Chapter fifteen: Man of the house

Chapter fifteen: Man of the house

A Chapter by Thatonedawg

Issac spends the day with Skia and Isolde, who are more that friendly to him. He has no part in foolish games though, alright... he does...


-15- Man of the house


It was eerily quiet when I awoke this morning, a light rasping of tree limbs at my window all I heard. Stepping out of bed, I opened my door softly and peeked out to listen. No snoring, no commotion, no shower… Did I miss Urving? Dressing myself and stepping out into the kitchen I called his name lightly, then just asked the empty house if anyone was present. This yielded nothing and a small aura of sadness crept up me until I saw something on the table. A note, it was written in awful chicken scratch, but I could read it well enough. His letters were huge, misshapen, and unaligned with one another, but the sentiment poured forth, even from such a short note.


“Good morning Issac! Have to guard the mall today and I overslept. Sorry I couldn't make you breakfast, please be careful buddy! Skia and Isolde said they’ll stop by as soon as they can, if they can. Sorry if you are alone today Issac. Feel free to message me, just no calls. Have a good day buddy!”


My small frown was coaxed into a similar sized smile. Accepting the reality that I may be alone all day, a small cheer entered my mood. Moving to the fridge, I pulled out some breakfast ingredients and cracked my knuckles. Now I know what to do, I can make myself something awesome! Ah, eggs, glad to see even here you are the same little, white, ovals. Though they are a bit more, gold than brown or white, but whatever! Scrambling up some eggs, I popped some bread in the stovetop toaster, then moved to the sausage links and stirred them around. God I hope they’re sausage… Oh, it has a turkey on it! I can deal, whatever! This is sort of fun, now that I know how this works and where almost everything is! Humming to myself, I plated up a delicious meal and poured myself a glass of juice. Television was worth it if I watched the news, it was interesting to learn about the culture I find myself in.


“Today in Al Braddox, a small tremor occurred in the northwester region of the city, leveling two large buildings and several smaller ones between. Our hearts and hopes are open to the victims and survivors.” The badger on camera wore thin black glasses and spoke with a somber conviction.

“Repeated traffic jams have caused a small strike of the laboring repairs workers. They have been reassigned and the congested routes cleared, with repairs commencing at night.” A zebra spoke with a large voice, his mane in a slicked back hairdo.


“Three woman were accused of fifth level fraud today for using stolen credit chips for local purchases.” The stories were so familiar, things I have heard before on earth. “Local institute students are upset with the increasing fuel prices and decreasing wages.” Problems both species have faced, now bottlenecked into one set of matching woes. “Four died in a train unhinging and one home was near destroyed.” Like two different recipes were poured in the same cooking pot, causing them to blend with some effort.


Moments like this make me wonder why I am so scared? They are practically human beings as it is, why cant I just accept that? I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this planet, these aliens, this world… It is all so similar to earth. I think that's why I have been able to acclimate, little by little. In a way I think that’s why I am so afraid... Like this is just a dream or a memory. Even though they look and act different, we are now one species on this planet. These strange beings were willing to share there world, the very essence of existing, with another creation of life. That says something… Watching an animal talk and reading words got really boring, so once finished with my breakfast, I went to my room. Seeing the variety of species, all varying in shape and size, did make television fun, but I have grown tired of reading.


A lot of my off time has been spent with this instrument. New scuffs, scratches, and wear marks have developed through my use. Though I hate seeing my instrument and gift damaged, these marks bring pride. Playing my guitar acoustically was nice, but I had discovered a tiny switch that was essentially a built in amplifier! It caused ridiculous shaking from the instrument and I wish it was louder, but it was enough to have me jumping around my room. Trying metal licks that would shred lesser players fingers was a great energy outlet and I could care less about my mistakes. It was nice, a great thing to just let myself go and have fun. Flexing fingers to hold chords delicately, sliding the hand to create new sounds, striking each string with surgical precision… It was an awesome feeling. Each strand of sound connected to you, the actions you chose, was like seeing a plan come to fruition each time!


After a while my fingers were sore and I was beginning to give myself a headache. Placing my instrument back in its case, I went to get some water. Standing slightly taller as I up ended the glass, I fell to flat feet and released a big sigh of enjoyment. During these few moments of semi-empty standing, I took in minor details of the kitchen. From the flowery design on the stone floor tiles, to the flared trim on the cabinets, every inch of this place is stylized! Each counter top corner held a carved flare of lines, in a triangular pattern and trim matched the flooring in color. Something caught my eye and I set my glass down to go examine it, a gentle clinking giving way to a loud rasping. On the wall where the entryway and the kitchen meet, strange grooves had been cut into the corner evenly. Oblong wedge shapes jutted out evenly, but for only a foot or so on the wall, why is that? I suddenly remembered Urving uses this wall to scratch his back, like bears in the woods with trees! Was it cut specifically for that? A whole architectural pinpoint could not have revolved around Urving’s itching relief. Trying it for myself, I found it more like a massage than a scratcher, the large stone blocks had slanted heads that felt great on the back.

Wandering from room to room, I began feeling the overwhelming effects of being alone, empty. At first the shock and awe of it all made being here exhillirating and dangerous, but now… Now, I understand it is just a house and rarely will eventful moments occur. A strange sensation took hold of me then, as I tried to think of something to do… boredom! It has been sometime since I felt bored! Even in the human pound I couldn't feel bored, I was in unyielding terror! Now, sitting here in hall, leaned against the wall, that all felt so distant… Scoffing myself into a small smile, I thought about the week past and how chaotically eventful it was.


Still, I faced boredom. Tapping my fingers to little rhythms, I strolled through each room, allowing myself to take in it as a whole. Nothing jumped out at me, even when I checked the storage room for… anything, I came up empty handed. I didn't want to play Dread Bringer, as that has essentially been my entire week and the aspect of playing music had faded with my energy. What do I do? I only have so many options around here… Walking aimlessly around the house, I inevitably ended up sitting in my room, staring off into space. Jesus, how many months do I have to do this? Even with my fear perfectly present, I would still like to go into the outside world and make the most of it! Ferris said it can take a few years to get a freedom license, do I just sit here until then? That sounds awful, I can’t do that…


My room is quite nice, despite the seeped in smoke smell and stained carpet. You can tell this room was used for recreation from the markings of heavy foot traffic near the door. The beige carpeting faded to dark brown by the entrance and the backdoor. Once surely pristine white walls were now a dull gray, hinting on yellow. The door itself was a sturdy slab of wood on easily moved hinges, appearing to have a fresher coat of paint then the rest of the room. What I can assume was once a light blue wall paper had faded to an offgray, the color a really sick person turns. My television was smaller than the one in the living room, more rounded as well. The coffee table where I shared my first moments of peace here, was now littered with random belongings of mine, such as my phone. Sunlight cut through the curtained windows in steady rods and from the backdoor in a radiant cloud of illumination. Comparing the cold of my shadowed self to the tickle of the suns touch on my legs, I decided to step into the backyard.


Cool crunching of collected grass sounded for each step. Sounds of life, both big and small filled my senses, as I turned slowly taking in my surroundings. It was a bright, yet cool day, with thick pockets of cloud coverage. Scents of distant places and things were being carried on the wind, but I couldn't distinctly name anything. The flowers all buzzed with teeming insects, but the scurried away from my incoming hands. Gently brushing one of the flowers, I found it silken and somewhat fuzzy. Turning to our one tree, on the other side of the yard, I found it was guarding a tiny bench, not even big enough for Urving. Staring across the yard at the sky, sliced up by the tall fence, I saw a bird leave flight and land in the neighbors yard. It was bright yellow in color, but little other details could be captured so briefly. This was nice… The soothing cool air, the hum and rumbles of life all around me, and the serenity of knowing things are getting better culminated this moment into something special. After an unknown amount of time, I headed back inside, taking care to lock the backdoor.


Checking my phone, I found nothing from Urving so decided to message him. With monocle mounted on my face, my fingers began tapping out a fairly basic greeting. It felt silly, but I could distinctly pick out loneliness from my melting pot of unwanted emotions. Given the way my week has been since arrival, it’s understandable I would be lonely. A sadness swept momentarily over me, like a cloud passing before the sun. Did I so easily forget about what I have done? Have I already moved on? Just asking this brought an immeasurable sadness, which I struggled to ignore… The message waited, as I contemplated the unsolvable problem my life has become.


Sitting in the living room, I awaited Dread Bringer to load. In my minds eye, I couldn't see this being very fun. I’m just not feeling it today I guess. Sadly, all I wanted was to talk to Urving. Even though it wouldn't be fun... I want to ask him about it. About Dalton and what I did… The deep green carpet reminded me of the forest in early morning. God I hated the woods, I remember being much happier when I was moved to the station near the mountains. Shaking my head, I banished those thoughts. All thoughts, all things of that life, should die. For a split second the white loading screen of the game matched the pale eggshell walls. The corners were graced by false foliage, which I compared to the in game plants. Shutting down the console, I sighed, this is going to be a long one… As I walked back toward my room, I took a moment to examine Urving’s decorative knick-knacks on the table near the entryway. The right side was graced with a small assortment of books, held by faux tree trunks. He had a beehive shaped music box on display, which plucked a jaunty little tune when opened. A tiny suit of armor held a little shield, but Urving used his sword arm to hold his keys when he was home. At the far end, a small basket held papers, buttons, lighters, and other random loose clutter.

Ready to give up and head back to my room, I stopped and felt a smirk creep up my face. Taking slow, time wasting steps, I strode toward Urvings room. On the way, I noticed something odd, but sort of humorous. The entryway to Urving’s home looks like a cave! Never had I noticed it before, but the crudely cut stone walls and ceiling, with the semi-smoothed floor, suddenly breaking for normal carpet and hardwood, that cant be coincidence! Does each species get a chance to choose or are they all this way? The other walls were trimmed and base boarded with precision, but this one part of the house feel, wild.


Returning to my needless task, I entered Urving’s room and opened his closet. I felt my hair raise, the uneasiness of trespassing weighed on me momentarily. Peeking into the dimly lit storage space, I saw it. For some reason, the fact that Urving kept this little image is painfully heartwarming. The fact that my file, my crimes are only a few inches away means nothing when I stare at the tiny printed image of a literal bear hug… It is like a symbol, it’s an icon to the testament that he doesn't blame me, or at least understands. Sliding his closet shut, the mirror image of his room sparked my memories like jumper cables. For a few seconds I was cowering in fear again, but I simply ignored this feeling. His bed is ridiculous compared to mine, which is a barstool to him! Trying to climb up failed, but my second attempt was enough to get aboard however. Watching out the front window, I mentally sketched the birds in the trees and the strange squirrels bounding about.

These tiny birds were like an earth hummingbird, but had four even smaller wings. The tail was tubby and splayed wide, but its head was graced with a pair of long, delicate strands of plumage. These thin reeds came from the upper eye and ended in tiny puffs, roughly four inches in total length. Two of the squirrels I mentioned rushed by, jumping up a tree to avoid a stalking housecat. Surprisingly the cat was normal, save her size, but the squirrels weren’t! They had twisting horns, similar to a ram or goat, but tiny. Just above the bushy tail, was a small segment of complete hairlessness, giving them an odd profile when paired with there red-orange color. Falling into a laying position, I sighed with boredom, wishing I could see more of the outside from the safety of home. Looking upward, I saw Urving’s room has a ceiling like the entryway, but more treated for it barely formed stalactites. I’m unsure why, but this made me smile. It was hot in the direct light of the window, so I retired to the living room once more.


Sitting here, mindlessly changing channels, not really watching or doing anything was beginning to wear my patience thin. Rolling onto my back, I found a sort of music channel and just tried to zone out. This cant be everyday, can it? I haven’t even been “home” a full week and I already want to move on. Maybe this has been instilled in me due to my years on the run, living like a nomad. An intrusive electronic sound clashed with the subtle tones of a piano and I sat up. My phone had just bleated to me for attention, so I went to get it from my room. Flipping it open, my fingers tensing from the cold metal surface, one of the strange symbols was shaking every few seconds. Though it looked like a division symbol or some kind of paired line sequence, it was labeled as messages. Tapping the picture of Urving’s face yielded different results than normal conversation.

After a second of load time, a video began playing. “Heya Issac, how’d ya sleep, having fun? Sorry no breakfast this morning, please be careful if you cook anything! Just kidding, I trust you! Lot’s a’ people here today, so I cant talk long. Hope you have a good day bud, bye!” Urving’s eyes were practically stars as he spoke into his pager.

This had me smiling practically the whole time, it was just too hard to stop. Something about the fact he’s a bear, a godless killing machine, made his enthusiasm that much more appreciable. In the wilds of earth, they were usually among the strongest of the woodland predators, yet he is gentle enough to worry about me, a tiny, insignificant being… Lot’s of other creatures would’ve been just as terrifying, but Urving’s size is another huge contributor to my growing attachment. Few have rivaled him in size, at least that I’ve seen, so I can sort of feel safe around him. With my smile still immovable, I tapped the reply key.


My pager asked if I wanted to record or use text. Unsure of how the recorder works, my initial decision was to just type some words. That felt wrong, quickly made me feel lame, like a bad friend. No joking though, that feeling was sort of nice, considering I had a friend and have needed one. What am I saying, I have friends, sort of… All of Urivng’s pal’s can just as easily be mine too! Melvin’s my friend, oh boy… The phone started counting down from five, each little symbol flashing in its normal alien form, before reshaping to normal numbers. Once it hit one, I prepared to speak.


“Thanks for the note Urving, I did make some-…” I stopped, disliking my words and searched the screen.


Three buttons held options. One, a green forward arrow said finish. The other, a red “x” shape was marked, cancel. The middle option was a yellow squiggle, that pointed up and away, toward the top corner of the pager phone. Tapping the middle button reset the countdown and released a tiny notice, “recording rest”. Retrying, I had to think out what I wanted to say, trying to fit it all in quickly.

“Hey Urving, I slept great, thanks! I didn't burn the house down either!” I had a short laugh, flashing the camera around the kitchen. “How’s work going? Hope no one hits you with anything today! Been kind of boring… lonely…” I didn't want to say the word. “No problem though, I enjoyed the alone time while it lasted! Message me again when you can. Have a good day!” Clicking confirm paused my video at the end and gave a series of editing options.


Most of them were for fun, some were serious, like adjusting the lighting, focus, blur, and other stuff. Simply pressing confirm, it loaded a moment then showed a green check mark. Unsure of what to do, I just stared and eventually the screen returned to my inbox. What now? Guess I’ll go listen to nonsense music some more. Grunts, growls, hisses, screams, and feral shouting… Nothing amounted to words and though the lyrics were displayed on screen, I didn't want to read. All I can do is pass time… pass time and try to avoid thinking. My thoughts inevitably lead to despair and sadness… Nothing I think of will be good with nightmares at the precipice of my thoughts and terrors brimming from a demented reality. It’s taking hold again, that agony… the inner turmoil rises, crashing down upon my shoddily constructed joy, which yields and submits likes so much driftwood in the tide…


Something caught my attention and I felt my body stir against my will. Waking to a guitar solo, something beyond the music caught my attention. How long had I been asleep? Shutting off the TV, I heard the sound again and stood up promptly. It was the doorbell! I went over to the door, then stopped and ran around to the kitchen. The ringing persisted with knocking following shortly after. Checking through the window, after scaling the counter top, I saw Skia and Isolde waiting outside. They darted their gazes upward, but I had ducked away and was running to get the door. Again my size was a problem, as the opener for a door is at the middle, just a foot or so down from the top. It was like a pull chain of sorts, so I had to leap up and allow my weight to pull the lever down. Popping the door open, I was greeted with two bright smiles, one buck toothed, the other fanged. Casual clothes, undone hair, and less makeup told me they had been done up at the party.

“Heya kiddo!” Skia declared. “Sorry bout that, Barkley didn't give us the key…” She sounded a little peeved.


“Good to see you Iza, how’re you today?” Isolde was her usual self, calm and quiet, but heartwarming all the same.

“Hello you two, come in, come in!” I replied as soon as I could, receiving a hug from Skia. “I’m fine thanks, how’re you? How’s your day been?” Being friendly and inviting felt good, though I was still a little delirious from waking.

“It’s been fabulous, top of the world! Saw eight of my brothers and six of my sisters!” Skia replied excitedly, her face brimming with conversational light.

“Whoa! That’s a lot of siblings!” I exclaimed, but they both just laughed.


“Not for us!” She playfully jabbed in response.


“It was ever so much fun, I wish we could of brought you!” Isolde was exceedingly inviting, despite her lack spare energy.


“Oh, that’s alright, I wouldn't want to ruin a family affair!” Laughing off my fear, I was actually willing to go to a party full of rabbits.


“Oh you wouldn't have ruined anything! They were so friendly and inviting!” Isolde was adamant, her voice not changing much to match.


Chuckling uncomfortably, I quickly made up another excuse. “Well, I wouldn't want to leave Urving’s house unguarded.”


“Yeah sure…” Skia elbowed me, winking with an impish obviousness. “Really though kid, would’ve loved to of brought ya along, but we left real early this morning and had to take the bus, just… all bad…” She shook her head and swung a paw, laughing.

“No, no, I understand entirely! Thanks for coming over though, after all that! Bet you’re both tired, can I get you something to drink?” Wholehearted was my response, while inside longing to have had a day of interaction, not stagnation.


“Oh sweetie that would be lovely! Just water for me please.” Isolde was so friendly with words, but her voice lack conviction and force.

“If Urving’s got any beer, I’ll take one!” Skia laughed, prompting a scoff from her wife (girlfriend?).


“It’s the middle of the day hun! Well… we are on vacation, so I guess it’s alright…” Isolde’s protests quickly became distant worries.


“Here you both go! If your hungry we got leftover gabbach and some other snacks…” I went to check, but they stopped me.

“Oh such a sweetheart!” Isolde responded brightly, our eyes meeting when I handed her the water.


“Nah, we ate at the party. Thanks though bub!” Skia punched my knee lightly, then pat the chair next to them. “So how goes it? Been having a fun time with Urving, getting to know all his crazy friends?” Her words hit closer to home than I of thought, but it was easy to swing my thoughts toward positivity.

“It’s been good, getting better! Haven’t seen or done a whole lot, yet somehow it feels like I have. Also, ya know, it’s always weird waking up in a strange place.” I laughed uncomfortably, but they joined making it less so.


“Yeah, I’ve been there!” Skia thumped her huge foot in amusement.

“A new den is always kind of scary, jut give it a few weeks and this should be like the back of your paw!” Isolde’s consoling words were paired with a slight sweep of her arm, to reference the house.


“Of course, of course! No doubt things are gonna get better! I’m just… not sure how this goes, ya know?” Laughter saved my discomfort yet again.

“It isn’t really supposed to “go” anyway specifically…” Skia’s joking reply held some deeper insight than she knew.

“Are you unhappy? Does Urving scare you?” Isolde showed concern for a non-existing problem.

“No! It’s just awkward…” The deeper problem shall not be referenced here.

“Try growing up with twenty one siblings…” Skia added rolling her eyes in fake annoyance. “Urving’s a real big softie, I bet he’s been trying real hard, yeah?” Skia stopped mid drink to ask this.

“Yeah and… I’ve done my best too.” That was a lie, I haven’t tried as hard as I should…

“See that’s progress!” Isolde said in near tandom with her mate, causing her voice to be diminished.

“Then all it will take is some time! Just give yourself a break, relax!” Skia interrupted her wolfish mate, though she didn't seem to mind.

“R-right… Of course!” This hit closer to home then I would’ve imagined.

Is that really the only missing element, time? In a few months will I be looking back on these days with an enlightened satisfaction and understanding? In my head I find it hard to believe that there is ever going to be a point where I have forgiven and forgotten. Never… I do not ever want to forget, he deserves better than that! Now is not the time for that kind of mental debate, I have company to entertain. Thank god for that, I’m unsure how I would’ve made it through today all alone, with nothing but my own mind to keep me company.

“So what’d ya feel like doing today? Ooh, did you wanna play outside?” Her innocent inquiry snapped me back into the conversation.

“Nah, I bet he wants to play Dread Bringer or his guitar!” Skia could not have been more wrong, but I joined her in a laugh anyway.

“You’re the guests, it should be up to you!” Feeling the spotlights heat, I averted the decision to them.


“What’s something we can all do?” Isolde thought aloud, but Skia seemed to know something instantly.

“You’re it!” She lightly flicked one of her mates ears, then darted for the backyard.

Isolde was stunned a moment, a paw still at her chin, her thinking eyes expanding. Laughing the whole time, she began pursuing me around the table trying to lay a paw on me. Slipping around the table, I ran for my room, hearing footsteps close behind, then went outside. Isolde didn't even bother closing the door, her laughter reduced to minor panting as she began chasing us around the yard. Skia bounced on her toes to keep herself ready, but Isolde was mostly chasing me, reacting largely to my own laughter. Not a single part of me was initially willing to accept this as an activity, yet my heart cried out, begged for this precious moment to happen. An infantesimal speck of memory was sparked by this moment and for the most fleeting of seconds, I thought my mother and father were chasing me… In this split moment, I returned to boyhood and frivolous freedom.


Something inside of me understood the irony of playing tag, a game of pursuit, with animals I had ran in terror from. Leaving out the fact Isolde is a wolf, seeing her fangs when she smiled was both heartwarming and terrifying during chase. This feeling soon dissipated, as she was fair and chased both of us around and seeing them play was priceless. A wolf chasing down a rabbit is normally a life or death situation, but even when she caught her, they just laughed and toppled over one another. Helping one another up, making jokes about each others tails, using “b***h” in a friendly manner… you can tell they love each other. A bashful grin grew up my face and I felt myself fidgeting, as they kissed one another softly, then returned to playing. Skia used this tender moment to tag Isolde and she growled softly, chasing with renewed vigor.


This is so childish and embarrassing, yet I love it! The chance to forget myself and just feel friendly elation had a more potent effect than any drug or therapy could have. Something that would have surely bred discomfiture amongst my friends on earth, was being glorified by my new collegues. This simple game, one you need no talent to play, was suddenly like an amusement park. Flourishing rushes of air, the light sting of sweat, and the amplified heat of direct sunlight became souvenirs of this moment. Even if I feel dumb for enjoying myself, I can appreciate the fact joy is a rare element now, a precious resource… A lot of effort goes into to harvesting and concentrating good feelings now, yet dark emotions flood my mind endlessly. It was like the meeting of two rivers, one much more rampant and dangerous than the other, which submits to its current. The games and merriment didn't last much longer as the heat of midday sapped our energy quickly. Soon we were lazily trudging around the yard, showing only a hint of the enthusiasm we held just a few moments ago.


“Man it’s hot!” Isolde declared, failing to catch her girlfriend and having a seat instead. “I cant keep up, you win hun.” Panting with her tongue out, Isolde waved us over to the shade.


“Yeah, whew! Maybe not the best day for this…” Skia wiped her forehead, her faux hawk becoming lopsided as a result.


“Damn I’m thirsty…” This had no practical purpose, I just wanted to be part of the conversation…


Falling flat, I aimed myself so my upper body was in the shade. Isolde was to my left a few feet and Skia filled the gap shortly, hanging an arm over her mate. After a few empty seconds, she tapped her shoulder and muttered “got you”, causing Isolde to push her away. They both laughed and a simple chuckle forced its way through me as well. Even though it was childish, this was a great way to vent some pent up energy! I’m exhausted now and sleep tonight should be effortless! We went in soon, the dissipating heat of late day was still enough to command our retreat. Stepping in, the rush of chilled air against my sweltering skin froze me a second, but brought heightened comfort soon after.

Glass after glass of water flowed down my gullet as I desperately tried to rehydrate. Skia fetched another beer after washing her muzzle, the wet fur clumping downward and covering her facial features. Isolde did this as well, but more lady like, in the bathrooms privacy. Once she emerged, she also got something to drink, a fruity looking cocktail. Why Urving has these is beyond me… He seems more like a, I don't know… vodka guy or something. Still he has what I would call wimpy or flowery alcohol as well as beer. Not that I am looking to day drink, it was currently brought to my attention.


It’s comical how different the taste in television has been amongst Urvings friends. Also sort of funny how they all ended up watching TV with me… It’s like a universal sign of comfort and civility amongst friends. Not once have I been against it, but today I just couldn't enjoy it. I’m not sure what is wrong, nothing about the shows are disappointing or upsetting, just not what I want to do right now. So maybe family comedies aren’t my forté and I would prefer action flicks or super hero movies, but I was taught to be a gratious host by my mother, god rest her soul. Stings were still reminiscent with the idea of my parents having passed on, but it was nothing compared to that moment of grim realization. Having the mirror has both helped and hindered… I try to ignore how sad the idea makes me feel, of never seeing them again, but being reminded of how great things were, each morning cant be healthy. Maybe I’ll hang it somewhere more remote…


The difference between Skia and Isolde, compared to the others, was the level of conversation. Skia and Isolde hardly spoke, just staring and laughing, only exchanging a few words. Urving is usually talkative and Barkley didn't shut up, so this was awkward at first. Lack of vocalized connection made being in couch level proximity feel a tad thorny. However Isolde slipped a paw over my shoulder and scratched my head during commercials. While I hate the feeling of being babied and treated like a pet, given these last few days, I was more than willing to accept. Unlike Urving, who I assume doesn't know his own strength, Isolde’s touch was like a gentle breeze ruffling my hair. Not that it didn't startle me, but it was easily ignored when I found myself enjoying it.


We watched game shows, old sci-fi shows, half a movie, and some reality TV, which I liked the least. Something about this was uncanny, yet played out and done to death. Television, regardless of the planet, isn’t new to me, but this feeling of acceptance is. When I was younger we lived in a pretty bad neighborhood. Not often was I invited over to friends houses or viceversa. It was just sort of strange to me, how open I am suddenly forced to become. In a way it’s healthy, like I’m being deshelled in the kindest, most tender way imaginable. Patience and understanding are the only weapons they have used to combat my uneasiness, for which I am eternally grateful. I cant imagine having to go through this with a more demanding or pushy individual.


My phone broke the scenes tension and suddenly, I could care less who stole the drugs on TV. Hurrying to retrieve a device which most teenagers would have glued to their hands, I heard soft laughter. The two of them seemed to enjoy how excited I became upon hearing that echoing chime. It was a unique feeling, being excited to talk to someone, who is still a stranger to you… Being excited to just know someone cares… On the run, this wouldn't have ever topped my list of priorities, but it just feels to good to ignore. Maybe it’s because I was so young, or maybe I just don't remember correctly anymore, but this is what a family feels like. At least something close to this mishagosh of emotional strife, riddled with bullet holes of antipathy.

Upon opening my phone this time, I saw Urving awaiting my response, his face brimming with excitement only to cut momentarily for unavoidable exhaustion. Something about getting to see him, not a video was uplifting, unstoppably so… Having a connection to this world, one who calls me friend, will make life so much easier. Knowing that Urving has my back will make meeting new people much easier. Let’s see that wolf try to eat me now!

“Hey buddy, never get tired a’ seein you!” Urving exclaimed as it connected and the sound switched on.

“Hiya Urving! Great to hear from you man! How’s your day?” Each day my enthusiasm grows and I feel more attached.

“Oh awesome now!” He exclaimed blatantly referring to me, as if I’m some sort of remedy. “It’s been boring as hell here though! I hate just standing around here! Wish I could’ve had today off!” Beyond Urving’s semi-electronic voice the echoed murmur of a moving crowd could be heard.

“Me too Urving, it was painful for a while there!” We both laughed at this, much bigger on his end. “Thanks for the notes, by the way!”

“Oh, could you read it? Sorry my human, uhh… English, isn’t very good!” Urving laughed again, but I wondered how he knew the alphabet at all?


“Of course! I’ve seen worse, trust me!” This made me smirk, but he couldn't avoid a chuckle.

“Well to be honest, none of my hand writing is very clean, big paws...” Urving held up an enormous mit, one big enough for me to almost fit in. “Did the girls get to come by? I really hope you’re not still alone!” Urving seemed to suddenly conceptualize this and it mortified him.

“Yeah, they got here a few hours ago. It’s really nice of you to have everyone come over!” His tiny pouting muzzle sprung into a huge grin the second I said this.

“Oh buddy, I didn't ask em too! Once I told them all I couldn't get the time off, I had the week booked!” He snickered a little, lifting and drinking a soda through a straw as thick as a toilet paper roll!

“R-really?” Was all I said at first, but he just nodded assuringly. “That’s really… awesome…” Though I only smirked, I could feel my soul smile brighter than the stars.

“What’cha been doing today?” Urving brought me back to the conversation.

“Nothing really. Slept in, played some videogames, explored the house…” This list was disappointing, even for Urving. “When Skia and Isolde got here, we played tag!” I added lighting his face like a roman candle.

“Now that’s just not fair!” He exclaimed leaning back from the table, much more of his hulking frame suddenly in camera view. “Why does everyone else get to do fun stuff with you?” He was… he’s really upset, just not at me.


“Wh-what’dya mean?” I was at a lost, is he really disappointed he didn't get to play tag?

“I don't know… Urma gets some music, Barkley’s your first deathmatch opponent, and now the girls get to play tag with you? It’s just not fair…” He shook his head, slumping down in his chair, causing a few curious passers to stare.


“Well, you’ve been at work all week! Hardly had time for anything!” I stated in my defense, but he just sighed, his mouth shrinking to a tiny oval.

“Yeah I know… So this weekend will kick a*s, promise!” His eyes were so big with excitement, I saw his phones screen in them.

“Awesome! Looking forward to it!” Exclaiming this brought giggles from the other room. “Hey, if you get home soon enough we can all play tag!” The others protested lazily, but Urving loved the idea.

“You bet, I’ll try to get off early! Doubt I will, but it’s worth a shot!” His laughter shook the phone, blurring my framed view of him. “Bye-bye Issac! Have fun!”

“Thanks Urving, be safe and thanks for the call!” Waving back he smiled vibrantly, then hung up.

Astounding what simple words can do, when shared with the proper person. Knowing that Urving wanted to call, was willing to take time out of his break, it made for an uplifting article. I would hate to have taken time from his break though! I’m certain he has enough time to call me and smoke a cigarette or get something to eat… From what I’ve heard his boss is a real a*****e and has no real reason for being so tough on his employees. Urving is such a nice guy, his boss must be a cold b*****d to be so difficult.

Thinking on the subject, will I be able to get a job? What’ll my boss be like? Anxiety flourished at the very thought of being amongst the uniformed masses, serving a sea of possibly dangerous patrons. My mind drifted to higher end jobs, office buildings and the likeness… How strange that would be! My commonplaced daydream of a typical desk job, except the regular joe’s are sentient giant animals! It’d be like a cartoon! That wouldn’t be so bad, once I am familiar with the world and its customs I mean. At that point human beings would have to have become entirely integrated, so I may end up with other human coworkers!


“How’s the big lug doing?” Skia asked upon my return.

“Is Urving having a nice day?” Isolde was much more formal.


“All good from what he said, just boring.” Saying this made me take note and change my following phrase. “Sorry things aren’t too lively around here.”

This caused reactions which strayed greatly from expectation. “Shoot kid, I just saw most of my family… I can use some relaxation!” Skia was quick to cheer me up.

“Don't be like that! We’re just here to keep you company, it doesn't have to be anything special.” Isolde looked concerned, yet a smile never left her muzzle.


Plopping back into place, I was given reign over what we watched. I’m so lame though, I wanted to see what was on the news… Instead of this, I went to a channel I know played sports, which Skia greatly appreciated. I learned then she heavily follows ralg and often attends matches. Isolde almost instantly went on her pager, tapping away and reading to pass time until commercials. It was funny, she seemed genuinely more interested in advertisements than the actual program. What made this even funnier, was Skia would switch channels during commercials to catch the end of a courtroom documentary, much to her mates disappointment. This didn't bother her for long and it was obvious they were happy just being together.


We passed the news several times, but it didn't show anything interesting enough to stop the flow. This has been my most enjoyable day with new friends. Ferris and Urma were endlessly supportive, yet this made me feel more at home… Spending time with people who do not know about me has been a plesant reprieve. It fuels my perverbial fire, makes me want to try and recover, instead of give up. Knowing Urving will try to understand and forgive my crimes is the only reason I continue, my only thing to strive for. Trying to forget simply wont work and I can’t ever achieve attonement, so living on and dealing with this suffering is my only choice. I am just so grateful to have someone who understands… Nothing else matters so greatly or means that much…


From the way Skia and Isolde act, I wouldn't expect them to be so understanding. I am certain nothing egregious, or aggressive would come from it, but they would certainly change the way they treated me. Nothing will ever be the same if anyone else found out… A constant and looming blight would show itself with each face I met. Unending doubt about others and there emotions toward me would become a constant worry. I cant think like this… It doesn't help anything and a part of me needs to feign happiness, or I will crumble to nothing…

Allowing my mind to drift out of the murky clouds of repressed thoughts, I returned my attention to the television and its Olypmics esque game show. Contestants were asked to perform various feats of strength, agility, and endurance in order to make it to the next round. Prize money was awarded to the victors. These activities and challenges ranged from simple feats of strength, like power lifting, to acrobatic obstacle courses. Some of the skills displayed were astounding! It was even more entertaining seeing the animals paired with each challenge! Leopards, cheetahs, and panthers partook in dexterous events and showed the nimble bodies nature gave them. Canines seemed to gravitate toward the wrestling or endurance courses, showing they evolved limitless drive. Bears, apes, and larger cats, like lions, participated in heavy lifting or strength testing trials. By the end of the show no one had been declared a winner and a leaderboard was presented, with faces and names. It was funny seeing another brown bear, for he didn't look a thing like Urving! It’s amazing how quickly I have come to recognize him… No other ursine looks like my friend and most are utterly terrifying by comparison. Whether it’s his glasses, his personality, his weight, or just my own attachment, something about Urving is different.


“Oh my gosh, Issac look! Look Iza!” Skia exclaimed as another episode began to play.

“Wow, they look so much alike! You guys related?” Isolde nudged me playfully, pointing to the TV.


They had brought my attention to a human performing in the agility bracket of the competition. It was astounding, the confidence he held when faced with an insurmountable challenge. Just glimpsing his hopeful and determined stare fluxuated my own drive, gave me more spirit than I deserved. If this guy can do it, by that I mean build a life so grand, than I should be able to do even better. Each passing generation is better off than the last, so I should be able to achieve… something… How many generations will it take before humans forget earth? How many have to be born for us to become a part of this place, permanently? When will this planet be attributed to our flourishing and not our capture? Will the HMA facilities, full of human lives, give way to a type of pet store system? Just the thought made me shudder and forced my straying attention to sharpen toward the show.


Contrary to the ladies concensus, I looked nothing like this man. Sure we both have lightly tanned skin and longer hair than most men, but other than that we are complete opposites. I’m rather skinny (though growing), where this guy had muscle to spare. Not to mention how much taller than me he was, considering he was a middle aged man and I was still classified as a “young adult”. Given all that I have been through, what I’ve done, I think I deserve the title of “fully grown”. Watching the human being fail to live up to his animalian counterparts was depressing, we can never match them physically. Regardless of his rather sad and immediate defeat, the animals and other humans on the sidelines were more than supportive, save a select few.


An explosion of attention was poured over me like rain from a stormcloud. The two of them were so enthralled by the attention I gave another human being, that it bordered on discomfort. It was just awkward, being patronized like a dog reacting to anothers barking. It sort of felt like a nosy friend was trying to invade my business on the deepest, most personal level. Still, the questions and comments were nothing if not friendly and I got over this quick. This is all just so new… I keep telling myself that I will change, but I fear that may not happen. I don't think I can ever get used to this second class species treatment…


“Alright, we have definitely gotta adopt a human when we move!” Skia announced brightly.

“Really, oh my gosh, yay!” Isolde’s exuberant face broke for a tender and waiting stare.

“Course, seeing you smile is all I ever want! If these furless little fellahs make you happy, we’ll take one in!” These words swelled my heart like a water balloon catching a geyser. ”They need our help as it is and no one will show em’ more love than my woofy!” Skia pawed Isolde into bumping noses with her.

“That’s awesome you two…” My voice was fragile, like my mindset. “I’ll bet you give them a great home!”

“A’www thank you kiddo! We’ll surely invite you to his or her homecoming party!” Isolde looped a paw over my shoulder and pulled me into a hug.


“Sounds great!” I responded, leaning into her affection ever so slightly. “What a surreal day that’ll be!”

“It’ll be awesome! He’ll have a buddy from the get go!” Skia added, reaching behind her mate to pat my shoulder.


“I’ll try to be a good role model.” Déjà vu, I said something similar to Barkley just yesterday.


“You’re such an awesome human!” Isolde put me in a loving head lock.

“Make sure you’re fun, that’ll be most important!” Skia smirked me into a sheepish smile of my own.

“Me, fun? I don't know if you got the right guy...” We all laughed and Isolde was pretend appalled, demanding I take that back.

“Nah kid, you’re great! I really like you and Urving thinks you’re the coolest thing in the universe!” Skia’s kind words were paired with Isolde nodding.


“Th-thanks...” I smirked shyly, looking down at the carpet.

“Yeah and when we get a human of our own to look after, we need some of that to rub off on them! Ooh I cant wait! We’ll finally be a family hun-buns!” Isolde’s face brightened, but the light died and a fraction of sorrow replaced it for an instance.

“It’ll be great! You’ll be the best mother babe! I just know it!” Skia’s comment cracked Isolde and she was misty eyed in seconds, the ore vein that was her emotions now opened.


“Th-thank you! I’m really excited!” She sniffled a little, pawing at me lighter, now leaning against my shoulder, so I was closer to her mate. “Sorry... I don't mean to ruin things by getting all emotional!” Isolde’s embarassement was unnecessary, this was a truly touching display.


“Relax babe, you’re fine.” Skia consoled, leaning into her larger mate.


Though I wanted to add my own verbal bandages to her momentary emotional wound, I found myself silent and in thought. Isolde cares as deep about human kind as Urving... Have we been a big deal for much longer than I perceived? My mind began imagining the constant news feed, keeping all of Al Ur En up to date on humanity and our actions. Did this entire world take sides when our continents waged war? Were scientists here just as distraught as on earh when pandemic’s ran rampant across earth? When our planet began to decay due to our action, was the tragedy felt here? Did our problems, our lives, resonate so far away? I can only pretend to imagine the significance of our discovery to these creatures, it was certainly more celebrated than how we were shown their existence...

“You two will give any human an amazing life...” My voice was crackled with emotions strain. “I’m a little jealous of em already!” Though untrue, my words difused mental tension.


“A’ww, you’re trying to make me cry, huh?” Isolde hugged me tightly, Skia giving me ann “OK” sign covertly. “You are so sweet Issac, Urving is really lucky to have met you!”

“Nah, I’m the lucky one! Urving has been a really great friend.” A cheery smile masked the deep inner warmth, which I attributed to growing fondness.

“He’d say the same thing, I’m sure!” Skia’s casual response was shadowed by her mates enthusiasm.

“You better believe it! When Urving called me to invite us to your party, he was talking like a tornado!” Isolde actively restrained herself, an unnecessary action in my eyes.


“Wow and here I was screaming my head off at the sight of y’all!” I can be funny in my own way.

“I’m sure he’s forgotten all about that! Hell ask em’ his sisters middle name, bet he wont know!” Skia didn't look, but swatted a paw my way as she joined the laughter.

“Oh that’s silly Ski, Urving isn’t an idiot!” Isolde got her attention, but little more than an eyebrow raise. “Urving understands this must’ve been insanely hard for you! Being a runner and all, you got captured, taken! That must’ve been awful!” Sympathy lined the shy voice, but another thought over shadowed this.


Were the humans taken in the initial invasion treated differently than those hunted? So many simply vanished in droves, entire buildings depleted, homes emptied, cities vacant... Was my poor treatment because of my actions on earth? Of course potential buyers had to be random, but being malnurished and chained up for weeks... How do I ask Urving these things? Ah, Ferris! I’ll call him later, at some point.

“Ya alright Issac, something on your mind?” Isolde had finished speaking and my vacant attention brought her question.


“Fine, just... thinking, ya know...” What the hell should I have said? “It’s hard to believe sometimes... You all have been so kind, but I’m just lost.” Isoldes eyes were probing, I had to open up to her.

“No way, you’re right where you oughta be!” Skia exclaimed, referencing the living room.

“A’ww pup, you aren’t lost... You just lost so much, so quickly! No one expects you to be a-ok with this right away, but you’re doing great in my opinion!” She roughed up my hair, delighted with my lesser laughter.

“Thanks Isolde.” I replied plainly and she brimmed with joy.


“Not a problem Iza!” She sat up a bit, her tail whipping back and forth, yet she was trying to refrain, why?


“Considering he traveled gillions of light years to get here, then got locked up for two weeks, and then was borderline enslaved by a stranger, I’d say he’s doing pretty great!” Skia again only shot us a short glance, not missing a moment of brutal ralg action!

“When you put it that way, yeah, I think I’m doing just fine!” That was too close to my reality to be funny in anyway.

“You’re so brave buddy! We must’ve looked like monsters to you at first! Thank you for trusting me!” Isolde had affection to spare, which I didn't hesitate to enjoy, after the last few days, I need it...

“Thanks, but stop you guys! This is just too much!” Bashfully waving at them, they both laughed, looking at one another.

It was the kind of laughter that was really ugly to look at, but since you are close to the person it doesn't matter. A type of laughter that was pure and unrestrained, jovial as Christmas, but far more personal. Something about seeing them so unabashedly in love with each other was powerful. I imagine they have a funny “odd couple” type relationship! Since they are literally opposites in the animal kingdom, this just has to be true! I’d love to visit them someday and see what it’s like at their house!


Speaking of that, wow, they’re talking about getting a human like we would’ve a puppy! It’s disturbing as hell, but yet, I understand. This has to happen, we have to integrate with this new society and that’s the best way on hand. I just wish we had more of a choice... Not that I would’ve chosen anyone else, but, then again... maybe I would’ve. A less threatening animal may have been easier to trust at first. Then again, they wouldn't be nearly as threatening to possible attackers. Not knowing how the recommendation or matching process works, I don't think I’ll ever know my other potential roommates and portals to this new world.


Tv was getting really boring, but I couldnt complain. This was so relaxing, I think I nearly nodded off a few times. Isolde kept smirking when I would awake, as I had usually leaned on her shoulder reluctantly. She never seemed to mind, though, neither did Skia when Isolde drowsily leaned on her. Night time was approaching fast and it was becoming cold, not something I have had a problem with here yet! Another one of those moments, where something completely typical is a “first” again. So many things will have to be redone, for the first time again. Skia and Isolde offered to play games with me, but I didn't really want to play Dread bringer or hide and go seek, which is a funny combination to get to say. Instead we just continued watching tv until our conversaions were more interesting.


“Heya everybody, I’m home!” Urving was at the door before I formulated my next thought. “How was your day guys?” He was erupting with joy, his firework eyes shining at us.


Urving lumbered in, dropping a heavy looking gym bag, before awaiting his greetings and welcomes. A small line formed and though I am ashamed to admit it, I didn't like being last. I’m certain it’s been nice having all this extra company, Urving having trouble with loneliness and all, but I’m his roommate! Urving more than made up for this with a hug powerful enough to have broken bones, if he weren’t so squishy. Even thought it hurt and I groaned with pain, Urving was on top of the world to see us.

“It’s been great, how about you? Was the mall boring? Must’ve sucked...” Trying to be a pal was more than enough, Urving roared with excitement.

“Yeah it was boring, but I was guarding diamonds all day, so... It was actually kind of cool at first!” Urving’s reply was super powered for a brief moment, his eyes brimming with unaccessible enthusiasm, due to fatigue.

“Wow, sounds like a nice view at least!” Skia added patting his arm.

“Ooh, were they special or just a plain old diamond store gig?” Isolde asked and though you’d think Urving wouldn’t wanna talk about work, appreciation for her inquiry was obvious.

“Nah, just Shayman company, nothing major.” He laughed at her disappointment, the steady tail wag cesing. “But enough about that, did you guys have fun today with my buddy?” Urving didn't put me down and effortlessly referenced me, with a small  lift.


“Of course, had a blast!” Skia patted my dangling foot.


“It’s a real treat getting to see him! He’s such a friendly little fellah!” Isolde’s compliment had my smile squirming toward emotion.


“I know, right? He’s probably the best human they had on earth!” Urving’s compliments have increased with each day, it’s hard to accept at times...

“We saw some other humans on tv today, one of em looked just like him!” Isolde seemed to suddenly remember a half hour ago.


“No I didn't!” I interjected and Skia agreed, though earlier she wouldn’t of.


“Well we’ll have to see! I do think I’d be the best judge for that!” Urving falsified his smug attitude, but the girls just laughed.


“What about me?” I added meekly, just to further the laughter.


“Well you’re probably tired, so we’ll skedaddle!” Skia announced, sparks of her earlier enthusiasm poking through fatigue.

“You guys don't gotta, I mean, you’re welcome to stay!” Urving’s hospitality was overshadowed by exhaustion.

“Oh that’s fine Urv, thank you, but we’ve got another big day tomorrow. We have to leave before you even get up for work!” Isolde pat his arm, flashing her glance my way.

“Besides, think you could handle woofy here stealing up all your time with Iza?” Skia added referencing Isolde and I.

Urving and Isolde stared at one another a while, their smiles suddenly becoming playful growls. They were suddenly feral animals, using threatening sounds instead of words to intimidate one another. It was hilarious seeing Isolde still smiling, yet fighting to look tough while showing her fangs. Urving just growled lowly, pulling me away like a child unwilling to share his toys. Skia pretended to hold her mate back, while Urving tried to shield me with his other paw, blocking out my vision partially. Seeing this silly display finally break for laughter, I couldn't avoid joining wholeheartedly.

“Thanks for having us over kiddo! You and Urving have a good night now, ya hear?” Skia barely managed to hang an arm over Isolde’s shoulder.

“I had a lot of fun playing with you buddy! I cant wait to see you again!” Isolde has a hard time treating me as my age would dictate. “You got a champion here Urving, I swear! Miss you already sweetheart!” That isn’t always a bad thing though...


“Thanks you two. Out of all the days I’ve been here, this has been the best!” This was a friendly lie, since no one day seemed better than the others.

“That means the world to me!” Isolde practically ran back to hug me again, but Skia stopped her.

“Thank you Issac that’s very sweet of you!” Skia added, fighting to keep Isolde on track. “C’mon, let’s get back to the hotel, I’m sick of wearing pants!” Skia’s annoyed voice peaked over the din of night traffic.

Even though that made me laugh for quite a while, it later bothered me. Being animals it must have been customary that one’s coat is all the cover they would ever need, but with humans brought in the mix... Does Urving get tired of wearing clothes, just for me? That’s a rediculous question to flat out ask, so I may never know the answer, yet... Ferris seems to always be dressed well, Urving has to have some nice clothes he likes wearing, right?


“So buddy, wanna play tag?” Urving emerged with a bright grin, but scoffed and waved at me. “Just screwin’ with ya!” He added before I could respond. “Ya hungry?” He headed for his room, awaiting my response.

“Yeah, I could eat!” I responded as he entered his room.

Urving just nodded and gave a smile, before shutting his door. The level of exhaustion worn on his face was apparent to the smallest degree. Every ounce of his normally vibrant vigor had been dulled by lack of energy. I know the feeling... Gathering wood, looting houses, carrying messages, taking supplies, and all before five hours of guard duty... No one should ever have to exert themselves that much, without something to go home to! That’s just tragic, but I lived it for five years... Nothing, no one, no reasons, no hope...

“Sup bub?” My sullen eyes lifted to Urving’s beacons of friendship. “Worn out? Ya look a little spacey...” Urving smirked, the bags under his eyes being pulled taught.

“Yeah, Skia and Isolde, whew... They were really amped, was hard to keep up!” Where was my head at just now?


“Think you got the energy to play me some tunes? While I make dinner, would you play for me?” Urving asked with growing conviction, as if this thought was not originally on his mind.


“Uhh... Sure! Of course!” I was taken aback, staggering to move toward my room for a moment.

“If you’re tired it’s all good, just thought about it at work... I wanna get my xylatar out of storage, we can jam together!” Though I have no idea what that is, I assume an instrument, I was happy with the idea.

“Awesome, gimme just a sec, be back quick.” I jogged lightly to my room, to fetch my instrument.

Urving plays an instrument? That’s kind of awesome, how did I never ask him about it? It dawned on me then, that I have not tried to get to know Urving at all... He has pursued my friendship, yet my response has been to show no interest in learning about his personality or aspirations... I cant blame myself, this is just been too hard to adjust to. Another goal to put on the adaptation checklist! Urving has to be an interesting person, being from another planet and all! If I get the chance, I am going to pick his brain apart, learning any detail I can about my forced best friend. Not that I’m complaining about that, just... choice is the essence of living and I had pretty much none.

Returning to the kitchen I tuned my instrument for another, entirely different kind of performance. Within seconds Urving had a pan or two going, I had my fingers placed delicately on chords, and we both were exchanging friendly banter. Urving broke down his day for curious me and I informed him of how fun my time was with the girls. Once the sizzling of pans and the clinking off pots was my metronome, I began playing. Unlike Urma, Urving was desperately intrigued by every little sound I produced. Also, Urving preferred different music than Urma. Urving wanted to hear blues and rock n roll, where his sister only seemd to want country music. A few blues chords caused his ears to twitch and pipe up, I even got him to hum along soulfully for a moment! I don't know much in the ways of blues, so I had to move on quickly.

Several times Urving would drop what he was doing to hurry over and examine my performance with eager enlightenment. From the way he reacted, I could have been pulling bricks of gold, outta my eyes sockets, not crudely playing Hotel California. Still, every little ounce of effort was blown into staggering proportion! Urving was so entertained by my performance he was even dancing while he cooked dinner! It was so silly seeing this huge creature, shuffle his feet and bounce with the rhythm of what was practically nothing! Still the opening to Pinball Wizard must’ve spoken to him, or at least he enjoyed it the most. Rolling through all the classics I knew, Urving never took a moment to stop enjoying, even when I tried to correct mistakes he hummed on what I’d already played.

The meal was almost done so I wanted to try and impress him. Tearing out a few solos I knew, I tried my best to string them together, making one impressive storm of sound. Thought a few gaps and errors were made in my song, these combination of songs was probably just to much for him... Ending on as much of Painkiller as my fingers could take, I just preteneded it was too much and I collapsed against the table like a corpse. Next thing I knew, there was no seat beneath me, my guitar had been disarmed and I was surrounded by Urving’s arms! He had lifted me into a hug and then plopped me back down, once he was finished.


“THAT WAS AMAZING!” He roared! “You’re so talented bub!” Urving’s face was brighter than the sun, his excitement just a plentiful as its light. “I cant wait to take you to a show and translate music with you! Oh my gosh, I bet you’ll love the FireTails!”


“Bet I’ve heard something by them already!” I joked, unable to recover from a bombardment to the senses so quickly.

“Yeah, you have!” Urving laughed, suddenly rushing to turn the heat off. “Maybe I can teach you the songs I know by them sometime!” Urving smiled, grabbing plates from the cupboards.


“Awesome, that sounds great!” Laughter followed, genuine and pure, as I hopped out of the chair.


“Hurry back, I made us some salmon steaks!” Urving the bear eating pre-caught salmon, priceless...


My guitar was warm in my grip, slipping my silver force of musical fury into it’s case. Damn that felt good, it was much shorter thant the other day with Urma, but she didn't show as much interest in my music. Urving however, he was so excited I think he burned some of our dinner! Also he plays an instrument, we’re a decent match to be friends... for life. There isn’t anything wrong with that statement, but... Somehow it makes me sad...

“Here ya go bud, sorry if there burned a bit, tried to give ya the best ones.” Urving handed a plate my way as I approached the couch.

“Thanks!” Sliding into place, I looked over my quickie meal.


Three salmon steaks, some mashed potatos and green beans, as well as a roll! I thanked him several more times throughought the night. Even though I have seen these greenbeans in frozen boxes and the mashed potatos in foil sleeves, he took the time to make more for me! It’s decent, not the best thing he’s cooked, but I am incredibly greatful for it on such a deeper level than hunger. We watched an awesome kung-fu movie, with a tiger using nunchaku and kicking a buncha dudes asses! It was great! Beyond that a momentary flash took me into a serious mindset... They have martial arts films, old ones that are corny and bad quality... Just like ours! How in the hell is that even possible? The technology should exist to make a movie look brand new again!

“So ya wanna play kid? Prolly tired from playing all day!” Urving teased, having finished his food must faster than myself.

“I’m game, sure! Lemme finish!” Mouthfuls of mashed potatos spilled forth from my bulging mouth.

Urving chuckled and showed understanding, like he was impressed with my efforts. Finishing and getting my control gloves on, the adventure began. Nothing special at the start, but we ended up practically leveling an entire town just for the fun of it! Knowing that we could restart at pretty much any time made this easier to justify. One of the scripted characters was a real a-hole, so I beat him down, complete with karate noises. This led to guards, townsfolk, and even a few pedestrians all attacking without warning! Even though this surely wasn't how the game was meant to be played, Urving and I had fun none the less. After about an hour, Urving was tired, his reaction time slowing and the usefulness of my ally waning. It became difficult to play, not because of Urving’s effort, it was his snoring. Like a small explosive built to full volume every four to six seconds, leaving a minor echo in its wake. Christ, this’ll take a lot of getting used too! Even though it is painfull loud, wall rattling, and chaotic... That snoring let’s me know Urving is there. It’s like a home security system, no fool would break in with a sleeping bear around! Turning the game off, I headed for my room and played a little longer in there. It just isn’t as fun alone, as many games are. So I was heading to be before I knew it.

© 2017 Thatonedawg

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Added on August 12, 2017
Last Updated on August 12, 2017
Tags: Bear, Burdens, Anthro, Novel, A, Story, Thank, You, For, Reading, Help, Me, Get, Better, Hope, Change, Friendship, bare burdens of life, love, loss, betrayal, heartbreak, aliens, tragedy



Sacramento, CA

I have been writing for a long time. My father was a writer and he always encouraged me to do so as well. Sadly he never read any of my work or even cared for that matter. I just need to know that som.. more..