“Ye present clans of the Eyinase! Hear and gather! Your Majesty brings you tidings to bend all round ears!”
All four-legs of the clans raced to hear what King Myru had to declare. Rumors that the hated, barbaric Mosirus of the surrounding cardboard mounds and walls plotted against the beauteous bounty that was the birth land of Eyinase had abounded in recent spans, so the Visier advised the rotund White King to address their concerns. Especially the burgeoning females awaiting birth. The Land of Eyinase had grown considerably in the long ago time since the walls of “This End Up” and “Fragile” and “Bedroom Closet '' grew in order throughout this hard floored, metal skyed, space. The gathering Mosirus stood on hind legs, ears up, whiskers forward, front paws tucked back as is proper and dignified. It is the White King Myru, after all. The burly guards wandered the edges of the gathered masses to make sure they gave the proper respectful pose.
“My beloved Mosirus!”
Greteren, in the front row, gave it her all to keep from rolling her eyes at this display. The Great and Blessed King of all the Land of Eyinase gave no care to his fellow Mosirus. Just for his cushy throne in the brown, flat walled Castle that he forced her parents, brothers and sisters to chew and build since they were big enough to gather materials to wall them all off. The only sign of her disgust was her gray and brown hair rustling slightly. If any guard asked her what was wrong, she simply could dismiss it as a chill.
Looking around at the enraptured Mosirus, eyes ablaze with the awe-inspiring sight of the Great White King. According to his own promotions, he alone was the commander of the armies that held off the Urgani menace. Those unbelievers in the neighboring cardboarders that dared to encroach their blessed lands for food. Food that their benevolent king sent their youngest out to fight and die for so he could eat.
She did meet glances of her fellow rebellious spirits among these glazed-eyed, empty-headed animals. Those of her like mind that other paths need to be taken, the neighbors can be negotiated with and the brothers and sisters of the Land of Eyinase need die for the barest morsels of food that the Blessed King mostly took for himself.
“Gathered ones!” He swung his flabby arms, gesturing in the air at random. “I tell you now, in my total and absolute authority as the King of all the known and beloved realm….that the Urgani will no longer return to be a nuisance to us again! Your King has ordered them away! You can see the evidence!” With one great, grand flourish of his clawed paws, the gathered worshippers cheered. Greteran quietly, softly applauded, looking around for her comrades while keeping up the pretense for the guards and sympathizers of the Cause. Quick but compact claws showing solidarity. Yes, this will work.
“Do we all agree to the plan?” Prenaston looked around the damp, warm space. Round eyes met his, all nodding in agreement. Grumbles and paws shifting on the cold hard floor showed some doubt, but none was voiced. No one wanted the upcoming war of course, but how else would they protect their harvests from the evil denizens of the Land of Eyinase? Many of their young, brave Mosirus died in the last escape to the great land beyond the hard metal and stone walls to gather anything edible and storable. The evil Eyinase refused to consider that latter part, so their crops almost destroyed their population. The treaty of “This Side Up” was considered null and void and the war was on. More of their young ones were armed with weapons and sacks for recovering what was rightfully theirs. If they failed, the sacks were to bring their bodies back to their home nest. Grumbles and shifting paws mixing with eyes rolling to meet others in daring agreements.
Meanwhile, some gathered in the back, seemingly in the shadows, but covered with thick black cloths over themselves. They moved about quietly, exiting the space together. None of the grumblers and nodders noticed. They only passed glances at each other around the edges of their hoods, checking to make sure they were all in agreement that the agreement in the other room could not and should not happen. Their steps were quiet as their voices were, but they all knew what to do. The covered Mosirus moved to meet in a space away from the ignorant ones. The ones who could not understand the right thing to do.
They all moved through an open door in the cardboard garden into a space where they could stand together in a circle, facing each other. The tallest one was only tallest by a micro-inch, but he was acknowledged as the leader of the cause due to his great knowledge and devotion to the Art. He sniffed at the air, moved one paw around, wiping at the air, then produced a shining, clear, smooth stone ball. A “bead” it was labeled when he found it with the latest leavings of the Giants. He spoke odd guttural words and it began to glow and float above his paw. The others gathered witnessing this sight didn’t have to groan “ooo”s and “ahhh”s. This display of magic has been demonstrated enough times.
“We say NAY to more walls!” The resounding voices from the Mosirus shouted back “NAY” in response with the lust of action.
“We say NAY to the pagans of the far realms that dare to dream of hoarding our rightful food and birthing females!” Once again, the passion in the sounds of the returning “NAY”s were felt through the offending cardboard borders. Granarli raised his paw that held the great razor. It was stained with blood from rats, it was said in the taverns. He was the largest and most outspoken of the clan of Bruatas. Helms of various found material adorned their small heads, different weapons or weapon-like things in their paws were shaken in the built-up passion from Tribal Lord Granarli’s speech. The rough hair on their bodies waved as they moved in rage and thoughts of conquest like the legends of the old times when the hard ground was first populated with the evil cardboard boxes.
“Do we make war on those who dare think of opposing the mightiest warriors in the known hard floor lands??!!? Do they dare??!??” The shouts of “HURAH! HURAH! HURAH!....” rang in the ears of Granarli’s sister until she could bear no more and snuck out the back hole she had dug into the cardboard wall of the justice hall.
She had heard all of that bluster before. Many times before with her and Granarli’s father and even her mother talking of how they were being robbed blind by their fellow Mosarus in neighboring realms, though they haven’t seen any sign of theft or aggression in many generations. Granarli was the only one that talked of war, of active raiding like their far-flung and far-dead ancestors did.
She snuck to her room and gathered the weapons that she dared not tell Granarli about. She had suspicions that the stories of him killing the giant rats were made up by him to rile up the folk to go raid. Their food supplies had been dwindling recently, but they weren’t starving. She put down the blades and black powders just for a few moments to cough. The sickness was spreading through her body and even in her mind. The thoughts that she was having. The thoughts. The gods perhaps were behind those. The ones that had given her plans and instructions how to build an exploding device that would project sharp objects that she had been gathering. This is madness, she knew. This and the others’ madness will end soon. The gods have said so. Obey or die.
The metal door of the storage unit clanked, clunked and tapped from the other side until it moved upward fast, stopping suddenly at an unseen point. The squeals, squeaks and other living noises stopped suddenly at the sight of the great yellow-coated giant and the burning sunlight behind him glowing brighter as it entered, stomping its boots, no fear of the cold hard ground floor. It would assault one of the boxed border kingdoms, knocking it aside easily with no regard of the newborn children or the sick and infirm in hovels in each of the great and ancient realms. Brave citizens cut their way out and attempted assaults on him, cries of defense at all costs squeaked out of small throats. The giant must have felt the blades and claws on him, the booted foot kicking some of the bravest, mightiest of them away like toys. For their courage, they cracked their backs on the farthest reach of the land of cardboard and slid down in a trail of their sacred blood.
Some that had been able to move to higher ground watched their ignorant brothers and sisters be slaughtered by a folktale. They had plans for thwarting invasions of the neighboring lands, knocking down and chewing up the borders and treaties that kept everyone agitated, bored and supposedly starving. The leaders of the each of the realms nodded to each other, quickly confirming a plan to band together to stop these horrid creatures from destroying their art, history, homes and families.
“Nick! Dude! Check this out! Mice!” Darren laughed, half-high, in his hazmat suit. The two boys were paid below minimum and didn’t give a damn if any of these old, moldy chewed on boxes got stepped on. Pizza, beer and weed money awaited them. Their dads forced them into working over the summer, but they were determined to do so either high, drunk or just having what fun they could..
“What are you….oh dude!! It’s like a mouse city! Awww. What’s that stupid cartoon movie about the rat that pulls hair and makes veggies? Eh, forget it. Let’s get this stupid thing over.”
Their dads paid them to throw out anything in storage bins that the renters abandoned and move the new renters’ items in for them. Out with the old, in with even more boxes and stuff their parents wanted but didn’t want around. Like Nick and Darren.
Nick handed Darren a hose and sprayer as per dads’/boss’ orders if they find any living infestations. Thing was….a row of them standing on a chewed up mattress edge looked like they were waving, and weirder yet, sounds came from them. Nick laughed as he cranked up the sprayer at them. “Too bad” Darren said in Nick’s bluetooth, “that looked like that would have been a decent movie.” The creatures that didn’t fall over dead scrambled away, staggering on their four feet. Whatever it was they were holding probably wasn’t valuable. Besides, they couldn’t get caught stealing….again.
Prenaston gasped, crawling away from the lethal storm, panting, trying to get air. Their little band was falling apart as quickly as their blustery family’s attempts to overthrow the yellow monsters. The magic was pure and real! Why didn’t it work? Why were the gods angry?! He threw the once-glowing bead to the giants as they started pulling out the remains of the eternal kingdoms out into the heat of the other side of the shining gate. Prenaston fell victim at last to the deadly mists, certain of his victory, hoping to re-gain favor from the elder gods.
“Ow. Dude! Not cool! Don’t throw your crap at me! I’m trying to make some money here!” The small sparking ball that struck Darren on the ankle felt like a thorny burr on it. He raised his solid heel down and crushed it with a POP and a show of sparks. “Woa. Hope that wasn’t something valuable. Meh.”
“Quit your whining, Darren. I didn’t do it. Watch your feet! There’s a big one trying to chop your foot.” Nick laughed. He’s going to pay for that. And this ugly thing is going to pay for trying to chop his foot…..with an….axe?? What the hell?? Not anymore, as it dropped face down, old-fashioned razor dropped in front of its corpse.
And they resumed work. They had orders after all. If it’s alive and not human, spray it until it’s dead. There was a new renter that had a lot more crap than the ones whose crap they were cleaning out today. It would be a long day, but they both were determined to get to Denises’ party before 10 loaded with beer. Heroes for tonight.