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Baby’s First Noir Part Three

Baby’s First Noir
Part 3

The forest hadn’t been warm all day, with the clouds and the winds picking up every few minutes. It was fully into autumn and all the animals in the forest were rushing around, trying to get their nuts and other supplies together for the coming winter. There was a rush of activity all about as they ran to and fro.

Chopper the Chipmunk had been busy all morning, but that was just by coincidence. He was trying and trying, in vain as it turned out, to fix his motorcycle. The problem was that he couldn’t seem to find where the rattle was coming from. That was actually a secondary problem, when compared to the larger issue that he only had a vague sense of what he was doing. He’d driven a bike during the war, but those were ugly and simple things compared to this. He hadn’t been prepared for the complexity of this bike when he’d stolen it three days ago and it had given him nothing but trouble since. If the owner was still alive, he’d have demanded to know how to fix it. He wished he actually knew more about bikes, then he could really justify his name.

He looked away from the bike when he heard the approach of a Heron sedan behind him. He prided himself on knowing so much about cars that he could identify one just from the rumble of the engine. He guessed that it was a black number, by how the color reflected in the chrome of the bike next to him. He turned, and found that it was Packard roadster, and it was a dark blue. Dark blue, he told himself, was quite close to black. At least he could recognize the animal who was getting out of the car without trouble.

Chintzy the Chipmunk wasn’t hard to identify. As his name would suggest, he was a great lover of chintz cloths. His pants, waistcoat and jacket were all made from different varieties of the stuff and each clashed with the other. His tie, a large floral print with a massive embroidered flower on it would have been the final insult around anyone with any sense of fashion whatsoever. However, as he spent a great deal of his time with Chirpy, Chopper and their other companions, he was seen as the natty dresser of the bunch. Chopper, after all, contented himself with just a leather vest and nothing else. It wasn’t like he was going to get cold while his fur was intact.

“Chopper.” Chintzy said as he approached.

“Chintzy.” Chopper nodded to him.

“You’ve heard about Chirpy I supp-use?” Chopper wasn’t the smartest member of the group, but he always thought he heard a false note in how Chintzy talked. Like he’d looked these words up in books but didn’t know how to say them right.

“I heard.”

“You haven’t been up near the farmhouse reek-ently, have you?” Chintzy asked guardedly, his voice taking on an even more annoyingly nasal quality.

“What do you mean?” Chopper asked, grabbing his crowbar and brandishing it.

“Now, now my good fellow.” Chintzy raised his paws and waved them back and forth. “No need for that. I wasn’t act-using you, I was murr-ly asking.”

“You think I’d have killed Chirpy?” Chopper asked, still offended.

“Chirpy might have had it coming.” Chintzy suggested. “Rather, allow me to state that Chirpy did have it coming. He was no para-goon of honesty. One might suggest he was in fact the epi-tome of a back stabbing little so and so.”

“He’d never have the guts to stab.” Chopper said tossing the crow bar back to the ground. “Not even in the back.”

“You didn’t kill him then?” Chintzy asked.

“Did you?” Chopper asked.

“No.” Chintzy said, without a hint of offense. “If I had dek-ided to kill him, I wouldn’t have done it in that way.”

“Burning him to death is pretty nasty.” Chopper agreed. “So who did it?”

“I don’t know.” Chintzy said. “Did you pay Big Tony your port-shun of the score?”

“Sure did.” Chopper said. “After what happened to Bumpers the Bunny…”

They both took a personal moment to try not shuddering over the memory of what Big Tony had done to Bumpers and how long it had taken him to stop screaming. It had seem harsh at the time, but they all agreed later that Big Tony had indeed made his point about holding out on him. Chintzy rubbed his whiskers nervously and adjusted his jacket. Chopper wasn’t so sophisticated, and just shivered slightly, letting his fur stand up slightly. There was a breeze at that moment, cold and brisk.

“Winter’s coming.” Chintzy said, “Going to be a cold one.”

“Yeah.” Chopper said. “Cold.”

“I’m going to go talk to a few of the others.” He said. “See if anyone knows anything.”

“Yeah.” Chopper said, looking around him as the breeze picked up again. “I’ll see you around.”

“He’s right you know.” A voice said behind Chopper. “Winter is coming.”

Chopper spun around on his heel, intent on grabbing the crowbar again. However, among the many talents he thought he had, but didn’t, was an ability to tell how far someone was by the sound of their voice. Chopper actually spun himself right into the knife that plunged itself into his belly. He gasped from the surprise as much as the pain. A paw grabbed his shoulder and the weight of his stabber suddenly leaned on the blade and sank it deeper into his normally soft and loveable belly.

“Where is your stash?” his stabber asked.

“What?” Chopper asked.

“I see.” The knife with drew from his stomach and then plunged back in, pulling out and stabbing in again before his attacker knocked him to the ground and dropped his weight on top of him. “Do I have your attention Chopper?”

“Yes.” Chopper weezed, the pain was really quite something now.

“Okay then, listen.” His attacker said, their muzzles only half an inch apart. “You’re going to die. If I leave you as you are, it’ll take you a couple of very painful hours to slowly bleed out. If you tell me where you keep all the nuts you’ve stolen, I’ll cut your throat before I leave.”

“You’re crazy.” Chopper said. “Crazy.”

“Possibly.” His attacker pulled the knife out and stood up. He could see now, it was a squirrel, and a familiar one at that. “But an animal that thinks he’s not going to have enough nuts for the winter is likely to do some crazy things. You can die now, only slightly hurt, or you can die in a couple of hours and it will hurt the whole time.”

“Back of the garage.” Chopper gasped, holding his stomach, the soft fur of his belly now matted with blood.

“Thank you.” The squirrel walked away and came back with only a small sack of nuts.

“Got lots more than that.” Chopper suggested.

“Yes.” The squirrel said. “But this is all you took from me.”

“That’s where I know you.” Chopper said smiling slightly and pointing a blood soaked paw at him. “We took your whole stash.”

“Yes,” The squirrel nodded. “I remember.”

“We beat you up so bad.” Chopper laughed, despite the pain. “I kicked you in the eye, bet it still hurts.”

“Yes.” The squirrel nodded again. “It does. Good bye Chopper.”

“You just gonna leave me like this?” Chopper held up his paw, covered in the red gore that matted the fur on his stomach.

“Yes.” He said as he started to walk away. “Just like you left me, crawling along the ground looking for help. In fact, let me even the score up.”

The squirrel gave him a savage kick in the face, and something snapped in his head. There was a second kick on the other side and something else felt like it tore. Chopper could only see out of one eye after that, and could only see a blur with the other. It was then that the wounds in his guts really started to hurt and he realized that he didn’t have the strength to stand up anymore. He didn’t have a watch he could check, but he guessed that it didn’t take him hours. In fact, he was dead in a little under an hour.

The Squirrel had been right about one thing though, it had hurt the whole way down.

March 29, 2012 - Posted by | Fiction |

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