Pepe and the Squirrels of Chaos, Episode 14: The Laundry’s Filthy Plan Stinks

Pepe romantic

 

Pepe has opened up and is talking about his past yet again. He left us hanging as he jumped out of the delivery van he had stealthily hidden away in. He found himself two blocks away from The Lost Sox Laundry. The very place that had been accepting loads of stolen diamonds, extracted from the very mine he had discovered in the labyrinth of passageways under ground on the very farm where he lived. He was good. I have translated our hero’s words here:

 

I found the address without any problem. I could see the steam rising from their ventilators from several blocks away. Someone had left the back door ajar, and I crept through silently and blended into a dark corner while my eyes adjusted to the dim light.

The front of the building was a legitimate laundry. Behemoth machines rattled and fought against their moorings. Filled with steam, it was difficult for me to make out the workers. Three humans battled with the machines shouting curses and orders to each other. Water streamed across the tiled floor, pouring into a filthy grate not inches from my feet. The stench was unbearable.

I left this room, exploring a hallway that went past several rooms that held desks and computers. One man sat behind a computer working on a spreadsheet. I crept as close as possible and my eyes struggled to read. A time line. April 11, 2015 was  highlighted in red. Before I could read more, I heard footsteps behind me. I hid in a filthy pile of unwashed diapers, and from the stinking mass I heard the conversation. The dialect told me the speaker was Squirrel. The topic stank worse than the pile I was in.

“The meeting has ended, and the Highest Poobah has made his declaration. The Highest of the High’s declaration will be written down now, as I tell you. The Supreme Poobah’s declaration will read as follows:”

It was difficult to hear under the stench that was invading my lungs, my eyes and my fur. How was I ever going to wash this off? Would he just get on with it and forget about all the insane formalities?

“Are you ready to record the Supreme One’s Words?”

“Yes, please continue.”

“The date has been changed. But only the Highest, Supreme Poobah will know the exact moment that the Squirrels will land. The place of the event has changed. But only the Highest, Supreme Poobah will know the exact location where the Squirrels will land. The hour…”

The keys of the computer clacked as the lackey kept up with the Squirrel’s dictation. I now realized that I knew nothing. Everything had changed.

“The Grand Poobah is moving our operation to the north, and will no longer be needing your assistance.”

The lackey looked up from the screen. With utmost respect he asked, “But what about the cat that has been gathering information? What about the band of spies that have been following your every move? What about the book that was stolen that gave the plans for the landing field?”

“Will no longer be a problem, that.” The Squirrel’s voice turned whiney. “The Great, Marvelous Poobah has included that in the plan. It is a marvelous plan, I tell you. You do not have to worry your senseless little brain with the work of the cat any longer.” He stopped to scratch himself. In the dim light I saw fleas spread out in all directions. Some of them ran into the pile of dirty rags where I lay.

“A certain family member, by the name of Orion, has been taken as insurance. Their paws have been effectively tied. Even the flea-bitten George can’t do anything now!”

My heart dropped. Orion in the clutches of the enemy. My brother. Somehow they had discovered my work. Somehow they knew about George. And I had been so haughty at my prowess and cunning. Orion. May God help you. May God help us all.

Stay tuned for further adventures with Pepe in Episode 15: The Squirrels Vamoose

 

 

Pepe of Noswad and the Squirrels of Chaos, Episode 9: The Ugly, Furry Faces of Chaos

Pepe romantic

In the previous Episodes, Pepe of Noswad bravely accepted the mission to infiltrate the ranks of the enemy: The infamous Squirrels of Chaos. He fearlessly stole the book with their evil secret plans and delivered it to his Chief Officer, George in his bunker, ‘The Concrete Palace.’ Inside the book was a map and a detailed plan for Area 31. The landing pad for Alien Squirrels, scheduled to overtake the USA.

We left our hero, Pepe, in the center of the squirrel underground, sitting at the Commander’s table, raising a glass of whiskey in salute. And now, we return…

 

“Hail to the Squirrels of Chaos,” I shouted. All the while, my eyes memorized their faces, matching them to the names on their stinking badges.

The whiskey felt hot as it coursed down my throat. My blood was boiling. It took every ounce of strength to keep my claws hidden. They ached to rip out the Commander’s throat. His words, and the blind allegiance these dimwitted squirrels offered him astounded me. They were rabid in their enthusiastic support.

He worked their emotions with his words and actions, whipping them into new heights of fevered loyalty.

“A new day has dawned!” The Commanding Squirrel opened his arms as though lovingly embracing his congregation. Some of these soldiers of chaos had seen heavy battle, their wounds still raw. Some were missing ears, others paws. Several wore eye patches made of leaves. One poor fellow had lost both hind legs, and was hauled around by his mates on a child’s discarded skate. A few sat at the edges of the crowd staring blankly into space.

“Heil!” Yelled the crowd.

“A new day for the Squirrels of Chaos!”

“Heil!” Screamed the crowd.

“We shall be ready!”

A few of the squirrels began to dance maniacally. “Heil!”

“We shall welcome our Saviors from afar!”

“Heil!” One of the dancers swooned.

“A landing pad.” The crowd cheered. “A landing pad where our future will land!”

“Father!” The squirrels chorused. “Our Father of Chaos!”

Music began to play through the speakers overhead. The room filled with patriotic fervor and song.

His attention turned to me. “I know nothing about you, but you come with Ralph’s highest commendations. So trust you, I must. A most important document has been stolen by the filth that opposes us. The guards that allowed our most prized book to be taken have paid the price with their lives. Their livers have seasoned our meal. But the book that contains these secrets of the base must be found. It cannot fall into enemy hands. Ralph says that you’re the Cat to do it. Do I have your allegiance?”

I felt like vomiting as I looked around the room. But my mission, entrusted to me by my leader, George, called for me to go as deep into this depraved mind as I could. I raised my paw, my claws carefully sheathed in salute.

“Tell me more.”

He nodded to his Second in Command who swaggered to the table. His badge, I saw, was crafted out of a gold beer bottle cap. Scrawled over the top was the name, ‘Bud.’

“Bud, take this cat down to the lower level. Answer all his questions, show him everything. We own him now.”

Stay tuned for the next episode in which Pepe descends into the lowest pit of Chaos.

Pepe of Noswad, Public Notice

Pepe romantic

I held off publication yesterday for a good reason. It has come to my attention that the Squirrels of Chaos have moved a small group of members to Snohomish County. Brought on, I suppose, by this very blog, which exposes their evil plans.

Earlier this week my servant was outside, taking the Walking Rug out to the back yard. Shouts of abuse range out from the tree above her. I was watching from my observation perch at the back window. What I saw disturbed me. A large squirrel, in full military Chaos regalia stood on his hind legs on a low branch of the gum tree barely above her head. The things he said to my servant cannot be repeated. I watched as she looked innocently above her. His claws were splayed in a threatening display. His barks were clear. She was to tell me to cease and desist in my revelations of the Chaos plan. His bared, yellow teeth emphasized the intended threat. Our eyes met.

Luckily, she moved out of the way before he struck.

Things are serious. I must make a decision soon. Do I continue to expose their plan of human extinction? Do I come out of retirement to fight yet again? Or do I curl up by the fire and leave my heavy responsibility to the new generation?

Pepe of Noswad, and the Squirrels of Chaos, Episode 8: The Alarm Sounds Over Dove Breakfast

Pepe romantic

 

Some say that dove tastes like chicken. I say chicken tastes like dove. Luckily, I brought two into Ralph’s den, as the chairs around his table were full. His wife, girlfriend and both broods were there, nine in all. I threw the birds on the table, and the raccoons lit into them.

Over the din of the snarling, growling and belching, I became aware of a sudden cacophony of squawking that became louder and louder. A squadron of Blue jays lit in the upper branches of the den tree sounding the alarm. Although I knew within a shadow of a doubt what precipitated the alarm, I had to pretend I didn’t. While the jays persisted in continuing the alarm, one of the squirrel sentries I had watched the night before came crawling in. Blood was oozing from a cut over his eye, a large bite made one leg unusable, and he dragged it behind him.

“We’ve come to ask your help, sir.” He lifted a flask of whiskey to his mouth. I supposed that was all that was keeping the vermin moving. “The book. The book has been taken.”

Ralph squinted his eyes as he looked at me. “The book is taken, the map is gone. The plan forsaken, it would be wrong.”

“So wrong,” I said.

Luckily he didn’t get my meaning. His paw patted my back. I felt his claws. A warning?

He said to me, “Take this squirrel back to headquarters. They will heal him if he matters.”

To the squirrel he purred, “I trust Pepe. Tell the Commander he is on loan from me. He’ll get to the bottom of this atrocity!”

I gathered up the broken squirrel and helped him climb on my back. With a shudder, I could feel the fleas abandon his drab fur for mine. My cover was secure, my mission safe. I moved further into the enemy territory. By lunchtime, I was sitting at the Commander’s table, raising a glass of whiskey in salute. “Hail to the Squirrels of Chaos,” I shouted. All the while my eyes memorized their faces, matching them to the names on their stinking badges.

Stay tuned next Thursday for Episode 9: The Ugly, Furry Faces of Chaos