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by Blade
Rated: E · Short Story · Animal · #1975576
Two brothers unexpectedly become apart of Badger Day
         Freddie knelt on the cold floor of the cabin as he played the iron end of the fire poker amongst the embers. He scratched his grizzled, bearded chin, when the door suddenly flew open, letting in a burst of frozen air. He didn't need to turn his head to know the tall, fur wrapped figure, which entered.
"Took you long enough," Freddie said as he rose and walked over to the wood pile in the corner. "Now close that door before we freeze half to death."
"Whine, whine, whine. Look at what I caught for dinner tonight." Charlie beamed as he dropped the small cage on the floor. Freddie paused on his way to replenish the fading warmth in order to get a better look at is brother's quarry.

"Badger? You couldn't find anything better than badger out there?" Freddie shook his head and threw the log into the fire. He knelt again and began prodding the fledgling flames with the poker. "Not going to be much for the both of us."

"It'll do just fine; now get that fire nice and hot." Charlie removed his fur hat and coat before sitting down on a squat stool next to the meager table. He removed a mean, long blade from his boot and began to sharpen it on a worn stone. "What should we use the pelt for?" Charlie asked as he took long, deliberate movements with the blade.

"Well, you sure don't need another hat..." Freddie, satisfied with the state of the fire, rose and joined his companion, heavily dropping himself onto a similar stool. He took out his own, smaller knife and began idly picking at his teeth as he gazed around the cabin, contemplating their options. "Well," he said finally," we could get some more and I could make myself a fine coat."
Charlie laughed at the idea of a "fine" badger coat, but kept his misgivings to himself. He nudged the cage, eliciting a growl from his captive. "Well, we better get to it, I'm starved." Charlie bent over and released the latch on the cage. Like a flash, the wild animal leapt from the cage, biting Charlie's exposed arm. It fled across the cabin, the hunters flabbergasted at the sudden development. The two sprang to their feet, blades in hand, and, amongst a torrent of obscenities, began the renewed hunt for their dinner. The badger was fast, faster than its large nemeses, and nimbly evaded their attempts to end its life. Charlie made a desperate lunge at the creature, and, crashing into Freddie, fell clumsily to the floor. While the two brothers struggled to untangle themselves, the badger managed to pry open the cabin door. Freddie, suddenly aware of the cold wind and the crunch of the snow looked up from his precarious position and, to his horror, watched, helpless, as more than twenty other badgers scampered in from the cold.

The two brothers finally managed to stand again, only to find themselves encircled by the small woodland creatures, any movement met by the growls and bared teeth of their unexpected guests. The formerly captive badger lightly leapt from the floor, to the stool, to the table, and rose up on his hind legs. Then defying all known science, he said, "You humans have made your final error." Freddie and Charlie looked, first at each other, then back to the miraculous speaking animal in front of them, the color slowly draining from their faces. "Drop your weapons, or we will... encourage you to do so." The badger waited until the two knives fell to the floor. "You two will bear witness, today is the day of reckoning."

Freddie opened his mouth to attempt to convey his fear and confusion, but was immediately bitten by another, larger badger at his side. "You do not dare interrupt Quell, Lord of the Northern Kingdom!" The large badger snarled at the now captive men.

"My companions are less merciful than I. They believe you should meet the same fate that you condemned me to." Quell's black eyes stared at Freddie and Charlie, who were now struggling to hold themselves upright. "You may, in time, indeed meet that fate, and I will line my den with your hairless skin. However, we have other things we must accomplish first. Today may prove both fortuitous for you, but disastrous for your kind." Then, almost as if on cue, a small bird flew quickly in through the still open door of the cabin. After dropping what seemed to be a minute scrap of paper in front of Quell, the bird was gone just as fast as it had appeared. With, what appeared to be a smile, he continued, "We have taken the town. The fools were taken completely by surprise. Our kin to the East have also met with great success. There has been some resistance to the South, but overall our initial attack has been a resounding victory."

         February 5th. The date was marked on every calendar, remembered for years to come, as the day the Badgers violently removed the yoke of their oppressors. Assisted by other various creatures, from birds to wolverines, to even squirrels, many small towns were overwhelmed by sheer numbers. The others lost out to the viciousness of the attacks; rage, built up over centuries of being hunted and flayed, released at strategically chosen points across the country. February 5th was a day that forever lived in infamy, the beginning of the war. Badger Day.

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