Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Microstory 852: Evil Noisemaker

I am the youngest deer in the herd, and the others tend to try to protect me. Today, however, they believe it’s time that I venture out on my own and complete a mission. There is a noise coming from the square trees down the hill, and my herd believes it’s being made by some kind of evil demon. Most of my kind would run away from this, but we’re different, and we’re worried about the creatures living in the square woods. Our ancestors used to run scared whenever they heard something they didn’t recognize, as will other deer today, but we’ve learned better what is dangerous, and what is innocuous. Some of the square-tree dwellers do everything they can to prevent us from seeing them. They build their squares on our trees, and they slither on the ground like snakes. These are the bad ones; the ones that are trying to kill us. If a square-dweller, on the other hand, is trying to get noticed, and walking towards us with wide eyes, and showing its teeth, it is a good one. It wants to meet with us, and be friendly. My mother was once trapped in the teeth of a headless, bodiless demon. One of the square-dwellers came to her rescue, freed her leg from the demon, and took care of her. She started this herd on the idea that deer can live in peace with the square-dwellers. And if there’s a chance the evil demon down the hill is planning on hurting one of them, we have to go down and destroy it. For all we know, this is retribution for the dweller who helped my mother those years ago. I don’t know why the herd decided that I would go off alone, but I am honored by the opportunity, and ready to prove myself a contributing member of our society. I am the only doe with antlers, so if anyone can fight this evil off, it’s me. I run through the woods, but stop when I hit the clearing. This could be a trap, so I have to be cautious. There are no places to hide here, though, so I don’t think any of the bad square-dwellers are waiting for me.

I race down and enter the realm of the square trees. The evil noisemaker I’m looking for has not ceased, and now I see why. It’s coming from one of the smaller squares, spreading its deathly blaze all around. I hear the crackle of the fire, the popping of the wood, and the screams of the dwellers inside. Mustering all my courage, I smash my antlers against the tree, over and over again until it breaks apart. The fire is all around me, but I’m determined to complete my job. I focus my hearing, and home in on the where the noise is coming from. The demon is smaller than I thought it would be, a small disk hanging on the square branch above me. I jump up and break it apart, ending the noise successfully. Unfortunately, the evil noisemaker’s fires remain active, even now that it’s dead. I can still hear the screams of square-dwellers in another part of the square tree. I leap over the fires, and headbutt the tree just once, tearing it apart with ease. The dwellers on the other side are huddled together. They’re the little ones of their species, and are even more afraid than deer are when we hear a frightening noise. I lower my neck to the floor and wiggle my tail. Getting the hint, the young square-dwellers climb onto my back. I leap over the fire again, and race back out of the square tree. I hear more demons running towards us in the distance as I’m letting the dwellers off. I get in a defensive position and snort at the demon cavalry, but the square-dwellers stop me. “No,” one of them says. “They’re here to help.” That’s so strange, I didn’t know I could understand their language. I wonder if they can understand me too, so I wheeze and grunt at her, but she doesn’t seem to know what I’m talking about. She just shows her teeth and giggles. The apparent good noisemaking demons come upon us, and I can see that I’m no longer needed. I say goodbye to the children, knowing they don’t know what I mean, but hoping they get the message anyway. Then I run off and return to my herd to tell them that everything is okay.

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