Wheels darted down the sidewalk of the mansion district of MKC, almost out of breath, but still pushing himself, the pads of his feet slapping against the pavement, still wet from the recent rain. He grinned as he saw Thrissa Hale’s mansion at the bottom of the hill. Thrissa, a high-society teenage she-kat, fourteen years of age, same as him, she loved him and he loved her, but this was a classic Robin Hood/Romeo and Juliet scenario, she was rich, he was a streek kid living off his wits, her parents sure as hell wouldn’t approve of him, lastly, she was a kat, and he’s a raccoon. He stood there for a minute or two, brushing his long black hair from his face and zipping up his tattered jacket, than he sprinted down the hill, valuted the brick wall and climbed up the rope ladder leading to Thrissa’s window, where he was greeted with a warm smile, loving eyes, and cuddly body in his arms.
*WHACK!* Wheels, no… Skye, Skye fell to the floor, holding the welt on the side of his head. He gazed with wide eyes at his father as the belt came down across his chest. He tried to get up, run, run anywhere, but his father’s foot on his stomach held him down, cut off his breath, he barely noticed as the leather connected with his neck and head three more times.
“That’ll teach you, you little bastard, your mother died giving birth to you… and you’re good for nothing!! You don’t work, just come home expecting to be cared for, no more!” He heard the near growling voice of Mark Ringtail millimeters from his ear.
“Dad.. please… I didn’t do anything wrong… I apologized for breaking the door, and I fixed it… dad please stop… D.” The belt didnt hit him this time, Mark’s fist did. From his position on the floor, bleeding, Skye heard his father pack up and leave, Skye lay there for at least 3 hours, paralyzed with fear, and cried himself to sleep.
Wheels woke up with a gasp and sat straight up in Thrissa’s bed, wiping the cold sweat from his fur. Breathing heavily, he looked down at himself, relieved when he still found his clothes on, and hers too. “Phew…” He felt a slight stir to his side, than Thrissa’s calming voice.
“Honey? What’s wrong?” She pulled him down back beside her and put her arms around him.
“Nothing love, just a bad dream.” He ran his paw through her ivory fur, pulling her close to him and nuzzling her cheek. “It’ll be allright, I promise.”
Seven weeks passed, Thrissa celebrated her fifteenth birthday and Wheels took her out for pizza to celebrate, it was getting dark when they began walking back to her house, and the traffic was letting up, but Wheels noticed one singular car driving down the street slowly, approaching them on the right. The windows began rolling down… and Wheels knew what was coming.. everything seemed to move in slow motion, he tried to push Thrissa down, but she was too far ahead of him, the red laser bolts shot out of the car and through her… she screamed, and so did he, he caught her falling body, her blood staining her fur coat.. he wished now that this was his blood covering the sidewalk and snow, he looked up for an instant, ducking the fire, and saw the grinning form of the local gang leader…. Ice.
It’s a ‘Coon’s Life Chapter 2 by Wheels
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Perched on the wall of the cemetery, overlooking Thrissa Hale’s funeral, he was soaked to the bone from the rain, but he didn’t notice, or care. He kept replaying the momment she died in his head, it’s all he thought about for the last week, besides the slowest method of killing Ice. He watched until the mourners left, he watched while she was buried, he watched the caretaker walk by, he watched as the rain stopped, he watched as a fog settled in, than he hopped off the wall and walked up to her gravestone.
“Hi Thriss.. it’s me.” He sat down, and couldnt think of anything else to say, besides. “I love you..” It was about then the tears came. He thought back, before he even met Thrissa, to when he learned his skill, and earned his nickname.
“Try again Skye,” Calico Briggs said reassuringly to the five year old raccoon. “You’ll get it this time.”
“Okay Miss Briggs, if you say so.” Skye mounted the bicycle and pedaled for all he was worth, and wonder of wonders, he didn’t fall, he must’ve rode around that parking lot for hours, and he even managed to jump up onto the sidewalk, without any problems, he rode back up to the Deputy Mayor. “I did it Miss Briggs!! Thank you!”
“You’re welcome kiddo,” she smiled and said when she had finished applauding, “Tell you what, keep the bike, but be sure to share it.”
“I will Miss Briggs.”
Of course, he was out of that orphanage now, escaped, child services were after him, Ice probably was too, and he had nothing left in the world. About now, life royally sucked. He hugged the tombstone for a few minutes, got up, and left. He pedaled his bike that he took with him to his favorite alley, parked next to the cardboard box that was his house, and crawled inside. He watched the katizens pick up their pace when they reached the alley, no surprise there, he saw little to no coons, again, no surprise, the ones that he did see were being arrested just for being raccoons, on spurious crimes that the racist cops made up on the spot. Today was just full of damn surprises.
For lack of anything better to do, he started talking to himself, creating a poem as he did so…
“It’s a ‘coons life, not one for the weak.” “It’s a ‘coons life, in darkness I must creep.” “It’s a ‘coons life, forever I’ll keep,” “This ‘coons life, until forever I sleep.” He picked up the paper that was to be his blanket, and noticed something that made him smirk a little, it wasn’t much, but it just might help.. The ad read:
Bike messenger. Must be willing to work at odd hours, good pay. Compensation, salary and off time to be discussed. Contact Marma Lade at 555-1234 For interview.
Wheels was up, grabbing a quarter and at the nearest pay-phone in seconds flat, he dialed the number faster than he’d ever done anything before, and waited for an awnser. After about two rings, he got one.
“Marma Lade, Agent. This is Lade speaking.”
“Hi, I’m calling about the ad.”
“Sk.. Wheels.” A pause, he could almost hear her smile, than he heard a pen on paper.
“Mm…. Okay, Wheels. Where do you go to school, and during what hours.”
“Err…. I don’t, I used to… but, I can’t anymore, you see, I’m what you’d call homeless and orphaned.”
Another pause, a longer one. “Mmm…”
“Okay then, come down to my offices and I’ll look you over, then.” She rattled off an adress, which Wheels could make it to in about ten minutes.
“Allright, see you in ten.” He hung up and mounted his trusty steed, pedaled off into the alleys that would get him there in ten minutes, dodging the puddles and winos, slowing down to manuver past garbage cans and various tire-popping debris, he eventually rode up to the front door of the address Marma had given him. He parked, walked in, glancing around, and followed a secretary’s point to what he guessed was Marma’s office. Wheels walked up and knocked on the door.
Marma’s voice came from inside. “It’s open.” Wheels opened the door and stepped into the office, looking the place over, and finally resting his gaze on Marma Lade, the middle-aged she-kat with the fading fire-mane and light brown fur, while he was looking her over, she was apparently doing the same thing. She smiled at him and gestured to a seat, which he took. Wheels brushed his long, wavy hair from his face.
A few silent momments passed before she spoke up, “You’re homeless, correct?”
Wheels nodded. “Yes.”
“Then part of your payment will be a place to live, I know Katareena wouldn’t object in the slightest.” Wheels didn’t know who this Katareena was, but he gathered that she was a kind person. And quite important, he knew he’d heard the name before, but couldn’t be sure where. Marma continued, “In fact, she would probably fire me if that wasn’t part of the contract.” Marma frowned a bit. “But make no mistake, you’ll earn your living quarters and your pay. You wouldn’t believe all the errands I have to have my staff run just for this one client.” Jeez, this Katareena must be up there in the higher echelons of society.
“I’m ready to work my butt off, God knows I’ve got nothing else in life.”
She nodded. “Good. You’ll probably regret this the first day, but I’m to pressed to worry about you.” She stood and extended a paw, which he shook. “Welcome to show biz, kid.”
Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.