A Pranky Christmas
Outside the wind blew forth its fury, its chill gusts sharpened by razor flakes of snow as it rolled across the fields. As far as the eye could see the land was blanketed in white and dotted only by the bare skeletons of trees groaning under the weight of ice. Somewhere within the world of white there was a single lonely glow, separated from its neighbors far. At a close range details emerged, a brick home, green trim, and a gently smoking chimney. The entire façade was very friendly and inviting to say the least. The interior was just as cheery, with a roaring fire and a steamy cup of cocoa. The Christmas tree was blazing, lit up by several stands of lights as it sat in the middle of the room. Every ornament was perfectly hung, the angels and silver globes flawless, unmarred, save a tiny splatter of blood along the side of an angel’s face, and the drips upon a silver globe. The blood had dried hours ago from the heat of the fire, though the cuts had not yet healed. In fact, at that very moment a dark gray pup stood at a steel sink, washing the cuts on his muzzle with care, shuddering at each touch of the icy water even as his whimpering breath condensed. He had hung the ornaments, hung them with great care, because when they were not exactly as they should be, the older, far more powerful and dominating wolf would slap him, his sharp claws making bloody cuts in the pup’s muzzle. The poor puppy could do nothing in his own defense, lacking strength in mind and body. He could only cry and whimper as his master, Prank, beat him around for a bit and then tossed him from the den contemptuously.
Like any other fur, Christmas season was very stressful for Prank, and every bulging muscle in his massive wolf body cried for a release of the tension. This made him irritable, making poor Toby’s days worse by a hundredfold. Toby tried every thing he could think of, did his very best in all things he could, but it was never enough for Prank. Consistently Prank found faults in each endeavor his pet undertook, and then, without remorse, punish him harshly, no matter how small the offense. As Toby curled up, crying, in his bed his head swirled, not with the happy, hopeful thoughts most pup have around Christmas, oh no, not Toby. Toby’s mind was already filled with fear of the pain he would endure tomorrow, already dreading the next day even as he settled into his bed, which was no more then a ratty blanket tucked in a cardboard box in the unheated laundry room, his tears freezing on his muzzle.
The day had finally come, Christmas day dawned with no less than solar brilliance, the Sun’s rosy fingers making everything glow as if it were gold. All over the world happy kittens, cubs and puppies rejoiced as they reveled in the generosity of their loving families. However, for Tobias, it was like every other day, get up early to go make breakfast, bring it to his master in bed, get the daily slap for messing up the food, although this morning he got two slaps, one for breakfast and the other for not being cheery enough. Either by accident or design Prank never seemed to understand that a life of abuse would leave a pup unhappy, it was almost as if Prank enjoyed causing Toby pain. When Prank was done with breakfast he shooed Toby off to clean the dishes while he went to the den. Toby hurried to clean as fast as he could, hampered somewhat by the need to leave each piece of dinnerware shining clean. By the time he managed to enter the den, Prank was impatiently waiting for him, tapping a hindpaw on the floor with more than the usual anger. Tobias automatically cringed back toward the door, anticipating the pain to follow. Prank didn’t disappoint him either, his massive white wolfpaw closed over Toby’s scruff, yanking him up into the air. Prank used this grip to carry him all the way across the room, his claws slowly being driven into the pup’s neck, making him bleed a bit. With a tiny whimper Toby looked up at the destination as they arrived, an end table laden with a glass of milk and a plate of cookies, untouched. Just as Toby began to understand what that meant he was yanked upwards until his short, slender muzzle was even with Prank’s own. The large white wolf snarled, and yelled at Toby for being a bad puppy, baking cookies so nasty that Santa didn’t want them, each word punctuated by a sharp slap or threatening growl. At the end of his spiel Prank dropped the sobbing pup back on the floor with a soft thump, Toby’s nose bleeding, the drops flowing down his muzzle to fall on his chestfur. Prank continued softly growling about stupid puppies as his paws rummaged in the stockings, pulling out sunglasses for himself and a pair of shorts, cheap, flimsy and probably used, for the pup. It was the same thing Toby had gotten last Christmas, and the Christmas before that, he had in fact received a pair of shorts every year, and nothing else. Prank walked across the hardwood floor, his claws ticking as he padded over to where the whimpering pup lay. He stood over him a moment, his blue eyes studying Toby’s form carefully, the curve of his back as he huddled there, the way his tail curled down between his legs and almost plastered itself to the young pup’s crotch, every subtle detail of his submission was absorbed and thoroughly savored by Prank as he dropped the shorts on his head. With an evenly toned voice, as if nothing had happened, Prank told Toby to go get into his new shorts. When Toby was a fraction slower in getting up than Prank desired, he merely make a swift movement and buried one strong hindpaw in his pup’s soft belly. Just like an accordion Toby folded around his master’s paw, his muzzle open in a silent scream of pain, deprived of the air needed to make a sound. Prank smiled down at his pup and issued a soft reminder to always obey quickly before he used his strong leg to scoot Toby right out the door.
When Toby returned, clad in his new shorts, Prank was lounging in his chair holding a brightly wrapped box in his paws. It was time once again to open presents, and Toby was to hand them out, an easy task, considering that all the presents were for Prank, just like last year, and all the years before that. Toby carefully carried each package to Prank in his chair, delivering the presents from friends and associates. Prank opened each one and hefted the gifts, thoroughly enjoying himself. After noting Toby’s lack of enthusiasm for this Prank slapped him again, just once or twice and not too hard, just enough to make his nose trickle blood. Immediately following that Tobias obediently acted happy for Prank, clapping his little paws softly as each box’s contents were revealed. Finally there was a small mound of presents for Prank, from ties to snow globes and for Tobias, nothing to show.
Toby began to clean up the paper his master had thrown about haphazardly only to stop suddenly as Prank spoke to him. Prank informed Toby, in a most direct manner, of a small box, badly wrapped in newspaper hidden far under the tree. Toby was both startled that he had missed a box and was also dreadfully scared of the beating he was to receive, his ears and tail falling by reflex. Prank chuckled to himself, still amazed at the power he wielded over his meek puppy. Prank waved to his pup to fetch the box, his own white tail wagging as the pup slunk up to his chair, eyes closed and shuddering. Prank removed the box from his paws and opened it up, pulling out a small stuffed animal. He cupped one paw under Toby’s chin and lifted the quivering muzzle up and softly commanding to look. Tobias reluctantly opened his eyes to view the small plushie, a rabbit in fact, faded blue and kinda ragged, like something would find at a garage sale for a quarter, so old its button nose and eyes were almost to the point of coming off. Prank spoke for a moment, telling Tobias at length at how nasty this present was and how much he didn’t want it, making such a big deal of it before pretending to reluctantly give it to Toby. As Toby gently took the bunny into his arms, he started to softly cry, startled at receiving a second toy after what had happened to his first. He had gotten his first toy maybe 3 years ago when a frustrated Prank had thrown a paper clip at him and told him to play with it. Play Tobias did, for almost 4 months in his spare time he played with it, twisting it into different shapes and then making up games. It all came crashing down one day though, when the thin metal snapped, leaving Tobias with a broken toy. He was distraught, sobbing for at least an hour over the loss, and when Prank found out he, of course, punished Tobias severely, chaining him to the wall and whipping him hour after hour for breaking his toy. After that Toby thought he would never ever get another toy, and yet there it was, looking all shiny and new in his turquoise eyes. His tail and ears lifted a bit as his eyes brightened slightly, the new toy beginning to comfort him in a way that nothing else ever had. For the first time, Toby didn’t feel all alone, he had a companion, a friend. Granted it was a stuffed bunny, but it was the most reassuring thing he had ever held, merely knowing that it would be with him made Tobias feel so much better on the inside. His relatively great happiness was visible only on the outside by a slight straightening of his slumped shoulders and a tiny twitch in his tail. Prank watched his pup clutch the bunny to his chest, his little nose buried in the musty fur between its ears as he stood there, looking so small and vulnerable.
Suddenly Prank broke the silence by asking Tobias about his present. Toby looked up with a start and nodded softly, turning to go retrieve his gift for Prank, the bunny still held tight in his arms. Toby rushed back into the laundry room, grabbing a small sack and then returned to the den, holding it out meekly. As Prank took it he casually mentioned to Toby that his hopes were that it was a watch, because he could really use one of those, or something very nice. Toby watched as Prank opened the bag, the bunny grasped tightly as he anxiously awaited his master’s reaction, fearing the worst. A little over a month ago Prank had reminded him of the approaching season, and told him to find some kind of gift, something nice he had said, something like jewelry or other expensive things. This request frightened Toby terribly, because he could never acquire such things for two reasons, the first being he didn’t have any money, not even a penny and even if he did have enough money to buy something he couldn’t anyway because Prank never allowed him to leave the house. The furthest Toby had been from the house had been the back porch, and that had only happened once. He was in a daze, racking his scared puppy mind for ideas. He combed the house, looking for anything that might help him. He briefly debated making a watch, but discarded it almost immediately. At last Tobias made some headway, deep within the accumulated junk of the house he had found an ancient, off-white coffee cup. He kept it and scrubbed it till it was all nice and sparkling clean, though it was a bit yellow from age it looked fine by the time he was done. Then, with a second stroke of luck Toby found a tube of acrylic paint, half-empty. Toby kept those two items until a week before Christmas, not able to decide what to do. With a sudden flash of inspiration Toby knew what to do with the paint and cup, he wrote a nice message “#1 Master” on the cup. Tobias was illiterate, but not stupid, he knew his numbers and he had a picture of Prank labeled “Master” that had been hung in the laundry room and from these carefully wrote his message, using a finger in place of a brush. It took him hours, most of the time spend checking the letters to make sure they were all perfectly in order to please his master. Prank pulled the cup from the bag, his muzzle twisting from an expectant look to one of disbelief as he examined the cup and message. He looked from the cup to Toby, than back again and asked, somewhat miffed, if that was really his present. Toby’s ears flattened instantly, his first instinct to run very fast and far away to escape the beating he knew was coming, but instead he stood there, anchored by the knowledge that he would be caught and even more s eriously hurt. So with great fear Toby softly replied with a yes. As he answered the confused look on Prank’s muzzle contorted to one of anger. He began to snarl loudly and stepped towards Toby, one paw scooping him up by his collar, the other holding on the coffee cup so hard it looked like it would break. Prank yelled at Toby, calling him many names and oaths as his paw shook the crying puppy back and forth, he called Toby ungrateful, stupid and cheap. Prank brandished the coffee cup, screaming about how Toby never appreciated anything, how he was such a little shit, paying back his benevolent and caring master back in such a fashion. Toby dangled from his collar sobbing and cringing at every outburst, the rabbit clenched so tight to his chest that it might burst. Prank stopped for a moment to catch his breath and then, in a sudden fit of fury, smacked his pup across the muzzle with the coffee cup, making his little head snap to the side as he barked a sound of pure pain, his entire body going limp and slinging to the side, making him drop his beloved bunny. Prank snarled, unadulterated hatred in his eyes as he hit Tobias again with the coffee cup, right on the nose, making blood practically explode from the tender wolf’s muzzle. Toby yelped, short and sharp, before he was hit again. Prank continued to pummel his pup for almost a full minute before tossing the bloody cup to the side and hefting Toby’s limp, whimpering form higher. Toby was pretty bad off, his nose was leaking blood, his thin black lips were busted open in at least half a dozen places andone eye was going to be swollen shut for days, and the truly sad thing was that this incident was one of many, some even worse.
Prank simply held his bleeding pup in the air for a instant, growling about how much easier it would have been to get him a watch before punching the pup hard in the gut with his free paw, the force nearly tearing the collar from his grasp. Toby’s middle tried desperately to absorb the blow, all the organs inside flopping around the object that compressed them. Prank held on tight to Toby’s collar and held his paw in his belly before casually tossing him into the wall with a loud thump. Somehow, through the haze of pain, Toby saw his bunny, laying facedown on the floor, ears askew. Toby concentrated all his effort into one paw, painfully extending his arm, reaching for his friend. His attempt was in vain as Prank’s hindpaw settled on the bunny and deftly kicked it into the roaring fire. Toby managed to follow the bunny with his one good eye, trying to save it, his beaten body paralyzed by pain, hurting so much he couldn’t even scream anymore. Far away he felt Prank grab his leg and start pulling him, no doubt to the garage, where he would be shackled to the wall to have his chest and belly whipped. He kept his eye focused on the purple bunny as long as he could, watching the fire grow and expand as it consumed his companion, and as that fire grew, a tiny flame inside him sputtered and died.
I hope you like it....more to come...