Unfairy Tale
By: Kevin Adams

Chapter One
Not so little…

Rain pelted down against the leather brim of Earl's hat as he stood over his latest victim. His two brothers Fred and Bud soon joined him at his side to admire the handiwork of one another in taking down this mark. Metal shipping containers around them sang in unison as water from the sky kept falling down upon the grizzly scene, "Let's bag em' up boys," Earl snorted as he spit a wad of chewed tobacco from his lower jowl.

This bounty was like most they usually encountered, which meant easy money; even for shoddy workmanship in the hit man industry. These three were a down right enigma though, none of them alike, yet all three brothers came together for a common goal. To kill.

Earl, the self–proclaimed 'brains' of the group was usually the one who would do business with the people ordering the hit who he referred to as a 'client'. He and his brothers usually wore matching leather vests, yet as the 'leader' Earl felt it necessary to wear a single ear ring and also an oval brass belt buckle that read 'HOG'. His preferred weapon was a AK–47 and he killed for cheap, usually in private, he felt killings should be intimate.

Fred, he was the more relaxed killer, his methods were slightly messy and he enjoyed watching his victims beg for mercy. Fred had a tattoo of a half naked female pig on his upper right shoulder and loved sporting a smiley face pin on his vest along with a shot gun for most of his 'jobs'. He killed for fun and preferred his targets snuffed out in public as to make an example of them.

Finally, Bud. This pig was bat shit crazy and he was a part of the group only because 'Momma said'. He had no weapon of choice because he was nothing if not resourceful, it had been rumored that he had gored one of his victims to death with his own tusks. He would kill because it was Tuesday and he was bored. He carried a single grenade strapped to his vest and was usually adorned with at least one bandage due to the fact that he was the dilettante in the group.

They were raging jerks as a group, they would often pick on the elderly and homeless in between jobs if for no other reason than to entertain themselves. It was a good gig being bullies and assassins all in one, if anyone got in your face you could just snuff them out as a perk.

Once they had turned in the 'mark' for payment they returned home and proceeded to wind down for the night. Earl sat in front of the laptop to make sure the funds been deposited into the groups' private account and as usual Bud had plopped himself in front of a violent video game for the next four hours. Fred slouched on the sofa with his usual bag of chips and half eaten pizza from a couple days ago and as Earl brought his attention back the laptop he picked up a half–smoked cigar and lit it.

Life wasn't grand, but it was simple and that's the way they all liked it. His drew in a long puff of smoke and enjoyed the rich flavors of the cigar, closing his eyes in pleasure at the end of a job well done and over with.

His eyes popped open as his computer dinged as notification had come in for another 'job,' he clicked on the file and his eyes went wide and the cigar dropped from his mouth in pure awe.


Chapter Two
History

Mortimer's house had been in the wolf family for sixty plus years and was a quaint little place in the middle of no where. Lush green fields surrounded his property and his small little farm was bliss on any given day.

Gone were the days of ill will towards other animals, it had been so long since the 'incident' that originally gave his family such a bad name. He had always believed that everything was all huge misunderstanding between himself and some of those dirty oinkers that lived outside the village.

His lanky thin frame was nothing compared to his glory years, he was wearing a very simple straw hat that allowed his pointy lupine ears to poke out. Raking in his garden on days like today was always relaxing and kept his blood pressure down, now making his usual rounds of checking in on his prized vegetables. For a moment he looked out onto the verdant plains surrounding his home in Hampshire Meadows, England and felt a calming elation wash over him.

Having already had his two sons go off to college, this land was all that kept him company in his golden years. One son David, had gone to study quantum physics and the other son Tommy, studied interpretative dance off somewhere in France. Mortimer shook his head for a moment as he thought of the latter son, yet he was still proud of him regardless and was even happier that his sons would not only inherit the family land one day, but could pursue their dreams and studies without any negative prejudice.

Finally finishing his chores for the day he decided to gather up his freshly picked vegetables and go inside and cook some dinner. Tomorrow would be a great day to take the remaining produce into town and sell off for some extra money to buy more seeds. He put his old wooden rake by his doorstep and shuffled slowly in as the old wooden door creaked closed behind him when he pulled it shut.

His humming echoed throughout the empty log home, flickers of light from his candle revealed little patches of mud here and there that had been applied over the course of many years. Some of which he had made himself. On the way to the fireplace Mortimer passed the family wine cellar, it hadn't been opened in many years as he forbade himself and his children from laying eyes on the contents within. Mortimer glanced at the doors for a moment and pondered if they would ever open again and secretly hoping they wouldn't, he started off again as he shambled wearily across the smooth old wooden floor.

He took off his tattered flannel vest and hung it on his petite chair next to the fireplace and sat down next to a slow burning fire as he slowly rubbed his full furry belly, he brushed his paw over the graying light colored fur on his head as he began to relax. Vegetable stew was always his favorite and he never saw a desire to taint the recipe with meat in any of his dishes that he made. Crackling wood embers of the fire was always so soothing, even as a young wolf pup this had been one of his favorite places to be.

Mortimer's eyes drooped closed as he drifted off into a deep slumber, a small peaceful smile graced his long skinny mouth.


Chapter Three
Setup

Earl shouted to the other two and they slowly made their way over for what was to probably be another boring 'business' meeting. "Ugh," Bud moaned, "I was about the make it to the final level on Hammageddon, this had better be good!" Fred slowly moseyed over still foraging in his bag of chips.

They all looked at what the computer screen was displaying and Earl spoke with genuine excitement for the first time in years.

"We found the bastard! We're finally going to avenge our uncles," Grunting as he clicked on the details of a private email he had received from one of his fellow assassins. Often, other hit men would provide leads on key targets for one another as a professional courtesy, that and it was also nice to have someone 'owe' you.

Earl continued excitedly "I've got his address, he lives over in England! I never thought we would get this lucky! Let's go meet our contact and bag this sonuvabitch by the weekend!"

Morning found the three brothers in Portsmouth, which was fairly close to the home of the target. They would normally meet with other locals for full target details, but Earl had vengeance on his mind, besides with a target that presumably stood over eight feet tall, he shouldn't be hard to miss.

Earl was the first one up, he quickly woke the others and they could see a certain determination in his eyes today. They were all dressed and on the way downstairs in record time thanks to his gruff voice and commanding presence. Bud was still rubbing his eyes and trying to nurse a beer as they got into the SUV they had rented last night after they go into town, while Fred was usually a zombie until he had at least gotten some coffee into him.

Their contact was an oily, greasy little skunk in a trench coat, he put his open paw out as is waiting for an offering. Earl slapped a wad of cash in his grubby little paw and was given a small manila folder in exchange which caught the interest of Bud who loudly said, "Is that a shopping list? Cuz I am so hungry." His query was met with a stern look from Earl.

"Shut it," Earl snapped. He collected his anger for a moment and continued.

"We're headed to the market now you twit and you two need to keep to yourselves, a low profile is what we need for success here."

Once they arrived they tried their best to blend in, yet this was proving difficult as most of the locals had gaping mouths and pointing fingers. They brushed rudely past most of them and headed for the marketplace for a light breakfast, after all Bud needed his breakfast or he was bound to get cranky.

Fred was just about to open the door to a local shop when he heard Bud in a scuffle behind him and as he turned around he saw his brother trying to pilfer a bag of vegetables from a skinny little old wolf who was wearing a simple straw hat. Earl was now headed this way as well, he had been over getting Fred some coffee.


Chapter Four
The Specialists

Bud simply had to have some fresh tomatoes, oh they looked so juicy and so he reached out for some he saw in a burlap bag that was being carried by a diminutive fox with light graying fur. Fred and Bud pushed the wolf back away from the prying eyes of the locals and into an alleyway, Earl was just now rounding the corner to see what this fuss was all about., and he carried a highly annoyed look on his face.

As the wolf continued to resist he tried wiggling loose but as he was about to break free, Bud reeled back and the clocked the little lupine vendor square in the face with his meaty fist. Their furry victim went tumbling across the alley and was came to rest up against a brick wall, he looked up in fear as a small amount of blood trickled from his lip.

Earl handed Fred his coffee and looked harshly at Bud who was now rummaging through the bag of vegetables he had just stolen. His angry tone was unmistakable, "You two morons are going to cause more trouble than you're worth!" He continued on lecturing them, trying to keep his anger and voice in check. Bud simply kept staring at the fox over against the wall as he now crunched on some lettuce he had found within the bag.

"Is it a good day for killing?" Bud asked. "I want to kill the old little wolf. He's got no meat in his sack. These vegetables are good, but I wanted some carrots." He looked to his brothers for a reaction.

Earl swiftly grabbed Bud and Fred by the lapels of their leather jackets and pulled them both too him, he gruffly snorted and angrily stared at the wolf. His voice loud enough for only those in the alley to hear, "This one isn't even five feet tall and not worth a bullet, We have to be at the farm near Hampshire Meadows by tonight, let's go." His displeased grunts echoed in the alleyway.

It was clear to Earl that he would need some additional help seeing as how these two idiots couldn't be trusted when such an important target was on the line, so Earl reached out to the best team of assassin's he knew and also the kind that owed him a favor which was even better. His phone call to Diana was short, she also confirmed she was bringing her usual backup George, who by himself was more than intimidating. Earl gave them the address to meet tomorrow evening so that the cover of dark would shroud their deed.

Diana was a female cougar in her late forties who was deadly accurate at 870 yards with a sniper rifle, her counter–part George was a mid–thirties American brown grizzly bear who was a private contractor for the military when he wasn't at Diana's side.

George's preferred weapon was a M134 Mini gun, six–barrel rotary machine gun with a high rate of fire which was able to decimate most targets with ease. It featured Gatling–style rotating barrels with an external power source, normally an electric motor he wore on his back along with 500 rounds. It usually took around fifteen seconds for him to unload the munitions into a target and that's all he ever needed. George did keep a Bowie knife slipped into his boot, in the case things got personal, which they usually didn't.

Diana laughingly spoke to George in a mockingly western accent, "You American's and your big guns." She reached down beside her chair and brought up her preferred weapon, a Dragunov sniper rifle with a glossy wooden shoulder stock.

"This my friend," she continued in her own refined accent "Is sexy, classy and deadly; yours takes all the sport out of it." She never would admit it, but there might also be a concealed pistol on her body somewhere as well. Her paws caressing the gun as if it were a lover she put it back down and packed it away. There was a silly old wolf to deal with tomorrow and she was never late. She motioned for George to pack the rest of his things and begin heading out.


Chapter Five
Full moon rising

Mortimer gathered himself up wheezing and coughing, he collected his now torn straw hat, what was left of his pride and slowly started to shuffle back home. His mind was racing at the thought of those swine descending upon his home tonight as there was only one farm anywhere near Hampshire Meadows, his. Normally he would be able to make the trip on his own, but his side was bruised from the fall and he feared a rib may be broken, plus his face hurt something fierce.

He politely asked one of the other vendors for a lift in return for some of his next crop of vegetables, it was a long ride home and as they rode his mind wandered to the contents of the cellar. There was one thing he wanted to avoid more than anything and it was having go in there again in his lifetime.

Once, a long time ago he made an oath to his wife that he would change his ways and make up for the wrong doings of his youth. However, she never anticipated that Mortimer would fear for his life from some asshole pigs on this of all days, the anniversary of her death. She had died peacefully at the age of seventy–six and he buried her in the back yard behind their home.

His attention was brought back to the wagon ride as a bump reminded him of his wounds. It would be dark within a few hours and he knew his time was limited before they would arrive. Slowly Mortimer shuffled off the wagon and over to his door he was trying so hard not to wheeze, but he now was able to feel his rib bone jostling around which caused him to whimper a little.

He made his way across the floor with a candle in hand, he placed it at the top of the stairs. He stood there with a certain sadness in his eyes for several minutes. For the first time in forty years he was about to open the doors and go in, he knew once he entered there was no turning back. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a simple brass key and stuck it into the keyhole, slowly turning it he was able to hear the lock moving to the open position. His felt a tingle run down his spine and the fur on his arm stood on end, this was it.

Within the cellar was one singular thing, a linen cloth draped over a four foot tall slender object. Mortimer recognized the armor rack immediately and began his way over to it. Again, he stood before his past.

A single tear fell from his eye as he reached out to grab the loose covering, he whispered gently to himself, "I'm so sorry my love, but I can't risk them killing me, then possibly our boys."

Dust swirled about the chamber as he pulled of the cloth and finally a glistening set of black wolf armor lay before him, it had remained silent all these years. Now as he stared at it he felt it call to him as it once did, all the pieces were shiny and polished just like he had left it, he wondered if everything still fit.

Mortimer pulled off the greaves from the stand and slid both of them on like a pair of pants, he felt his legs suddenly grow stronger and he was able to easily stand again as he grew a few inches. Next was the breastplate which always was his favorite piece to adorn, once he removed his flannel jacket he carefully shuffled into it and felt his ribs begin to heal, air entered into his lungs with ease as he grew in size once more.

It was like the old days again, he breathed in and out heavily, causing dust inside the chamber to swirl and for a moment he was tempted to howl, but he always saved that for after a kill. Grabbing the gauntlets off the rack he slid them over his paws, weak arms had strength return to them as all his fur began now changing to a slick black color and his claws protruded out becoming deadly sharp.

His body was so alive, he could even detect his pursuers nearing his home outside. He had forgotten how good it was to smell odors like that. Finally, he looked at the helmet which was always the last piece, it would activate all the other pieces in harmony once he adorned it and spoke the words of power. For a moment his little yellow eyes studied it's craftsmanship, all the corded weaving, inscriptions upon it, holes for his ears and even a snout guard, a masterpiece indeed even after all these years.

Mortimer was actually savoring this last moment, slowly he slid the helmet upon his head as he spoke only three words: "Lupus Magnum Malum."


Chapter Six
BIG BAD WOLF

Fred and his brothers arrived moments after the specialists and they noticed off in the distance there was a light coming from the home of the 'mark'. A smile creased across Earl's face as he was pleased to see his quarry was home.

"Let's go light this jerk up," Earl motioned forward to the others. Diana fell back behind to provide cover with her rifle. George moved forward and cocked his mini–gun to prepare for firing, they all closed in on the house together as a unit and then began opening fire.

An un–mistakable whine of the mini–gun spinning up and then shooting began, shreds of wood splintered every which way and the others quickly joined in. Earl blasting away at windows and doorways with his AK–47, Fred with his shotgun making a mess of anything it hit and Bud with a pistol and a water gun. They all unloaded until George, like clockwork had gone through all his ammo within fifteen seconds, and as it spun down his barrels were red and smoking.

Bud looked over at George's weapon longingly as it was placed onto the ground.

"Don't even," George growled and moved forward to the front door of the house. He motioned to the others to circle around to the back and make sure no one escaped. As he reached out and grabbed the door handle, the door itself just fell off the hinges. George chortled a bit, and moved inside.

He tried to be stealthy as a large bear could, but the wooden floor only creaked in protest as he made his way across it. Most of the furniture was obliterated as he scanned the house, clearing the foyer, kitchen and a bathroom on this side of the house. When he was just past the halfway point of the house he noticed a set of polished wooden stairs leading down, and they were untouched by the earlier hail of ordinance.

"There you are little wolf," he mumbled pleasingly to himself as he moved over to investigate. He negotiated the stairs as best he could considering his size. George reached out and touched the doorknob with his paw.

Bud hollered into the house, "Did we git em'?!"

George's eyes went wide with surprise and rage at the same time. He turned his head to see Bud poking his head around the corner at the top of the stairs.

Then things went sideways.

From inside the cellar came a nine foot black furred wolf with blazing red eyes which set onto George immediately and swiped at him before he could react. His freshly sectioned bloody body slumped to the floor as Bud let out a high pitched squeal and ran away as fast as his fat legs would carry him.

Diana, Earl and Fred were just outside the door, they had made the mistake of letting Bud guard this door while they checked the back of the house which had held no exits. They were about to go in when they heard a squeal coming their way, guns cocked in unison as the noise grew closer and finally as they peeked inside Bud came bursting out of the house.

He ran like the devil himself was giving chase, not even stopping to explain. From inside the house there came what they perceived as a large animal inhaling, then their eyes went wide when a blood curdling howl let loose. Even the very ground they stood upon shook, struggling to stand as they covered their ears and tried to keep their cool.

They then saw in the distance an ominous fog moving in and even in the skies above angry red evening clouds started rolling across the sky. Seconds later a black furry blur burst past them out the door into the night directly in the path Bud had taken moments earlier. Heavy breathing and the sounds of large paws hitting the ground in vicious pursuit was all they could take in as fear was now starting to cloud all of their minds.

Moments later a shrill squeal was heard off in the distance, he'd gotten to Bud, yet another howl pierced the night as it seemed to shake the very heavens this time.

Diana spoke with a quiet angry voice, "WHAT are we hunting here?!" She motioned them into the house as she kept her voice down even in her anger "This was supposed to be an old wolf." Her stern eyes locked onto Earl as if demanding the truth. Both pigs were further inside the house, Fred started looking for any sign of George while Earl was left to deal with Diana.

All Earl could do was mutter, "Rumor had him in his eighties, ready to die."

"WHO ARE WE HUNTING," Diana let her angry voice ring out.

His face flooded with a look like he'd been caught stealing from momma's cookie jar, when he finally confessed, "He killed my uncle and his brothers."

Diane glared a hole right through him, "Who is it, damn you."

"It's the Big Bad Wolf," Earl replied sheepishly.

Her weapon dropped at her side as should stood shocked at the doorway.

"You idiots."

She slumped down to her knees now and looked up in anguish at Earl, "You've killed us all."

From behind her a pair of shiny black claws grabbed her about the waist and yanked her in half and then pulled her body back outside. Earl and Fred ran further into the house and luckily had found what looked like a cellar, perhaps the only safe place left for miles.

They made their way down the staircase, past George's body which had been sliced to shreds and even a few of the pieces had bites taken out. Fred was the first into the room, Earl soon after, closing a stout wooden door behind him they noticed this room had ten foot ceilings, but only one object. A small wooden armor rack with nothing on it.

Beside the rack lay a small little flannel cloth vest that looked to be torn. Earl noticed a small amount of blood on it and mumbled to himself in disgust as he began to realize to whom it belonged. Fred took the armor rack and attempted to bar the door.

Once the door was shut there was very little light trickling into the room from the doorway, they both sat in partial darkness for several moments and then it came. A small scratching of claws at the door, followed by a guttural sing–song voice

"Little pigs, little pigs, let me in."

Fred pissed himself and instinctively started to make slight squealing sounds as he groped at Earl's jacket as to comfort himself. Earl brushed Fred off with his elbow and brandished a pistol from the back of his belt as his primary weapon was fresh out of ammo. He tried to focus as his brother seemed to dip further into panic, especially when the scratching stopped and was replaced by a louder thumping upon the door.

Again, a louder, more angry voice came: "Oh Little piggies, let me in."

Fred now ran until he found a corner, curled up in the fetal position and started sobbing and squealing in fear. Trying to stand this ground, Earl pulled the trigger at the crease of light coming in from under the doors.

It was silent for several moments, Fred still in a panic in the corner.

Earl slowly made his way to the door and put his ear against it.

"Your brother was delicious," a voice said from the other side.

A heavy inhale noise could be heard from the outside the door, Earl backed away as fast as he could stumbling as he scrambled for the back wall. The door burst into pieces at the force of air being exerted against it and there at the entrance stood something the legends had all been horribly wrong about.

Nine feet tall, red glowing eyes, a maw filled with long pointy fangs and razor sharp claws still dripping with blood from a recent kill. It slowly came towards Earl. His gun ran out with six quick shots. All he got in return was a sadistic growl.

What looked like a smile came from the wolf as he teasingly spoke, "I'd forgotten how much I love the taste of pork, and fear makes the meat taste so much better."

Earl dropped his gun, stood there solemn and almost defiant, he would face his fate like a grown swine.

"Not worth a bullet," Were the last words he heard.

Morning came and with it the sun, Mortimer awoke and found the he was still inside the armor except that his helmet lay at his side now as it always had in the past. Times were different now and maybe it would be easier to smooth things over in the days to come, he made a phone call to his lawyer, then a local carpenter and finally his friend the butcher as he had some extra meats to sell.

He sat there for a moment studying his fur as it had become a light brown now, he never noticed something like this years ago. It felt good to feel younger, his ribs healed and his joints not as stiff for the first time in several years.

Suddenly his phone rang and distracted him from his new discovery momentarily, it was his eldest son David who seemed a bit worried on the other end. He began to explain that last night for the first time in ages, he went out to 'stalk' around and may have accidentally frightened a little old lady to death.

Mortimer calmed him down and told him to come home, there were some things to discuss about his upcoming legacy. Dave agreed, but worriedly explained that the grand–daughter of the old lady had been threatening him and he was afraid that some crazy chick in a red hood would come after him.

Mortimer spoke calmly in his fatherly voice, "Don't worry son, I have just the thing."

The End

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