User:Feathertail/Tiger at Play

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Legal Info: This story is copyrighted by Jared Spurbeck, aka Tachyon Feathertail, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. You may write your own stories based on it or post it on your own website, so long as you credit me as the orignal author (preferably with a link to my LiveJournal) and license your own story under the same license. Have you hugged a penguin today?

Vincent's fursona is an unregistered trademark belonging to him, and may not be used without his permission.

Tiger at Play

Author: Jared Spurbeck

INT. HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM

The curtain is up on the stage, and unused props and backdrops are strewn all about as two kids, VINCENT and TIMOTHY, mock-swordfight with whatever's handy. Vincent is tall and athletic, and dressed in all black with a toolbelt and headset; Timothy is shorter, and wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans. Despite Timothy's size disadvantage, he presses the attack enthusiastically.

Vincent parries with a flourish, and holds his sword out at Tim dramatically.


VINCENT

So what now, Tim? Are we to be two immortals locked in an epic battle until Judgment Day and trumpets sound?


TIMOTHY

Or you could surrender!


RACHEL and COURTNEY run past, chasing each other behind the swordfight. Rachel is short and a tiny bit heavy-set, wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans along with cat ears and a tail. Courtney is taller and redheaded, and wears lighter colors.

The two tromp down the stairs to the side of the stage. Courtney comes out ahead of Rachel and runs past the front of the stage to the opposite door, and ducks in just as Rachel comes out.

Rachel looks around, sees the other door and starts heading for it, but then Courtney comes out with an armful of foam rubber rocks. She begins lobbing them at Rachel, and Rachel squeals and runs back to the door she came out of. Courtney chases her, laughing.

Onstage, the swordfight continues. Tim is swinging aggressively, and forcing Vincent to one side.


VINCENT

Tim? There's something I think you should know.


TIMOTHY

What's that, Vincent?


VINCENT

I'm not left-handed!


He swaps weapon hands with a flourish, and begins to force Timothy back again.

Behind them, Courtney peeks out from behind a canvas backdrop, holding a foam rubber rock and scanning the stage. Meanwhile, Rachel peers out from behind another backdrop across the stage, carrying an enormous Nerf (tm) rifle. They lock eyes; Rachel grins, and Courtney panics.

Rachel starts shooting foam-rubber darts at Courtney. Courtney drops all the rocks and runs, and Rachel shouts and chases her backstage as the swordfight continues.


VINCENT

(affecting a Spanish accent) My name is Vincent Rose! You killed my father! Prepare to die!


TIMOTHY

(holding his hand out threateningly) No, I did not kill your father ... Vincent Rose, I AM YOUR FATHER!


VINCENT

(drops to his knees) Nooo! It's not possible!


TIMOTHY

Search your feelings! You know it to be true.


The lights flicker backstage, and Rachel and Courtney can be heard laughing.


TIMOTHY

Now, give in to your anger, and take your place as my apprentice!


VINCENT

I'll never join you!


TIMOTHY

(brings his sword up)

Very well ... so be it-


Rachel and Courtney scream, and Vincent jumps to his feet, startled. He and Timothy look around themselves, trying to see what just happened ... as Rachel's scream dissolves into laughter, and Courtney's into tears.

Vincent and Timothy run backstage.


VINCENT'S VOICE

What in the- DUDE!


TIMOTHY'S VOICE

Courtney, your face!


VINCENT'S VOICE

You've turned into a-


VINCENT AND RACHEL'S VOICES

-furry!


TIMOTHY AND COURTNEY'S VOICES

(at the same time)

-cat!


Courtney runs back onstage, crying. There's nothing visibly different about her. Behind her, Rachel walks onstage.


COURTNEY

(looking up at Rachel with tears in her eyes) Rachel, am I still ...


RACHEL

You're at least as human as I am, Courtney!


COURTNEY

(sarcastic)

Oh wow, thanks a lot.


The lighting flickers backstage.


VINCENT'S VOICE Dude! Check this out!

A loud ROAR is heard, and Courtney and Rachel jump.


COURTNEY Stop it!

She runs backstage, and Rachel follows her.


COURTNEY'S VOICE Stop it right now!

The lights backstage flicker a couple more times, then turn off. Everyone walks back onstage, Courtney trailing with her arms folded.


RACHEL

(excited) Guys! Do you realize what we've just FOUND? We've found a stage light-


RACHEL AND VINCENT

-that turns people into furries!


COURTNEY AND TIMOTHY

(at the same time) -that turns people into cats!


VINCENT

I was a white tiger. Only while the light was on me, though ...


RACHEL

Which explains why Courtney's a human again!


Everyone turns to look at Courtney. Her face turns red.


COURTNEY

What? Do you think I LIKED it?


VINCENT

(raises hand) I did.


RACHEL

I would've!


COURTNEY

(points at Rachel accusingly) That's because you're sick! You're a sick furry, and you have a sick mind, and you caused this

somehow!


Rachel backs away from Courtney, shocked.


COURTNEY

(whirls on Vincent) You too, Vincent. I don't know how you did this-


VINCENT

(holding hands up) I don't, either!


COURTNEY

-but when I find out ...


TIMOTHY

(steps in between them) Guys! Nobody caused this. Except maybe the

people who made that stage light.


Everyone turns to look backstage.


TIMOTHY

The question is, what do we do now?


VINCENT

I wanna go back there and play with it some more.


COURTNEY

We've got to put it away where no one can get to it! Or tell the principal, or-


VINCENT

(incredulous look) Principal Sanders?


COURTNEY

Okay, maybe not HIM. But we've got to, like, tell the police, or Homeland Security, or-


RACHEL

We can put on a play!


EVERYONE ELSE

What?


RACHEL

Guys, I'm serious! Think about it for a sec. Stage lights are meant to be used on a STAGE. And they don't just develop magical powers by accident. Somebody made it do that on purpose, and they made it that way so that it could be used in a play.


TIMOTHY

... a furry play?


COURTNEY

(holds up her hands and backs off) No. No way. You couldn't pay me to stand in front of that thing again.


VINCENT

I'll stand in front of it for you, if you want!


RACHEL

Yeah! We don't ALL have to have the light on us. We wouldn't be able to move about the whole stage that way. We could, like, have the whole thing look like a normal play, and then bring in someone inside the light right at the end-


TIMOTHY

-and bring down the curtain quickly enough afterwards where nobody knows the difference!


RACHEL

Exactly!


Vincent edges closer to the backstage area while they're all talking.


COURTNEY

Count me out. No way am I helping put on a furry play. Especially with real furries.


RACHEL

You don't want me to tell everyone in the whole school about your secret LO~OVE for Disney's Robin Hood, do you?


TIMOTHY

(stifles a laugh)


COURTNEY

(shocked) It was an art assignment!


RACHEL

An assignment you enjoyed just a little too

much, am I right? Am I right?


Vincent makes it to one of the canvas backdrops, and quickly ducks behind it while everyone is distracted.


RACHEL

I'll tell everyone if you don't help out. I mean it.


COURTNEY

You wouldn't dare!


TIMOTHY

She would ...


RACHEL

(nods firmly) I would. So, Courtney, how about it?


COURTNEY

(defeated)

Fine ...


The light turns on backstage, and another loud ROAR shakes the auditorium. Everyone jumps.


RACHEL AND COURTNEY Vincent!


They run backstage, and more running footsteps are heard afterwards. Timothy looks around for a second, idly kicks at the loose props beside him, then walks backstage after them. A second later, the light turns off.

END OF ACT ONE








INT. HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM

The stage is divided in two right now, with stage left being well-lit and attractive and stage right made to look like backstage. Everyone hurries around getting stage left set up for the upcoming play, pulling backdrops into place and setting up a folding table, while leaving things strewn about stage right and occasionally running back to get them.


NARRATOR

And so, with the help of a generous bribe- (cough) -CONTRIBUTION, of time and energy to various school organizations, Rachel was able to persuade their drama teacher to let her write

and direct her own play.


Vincent starts nailing something to the wall. Rachel panics and starts waving her arms at him, and he rolls his eyes and goes to put it up where she's pointing at.


NARRATOR

Of course, it helped that he was out sick at

the time.


Courtney checks her hair in a compact, and Tim gets out a handheld game console and starts playing it. Vincent gives him a disgusted look, and makes him take the hammer and nails before heading backstage.


NARRATOR Rehearsals got complicated at times ...

The light turns on in back, and a tiger's ROAR shakes the stage. Rachel runs backstage and comes back dragging Vincent behind her-


RACHEL

-we've got to get that set UP!


NARRATOR

... but pretty soon they were ready to roll,

with their story about a furry fan at an anime

convention.


Fade out for a second, then back in as the "play" begins. Stage left has a chair behind a folding table set up on a stretch of carpet, with ferns to either side. Anime posters cover the walls.

RACHEL is seated behind the table, wearing a beret. She files her nails, and flips through papers in front of her, looking bored. COURTNEY is wearing a tail, and cat ears over her long red hair, and the thickest glasses that can be found. Meanwhile, on stage right, TIMOTHY keeps checking his watch nervously, and VINCENT moves things around "backstage."


COURTNEY

(excited) I'm finally here at Anime Marathon Fest! And I get to hang out with my friends, and take pictures of cosplayers ... that twelve-hour

plane ride was SO worth it.


She sees Rachel (who doesn't notice her), and gasps.


COURTNEY

I don't believe it ... my favorite artist! She did Mecha Fantasy XXVII, and Final Fruits Love Basket Gun! (puts her hands to her mouth)

What'll I say? What'll I do?


Timothy walks on-"stage" and hands Rachel a note. She thanks him and reads it.


COURTNEY

(turns away from Rachel and frets) I should tell her how much her stories mean to me! Or how I dressed up as one of her characters!

But I can't! I'm too scared.


Rachel tosses the note over her shoulder, and gets up and starts walking.


COURTNEY

I've got to do this! I'm going to just turn around, walk over and introduce myself to her,

right now!


Courtney turns around with a start, to head towards the desk, and collides with Rachel as she's walking past. Rachel falls over, dazed, and Courtney stares in horror.


COURTNEY

(tries to help her stand up) Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to-


RACHEL

(stands up and adjusts her beret) S'okay.


COURTNEY

(starts looking for something on her person)

Can I ... uh ...


Vincent steps to the edge of the partition and hands her a pen. She takes it, embarrassed.


COURTNEY

(holds pen out)

Can I have your autograph?


SHIFT FOCUS from stage left to stage right, by dimming the lights, or adjusting sound levels, or whatever seems most appropriate. Vincent is pushing a broom across the floor, and Timothy is nervously fiddling with his game console.


TIMOTHY

(looks up) Hey, uh ... Vincent?


VINCENT

(stops) Yeah?


TIMOTHY

Can I ask you a question?


VINCENT

(leans on his broom) Sure.


TIMOTHY

(points overhead) That light ... thing ... we got set up up there. What does it, uh- (coughs)

-feel like, to stand under it?


SHIFT FOCUS, from right to left.


RACHEL

(whips out sketchbook) You want me to draw something for you? Well, sure, but make it quick. What do you want me to draw?


COURTNEY

(sheepish) Could you draw ... a male anthropomorphic fox, in a green forester's outfit?


RACHEL

(stares blankly)

You want me to draw you a furry?


SHIFT FOCUS, from left to right.


VINCENT

I'm not sure how to describe it. It's like, one second I'm me, the next I'm ... me. But I'm also a tiger.


TIMOTHY

So what does THAT feel like?


VINCENT

It feels like remembering something that you'd forgotten. Like hearing your favorite song. Like waking up with a stretch, and looking up at the world and smiling, 'cause you're ready to take it on. (thinks)

Why? Didn't you try it out?


SHIFT FOCUS, from right to left.


RACHEL

(puts up her sketchbook) Fur-get it. I'm not drawing for furverts.


COURTNEY

I'm not a furvert! I'm a furry FAN, and I like furry characters ...


RACHEL

Oh. Sure. I see how it is.


COURTNEY

... but not in that way!


SHIFT FOCUS, from left to right.


VINCENT

(aghast) You mean to tell me you never even TRIED?


TIMOTHY

Kinda ...


VINCENT

Not even during rehearsals?


TIMOTHY

I didn't want anyone to see me, okay!?


SHIFT FOCUS, from right to left.


COURTNEY

Anthropomorphic animals are a part of our cultural heritage! The Egyptian gods, George Orwell's Animal Farm-


RACHEL

Catgirls.


COURTNEY

-the Chronicles of NARNIA ...


SHIFT FOCUS, from left to right.


VINCENT

How are you supposed to do this when you've never even practiced before?


TIMOTHY

... I can't.


VINCENT

And you want ME to do it for you?


TIMOTHY

Yes!


VINCENT

Tim, I'm still in backstage clothes. Everyone out there is going to know that we're ad- libbing!


TIMOTHY

(waving to silence him)

Shh! There's no time, it's almost your cue!


SHIFT FOCUS, from right to left.


RACHEL

Anthro-po-furry animals don't exist. They were made up 'cause you guys are weird fetishists.


COURTNEY

That's not true!


RACHEL

Oh yeah? Then you show me ONE family-friendly furry website, and MAYBE I'll believe you. Either that, or bring me a live furry, right here and right now.


COURTNEY

I can't! They don't-


The stage light comes on, as Vincent passes through the partition. Through the other side comes either Vincent as his furry self, or a performer in the most realistic fursuit possible ... whichever is most convenient. ^.^ Courtney and Rachel stare.


COURTNEY They do exist ...


She faints.


VINCENT

(looks down at Courtney)

What's with her?


Rachel stares.


VINCENT

(waves to Rachel) Hello?


RACHEL

... can I draw you?


FIN! And as the performers take a bow, a creaking noise is heard over the speakers, right before Vincent's stage light comes loose and swings down to point at the audience ... above a gaggle of fursuited performers, who panic as only they can. THE END.