Currently incomplete, but I figured I’d at least put what I have so far. This does tie-in to the end of “Midnight Bus,” which I have outlined but not written yet. This one could easily be a mystery or noir-esque kind of story, but I won’t know for sure; we’ll see what happens.
I know I’ll have to look this one over as the descriptions aren’t as “furry” as I’d like them to be; again: this is what I have so far.
Let me know what you think!
Two meaty, gloved hands lifted open the door to the storage unit, exposing its contents to the freezing blizzard. The light above the door was burnt out and the clouds covered any natural moonlight. It didn’t matter to Kazuo if he could see what’s inside or not, he knew exactly where and what he was looking for.
“Director, don’t you think we should be doing something else about now?” Protested a scrawny, black cat. “It’s freezing out here and we all just –”
“Quit your whining and get this stuff loaded in the van!” He smacked the cat upside the head.
The cat rubbed the back of his head. “Yes sir,” he said half-heartedly.
The cat and his fellow subordinates, an elephant, a fox, a bull shark, and a Clydesdale horse, reluctantly complied to their orders. Despite that they were all taller, and in the case of the elephant, bull shark, and horse, bulkier than Kazuo, they did not want to disobey him. They knew he would do anything to keep his tight leash on them.
They loaded up a moving van with everything in the storage unit: two large, steel drums each with two valves and a meter, several blue, plastic barrels filled almost to the brim with liquid, three racks holding some configuration of clear, rubber tubes and various chemistry glassware, a heavy, black duffle bag, and a seemingly endless supply of boxes, each weighing nearly the same: heavy.
No one said a word as they worked.
Kazuo stood there in his large, black trench coat that covered his suit underneath, his heavy, black boots, and his ushanka, smoking as he observed them. His subordinates only wore their dark purple coveralls; their digits, faces, and tails had to fend for themselves in the cold. The only sounds were the sounds of them loading the van, the howling wind, the snow crunching under their feet, and Kazuo sniffling his snout as it ran because of the cold.
When the van was finally loaded, he tossed his cigarette to the side before getting into a shiny, black SUV that was leading the van.
As he got in the SUV, he turned to the cat in the driver’s seat, then to the fox in the back seat. “You boys took too long.” He gestured ahead. “Now drive.”
The SUV headed out of the storage locker facility, followed by the moving van.
* * *
The freezing winters were something Teódulo regretted about immigrating up north to the States two years ago. Growing up in a tropical region near the coast didn’t exactly prepare him for this brutal weather; his naturally thick skin insulated him so much and neither did his dark purple coveralls. When he started working for Takenaka Technologies at one of their factories of the Midwestern branch, he never asked to be a slave to this greedy pig.
He, his coworkers Alan, Marty, Skiddles, and Bud, and this slave-driver were the only survivors after the factory collapsed during the attacks on Axeford. Director Kazuo was coincidentally finishing up moving his main office here when everything went down to hell. His direct presence has only made it more so.
When Teó and his coworkers finished loading up the moving van, he got in the driver’s seat while Marty and Bud sat next to him. Alan and Skiddles entered the shiny, black SUV in front of them along with Kazuo.
Teó let out a long sigh as he stroked his slicked back, black hair. “Why’d we end up getting stuck with this sonofabitch?!” he said in his Latino accent as he started up the moving van. He leaned back, but suddenly stopped. “Gah! This fuckin’ fin gets in the way all the time!” he complained as he looked back.
“Hey at least you’re not stuck in the same car as that son of a bitch,” said the elephant, “I feel bad for those little guys.”
“Think of it this way,” assured the Clydesdale, “that shrimp’s probably going to drop dead any day now. Between the amount of candied death sticks and stress he goes through, his heart’s just gonna give up and quit on him. Then we won’t have to deal with that asshole ever again.”
Teó gave a half smile, still looking at the road ahead. “Wouldn’t we all love to see that day,” he said with a slight chuckle. “Still, I agree with Marty. I feel bad for Alan and Skiddles.”
“Well, there’s not much we can do now,” said Marty, “Let’s just keep complying to Kazuo until an opportunity presents itself.”
“Or if he drops dead on his own,” interjected the Clydesdale.
“Yes Bud, or if that happens,” Marty sassed as he turned slightly towards the horse.
Bud rolled his eyes.
The three of them never said much else for the rest of the trip, and none of the knew where they were Kazuo was taking them. Teó just followed the SUV as closely as he could, so as to not separate from it.
Their journey took them through the storage locker facility to its exit, past what was once their previous place of employment. The aged manufacturing facility Teó has come to call his second home now lies dormant and hollow. His coworkers may have just viewed this place as a necessary evil, and from the looks he noticed on their faces as they passed by they could’ve cared less about what happened. But for Teó, it was where he found his real family.
The SUV led them out of the company property and down one road that lead onto a highway none of them recognized. They then got off the highway and went through what looked like an entirely different town. After nearly three hours on the road, they soon found themselves at an old, abandoned movie theater and an empty parking lot.
It wasn’t all that big, but it has seen better days. It’s concrete corners were eroded with age, and it was missing half of one of its square columns at its entrance while the other three were chipped in various places. The drab cream and brown colors from the bricks and concrete were so faded they were almost completely white. On one side of this ancient construct, brown, dry vines still clung to the building; the sudden winter has not been kind to them. Any windows were now boarded up with plywood as well as the doors. Running through the door handles was a rusty chain with its padlock completely rusted off and lying on the ground. There were no other noticeable doors or windows other than an emergency exit.
The black SUV slowed to a stop in front of the movie theater and the moving van followed suite. There were no surrounding buildings or trees near the empty parking lot or theater preventing the brutal blizzard from obstructing their view.
Everyone got out of their vehicles, just barely keeping their stance from the strong wind. Teó and his comrades felt the icy snow beneath their feet, almost instantly numbing their paw pads. Kazuo was the only one wearing any footwear.
“Whaddya guys standing around for?! Get everything unloaded and set up!” Kazuo barked at them after getting out of the SUV. He then headed towards the abandoned theater.
“I’m gonna turn that asshole into bacon when I get my hands on him,” Teó whispered to himself.
Marty put a large hand on his shoulder. “Just do what he says. You know what he can do to us if he senses any rebellion, right?”
“Maybe for you guys, but I have nothing to lose…at least, not anymore,” he replied. “I know you guys want out of this as much as I do.”
Marty started heading to the back of the van along with his other comrades. “Just help us get this shit unloaded so he doesn’t yell at us again, ok?”
He gave an exasperated sigh and then complied to his orders.
I just want to get you guys out of this mess too; you guys have been like brothers to me since I came up from Honduras. You’re all I have now.