Big Featherless Bipeds

© Rodney Cox

The sky wept bitter tears, as did I, the day my beloved was brutally murdered by a big featherless biped. It was a cruel reflection of my own tears of anguish at the sight of the still, lifeless form of my fiancée. Why must my kind be tormented by these monsters? They step on us, run us over with their machines and steal our lands. What they want, they take, what they take, they destroy. My species is not alone in this suffering. How I wish the featherless bipeds never existed. The world would be a better place.

Now, I have nothing left save my thirst for revenge. I swear to you, my beloved Marsha, that I will make the monsters pay. I will spend my days hurting them as they have hurt us. I have nothing left to live for with you gone and I do not care if I die in my efforts. I may be a frog, small and green, but I am a leader of my people and have considerable resources at my disposal. And I am afraid of the bipeds no longer. I have killed them, and I wish to continue killing them. My people praise me for my courage and resourcefulness, but it is my despair and desperation that has fueled my actions.

Marsha and I are the children of kings, and were arranged to be married from the time we were tadpoles to bring peace to our kingdoms. Unlike most arranged marriages, we were allowed to spend a great deal of time together as we grew. A deep and special love formed between us. We were truly made for each other.

On that most terrible of days, my beloved and I were on our way to be married. Each of us had our retainers and the priest led us to the holy place for the ceremony. As we crossed a path, I turned to my beautiful princess to tell her something, when a huge shape descended out of the sky and crushed her. Guards dragged me off the path as every one hid from the big, featherless biped. I was in shock, utterly horrified by what I had justed witnessed. I went to her, but the guards stopped me. I ordered them to let me go, cursed them when they wouldn’t release me. I begged, pleaded with them, finally collapsing in mindless sobbing.

Then the big, featherless biped reached down and picked up the body of my fiancée. He had a look of sadness upon his ugly face. It… it seemed as if he was sorry for what he had done. That was some consolation for my pain.

But then the monster looked out across the water and I saw an evil countenance form upon its features. A dread crept into my heart as the biped walked away still clutching the body of my beloved. As he turned, I thought I saw one of her limbs twitch. A movement so tiny it would have been missed by all save those of royal blood. Hope leapt in me as I ordered my people to follow the mammal. We must rescue my beloved Marsha.
We followed the biped to the edge of the water. Before we could intervene, he took a large hook and mercilessly speared my fiancée. An evil maniacal gleam filled his eyes as he looked upon his torture with satisfaction. Pain shot through me in sympathy at the horrible sight.

But the horror was far from over. He then flung her body through the air attached to a string into the water. He was using her as bait.

“Go get her.” I said.

Immediately frogs from both retinues charged into the water. I was dizzy from pain and shock. After what seemed an eternity, my fiancée was returned to me. She still had life in her body. I kissed her and told her I loved her. She managed to whisper, “I love…” And then she was gone. I howled in rage and anguish. Oh, I would make this mammal pay! I would make him hurt like he had hurt me. I was inconsolable.

I chose frogs from both kingdoms, whom I trusted. “Follow him. Learn everything you can and report back to me.” They saluted and left immediately.

Others picked up the body of my precious Marsha. My heart, my soul. I was cold inside as we made our way to her father’s kingdom where our parents waited the return of the wedding party. He had made a noise when he saw her body. He came to me and we wept together. When I was able, I told her father what had happened. He broke down and collapsed and had to be lifted to his bed. Her mother, later, died of grief. The priest, who had been to officiate over our wedding, performed a burial instead.

Days later, I spoke with Marsha’s father. My father was also in attendance. They both looked old and tired. “Prince John,” her father said to me. “What are your intentions now?”

I thought for a moment, then said to him, “I will have my revenge. I will make this featherless biped suffer as we have. I will destroy him.”

He nodded and looked at me. His eyes were dead. “I will abdicate in your favor, even though you never married my daughter. You have been a son to me in all but name. Unite our kingdoms and make this monster pay.”
My father said to me, “I will also abdicate my throne. This suffering can no longer go on. Only through a united kingdom will you find resources you need to do what must be done.”

I reluctantly agreed and so I became king over two kingdoms. Our people were happy and at peace, but it was empty and without joy for me, without my beloved.

But eventually my scouts returned. They had followed the biped to his lair. He had parents, a sister and to my delight, a fiancée. “Excellent,” I said. “I will save her for last.”

“But sire, how can you defeat a big featherless biped?”

“Do not doubt me. My pain will find a way. Scout further. Look into his environment. Find something to exploit.”

“Yes sire.” And they left.

I went to the home of my tormentor and would sit for hours, watching, waiting and planning. I delved into forbidden knowledge gleaned in the libraries of the two countries I now ruled. I learned to enhance my royal frog abilities. The time was ripe. I needed now, only the opportunity.

At long last my spies found someone who had an over fondness for animals, frogs in particular. I would use this weakness against my enemy. I learned the patterns of this human, learned her routes, and chose my timing very carefully. There could be no errors.

Moments before her car would come around the corner, I lured the monster’s sister close to the road with a glamour. Then as the featherless biped came by in her vehicle, I jumped out in front of her, amplifying my presence in her mind. As predicted, she swerved towards my foe’s sister. It was most satisfying watching the face of my tormentor as a lone shoe flew through the air to land at his feet. Yes, most satisfying. I silently thanked my unwitting helper.

But I had more in store for my big featherless biped. So much more. My subjects were frightened that I had the temerity to kill one of our oppressors. They feared reprisals. I, however, grew bolder. I would take the parents next.

I waited, my hate un-slaked, my anger undimmed. Soon the time was right. One day, the father was up a ladder, cleaning out some sort of artificial ditch around their lair. The mother stood below. I could kill them both. My guards argued that I should abandon my plan. It was too audacious, too risky, but I was resolute.

Acting quickly, I scaled the dwelling and made my way to where the old man was. Again, summoning the powers of my royal blood, I magnified my presence as I leapt at his ugly, monkey face. His reaction was perfect. With a cry, he fell backward as I jumped on his face and gripped him on the way down. He landed on his wife, her neck making a delicious, and wonderful, crack. I sat on top of my broken victim, gloating, as his life dimmed to nothing. The son came out and saw me briefly before my guards pulled me off and hid me. His pain was exquisite.

My actions emboldened my people. Some had come out to behold my glorious work, and remained as the featherless biped authorities arrived. Oh, how I reveled in the murderer’s pain. A glee arose in me. But the monster’s suffering was not yet over.

My people grew bolder as news of my conquest spread. I was king and hero, liberator of amphibians. I played the part of a cheerful liege, but inside, my sorrow was unabated, and was ever my companion. In private, I wept over the loss of my beloved, still so keenly felt. An emptiness threatened to overwhelm me and it was only by taking action that I could keep the abyss momentarily at bay. My life was meaningless with out my Marsha. No sun shone in my sky and there was no warmth against the cold, grey world. Not for me. Not ever again.

I had a full strike team with me as I assailed my enemy’s stronghold. We went at night. Flattening ourselves, we slipped under the front door as we made our insertion. We made our way to the bedroom, where I left the bulk of my troops at the threshold as I crept to the bed. The climb was not hard, but I felt my heartbeat quicken. At long last, I would have my revenge. It would be done brazenly under my enemy’s nose and his torment would be complete.

By grace of my royal blood, I made the fiancée unfeeling. Then slowly, I worked my self into her mouth and down her airway, blocking it. She slipped into death far more easily and

painlessly than my own beloved had. I am capable of a small measure of mercy, even for a big featherless biped.
It took me longer than anticipated to get back out. As I finally cleared her cold lips, I heard a cry of anguish, which sounded very sweet to me. Very sweet indeed. My enemy knew! I felt a deep satisfaction in this, even though I realized I had not long to live. I glared into his eyes and he felt my hate.

Then he grabbed me and hurled me towards the wall. A wild exultation filled me as I realized that I would soon see my beloved Marsha. We would be together and nothing would keep us apart again. My job was complete.

I hit the wall and slid down, caught by my strike team, who carried me away, injured, but alive. I saw one of my team leap forward to take my place as the biped expended his rage. There was nothing left but for a thin film. No! It should have been me! I was to be united with by love. I struggled to go back, but was held too tight. I was bitter and filled with a terrible anger that night. Not even the howls of anguish from the monstrous biped as he crashed around his dwelling, mindless with pain, could penetrate my own, new, agony. I had little purpose left. I had expected to die and failed. The royal blood that gave me my power denied me the ability to take my own life. What was I to do?

Finally I decided my course of action. I would continue to torment the monster. I would plague him until he was broken and took his own life. If I could not enjoy that experience myself then he, at least, would. As I’ve said, I can be merciful. There was no fear left in me. No anger, no joy, no life. Only a constant grey void. We would move against him openly now. There was no need to hide. We had moved beyond that.

So we congregated at his home, watching him through the windows, willing out hate to destroy him. We came close, many times, but he resisted. He was strong, this one. But no matter.

We were strong as well. He would come out to attack and we would hide, denying him a release of his anger and pain, save upon himself. We were hurting him and I found myself enjoying it. At times I would feel a loathing at the frog I had become, so very far from the creature Marsha had fallen in love with. But I could not stop. Not now, after so much time invested.

We were wearing the biped down. Soon he would succumb to our will. Today, he tried to come out and attack us, but our hate stopped him. We laughed at him, and he cringed from the sound. Soon it would be over. Soon he would be ours.

The sky wept bitter tears the day my beloved was murdered. And now it still weeps, rain or shine, upon this hapless and doomed, big, featherless, biped.

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