Disclaimer: Baloo, Rebecca Cunningham, Don Karnage, Kit Cloudkicker, Molly Cunningham and WildCat are (c)1990/1991 Walt Disney Company and are being used without premission. The writer has made sure that all material represented here is not used for profit and is used with the upmost respect to Disney and the Tale Spin team. All other characters are the property of the writer.
Disclaimer#2: The characters of Scatcat and Thomas O'Mally are creations of the very talented Larry Clemmons, Vance Gerry, Frank Thomas, Julias Svendsen, Ken Anderson, Eric Cleworth, Ralph Wright and author of the book "Albert and Victoria", David Duff. Don't Worry! I did not make any money from the use of these characters.
To Capture Your Love
"Come on, GG. It wouldn't hurt to try out for the play" Kit Cloudkicker said dragging his girlfriend, Guinna Kurasawa, into the auditorium of their high school.
"Kit, I don't know. I never acted before" Guinna said trying to get away.
Kit was so excited about the play that the drama teacher was putting on. The play was Romeo and Juliet and Kit wanted him and Guinna to get the lead roles. He finally got Guinna in the building. She didn't feel the same about the play as Kit did.
"Kit, I never read Shakespeare before."
"Well, I never did either, but I'm not going to try out because I never read some dead guys work."
He walked up to the stage where all the other high school students were practicing. Guinna far behind him with her arms folded. Dante Jones noticed her dangling around the edge of the crowd. He slipped away from his group and went up to her.
"So, Guinna girl, what part are you here to try out for?" he asked.
"I'm not here to try out. But Kit wants to try out for Romeo."
"You're scrawny boyfriend wants to be the daring Romeo. He'll crash and burn."
"No he won't" Guinna said defensively.
"Hey, Dante! Stop harassing my girlfriend!" Kit yelled pushing Dante's shoulder.
"Kit, don't pick a fight. He wasn't saying anything bad about me."
"Just stay away from her, Dante" Kit said walking off with Guinna.
"Like I'll listen to you" Dante murmured piering at his arch rival.
Kit and Dante had hated each other since Kit started going to the school. The fox was a year older than Kit and was jealous that Kit had Guinna. Guinna hated being fought over. She didn't understand why Dante liked her or did he like her? She wondered sometimes if Dante only wanted her, because she was Kit's. He wanted everything Kit had eventhough Kit had very little material wise, but love wise, he had everything.
The drama teacher, Mrs. Bancroft, stood up on the stage in front of the students. "Students! Quiet, please. Let's start the auditions. The first reading I would for the part of Romeo. Who would like to begin?"
"Me, Mrs. Bancroft" Dante spoke out jumping on stage.
"Okay, Mr. Jones. Go ahead" she said stepping off.
Dante read the part he picked out. He was flamboyant as he read the scene with Kit looking at his girlfriend instead of giving that jerk attention. The teacher called on the next boy to try out. Kit ran up there. He held his head high as he performed his scene.
"But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief"
He carried out with eyes shifting toward Guinna and a big grin.
"Thank you, Mr. Cloudkicker and Mr. Jones. Now, we'll move on to the part of Juliet."
The first girl got up on stage than the second and third until it was Guinna's turn.
"Anyone else want to try out for this part?"
Kit nudged Guinna. She shock her head no, but Kit wouldn't allow that.
"Mrs. Bancroft, Guinna wants to take a shot at the part."
"Come on Guinna. Pleasssssssse" Kit pleaded looking into the girl's eyes.
She couldn't turn down that look.
"All right, but I'm doing this just for you."
Guinna stepped up on stage. She glanced at the script in her paw. Than she looked into the audience. All those faces staring at her. Her stomach twisted in knots. But her eye caught the eye of a certain bearcub sitting to the right of her. To see Kit's face gave her confidence and she started.
"O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet. 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet"
The students sat back in amazement as the shy girl performed for them. Kit was in awe the whole time thinking to himself ~I know she could do it ~. Guinna stopped and hopped off the stage.
"Thanks Ms. Kurasawa. I didn't realize you were so good at acting" Mrs. Bancroft implied.
"I didn't know I could act either."
"You were great, GG. I knew you had it in you."
"Thanks Kit. I'm glad one of us did."
Kit and Guinna run to the auditorium after school. Mrs. Bancroft said she would post the results of the audition on the bulletin board. Some students were around it when they got there. Kit pushed his way through the small crowd. He found Guinna's name.
"Guinna" he said in excitement, "You got the part of Juliet!"
"I did. That must be a mistake. Let me see."
She made her way to the board.
"I am playing Juliet. What part are you playing, Kit?"
"I didn't check."
They read rest of the results. Kit's eyes grow big when he saw who was playing Romeo.
"What! Dante Jones! Now that has to be mistake" Kit protested.
"No, Kit. Dante showed a more spirited Romeo. I'm sorry but I gave you the part of Benvolio" Mrs. Bancroft corrected.
"What! I get to play his cousin. That's a real honor" Kit said sarcasticly making his way out the crowd and outside the build. Guinna followed him closely with a slit frown on her face.
"It's all right, Kit. There will be other plays that you'll get the lead part in" the girl said putting her around the boy.
"I know, GG, but this play is special" he said putting his arm around her hipe and laying his head on her shoulder.
"Why is it so special?"
" 'Cause my mom did this play when she was in high school. An old program was stuck in her diary. That's how I know." They strolled down the sidewalk toward the main building. "And I wanted us to do it together. Since we love each other so much, we wouldn't really have to act."
"We would have to kiss in front of a huge audience."
"So what. When I kiss you, it feels like no ones there anyway."
"But now I have to kiss Dante."
Kit cringed at the thought of Dante, his mortal enemy in his words, kissing his girl. He wasn't gonna stop Guinna from starring in the play. But why did Dante have to get the part?
"I do not like those words."
"I know, but it's only a few times."
Kit cringed a little more. "Yeah, each time you do the play. You gotta practice it an stuff."
"Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know. Just don't think about it. I won't enjoy it. I can't stand Dante either, but don't be so critical. The play will be over in a month. Can you handle that, Mr. Cloudkicker?"
"That's my Kit-boy" Guinna said giving him a quick smack on the lips. They were in their own little world for a moment until a big disturbance came along.
"Hey, Guinna girl. What's you and loser doing? O, your not allowed to make out on campus. Except me and Guinna get to make out legally" Dante interrupted slapping Kit on the back.
"Dante, go away. Me and Guinna are going home. Maybe, you should do the same" Kit squeezed out trying to be polite for Guinna's sac.
"Me and Guinna have to be together a lot. We have a lot of practicing to do."
"We're only going to practice with each other at school, Dante. Kit will practice with me any other time" the girl said trying not to make eye contact with him.
"You should only practice with me. That's what Mrs. Bancroft said."
"O, really" Kit jeered rolling his eyes. He released his grip of Guinna and stopped. "Well, she doesn't want to practice with you."
"Kit, be nice."
"Guinna, how can you be nice to that jerk?"
"Looks like your girlfriends turnin' on ya."
"You be nice too, Dante. Now, if ya'll two boys don't mind, I would like to get home now."
Guinna sassed right through the two boys and walked off.
"Hey, GG, wait for me!" Kit shouted running after her.
Kit sat up in his room reading his mother's newly published poetry book.
As I lye here outside Staring at the sky I'm reminded of what I feel for you Will always remain strong and true With no doubt in my mind
He smiled at the poem. It reminded him of his love for Guinna. ~ My mom sure knew how to capture an emotion. Maybe I should perform this poem for. ~
"Kit! We're leaving! Bye! Guinna called from downstairs.
Kit jumped up as fast as he could and dashed down the stairs to say bye. He ran up to Guinna by the door.
"Babe, you were gonna leave without a good-bye kiss" Kit uttered grabbing the girl's paw.
"Yes, as a matter of fact I was." She turned around. "Your not getting one until you stop being like Dante."
"Me! Like Dante! That's impossible."
They heard a horn outside.
"Come on, Guinna. Our rides here" Rebecca said patting the girl's back.
"Bye, Kit" Rebecca said walking out the door. "Bye, Baloo!"
Baloo came out the kitchen with food in his mouth. "Bly Blecky."
"Bye, Miz Cunningham."
"See you tomorrow, Kicker."
She stepped out the door and turned around to a capsized Kit staring back at her.
"Don't look so sad. Tomorrow is another day" she whispered to him. "I love you."
"Love ya too, babe."
He watched her drive off in the cab with Miz Cunningham and felt a bit better. Guinna didn't seem as mad at him. That made him feel better. Like she said tomorrow is another day. Kit closed the door and went back upstairs. Baloo was sitting at the end of his bed with a can of peanuts in hand chopping em' down like they were going outta style.
"Hey, Lil' Britches, whassa matter?" the big bear asked setting the can down on the night stand.
"Guinna's a little mad at me right now" Kit said flopping on his bed.
"What'd ya do?"
"I was just tellin' that jerk, Dante Jones, to stay away from us. Guinna got mad and said be nice, don't cause a fight."
"Ya got in a fight with that guy?"
"No, but we almost yesterday when we were tryin' out for the play."
"Sore 'bout losin' the part ta him can do that to ya."
Yeah. I was so sure I was gonna get that part too."
"I still don't understand why I'm upset that Guinna's mad at me. I mean she's not gonna be mad at me ferever. It's strange that I love you and Guinna so much that I would died for ya'll. But the love for you and her is different. I'm so confused."
"I know why your feelin' so confused, Lil' Britches."
"It's 'cause ya horrormones."
"You mean hormones, Baloo."
"No I don't. Horrormones kick in at around your age. And they make your life horrible for your teenage years. When your horrormones kick in you don't know whether ya comin' or gonin'. Don't know what to do 'bout stuff ya don't understand yet. Trust me, I've had those problems with girls before."
"You did? You had a girlfriend before?"
"May sound strange, but ya o'Papa Bear was in love with the most beautiful girl you could lay ya peepers on."
"Wow, could you tell me 'bout her? Where'd ya'll meet?"
"Well, we met when I was servin' as a bomber pilot in the great war. I was only sixteen. I had lied 'bout my age so I could fight. I got sent to Bago-Shiloh.
Kit went over to Baloo's bed and cuddled up next to the pilot.
"Anyways, I was sittin' in a bar with my buddies. Just drinkin' a cold cola when the door opened and she walked in. She was the most stunnin' cat. With legs up to her neck. Pure white fur. A face with perfectly puffed cheeks. Wearin' a tight blue dress and a silver ankle bracelet. Ya just couldn't resisted. We couldn't take our eyes off that girl. She walked by us and gave a fate smile my way and then sat down at the end of the bar. My buddies keep pushin' me to talk to her. Well, I finally gave up and sat next to her.
'A martini on rocks. Why?'
'I would kinda like ta…ah buy you one. If ya don't mind.'
We sat there fer a moment not sayin' anything. She had the normal Bago accent. (like French) I finally spoke up after a while.
'Ya come here often?'
'No, this is my first time in here.'
'Hey, Baloo! When are ya gonna get to the good stuff.'
One of my buddies yelled from across the bar.
'Is this some kind of game you and your friends like to play?'
'No, ya miss understood em'.'
Before I could say anything else she had grabbed her coat and left. I ran after her and caught up with her on a street corner.
I grabbed her arm to stop her.
'Go back to your band of idiots boy. I should of known your group was trouble.'
'Listen. I'm sorry if they offended you, but I'm not like them.'
'Then, why do you stay around them?'
' 'Cause they're my only friends.'
'Well, you should get better friends.'
I was about all bummed out by then. I kinda hung my head in shame.
'Look. I'm sorry to criticize you.' She told me brushin' my cheek. 'I am Arianna Tybalt. What are you called?'
'I'm just plan o'Baloo.'
'Well, Baloo, do you like to dance?'
'Do I! I love gettin' down on the dance floor.'
'Good. I know a place a few blokes from here that has a swing beat.'
'Now ya talkin' my stuff, Arianna.'
'Come. We shall go then.'
I eased around her. We went dancin' and sat on the harbor where the shrimp boats were comin' in fer the day.
'Baloo, how old are you?'
'Sixteen. How old are you?'
'I am the old age of eighteen.'
'Old age. Ha! You don't look a day over fifteen.'
She laughed at that. I never knew if she took that remark as good or bad.
'It is bad for me now. I am eighteen. That means I could be as you say hitched soon.'
'Ya gotta boyfriend?'
'No. But any man can come along and marry me.'
'You don't have a say in it?'
'No, I do not. I am afraid of a son of my father's friend. He is coming back from boarding school soon.'
'Who is he?'
'Berg Plano. He is a true creep. I never did like him as a child. He always pull my hair and was mean.'
'Sounds like _A_ number one creepola to me too.'
'Yes. It is very sad situation for me.'
'That is sad. Hey, I gotta crazy idea. How's 'bout gettin' hitched to me before this guy comes back.'
She brushed my cheek again with sorrow in her eyes.
'You are very darling to me. I am sorry, but I can not marry you. Our laws in Bago-Shiloh are different from your home which is…'
'Yes, Cape Suzette. Yes, laws very different. You have to be eighteen to marry here.'
'The government of Usland thinks I'm eighteen. So why won't the government of Bago not think so either.'
'Good point. I suppose. But I don't want to put you in any kind of situation you can't get out of. You do not love me.'
'What's not to love about you, Arianna. You're beautiful, intelligent, and a great dancer.'
'You are too, Baloo. Not just good dancer, but good person. Thank you for being so kind.'
She leaned over to me and gave me the biggest smack on thelips. My stomach was in knots when she stopped. I was in total shock.
'I shall sleep on your offer, Baloo.'
She started walking away.
'Wait, Arianna. How will I know how to contact you?'
'Don't worry! I will contact you.'
And with that, she disappeared into the night. I didn't think I was gonna see the girl again. But the next day when I was fuelin' my bomber, somethin' came up from behind me and touched me on my shoulder and scared me half ta death. When I turned around, there she was in all her radiant beauty.
'Arianna, whatcha doin' here? How'd ya get on the base?'
'I have my ways, Baloo. I've thought of your offer and I've decided I cannot except. You are too good for me.'
'Too good! Baby, you don't know the half of it. I'm not no one like that. I've done bad before. A lotta bad.'
'You cannot be bad if you offer a marriage to me.'
'Hey, I got it. How's 'bout I fly us to the closest island from here that's in Usland which would be Est Salvora. We can go today.'
'No, I told you I cannot not. I'm sorry.'
'Okay. I was only tryin' ta help. Ya see, I never met a gal like you. I've always been kinda afraid ta talk to girls and such. But you. Your so easy to be around. I don't feel uncomfortable.'
'I'm glad you can feel that why around me. You are so easy to be around too. But I cannot put you into my troubles.'
'What trouble, Arianna?'
'Please call me Anya.'
'Okay, Anya. I don't have much gonin' fer me. I don't know what I'm gonna do when I get back to my home Cape Suzette. I mean there's only one thing I really wanna do. And that's ta fly.'
'You have to think about what will happen if we do get married. Do we stay in Bago-Shiloh or go back to your Cape Suzette? Where will we live? Your only sixteen.'
'I know, Anya, but we'll make it. Maybe start a cargo business. What do ya say?'
'No, me and you just met, why do you care so much about me?'
'I already told ya the answer ta that.'
'I have to leave for now. I have a job to get to.'
'What do you do?'
'I am phone operator. I connect one person with another. It is not very good pay, but there is no other job in Bago-Shiloh. I'm afraid the war will take that job away too. I'm afraid I might get stuck in the middle and can't get out.'
'Don't worry your pretty little head baby. That's what I'm here fer. They sent me and other guys to protect the innocent citizens of Bago.'
'And I know you will do good job too. I have to go or I will be late. Meet me tonight at the Fozzios, okay.'
'Okay, Anya, bye.'
'Good-bye my brave soldier.'
She gave me one of her quick smacks on the lips and left again. My heart-strings were just agoing by now. That girl had gotten me into a twister and I loved it. She was no most amazin' thing I'd ever met. But she never excepted my help."
"What happen to Anya, Baloo? Do something bad happen to her 'cause if it did, ya don't have ta tell me."
"It's all right, kiddo. I need to get it out. But ya something bad did happen to her. For five months after we met, we would go out on dates and have a great time. I would call her when she was at work and she would stop by the base every mornin' and bring me breakfast. She was an ace when it came to cookin'.
"But on our happiest peek, she was ripped from my arms. One day she called me up cryin' and sayin'…
'He's here for me! He's taking me away forever!'
'Wait! Slow down, Anya!'
'Please, Baloo, help me. He's taking me to the train station…'
That's when the phone went blank. I ran as fast as I could to the train station…"
Tears began to well out of the big bears eyes.
"… but it was too late. The train was leavin' and I couldn't stop it. I could hear her cry's and saw her at the back window mouthing- you were right. I never saw her again. I searched for her, but there was no sign of her anywhere in Bago-Shiloh. I couldn't find er'."
"That so sad, Papa Bear. I never knew…I'm sorry."
"It was a really long time ago. She left me a momento at my bunker. It was her silver ankle bracelet."
"Do you still have it?"
"No. It was stolen. I never found it again. Just like her. But maybe it was for the best."
"Did you ever meet anyone else?"
"Naw, I couldn't be with anyone besides her. She was a very special girl. I wonder if we were together now, me and you probably wouldn't of met. That brakes my heart to think that. I can't imagine life without ya, kid."
"I can't imagine life without you too, Papa Bear."
The bright sun shone down on the water as Rebecca and Guinna walked into Higher for Hire. As usual, the bear and cub were at the table eating breakfast. Guinna stayed in the office till Kit finished. She was still a little angry at him for being a , but she couldn't stay mad at him forever.
"Baloo, I'm going to give you a shocker, but there are no deliveries today" Rebecca said sitting down next to him.
"Are ya tellin' me the truth?"
"Yes, so, you can do what ever you want today."
"You're not gonna take the day off?"
"I still have to work. So I want you to go to Louie's or someplace today, okay. Go have fun and don't come back for a while."
"If you say so, Boss-lady."
Kit put his plate in the sink and grabbed his back pack.
"Have fun, Baloo. Bye Miz Cunningham."
"Yeah, see ya later."
He walked into the office where Guinna was playing with his compass. She looked up embarrassed.
"O, here's your compass. You musta set it down on the desk" she said handing it to him.
He took it and stuck it under his sweater. "Thanks, babe."
They walked out the building in silence for a few minutes.
"Ya know, it must be really cool to have such good navigational skills. I mean you always know where you are."
"I don't know where I'm at all the time. No ones that good."
"Still, you can figure out where you are really fast. I wish I had those skills."
"You can. I'll teach you."
"You just can't teach a person everything about navigating. You were born with the ability."
"No, I wasn't. Stop trying to make me look like the greatest navigator on earth."
"I'm not. I'm just saying you're really good at it."
"Well, you're really good at flying. I wish I could fly like you. You're one of the best."
"No I'm not. You're just saying that."
"Yeah, right. I'm telling the truth and nothing but the truth."
A slit grin grazed their faces. They both knew they wouldn't win so Kit changed the subject.
"Ya still mad at me?"
Guinna stopped and folded her arms. They were almost to school just a few more feet and they'd be on campus. Kit stopped a little ways ahead of her and turned around.
"What do you think?"
"I don't know 'cause I'm not in your head. But judging by the smirk you have on your face, I'm guessing you have a little playful instead of angry."
"Close, but no cigar. And I thought you knew me better than that, Kit Cloudkicker."
"I knew it. You're a playing a game with me."
"Now, your talking" she said walking past him. He rolled his eyes and ran to catch up with her.
Rebecca sat at her desk staring down at her work. Baloo headed over to Louie's about an hour ago. She was getting caught up with her work when a knock at the door startled her. She raised her head to see Thomas O'Mally opening the door.
"Thomas, come in. What brings you over here?" she said standing up.
"I came to see you. I ran into Baloo at Louie's and he told me you were alone. I wanted to see ya."
"Thomas, sit down" Rebecca gestured him in the office and sit in the chair by the desk. "I know you really like being with me. And I like being with you too. But I don't think we could ever be more then just friends."
"Becky." He called her Becky. That was a first. "I want to see you more then just friends. I care for you. But I understand if you don't want a relationship. I never met such a classy and sassy lady like you. I'll wait as long as it takes till you want a relationship."
"You'll wait for me?"
"Of course, I would."
"What about my daughters?"
"You have some bonzer daughters. Heck, Molly reminds me of my…" He had let it slip.
"Molly reminds you of who?"
"Uh, no one."
"Who, Thomas O'Mally?" Rebecca demanded pocking him in the chest.
"O, well. I guess I should tell ya. It was bound to come out, anyway. I have kids myself."
"Three." He pulled out a picture of three kittens from his wallet. "That's my daughter, Marie , and my two sons, Toulouse and Berlioz."
"They're adorable. Why aren't they with you now?"
"Well, the when I started touring with Scatcat, I had them and their mother tag along, but she said I was an unfit father after a couple months on the road. She left me and disappeared with my kids. I haven't seen them since."
"How long has it been?"
"I'm sorry, Thomas. I didn't mean to fuss at you like that."
"It's okay, Reebecca."
"Ya wanna have lunch?"
"That'll be good, Becky. I'd like that."
The month was going quick. It was a week before the play took the stage. Guinna was practicing like crazy. Day and night she and Kit practiced together. Even quoting Shakespeare in their sleep. Kit had learned Dante's lines pretty good. He was still sore from Dante beating him out, but he tolerated it for Guinna.
Kit was on a delivery with Baloo. Guinna wanted to get in some practicing in with Dante. Her stomach would twist when she thought of the play. ~ Only a week away. Man, I hope I don't screw it up ~ she thought while walking to Dante's house. He lived on the not so good part of town. He lived in a crumbling house with his parents. She knocked on the broken door that had a looked like it had been kicked real hard once. Dante opened it and a conniving smile flashed over his face.
"So, Kit just wasn't cutting it for ya, huh?" he said.
"Dante, I'm here to practice with you because Kit is on a delivery. Can I please come in so we can practice?"
"Sure. Make yourself at home."
She stepped into the small house. The floor was covered in dirt and the furniture had been slashed a few times. Dante grabbed his script off the roach infested counter and sat on the couch.
She nervously sat down across the couch from Dante. She didn't feel very comfortable being there.
"Where do you want to start?" she asked.
"How 'bout right here. Scene
He dove in close and kissed her suddenly. Guinna pushed him away in shock.
"Dante! Get away from me!" she screamed jumping to her feet.
"O, come on, Guinna. Kit will never know."
She looked at him with disbelief wiping her mouth.
"Kit told me you were trouble. But I didn't listen. How stupid am I!"
"Guinna, you know you'd rather me instead of that weakling" he said advancing toward her.
"I said get away!"
She ran out the run down house as fast as she could.
Kit had just gotten back from the delivery when Guinna ran up. A tear in her eye and clamping the script.
"Hey, babe. What's…what's wrong?" he asked seeing her disstrut.
She fell into his arms still crying. "Kit, I was so scared. He made a pass at me and said you'd never know. I was scared he would do something worst."
"Wait, Guinna, who?"
With a sob, she said "Dante."
"What did he do to you? Did he hurt you? I'm going to kill him!"
He ran off towards Dante's house.
"Kit! Don't go over there. Kit!"
He ignored Guinna's cries. All he had on his mind was vengines. The male protector hormone had kicked in. He ran up to Dante's door and knocked on it violently. He was huffing and puffing from the run over there. The door opened and a average type fox came to the door. Kit's eyes became big. He knew that fox.
"Yeah! What do you…Cloudkicker. Is that you?" the fox proclaimed setting his paw on Kit's shoulder.
Kit stood there shocked as ever. He wanted to run but his legs just wouldn't work.
"Harvey" he finally got out.
CAPRI ISLE FOUR YEARS AGO
Kit had been a the street for six weeks. He was hungry and tired and wanted a bed not just garbage to sleep on. He wondered the streets of Capri Isle asking people for food. Some would give him some. Some wouldn't. He got desperate one day.
He went to the outdoor marketplace one day. The fruit stand owner was busy with a customer, so, he made his move and stole an apple. No one didn't even see him steal it. He felt bad, but was too hungry to think about guilt right now. Kit ran to the closest ally way and sat on the ground leaning against the brick wall. But there was someone that saw him.
A brownish-yellow lion walked up to him.
"Hey, Kit. Good steal. How long have you've been in the game?" the lion asked. He looked about sixteen and towered over Kit like a building.
"Huh?" Kit replied chomping down the apple.
"How long have we've been stealing?"
"That was my first time."
"Ha! You coulda fooled me. You stole that apple so good, I assumed you've been stealing since you were a kindygardner. Wow! You are good."
"I didn't like stealing it. But I'm starving and if I didn't get anything in my stomach it would of turned against me. It was already protesting day and night."
"I know how that feels. Yep! I know. There is a way you can get as much food as ya want and not feel guilt."
"Follow me, kid. O, by the way, whatcha name?" he asked wrapping his arm around Kit's shoulder and coatsing him down the ally.
"Cloudkicker, huh. Well, my name's Nathaniel. But everybody calls me Nate. I tell ya Kit you're gonna love this place."
Nate and Kit went back out to the marketplace where he had stolen the apple a few minutes ago.
"Why are we back here?" Kit asked.
"I want you to meet the gang. Hey, Charlie!" Nate shouted at an average looking panda about twelve that was leaning against the mail box. He walked over to the two. "Charlie this is Kit. Kit this is Charlie." The panda nodded at Kit. "Kit wants to join the gang."
"That's good. You'll like kid."
"What kind of gang is this?"
"Just ya regular gang. We look after each other and stuff. O, no. Go get him, Charlie. He's lost again."
Nate was referring to a small raccoon in the crowd. He only looked about five. He was wining and wondering around. Charlie walked up to him and picked the little raccoon up. He brought him back over to Kit and Nate and set him down.
"Kit, this is Squeaker. He join the gang a few months ago. He doesn't speak much Usland. I found him crying in a corner one day. I said I couldn't leave him."
"Why is he called Squeaker?"
"When he sleeps, he makes squeaking noises. His real name is Maurice."
"Hi, Squeaker. I'm Kit."
"Bonus dies, ego Maurice. Vos?"
"What did he say?"
"He said hi. I'm Maurice. Say, Mei Kit."
"Dies Kit. Coniungo?"
"Squeaker, Kit is a part of the gang now."
"Yes, Squeak. He's joining the gang."
"O…K" Squeaker said giving a thumbs up.
"Now, Kit. Ya see that girl over there."
"Right there" Nate said pointing to a gray girl fox wearing a fading red dress with a patch on it. She looked about Nate's age. She was talking with a well dressed hippo lady. "Ya see her. That's Annemarie…" He let her name roll off his tongue and put his arm back around. "She is the best in her field of work. She is gooood. She's the reason why they say foxes are so clever."
"What's her job?"
"She enchants people. Just watch her. You'll see."
"Yes, ma'am. I'm very worried about the eagles on the island. I say they need a home" the girl spouted out to the clueless hippo.
"You are such a dear young lady. Here is ten dollars for your fondation." The unknowing hippo gave Annemarie the money .
"Thank you so much ma'am. The eagles will really apreciate it."
"Your welcome. I do what I can."
"Yeah. Right. Okay. Well, bye ma'am."
Annemarie skipped off acting so cute and innocent with a goofy grin on her face After the hippo was out of sight, she stopped, wiped the stupid grin off her face, and slumped over to the group.
"I can't believe how stupid some people can be! Man, I had her wrapped around my thumb." She looked at Kit. "Who's the kid?"
"Annemarie, this is Kit. He wants to join our gang."
"O, really. He better not be another Squeaker. Always crying and can't speak a dang sentence of Usland."
"No, Annie. He is a slick one."
The girl grabbed the lion's jaw and squeezed it. "I told you never to call me that! Do I make myself clear?"
She let go of his jaw. "Good. Now, how good are ya kid?"
"Good at what?"
"Stealing! Cheating! Getting away with anything illegal!"
"Stealing!" Kit proclaimed turning to Nate. "I told you…"
Nate put his big paw over Kit's mouth.
"Kit, forget about it" he whispered. "Yeah, Annemarie. He is good."
"Bring him back with us. Let Harvey check him out. He might not like him."
"O, he'll like him. Come on guys. Lets get home before the police show up."
Kit's mind was racing. He had made a big mistake of trusting this guy. Now he was stuck. He wouldn't let Kit go. Nate held on to Kit's shoulder tight as they walked to the harbor. Nate lead Kit to a whole in the ground (literally) by the harbor. The stairs were broken and hard to walk down. It was dark in the room that the stairs led to. A single light lite the room that had a torn couch against the way and a radio on a table. There were three other rooms separete from the main one. Charlie and Squeaker sat down on the couch. In the middle of the room was a brown recliner. A adult fox was sleeping in it. Annemarie walked over to him and shook him arm.
"Hey, Dad. Wake up. We got company."
"Who? What? Cops?" the fox asked standing up fast.
"No, we found a recrute on the street today. Nate says he's good. Check em' out if ya want."
Harvey went over to Kit who was standing infront of Nate. Kit shivered a little from the fox's evil grin. He pulled Kit out to the middle of the room staring him up and down. Harvey turned around and poked at Kit's stomach.
"He's a little skiny. Ya say he's good?"
"Yeah, Harvey. I saw him steal an apple from Lester's stand down at the marketplace."
"Lester is a idiot. He wouldn't see a elephant steal anything. What this kid has is looks. If he can con someone into a scheme like Annemarie does, he can live."
~ Live! ~ Kit thought getting scared again. He turned to Nate with tears almost running down his face. "What does he mean by that?"
"If you can con someone into giving you money, you can live. It's okay. You'll do fine."
"Yeah, kid. Once you come in here, you crossed the line. You can't go back. You can't leave 'cause if you do, you could tell someone where our hideout is. And we don't want that. Ya see, I run the most successful thief business in Capri Isle. And I don't want that messed up. Got me?"
"Uh-huh." Kit said nodding.
"Ha, ha, then. We go out in the morning for your test run. You can sleep with Squeaker tonight. Now , what did ya bring me today?" he said sitting back in his armchair.
Aneemarie handed him the ten dollars she conned out of the hippo today.
"Very good, Annemarie. Here ya go." He handed her a small bag. She took it quickly and opened it. She pulled out a piping hot hamburger. The others gazed at it with months watering.
"Nate, what'd you bring me?"
"Here ya go, Harvey" Nate said handing him a sack that clanked. Harvey looked in it.
"A radio. Very, very good, Nate. Here ya are."
He gave Nate the next bag. Nate tore it open to reviel two slices of pizza. Charlie started to sweat bullets when Harvey turned to him.
"Charlie, my boy, what do you have for me?
"I found these. Its a spare parts that I can make into something really valueable."
Harvey gazed at the spare parts for a second then throw em' on the floor. All the kids flinched.
"Charlie, you say you can make something valueable out of this junk?"
"Yes…sir…I can" Charlie said shakeing.
"You better by tomorrow night or you're gonna receive a beaten more painful then last time."
"But my wounds haven't even healed yet."
"That's even better."
Charlie ran into one of the other rooms crying and slammed the door.
"That boy's gonna get it now!"
"Harvey. Lay off of em' tonight. Today was a slow day. The kid isn't very good at the stealin' part sometimes."
"He better get better or else I'll have to do something about it" Harvey said hitting his palm with his fist. He circled back to Kit. "Here you can have Charlie's food. That wimp has to be taught a lesson. Now, Squeaker, what'd you bring me?"
Squeaker looked at him puzzled. "Quid?"
"Squeaks, open…uh…aperio pocket" Nate said pointing to Squeaker's pocket.
"O, deceo bonus." Squeaker pulled out a dollar and some change and gave it to Harvey.
"This is it. I thought you were teaching him how to steal?"
"I am. He's having a hard time. He's only five and can't speak any Usland."
"He's been in this country for months now. He should know it."
"Work harder with him or you'll get it to, Nathaniel."
The fox sauntered into his room and shut the door.
In all the cammotion, Kit had noticed Annemarie give Squeaker a part of her hamburger. His eyes gleamed when she handed it to him and he ate all in a matter of seconds. The child was too skinny as it is. Kit felt sorry for him the most. He just hoped someone would feel sorry for him tomorrow.
All the kids were in bed now. Annemarie had her own room and the four boys shared the last room. Kit and Squeaker were on the bottom bunk, Nate was on top, and Charlie slept in a separte bed across from them. He was already a sleep so they tried to be quiet while getting ready for bed. Kit was fixing the cover on his bed when Nate started climbing onto his.
"Y'know, Nate, you didn't have to drag me into this mess. I trusted you."
"That's you're first lesson for living on the streets, Kit. Never trust anyone."
"Now, you tell me."
Kit was awoken by someone shaking him. He opened his eyes slitly to see Annemarie.
"Get up. Harvey's gonna be up in a few minutes and he doesn't like stragglers."
Kit sat up. Squeaker was still sound a sleep beside him.
"Nate, get up!"
"I'm up. Stop hitting me."
"Kit, ya ready for you're big day."
"I'm afaid I won't get anything."
"Don't worry, kid" Nate said jumping off the top bunk. "You'll do fine. Just take tips from Annemarie and you can fool anyone."
Harvey had his both paws on Kit's shoulders. They stood in the shadows of ally way by a little café. People were busy eating breakfast and rushing to work. Annemarie leaned over to Kit.
"See those two ladies over there?" Kit nodded. "Good. You go over there and talk to them real calm. Act has cute as you can. And try and con them into giving you lots of dough."
"Are ya ready?"
"Go get em' Kit. You can do it."
Kit shollowed and went over to the two cheetahs sitting outside on the terrace. He walked up to them real shy and looked down at the ground.
"Excuse me ma'ams. I'm with the society to feed the babies in the oranphage. I work with my mom to help feed the poor babies that have lost their parents. We're running out of money to buy milk and stuff and the badies will starve if we don't get money to buy milk. So, could you please spare some change or something."
"Of course, we will, son. Here is five dollars" one of the cheetahs said.
"Here's ten" the other one said almost crying.
"Thank you, ma'ams. The babies will apreciate this." ~ I apreciate it. ~
He walked back to Harvey and Annemarie in the ally way.
"They gave me fifteen dollars" he said giving it to Harvey.
"Very clever, boy. You could be as good as Annemarie. Come on, kids, lets go steal breakfast."
The seven months past. Kit enjoyed the company of his new friends eventhough they did cheat and stole from people. Harvey could be an okay person when you made him happy, but don't make him mad. Kit had to take a couple beatings from not making his days share. Nate would take Squeaker's beatings. He cared for the child and didn't like to see him hurt. All of them did. Annemarie would try and stop her father from hurting any of the others. She had a tight grip on him and she could stop him from doing _almost_ anything.
Kit had had a slow day. He was in charge of Squeaker so he couldn't get much done with the little kid getting lost or crying. No one else was home yet. Kit and Squeaker walked in sheepishly. Harvey was sitting in his armchair listening to the radio Nate stole for him months ago. They tried to sneak past him.
"Boy, did you get me something?" Harvey asked grabbing Kit's arm as he pasted.
"Here" Kit said panicky. Harvey grabbed the wallet in Kit's paw. He examined it then throw it down in a fit of rage.
"You call this a day's work! What did you think I could do with stredded leather! Huh, boy?!" Harvey yelled jumping to his feet.
"I couldn't find anything. I'm sorry!" Kit said coving his face.
"I'll give you something to be sorry about!"
Harvey slapped Kit across the face making his nose bleed and kicked him to the floor.
"Desisto! Desisto!" Squeaker cried tugging on Harvey's shirt crying.
"And you. You little brat that can't speak a dang word!"
"Shut up!" he shouted pushing Squeaker to the floor. He started crying more. Kit ran over to him and picked him up.
"Don't hurt him. He doesn't understand!"
"He'll understand this!"
Harvey picked Kit up by the collar and throw him and Squeaker into the closet and locked the door. The closet was pitch black. Kit skooted to the corner where some clothes made a comforting bed. Squeaker cuddled up next to him and Kit put his arm around him.
"Hic non desisto."
"I know, Squeaks. He wasn't gonna stop either."
Annemarie walked in at midnight. Harvey had left to go to the bar down the road. She hung up her coat and turned on the light. Blood was on the floor. Her heart sunk into her stomah and she became frantic. She ran in and out of the small rooms calling out her friends' names. She finally heard a sound come from the closet. Annemarie opened it to see Kit awake with blood all over his face and Squeaker a sleep beside him.
"Omygod! Kit. Are you okay?" she cryed running to him.
"I'm all right, Annemarie. Just a bloody nose and my back is sore as heck."
"How long have ya'll been in here?" she said picking Squeaker up.
"I'm so sorry I wasn't here."
"That's okay. As long as Squeaker didn't get hurt."
Squeaker stirred and lifted his head. "Ann-ree."
"Yes, it's me, Squeaks. Go back to sleep."
She smiled and brought him into her room and set him on her bed. He fell back a sleep right away. She walked back into the main room where Kit was.
"Climb up here."
Kit climbed up on the table while Annemarie wet a washcloth. She started wiping the dry blood off his face.
"Ouch" Kit exclaimed.
"Sorry, Kit. I'll be gentler."
Kit looked at her perplexed. "I never saw this side of you before."
"You're gentle side. You're always tough and never actually show expression. You act like a mother to Squeaker. You must love him a lot."
"The first night I was here, I saw you give him half of your hamburger."
"You saw that" Annemarie said smiling up at him. She went over to the sink and washed the blood off the washcloth. "I couldn't let him starve. The kid reminds me of my little brother."
"You have a brother. Where is he?"
"My mom took him and runaway when he was a toddler."
"Why didn't your mom take you too?"
"I guess she didn't like me. He would be your age right now."
"Wow. I'm sorry."
"Don't be. It's not your fault none of this happened. Besides, I should be apologizing to you. I got ya into this mess. And Charlie and Squeaks and Nate. I got everyone into this. I should of said no when Nate tried to recrute you. Now none of us can leave."
"Annemarie, stop being so hard on yourself. You couldn't stop anything your dad does."
"Ya wanna know the funny part about this mess. I started in the con business when I was born. I'm born and breed a thief. I use to not understand why I did the cute act thing, but now I do. I'm getting too old to skip around like an idoit and have a simple-minded smile. I have to confess I'm getting tired of it. And I want to stop, but Harvey won't let me."
"Why can't we escape? He's not here right now. Let's get out of here."
"He has spies on our tail 24 hours a day."
"Yes, I'm not joking."
"Where does your back hurt?"
"Right here" Kit said pointing to his right side. Annemarie climbed on the table and began massaging his back.
"Does that feel better?"
"Yes, it does. Thank you."
She continued to massage as Kit sat talking.
"So, have you noticed?"
"That Nate likes you."
"O, yeah. I noticed. He can keep on liking me from a far. Because I have no interest in him right now."
"The way our situation is. I've known him for seven years. We're just friends. I'm acutally the only girl he knows."
"Me too. There were a few girls in the oranpgage, but not any my age. You're the first girl I ever had as a friend."
"I'm honored to be your first friend as a girl."
Nate and Charlie made it in a little while after Annemarie. They were bushed and wanted to go to sleep. But Harvey had come home a few hours later mad as heck for no reason.
"Get up. You miserable bums. I want you to work harder then you ever today" he shouted fieriusly rolling Nate out of his bed. He hit the floor with a thump. He kicked Kit and Squeaker. They woke up and pushed back to the wall. Harvey went over to Charlie and hit his back with a leather shrape.
"Ouch!" Charlie cried out looking up.
"All of ya up!"
Annemarie ran in there with fiery.
"Dad, what are you doing to these poor children?"
"I'm gettin' em' up so they can make me money."
"Dad, this has to stop now. We don't want to steal anymore. We want to live our lives as kids not criminals."
"You'll do what I say Annemarie. I'm your father."
Harvey's face turned to rage.
"You dare hurt me" Annemarie said.
"Think again" Harvey said putting his big paws around her neck and started choking her. Nate jumped to his feet and tried to get Harvey off of her. He let her go and slapped Nate. Squeaker ran to Annemarie who was lying on the floor gasping for air.
"Ann-ree! Ann-ree!" he cried.
Charlie ran to help Nate up, but Harvey kicked them down again and kicked them both in the stomch a couple of times. Kit watched in horror waiting for his turn.
"Kit" Annemarie said raising herself on the bed. "Take Squeaks and get out of here. Get help."
Kit grabbed the child and ran out the door of the room and out of the hole.
"What the…" Harvey yelled. He kicked Nate away from the door and locked in from the outside. He started after Kit and Squeaker.
Kit ran to the busy streets of Capri Isle. Kit's thoughts were distraut as he gazed around for a police officer. He put down Squeaker.
"Squeaks, I want…you…to…go…get…iuvo. You get iuvo."
The child ran off into the crowd. Kit ran down the street a little more before he spotted Harvey.
"Help! That man is trying to kill me and my friends! Help!" Kit shouted.
Harvey came up behind Kit and put his paw over his mouth.
"Nothing to see here folks. My kids just playing another one of his pranks."
Kit squirmed, but couldn't get away from Harvey. He dragged Kit to the ally way and leaned down to him.
"If you try to get away again, I'll brake your neck right here. Now lets get back to the hole so I can go find that rambling idiot. He's bound to be crying in a corner somewhere."
Harvey lugged Kit into the hole. The others were mending to their wounds. He opened the door and tossed Kit in with them then locked the door again.
"Kit, what happen?" Annemarie said helping him up.
"He caught me in the street. Squeaks got away though."
"That's gonna be good. Squeaks probably won't be any help" Nate said.
"Acually when I told him to go get help. He understood me."
"Yeah. Isn't iuvo help?"
"Good. I said the right thing then."
Squeaker did understand Kit and went for help at the police station.
"Iuvo! Iuvo! Iuvo Ann-ree, Nate, Charie, and Kit. Iuvo now!"
"What is this kid saying?" one officer said.
"He's saying help who ever those people he's talking about" another said.
"Where are your friends kiddo?"
Squeaker pulled the officer along. Two others followed.
Harvey had discided to get rid of his crew of bandits. They were turning against him and he couldn't have the kids turning him into the police. He opened the door to see all the kids huddled together. He was holding a knife. The kids knew what that meant. Just as soon as Harvey was gonna strike, the door was kicked in.
"Police, drop the weapon" the first cop said with Squeaker behind him.
Harvey stood there , still. The other cop came up behind him and grabbed him by the shoulders. They stroggled, but the officer got the knife out of Harvey's control. They slapped the handcuffs on him.
"Are you okay kids?"
"Yeah, thanks to Squeaker" Kit said.
The police sent the kids to the local orphange. The same one Kit escaped from. Not caring about the kids feelings, they split them up. Kit couldn't take the orphange again, so he left and went to the airfield where he caught a ride with a freelancer to Winger City.
End of part 1