Other Voices #5: “A Ruined Hunt” by the General

Ed. Note: “Other Voices” are stories written for my monthly Patreon patrons from the viewpoint of other characters. They are published to the general public on a four-month delay. This story is a companion to diary entry #154 – Big Bad Booms.

I lay inside my cozy house on my very own Magical Pad that makes warm. The last few days have been excellent! Ever since Sandy Claws came, every meal has been a feast. The victuals have been superb! Between the Shrimp and Bacon, the Fat One’s roast beef, and the bird and mouse, I’ve eaten better than I ever have before!

But as I lay there, I felt the urge to hunt wash over me. All this luxury will make you soft. The burning desire to track down and capture my own meal was overwhelming. Nothing tastes better than fresh game you’ve caught. I stood up and poked my head outside. It was night, and the air was cool. Perfect hunting weather! I padded across the porch and down the steps into the yard. I felt the thrill of anticipation as I trotted into the field and headed towards my hunting fields.

At the top of the rolling hill on the other end of the field, I came upon three odd tubes standing upright. Each was attached to a large, square, thin piece of wood and pointed towards the sky. I sniffed them, trying to figure out their purpose, but it eluded me. Near them was a huge stack of chunks of wood. After inspecting everything, I continued on my way. The ways of hoomans are a mystery at times.

Soon, I was at the place where a colony of mice lived. I found a spot downwind of them and settled in, waiting patiently for one to come out. Time passed, but I waited, ever vigilant.

A mouse nose stuck out of the entrance to the colony, sniffing the surrounding air. I tensed and eased into a pouncing stance. The mouse’s head poked out and looked around. Feeling secure, it hopped out of the hole and sniffed the ground, looking for food.

I watched it as I adjusted my body for the pounce. I tensed like a coiled spring, ready to make my leap. But just as I prepared for the killing strike, a tremendous explosion filled the night sky. Startled, I flinched, and the mouse dashed back into the entrance. Overhead, two more enormous explosions occurred. Gigantic balls of sparks expanded and then disappeared. Why was the sky exploding?!

The explosions were so loud I could feel them inside me. In fear, I looked around for a place to hide. As I did, I saw hoomans and a fire on top of the rolling hill in the darkness. Three loud “Whooomps!” rent the air, followed by three gigantic explosions in the sky. The hoomans were responsible for the explosions. And they were responsible for my ruined hunt!

Anger filled me at the thought of my dashed prowl. Without thinking, I began running towards the hoomans. The angrier I got, the faster I ran. The faster I ran, the angrier I got until I was streaking up the hill. At the top, there were several boxes on wheels parked randomly. I slunk under the one nearest to the hoomans sitting around their fire. Peering out, I glared at them with my good left eye.

Hoomans were sitting in chairs around the huge stack of wood that was now on fire. They drank directly from large green bottles of fizzy fluid. I could smell rotten fruit. Other hoomans were digging through boxes sitting on a large tarp on the ground. Three of them picked up big balls that had short strings dangling. They ran over to the three tubes, lit the strings on fire, and dropped them in the tubes. A few seconds later, the tubes spit the balls high into the air, where they exploded. I flinched at the explosions, but not as bad as before. Now that I knew they wouldn’t hurt me, I was becoming accustomed to them.

After every explosion, the hoomans yelled “Happy New Year!” and drank from their bottles. And laughed. And cheered. Obnoxiously loud!

Some hoomans took tubes from the tarp on the ground and lit them on fire. Flaming balls of fire shot out of them with loud whistling noises. The same odor as when hoomans shoot their bang-sticks filled the air. I wrinkled my nose in disgust at the smell of it.

A blonde hooman female noticed me watching them. “Ooo! A one-eyed kitty!” she squealed in delight and then took a long drink from her bottle. Wiping her mouth on her sleeve, she shouted, “I’m gonna pet it!”. She stood up, rocking back and forth, and stumbled towards me. I slipped behind a wheel and stuck my head around the corner, watching her.

In a few steps, she fell over and sat on the ground laughing. “I go BOOM!” she laughed hysterically. A male helped her to her feet and got her back to her chair. All this time, explosions in the air continued, and the hoomans yelled and cheered.

Then some hoomans got their bang-sticks and fired them into the air. Some of them had long bang-sticks while others had short one-handed bang-sticks. They shot them in the air while yelling, “Happy New Year!”. Whatever that meant.

The sight and sound of the bang-sticks scared me. I’d seen what hoomans can do with them growing up in the Colony. Discretion being the better part of valor, I retreated to the woods along the field and made my way back home.

Dejected at the failed hunt and disgusted with how the hoomans had acted, I trotted up the steps and onto my porch. The few crunchies I ate out of my dish were a poor substitute for the fresh mouse I craved, but I made do. Stretching, I climbed into my cozy house and settled down on my Magic Pad That Makes Warm.

As I got comfy, I thought about my life now. If you had told me a cold time ago that I’d be living in my own heated house with a hooman caring for me, surrounded by loving companions, I would have thought you mad. But here I am.

“What wonders still await me?” I drowsily thought as I drifted off to sweet dreams of Nancy.

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