The Meekrat Entertainment Group

Where mayhem is the man-fish!

Terror at the Lion Drome

Posted by meekrat on September 21, 2010

The man known only as Death-Trap Devon, and also Devon Danger, and also Devon Smith, ran through the Lion Drome through the pouring rain. Every drop mingled with his panicked sweat and caressed his danger-hardened body, eventually being soaked up by his undergarments. This led to a slight squishy noise when he turned suddenly, but he was in far too much of a tizzy to care about things like funny noises. No, for Devon worked in a Lion Drome, and when there’s terror in a Lion Drome, even the strongest of men turn yellow. Not literally, of course. Metaphorically. Death-Trap Devon crashed into the offices of his boss, Cortez Montego, with the news that had him so panicked.

“Sir! Sir! All the lions are in a tizzy, make no mistake!” gasped Devon, trying to catch his breath, “I’ve no idea what’s gotten into them!”

Cortez Montego puffed his cheap cigar, the foul aroma of which filled the tiny office and nearly made Devon opt for the downpour outside. Montego put his feet atop his desk, soaking some safety violations that had been sitting there for months, “I know. They’ve been acting that way all week! Ever since we got that new lion from Darkest Africa.”

Devon knew the lion’s reputation well, and his face grew dark, “You mean that big fella? I heard some strange things about him from the trappers, sir.”

“So did I. Apparently, there was a smaller lion riding on top of him!” Montego began to chortle, which turned into a raking cough. Devon ran over and began patting him on the back, but Montego waved him off and continued, “A lion the natives called — ” There was a crash of thunder, ” — Leon Leopolous!”

Devon leaned against a file cabinet, “Maybe the big fella misses Leon?”

Montego sat up and slammed his fist on his desk, kicking up scraps of tobacco and a good helping of dust, “Don’t be silly, Devon! Lions don’t miss things! They’re just animals, and other than the noble donkey, animals don’t have feelings at all! In any case, maybe we’d better get someone to figure out what’s going on. Get me the foremost lionologist in the United States!”

“Uh, those don’t exist,” said Devon, softly.

“Then get me the Basset Hound Brigade!”

***

In the heart of New York sat the Fox’s Den, fabled headquarters of the Basset Hound Brigade. Though few of its members chose to reside there, it had enough trappings for a dozen men to live happily and in good health for decades. The headquarters was supposedly secreted behind a gentleman’s club, but there was also a side door which proclaimed the Fox’s Den to be the home of the Bassets. It was at this door that a mysterious figure now knocked. The knocking continued until the daring detective Dick Douglas answered the door.

“Hello?” he said, looking out the door. He was about to close it when he heard a noise which sounded remarkably like purring at his feet. He looked down to find what appeared to be a soaked hairy midget, “You’re a hairy little midget, aren’t you? We don’t serve your kind here, so why don’t you make like a freight train and go somewhere else?” The midget continued to purr, more forcefully, and Dick Douglas pulled out his sidearm, “Forceful little freak of nature, ain’t ya? Well, I’ve just got the thing for that!”

The sound of gunshots caused Mister Lucky running. He met Dick Douglas in the main hallway, “I heard gunshots! What’s going on here?”

Dick Douglas shot a priceless vase, “There’s some hairy little midget running around, Lucky, and I aim to put him out of my misery!”

“A hairy little midget?” Mister Lucky pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes, “What?”

“That weren’t no midget, Mister Lucky!” said Dick’s gardener, Jojo Jenkins.

“Holy Christ!” shouted Dick, leaping back and aiming his gun at Jojo, “How long have you been here?”

Mister Lucky gently pressed his forefinger on the barrel of Dick’s gun, pointing it towards the floor, “What was it, then?”

“I think it was a dog or somethin’!” said Jojo, excited to be included, “Maybe some sort of cat!”

Mister Lucky peered down the hall, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, “Well, if it’s in here, then we have to find it — ”

“And shoot it!” finished Dick.

“No! Unless it attacks us, in which case blow its brains out,” said Mister Lucky, “Jojo, go to the Room of Science and bring me back Frinky’s new invention. Dick, you come with me. We’ve got to find that beast!”

“Yessir!” Jojo saluted and ran off.

“Pardon my French, Mister Lucky, but you’re a pain in the rear!” said Dick sourly.

“You wouldn’t think it’d be so easy for some wild animal to hide in here! Especially for this long, considering your detecting skills,” said Mister Lucky.

Dick Douglas aimed his gun down the hallway and noticed something he hadn’t before, “Oh my God! My sleeves have buttons on them!”

“Then again…” said Mister Lucky, who was unable to finish his thought as the hairy midget had entered the hallway, “That’s no dog! That’s a lion!”

“Stand back! I’ll shoot it!” said Dick, already aiming his gun at the lion’s forehead.

Mister Lucky pushed Dick’s arm down, “No, it’s not even attacking us.”

“Is this what you wanted?” said Jojo, coming out of nowhere and proffering a small metal box with a leather belt connected to it.

“It sure is!” said Mister Lucky, kneeling next to the lion and wrapping the belt around its neck, “Hold still, little guy. Let me get this on you. There we go!”

The box crackled to life and soon a low scratchy monotone was heard, “Mrrowhat is happening.”

“Dear God!” shouted Dick, running into the kitchen. He peeked around the corner, “That lion is a witch!”

“No, Dick, it’s just Frinky’s invention,” Mister Lucky stood up and placed his hand on the lion’s head, “It allows animals to communicate with man!”

The box crackled, “I have to come to ask assistance. My friend was abducted by white apes. I want to find him.”

“What a silly lion,” said Dick, emerging from the kitchen with a jar of honey and a spoon, “Here, have some honey.”

“No, Dick!” said Mister Lucky, but he was too late.

The lion’s tongue cautiously licked at the honey, and then began greedily lapping it up, “I like the taste of honey. On my tongue.”

There was another knock on the door and Dick dropped the jar of honey and ran to the door. Mister Lucky dove to the floor to catch the jar and watched in terror as Dick drew his sidearm, “I hope it’s someone I can shoot!” The door opened to reveal Death-Trap Devon, dressed in a white jumpsuit and carrying his helmet under his arm. Behind him, the rain pelted his motorbike. Dick holstered his weapon, “It’s not. Just some white guy.”

“Hello there, I came here…” started Devon, and then he noticed the lion, “Oh my God! It’s a lion!”

“Hey! I know him!” said Jojo, who had obtained a brush and was brushing the lion’s mane with love, “He’s Death-Trap Devon! He works at the local Lion Drome!”

“Hello there,” said Mister Lucky, stepping in front of the lion, “What brings you to the Fox’s Den?”

“Uh, actually, I came here to ask for help with one of our lions, but it seems you have lion problems of your own,” said Devon, pointing to the lion.

The lion sniffed the air and stood up, walking close to Devon and sniffing him, “The white ape. He has the scent of my friend on him. He has my friend. Give me back my friend.”

“Jesus Christ!” said Devon, stepping back, “You gave it the ability to talk?”

“We sure did, and today’s your lucky day, because we’re all going down to this Lion Drome of yours to get to the bottom of this,” said Mister Lucky.

“All right,” said Devon, putting on his helmet.

Mister Lucky smiled widely, almost malevolently, “But wait, there’s more! If we find out this Lion Drome is up to no good, then we’re going to shut it down!”

“Oh boy!” said Jojo, “I get to go on an adventure!”

Mister Lucky’s smile shrunk into a nervous one, “Uh, by everyone, I mean everyone but you.”

“Aw man,” said Jojo, kicking a prudently placed can, “I guess someone has to watch the house.”

“Also, the Lion Drome doesn’t allow coloreds,” said Devon, with a small apologetic smile.

“Oh,” said Jojo.

***

Dick Douglas, Mister Lucky, Death-Trap Devon, and the lion known as Leon Leopolous stood outside the mammoth Lion Drome. While its lights were off, one could tell even in the darkness that it was a wonder of the world.

“My God! It’s magnificent!” said Dick Douglas, looking up in awe.

“Oh yes. The nineteen-twenties truly are a time of wonder and decadence. Now then, Devon, show us what you need to show us!” said Mister Lucky.

“I smell my friend,” said Leon Leopolous, “My friend is here.”

“Sure thing, Mister Lucky,” said Devon nervously, “Just let me consult with my boss.” He ran off.

“He sure left in a hurry,” said Dick.

“Almost too much of a hurry. Oh well,” said Mister Lucky, placing his hand on Leon’s back, “Lead the way, Leon! The Basset Hound Brigade doesn’t need things like permission and cooperation to get the job done.”

Leon snorted and began walking, “He is this way.”

***

In Cortez Montego’s office, Montego spat out his coffee, “What do you mean you brought them here?”

Death-Trap Devon shifted nervously from foot to foot, “Isn’t that what you wanted me to do?”

“That was before I knew they had a lion with them, you nitwit,” said Montego, standing up and coming very close to slapping Devon, “Not only that, a talking lion!”

“I was thinking that maybe we could kidnap the lion and make it perform,” said Devon, unflinching, “A talking lion is pretty magnificent.”

Montego began pacing his office, “Don’t you get it? If that lion talks to the other lions, then the whole jig is up! Those are black-market lions!” There was another clap of thunder.

Devon was taken aback, “What?”

“We couldn’t afford lions the legit way, so we had to hire unsavory thugs to go to Africa and take the lions from their homes and families,” said Montego.

“I don’t get it,” said Devon, “Wouldn’t that cost the same thing as hiring legitimate trappers?”

“No, you fool!” said Montego, slapping Devon, “If that lion talks to the other lions, the jig is up! I need you to go take care of Lucky and Douglas! And the talking lion!”

“I most certainly won’t! I have no problems risking my life daily in death-defying stunts, but black market lions?” said Devon, stomping towards Montego and backing him into a corner, “Killing people? That, sir, is where I draw the line! Good day to you!”

“I thought you might say that,” said Montego slyly, “Oliver Aquarius!”

Devon stepped back, “Not him!”

“Yes me,” said a large bald man with especially dry skin, “What do you want me to do, boss?”

Montego dusted himself off and pointed at his other employee, “Grab Devon, and then take care of the Bassets and that talking lion.”

Aquarius nodded and grabbed Devon with his massive hands. Devon struggled, but was unable to free himself. Without the slightest hint of any sort of emotion, Aquarius said, “Right away, sir.”

***

Unaware of the goings-on elsewhere in the Lion Drome, the Bassets stood in front of the lion cage with Leon Leopolous.

“That’s a whole lot of lions,” said Dick, not for the first time.

“Is your friend in there, Leon?” said Mister Lucky, trying to ignore him.

Leon sniffed the air, “Yes.” A large lion looked up and walked over to the bars, and he and Leon began nuzzling.

“Are they queer lions or something?” said Dick Douglas.

“It’s not our place to judge, Dick,” said Mister Lucky, “I think lions do things differently, though. I mean, their bond is so strong that Leon found his way from Africa somehow and sought us out.”

“My friend tells me something,” said Leon, “He says that he and the others were taken from Darkest Africa badly.”

“What do you mean?” said Mister Lucky.

“Kidnapped,” said Leon as the thunder clapped overhead.

“That’s terrible, I think!” said Mister Lucky, driving his fist into his palm, “Well, we’ll just have to go set things right.”

“Danger behind you,” said Leon.

“Stupid lion,” said Oliver Aquarius, holding some rope and sacks in front of several other nameless thugs.

“Oh no! Shoot him!” said Mister Lucky.

“Right you are!” said Dick, grinning as he pulled out his gun and aimed at the brute’s head. He pulled the trigger, but the only thing the gun did was click. “Huh. Guess I used up the bullets.”

Mister Lucky stepped back and looked around for something he could use as a weapon, “Oh no!”

“Get them, boys!” said Aquarius, pointing at the trio.

Before they knew it, the Bassets were beaten and tied up in the middle of the Lion Drome’s main arena, a giant bowl-shaped track designed to allow men in motorbikes with lions in the sidecars to drive as fast as possible to the thrill of all. Nearby, Devon was tied to one of the Lion Drome’s motorbikes with Leon Leopolous in the sidecar.

“I can’t believe we lost so easily,” said Mister Lucky.

“I just wonder what they’re going to do with us,” said Dick.

“They’re going to kill us,” said Mister Lucky with a sigh, “They said that fifty times.”

“Oh. Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention,” said Dick.

Oliver Aquarius towered over his captives, “Not only that, but we’re going to kill you with each other! I’ve tied Devon up to his motorbike so that it’ll keep going until it reaches the very tip of the lion drome, at which point it will start going downwards, slowly building up speed with your lion friend in the motorbike’s sidecar. Then, when he reaches the absolute bottom, he will crash into you, killing you all in the process! And, just to make it seem like a suicide, I’m going to leave Douglas’s gun sitting right here on the ground within easy reach of you! It’s the perfect crime!”

“My God! He’s right!” said Dick, his voice rapt with appreciation for such a scheme, “What a mastermind!”

“Sorry, Bassets,” said Devon, “I didn’t know the world of Lion Dromes was such a dark and seedy place.”

“It’s okay, just let me figure out a way to get us out of this,” said Mister Lucky, “I am the World’s Luckiest Man, after all. Shouldn’t be too hard.”

“You can’t! And now I’ll retreat to a safe distance, as to not be collateral damage! See you in Hell!” Aquarius turned the key for Devon’s motorbike, bowed, and ran out of the arena.

“This is it, I guess!” said Devon as the motorbike began its ascent of doom, “I’m sorry you and your friend had to be dragged into this, Leon.”

“It is all right,” said Leon, remaining remarkably peaceful, “I forgive you.”

Devon gritted his teeth, “You do? Well, that gives me the strength to get us out of this! At least, some of us.”

“What do you mean,” said Leon.

“I know what you’re thinking, Devon, and don’t!” shouted Mister Lucky, “Better for all of us to die with honor than for one of us to die with honor and the rest of rest of us to go on to live long and happy lives!”

Dick’s brow furrowed, “Uh, wait — ”

Devon’s mind was made up, however, “No, this is what I have to do to atone for my sins.”

Mister Lucky sighed with relief, “We’ll remember you, Devon! You’re an honorary Basset!”

“Thanks, Mister Lucky! See if you can put that gun in my way!” screamed Devon, struggling to be heard over his motorbike’s engine.

Mister Lucky stuck out his leg and easily pushed the gun in front of where he knew Devon’s path lay, “Done!”

Devon turned to the lion in his sidecar, “Leon, I’m going to try to slow down. Can you jump out?”

Leon turned to him, “Yes. I am only being held here by centrifugal force and the fear of death.”

“All right then,” said Devon, closing his eyes, “Here we go.”

Using all his might and inner strength, Devon was able to relax his grip on the motorbike’s accelerator, allowing Leon Leopolous to easily leap off. As the bike continued to descend, it eventually hit the track and sped towards Mister Lucky and Dick Douglas. Once the front wheel hit the gun, the bike somersaulted into the air over the pair and landed on the ground, exploding on impact and taking Devon with it.

“Devon made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live,” said Dick, sadly.

“Quick! Get us out of this ropes!” shouted Mister Lucky, turning towards Leon. Leon ran over and easily bit through them. Mister Lucky stood up and rubbed his wrists, “There we go! Now let’s go get Montego and Aquarius!” Somewhere in the Lion Drome, a gun ran off and Mister Lucky froze in his tracks, “Oh god. That came from Montego’s office.”

Dick Douglas squinted, “I can see the window from here. Poor bastard shot himself. Couldn’t live with the shame of what he did, I guess.”

Mister Lucky took off in a sprint, “Then let’s get after Aquarius!”

***

Back the lion cage, Oliver Aquarius stood at its door with an axe in each hand and a smile on his lips, “With the Basset Hound Brigade out of the way, I can kill all these lions! Then I’ll make a killing of another kind, on the meat black market! Selling lion meat! Ha!”

Two glowing eyes looked at him from the shadows, and Leon Leopolous emerged, snarling, “No you will not.” He leapt through the air and knocked Aquarius to the ground and began clawing at the man’s face and chest.

Mister Lucky ran out of the shadows, followed by Dick Douglas, and pulled Leon off of Aquarius, “That’s enough, Leon! I know you want to exact jungle justice upon him, but he’ll get his! In jail!”

Aquarius snarled and was about to sit up when Mister Lucky brought his foot down upon his chest. Aquarius spat at him, “I swear to you, I’ll spend my life trying to get revenge on all of you and your descendants! Especially you, talking lion!”

Mister Lucky smiled down at him, “Oh, put a sock in it. We stopped your evil scheme, and you’re going to jail for the maximum length of time. Several weeks!”

Dick Douglas stood in front of the open cage door, “Should I just let the lions go, then, so they can all go back to Africa? Only I sort of already did.”

“I will lead them back to our homeland,” said Leon as he began to claw the voice box off his neck. Mister Lucky began undoing the buckles, and Leon continued, “Thank you for what you have done, Bassets. We will never forget your heroism and courage.”

With that, Leon Leopolous ran after his lion brethren to lead them back to Africa. Dick Douglas and Mister Lucky stood and watched them leave, and waved to them. Mister Lucky smiled, “It was all in a day’s work for the Basset Hound Brigade!”

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