“He hasn’t changed a bit!” Shocka Din’s hackles raised, hair standing up straight along the back of his neck. His upper lip curled into a snarl. “Follow him!”
Whines, groans, and soft growls fortified their bond. Head lowered, crouching to be heard but not seen, the designated speaker uttered, “It would be a waste of time going after The Ghost. He’s too fast, Shocka. Long gone by now.”
“Who’s talking! Let me see you! You did good to talk up!” The leader’s clenched teeth, and barely hidden grumbling, along with the narrowed eyes and hunched back, caused well-earned skepticism. Slight head movements and eye contacts brought unanimous agreement not to give up the speaker.
They think I don’t see them signaling each other. By now they should know better. There is some truth to what they’re saying. I’ll go along.
“You’re right. We’ve got plenty of time. Soon I’ll have my own town. The only threat is The Ghost. I’m gonna make sure he gets special attention. As for Omar Blue, that dog won’t know what’s on him while I’m beating him bad in front of his pack.”
“Have you asked yourself what kind of dog it is that could win The Ghost’s respect and loyalty, Shocka? The wild slayer has never formed alliances. He definitely isn’t a follower.” Perked ears and outstretched tail displaying dominance, the self-proclaimed lead female pushed forward.
“It doesn’t matter, Hanna!” Eyes meeting hers, his heartbeat quickened as she came near. “We’ll get The Ghost and Omar Blue first. The rest will be easy. Won’t be the first place we’ve busted up. Let’s get going! We don’t know these parts! Something about this place I don’t like.” Eyeballing the area behind his pack, where The Ghost had stood last, he dashed towards it, his powerful body pushing aside those in his path. “He went this way!” Shocka roared, picking up speed.
Watching his excitement build, prepared them for what came next. The energized timber wolves took off like shots, after their leader. Heads up, mouths open, wind at their backs gliding them along, they caught up in no time.
“Quiet!” Shocka commanded as they came near. “Listen. What do you hear?” Stopping all movement, ears pricked, “Nothing!” came the dumbfounded responses, as they grasped his concern.
“OWWW!” Shocka yelled, as a flying object bounced off his head, sending him into a spinning aggressive frenzy. Overtaken by an onslaught of rocks and small branches, the ferocious wolves jumped, flinched, and whirled, attempting to dodge the barrage. “Cats!” he shouted, running for cover …whack! Another blow to the head. “Get them! Latch onto one! We’ll make an example of it!” But self-preservation overpowered bravery, after the rest of the pack scampered to locate a safe hideaway. Not one baffled, battered wolf abandoned their refuge.
Infuriated at their loss of enthusiasm, Shocka vaulted from his retreat. Ears straight up, back hairs standing straight, and snout wrinkled, exhibiting razor sharp teeth, the leader of wolves let out a mighty roar. “AOOOWL! Show yourself!” His cruel, penetrating eyes searched, high, low, side to side.
Moving forward, searching upward, he observed a miniscule creature, on the highest branch, of a tall tree. Their eyes locked as it raised its paw. The bombarding immediately ceased.
“Meooow!” shrieked the creature in the tree. Frenzied disrespectful cats zipped by, empowered by their leader. The incensed wolves scrambled in pursuit, to no avail. The cats scurried away… All but one.
The miniscule creature, now grudgingly upgraded to formidable foe, sat calmly peering down. A slight smile flickered his mature whiskers.
Head tilted, lips pressed together in a mock grin, Shocka silently acknowledged defeat.
King Cat Sateer sprang from his rest, extending his body to create a silhouette that glowed in the bright sunlight. Shocka watched, astonished, as he hit the ground running… What is this place?
“Meow! You can slow the pace!” he called out moments later. “We have come far enough to avert danger. Unwind, and delight in today’s feat!”
Meows, purrs, haphazard pouncing, uneven strides, and jovial pileups enhanced their trek, as they continued the journey home.
Omar won’t mind that we “entertained” those beasts. I wanted them to recognize that this land and its inhabitants are unlike any they have invaded before. A small lesson indeed, compared to what is in store when they reach K-9 Town. Meow!
* * *
Thor and McZen went directly to Omar when they arrived at K-9 Town. The siblings tackled each other as soon as their eyes met. Body slam…oh yeah! Paw aimed at a right eye… ducked…yeah! Bodies rolled.
Refusing to be ignored during this “warm greeting,” the mischievous warrior eagle, McZen, shuffled between the two. He fluttered his magnificent wings, relishing the outcome. Unable to escape, panicking, the two siblings attempted to push each other forward to shield themselves. Too late! Omar and Thor were thrust into imaginary corners as McZen released his enormous extensions. Aaaah! Oouch!
Remaining where he had been flung, stretched out, body at ease, and anxieties long gone, Omar broke the momentary stillness. “I know why you’re here. No reason for alarm. There are times when I must show that I’m worthy of leadership. You both know this.”
The onlookers gazed intently and nodded respectfully as he shared his strategy. But halfway through, back hairs standing, and soft growls expanding his chest, alerted Omar and McZen that he should change the subject before his sibling’s monster within surfaced. “Enough of this! There’s nothing to worry about! Let’s go surprise the others. They’ll be happy to see you two.”
Thor instantly snapped out of his approaching rage at the mention of his K-9 Town friends. Head down, tail wagging and lips drawn to show ample teeth, implied an immediate change in disposition. Pretending an afterthought, “Oh yeah! I forgot to mention!” he uttered cheerily. Omar leaned forward, bracing himself for what was to come. He watched his brother through narrowed suspicious eyes, awaiting the bombshell. “I’ll be staying with Bennie for a while. Promised him I’d be coming. Just didn’t say when.” BOOM!