squinted pig eyes.

“You got a rich father?”

Shiro came to an internal oh as he understood. He was still waist-deep in confusion, though. Who asks about their fathers right from the get-go, and about their financial state, no less.

“N-no.” Shiro didn’t know what else to answer but honestly.

The boar gave a suspicious stare.

“What’s your father’s line of work?”

The question triggered many memories, all pleasant ones. A wave of nostalgia washed over his body as the words rang in his head, though he was still weirded out. It was a rather odd question considering the circumstances. Shiro was beginning wondering how ‘private’ did the Secretary’s ‘private life’ meant. He hadn’t even had time to begin questioning the whole ‘audience interrogation’ situation going on at the moment.

“A policeman.”

“A policeman?” The boar’s voice shot up in a mix of surprise and bewilderment, as if she’d seen a fish in the sky.

“Your mother?”

That question didn’t do as much as the one before. Shiro didn’t have many memories about his mother; only recent ones, and those weren’t exactly what he’d call ‘memorable’.

“An anchorwoman.”

“An anchorwoman,” the boar repeated. She had a lingering tone in her voice that to Shiro's ears, sounded unimpressed.

“Anybody else in the family without poor jobs?"

P-poor jobs?

Poor jobs?

Shiro was shocked for a second there. He was questioned and quite possibly ridiculed for his economical predicament but he was fine with it. Now his parents were getting the same end of the stick.

Poor jobs? Whoever taught this boar manners did one himself.

"No," Shiro said as sternly as he dared. He was still standing on stage in front of possibly thousands. What came out instead was a quick, low-pitched 'no' that sounded less intimidating than he expected.

Scoffing as loud as her enlarged nostrils can allow, she strutted off the soapbox, her head held high in a comical arrogance rivalling even the corniest of Sunday cartoon villains.

The next guy was a bear.

Shiro heart leaped a quick second as his canine eyes did a double take.

No, it couldn't be-

Shiro held his breath for a good second before breathing out in relief.

The bear still had both his ears on his head.

A lingering doubt still remained in Shiro watched the bear kick away the soapbox, raising the whole stand to meet his fat snout.

"Shiro."

The bear, black and burly, had a voice deeper than the ocean. It sounded as if every word he spoke since birth was nothing but growls; like his voice is built for nothing but growling.

Shiro took a moment before answering.

"Yes?"

"Shiro."

"Y-yes?"

"Shiro…"

Shiro didn't know what to reply other than a yes. He made confirmation that there indeed, was nothing else to say before going for another 'yes'. But before Shiro could open his mouth, the bear continued.

"A good name. Sounds good. Good to hear too, ye?"

"I-I guess?"

"A good name. A good deceiving name, at that."

A deceiving name?

"I know your kind. I don't see many of you these days. They're all hiding away, doing things, keeping quiet."

What?

"But they can't hide from me. I take one look and I know who they are. Like you. I can see it. I knew, right away. You're a brick covered in cotton. A thorny rose."

Brick covered in cotton? A thorny rose?

"Your arms. Their not built in gyms but from experience. The way you stand. Ready, always bending. Your ears. Never down, always up; always listening."

Shiro's perking ears twitched a bit.

"The way you're looking at me. I know you're seeing me funny. Thinking: 'What's this bear going to do next?' Relax. I won't do anything. Yet, anyway."

"I-I don't know what you mea-"

"You don't. They don't, ever. But I do. And I have questions. I want you to answer honestly."

"O-okay?"

The bear let out a sinister grin.

"Do you know how to figh-"

"No."

Shiro's answer came quick and sharp. Almost instantaneously, as if it's on reflex. That word was spoken like none other. It wasn't a stammer, nor was it spoken out of nervousness. It was definite and straightforward, with a tone deep with certainty.

The bear was surprised, not at Shiro's sudden reply, but something else. His eyes open up with bewilderment before going back to its usual gaze.

"Are you lying?"

"No."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

Both answers were given in rapid fire successions, more definite and straightforward as the last.

The bear spread a grin so wide his cavities began showing from his lips. He blew a breath onto the mic; a fuzzy static exploded onto the scene; before walking away in large strifes, an amused expression hung on his face.

The next animal was a mule. His grey, patchy mane bounced above his uniform he stepped up to the mic. He held the mic close to his mouth and spoke.

"Hey, you-"

But Shiro was louder.

"I need answers."

Shiro shot up his voice, cutting the mule out entirely. His tone was deep and heavy, filled with weight and unease.

"What am I doing here? What's with the questions? What school is this anyway?"

"Hey-"

Shiro's voice grew higher and higher as he rambled on, the ruby red in his eyes glowed deeper and deeper in distress.

"I was sent here on stage immediately when I came in. I'm not supposed to be here. I'm supposed to meet someone and he's gonna send me to a class or something. I don't even know what's going on-"

"Hey-"

"What are these questions? What 'rich daddy', or where I got my tracksuit from, or my fur, or who I am, my eyes and-"

"Hey-"

"Who are you guys? Why am I here? Is this what transfers get? On stage to answer questions? Without warning? No nothing? Not even a-"

"HEY!"

The mule's high-pitched scream shook the entire place into a sudden silence. The little voices from behind fell to a definite stillness, but none as shook as Shiro. He was frozen on his place, his body stuck in the frenzied position as before, only his expression falling from agitation to a more solemn despondency.

The mule seemed to inherit Shiro's previous madness. He did, however, calmed down significantly quicker. Outwardly, at least. His voice had a more noticeable shift as he begun.

"Hey, Shiro, right? Calm your tail down, it's wagging all over the damn place. Get it down. Alright? Yeah? Good? Good, now who the hell are you to ask us questions?"

Shiro didn't answer that question. He kept his head down, like a whimpering dog.

"We're all here looking for answers as much as you do, but news flash tyke, we're not the invader here. You just waltzed into our school unwarranted, unannounced, undisclosed. You have not one shred of right to ask us anything. Do you even know who we are; where you're at; why you're here?"

Shiro took all the courage he had to look up and shake his head.

"N-no."

The mule blew a heavy breath through his mouth.

"Secretary, request to allow permission to educate our new puppy here."

A trailing silence came. Every eye in the auditorium faced the lights hanging above. Only two pairs remained; the mule with his dead on Shiro's.

"Permission granted."

The mule held the mic off the stand.

"Question one: How did you get here?"

"C-car."

"Don't lie. You didn't just here by car. You were dropped off at some rusty gate at the side of some city alleyway. You don't know why you're here during your first day at your new school. What you do know is that a random guy in some chauffeur uniform greeted you at that alleyway and offered you into a limo hidden right behind that gate. You don't know who's that guy nor should you trust him. But then you have no idea where else to go, so you have nothing to do but to follow the damn chauffeur. Am I right?"

Shiro didn't answer.

"Am I right?"

"I had to ask my mo-"

"Am I right?"

"Yes."

"And so you followed the guy and went into his limo. From thereon out the gate lead downwards underground and into a dark tunnel."

The mule paused for a second as Shiro winced to his sides.

"Question Two: How long was the ride in the limo?"

"I don't know."

This time, the mule believed Shiro.

"Damn right. Nobody knows. Some say it's three minutes. Some say it's two minutes. Some say it's three hours. Some say it took half a damn day. We're all dropped off at different rusty gates at different alleyways. We all have different guys in chauffeur uniforms driving us into different dark tunnels in limos."

The mule glanced to his back before continuing.

"Question three: Who do you think we are?"

Shiro dared himself to glance at the audience members.

"I don't know."

"Damn right, you don't know."

The mule pointed a finger to his back.

"The goose just now, you know who he is?"

Shiro shook his head.

"He's the son of the guy who sells your toasters, your ovens, your televisions and just about any damn thing that has a working wire in it. The son of the CEO of the biggest electrical appliance supplier in the continent."

The mule switched hands and pointed another finger to his back.

"That camel. Who do you think he is?"

Shiro shook his head again.

"His mother's a fashion designer. His father sells her clothes as one of the top leading clothing brands in the whole world. When he asked you about your tracksuit, he thought the design looked similar to what his dear mother designed. You dishonoured him by buying some cheap knock-off bought off some parking lot night market. Those things get sold only in exclusive retails and if their limited runs, auctions and private shows."

The mule pushed the mic back onto the stand.

"So now you know who we are?"

Shiro nodded his head.

"Good. Now here's the fourth question: Why don't you have the right to ask us questions?"

Shiro shook his head.

"C'mon, think hard. Think of who that goose is; who the camel was; and who you are."

Shiro's mouth mumbled for a second.

"I can't hear you, damn it."

"...rich."

"I still can't hear you, damn it."

"I'm not rich-"

"Good try, but not good enough. You're just not worthy. You don't have status. You're just the son of a policeman and an anchorwoman. We have titles longer than your family lineage. And before you say anything about the 'equality' or any of the garbage, answer me the fifth question: Where do you think this place is?"

Shiro was, quite literally, presented onto the gallows. He was a freak show put on stage with the mule lashing whipping words, tossing the poor wolf around like his play-thing.

"I don't know," he said for the umpteenth time.

"Think about it. Place the pieces. Think about what I said and how they can go together."

Shiro led a silence for a moment. Not a single thought passed through his head during that moment. It was a silence given for an appropriate situation for a time where nothing is better than something.

The mule replied with a silence of his own, followed by his sigh.

"Think with that mutt brain. You're sent to a place filled with kids with renowned status and prominent positions in the whole world. You're sent here from an undisclosed location on some random city alleyway via an unmarked limo taking you through a dark tunnel which you don't even know how long it lasts."

Shiro let the mule ramble on as he spoke towards his point.

"After, you find out that the kids also sent here via the same way. You're no less clueless as anyone of us. At first. Everyone else can see the reason behind this; all but you. Now why is that? And how does that correlate to the fifth question? Why you're not supposed to be here is a good way to start."

"I don't-"

"Don't give me that 'I don't know' garbage. You're stupid, I get it, but by Lord you're exceeding my expectations."

Shiro kept his snout shut.

"I swear… here's the verdict, bucko - you failed. Spectacularly, at that. This is a school, no doubt about that, but what this particular school is, that's the crux.

"This is an exclusive school. An academy, if you may. A prestigious one, at that. Built for only the richest of the rich. Built for only the most important kids of the world. Built for kids who have their hands over the world more than you have your mongrel brain. Look around; everyone you see here has a pinky worth more than your whole life.

"But we didn't come here on our wealth alone. This academy is exclusive among the exclusives. Enrolment here is the golden ticket to kids like us. We have to keep faces, make good impressions and score high on our public education. This isn't just some playpen for trust fund kids. We're elites. We manage to fight tooth and nail to kick the others off the ladders to stand tall.

"Ever wonder why the tunnel and the limo? We're important to the point where we have to be secured in some unorthodox transportation method to keep us safe. But who are you? What are you that deserves such privilege? You have no name. You're no son of anyone important. A policeman and an anchorwoman. You're no different than a random pedestrian, maybe even less. I'm sure the world will mourn for a day on your death. You don't even have the looks. You're just every bit of a commoner as the mindless ants on the sidewalks.

"So why are you here? Do you even know the name of this place?"

Shiro tanked the mule's every merciless words. The poor wolf let the place drown under his voice before pulling out the droning, monotonous words choking his throat.

"I don't know."

"As expected. In fact, I'd be surprised if you do. I'll let you in on a little trivia; the school's so exclusive, not even the name is public. Only the ones who're worth their salt gets to hear its name. It's a damn prophecy. A calling to us. We've sacrificed and fought and battled just to answer that calling. I had to miss my mother's funeral to even get to see a chance for a spot here.

"And there's you; a wolf, with no name, dirt poor, unimportant, insignificant and worthless to the rest of the world. One day you just somehow stumbled on the rusty gates and sully our prestigious name with your generic, I'm not supposed to be here garbage when you're standing on God's chariot with your dirty- oh my God, you're barefoot."

Seen just through the podium's glass base, Shiro's overgrown, beastly feet shuffled uncomfortably within the podium, struggling to hide its giant, sharp-ended claws from the poking heads of the audience members.

"I can't wear shoes," Shiro mumbled miserably, "I break them easily."

"A wolf with no status and feet looking like a meatloaf with toes. Pathetic. Truly pathetic. Who let you in? Huh? Who told you this place? Who sent you here? What are you? What are you to come here and ask us why? I busted arse getting in only to see some feral pooch waltz in like its his palace."

The mule left a stinging silence for Shiro to face as the audience mumbled away from behind. Shiro could see gazes. Curious, empathetic, mockery, and all. They all showed different expressions.

"Beg."

The mule only said one word.

"E-Excuse me-"

"Beg."

He only repeated the word once more. Shiro could only stare as his anxious, oversized toes made fists.

"Beg for the name. Whether you want to know the academy's name, get on your worthless kneecaps and beg for it."

Shiro was left with a gaping head. His state of mind was lost and all over the place. Everything happened so fast it left Shiro dizzy. Now he was exposed to the whole world, demanded for his knees to hit the floor and beg for a name he didn't care for. Shiro looked at the audience members beyond. Not one single pair of eyes showed a hint of sympathy.

He heaved a silent breath out.

Shiro got onto his knees.

"That's right. Now bow. Lower. Lower. Good. Now apologize for your presence that's stinking the damn stage. No, wait. In second thoughts, don't. I don't want to hear that voice any more than I did."

Shiro was forced into a painful, shameless state as the mule pondered his next course of mockery.

"Here's a million dollar question, wolf, and I want you to ask it. Ask me. Ask us; What do you call this sanctuary that I've tainted with my unearthly existence? What is the name of the castle I've dirtied with my ungainly presence? Ask it."

Shiro rose his head, his red eyes darting across its socket, his tail sagging and sprawled on the floor, the words choking in his mouth.

"Ask it."

Shiro couldn't speak.

"ASK IT!"

"What's the name of this-"

"I CAN'T HEAR YOU-"

"What is the name of this-"

"I STILL CAN'T HEAR-"

"WHAT'S THE NAME OF THIS SCHOOL!?"

The mule let out a triumphant snort as Shiro's deep, throaty voice reverberated across the dark corners of the auditorium, thumping into the far beyond.

"Get up."

Shiro rose himself off the ground, his head still facing his giant feet.

"Look up."

Shiro broke every last bit of his courage and met the mule's glinting eyes.

"You perk those grotesque ears of your because I'm only gonna say this once."

The mule heaved in a breath.

"Rormund Academy. You overstayed your welcome, and we hope to see you never."

 


 

"You'll never live out there."

The bear was lying in his own pull of blood and a deep graze pumped crimson in gallons out of the nape of his neck. The bear was now fully darkened by his own fluid, shining a dark glow from the golden sunset spilling from the warehouse's window, clothes, fur and all. One of his arms were pointing the wrong way from an extra, man-made joint on the forepaw.

"You'll never live," the bear spoke again from its grizzly, watered moan.

Shiro, now facing the open doors, cranked his head back. He had more scratches on his body and limbs, with his tracksuit now watered in red, torn with scars ridden over like tattoos. His fur was tousled even more than usual, with a massive, pink bruise flowering around his ankle.

"You'll be unsatisfied." The bear rose his broken snout from the bloody ground and coughed out a tooth, tainted red with hardly a hint of white. "You'll be wishing you never left. You can't help it. It's in your blood and you can't run from it."

Shiro shuffled his bare, dripping feet and walked across the warehouse and crouched over the bear's crawling, bleeding mess of flesh.

"You're what you are - a predator. A carnivore. The top of the food chain. You don't belong out there. Just like a leopard sprints and a horse kicks; a wolf bites. They don't wander peacefully in cities. Someday you'll find out how different you are from the others, and how garbage your dream really is; how you don't belong."

"As opposed to?"

The broken bear spread a broken grin, "Ruling the jungle. Live as what nature made you to be - a born killer. You'll see. You'll start out all happy and angelic, saying hi to your neighbors and giving everyone a flower. Then you'll get bored. You start seeing different things. Suddenly you're wishing you can clean your jaws with your neighbor and give everyone a taste of your teeth. You'll get bored. You'll be wishing there's something to chew on. You'll come crawling back and we'll see just how peaceful our poodle really is. You'll see. You'll turn crazy. You'll turn insane. You'll turn Feral."

"At least I'm no coward."

The bear's grin fell to a frown.

"What?"

"You heard me, coward."

"As opposed to you running away?"

"As opposed to being a bully coward."

The bear let out a savage snarl, "I'm not the one running away."

"And I'm not the bully coward either. You're insecure, scared that you're not as high on the food chain as you thought. So you start kicking every shin you see and step on everyone's heads. Isn't that what you do? Isn't that what all gangsters do? You don't rule because you're strong; you rule because they're scared of you; because you're scared of them. You're so scared you get others to protect you because you're scared of someone. Scared that there's someone stronger out there to kick you off your throne."

He brought his snout closer onto the bear's one ear.

"I'm that someone stronger."

The bear couldn't answer anything other than to gaze into Shiro's deep, ruby red eyes, now gleaming in a cold, merciless crimson.

"I don't care. Your ideals don't worth shit against me. I'm strong, and I know it. But instead of being a bully coward I use it to reach my dream. I know what I am. A predator. A natural killer. Guess what? They're all buried deep and blind because I'm strong, unlike you. When the time comes I'll bite my finger off before I give in like a weak, Feral pussy like you. I'll get on my knees and beg for it before I turn Feral because I'm strong enough to do it. And if you don't like it, you can take it up to me."

Shiro crouched deeper towards the bear.

"Looks like you just did."

The bear glanced up into Shiro’s eyes. His wet nose panted for a moment, heaving breaths in and out before blowing a huge, bloody snot over Shiro’s bare foot.

“Running little tyke. Making all the excuses while you run with your tail up your ass. All you do is run. All this stronger bullshit is still bullshit cause’ you ain’t worth shit. You ain’t strong. You can’t handle the pressure. You're running from stuff you can’t stand. You can't run from it, you pussy. You can't run from what you are. You're born like this. You're be a Feral, by nature's plan and fate.

"You can never fight nature."

Shiro didn't answer. He only stared at the bear for moment before rising up from his stance. He brought up his wet, dripping feet and walked away, leaving nothing but silent steps and bloody prints as he went.

Then he stopped. He turned around, stared at the bear and blew a subtle, audible snort.

Jets of blood spurt out of the bear's face as it contorted into a viscous frown.

"You'll come back," the bear gargled his bloody throat as he screamed, "you'll come back running and I'll be here waiting! I'll be here to bite your fucking ear off you running son of a pussy!"

The bear then heaved out a barrage bloody coughs so loud it boomed in the warehouse's hollow room. Shiro continued walking out into the sun-basked outside, into the world beyond, leaving nothing but a burnt out silhouette for the bear to curse on.

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BenJepheneT

  • एक मजबूत, भूरी लड़की की जाँघों के बीच
  • पेशेवर सीलिंग फैन रिटेलर, वायुगतिकीय रूप से प्रमाणित
  • https://bit.ly/35hrgCr

Bio: I have decided to begin work on a complete Rule 63 on all Minecraft mobs (excluding villager themed ones), starting with the Zombie.

I will give the Creeper explosive tits. I will make the Enderman anorexic. I don't know how I can convert the Shulker into anything remotely breedable but I will make an attempt nonetheless.

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