Aug 11, 2005

HR, 40

The General was obviously angry and not in the mood for dimplomacy, but Harlequin tried anyway.

"Listen, General," he said, his paws poised at their stations on the lighter. ""There's really no reason we can't live peacably in each other's presence. There's ample food for all," he nodded his head towards the Chinese restaurant, and then produced a pristine sytrofoam container he'd found in one of the white trash bags. He opened it to reveal an untouched meatball, glistening under sweet and sour sauce.

"Man-made filth," spat the General, his eyes fixed on Harlequin. He moved steadily forward as he spoke. "Fool of a chipmunk. This is my field, and all who remain on it are mine, to command or to eat; whatever I wish. You have no scheme, no skill, and no game that will stop me. Run if you'd like, I will catch you."

Harlequin shook his head grimly and sparked the lighter. A small bluish flame hovered from it's tip; he immediately set the stone-and-leaf ball in the spoon alight. The General closed and leapt towards Harlequin, mouth ajar, teeth bared. Hubert released his paw; the fireball rocketed from the shuddering spoon and disappeared into the General's open mouth. The General was bowled over: he staggered about, his face contorted in pain.

"You don't think we've killed him, do you?" asked Harlequin horrified.

With a terrible cough, the General spat the ball from his mouth; it rolled along the ground, slobbery but still sizzling.

The General laughed hoarsely. "Hubert, old friend. I hope you didn't mean to do that. Strange courage from an old heap like you."

Hubert looked down sadly at Harlequin. His eyes were bigger than ever, and his folds drooped even more so than before.

"You better run away, now, little one. You done good," Hubert whispered in his deep baritone. With his padded paw, he swept Harlequin behind him, and turned to face the General.

"Out of my way, old one," rasped the General, looking around him to try and see Harlequin.

Hubert leapt up and brought his two front paws crashing onto the General's unsuspecting head and knocking him to the ground. Harlequin watched from the grass as Hubert bared his teeth in a snarl; it was the first time he'd seen him look angry.

With a roar, the General snapped his scarred head upwards, catching Hubert full on the jaw and knocking him backward. In a flash, the General was on him, bringing his powerful jaws down with crushing on Hubert's unprotected flank. Hubert struck back in pain, his paws pounding desperately on the sides of the General's head. The General batted them off and raked at Hubert's face.

Harlequin couldn't bare to look, but he couldn't bring himself to run. He dug his claws in the ground as he heard the sounds of the struggle. He heard a great cry and then silence; he looked up anxiously. The General, rose from the ground, bloodied and limping. Hubert lay still on the ground.

The General grinned with crimsoned teeth. Harlequin could not move; he closed his eyes.

He heard the the General's dragging footsteps and then, from somewhere behind him, he heard the familiar creak of a door.

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