“Carpe Omnious.” The grey squirrel softly spoke these words.
“Seize the night.. Seize the day...Seize it all. You always told this to me and your son, Bridger remember? Whenever we came to you feeling like failures trying to fit in or working to impress someone we had crushes on, we used that as inspiration for everything no matter how bad it got. I was the awkward one and he always looked so scary, and don’t get me started on his smile."
Past memories made the nostalgic squirrel smile letting bits of laughter fall through his muzzle.
“When I think about it, those were the only words you knew wasn't it? When me and Bridger argue about whose skills were better you hid a book behind your back trying to find new words to calm us down. Pretending you were always so all- knowing...Heh,You both… Always knew how to push my buttons."
Tonto opened his eyes leaning back looking into the sky his face turned neutral. His thoughts deepened further, tail swaying back and forth.
"If I had to guess what you'd ask next, it would probably be…How’s your sister...well, dunno...She made it clear she doesn't want me around last I seen her...probably still hanging with that monster." Bothered slightly, he groaned viewing the lit candles.
"Tell me something though, how could she be around him when even after KNOWING HE'S ONE OF THOSE...” Unpleasant memories raised. The Volume in Tonto's voice grew thinking of that monster. Pausing himself he began to lower it once more.
"...Sorry. This isn't how I should act. You taught me better… Guess, it still bothers me... She calls me time to time, but I don't answer...probably to make peace between us. She could never stay mad too long but, I think maybe I should stay away. Can’t remember the last we ever actually got along, It’s something she said She may have been right about. My self-destructions...may have...ended you two...
Tonto looked at his dirty paws rubbing them together trying to rid the grass and dirt, covering it. Seeing the sunrise, he decided to get moving and blew out the three candles
"Till we meet again, master." Blowing out the first candle. "Sorry I’m full of drama this year. I’ll be better next time. "
"Let's howl again Bridger, you serious show-off mutt." Blowing out the second candle.
"Luna wherever you are, don't cause much of a fuss, and stay safe...I love you.” The squirrel blows out the final candle as he walked inside his tiny home.
7 a.m. An alarm rings, waking up a boy from his slumber. Stretching out his arms and legs, he tapped the alarm as he moved towards the edge of his small bed rubbing his eyes. "YOU STUPID BITCH, THE FUCK IS THIS!? WHERE'S THE REST!?" A man's rough voice shouted from across the room, sounds of furniture tumbling, glass shattering, a woman heard terrified. Muffled sounds, the child soon recognized the two voices. He quickly moved toward the wall pressing his ear against it.
“I ...I'm sorry things were a bit slow last night, give me another chance tonight!”The woman pleaded. The man went quiet at her response, she starts to wince in pain." Tell you what, I'll give ya a few days to deliver, don’t giva fuck what you gotta do, MAKE.IT.HAPPEN. “Hesitant, the boy quickly grabbed something under his bed concealing it. He then bolted towards the door as the conversation moved. Peeking out, he saw a woman that was being thrown around the room, held by her hair. Trying to build the courage to help her, the boy stepped one foot out.
A large set male with a rough voice walked out of the room. The child’s foot retreated seeing the male stroll by her leaving the woman alone in fear. Attempting to collect herself, she gazed and noticed a pair of child eyes on her. Spotted, the child quickly closed the door laying against it. Placing his head between his legs tucking them in closely he told himself. “I could’ve done something…Why did I stand there…Why…Why am I so useless?” His mind wondered. The boy did whatever the rough voiced man wanted in fear, as well as his mother who would get far WORSE if he didn't obey.
Stealing, transferring of certain 'Special Items' which could lead any to a fatal end. He felt burden, like a ball and chain had been wrapped around his mother and himself binding their movements and thoughts unless told. Though nothing was there, his body felt heavy from every order the rough voiced man gave. Soft knocks suddenly emerged from his door. "Cairo..." The woman spoke his name, but no response. Her face filled with regret, hands trembling relentlessly she knew he saw what happened again seeing her mistreated over and over. "H...Honey…please talk to me…I didn’t mean for you to see that... I know school is closed for a couple of days, I got some time today. You want to do something? Are you hungry?..." She could only sigh not hearing from the sad child. “Please don’t hate mommy...I...I'm sorry...really I am. “Soundless Cairo had nothing to say to her.
The mother walked away feeling disappointed in herself. Recovering drug addict, Child court hearings, lawyer meets, MONTHS of frustration and evaluations. She was finally allowed for her child to return in her arms and she’ll be damned if she loses him again. But knew her son was tired of this lifestyle, but she felt she had no other choice, so she did whatever she could to make time for his needs and happiness. With no one to look after him, single mother, no father around, barely able to hold a job she hides unwanted thoughts. Cairo is smart, but even the smart could meet their end around these parts the mother knew. This place was dangerous, just then her shaking stopped.
Remembering why she needed to stay strong her body felt less tense her son, her only child, the only thing that kept her going. “No matter what happens, if you’re there with me nothing will stop me.” She thought to herself. An idea popped inside her head, she quickly moved back in her bedroom rummaging through her things looking for something. Cairo rubbed his face, hand running through his afro, his eyes directed at the window.” I can’t be here..I need some air..” He thought, tucking something under his bed he opened the window crawling out to clear his head if for a moment.
At a market, Kai and Tonto were retrieving essentials: Food, water and new clothing for kai. Tonto decided to give the actual market a shot instead of trying to find food through 'Alternative options.' On the side, the grey squirrel thought maybe he could surprise the young rat with something special seeing as though he never asked for anything. A big day was coming for him, and this would be a good time as any. Being the only two, anthromorphic’s in the area, the two got plenty of stares left and right. Though kai did not notice as he was amazed by going in a store with actual humans, tonto noticed, and was careful with every passing person. "Hey kai, stay by my side.” The squirrel spoke with caution seeing the rat excited leaving his side. “Aww…Yes sir.”Kai responded with disappointment. With minutes passing by, the young rat saw Tonto really focused on his list of items, the curious cub couldn’t help but want to take a gander at least a little more of the market.
Kai inspected the area a bit then moved ahead looking out the store entrance window. There he saw Cairo sitting alone, anxious, hoping he was alright the young rat pressed his snout against the window softly fogging a spot. Cairo then walked around the corner leaving Kai to wonder. The cub soon saw a brightly colored sign displaying candy of all variety, from large to small, sweet and sour he marveled at the sight. His eyes widened, mouth watered slightly, only to then realize what happened last time he was given candy: Climbing on buildings, digging holes everywhere, he would believe he was a hero from books he found. Tonto spent a whole day trying to keep him from hurting himself and out of trouble.
The owner walked past Kai and was aware that some people were nervous entering. Passing the rat, whispers were heard from customers. isn't this bad for business for a rat to be here? Has it been checked for anything? The manager worried hearing negative things, this could really affect the business. Just that very thought made him nervous."Hey Mister!" Kai spoke seeing the owner. Noticing his tag. “You own this whole place? That’s to cool! You must be busy all the time.” The rat’s excitement left heads turning. "Y.yes?”He spoke nervously. Kai’s tail swung back and forth, smacking accidently knocking over racks of candy."Ooops… I’m so sorry…I’ll get it.. “
The owner could see the cub’s paws picking each one up. As some continued to watch, he halted the cub. “Stop, stop, its fine…just go.” The whispers people grew in volume. Worried for the sake of the business, he suggested Kai leave the store and hang at a park. "I can’t have you loiter… you might have fun there yeah? See kids there every day." kai smiled big,” there might be kids my age, now’s the chance to prove heroics! Also Cairo is there so it’s perfect! “Nodding in agreement at the nervous owner giving directions.”Okay, Thanks mister!" seeing the distracted squirrel browsing the aisles,Kai walked off to see Cairo. What’s the harm of seeing him for a few minutes?
Tonto continued looking for items, maybe he could whip up something simple he thought, and throw in a gift. Scratching his head, slightly frustrated. “mmm….Im lost..” He could only think to himself. Turning the aisle, a woman rushed around the corner bumping into the squirrel, knocking her purse and each other’s items on the floor. "Oh I’m so sorry about that! “The woman said picking up tonto's items."It's fine..you don't need to.." Tonto replied as he helped pick up her things. The woman glanced his way twice staring, making the squirrel notice leaving him Puzzled."…Um..." She snapped her fingers pointing at the confused squirrel. "I seen you before...you came up to the school orientation didn't you?"
Tonto’s paw went behind his head remembering that moment and how bad it was. "Yeah..I was there...” He answered flatly, and was reminded waiting for hours in one spot, people constantly avoiding him, which he didn't mind so much seeing as though he was never a talker. It later became problematic when no one would assist him in getting what Kai needs to start school. Until this woman saw the irritated squirrel she briefly offered her help, assigning one person to his problem and went on her way to assist another.
Extending her hand out, she introduced herself. "Don't think we properly met that day at the school, the name is Judy...Judy Smith.” Tonto shook her hand, but felt weird doing it. No one had been friendly to the squirrel for a very long time. "I..I’m Tonto.”He spoke hesitantly, Judy smiled and could tell off the bat he looked as though he keept to himself. “Not much of a talker are y...."A man walked over interrupting the conversation sounding displeased."Scuse me miss, is this animal bothering you?" Tonto was bothered from the male’s question, He asked the man likely knowing the reasons behind it why. The worker explains. "The customers are feeling uncomfortable around you, and I’m making sure there is no trouble.” Judy jumped in defending the squirrel in a calmly manner. "I'm fine. We were having a chat, and is that your decision to call who stays and goes?" The squirrel didn’t bother to fight, knowing when he's not welcomed somewhere and realized it’s best to leave. "It's fine. I’ll just pay for these and ...”
Sudden panics came from the entrance door, a man rushed in collapsing on the floor, covered in scratches and blood in pain. The owner rushed on the scene urging someone to call for the emergency service the man is frantic. Terrified, people held him down to help cover any severe wounds. "BLOCK THE DOORS... ROGUE...ANIMALS... ROUGES ARE COMING. "The male repeatedly shouted coughing heavily, people began walking out quickly from this man’s alarming words.
Customers dropping groceries, the owner quickly cautioned people to stay where it's safe until help arrived. Panics arose further, gun shots went off along with a boom that shook the market. Large creatures were seen in the distance. With no hesitation people started to Cage the entrance. At that moment it dawned on Tonto that Kai is nowhere to be found. "Kai...Kai!?"Agitation struck the squirrel looking from aisle to aisle. "Wait...Kai was with you? “That unusual name stood out, the moment Judy heard it. From all the students, Adults and teachers she known around these parts of the neighborhood. It became clear, she was worried and knew who the squirrel was talking about.
"Yes... how'd you know?" Judy started searching with him. He looked at her with a face of suspension answering anxiously. “I’m one of his teachers at the school.” The grey squirrel stayed ever attentive, if more people had an idea who they are it would need to change Tonto thought, the less we know the better. But she helped once before, maybe she could be of help once more?” I seen him..." An older woman overheard the Kai’s name in the store earlier. Kai explored the market, he saw a feeble older woman struggling with picking something up. The rat aided without a second thought. He spoke with the nicely dressed senior. The older woman could only chuckle how kind the young rat had been to her. “Oh yes… I seen the owner point him out the door a few hours ago."
The senior woman directed them to the owner. Concern grew more in the squirrel and Judy. Tonto said nothing, giving sharp looks toward the man who pointed Kai out. He rushed toward the owner shoving him against the cage."Who..THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!? PRETTY BIG WHEN PUSHING AROUND SOMEONE SMALLER THAN YOU, WELL HOW ABOUT ME!? KICK ME OUT!" The squirrel enraged, grabbed the frightened man by the collar.
The squirrel came to the assumption he didn’t like how Kai was treated and knowing the little rat’s nature of putting others first, the man kicked him out from discrimination. It made Tonto’s teeth grit, growls lingered out his muzzle, like a feral animal cornered ready to defend itself from harm. People quickly moved out of the way seeing the squirrel look as though he was ready to rip a man’s throat out.
“ONE OF THEM IS IN HERE?!" The bloody injured man shouted pointing at Tonto. People started surrounding the squirrel to subdue him. Judy saw people closing in. Tonto’s distraught, she quickly ran pass the crowed.“HEY!" Judy shouted at Tonto with authority. “Think...he's out there you don’t have time for this!" Judy continued to talk down the squirrel, But Tonto’s anger unwavering, she came in closer whispering to him. "These people are afraid… This will will not make your situation better if this goes on...Play it smart ...I'll help. Please.. “The people ceased their movements seeing this woman jump in the midst of danger to control the situation. “The moment she moves, attack him all at once.”
A market worker spoke to other associates. Tonto heard the man who was harassing him and people prepared their selves to stop him grabbing the nearest solid or sharp object.”T...The park" Uttered from the timid owner’s voice. "The rat that was in here Right? I told him go to the park. “Judy slowly placed a hand on his paw and looked at him. Tonto took a deep breath, his amber eyes stayed locked on the owner, and the squirrel’s paw’s released his collar. “Give me the key.” Owner rushed in his pocket acknowledging the squirrel.
People still terrified gripping their weapons, Tonto and Judy opened the cage entrance.” We’re just going to let him go!?” the worker man spouted, but people kept their distance deciding it wasn’t worth it. Leaving them be,Tonto tossed the keys back in the store, they dashed as fast as the cage reclosed. Outside the entrance cars were destroyed, crushed as though boulders were dropped on them. Smoke seen in the distance residents screamed. Pausing a moment, the two take it all in what’s happening? Is it these rogues? “..That park is not to far just follow me." Tonto nodded and followed Judy quietly with concern on his mind.” I’m such an idiot, I should have watched him better. “Please be safe kid..."
asdfgjjkkl FINALLY been wanting to post this!
I don't know how to tag, but if you see this, thank you so much Rodney!
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