"First Taste of Revenge" by Race
He smirked as he saw the waving striped tail about three feet in front
of him. Even though he was only jogging, and even though he had given
his brother a two second head start, it was still no contest. Ask any
raccoon - if you knew how - and they would tell you that Michael
Ringtail, who also had the appropriate nickname of "Race,"
was easily the
fastest thing on four legs. This was why it was no contest. Up until
point, Michael had a 349-0 record against his older brother Brent. And
Race never tired of reminding his brother of this fact. Brent really
didn't mind though, since he was more of an intellectual and artsy type,
but he still felt some embarrassment at the fact that his younger brother
could beat him handily at nearly any athletic event. It was because
this that he continued to race Race, although Brent knew perfectly well
that he would never win.
In fact, the only way he could win was if Race were to let him.
Luckily for Brent, Race did have a soft spot. As the younger coon watched
Brent in front of him, a thought went through Race's mind. Maybe I'll
him win. Just this once. The coon smirked and slowed his gait up. Brent
started to pull away.
The older coon snickered and looked back to his brother, who as far
Brent could tell, was lagging behind. "Aren't you gonna catch me
Mikey," smirked the leader as you called back to his younger brother.
Race chittered a little and yelled back, in raccoon-language, of
course. "I'm trying Brent, you're just too fast for me," he
Brent smirked and turned back around. Seeming to get a burst of
adrenaline, the coon was able to break a good twenty feet or so from
They had run this race over three hundred times, and it was always the
same. Start at the big oak tree with the robin's nest and run to the
maple with the squirrel hole. In human measurements, it would be about
quarter-of-a-mile. It was a simple course over relatively flat land,
nothing that would be too difficult for two juvenile raccoons to traverse.
Mikey, as Brent called his younger brother teasingly, was watching as
the streak of grey and black outran him. Though they were brothers,
Michael and Brent were also the best of friends. Brent would tease Race,
and Race would return the favor, but it was all in fun. Their younger
sister Mirabelle was simply uninteresting to the young males, though
loved her as well. There was just nothing like Brent and Race's bond
together. Though there were other coons that they called friends, the
coon brothers were inseparable, and the others knew that.
Race smiled as he saw his brother only a hundred feet or so from the
finish tree. It was Brent's birthday, and remembering the nice gift
Brent had given him, Race had wanted to return the favor. Brent had
been the artist in the family, and would hoard notebooks and pencils
that he would find whenever the two would go on their late-night trash
can runs. Race, on the other hand, had the artistic ability of an
eggplant. That didn't stop Brent from surprising his brother with a
notebook and set of colored pencils on Race's most recent birthday.
Race could remember welling up with tears. This was not one of Brent's
notebooks; it was brand new! Who knew where his brother got it, all
that mattered was that it was Race's. Race's joy only increased as he
opened the cover, though not because of the fact that he was happy to
blank page, but because of what was written on the inside cover - which
to an unknowing human would be nothing but scribbles, but to a coon
would read as follows -
To Mikey - From Brent. Heh. Got you this for your birthday, seeing
how you're always like "I wanna draw just like you." Well
now you can;
there's more pages in here than you could ever use. But don't worry,
matter how much you practice, you'll never outdraw me. Ha! Stay cool
Of course, Race could never outdraw Brent. On the other hand, he could
do one better for his brother. Since it was Brent's birthday, Race
would give him the best present of all. Race would let his brother win.
would let his brother be better. The coon smiled as he saw his brother
only fifty feet from the tree now, Race lagging behind at a leisurely
pace, at least thirty feet behind. Of course, if he wanted, the coon
could still zoom past his brother even at this point. That's not what
wanted though; he wanted to see Brent be better.
It would not happen.
As the older coon was just about to touch the trunk and make the 350th
Running of the Raccoon Relay one to remember for the ages, Race heard
sound that would forever etch itself into his mind forever. Though it
was no louder than a typical bullet, it sounded like a sonic boom to
poor juvenile's sensitive ears. Race's world seemed to suddenly go into
slow motion, as he was forced to watch helplessly the events that were
about to unfold.
Brent suddenly wailed back in pain, forgetting completely about the
tree and the race and everything else. The only thing that filled his
mind was an intense pain. The coon flipped onto his side from the force
the bullet, which had hit him squarely in his right midsection, meaning
that Brent toppled over onto his left. The young raccoon shrieked
loudly, a blood-piercing shriek that shook the leaves of the forest's
Race simply stared at the scene from behind a rock that he had dived
behind as soon as he heard the bullet, too terrified to do or say
Brent craned his head down to look down to his wound. The red stain
was beginning to spread over his grey fur, giving it a messy mottled
appearance. One of his ribs had actually broken the wound, being knocked
loose as the young juvenile slammed against the ground. Race's brother
slowly and weakly put one of his forepaws against the injury, lifting
bloodied paw back up to his own eyes, just to verify that he really
bleeding. Brent was not only bleeding; he was bleeding profusely. The
coon sighed and lowered his paw again, shivering as he began to feel
Race meanwhile, was shaking as well. Another attribute of Race's was
that he could see remarkably well at impressive distances. The coon's
gaze was transfixed on his older brother, lying helplessly as the blood
flowed from his battered and tiny body. Race started to well up as he
watched Brent convulse once more, then release another whimper, and
finally lay still.
Normally, Race would have been wailing or shrieking, or something,
in this case he was absolutely stone silent. The coon could not believe
what he had just seen; he had just seen his brother, his best friend,
silenced for good by a hunter's bullet. Finally, Race broke down,
standing up on his hind paws and lying his head down against the boulder,
sobbing into the stone and making his tears darken the hue of the rock.
That emotion was soon forgotten though, as Race witnessed two more
beings enter the area with him. One of the tall humans was carrying
rifle, and even though Race had never seen a gun, somehow he knew that
these people were responsible for what he had just witnessed. The coon
narrowed his eyes and snuck down behind his boulder, his sorrow being
replaced by an intense anger.
"Ya got 'im Bob!" yelled a thin man who came up behind the
the gun, both of who were decked in camouflage gear and orange hats.
Bob, which was apparently the name of the larger man, turned his head
up to the other man. "I sure did Joe. Let's see how he is..."
hunter's face fell as he stared down at Brent's lifeless body, causing
to scoff and spit on the raccoon's carcass. "A runt; a juvenile;
useless waste of fur! This one won't get us anything! You couldn't even
no coonskin hat for a toddler with that excuse for a tail. He looked
bigger from back a ways," exclaimed Bob to his partner.
Joe wandered forward and took a look. "Yeah, yer right Bob. No
them bones, no fur, no fat, nothing. Waste of a perfectly good bullet
if you ask me. Just toss 'im. I doubt you could even get a decent fire
by burning that thing," Joe smirked and kicked Brent's lifeless
spraying blood everywhere, some as far as Race's boulder, and some even
landing on Race's fur itself.
As though out of a horror movie, that splash of blood was just enough
to make the coon snap. He stared at the two humans through glaring
beady eyes, obviously thinking something along the lines that these
would not get away with this scot-free if Race had anything to say about
it. He couldn't be too hasty though, as Bob was still brandishing his
weapon, so Race just sat back and awaited his chance.
"Well I guess we'd better go. We'll just leave 'im. I bet some
raccoon'll come and eat 'im up or somethin'. I sure hope so, at least
there'll be some bigger coon to catch next time we come back,"
Bob to Joe.
Joe nodded and turned to leave the scene, motioning for his larger
friend to follow. The two humans slowly left the area, their boots
crunching against the freshly fallen leaves.
Race waited for the two to leave, and then sped over as quickly as
could to see his brother. The coon tilted up the carcass, looking into
those dead eyes, which just twenty minutes earlier had been full of
joy. Race ran a paw over that limp striped tail, which earlier had been
waving playfully in Race's face. And the coon shuddered as he ran a
over the wound, staining his own forepaw in that same blood that Brent
had stained his with. The coon whimpered and laid his brother down,
covering him in a blanket of leaves. Race then turned to follow the
hunters, but not before calling out a low-pitched chitter, which in
language simply meant - "I will make them pay."
The two humans chuckled to themselves and kept walking until they
reached the highway, Race slinking behind silently. They got into their
pickup, a light blue and slightly rusty junker. Bob turned to Joe, who
driving and chuckled. "Heh, that sure was a waste of time wasn't
Joe grinned and nodded, "Yeah, it sure was. Maybe next day'll be
better, like ya said." Race turned into a sprint now, using all
his speed to
get to the pickup. Just as Joe was about to close the driver's
side-door, the coon was able to slip inside the cab, just managing to
tail in before it was squashed by the large door. Race shivered and
under the seat, considering his options. He could try to maul them,
that would be hard, since he was a young one. He could try to scare
them by chittering, but that would not be likely. Race sighed and just
hid, trying to remain quiet so he wouldn't be discovered.
Finally, the coon decided he'd try something. Race crawled to the
of the cabin and started to slowly climb up the back of the seat. He
poked his head up between the two hunters' heads and eyed what was
outside their windshield. The coon smiled as he saw that they were on
mountain road, a thought instantly going through Race's mind. Two coons
two humans? Sounds like a good trade to me. If one could read Race's
thoughts, they would see that he was willing to die to avenge his best
The coon chittered loudly and leapt at Bob's head, snarling as he
latched all four of his paws against the man's face, cutting him everywhere
he could with his claws. Joe meanwhile, tried to grab Race's tail and
pull him back off. During the whole scene, no one was controlling the
Race shrieked as his tail was yanked, but continued to scratch Bob's
face as much as he could, knocking the man's glasses off in the process.
Race growled and stuck a claw right into the man's unprotected eye,
causing him to yell a loud scream and fling the coon away with a large
arm. Luckily for Race, the driver's-side window was open, allowing Race
be thrown right out of the cab. The coon oofed as he landed hard
against the pavement, smashing his nose in the process. Luckily, Race
able to gather himself and get off the road before any other vehicles
passed him by.
Bob and Joe were not so lucky. As Race turned his head, he was able
see the truck smash right through a barrier. The coon meeped and padded
over to the edge, where the truck had gone over. He looked down just
time to see the truck smash hard against the slope of the cliff, then
do a flip, and finally explode in a fireball. Race's eyes seemed to
all the more after seeing that fire, the coon chittering happily to
himself. Grinning widely from ear to ear, the coon made his way back
across the road, heading back into the forest.
Though he was still sad, Race had at least avenged his brother's death
- twofold! Perhaps he was cocky, because otherwise he would've noticed
the men with the net, and would've been able to escape before they
pushed it down over his body and shot him with the tranquilizer.
He awoke. The first thing he noticed was a distinct difference in the
atmosphere. This was not normal outdoor air; it was the artificial air
of a building. And what's this? A cage? Yes, that's exactly what it
was. Race meeped and cowered back as he realized that he was trapped,
then noticed the band around his right paw.
He couldn't read it. It was a metal clamp, that had the number
18-01-03-05 stamped on it, and no matter what the coon did, he couldn't
off. That was the least of his problems, as he would discover.
A middle-aged man came into the mostly white room, getting a syringe
off of a shelf and filling it with some mysterious drug. The coon
blinked and watched through the bars of his cage, transfixed by the
activity of the human. The man then turned to Race, causing the coon
cower against the back wall of his cage. Had he seen Race looking at
him? The man walked up to Race's cage and slowly opened it, letting
gloved hand in and forcing it against the coon's body. Race shrieked
tried to bite, but the human's hand had him in an obstructed position.
The syringe soon found it's purchase in Race's right flank, and shortly
thereafter, the coon again fell asleep.
He awoke. He would periodically awake nearly every day from the
injections. The injections weren't the only thing though. Occasionally
mysterious humans would give him some strange smelling food to eat,
Race would be so hungry that he would greedily devour it with no
thought for what it was. Other times, they would put him in a kind of
test his intelligence. It was a room filled with various doors, only
one of which was the exit, and the others of which would give him a
shock. Eventually the coon was able to figure which door would let him
leave. It really wasn't that hard.
Apparently the scientists had determined that he was a good learner.
And so one day, they placed Race in a white box, which had only a screen
with a young girl talking. It was a TV, but the coon didn't know that.
He growled at the face and ran right at her, bumping his head painfully
and falling backwards. Race whimpered and just sat up, realizing that
this girl was not real. The coon blinked and watched, and listened.
would sit there for up to six hours at a time, and then it would be
to his cage. Race never really quite understood what the point of all
this was, but unknown to him, he was learning. The lady was teaching
English. And for some reason, the drugs were helping him understand.
He awoke. And he looked down at his band, as he had before. This time
was different though, as the coon looked down and said in perfect
English, "Eighteen. One. Three. Five." Race blinked and looked
to himself. "I...spoke. I...read." The coon blinked and looked
himself. A lot had happened in that year at Biogen. The steroids they
had pumped him full of had affected his brainpower, but they also
increased his size. This was no minor increase either; it was a full-scale
expansion. Race was now over six feet in length, and had to weigh close
to 200 pounds. He had earlier been moved to a much larger cage, in a
wing of the building that held the other larger specimens.
Race blinked and just stared at his band again, reading the numbers
over and over again and chittering happily as he realized what he'd
done. The coon wandered over to the barred door of his cage, and looked
out. Right across from his cage was a table with several scientific
instruments strewn upon its surface. More importantly, there was a mirror
above that table. Race blinked and peered out through the etched metal
bars of his cage, trying to see what was in the mirror. Although it
obviously backwards, he was still able to read it, and the coon
chittered with glee as he said the words aloud.
"SUBJECT #18-01-03-05 (RACOON)
BIOGEN CORP. BRM, ALA.
TO OPEN CAGE, LIFT LATCH AND TURN CLOCKWISE WHILE PUSHING DOWN."
Race chuckled to himself, "Heh, can't even spell raccoon, the
humans." The coon reached an arm through an opening in his cage,
reaching for the latch. He was able to feel the cool metal in his paw
at one point, and did just as the instructions said. To his surprise,
the door sprang open! He was free; he could leave through a window,
even the front door as far as he knew. Yet, there was still something
eating away at the coon's mind.
The steroids had three effects. They made him smart. They made him
big. They made him...remember. He remembered everything. The sounds,
squeal, the look on his brother's face, the incredible high he'd felt
when he'd seen those humans go over the cliff. So why wasn't he happy?
Something was wrong. He'd had his revenge, hadn't he? Apparently not,
because he closed the door to his cage again and snuck back into his
waiting for the morning to come and for the doctor to give him his
first injection of the day. He waited, snickering. He would not fall
He awoke. Dr. Ross put on his lab coat and got into his Mercedes,
drive to his job as chief engineering technician at Biogen Corporation.
As the doctor arrived at the complex, and ran his ID card through the
security, he entered Room 119, ready to give the normal injections just
as he had every day before.
Race's sensitive ears heard the footsteps of the doctor from outside,
and the coon already had the door to his cage open. The coon had been
practicing all night, and had finally gotten to where he could balance
on two feet. This allowed him to hide against the wall, so that when
Room 119 door was opened, the coon would be hidden from sight behind
Hidden he was. The doctor opened the door and looked around curiously
for a second. "Everyone ready?" Dr. Ross smirked to the cages
stood in the threshold for a while. Suddenly, the doctor was tackled
behind and knocked to the ground, his glasses flying off and sliding
along the floor. "Hey!"
The coon smirked and wrapped his forearms around the doctor's chest,
trying to choke him. Race chittered wickedly and started to dig his
claws into the doctor's shirt. It was at that moment that the coon noticed
something from his position, another cage, and another label. Again,
his sight was well enough that he could read it, even from far away.
SUBJECT #01-15-83-19 (PYTHON)
BIOGEN CORP. BRM, ALA.
TO OPEN CAGE, LIFT LATCH ON LID AND PULL UP.
The cage was quite large, but it was more an aquarium than a cage.
was all clear glass, save for the top, which was a metal slab that was
held in place only by a single clamp. Inside was a large python, which
was curled up in a corner. Even in its curled position, one could see
that it was quite a specimen. She was at least twenty feet in length,
The coon continued to squeeze the human, but then got an idea. Sure,
Race could just sit there and claw the human and squeeze the human,
perhaps even kill the human, but there would still be a body. There
would still be evidence. Almost certainly a six-foot raccoon would
eventually be found if the right people were contacted. What if there
way to make this look like an accident? Perhaps an accident made with
of the animals? Race's brain worked like clockwork, and he slowly
started to drag the doctor over to the snake's pen.
The snake awoke as he saw the large furry creature come toward him,
rather a large furry creature's backside. The python slowly uncurled
its great length and slithered over to view through the glass. Race
snickered and continued to claw the doctor, weakening him a great deal
creating the occasional wound in the white lab coat, staining it red.
Race licked his lips, "Heh, good job Doctor," Race lowered
a paw and
grabbed the nametag to read, then set it back down again, "Ross.
succeeded in making a raccoon smarter, but you picked the wrong raccoon."
coon growled and let go of the doctor with one paw, reaching up with
that paw to grab the latch.
The door swung open easily, and the coon reached back and grabbed
scared Doctor Ross in his paws. Race growled and shook him, "Let
return the favor you humans showed my brother." The coon reared
back and spit directly into the human's face, and then with all his
strength tossed Dr. Ross into the python's cage. The coon smirked and
grabbed the lid again and pulled it down, reclasping the latch. Race
settled down to watch the show, keeping an eye on the main door for
one else who might choose to enter.
Doctor Ross had no chance. Almost as soon as the human was dropped
into the cage, the snake had already made his move. The large python
quickly grabbed Dr. Ross' shoulder in her maw and pulled the human back.
doctor was slammed against the floor of the cage by the force of the
python's muscles, which then started to slowly coil the doctor up. Ross
screamed for help, but it was no use. The snake wrapped herself around
the doctor and began to slowly constrict him. Her head let go of Dr.
Ross as soon as he was in the coils, the python pulling it back to peer
the human curiously.
Dr. Ross coughed and wheezed as the python tightened her muscles
around him, slowly but surely suffocating him. Eventually she was apparently
satisfied that her prey had settled down enough. Race snickered and
scooted closer to the glass wall, poking his head right up against it
get as good of a view as he could.
The python moved into a position where the doctor was lying down
horizontal against the ground, though still enveloped by the master
huntress' coils. Dr. Ross head was pointed up toward the python's maw,
his sneaker-clad feet were down near the tail tip. She continued to
at Dr. Ross head for a moment, before slowly opening her jaws. The coon
leaned in all the further at seeing this, his tail starting to flop
around behind him. The large snake began to wriggle her jaw from side
side, until eventually the bones there dislocated. She lowered her
wide-open maw onto the doctor's head, covering it in scales and removing
from the sight of the visible world.
This was almost too much for Race to stand. Never had he seen such
sight. If only he could do such a thing. It would be the perfect way
get back at as many humans as he wanted. Kill them, get a meal, and
have no evidence of the crime. It would be tremendous. He chittered
happily, his tail started to flap all the wilder behind him, and he
to watch the feeding scene, focusing with great interest on how the
snake did it.
She did her job well, since Doctor Ross wasn't really all that
imposing of a figure and he didn't have any form of defense. The snake
began to let up on her coils as she worked her jaws up and over the
human's shoulders. Her neck already was starting to bulge out from the
doctor's head, and the addition of his shoulders only increased that.
swallowed once more, and her head started to disappear as she devoured
more of the human, but kept him wrapped in the coils. The only sign
that any more of the doctor was being eaten was the increasing bulges
were becoming evident in the snake's skin.
Meanwhile the human-sized raccoon looked on with glee, starting to
drool himself on the glass, though not from hunger. Well actually it
from hunger, the hunger of revenge. He'd had his first taste of revenge
before, but this was different. This was so close that he literally
almost could taste it. He could almost feel what the snake felt. Feel
good it felt to know that you were swallowing someone whole and alive,
ending their life while prolonging your own. To feel your fur bulge
as they passed through your throat. The coon closed his eyes and
Doctor Ross was all but dead now, though his feet would occasionally
wriggle from under the python's coils. Meanwhile, all she was concerned
about was getting the best meal she'd gotten since being dragged into
this hellhole. Her head bobbed downward over the doctor's body, and
slowly began to unwrap herself from around the human. Race's glee only
intensified as she released her hold on Dr. Ross. Now the coon could
see a snake, her neck bulging profusely while half a human had already
been swallowed up, and the other half still hanging out from her maw.
The snake grunted and moved her jaws forward another few inches,
gulping down the last remnants of the doctor's arms, which had been
to his sides by her powerful jaws and coils. Another slow push of her
maw and she'd swallowed him up to the waist. Only the human's legs
remained to be enveloped.
Meanwhile, Race went back to his daydream. He saw himself as a great
raccoon, maybe fifteen feet or so in size. He saw himself grabbing the
two hunters and gulping them down, then he saw himself grabbing their
wives and doing the same. Race could see it so clearly. Next, he moved
to the kids, enjoying especially their screams and calls for help as
slurped them down to join the doomed parents. He even could see himself
as having desert by swallowing down their pet dog or cat, like some
kind of after-dinner mint or something. He could see himself murring
happily as he felt over his taut belly, knowing perfectly well that
just ended so many lives, but that he had at the same time extended
own. He would burp and belch; he would chitter with glee; he would lick
his lips; he would be happy. He would make them pay.
When he opened his eyes again, it was just in time to see Doctor
Ross's feet disappear from view. The python closed her jaws slightly
the sneakers, but not completely. First she did a few more wriggles
her jaws, trying to reattach the dislocations. After a bit though, she
was able to close her maw again, dispatching the rest of the doctor
her esophagus, and almost certainly later, digestive tract.
The coon couldn't stand it any more. He fell back onto the ground,
chittering and giggling so hard that his sides started to hurt.
"Hehehehe...that was so great. If only I could do that," he
exclaimed out loud.
Finally he sat back up again, staring at the python for what seemed
an eternity. She slithered back to her corner to curl up, but as she
moved Race could see the distinct indentations in her skin where the
doctor was in relation to his digestive journey. The coon closed his
again and imagined that same bulge in his body, and him rubbing over
murring as he felt the struggles of the human try to get free before
the coon's body turned him into nothing more but a few clumps of
Race hummed happily and slowly got up from his seat, stretching out
his back and legs. He wandered over to a window, and had no trouble
getting it open. The alarm sounded, but the coon had escaped by the
anyone realized what had happened. Although he had increased in weight
since being brought to BioGen, the coon could still run quite well.
As the authorities slammed the door open, they witnessed the snake
curled up in her cage, with a distinctly human bulge in her midsection.
"Obviously a simple matter. Dr. Ross was trying to feed the python,
he wasn't careful. We'll do a stomach pump to make sure," explained
officer to one of the main doctors. The old man nodded in reply, "Yes,
we need to find better cages for the more dangerous ones." He then
looked over at Race's cage, the door of which had been flung open, then
at the still-open window. He shook his head and smirked to himself,
"Nah. Couldn't be. We must've put this one to sleep." He closed
and latched it tight.
Race found his way back to his home, but his family simply ran away.
He couldn't speak to them anymore. After learning English, he couldn't
remember how to chitter or do any of the other raccoon noises that made
up his species' language. The coon eventually sighed and gave up,
grabbing his notebook and pencils, and just left. On his way out, he
sure to stop by the tree. His brother was long gone now, but the memory
remained. Race blinked and thought something to himself. What were those
hunters called again? Bob and Joe...and Doctor Ross. That's three.
Hmm... The coon looked down at his notebook and opened it to the first
page. He then grabbed a black colored pencil and wrote in simple script
three human's names.
Race stood there for a minute, unsure of what to do. He looked at
notebook again, then at his brother's "grave," then back at
the way to
his boyhood home. The coon scoffed and turned away with a huff and left
the clearing, making up in his mind never to return. He clenched the
notebook under his right arm, and the pencils under his left, and headed
off to find someplace else to live. Where that place is, well that's
another story entirely.
Story copyright Justin M. Schuver/Race 2002
Please do not copy or repost without author's permission. Why? Because
we like you.