User:Michael Bard/Enchanted Buck Season
Enchanted Buck Season
|National Enchanted Forest story universe|
The National Enchanted Forest was pretty in the fall. The leaves were all colours -- amber, red, orange, pink, plaid -- as the forest prepared to lay down for it's soft winter rest.
Sadly, it was also the worse time for poachers. Even in this portion, which was all pine forest, and just boring green.
Morgan was sneaking through the woods, dressed in high tech camouflage, and carrying a laser-sighted assault rifle. He'd never hunted before, but after a few drinks, a few dares, and an offer of an eye bulging amount of cash, he was convinced to sneak into the National Enchanted Forest to bag a deer. Sure it was illegal, but who'd ever know? Quickly in and quickly out, and he'd be a whole lot richer.
Hell, they'd even offered a fake lottery scam to give the money they were going to pay him a history.
It was late in the season, and Morgan's breath misted in the cool air as he crept through the pines, their needles silent under his booted feet. It wouldn't be long now--
And then he came upon a sign. Looking up, he read: WABBIT SEASON. As he read, his costume changed, to a more classical brown hunter outfit, and his rifle to a simple single-barreled shotgun.
Rabbit Season he wondered. An odd misspelling. He'd thought it was deer season.
Below that was a helpful arrow that pointed off into the woods labeled "WABBIT -- 1000 feet".
Morgan, being a red blooded Canadian, shook his head at the dirty rebel spelling, but followed anyway, rifle at the ready, as he tried to wrap his brain around the insane complexities of the American measurement system. "Feet-- feet-- how many feet in a mile? How many lines in an inch? How many inches in a yard?" His missed his neat and organized metric system.
As Morgan advanced, his blood began to pump faster. Hammering echoed from in front of him as there were more signs, and more arrows, and an accelerating count down. As he got closer and closer, some of the nails were still giving off a bit of steam from their recent hammering. Five hundred feet. Two hundred. One hundred. Fifty. Eighty seven inches--!"
"I've got you now, you scwewy-- sorry, screwy-- wabbit-- sorry rabbit!" Morgan shouted as he opened fire.
Fifteen minutes earlier, Cathal the hare -- not rabbit -- completely different thing -- was in his hole reading the latest paper, taking a break after setting up his wide screen plasma television. Gotta love civilization! The headline was a warning about a recent infestation of horse flies. Cathal just ignored it -- he wasn't a horse after all. And, especially not one of the morgan breed.
Being a neat hare, Cathal folded up the paper and tossed it into his lit stove. The only way to keep warm! He yawned, stretched, wiggling from the tips of his long floppy ears, down his long rangy body, and ending in a violent shake of his long toes.
His long ears swiveled as he heard hammering from outside his hole. Curious, he climbed up the required wooden ladder and peeked out.
There was an anthro deer, hammering the last in a long series of signs to a tree. This one read "The Wabbit!" and pointed at Cathal's hole.
Pulling a carrot magically out of thin air, Cathal started chewing on it. "What's up Jon?"
Removing the last nail from the tip of his muzzle, Jon hammered it into the sign. The head of the nailing device was half melted, gushing steam and waves of heat from its recent overuse. "I'm engaged-- *bangbang*-- in self preservation!"
Cathal nodded. "Another poacher?"
"Yup! And they ain't shooting me this year!"
Cathal watched Jon toss the hammer back into nothingness and scratch behind one ear, struggling to keep from touching, and possibly deforming, his still growing antlers. The deer's mouth hung open as he panted. "Creating something from nothing is hard work!"
Cathal took the last bite of the carrot. "Yea-- curse those humans and their E=mc^2. It was so easy before that fellow Ein--"
At that both their ears perked as a voice muttering about American measurement drifted through the tall pine trees. Jon fled into the distance, falling to all fours -- his arms were quite long -- and bounding into cover.
Through away the half eaten carrot, Cathal pulled out another one and nibbled on it, watching.
With that a poacher -- oddly enough that same Morgan from earlier -- ran through some underbrush scattering dried leaves. Shoving his rifle against the chest of poor Cathal, he shouted out, "I've got you now, you scwewy-- sorry, screwy-- wabbit-- sorry rabbit!" before opening fire.
The human sound of exploding gunfire echoed through the trees as a few minipegasi chirped and flapped from their nests, circling above the pine tops.
Cathal, still chewing, moved as fast as only an anthro bunny -- sorry hare -- in a National Enchanted Forest could, easily dodging each bullet. After nearly five minutes of rapid gunfire, the trigger clicked against nothing.
"What's up, Morgan?" Cathal asked, leaning on the hot gun barrel.
Morgan blinked. "How do you know my name?"
"Easy doc." With that, Cathal whipped out a big stack of paper clearly labeled ENCHANTED BUCK SEASON: Script. He rapidly leafed through it to page forty-two. Then he tapped it with the tip of a half eaten carrot. "Says so right here doc. Cathal (leaning on hot gun barrel that does not hurt him in the least): What's up, Morgan?"
Morgan blinked, reading out loud. "Morgan blinks: How do you know my name?"
Cathal whipped the script back into nothingness before Morgan could read anymore.
"Hey--" Morgan said--
With that, Jon burst out of the trees, this time walking on his hind legs only, rubbing a hand hoof against his side to work out a needle that had gotten stuck between his fingers. "What are you doing, Cathal? You aren't allowed to show him the script!"
"But it said I could, right in the script."
"What?" Jon reached out and a script appeared in his hand. He leafed through it to page forty-two. Muttering, he read, "Cathal: Easy Doc. [Cathal whips out a copy of the script--]" Jon blinked. "That's against the rules!"
"I don't write them, Jon."
"I'm going to talk to Phil about this!" Phil was his union rep, transferred over from GM.
By this time, Morgan had enough. "Shut up, deer. This is Wabbit Season and I'm going to bag myself a wabbit! Eheheheheheheheheh."
Jon and Cathal looked at each other as Cathal finished his carrots.
"Now say your pwayers, wabbit!" With that, Morgan raised his rifle, and pulled the trigger. *click*. "Wha?" *click* *click* *click*
"Doc, you were out of bullets, remember?" helped Cathal.
"Here, let me see that thing!" Jon ripped the gun from Morgan's hand and looked down the barrel, pulling the trigger. *click* *click* *BANG*
"What do you know?" Morgan said. "Won bullet left."
Cathal put his hands over his mouth in surprise. "One bullet left? Jon, you hear that? He had one bullet left!"
Jon looked down at Cathal, one ear crooked, a single bullet caught in the soft flesh, his entire muzzle black and smoking though his antlers were miraculously untouched. "You're telling me!" After a moment, Jon shook his muzzle, the soot vanishing from his fur.
Morgan pulled more ammo from his belt and refilled his rifle. "Enough! It's wabbit season! Pwepare to meet your maker!"
Cathal tossed the leafy green top from his carrot onto the ground, and started chewing on another. "Morgan, are you trying to get yourself in trouble with the law? I'm not a rabbit, I'm a hare."
Morgan blinked, "You're a hare?" and scratched his nearly bald head. He grabbed the rifle tightly and shoved it against Cathal's chest. "Well, a hare's the same as a wabbit! Prepare to be fricasseed!"
Cathal was unfazed. Swallowing another mouthful of carrot, he said. "But wait, there's more. This isn't rabbit hunting season either!"
Morgan leaned backwards. "It's not?"
Cathal, holding the carrot in one paw, pointed at Morgan. "No, it's deer hunting season!"
Jon grabbed the barrel of the gun and pointed it right between Cathal's ears. Turning to the hare, he said, "That, sir, is an unmitigated fabrication!" Jon pointed at Cathal. "It's rabbit season!"
Cathal immediately responded with "Deer season!" pushing the end of the gun barrel back towards Jon.
"Rabbit season!" Jon pushed the barrel back.
This time Cathal didn't push the barrel back towards Jon. "Rabbit season!"
Jon grabbed the barrel and yanked it against his chest. "I say it's deer season, and I say fire!"
Morgan shrugged and pulled the trigger. *BOOM*
Both Cathal and Morgan watched the smoke clear. All of Jon's head -- except for his pristine and untouched antlers -- was black with soot. His muzzle was still spinning around his head, finally stopping rotated ninety degrees clockwise from its normal position. One ear was flapping loosely from his cheek. Black smoke rose from his other ear.
Jon sighed. Shaking his head, the soot fell off; with a clacking sound of gears, Jon rotated his muzzle back around. He yanked the ear off his chin, pulled some universal glue out of nothingness and glued it back to where it belonged. "Let's try that again."
"Okay!" Cathal replied.
"I'll start it this time."
Cathal pushed the barrel towards Jon, and then back against his chest. "Rabbit season!"
"Deer season!" Jon yanked the barrel back against his chest. "Fire!"
The smoke cleared, Jon holding his detached muzzle in one out-stretched hand. He shook his head, still careful of the miraculously undamaged antlers and then screwed his muzzle back on with an *eek* *eek* *eek* sound. "Hmm-- Okay-- okay. This time you start."
"Whatever you say," said Cathal. "Deer--"
"I can't decide!" said Morgan. "Besides, it’s not as though I'm here legally anyway! I'll just shoot you both, and sort you out when I get home."
Jon and Cathal blinked, and looked at each other.
The hare reached into his hole and pulled out a book clearly labeled 1000 Deer Recipes. Opening it, he read out: "Salt Fork Deer Camp Special. Delicious!"
Jon snorted, and reached down Cathal's hole, pulling our a book clearly labeled 1000 Hare Recipes, though the Hare was scrawled in marker over a stroked out Rabbit. Opening it, he read: "Baked Stuffed Rab-- Hare. Drool, drool!"
"Chili Venison Cheese Fantastique! Absolutely delicious!"
"Barbeque Rab-- Hare! Yum yum!"
Morgan finally spoke up. "I'm sorry fellas. I'm a vegetarian. I'm hunting you for the money."
Jon said, "Oh--"
Cathal responded with "Uh oh--"
At this point, another figure entered a clearing. A human, thin, with pale white skin and thick thick glasses. He was dressed in running shoes, plastic shorts, and an all artificial fibre t-shirt clearly labeled PET(EF)A, and below it in smaller print, People for the Ethical Treatment of Enchanted Forest Animals. Grabbing Morgan, he spun the hunter around, poking his finger against Morgan's chest. "How dare you hunt animals for money! Or for food! Or for any reason at all!"
"You get him," Jon burst out.
The PET(EF)A follower stalked over to the deer. "And don't you talk!" He motioned back at all the Wabbit Season signs. "Do you have any idea what you've done to those trees? They'll never recover!"
Cathal pulled a carrot from nothing and started chewing.
The PET(EF)A follower spun around to face the hare. "And don't you talk!" He motioned around. "You're throwing the leafy stalks of carrots everywhere. You should eat the stalks. Or, you should," he punctuated each word with a poke, "properly compost them!"
A bright red stick of dynamite arced through the air, and plopped to the ground at the PET(EF)A follower's feet. Cathal blinked, looked at Jon. Jon looked at Cathal. Both dropped their cookbooks and fled.
"That's litter--" *BO--*. The page blanked, filled with repeats of a single word in giant block letters: *CENSORED*. Then the regular text was back. All that was left of the PET(EF)A follower, was a pair of smoking shoes.
"What?" asked Morgan. "Can't I order from ACME too?" Using a pair of tongs, he picked up one smoking shoe, and then the other, dropping each into a convenient waste receptacle labeled Please Keep your National Enchanted Forest CLEAN.
Jon was bounding from the chasing hunter, and his hail of bullets, when he saw a bright red sign nailed to a tree: Deer Season Open. He skidded to a stop in the needles. "Devilishly clever! Well, that hare doesn't know who he's dealing with!" Saying that, he reached into nothingness and pulled out a bunny fursuit and began climbing into it, being careful of his antlers, of course. By the time Morgan stopped in front of him, he was fully disguised and chewing on a carrot. "What's up, Morgan?" he asked. "Having any luck on those deer? It's deer season, you know. And deer heads are worth far more then rabbits."
At that point Cathal came stalking up. He was wearing a pair of cloven hoof boots, a tiny brown deer tail over his floofy hare tail, and a pair of fake felt antlers on his head. "Just a minute! Where do you get that deer season, stuff?"
Jon pointed up at the sign. "Says so, right up there on that sign, if you're so smart." Jon looked up at the sign.
Morgan looked up at the sign. It now said, Rabbit Season Open.
Jon had just enough time to say, "Mudder--"
The smoke cleared, and Jon, his disguise destroyed, staggered over to Cathal. Panting for breath, his entire body -- except his antlers -- soot covered and exuding puffs of blackish smoke, he dragged himself up Cathal's form until his muzzle was pressed against the hare's. "You're despicable!"
Cathal brushed off the deer, and began walking away, pulling off the pieces of his fursuit.
Jon followed, all clean and non-sooty again. "Yes, you're despicable!" He removed the last shreds of his hare costume. "And-- and-- picable! And you're very specially despicable. How a person can get so-- so--dispicable in-- in one lifetime is beyond me!"
Morgan looked at the two receding forms, shrugged, reloaded his rifle, and opened fire.
"Eeep!" Cathal squeaked.
Jon ran after.
And then Cathal skidded to a stop below yet another sign nailed to a tree, this time made of cardboard instead of wood. Looking at Morgan, he held up his hand. "Hold it, Morgan!" He pointed at the sign. "It's deer season!"
Jon glared upward, grabbed the sign, and ripped it off, revealing another sign labeled differently. "Rabbit season!"
Another sign: "Deer season!"
Jon ripped off that sign, revealing another one, this time illustrated with a helpful picture. He read it: "Morgan Season!"
The picture, indeed, showed Morgan the hunter. The human lowered his gun, looked from the deer to the rabbit and back to the deer. "Umm--" Dropping his gun, he fled, running through late flowering plants, leaping over a decaying log raising a cloud of flies-- one of which bit him--
By this time, both Cathal and Jon were in hunter's outfits, carrying their own rifles. "Be wery wery qwuiet. We're morgan hunting," said Cathal.
"Eheheheheheheheheh," added Jon.
And there, ahead of them, was Morgan, now a morgan horse -- from the horse fly bite -- galloping for his life.