|Shapes Extra: A 'Mexico' Fairy Tale
Author: Guede Mazaka
"Once upon a time, there was a world of little flop-eared fuzz-twits. Just like upscale department stores, come to think of it."
//You mean rabbits.//
"No. I mean vacuous button-eyed fluffballs with too much money and too little brains. Some were white, some were brown. And in this story, there was exactly one black one, who just happened to be much more intelligent than the rest of his pathetic species."
//Did he have a name?//
"Yeah, but he didn't really like it, so we're going to forget you ever asked that. Because the-all right, they're rabbits-black bunny tended to shoot people that made fun of any part of him. And people that were too good, and people that were too bad. To keep the balance."
"I told you, he was much smarter than the rest of his compadres. Now, there are two ways to beat intelligence: better intel, and dumb luck. So the best thing to do is make sure that neither becomes a problem. Which our black bunny did in his copious spare time, because his idiotic superiors just did not see the obvious advantages to his worldview and thus shoved him off to a shithole backwater country."
//Then keeping the balance couldn't have been very hard. Bunnies aren't very strong.//
"Hey. Never jump to conclusions. Alone, they are only twitchy little shits whose saving grace is paralyzing cuteness. But en masse, my friend, rabbits are living plagues. They've devastated entire islands. Put species into actual extinction, and that is not something to be sneezed at. Now stop interrupting, or I won't tell the story."
//Sorry. I won't.//
"Very good, you're learning. Where was I…right. So the black bunny got sent down to his dungheap. He slaughtered a few jackasses till he felt better, and then while he was counting the number of ears he'd taken, he started thinking. Because there had to be something big he could do. Preferably without benefiting HQ one bit. And our rabbit, being the brainy handsome devil that he was, came up with the perfect plan."
"You see, there was an El Presidente bunny who was good-hearted but soft-minded, and he had a mean bastard of a general who thought he might cut a better figure in the presidential hutch. In order to make this happen, Generalissimo Bunny went to see the head of the nearest rabbit cartel ring, who we shall from now on refer to as fucking Barillo, who in turn came to the black bunny for outside consultation work."
//Um…can I ask why? Why didn't Barillo get one of his men to do it?//
"Fucking Barillo. And he actually was aiming at the Presidency himself-God knows why, since he had way more power as a private citizen-so he wanted to make sure the assassination couldn't be traced back to him. Anyway, the black rabbit sensed an opportunity. Fifteen million pesos, in point of fact. He took up the offer and started looking for assassins. Plural. Three. Because he knew perfectly well that fucking Barillo would probably kill him afterwards and keep the money. Therefore, the black bunny decided to get the Generalissimo bunny killed for Barillo-Presidente bunny was going to get the chop from Generalissimo bunny-but he was also secretly going to get someone to knock Barillo out of the picture while he ran off with the loot to Thailand, or some other place with easily-bribable law enforcement. So he asked around, and soon he found one hot girl bunny to take care of fucking Barillo. Of course, she turned out to be a complete-but that's later."
"The second pistolero bunny was to keep fucking Barillo's cartel buddies from coming after the black bunny until after he'd had time to cover his trail. And that particular scapegoat cottontail was pathetically easy to find, as bastard Barillo had left a wide streak of enemies behind him. This…Jorge bunny used to be in the FBI, but his partner got captured in one of Barillo's traps."
//I spent a couple summers on grandfather's farm. He used to catch rabbits for stew.//
"Ah, so you know what happened. It took a bit of work, but the black bunny soon had Jorge bunny pissed off and roaring after Barillo. The last pistolero needed, for Generalissimo Bunny, took an insane amount of time cosseting a really toe-stompingly annoying one-eyed asswipe of a bunny, but eventually the right one was found. Except when the black bunny went to meet him, it was more like talking to a rabbit-skin glove, but some absolutely amazing pork-er, salad-and he was in."
//What was the last bunny like?//
"Um. Well, he liked to pretend he was a mariachi. And he was big and stoic and silent so you didn't notice his lack of brains. And…glowery. Kind of odd. He didn't look like your typical roly-poly Easter icon. The…walk was all wrong. Too smooth."
//Why did he join?//
"Because he used to have a wife and kid, but Generalissimo Bunny liked her too, and when she wouldn't go with him, he killed her and the daughter. And then he shot the mariachi bunny afterwards. Good strategy, but the stupid soldier motherfuck didn't bother checking the bodies. So the mariachi bunny didn't die then, and when the black bunny brought up Generalissimo Bunny, he wanted revenge."
//Did he and the black bunny like each other?//
"What the hell kind of question is that?"
//Well, he didn't go after Generalissimo Bunny until after the black bunny talked to him.//
"I'm beginning to think you don't want to know the end of this story."
//No. No! I do. I really do. Sorry. I'll be quiet, so please tell me the rest.//
"All right. The big day, Dias de Los Muertos, came along, and all the main players gathered in town. Where, due to unforeseen and disgustingly ironic complications, the wonderful plan went to hell in a fucking wheelbarrow, which squeaked all the goddamn way down. Apparently, the girl bunny was fucking Barillo's cuntwhore daughter, and they were both playing the black bunny. When they were done, they lured the black rabbit into a dark hole, drugged him, and popped out his eyes. The fuckmooks. Who does that, huh?"
"…okay. That was creepily cute. New rule-you don't get to call him that."
//What happened to the mariachi bunny? And all the bunnies that were supposed to get killed?//
"Oh, well, one of the black bunny's other peons went haywire and let the black bunny off the leash a little too soon. Whereupon it was discovered that the mariachi bunny was really a cat who was so depressed he spent all his time huddled around his guitar with droopy ears and a curled-up tail, which had made him look like a bunny. So once he remembered how to use his claws, he went out and Godzilla'd the city. I think Jorge bunny got a few shots in, and some of the mariachi's friends, but yeah, it was mostly kitty asskicking that went on that day. Except for that prick of a girl bunny. You know what happened to her?"
//The black bunny found a nice little kid bunny to help him go downtown, where he killed the bad rabbits. Then the girl bunny made fun of him, and he shot her, because that's what the black bunny did.//
"Excellent summation, knee-high."
//But what happened afterward? Wasn't the black bunny hurt?//
"Yeah, and HQ didn't offer much help when they found out. But the mariachi cat was prowling around because he didn't have anyone left to kill, or anything better to do, and he tripped over the black bunny."
//I thought you said they didn't like-//
//I'll shut up.//
"Mariachi kitty was sort of psychotic and schizo from so long with nothing but his guns and guitar to keep him company, so when he saw the black rabbit lying in the street, he got kind of confused. Now, what he usually did when he couldn't figure something out was sit on a roof and fiddle with his guitar, but the black bunny was in shit shape. So the mariachi kitty picked up the black bunny by the neck with his mouth and trotted off to his den."
//Wouldn't that hurt the black bunny?//
"Not really. The black bunny still had some guns."
//Oh. So then how does the story go?//
"Well, the mariachi kitty put the black bunny down and stared at him, trying to process things. But since he wasn't the brightest candle outside of a firefight, it was taking a while. And then he finally realized that maybe it might help if he got some medical help, or at least cleaned some of the crap off the black bunny. Of course, being a cat, he started with the icky jelly dripping from the black bunny's eyeholes."
"Licking. The kitty lapped and lapped till the thick squishy stuff was all gone. Thoroughly cleaned out every trace. Then he moved on to some of the other stuff on the black rabbit's face, and when that was gone-God! Don't come in like that!"
Ignoring the still-twitching Sands-bunny muse below, the El-kitty muse finished eeling himself up onto the outer edge of the windowsill and settled onto his belly. He then cast a suspicious gaze at the muttering Sands-bunny. "What have you been doing with the kid-muse?"
Who blinked, then hopped off the padded bench that lay directly under the window and scurried away. Left alone, the Sands-bunny went into a defensive crouch, long ears laying themselves back against his head. "Was telling a story. A happy one, though you probably wouldn't know what that is."
The El-kitty flowed down onto the cushions and wrapped himself around the stiff form of the Sands-bunny. "She won't like it if you ruin her only truly innocent muse."
"I really hate this instinct thing. Every time you show up when we're like this, I seize up," the Sands-bunny grumbled, wrinkling his nose. "And why is it that you can control the morphing and I can't?"
"Probably because you still act like you don't like this." The El-kitty swiped a rose-hued tongue along one slender rabbit ear, then pawed at the Sands-bunny's back. Claws a little unsheathed.
"Says who?" the Sands-bunny growled, then blinked in surprise so his hard white scars were briefly hidden in black velvet. His ears shortened and went pointy, while his fluffy tail snaked out to immediately twine with the El-kitty's. "Right. This is sort of better…"
The El-kitty batted at the new cat's delicate whiskers, then lumped himself over the smaller body when the Sands-kitty hissed at him. "You know, now you can go hunting."
"Hey…you're right." An impossibly demonic smile spread over the Sands-kitty's face as he rolled the two of them over. "Show me later?"