This is where the legalities go. So, instead of the usual legalities, we’re going to do a little experiment.

 

I own The Lion King. And all the stuff that comes from it. Give me money.

 

Huh. I have no money. Yet . . . Okay, never mind, I still have no money. You can have it back, Disney. But I’m keeping Chisan!

 

King Scar, You So Crazy

 

            He was a regal lion, standing about so high, obviously the pinnacle of evolution, his thick mane, his solid body, his stunning, gorgeous looks—no, not the one with the scar, you idiot, the other one. Mufasa. Who cares about the other one? Nobody, that’s who. No, you don’t care, because if you did care, I’d be narrating to nobody, and that would make me insane, and the voices told me specifically that I’m not. So there.

            OF COURSE I’M NOT WRONG!!! YOU DARE QUESTION THE INFINITE AND INCONCEIVEABLE POWER AND WISDOM OF THE ALMIGHTY NARRATOR??

            No, don’t go away, please, please, I’m begging you, please, I’m nothing without an audience, oh, God, please!

            Fine. We’ll talk about the one with the scar. Ahem.

            He was a scrawny lion, standing smaller than so high, obviously the absolute bottom of any moral or ethical standard whatsoever, his thin mane, his puny body, his motions which were the only possible thing that could have motivated Elton John to write Be Prepared—don’t interrupt, I’m narrating. Where was I? Yes, thank you.

            As I was saying, this lion was simply born bad, born to be the absolute worst of all lions there possibly could be. By the time he was two he had already won a S.P.E.C.T.R.E. for his deeds, and has been in the running for it again ever since (we shall not mention what happened when he was two). His pride and joy was a picture of him sitting on Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s lap, temporarily replacing the white cat.

            His parents were rather dull and unoriginal in deciding names. At first, his name was Taka, this being the answer when his father was asked what to name him, having just stubbed his toe. Fortunately for the lion, this name lasted all of five minutes before his brother’s strength, awesomeness, and ability to detect inherently bad people showed up, and he swiped his brother across the eye. From that point on, he was simply called “Scar.”

            Several years after he was born, he died.

            Now, moving back to the wonderful, magnificent specimen that is his brother—URK! Gah—can’t—breathe—argh . . .

            I am so sorry to have been late. Fortunately, all of the damage has been now rectified. I will be your narrator from this point on. It is only fitting that someone as evil as I tell the story of such a misguided soul as this, yes? Please, sit back and enjoy the story. Ahem.

 

 

 

            Scar lied in his cave, staring at the ceiling. His brilliant mind was hard at work, devising and scheming and plotting for his ultimate creation, and ultimately his undoing.

            A daughter.

            Of course, there was the matter of getting past the stage with the mother, first.

            Sarafina. Had there ever been such a beautiful, sexy lioness as Sarafina? Gods, her radiance, the wonderful roundness of her ears, the way she moved, just like an angel, and that wonderful, wonderful body—gods, it’s like she intentionally tortured me! Um . . . him. Tortured him. Sorry about that.

            Scar wanted Sarafina. He wanted her bad. Yet she seemed so pure while he was filled with malice. Not that this actually bothered him; he could always find something inside of her that was at least a little black, if he tried hard enough.

            He would have been content with Sarabi, though. There was a lioness that strutted her stuff. The only drawback, however, was that the difference between her and a mango was about three IQ points. Of course, she had chosen an equally stupid mate, his brother. Oh, well. There was always Sarafina.

            He had tried to woo her in so many ways. He could remember the first time he met her:

            “Hey, what’s a girl like you doing in a part of the kingdom like this?”

            “Uh, Scar, I live here. Like you do.”

            “Obviously it’s not close enough, baby. Of course, we could always fix that.”

            “What? No!”

            “And why not?”

            “Because you are a morally bankrupt, vile little lion, you’ve tried to kill your brother multiple times, and we’re only four years old!”

            “Only the good die young, baby. Only the good die young.” He winked at her charismatically.

            “Okay, that doesn’t make any sense at all, not in your context or in the song.”

            “Just what do I have to do to get a little smack?”

            She gave him the smack. It was rather painful, and included a painful flight off of the tip of Pride Rock.

            Oh yeah, she wants me.

            Our hero isn’t the kind that will give up that easily. He crawled up to the top of the Pride Rock once again to give the lovely Sarafina his humble request.

            “Sarafina, can I ask you a question—”

            “No!”

            “Really, it’ll be a quick one.”

            “Fine, what is it?”

            “I’d just like to know, apart from being sexy, what is it that you normally do?”

            And lo, there was much screaming and falling.

            “Sarafina, can I ask you a—”

            It may interest the reader to know that as of yet, there is no word that appropriately describes the gnashing of teeth.

            “Really, it’ll be fast.”

            “It’d better be,” she snarled.

            “Just one quick question. Apart from being so damn sexy, what is it you do for a living?”

            “Female impersonator.”

            “You must be joking.”

            “Not about this.”

            And lo, there was yet more screaming and falling.

            “Look, I think we may have gotten off on the wrong paw here. I just wanted to apologize about my previous comment. About you being in a place like this. You’re great here.”

            “Um . . . thank you?”

            “But you’d be even better on the floor of my den!”

            Now, I would like to tell the reader that I am not quite sure how many ways one can phrase screaming and falling.

            “Sarafina, please, can’t we stop these childish games? I’m tired, and I know you must be, too.”

            “Believe me, Scar, I’m just getting started.”

            “Oh, but you must be exhausted. You’ve been walking around my mind all day!”

            More screaming. More falling.

            “Girl, that has to be jam, because jelly don’t shake like that!”

            It did enter the poor prince’s mind once or twice that this may be the beginning of a horrible, twisted, sadist/masochist relationship, and if it was, he certainly didn’t want it this way.

            “Sarafina, please, I just wanted to try to help. I mean, who knows what you gonna do with all that junk, all that junk up in your trunk?”

            Vf2=Vo2+2as

            “Sarafina, would you hold it against me if I told you you had a beautiful body?”

            Well, that one was completely uncalled for.

            “You know, I’m beginning to think you know karate.”

            “And what tipped you off to that?” asked Sarafina, winding up for another blow.

            “Because your body is kickin’!

            As you can see, victimization played a prime part in their early, developing relationship.

            “Really, there’s got to be something wrong with my eyes. Cuz I just can’t keep ‘em off that—”

            Several other possible medical problems became apparent.

            “SarafinAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!”

            Thud.

            “Ow . . . I don’t think I’m getting up from that one.” Scar looked up and saw quite possibly the only thing that could have motivated him to get up: an angry Sarafina walking down the ramp to Pride Rock. Scar did the only sane thing: ran for his life. Unfortunately for him, he chose one of the worst paths possible: as she came down one side of Pride Rock, he ran right back up the other one.

            Scar ran into the king’s den, and found the animal that he wanted to see least—well, almost wanted to see least, Sarafina was currently on the top of the list. “Little brother!” said Mufasa happily. “I haven’t seen you all day! Where’ve you been?”

            “Plotting your inevitable demise by my paws. Now hide me. I’m going to go straight out the back of here, don’t tell Sarafina where I am.” Scar rushed off.

            “That’s odd,” mused Mufasa. “I don’t remember a back entrance to the den . . .”

            “Mufasa.”

            The crown prince turned to see Sarafina. “Oh, hi, Sarafina.”

            “Have you seen Scar?”

            “Yep. He’s hiding from you. He out of the back of the den and told me not to tell you. I can show you if you want.”

            “Mufasa, the den doesn’t have a back entrance.”

            “That’s what I thought, too.”

            Sarafina sighed. She walked past Mufasa to the back of the den. Scar was gone. She couldn’t believe it. “What are you doing on the ceiling?”

            “Saving my necessary parts from unnecessary desecration.”

            “What?”

            “You think I don’t know what you plan on doing? Have you seen the size of those claws of yours? Imagine, if you will, a throat that has just one of those things stuffed down it, and then torn. Really, all in all, I’d rather you just hit me upside the head with those things, but my humble requests seem to have ignited a passionate desire which is just coming out completely the wrong way. Now, for the purpose of keeping my orifices pure, I’d rather not experience the rather wide-spread version of pain you’re about to inflict on me.”

            “You’re hanging from the ceiling.”

            “It’s Scar. Taka Scar.”

            “Seriously, just how long do you think you can stay up there?”

            “Oh, he’ll just stay up there until he misses Mr. Buddykins,” said Mufasa.

            “Who?” asked Sarafina in confusion.

            “If you so much as mention that name again I will strangle you with your own intestines!

            “It’s just this guy right here,” said Mufasa, producing a worn, obviously-loved, cute, adorable, button-eyed stuffed lion.

            Scar could imagine nothing worse. The misery. The humiliation. My gods, how could it be any worse?!

            And then she started laughing.

            “This is Mr. Buddykins?! Gods, does he sleep with it, too?”

            “Uh-huh,” said Mufasa. “He loves Mr. Buddykins, and Mr. Buddykins loves him back, don’t you? Don’t you?”

            “How dare you handle Mr. Buddykins in such a manner!” yelled Scar.

            “Please,” said Sarafina, “it’s just some old doll.” She took it from Mufasa, and immediately its head popped off. “Oops.”

            “NOOOOOOOOO!!!” Scar fell to the ground. “Mr. Buddykins!” He looked up at Sarafina. “How could you do such a thi—uh-oh.”

            In short, the day ended with Sarafina’s gain of the record of the longest distance to punt a lion. And with Scar in traction.

 

 

 

            The next day dawned bright and early. It had an insufferable habit of doing that kind of thing. For Scar, it was merely another Sarafina-less day. But she would expect him to try again today. He couldn’t try today. Better to put his efforts on something more practical.

            Killing the damn thing.

            “The damn thing” being Mufasa.

            To appreciate Scar’s frustration in the task, you must know the history of it. Ever since Scar was told that Mufasa was to be king and not himself, he had plotted his brother’s untimely demise. Scar had tried everything: the most insidious poisons, the most subtle ruses, the most dangerous traps. Nothing worked, it seemed. Even after having poisoned the waterhole with black shade, a poison so deadly that (because of the liberal amounts used) killed off a third of the animals who drank from that waterhole, left another third blind, another third deaf, and left yet another third completely insane. Historians are still attempting to understand the physics behind the numbers.

            Mufasa had merely complained about the inability to put the “wild” in “wildcat” that night.

            The longer Scar tried it, the more he became convinced that Mufasa was blessed with immortality. Or (this was the more obvious option) he was really already dead, but his brain was simply too stupid to realize it.

            But now he had a plan. One that would work this time. One that was destined to work.

            Plan Muffin.

            It was a poor name. But it was typical of the minions that Scar was forced to work with. It made much more sense once the listener actually knew the entire plan. You see, the plan involved luring Mufasa into the Elephant Graveyard and ultimately his demise in one of the rather special skulls. The skull, you see, had been home to what was considered one of the greatest hyena leaders there was. She had one attribute that didn’t quite fit her image for, a pet bunny, which she spent all of the time she could spare with.

            Guess what its name was.

            That’s right, it was Buns.

            Unfortunately, Buns died a “horrible” death at the hands of another hungry hyena, whose name happened to be “Muffin.” So the skull received the official name of “The Lamentable Site of the Death of Muffin,” or in local slang, “Muffin.”

            And the skull would soon have another victim added to its list, if Scar had anything to say about it . . .

 

 

 

            “Mufasa, please hurry, you have to help me!” said Scar, running to his brother. He stopped dead as he saw what Mufasa was doing.

            Mufasa unglued his face from Sarabi’s. “What is it? I’m a little busy.”

            Sarabi turned Mufasa’s face back to her. “Not yet you’re not.”

            Scar watched the two lions for two seconds before the dry heaves began.

 

 

 

            “Mufasa, please hurry, you have to help me!” said Scar the next day (you didn’t think anyone would stay there for that, do you? No sane animal, anyway).

            “What is it?”

            “Hyenas! Oh, you have to help me Mufasa!”

            “Is it because your little stick limbs aren’t helping you again?”

            “I’ve told you, I am fashionably thin!

            “Oh. Right. So what’s that about hyenas?”

            “I, uh, need you to help. You see, I’m this close to, uh, getting them to leave the Pridelands for good, yes.”

            “But what do you need me for?”

            “DEATH.

            “What?”

            “I mean, protecting my, uh, person. I would go myself, but I have this terrible, terrible disease right now, and I need someone to go in my place.”

            “What disease?”

            “Um . . . chicken—liver—cancer—itis?”

            “Gasp! That sounds awful!

            “Yes, I know, dreadful, I can barely stand the pain. So if you could go over there to the elephant graveyard, the hyenas will just take you into the—meeting room and everything will be made much better.”

            “You can count on me, little brother!” said Mufasa, hugging Scar.

            “GET OFF ME! Uh, I mean . . . the pain, you know. From the disease.”

            “Gasp! Did I hurt you?”

            “You don’t need to say ‘gasp.’ Now the hyenas said you needed to get over there as fast as they can, or the deal might be off the table forever. And we all know how much you hate those hyenas, right?”

            “I’ll get ’em for you, Scar,” said Mufasa, flexing his physical muscles, which were, quite frankly, the only ones he ever had.

            “Just don’t hurt them until after the negotiations are completely over.”

            “Alright, little bro.” Mufasa stalked off. “They’ll regret the day they ever decided to start living days.”

            “Mufasa.”

            “Yes?”

            “The Elephant Graveyard is that way.”

            “Whoa, how do you know that? You just blew my mind!”

            “How nice. You wouldn’t believe how easy I’m sure that is.”

            “It is? Wow, you just blew me again!”
            “Mufasa?”

            “Yeah, little bro?”

            “Just stop talking and start walking that way.”

            “Sure thing.”

            Scar watched the lion strut proudly off to the hyena graveyard. It would all be over soon, he realized with glee. Never again would he be bothered by an idiot waking him in the middle of the night asking him if it was wrong to feel pretty when wearing female underwear.

 

 

 

            “He’s coming!” one hyena hissed to the others. The other hid quickly, some running deeper into the Graveyard. “Oh, hi, Mufasa!” the hyena called out.

            “I have no time for this chit-chat,” said Mufasa with an authoritative wave of his paw. “Take me to your leader.”

            “Of course. Just follow me, douche.”

            “What was that, underling?” Mufasa thundered.

            “I’m sorry, douche sire.”

            “Much better.”

 

 

 

            Scar watched Mufasa being led into the skull from a safe, well-hidden distance. Yes, this was it, he’d finally be rid of him, finally, heeheeheeahahahahahah! Oh, oh, I think I’ve got a cramp I’m laughing so hard, haha! Hahaha—oop!

            With that final noise, Scar fell through a pile of bones, which were apparently placed to conceal a shaft that lead down into the ground. As Scar well knew, all of the holes in the Graveyard led to one place only.

 

 

 

            “The meeting is right in here,” said the hyena.

            “In that hole?” asked Mufasa.

            “Yep. Just go on in.”

            “Oh, if you say so.” Mufasa took a step forward and stopped. “What’s that boulder doing there?”

            “What boulder?”

            “That rather massive one that appears to be supported on the side of that hill by that small wedge of bone, which if knocked aside could easily let the boulder roll freely through that skull over there?”

            “Your eyes are playing tricks on you. Get in the hole.”

            “Sure, just one sec.” Mufasa turned and whacked the hyena into the hole with his rear. “Oops. Hey, I’ll be down in a second,” he called down after the hyena. He ran up to the boulder (he had been taught it wasn’t polite to keep others waiting) and poked it. He ran back down to the hole. “Hey, the boulder’s real! I’m just gonna check the bones!” He ran back up to the boulder and poked the wedge hesitantly. It popped loose easily enough. He ran back down to the hole. “Hey, I checked the wedge, too; it’s real! I was right about that boulder thing—”

            “You idiot!” Mufasa turned to see a hyena emerging from the skull that the boulder was on a collision course with. The hyena’s eyes widened as it suddenly realized right where it was. “OHMYGAHHH!

 

 

 

            Scar immediately realized that he was headed toward his imminent doom. It was impossible for him not to, with his massive intellect. He slid through his underground tunnel, and was thrown up in the air into pitch-black darkness. He hit the ground with a solid whump, just in time to hear either the scream of a dying animal, or one who had come across a rather angry member of the female side of the species during her “time.” Both were almost the same, Scar reflected.

            The thought was pushed out of his head as the rumbling of the boulder bought forth the realization of his impending doom. He hunkered down, curling up into a little ball, just as the boulder suddenly crashed through the top of the massive skull, taking off the top of it. By a fluke chance, the now-squished hyena had created enough of a bump to send the high-speed boulder flying into the air, nearly missing the skull altogether. As it was, Muffin merely suffered a lobotomy.

 

 

 

            “Oops,” said Mufasa. “Uh, he did it.”

 

 

 

            Scar looked up after a few seconds, almost unable to see anything. He instantly realized one thing: he was alive, wondrously alive, gloriously alive—

            “Well what do we do now, boss?”

            “I guess we’ll have to kill him ourselves.”

            Scar’s eyes widened as he realized what was happening. “Wait a second—AUUUUUGH! Oh, God, the PAIN! AH! AH!” Snap! “Oh, sweet Je—” Riiiiiiiip! “EeeeeeYAARG! Oh, GOD—wait, what are you—no, not that, don’t put that there, it’s far too large—YEE-AAAAH!!!”

 

 

 

            “Hey, Scar, we finished the guy—” The hyena stopped as he saw Mufasa standing near the entrance of the Elephant Graveyard. “Wait, what are you doing here? Aren’t you dead?”

            “Nope.”

            “But—if you’re here, where’s Scar?”

            “He’s back home. He’s got chickenlivercanceritis.”

            “You idiot, he asked us to kill you! Now where is he?!”

            “He probly in ur base. Killin all ur doods.”

            The hyena growled. Nothing but idiocy of this scale could have brought lions’ and hyenas’ forces together. He turned to the other hyenas behind him. “Well, if we didn’t kill him, who did we get?”

            “Uh . . . boss, I think this is actually—”

            “Little brother!” Mufasa leapt forward and hugged Scar. “What are you doing out here, and like this? And why are you crying like a little girl?” Mufasa looked at the hyenas. “So help me, if you—”

            “We didn’t do nothing.”

            “Well, that’s good. You have no idea how demeaning it would be to have to reward you for saving my little brother. God, I’d hate that. So, anyway, I’m just gonna take him home, he really needs to rest. He just wanders off sometimes; who knows what’s in his little head.” Mufasa grabbed Scar’s mane in his jaws, and casually flipped Scar up onto his back. “See you guys later.”

            In short, the day ended with Mufasa still unbearably alive. And with Scar in traction once again. Fortunately, however, the TLK storyline was saved the next day, by the arrival of a little thing called “heat.”

 

 

 

            Scar couldn’t have been happier when heat came. It was hot, it was dirty, and Scar couldn’t have loved it more. Even the box that it came in looked good. On one side it said ACME, on the other it had a rather large skull with crossbones. On top it had a convenient label that said “WARNING: Nuclear Device Inside”.

            I ordered this ages ago, remembered Scar. I never thought it’d get here. He thought about sending them a stern letter of his disappointment about the lateness, but considering it had taken years to get the package here in the first place . . . well, let’s not try that. It was unreasonable, waiting for years for a delivery, but what if it hadn’t been ACME’s fault?

 

 

 

Several Years Earlier at the Post Office . . .

 

            “I’m telling ya man, it happens all the time! There’s nothin’ we can do about it, nothin! Every six months, one of us just snaps, there ain’t nothin’ he can do, he just snaps, and he goes off and kills everybody, man! It could happen any second. It could happen RIGHT NOW!!! Who knows . . . who knows . . .”

            “I’d feel a lot better if you weren’t holding that gun.”

            “You would say that wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?! Huh?”

            “Look, put it down, it’s probably not even loaded.”

            “Oh yeah?!” Click. “There goes the safety, man! Don’t make me!”

            “Look, just put the gun back in the box and get back to work. I’m tired of covering your shift.”

            Click. Click. Click.

            “See, I told you it wasn’t—”

            “YEAAAAAARGH!!!”

            “AUGH! Oh, God, that hurt! I need those kidneys!”

            “NOT ANYMORE!!!

 

 

 

Several Years Earlier and One Day Later . . .

 

            “Extra, Extra! Read all about it! Post Office Closed After Bloodbath!”

 

 

 

 

            But it’s here now, thought Scar happily. Yes, now he would have fun with it. He had seen it in a catalog while waiting to see Rafiki. It rather made him wonder what the monkey had been doing while up in his tree, all alone, with things like these lying around. But Scar had picked this out of all the things. It was a wonderful thing, heat, or rather H.E.A.T., a Hydrogen-Employing Atomic Thingy. Not even Mufasa would be able to escape—

            “What’s that, dear?”

            Scar hurriedly tried to hide the box, which was rather difficult, considering it was as big as he was. “Ah, Mother, how are you?”

            “What’s in the box, Scar?” said Uru. Her eyes flashed dangerously. Scar shrank down. He couldn’t bear his mother’s fury, he knew that from first-hand experience. His mother scared any sane animal. He had nearly died as a cub. He hadn’t wanted to suckle from a body that had that terrible, awesome face that sent him to sleep crying, made him eat while whimpering pitifully as she watched over, even curling up into a little ball as she gently bathed him. Mufasa, of course, had been too stupid to do anything but trust her. In retrospect, perhaps that was the reason he had gotten so far ahead of Scar physically, what with the extra nourishment.

            “Nothing to concern yourself with, Mother.”

            “You do know that nothing from ACME ever works, don’t you?”

            “What gave you the idea that this was—”

            “There was a van outside with a human of very good taste who was waiting for your signature.”

            “Ah . . . I just ask for clarification, but by good taste . . .”

            “He was delicious.”

            “I thought that might be it.”

            “Let me make something very plain to you now, my dear, brilliant son,” said Uru, drawing Scar close to her, claws pricking into him. “I do not want my dear mate injured by any of your little schemes.”

            “It’s for Muffy.”

            “Well then that’s alright,” said Uru, releasing Scar. “Have fun, dearest.” Uru walked out of Scar’s den.

            Scar watched her go. Quite honestly, he had the hots for his mother. There was a body. If it hadn’t been terribly Oedipus-like, he would have been offed his father years ago. Not that he would ever admit it. The single off-hand sexual comment he had made to his mother had managed to cause a spider web of cracks on the wall of the main den.

            But I digress. Now that he had heat on his side, he needed a plan . . .

 

 

 

            “Look,” said Scar, “it’s just a little tunnel. Nothing to worry about.”

            “You’re asking us to carry a nuclear bomb down it,” said the gopher. “Don’t you think that’s at least a little suspicious.”

            “Just think of it as a challenge.”

            “Look, buddy, getting Rafiki his ‘necessary herbs’ is a challenge. This is insanity.”

            A thick sheaf of currency plopped down in front of Gopher.

            “Okay, now it’s a challenge. Where to, bossman?”

 

 

 

            It was all very nicely planned out. Scar had suggested to Mufasa a wonderfully romantic spot, where there was a wonderfully romantic acacia, and how it was wonderfully romantic to make love there, especially at midnight, exactly at midnight. It was just okay if it happened before or after, but midnight—that was the time.

            Scar would be far, far away from that place at midnight.

            All that remained was to navigate the—ahem—package through the tunnel network. Scar was waiting with the patience of an animal that knew he would be later fulfilled—that is, he had none. He did have a camera to watch the progress of the odd box through the tunnels, along with a large, red button, and a very itchy paw. He waited in his den, alone, waiting for the moment to strike . . .

            “Hey, Scar.”

            Scar whirled around. “Sarafina! What a—unexpected surprise! Well, now that you’re here—”

            “Is that all you think about?”

            “Only of you, my sweet. Only of—”

            “You can shut up any time now.”

            “Ah, but Sarafina, how can I express my feelings for you in any other way? Of course, actions speak louder than words.” He slowly moved onto her, so that she was flat on the back, her stomach pressed to his.

            “How about this action?” she asked. Scar looked down between his hind legs.

            “Ah . . . of course, the kind of action means a great deal. Violence never solved anything, you know.”

            “You sure you want to keep that opinion?”

            For an unknown reason, one of the gophers pushing the box through the tunnels began to happily whistle The Nutcracker.

            “Will you shut up!” Scar yelled at the camera. Scar moved to hit the camera, but yelped as Sarafina moved slightly. “Alright, alright—”

            “Why do you have a camera in your den?”

            “I—ah, you see—”

            “What would your mother think?”

            “She told you to come here, didn’t she?”

            “Get off me, Scar.” Scar hesitated. A moment later he was yelling in pain as he rolled around on the floor, crying like a little girl, though a little girl would have never had his problem. Sarafina sighed. “I was hoping to avoid this, but it looks like I’m just gonna have to beat the crap out of you again.”

            “What did I ever do to you?” Scar gasped in a falsetto.

            “It’s—well, it’s more like you just seem to need to have this happen.”

            “I need to have my body mangled?!” Scar squeaked.

            “Exactly! See, I knew you’d understand.”

            Now, as I haven’t gotten a good long monologue this entire chapter, and as I feel I deserve a good, decent monologue every chapter, I would like to take this time to elaborate on big red buttons. Nothing has caused quite as many problems as any other thing in history. The only possible way to make the Holocaust worse than it was is to give Hitler a big red button. The most appalling thing in history is currently Staples’ “That Was Easy” campaign, which makes a mockery of big red buttons. Big red buttons are not something to be underestimated.

            Part of the power of big red buttons is where they inevitably lead. They are always connected to something of vital importance. This may range from a simple panic button, to what Scar had hooked up, to even a working Star Wars. The power on the other end of the big red button is something to always be taken seriously, as it is always, always dangerous in some form or fashion.

            But the ultimate danger of big red buttons is in the area of sheer pushability. If one sees a big red button, what is it that one must do? Exactly. And if you don’t—well, we don’t what to think of the god-awful consequences of not pushing that big red button. I mean, my God man, “what if you didn’t push the big red button?” What kind of question is that? You must push the big red button! The big red button must BE PUSHED! PUSH IT NOW MAN, NOW! NOW! . . . Ahem . . . Excuse me for that outburst. But I assume you understand the principle.

            Now assume that you were Scar. Assume that, because you had the massive intellect and foresight of him, you pointedly ignored that big red button as you watched that camera. But you know its there. And you want to push it. You have to push it. But you mustn’t push it. But maybe just one time . . . So you understand the predicament. Of course, there was one thing that could possibly distract you from that. That one thing walked into the den and mangled your more delicate parts. Obviously, you will not be thinking about that big red button for some time.

            Sarafina’s attention, however, was obviously much more able to wander. Sadly, though our magnificent hero would have treasured her as a mate, she did not possess quite the willpower he did. Therefore, “Ooh, look, a big red button!”

            “No, don’t press that!” gasped Scar.

            “Why not?”

            “Ah . . . bad things will happen?”

            “Uh-huh.”

            “Just don’t push it.”

            “And if I do?”

            “DON’T!

            Sarafina sighed. “And what if I don’t.”

            “I . . . we’ll get married tomorrow?”

            “Good gods, no.”

            WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT THE FOLLOWING ACTION WITHOUT A CERTIFIED QUALIFICATION IN DEMOLITION. AND A QUALIFICATION TO HANDLE NUCLEAR DEVICES. MAYBE NOT EVEN THEN. HECK, DON’T DO IT AT ALL.

            Sarafina pushed the big red button.

            A few shell-shocked moments and a massive earthquake later, Scar and Sarafina rushed outside. A long, wide chasm had been placed in the ground, as if the gods had been driving their nice, shiny earth, and someone had nicked it.

            “Oh, gods,” Sarafina whispered, “what did I do?”

            “Oh, gods,” Scar whispered, “what will Mom do?”

            “Oh Scar.” Scar gulped as he turned to see his mother walking toward him.

            “Mommy,” he squeaked, this time having little to do with his previous injury.

            “Scar,” Umo asked, drawing her son close in a motherly vicegrip, “I recently heard a sound that resembled a rather large package from ACME going off, and I now see that we suddenly have a brand new gorge as an addition to the kingdom. You wouldn’t have had anything to do with that, would you?”

            “Ah . . . well, you see . . . perhaps?”

            Umo smiled sweetly and kissed her son gently on the head, then said in the tone of voice that implied she was nursing a cub, “Dear, when I’m through with you, you will have experienced what a menstrual cycle is like firsthand.” Scar could have been the inspiration for Edvard Munch’s The Scream. “Sarafina, would you mind helping me? Sarafina?”

            Sarafina did not move.

            “Are you alright?”

            Sarafina turned around. Her mouth moved, yet no sound came out.

            “Sarafina?”

            The curse had been born . . .

 

 

 

            For the first time in his life, Scar felt guilty. It seemed to get him right in the cockles of his heart. He also felt something a little more strongly, down in the sub-cockle area, many thanks to his mother. He didn’t know why, but he could almost swear he felt bad about the events today. It was ridiculous, of course, but he did. Sarafina would have her voice back in a few days, of course. That was nothing to worry about. If anything, something to regret.

            And yet he felt bad about it. Unfortunately, a long, deep process of soul-searching was involved, the most shocking part being that Scar found he actually had one. It wasn’t quite so bad after that. But a series of events—which he couldn’t remember at all—had led him into the savannah, and had left him alone in the middle of the night.

            He looked up at the sky. He remembered what his father had said in one of his rare lucid moments about all of the Great Kings of the Past being up there. Scar looked up to them and said quietly, “Great Kings, can you hear me? I—I need your help. I don’t understand what’s going on. Please, all I need is a sign of some kind. Please.”

            He watched them, in their everlasting glory, sparkling in the night sky, luminously—“Oh, this is stupid.” He lowered his head, then looked back up, intending to scream at them in agony, but then—“. . . My God, is that Morse code?”

            Scar looked at the stars winking, and quickly began to write in the dirt what he saw. He looked down. It read “-.-- --- ..- .-. . … -.-. .-. . .-- . -..” He slowly began to translate it: “Y-O-U-R-E-S-C-R-E-W-E-D?” He looked up at the sky. “WELL THANKS A LOT!”

            So, of course, he did what any normal animal would do when they had been insulted by those who are practically gods. He went for a drink.

 

 

 

            It was a run-down bar. Although it wasn’t a run-down bar, it was a well-established restaurant trying to look like a run-down bar. But it really was a run-down bar, so it was a run-down bar trying to look like a class establishment trying to look like a run-down bar. Scar didn’t care; in an hour he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

            He sat down at the bar. The meerkat bartender came over. “What’ll it be?”

            “I want to be outside puking in five minutes.”

            “You got it.”

            As the bartender walked away to fulfill Scar’s request, a rare occurrence happened. A human sat down next to him. In addition to being a species rarely found at all in the kingdom, his clothes reeked of formality. He caught the bartender’s eye and called him over, the bartender setting down Scar’s drink. “Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred.” He looked over at Scar, then did a double take. “Have I seen you before?”

            “Gods forbid,” said Scar. He downed his drink, then suddenly spit it out. “What the hell do you call this?”

            “That’s strawberry ale,” said the bartender.

            “Strawberry ale?

            “Strawberry ale.”

            Scar stared at the bartender for a second, then said, “No, I want beer. Beer-flavored beer. Do I look like I’m some kind of frickin’ queer? No, don’t answer that. Just—go get me a beer. In fact, get me a Heineken.”

            “We don’t have Heineken.”

            “What do you mean?”

            “Ah, well, you see, this isn’t really a bar.”

            “Well then what is it? You’re a bartender, behind the bar, serving drinks.”

            “Well, you see, this is a microbrewery.”

            “Oh, really? Well then go in the back and microbrew me up a frickin’ Heineken! Hell, I’ll settle for a boilermaker!”

            “Well, we may have something that could suit your tastes.” The bartender disappeared into the back, then came up with a small glass in his hand, clear liquid inside the glass. “Here we are.”

            “What is it?”

            “Whiskey.”

            “Great,” said Scar, reaching for the glass.

            The bartender pulled the glass back. “It’s not just any whiskey, though. This is genuine, oak-barrel, family-made sipping whiskey.”

            “Oh really? Watch this.” CLANG! “And get me another and another and I’ll sip the whole frickin’ bottle!”

            “You know, friend,” said the overdressed human, “you really should watch what you drink. It’s bad for your health.”

            “Oh yes, I’m sure you’re one to talk.”

            Ten minutes passed by, and then another ten. The last ten had a more unpleasant time of it, spending the time finding Scar getting steadily drunker after finally getting his paws on a large bottle and a shot glass. It was roughly half an hour later and only after his brain had forcibly removed itself from his processes of thinking in a futile attempt to ward off the oncoming and inevitable hangover that Scar turned around and finally got a good look at the bar.

            It occurred to him that there were a lot more hyenas in this bar than he’d expected. And a lot fewer lions. There were about three in the corner, “about” because they seemed like the kind of crowd that one wouldn’t want to be exactly specific with. But other than those three, the bar was completely devoid of any feline life.

            So what was an inebriated lion to do?

            Scar threw back one final shot, then threw the glass at the first hyena he saw. Scar could understand why the hyena would look at him; he’d just smashed a shot glass against his head. What caught him off guard was the fact that the hyena, for some unfathomable reason, found the act wrong, and proceeded to whack Scar across the face.

            And so, on his first birthday when he actually was allowed to drink, Scar ended up in a bar fight. And traction.

 

 

 

            Scar woke the next morning. He opened his eyes to see a beautifully sexy lioness in front of him, one of her hind legs draped across his body. “Hey there,” she said seductively. That’s strange, thought Scar. That voice sounds an awful lot like

            Then the dry heaves hit.

            Scar leapt up, gagging. “Oh my gods!

            “What? You got a problem?”

            “Mother, never do that again!”

            “Well, I thought it was funny,” said Uru.

            “I’m scarred for life.”

            “Yes, that’s how you got your name.”

            “Why, in the name of all that is holy, were you sleeping with me?”

            “What, you don’t remember last night?”

            There comes a point when an animal can take no more. At that point, they give up completely, and curl into a little ball, whimpering, usually crying for their mommies. Unfortunately, that was the very last animal Scar wanted to cry for. All that came out was incoherent gibberish. Only one animal has no point like this. But Scar is not Chuck Norris.

            “There was a lovely hyena girl who brought you back here. Something about a drunken brawl, and a repeated bashing of your face into the bar. And traction was brought up, too.”

            “Hyenas?”

            “Yes. Very nice. She said she wanted to see you later. They’ve offered you a membership in their local AA.” Uru stood up. “Anyway, I need to see to your father. I think we have a few things to be straightened out after that incident yesterday.”

            As Uru walked out, Scar asked, “What was the hyena’s name?”

            Uru paused before walking on. “It was Marie.”

 

 

 

            Ahadi strode out of the den, his proud, regal mane flowing around him. Every pawstep he took was the sound of power resonating throughout the world. His body was enshrined in an aura of greatness. His strength showed in every move he made, billowing out as his muscles flexed as he walked to the apex—urk!

            Aren’t you dead yet? Oh, well, I’ll stick it in another time to make sure.

            HURK! Heart failing . . . white light growing . . . organs being . . . rearranged alphabetically . . . self-narration fading . . .

            Sorry about that again. Where were you? Ah, yes. Ahadi came out of the den. He called across the lands in a loud, majestic voice: “TOUCAN!”

            He waited for a few moments.

            “Oh, TOUCAN!”

            “I assume you were referring to me, sire?” Ahadi turned to see Zazu standing behind him.

            “Ah, there you are, toucan.”

            “Sire, once again, I feel the need to remind you that I am not—”

            “Oh, spare me the deep, involved, personal monologue of your failure in the fierce competition to be the Fruit Loops mascot. I’m not in the mood.”

            “Maybe if your brain wasn’t the size of a Fruit Loop . . .”

            “What was that, toucan?”

            “Nothing, sire. You were saying?”

            “Where is my oh-so-interested-in-my-wellbeing mate?”

            “I’m here, Ahadi,” said Uru.

            “Ah, there you are. I must tell you, I’ve had the most wonderful idea, and I just had to tell someone.”

            “And it is?”

            “I’ve decided that we’ll go to war.”

            “War,” said Uru.

            “Yes, war.”

            “War.”

            “Yes. You know, where you go to your neighbors like Halloween. Except there’s just one costume. And there’s about thirty thousand trick-or-treaters. And they don’t get treats or tricks, just rape and murder. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

            “Ahadi, dear, we don’t even have a standing army.”

            “All you need is prescription, dear.”

            “You mean conscription.”

            “No, of course not. That’d be forcing animals to do what they don’t want to do, and that’s awful.”

            “Have you thought about the fact that you’re doing just that by going to war?”

            “No, I’m not. Because you see, we’re prescripting, not conscripting. You simply tell the gods that you—well, me anyway, you females are so tame—you tell them you need to exercise your extreme amount of manliness and they give you an army. Just like that.”

            “Really.”

            “It’s really quite easy, dear.”

            “And just why do you want to go to war?”

            “To exercise my extreme amount of manliness.”

            “How about a better reason?”

            “Pacifism, of course.”

            Uru stared at him. After a few moments, she said quietly, “Pacifism.”

            “Pacifism.”

            “You’re going to war to spread pacifism.”

            “Yes, you see, I’ve given this a great deal of thought, and I’d like to be remembered for something when I’m gone. Of course, at first, I thought about donating my brain to science. There was only one problem.”

            “You couldn’t find a jar small enough?” asked Zazu.

            “No, all of the jars we had were currently occupied by brains. Different colors, too. And strange-tasting.”

            “It’s jelly, Ahadi,” said Uru.

            “Nevertheless,” said Ahadi, “I refused to give up! I would have something to remember me by. So I decided to be remembered as a good, peaceful ruler, who ushered in the biggest, grandest era of peace the world has ever seen!”

            “Ahadi, dear, maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a slight flaw in your plan. You’re going to war. That’s peaceful how?”

            “Ah, well that’s the secret, dear. Come here, I’ll tell it to you.” Uru came closer to her mate to hear him whisper, “Corpses.”

            “Corpses?”

            “Shh, shh, keep it down. We don’t want everyone to know, do we?”

            “Ahadi, I don’t understand.”

            “Well, you see, they’re the key to pacifism. They make war a necessary part of peace.”

            “How?”

            “Oh, well corpses are really very nonviolent.”

            “Uh-huh.”

            “I tell you, it’s genius!” proclaimed Ahadi.

            “Tell you what, dear, here’s a better idea. We recently added a gorge to the list of tourist attractions of the kingdom. But some of the animals aren’t too happy about it. Maybe you could—”

            “It’s brilliant!” exclaimed Ahadi. “I know what I’ll do! I’ll build a bridge! A monument to my greatness!”

            “Honey, might I remind you that we are completely without any architectural ability at all?”

            “Shut it, woman! I don’t want to hear any more of your lies! We built this kingdom on rock and roll, dammit! And mortar and bricks and stone! Wood, too!” Ahadi grinned, lost in his visions. “It’ll be huge! Gigantic! Infinitesimal!” Uru and Zazu looked at each other. “It will be the most massive thing the world has ever seen! It will be—will be—”

            “Self-compensation?” proposed Zazu.

            “Exactly!

            “Well, it sounds wonderful, dear. Why don’t you go work on your plans for that bridge, hm? Zazu and I will take care of all the dreary, boring things like ruling a kingdom with an iron paw, how does that sound?”

            Ahadi beamed at his wife. “What did I ever do to get so deserving a mate as you?”

            Uru smiled back. “Just give it a few years of therapy.” She blew Ahadi a kiss as he walked back into the den.

            “May I have the day off again, madam?” asked Zazu.

            “Whatever you want. Just tell me if you notice anything my mate might be up to.”

            “Yes, madam.” Zazu flew off.

            Uru walked to the tip of pride rock and stood there, gazing out over her kingdom. It’s good to be queen. Of a kingdom. Damn.

 

 

 

            Scar shuffled into the shaman’s den, his mother following him. He felt guilty. He wasn’t supposed to feel guilty. That was supposed to be someone else’s job, something he delegated to one of his minions. It wasn’t right for a maniacal, diabolical, future ruler of the world to feel guilty. He saw Sarafina lying on the ground on her stomach, her eyes staring blankly off into space.

            “Ah, hello,” said the shaman, standing up. “Here to see the little patient?”

            “What’s wrong with her?” asked Uru.

            “Well, you see . . . well, I would tell you that I don’t know, but I’m a shaman, so I must know everything. And I can’t tell you that it’s some hard-to-pronounce word, because you’ll think I’m lying. So I’m just going to diagnose it completely incorrectly, and say that she’s suddenly developed split-personality.”

            “That sounds awful,” Uru gasped.

            “Yes, well, it is. Completely dreadful. So, lying to you as I am, I can’t prescribe anything, as it could only make it worse, maybe even kill her you know, which leads to a lawsuit, and it’s just an unbearable amount of paperwork, so . . . it looks like there’s nothing I can do at this time.”

            “But there must be something we can do?”

            “I’m sorry. It looks like only time will tell. It looks like this personality is just a very quiet one. It may not even know how to speak; this may be its first time out. Just give it some time. Spend time with her. Talk with her. Hope for the best.”

            Scar quietly walked to Sarafina and sat down next to her.

            “Shaman, may we talk outside?” asked Uru. She led him outside and said to him, “In all seriousness, is there anything we can do?”

            “Seriousness? In this story? See, even that’s a joke.”

            “I can feed you your intestines if you’d like. You’d be amazed what it’s like to digest food that way.”

            The shaman looked at Uru in shock, then said, “Look, she’s a vegetable. She hasn’t moved since she got in my den!”

            Inside the den, Scar lowered his head to hers and nuzzled her gently. “Sarafina?”

            Her ears twitched.

            “I’d love to help, believe me, but really, I didn’t even really go to college, it was more of a drunken fraternity thing—”

            Uru’s mouth opened in shock as Sarafina suddenly sprang up and began to repeatedly bash Scar’s head into the stone wall of the den, with the accompanying noise.

            “Yes, I know, shocking, isn’t it? You’d actually be amazed at how little you have to do. Just a little money here, a little sex with a T.A. there—”

            Sarafina began to fold Scar in half backwards.

            “Oh, nothing kinky,” said the shaman, misreading the look on Uru’s face. “Although there was this one that was—well to tell you the truth, she was rather over-the-hill, so you can imagine what that was like . . .”

            Insides on the outside and outsides on the insides and innards into outtards and—and—and pain. Lots of pain.

            “Yeah, I’m pretty sure my face looked like that the whole time. Thank the gods it was just that one time, though. There’s this guy that comes over here all the time and asks me to ‘check him over—’”

            Was that his spleen rupturing?

            “Yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s gay. Although if you ever want to know anything about fashion, he’s your guy, believe it. He actually brought me over this lovely fur coat, it’s adorable, you have to see it—”

            No, that’s his spleen. You can tell by the blood slowly dripping down the wall.

            “Is that screaming?” The shaman turned around to see Sarafina walking toward him and Uru. “It’s a miracle! And I love that red on your fur, it looks so good on you!”

            “If you’ll excuse me,” said Sarafina, “I just need to go hose myself down . . .”

            “A miracle. Truly a miracle.” The shaman turned toward the den. “Now you see, that’s something I can fix.”

            “Looks like it’s something for traction, isn’t it?” stated Uru.

            “No, not really . . . aw, what the hell, we’ve missed him.”

            Scar slowly passed out.

 

 

 

            Scar woke to find himself staring at himself staring at himself.

            In not being able to understand the previous sentence, he screamed like a little girl.

            “Where am I? Who am I? Who are you? You’ll never get me to talk!”

            An exact doppelganger of Scar sat opposite him inside what appeared to be a dreary torture chamber. “Oh, we won’t?”

            “You won’t!”

            “We won’t? Or we will?

            “We—you—I—damn you and your mind games!”

            “Well, it’s only fitting that you find yourself outsmarted by me,” said the doppelganger. “As for what you’re doing here, the Great Kings of the Past, Inc. have decided that you need to see the ‘horrifying consequences of your stupid actions.’”

            “‘Inc.?’”

            “Just something to help with the taxes. They do have wonderful company barbeques, though.”

            “Why do I get the feeling I’m missing out on a huge chunk of what I should know?” asked Scar.

            “Let me spell it out for you. They feel that you need to face your inner demons, and what better time for an epiphany than when you’ve passed out due to lack of blood?”

            “So . . . is this supposed to mean that my demon—my worst enemy, so to speak—is myself?” asked Scar.

            “Actually, no. You see, the only thing that they could come up with to completely encompass your evil actions, the only thing that can fully take in the absolute monstrosity that is the evil within you—well, it’s yourself.”

            “Really? I’m flattered.”

            “It’s unprecedented.”

            There was an awkward silence.

            “Well, this is awkward,” said the doppelganger.

            “So . . . what exactly is it that I’m supposed to do now?”

            “Well, it’s kind of a ‘vanquish your demons’ thing. I suppose you just off me. I am your inner evil made real, after all.”

            “All my sins and stuff made real?”

            “Pretty much?”

            “What about that thing when I was two?”

            The doppelganger became blurry, then suddenly had a massive, curved horn spring out of its forehead. “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.”

            “Okay then, what about that time that I nuked a hole in the kingdom?”

            “That tickles . . .” The doppelganger sprouted large, bat-like wings.

            “Okay, what about that time I orphaned that little cub . . .”

 

 

 

Several Minutes Later . . .

 

            “Well what about that time—”

            “You know what?” said the long-clawed, sharp-toothed, muscle-bound, winged, spiked, red-eyed, slavering, horned, scaly, deep-voiced, dark-aura-emitting, demonic doppelganger. “You should really stop talking.”

            “Shouldn’t we make sure that this is done thoroughly?” asked Scar. “If you are the accumulation of all my sins, shouldn’t I make sure I get rid of all of them?”

            “Point.”

            “But why would I want to get rid of you?”

            “It’s kind of the whole reason you’re here instead of unconscious,” pointed out the doppelganger.

            “But it’d be almost a kind of self-cleansing.”

            “That’s the point.”

            “But do the Great Kings of the Past really expe—”

            “Inc.”

            “—the Great Kings of the Past Inc. really expect me to go through with that? Considering who I am and all? I mean, you’re all of my sins made real! My evil side! What would you do?”

            The doppelganger stared off into space. “Huh. You know, I really don’t know. It’s so much simpler this way, yes. Simple, violent solutions to everything. But if I kill you, then I’d cease to exist being this way. But I can’t have you being around, you’re just as evil as me, and I’m sure you feel the same, only you can’t kill me, because you’d turn into something horribly nice.”

            “Then there’s no possible arrangement for it to work,” said Scar.

            “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse,” said the doppelganger.

            “I'm afraid so. I can’t compete with you physically. And you’re no match for my brains.”

            “You’re that smart?”

            “Let me put it this way: have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?”

            “Yes.”

            “Morons,” dismissed Scar.

            “Really? In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits,” said the doppelganger.

            “For the princess?” asked Scar.

            The doppelganger nodded.

            “To the death?”

            The doppelganger nodded.

            “I accept.”

            “Good. Then pour the wine,” said the doppelganger.

            “Wait, what? Hey, that’s completely the wrong story!”

            “Oh. Right.”

            “How am I supposed to work under these conditions?”

            “Hey, what about me?”

            Scar sighed. “Look, we’re getting absolutely nowhere—”

            “Actually, you’re fading.”

            “What?”

            “You know, kind of like mist,” said the doppelganger. “You know, you’re probably going to want some aspirin.”

            “What? Why?”

 

 

 

            Scar came to, only to discover a splitting headache. “AH! ASPIRIN!”

            He then felt a massive shot of pain in his skull again.

            “AUGH! NO, MORPHINE!”

            He felt another shot of pain, along with two shots of chocolate, and a little bit of peppermint to add flavor.

            “AUGH!

            “Hey, you asked for the morphine, buddy.” Scar looked up to see a hyena with a paw wrapped around an IV drip leading into Scar’s leg.

            “Who are you? What are you doing here? You’ll never get me to talk!”

            “You said that already. You talk in your sleep.”

            “I do?”

            “Oh, yes. Now if you don’t mind, me and the boys here need you to meet the boss. It’d be—best for your health.”

            “You do realize I’m in traction, right?”

            “Uh . . . alright, boys, let’s take him away!”

 

 

 

            Transporting Scar wasn’t the easiest task. There was no stretcher to transport him on. Luckily, this being the good old U.S. of A., all that was needed was to threaten to sue the shaman to bring—what do you mean this isn’t the U.S.? This is Africa? That’s crazy! They don’t have lions and hyenas in Africa! We’ve killed them all off! Don’t you tell me to read the script, I’ll do what I want! I’m not getting paid nearly enough—

            Click.

            Ah. My readers, I apologize for the above paragraph. Ahem—Scar’s captors obtained a stretcher from—no, I am not going to read that

            Click-CLICK.

            Look, it doesn’t even make sense from a timeline standard, this story happened years ago, pre-1994, and this happened today. And it’s shockingly tasteless—

            Shing.

            Ah—guns I can tolerate. Just please put the pin back in the grenade. Pretty please? Fine, I’ll read it. Scar obtained a stretcher from high-placed friends in the Myanmar Junta, the stretcher originally intended for typhoon victims. Later, in a press conference asking for an explanation for his inappropriate actions, the lion simply commented, “9/11.”

            Fortunately, by the time Scar reached the destination, the stretcher was unnecessary. Apparently a gun in his back was, however, which was extremely difficult, as Scar was walking on all fours, and hyenas have no hands.

            The group stopped inside the Elephant Graveyard and outside an expensive-looking mansion made entirely out of ivory. “Inside,” said one of the hyenas.

            Scar stopped and stared at the hyena. “What?”

            “Inside. Now.”

            Scar just stared.

            “Come on. Inside. Now.”

            “You’re racist against verbs, aren’t you?”

            The hyena glared at Scar. “Break. Burn. Die.”

            “Ah, just against full sentences, then,” said Scar as he walked inside. He was ushered up the stairs, also made of ivory. He was ushered into a room, the doors made of ivory, and the room containing numerous ivory statues. PETA would have a field day if they didn’t pass out first.

            A hyena waited outside a large set of double doors. “The doĖa will see you now,” said the hyena, the door opening behind him. Scar walked through the doors to see a large ebony desk in the center of the room, a chair with its back turned to him behind him. The doors closed, two other hyenas in the room with Scar. The chair slowly turned around.

            “Do you know who I am?” asked the female hyena.

            “I think so. Remember, we had that deal in chapter one? You kill my brother, we’re both happy?”

            “You do not refer to the story as if you know what is going on,” said the hyena.

            “And why not?”

            “Because there are horrible consequences for doing so.”

            Scar suddenly found himself in a rather fetching pink dress. “Hey!”

            “The author does not tolerate insubordination.”

            “Hey, it’s bad enough that I have to walk around with a voice in my head—possibly one with better vocabulary—narrating everything I do, and now you expect me to ignore it?”

            “You did for the last three chapters. It could be worse for you, I guarantee it.”

            “I doubt it.”

            Scar found himself in a bridal gown.

            “So will you be throwing the garter before or after our little talk?” asked the hyena.

            “But I haven’t even had time to call all my friends, set up a reception, get a cake, set a date, pick a place, bicker over whether it should be white, beige, or eggshell, nag my family over little details that don’t matter while my fiancé goes out and parties as if he doesn’t care at all—”

            “How about this? We start over.”

            The chair slowly turned around.

            “Do you know who I am?” asked the female hyena.

            “The one with the nicest clubhouse on the block?”

            “I am DoĖa Shetani.”

            “. . .” began Scar.

            “I would like you applaud your audacity in crossing the Hyenatelli family.”

            “. . .”

            The doĖa got up from her chair. “So far, we have been promised great prosperity from you. We have gotten in return the death of one of my family, a costly bar brawl in my privately owned tavern, and a sudden activity in the graveyard’s thermal vents that pollutes the air.”

            “. . .”

            The doĖa motioned for Scar to sit in a bare wooden chair. He slowly sat down as she said, “So, one question automatically comes to my mind . . .” Scar suddenly found himself strapped to the chair by the two minions. The doĖa produced a butterfly knife, stylishly whipping it open. “Do I leave one or cut them both off?”

            “!!!”

            “Very well. Both.”

            “Wait! Wait just a minute,” pleaded Scar. “You don’t understand, I didn’t mean for any of that to happen!”

            “We have yet to receive anything from you, despite the prosperity you promised once we killed Mufasa.”

            “Well, that hasn’t exactly happened yet, has it?”

            “You obviously don’t understand how this works,” said the doĖa, dangling the knife.

            “Flowers!” yelled Scar. “I’ll send you flowers!” He looked around at the guards, both of them staring at him like he was mad. “What? It’s what females want.”

            Scar’s attention snapped back to the doĖa as she slammed the knife into the chair between Scar’s legs. “You have ten seconds to convince me not to make an example of you.”

            “I thought you guys usually, you know, cut off a finger or something,” said Scar, feeling his paws become wet with sweat.

            “Eight.”

            “Alright, alright, really, it’s not my fault any of it. Mufasa killed your guy, didn’t he?”

            “Six.”

            “And I didn’t push the big red button, I swear, I didn’t, Sarafina set off the bomb, it was—”

            “Four.”

            “The bar—please, you have to believe me, I was drunk, I didn’t know, it was actually the human, he comes and shoots up places, just call England and ask—”

            “Two,” said the doĖa, wrenching the knife out of the chair.

            “Look, if this is about the hyena that got me out of there, I didn’t touch her, I swear, she was actually pretty ugly—”

            It became very apparent that this was the wrong thing to say. The most obvious thing was by the way the hyena kicked Scar squarely in the chest, sending the chair onto its back, and then straddling him with the knife to his throat.

            The second most obvious thing was when the doĖa said, “That hyena is my daughter.”

            “Ah. Well, she certainly is a striking one—” Scar stopped talking as the knife was pressed firmly against his throat.

            Opportunity has often been described as an open door. Rarely it has been described as a door crashing open due to a hyena, who almost immediately backs off and says, “Oh, sorry, didn’t know you were busy.”

            “Shenzi!” snapped the doĖa. “This lion has said you’re ugly.”

            “And?”

            “You’ll allow him to disrespect the family?”

            “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” dismissed the hyena.

            “He insulted us!”

            “So cut off a finger or something.”

            “He needs discipline!”

            “Why don’t I show you something I learned, Ma?” asked the hyena. She went to Scar and tipped the chair back up on its legs. “Now look, you’ve been bad, haven’t you?”

            Scar nodded feverishly.

            “So, because you’re so cute, this time, we’ll let you go.” The hyena smiled. “But the next time, here’s what’s could happen. You’ve met my mother, obviously. Well, she enjoys musical instruments. You’ll be locked in a room with only her and a box full of nasty objects that will be used to play Beethoven’s Fifth. She excels at percussion.”

            Scar made a sound much akin to a mouse being squashed.

            “But that’s what could happen. What will happen is the next time you cross me, you will be pilgrimed. Relentlessly.”

            “Huh?”

            “Of course, we’re always welcome to gifts. I’ve currently had my eye on something that goes from zero to two hundred in under ten. If you were to get us a few of these, maybe a few other items, I’m sure we could find some middle ground.”

            Scar nodded.

            The hyena kissed him on the cheek. “There’s a good boy.” She turned to the guards. “Escort him out.”

 

 

 

            “Hey there, little bro!” said Mufasa. “Where you been?”

            “Mufasa, I don’t have time for this,” hissed Scar.

            “Time for what?” Scar turned to see his mother walking toward him. “Apparently you have enough time to get up and walk out of traction.”

            “It was actually on a stretcher.”

            “Ooh, what happened?” asked Mufasa.

            “Mufasa?” said Uru.

            “Yeah?”

            “Your tail just insulted you.”

            “What?!” roared Mufasa. He immediately began to chase it. “I’ll show it who’s boss!”

            “That’ll keep him occupied for a few hours,” said Uru. “Now we’re going to go over here, and discuss what wonderful thing happened.”

            “Um . . . well, I don’t think you’re going to like it . . .”

            “Oh, I don’t doubt it,” said Uru with a sharp, tooth-filled grin.

            “Well, um . . . you see . . . I’ve been trying to kill Muffy . . .”

            “Go on.”

            “And I—made some commitments along the way . . .”

            “To who?”

            “Well . . . the uh . . . *cough*Hyenatellis*cough*.” Scar sniffled. “Sorry, allergies.”

            “That’s quite alright, dear. So, just who was it?”

            “Um . . .”

            “The wonderful thing,” said Uru, producing a pistol, “is that this thing is so touchy, it goes off at a cough.”

            “Ah . . . well . . . if you could please point it in any other direction . . .”

            Uru cocked the handgun.

            “Right . . . well, it’s the . . . Hyenatelli family.”

            “Did I just hear you say that you owe a debt to the hyena mob?”

            “Scar,” said Uru, spreading a motherly foreleg, albeit one holding a gun, over his shoulders and drawing him close, “let me tell you something.”

 

 

 

            “YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!

 

 

 

            “Really, if you could point that at any other place—” began Scar.

            Uru pulled the trigger. “Relax,” she said as Scar collapsed, screaming bloody murder. “It’s paintball. Do you really think I’d shoot you?

            Scar wept.

            “So, all we have to do is find some way to get the Hyenatellis unpissed off at you without giving them half the kingdom. So what is it you did? And stop grabbing there, it’s extremely inappropriate.”

            Scar lolled, sobbing.

            “Do I have to shoot you again?”

            Scar screamed.

            “Then tell me what they asked for.”

            “A car,” wheezed out Scar. “A car, just please gods, don’t point that thing at me—”

            “That’s it?”

            “It was a start . . .”

            “Scar, do you realize that this is probably going to accumulate a debt of at least three billion dollars by the time we’re through?”

            “Mother—”

            “Do you realize that’s three billion dollars that could have been used to hire one hitman, have him take Mufasa around the back of Pride Rock, and kill him, leaving at least two billion, nine hundred and ninety-nine million to be spent on much needed things like the kingdom?!

            “Mother—”

            “And do you realize that this is going to make your mother very, very unhappy?!!”

            “Mother, please, you don’t need to act like this. Really, it’s only because you were—neglected by your friends and mother as a child, they excluded you out of their activities, so you grew up full of rage at them and now you’re venting it on me because you can’t do it to Muffy, because he’s Dad’s prized son, which makes you even more mad because he chose an idiot for a successor.”

            Uru let out a long, low snarl.

            “Wait! I have another theory! You’re a pacifist!”

            Uru fired off another shot.

 

 

 

            When Scar had finally recovered enough to move out of the den once again, he found Mufasa outside with Sarabi, Sarabi holding down Mufasa’s tail while he beat it bloody with a rock. Mufasa finally threw the rock away. “That’ll teach you to talk back to me!” yelled Mufasa.

            “You show it who’s boss, baby!” said Sarabi, nuzzling Mufasa.

            “Oh, hey, little bro!” said Mufasa.

            “Mufasa,” said Scar, “if you ever call me ‘little bro’ again, I will rent a chariot, take your tongue, nail it to said chariot, and ride repeatedly around Pride Rock.”

            “Sounds like fun little bro,” said Mufasa. “Hey, it sounded like you had some trouble with Mom.”

            Scar mumbled incoherently.

            “What was it about?”

            “I need to get something that goes from zero to two hundred in less than ten seconds fast.”

            “Hey, I can do that for you.”

            Scar eyed Mufasa suspiciously. “How?”

            “I know a guy. He’s great at it. He can get it tomorrow.”

            “OH, GODS, THANK YOU!” gasped Scar, hugging his brother tightly. “You have no idea how much this means! I swear, I’ll never try to kill you again!”

            “I love you, too, little bro.”

 

 

 

            “Er—doĖa, madam Marie . . . there is a package waiting for you outside.”

            “Well bring it in,” said the doĖa.

            “I’m afraid it is too large to fit through the door, doĖa.”

            Shenzi grinned. “See, Ma? You just need to know which levers to pull.”

            “Hmph. Where is the package?” asked the doĖa.

            “It is outside. In the driveway,” said the minion.

            The doĖa and her daughter walked out to the driveway, looking at the large, cardboard box with a bow on top of it. “Was there a note?” asked the doĖa.

            “Here, doĖa.”

            Shenzi read over her mother’s shoulder: “To the Hyenatellis, with my sincerest apologies, Scar.”

            “I hate to say I told you so, Ma.”

            “You were right this time.” The doĖa turned to the minion. “Open the box,” she said.

            “I’m hoping for sleek and black,” said Shenzi.

            The minion removed the bow and the sides of the box fell out.

            Shenzi gasped.

            It was sleek.

            It was black.

            It had, sure enough, a meter that went all the way to two hundred.

            It was a single bathroom scale.

            “That’s it, I’m gonna kill him.”

 

 

 

            Mealtimes are a tedious time for all families. And if they aren’t tedious for you, well then, you just aren’t trying hard enough. The key is to include just a hint of sarcasm in all of your comments. If you don’t hate each other, you can’t call yourself a family. No, Disney is wrong. They think animals can talk and you think they know what a family is? Disney froze himself to avoid going to the funny farm. But I digress . . .

            “So, honey, how was being king today?” asked Uru.

            “They keep talking on and on about money,” grumbled Ahadi.

            “Who, dear?”

            “These accountants! Honestly, I think that we should just put ’em up against the wall and kill ’em all. And the lawyers.”

            “Hmm. What do you think, Scar?”

            “I think that animals like Dad are going to be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.”

            Uru glared at her son. “Did I tell you, honey? Scar managed to make some new friends with the hyenas.”

            “He what?!” roared Ahadi.

            “Don’t worry, they only want to kill him after they extort billions out of the kingdom’s revenue, which will make those accountants even more annoying.”

            “They what?!

            “And he recently became a vegetarian.”

            “That’s it!” yelled Ahadi, standing up. “I will not have a communist in my family!”

            “What?” asked Scar, confused.

            “I know what you’re up to! Taking our money since yours is no good! Trying to steal our cutting-edge architectural bridge-building techniques! You’re as red as Orson Welles, and you know it!”

            “He wasn’t a communist.”

            “Then what do you call those giant machines with those foghorns-from-Hell?”

            “The War of the Worlds.”

            “Between the commies and us upstanding decent, moral animals! Animals like you have no respect! If it were up to you, we’d all be heiling Hitler!”

            “Those are Nazis.”

            “We should have nuked you all!”

            “There’s M.A.D.”

            Ahadi’s eyes narrowed into slits. “I knew you were behind mad cow disease.”

            “Mother, please,” pleaded Scar, “I’m dying over here.”

            “Not yet you aren’t. We’re going to isolate you, just like we were doing before those damn dirty commie democrats got their hands on our government! God bless America!”

            “This is—oh, shit.” Scar backed away from the carcass the lions were sitting around. “If you’ll excuse me . . .” He ran out of the den.

            “I’m not finished with you, you godless, Stalin-sucking, homosexual pedophile!” roared Ahadi. His mate caught his eye. “What? He’s a vegetarian. I just made the next logical jump.”

            “Where is he?” The lions in the den turned to see an enraged hyena in the den entrance. “Where is that damned, Hell-bound lion?”

            “I’m sorry,” said Ahadi, “but my mother-in-law just passed away.”

            “Where’s Scar?” demanded Shenzi.

            “He just ran off,” said Uru. “He has a sixth sense for cowardice.”

            “Oh, he’s dead,” muttered the hyena, stalking off. “He’s dead . . .”

 

 

 

            Scar ran until he finally reached the kingdom’s most recent addition. Having just turned five o’clock, all of the animals working on the bridge across the gorge, being union, had disappeared. Scar found himself alone. He finally collapsed in relief alongside the edge and stared down at the healthy green glow the gorge was emitting. Something awful had been making his sneaky sense tingle.

            But now, thankfully, he was safe.

            The thought was still going through his mind as he felt a freight train suddenly ram into him, knocking him down the side of the gorge, the freight train also somehow having arms and legs and a strange hat. Scar rolled bumpily down the side of the gorge, hitting what seemed to be every hard spot on the way down, the vicious beast on top of him pummeling him as he flailed, consumed by fear.

            Scar finally hit the floor of the gorge, skidding across the ground. He curled instinctively into a small ball, closing his eyes tight. He heard footsteps walking around him. He opened his eyes to see the scary, demonic figure of a human in black clothing and a very strange hat with a buckle. The human simply pointed one finger at him and whispered insidiously:

            “Pilgrimed.”

            Scar’s body let itself go and he passed out.

 

 

 

            When Scar came to, he found himself in the den that was generally reserved for those who were Pregnant or Troublesome, Tricky Youngsters, or the P.O.T.T.Y. What he had done to be thrown in here, he didn’t know. Alright, maybe he did know, but usually his mother had looked after him, despite her sudden streak of vengeance.

            He smelled urine, and embarrassedly remembered that he had relieved himself just before passing out. Being a cat and not a filthy dog, who apparently only bathe if it involves bananas, he instinctively began to clean himself. Unfortunately, this was the worst possible position when another male suddenly walked in and casually flopped down on the floor.

            “What a night,” said the lion. “Sorry, I would have come sooner, but there was a little bit of a party last night. Went for cocktails. The cock was mine, the tail belonged to a beautiful young thing—”

            “Who the hell are you?” asked Scar.

            “Oh, sorry. My name’s Chisan,” said the lion with a smile.

            “And what the hell are you doing here?”

            “Oh, I’m just here for a while. Maybe a couple of years.”

            “And who the hell said so?”

            “I think your mother. She might have been my first choice, but Sarafina just couldn’t keep her paws off.” Chisan laughed.

            “Excuse me?”

            “Sarafina. She was great.”

            “You mean—you—and her—”

            “Yeah. You know, I think you and I are going to be great friends,” said Chisan, placing a foreleg around Scar’s shoulder.

            On Mars, the first sound ever to travel through space was recorded as an anguished scream.

 

 

 

            “I want him gone!” yelled Scar. “Gone, you hear me?!”

            “Why?” asked Uru innocently. “He’s a nice enough lion. Very nice, very polite—”

            “He’s—he’s gay! Yes, gay!”

            “Not from what I hear happened last night . . .” said Uru with a wink.

            “Gods, does everyone know what happened?”

            “Just about. Not your father, though.”

            “Then I’ll tell Dad!”

            “Do you really think he would listen to a commie like you?”

            “But I—grrr . . .”

            “Don’t worry. The good news is, Chisan’s a commie just like you. You can have a wonderful time plotting to overthrow the bourgeois together.”

            “But I’m not a commie! I love my throne!”

            “Hey, you’re the vegetarian.”

            “I am on a vegetarian diet,” said Scar. “I just prefer them. It’s actually pretty good exercise, they run pretty fast. Kind of stringy, though.”

            Uru slapped Scar across the face.

            “What the hell was that for?”

            “Look at you!” said Uru. “Gods, what’s happened to you? You used to be Scar, the scourge of the kingdom! And now look at you! You’re asking your mommy for help in getting rid of an unpleasant denmate. What is wrong with you? I thought you were my son!”

            “In my defense, my mommy is a killing machine,” said Scar.

            Uru sighed. “Scar, I love you, but I’m not going to be around here for you forever.”

            “What do you mean? You always said you’d be here for me,” sniffled Scar.

            “Your father and I are going on a cruise next week. I fully expect you not to make a total mess of the kingdom when I’m gone.”

            “Hey, I’m responsible—”

            “Which is exactly the problem! Look at you, always toeing the line with me. Get a spine, Scar! You have a denmate who’s sleeping with your girl, a herd of wildebeest completely irradiated, the entire Underground pissed off at you, you’ve irreparably insulted the Hyenatelli family, and you have a brother to overthrow and kill.”

            “And the author says he doesn’t have any story ideas . . .”

            Scar found himself wearing bondage. A/N: What was that?

            “Nothing, nothing.”

            A/N: Good.

            “Remember what Mommy always said?” asked Uru.

            “‘Killing means never having to say you’re sorry.’”

            “And do you remember what you did when you were two?” reminded Uru. “Something so awful, something so atrocious, I can’t even bring myself to mention it.”

            Scar smiled. “That was fun.”

            “And just a week ago you were trying to obliterate Mufasa with a nuke.”

            “It made sense at the time.”

            “See, though? What happened to that lion? What have you done lately except run for your life?”

            “You know what?” reflected Scar. “You’re right. You’re right! I’ll stand up, and fight!”

            “How dare you!” Scar and Uru turned to see Ahadi storming toward them. “Your running is an affront to the system! How can we let commies like you run?”

            “Dear, he’s stopped running,” said Uru.

            “Damn right!” said Ahadi. “Just like you Stalin-loving bastards to be cowards. That’s all you know! Cowardice. There can only be one king of the Pridelands.”

            “Dear, I think you’ve gone crazy again,” said Uru.

            “Of course I haven’t! I simply want the right lion to be elected king!”

            Uru gave Scar a look that said, “Yes, you may leave now and stop your ears from bleeding.” “Dear, king isn’t an elected position.”

            “Tell that to the populace! And they’ve put up a very strong contender, too.”

            “And who, though I will regret asking, is that?”

            “That rock.”

            “A rock,” said Uru, looking at the large slab sticking out of the precipice of Pride Rock, which provided shade from the moonlight for a future king of the Pridelands that hadn’t yet been born.

            “And they’ve got one hell of a slogan, too. ‘Make your vote rock-solid. Vote for Rocky.’”

            “Uh-huh.”

            “The worst part is that he’s got deep roots to this land, and a big family. He’s got the den’s vote, and the precipice. It’s going to be a close race.”

            “I’m sure it will be, dear.”

            “But I need a really good counter-slogan. Can you think of any?”

            “Vote for Stupid?”

            “That’s—brilliant! Yes, and we can even have Mr. T. over here to help out and pity me!” Ahadi kissed his wife on the forehead. “What did I do to deserve you?”

            “Believe me dear, if the sex wasn’t so great, I would have left a long time ago.”

            “And we can portray him as an elitist!”

            “Ahadi?”

            “What, woman?”

            “Your brain is beating itself to death again.”

            “But the rock is an elitist! At least compared to me . . .”

            “We’re going on a cruise, dear.”

            “But what do you want me to do?” asked Ahadi. “I can’t just say ‘don’t vote for him because he’s black!’”

            “Of course. How racist of me. You know what dear? Why don’t you go make those banners and posters now that you have that wonderful slogan now?”

            “Actually, I think the First Lady is supposed to do that . . .”

            “Sex.”

            “On second thought, I’ll get right on that!” said Ahadi, rushing off.

            Uru sighed. Laura, you’ve got it easy.

 

 

 

            “Marie!” called Shetani as she walked through her beautiful, elitist, ivory home. “Marie!” No matter where she looked she, couldn’t find her daughter.

            She walked into the kitchen. “Marie!” Her eye was caught by a note pinned to the refrigerator door.

            Gone killin’. Be back home for dinner. Love, Shenzi Marie.

 

 

 

            “Hey. Asshole.”

            “Actually, the name’s Chisan. You’d do well to remember it.” The lion stretched on the floor of the den.

            “Yeah. Whatever. Get out.”

            Chisan looked over to see Scar in the middle of the den entrance. “But I just got here.” Chisan stood up, smiling. “And besides, there are so many things to do here. Ladies, too.”

            “Last chance.”

            Chisan laughed. “You don’t have a choice in the matter. So unless you’d like a very prolonged and unpleasant life, I suggest you do just as I ask.”

            “Um . . . isn’t that threat usually the other way around? More of a ‘pain-filled death’ thing?”

            Chisan walked to Scar and placed a paw on his shoulder. Scar’s eyes widened at the icy touch. “I mean what I say. So, if you really do want to get on my bad side, there’s one thing you should always ask yourself first: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well? Do you, punk?”

            “Erm . . . I think . . . er . . . what we have here is a failure to communicate,” said Scar quietly.

            “Good boy. Now, I’ll be staying here for the duration of my visit, right?”

            “Um—hey, wait!” said Scar, his mind suddenly snapping back to normal. “You get out right now!”

            “The only way you’re getting me out of here is by dragging me out of here in a body bag.”

            Scar sprang at the other lion, the two of them sprawling across the floor, sinking their claws into each other. The fight abruptly stopped as an anguished scream was heard.

            “I don’t remember doing anything today,” mused Chisan. “Here, um, you wait right here,” he said, getting off of Scar, “and I’ll be back in a few minutes, okay?”

            “Huh? Hey, where you going? Finish the fight!”

            “Oh, shut up. All your base belong to us, anyway.”

 

 

 

            “Where is he?!” yelled Shenzi. The lionesses in the den cowered in front of her, Mufasa and Ahadi standing in the very back. “I’ll kill him! I’ll gut him from head to tail! I’ll kill him!!

            “And who might that be?”

            Shenzi whirled around to see Chisan standing in the entrance of the den. Her eyes widened as she pointed behind him. “Him! HIM!

            Chisan looked at Scar standing behind him. “Didn’t I tell you to be a good boy and wait?”

            “No, you distinctly said—”

            “I’ll kill you!

            “No,” said Scar, “it was something more like—”

            “Didn’t you hear me?! I’ll KILL YOU!!

            “Would you please let us talk?” said Scar to Shenzi. “We big boys are trying to have a conversation.”

            “Scar, she wants to kill you,” said Chisan.

            “Pfft, I know that.”

            “Just give it a couple seconds to set in.”

            “Yeah, right.” Scar turned to Shenzi, “Now look—” His eyes suddenly widened. “Oh gods, she wants to kill me!

            “Wait a second,” said Mufasa, stepping in front of the lionesses, “isn’t there some kind of law against this?”

            “You know, he may have something there,” said Chisan.

            “Yeah,” said Scar, “a learning disorder.”

            “I’m beginning to think you’re a masochist.”

            “I’m pretty sure there’s some law that says girls can’t kill anyone,” said Mufasa.

            “Just girls?” asked Chisan.

            “Yeah. Hey, you wanna hear a joke?” asked Scar. “Women’s rights.”

            Chisan and Mufasa looked at each other. “So,” Chisan asked Shenzi, “do you mind if I step off to the side before you lose complete control?”

            “Oh, go ahead,” she said politely.

            “Thank you,” said Chisan.

            “Hey, wait a second—” said Scar, suddenly noticing the lack of bodies between him and Shenzi. “Okay, hold on, I can explain—oh! Oh gods, that’s not supposed to go there—aiiiiiiiiieeeeee! Oh, oh gods—no more, I don’t want it, Idon’twantitIdon’twantitIdon’twantit—augh! Oh, sweet jeebus—”

            Schluck!

            “Oh, so that’s what that looks like. Huh. OH GODS IT HURTS!!! Mommy! Mommy, please gods make it stop—hurk! AUGH!!! Why won’t I die?!!

            Chisan snickered.

            Shenzi took one final look at Scar and ran off of Pride Rock.

 

 

 

            The hyena underling knocked hesitantly on the door. “Madam Marie?” He pressed an ear to the door. It felt so wrong to be listening in on her, yet he couldn’t help it. His eyes widened as he heard sobbing. He opened the door a crack to see her sitting on her custom bed, which had been specifically made out of the skulls of her enemies. She was watching something on a television that the hyena couldn’t see, while at the same time holding on to a girl’s real best friend, Häagen-Dazs. He poked his head in further to see something that looked undeniably like The Notebook on the television.

            Unfortunately, the sight of the horrible, horrible chick flick was enough to make the hyena’s male-filter shut down completely. The next thing that hit his eyes was the horrible, horrible, unmanly shade of pink that the room had on everything. He whimpered, only to have the next thing that hit his eyes be a spoon.

            “Get out!” screamed Shenzi.

            “Ma’am, I—” The hyena gulped as a half-emptied quart of rocky road smashed into the wall next to him.

            “Get out!

            “Ma’am—” The hyena’s eyes widened as three shuriken were suddenly embedded in the wall next to his ear. “Look, ma’am—”

            Shenzi let out a snarl. She picked up the hyena and bodily tossed him against the wall, the hyena bouncing off and landing on her bed. “What the hell do you want, you pig?!”

            “Um . . . your mother says dinner’s ready?”

            “Do I look like I care about dinner?!”

            “I didn’t mean to upset you, ma’am—”

            “You know what upsets me? I try to be nice to him, and he doesn’t even care! He turns around and calls me fat!!”

            “I—”

            “What? You want to call me fat, too? Go ahead and do it!” She jumped on the bed, the hyena trying to scoot away. “I worked for years on this body! You think this beautifully sculpted rear just came that way? These rock-hard abs?”

            The hyena just stared, his mouth hanging open.

            Shenzi sniffled. “And for once, I really liked a guy! And he calls me fat!!”

            “Oh, you’re not fat—” The hyena shut his mouth as Shenzi’s suddenly murderous glare shifted to him.

            “What did you say?”

            “You’re—uh—you’re actually quite pretty . . .”

            Shenzi kneeled down next to him. “You—you really think so?”

            The hyena slowly nodded. He had never actually been this close to her before, usually because anyone this close to her was wishing earnestly that he wasn’t. “I—”

            Shenzi cut him off as she wrapped a paw around the back of his head and kissed him, her tongue pushing into his mouth.

 

 

 

A while later . . .

 

            “That was—unexpected,” said the hyena. He looked over at Shenzi, who laid next to him, cuddling him. “By the way, I’m Banzai.”

            Shenzi smiled. “You’re cute.” She kissed him again.

 

 

 

            “By all standards, you should have been dead,” said the shaman. “There really isn’t any medical explanation for it.”

            “Are you sure you couldn’t be wrong, doc?” asked Scar. Chisan sat next to him, admiring his claws.

            “Sire, you had—” The shaman looked down at a list. “Your intestines, spleen, appendix, heart, thyroid, gallbladder, and left kidney removed. We also ran a CAT scan and found a complete lack of brain matter, though that may have been mixed up with Prince Mufasa’s . . . Either way, you should be dead. However, we were able to successfully put all of the organs back in. You should be fine now.”

            “But I was supposed to be dead.”

            “Yes.”

            “Doc, would you give us a minute?” asked Chisan.

            “Sure,” said the shaman, walking out of the den.

            Chisan sighed. “Listen, sorry about the whole ‘death’ thing. I would have done something, really, but I just—you know, it was funny. Really funny.”

            “Funny? Me getting disemboweled by the angry hyena was funny?

            “Well, the fictioner wrote it that way . . .”

            Scar waited. “You’re not wearing a dress.”

            “He’s scared of me.”

            “Why?”

            “Um—well, it’s funny you ask. You see, about the whole dying thing . . . I’m kind of death.”

            “I’m sorry, did you say you were dead?”

            “No, death. You know, like Death death. Grim Reaper?”

            Scar stared at Chisan like he was crazy.

            “Okay, look, this better?” Suddenly Chisan’s body had lost all flesh, instead appearing as a sickly skeleton. “Believe me now?”

            “I’m sharing a den with Death?”

            “Well, now you are. I was supposed to be leaving today, you know, after your untimely demise by that hyena and all, but I just kind of thought it’d be funnier to watch her—yeah . . .”

            “You put me through that for fun?!”

            “Just for a few laughs. Of course, I had to kill something, so I had to make do with the hyena.”

            “You killed the hyena?”

            “No. She was actually pissed off at you because she—well, she liked you. Really liked you.”

            “She did?”

            “Uh-huh. So, just to put something down in the record book, I killed off her lust for you.”

            “So wait a second: that hyena, that hyena who I actually found pretty sexy but thought I never had a chance with, at least without being considered a freak, had an interest in me?”

            “Uh-huh.”

            “And you killed it?!”

            “Hey, I don’t know about you, but I thought it was hilarious. Yep, gonna get a few laughs out of that.”

            “Chisan?”

            “What?”

            “I hate you.”

 

 

 

            “Chisan, we need to talk.”

            Chisan turned to see a lioness standing behind him. “Sarafina! What a pleasure.”

            “I’ve been hearing that someone has been spreading rumors about me sleeping with you.”

            Chisan grinned sheepishly. “Guilty. But you just need to understand, it was a little prank. Everyone knows that. At least, everyone but Scar. You can appreciate the irony, hmm?”

            Sarafina looked at him skeptically. “Alright. Just so long as you don’t get any ideas. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got a little problem. Could you help me with it?”

            “Of course,” said Chisan with a smile. “I’d do everything to you.”

            “What?”

            “I’d do anything for you.”

 

 

 

            The shaman looked up as Scar walked into his den. “Oh, sire. Can I help you?”

            “I’m looking for, um . . . well, it’s kind of embarrassing.”

            “Oh, don’t worry, sire, I’m sure I can . . . satisfy you,” said the cheetah.

            “I . . . I have a problem. It’s kind of a big problem.”

            “I can see that,” said the shaman.

            “It’s . . . well, I know this is crazy, but I’m having some problems with a relationship that I had. It’s actually an interspecies affair,” Scar said guiltily.

            “I think I could help with that.”

            “Anyway, do you have any like . . . love potions or anything like that?”

            “What?”

            “Or at least something to say ‘sorry’ or something like that. Bouquet of roses?”

            “Oh,” said the shaman, taken aback. “Well . . . I would tell him how sorry you were that you were such a letdown.”

            “It’s a ‘her.’”

            “Oh, of course. My mistake. Now is there anything else that you want?”

            “You don’t need to get snappy about it—”

            “I’m not getting snappy!” Scar began to back out of the den. “No, wait,” said the shaman apologetically, “please don’t—”

            “Freeze!” Scar felt himself suddenly pinned to the ground and had his paws handcuffed. He barely managed to look up to see several cats advancing on the shaman. He heard his father’s voice behind him, “You’re under arrest for harboring commie scum!”

            “You can’t just barge into my den without a warrant!”

            “Of course we can! You commie homos deserve no pity! Book him, boys!”

 

 

 

Several Hours Later . . .

 

            “Scar?”

            Scar looked up. “Ah, Mother, there you are.” He walked over to her, his head high. However, when he reached her, he whispered frantically, “Oh, gods, you have to get my out of here! I’m not meant for this! They’re all giving me these looks! Please, Mommy—I don’t want to be a prison bitch!

            “Scar, you’re the only one in here.”

            “But there’s him!

            Uru looked where Scar pointed. There sat on the floor worn, obviously loved teddy bear that had previously had its head torn off, and then accidently sewn on backwards thanks to carelessness. “Mr. Buddykins?”

            “He stares at me . . . he says awful things . . .”

            “He’s a teddy bear. You’re losing it. In fact, why are you even still here?”

            “What do you mean? I’m in prison?”

            “A prison with no guards and an open exit.”

            “I’m a little more concerned about Mr. Buddykins.”

            “Did you even notice that you’re back in the crapper?”

            “For your information, Mother, it’s called the P.O.T.T.Y. What do you take me for, a Mufasa?”

            Uru rolled her eyes. “Sometimes I wonder. Anyway, Scar, Mommy is going to leave for a while—”

            “But you said you’d never go!”

            “You were one when I said that. And scared you’d get eaten.”

            “And just what do you think he’s planning?” asked Scar, pointing at Mr. Buddykins.

            “Scar, it’s a teddy bear. A teddy bear with its head sewn on backwards, but a teddy bear nevertheless.”

            “It stares at me . . .”

            “Scar!”

            “Huh?”

            “Your father and I are leaving for that cruise. While we’re gone, I expect you to adhere to some basic rules. No blowing up Pride Rock, no killing innocent citizens for fun, and above all, no killing Chisan. Is that understood?”

            “Mother, I can’t kill Chisan in the first place—”

            “Good, I’m you understand that, too. He’s our guest, and it’d be better if you started treating him that way. Now you be good, okay, B.M.?” Uru kissed Scar on his cheek and walked out of the den. “Ahadi, move it!”

            “Coming dear!”

            Scar blinked in surprise. Did his own mother just call him what he thought she had? Scar turned back into the cave. He could have sworn that he had seen the slightest movement that resembled a nod . . .

 

 

 

            “Hey, B.M.!” Mufasa bounded into the den. “Whatcha doing?”

            “Go away, moron. I don’t need you here right now. Go off and find some plastic bag or something.”

            “Ooh, that sounds like a good idea. What’re you going to do?” Mufasa looked over at the teddy bear. “Why’re you staring at that thing, B.M.?”

            “What did you call me?” said Scar, ripping his gaze from the teddy bear.

            “Huh? Just B.M. Hey, you know, you’re twitching. You should probably get that looked at.”

            “Get out!”

            “You should probably stop staring at that teddy bear, too. It’ll drive you crazy. It can’t blink, you know?”

            “What do I look like, your girlfriend? Get out!”

            “Alright. See ya later B.M.”

            Scar turned back at the teddy bear. Was it a tiny giggle he had just heard? . . .

 

 

 

            “Well, if it isn’t B.M. right here in the crapper!”

            Scar blinked as he whirled around. “You.”

            “How’s it going, Black Mane?” asked Chisan casually. “Whatcha up to?”

            “None of your business. Now go away.”

            Chisan walked over to the teddy bear. “You know, this is one old teddy bear. I bet he’s got some stories to tell. Huh? You got anything to say to us, little guy?”

            Scar’s eyes widened as a demonic, sepulchral voice echoed around the P.O.T.T.Y.: “I’m staring at the man.

            “Really? Got anything else to tell us?”

            “I want to kill the man.

            “Really.”

            “Death to the man! Death to the man!

            “Huh. That’s pretty interesting. What do you think, Scar?” Chisan looked over at the lion. “Makes you want to get out of the den so I can have some time for myself, huh? Cause this guy has very persuasive arguments.”

            Scar didn’t need telling twice.

 

 

 

            “Hey, B.M.!”

            Scar rolled over. He had lied down in the main den, hoping to find a place to be comfortably alone, and now he showed up. “What, Mufasa?”

            “Chisan told me you wanted me to be with you!”

            “Let me guess, he told you to call me, B.M., too, didn’t he?”

            “Uh-huh!”

            “Okay, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to take this lovely little toy right here,” said Scar, pulling a roundish object from his corner, “and I want you to go to Sarabi, and you two can play a little game together, okay?”

            “Ooh! How?”

            “What you do is you go to her, pull out the pin, toss it up, and the first one to touch it after it hits the ground wins. You want to make sure you’re as close as you can be to it so you can touch it first, okay?”

            “Sounds fun!” Mufasa bounded out of the den. Seconds later, Scar heard an explosion. Just as he smiled in happiness—“Hey, B.M.? You got another one of those? The first kind of exploded a little . . .”

            “Here,” said Scar, rolling one over to Mufasa. “Now get out.”

            “Sure thing, little bro!”

            Scar curled up and, finally having peace and quiet, nodded off to sleep.

 

 

 

            When Scar slowly came to, he found the entire pride staring eagerly at him. “What?” he asked.

            Chisan walked into his view. “What do we say, ladies?”

            “Good morning, B.M.!” The lionesses giggled.

            “Morning?” asked Scar groggily.

            “You slept like a log,” said Chisan. “I doubt if someone whacked you in the head you’d notice.”

            “Hrm.” Scar stood up and walked out.

            “So,” said one lioness, “how long do you think it is until he notices the shaving-cream nipples we gave him?”

            A scream was heard outside the den.

            “Oh, well,” said another. “At least we still have that bet running on how long it’ll take him to notice we died his goatee hot pink.”

            “Three,” counted Chisan, “two . . . one . . .”

            A shriller scream was heard echoing across the waterhole and into the cave.

            “Ooh, how long do you think he’ll take to notice we painted his claws?”

            “Probably a couple of days—”

            Apparently, right at that time, a little girl that had seen something very scary screamed outside the den.

            “At least he won’t notice what we shaved into his backside for a good, long time,” said Chisan.

 

 

 

            “So,” said Chisan as Scar stomped back into the P.O.T.T.Y., “how was your day?”

            “Crappy. Sarafina hates me, you’re sleeping with her, and I gave Mufasa a grenade to play with, yet he still lives.”

            “Ooh, that’s a pity. Especially that last one.”

            Scar looked over at Chisan. “You had something to do with that, didn’t you?”

            “Me, no. Frankly, I don’t know what’s wrong with him. It’s going to take something like a stampede to take him down.”

            “I gave him a grenade. A grenade!

            “I’ll be looking forward to killing him,” said Chisan. “But don’t worry, he give you plenty of chances. Hell, with everything that he gives you, it’ll probably be pretty easy to kill him. You know, easy like your mom.”

            “Excuse me?”

            “Oh, she’s real easy. Granted, she’s no Lindsay Lohan, but she is cheap.”

            “You did not just say that about my mother.”

            “Hey, I’m only saying what I’ve heard from animals,” said Chisan. “Animals who have screwed her,” he said, lowering his voice conspiratorially. “Many animals. Of course,” he said in a normal voice, “I would never hit that. As much as I’d like to. With that wonderful little—oh, who are we kidding, it’s just a matter of time, right?”

            Scar twitched.

            “I mean, you know that that doctor had to slap your mother when you came out, right on that wonderful tail of hers. Seriously, how much of it is real? If you want, I can just get this silicone detector—come on, at least tell me how much her face would sag without those ‘happy shots.’”

            Scar took a deep breath.

            “Of course, if she and I did get around to hitting it off, would I get to participate in the apparently random beatings of you, too? Cause if that’s what it’ll take, I’m there for you, man. Hell, I’d kill you for a Klondike bar.”

            “Excuse me,” said Scar, “there’s someone I need to see.”

 

 

 

Meanwhile . . .

 

            “So you can see why I said I wanted to go anywhere but Alaska for this, but no,” said Uru to a lioness sunbathing on deck next to her. “I was nice. I even let him bring his personal guard with him. I hoped we wouldn’t stop for supplies in China, but lo and behold—” Uru threw her paws in the air.

            “He must be a pain,” sympathized the lioness. “Say, you know where he is right now?”

            A huge explosion rocked the boat.

            Uru and the lioness sprang up and stuck their heads over the railing of the deck. Below them in the port they could see grenades being lobbed as bullets tore through citizens.

            “AHADI!

            “Don’t worry, citizens! We’re here to liberate you from this tyranny! Die, commie scum!” yelled Ahadi as he sprayed the crowd from a turret.

            “Um, just how many soldiers are in that personal guard of his?” asked the lioness.

            Uru buried her face in her paw. “Three hundred.”

            “This IS PRIDELANDS!

            “Ahadi, get your army’s collective ass back on the ship!” yelled Uru.

            “Just a minute, dear, I’m busy spreading freedom—” Ahadi broke off his sentence as a rock hit him in the head. “Who did that? Oh, I’m going to liberate the hell out of you—”

 

 

 

Back in the Pridelands . . .

 

            “You come here, asking a favor of me, wanting me to avenge you, an enemy of my own. ‘DoĖa, give me justice.’ But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t come with friendship. Instead, you come into my house, on the day of my daughter’s wedding, and you, uh, ask me to do murder, for money.”

            “Not too bad. So, uh, we’ll call you if you make the cut?”

            DoĖa Shetani smiled. “That sounds good. When can I expect to hear back from you?”

            The director looked nervously around at the hyena minions around him. “Well, I’ve got a few more to do, so um . . . how’s next week sound?”

            “Wonderful. Why don’t you escort him out, boys?”

            The director was nervously escorted out of the doĖa’s private chambers. How he had been talked into to making “The Godmother” was beyond. All that he could remember that there was a lot of persuasion that made him miss his kneecaps.

            As he was wheeled out of the room in a wheelchair, a lion darted down the hallway. “Hey, Scar.”

            “Hey, how you doing?”

            “Hey, wait a sec, you’re not supposed to be here! Get him!”

            The hyenas ran after Scar, Scar ducking into a room at random and slamming and locking the door behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief and turned around.

            Shenzi sat behind him on a toilet.

            “Uh, hi.”

            Shenzi sighed, getting off and reaching for a pair of nail scissors. “Why, Scar? Why do you hate your eyes so much?”

            “Huh?” The nail scissors buried themselves next to his head.

            “We know you’re in there!” came a voice outside the door. There was a loud bang on the other side of the door as something heavy was rammed into it.

            “Look, if you’ll give me two seconds to explain,” said Scar.

            Shenzi rolled her eyes and grabbed Scar’s paw, throwing him through a door he hadn’t seen. She threw him into the room and locked the door behind her. She turned around. “Now what—oh, come on.”

            Scar lay on the floor in convulsions.

            “It’s a little pink!”

            “Need—manly—black—”

            Shenzi slapped him across the face.

            “Oh. Thank you, I needed tha—”

            Shenzi kicked him hard in the gut.

            “I did not need that!”

            “That was for me.”

            “And who’s he?”

            “He,” said Shenzi, looking over he shoulder at Banzai, “was waiting for me to get out of the bathroom.” She turned to her desk and pulled out a pistol with a long barrel. “So, why are you in my room without my permission?”

            Scar’s eyes widened at the handgun. “You kind of pulled me into here . . .”

            Click.

            “Alright, it was because I needed a favor. I just had a little problem and I thought who better to fix it than the lovely, talented Shenzi Marie—”

            “You sent me a bathroom scale when I asked for something that would go over two hundred.”

            “It was Mufasa, really, it was—”

            “You called me ugly.”

            “Well, that was more out of desperation than anything—”

            “You also set off a nuke which is steadily poisoning my home.”

            “Why do I get the feeling that’s really going to come back and bite me in the ass?”

            Shenzi fired off a shot, shattering the vase next to Scar. “Next time I aim for the vase and hit you.”

            “Look, I’m simply coming to you—humbly—as a simple prince to a mob leader’s daughter, asking for a little favor—this isn’t working at all, is it?”

            Shenzi fired off another shot, this time into the air.

            “Look, if this is about money—”

            “You just don’t get it, don’t you? You’ve finally crossed the line. You’re going to die right here.”

            “Not surrounded by pink!”

            “I have to admit,” said Banzai, “that’s actually pretty cruel.”

            “Oh, for crying out loud, it’s just a little pink!”

            “Actually, maybe if you cut down on it a little,” suggested Scar, “and added some deeper red to the tones, you could make the room much less noticeable.”

            “Gaaaay,” muttered Banzai.

            Shenzi aimed the pistol back at Scar. “I think I a lion-skin rug would work much better.”

            “Okay!” said Scar. “How about because you love me?!”

            Shenzi blinked.

            Banzai blinked.

            Scar blinked. “That worked?”

            Banzai turned his head to see a glass case he almost never noticed now, it had become so commonplace. In red lettering, the case read, “Break In Case of Completely Snapping.”

            So what was he to do?

            The next thing Scar saw was Banzai rushing at him, screaming, a meat cleaver held high in the air. “Get away from my girl!!”

            In one swift, fluid motion Shenzi brought the pistol down on Banzai’s head and hit his back, sending him stumbling into the wall, the cleaver becoming stuck in the wall. She grabbed Scar and ran with him into a dark room, slamming the door behind them, the room becoming pitch-black. A few seconds later they heard the door reverberate like a gong.

            “He’s going to get in here and kill us! Are you crazy?!”

            “This is my closet! That’s a foot-thick, steel, reinforced, fire-retardant door! You think I’d give my precious shoes any less?”

            “You’re a hyena. You don’t wear any shoes.”

            “I have to have shoes!”

            “I think there might be a better time to discuss this—”

            “How did you know?!” demanded Shenzi. “I never told anyone!”

            “Look, is this really the time to discuss this—”

            Click.

            “Ah. Um, well, you see, I kind of know the guy who ruined it. I just—look, I thought you were pretty, but I never thought I had a chance with a hyena. I just ignored you, and it was wrong. I know you liked me, and I—well, I had a place for you, too. I know I screwed this up the first time, but—well, would you be willing to give this a second chance?”

            “Scar,” said Shenzi, breathlessly, moving toward him in the dark room, “that’s—that’s the most romantic thing anyone’s said to me before.”

            “So, do you love me?”

            “Come here and I’ll show you . . .”

            The two of them moved closer, feeling each other’s muzzles next to each other in the dark. They could feel their warm breath, slowly getting heavier. They moved their heads closer—

            The light snapped on. “Hi, there.” Scar and Shenzi turned to see Chisan sitting next to them, a black robe covering his body as he held a massive butter knife. “Oh, don’t mind me.”

            “You’re kind of killing the . . . moment . . . crap,” said Scar.

            “Ba-dum-kssh.” Chisan grinned. “So, I’m just gonna let myself out—”

            “Who the hell do you think you are?!” demanded Shenzi. “You can’t just walk into my closet and break up a romantic kiss like that!”

            “Well, it was either that, or record it all and post it on YouTube. So if you look at it that way . . .”

            Shenzi fired off a shot, Chisan crumbling into a heap, the black robe sinking to the ground until it was entirely flat. The black robe and the butter knife vanished.

            “Oh, that’s it!” said Shenzi angrily. “That’s the last straw! You want him dead, Scar, you got it!”

            “Well, that is the guy, but it’s kind of hard to kill him. Inadvisable actually. I was hoping for more of a ‘run out of town’ kind of thing.”

            “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse . . .”

 

 

 

            Sarafina stumbled into the den, laughing, Chisan behind her. “Hey, where’s Scar?” she asked.

            “He’s a little occupied right now. So it’s just you and me . . .”

            Sarafina grinned and kissed Chisan. “I think I’ll like that . . .”

 

 

 

            Chisan woke, seeing Sarafina next to him. He smiled, remembering the night before. He stretched out on his side, his eyes widening as he noticed blood on his paw. He looked down his body. There was blood on his foreleg, blood coating his chest, his stomach, his hind legs—

            Next to his feet, a zebra’s head lay, blood oozing from it.

            Chisan jumped, waking Sarafina. “Morning,” she said. “Ooh, you already got breakfast! How sweet . . .”

 

 

 

            “That was supposed to work how?” asked Scar.

            “Well, we had our top man working on it. It should have worked,” said Shenzi. “I could’ve sworn I remember something almost exactly like it . . .”

            “I’m going to want to speak to this ‘top man’ about his efficiency.”

            “You can’t. He’s mad.”

            “He’s what?”

            “Mad. Completely insane.”

            “Why don’t I just take matters into my own hands, hmm?” asked Scar sarcastically.

            “Or you could do that,” said Shenzi.

 

 

 

            Scar walked into the den, finding Chisan polishing the massive butter knife he had earlier. “Hey, there, B.M. Nice to see you finally came out of the closet.” Chisan held up the knife. “Like it?”

            “A butter knife?”

            “Sometimes the scythe gets boring. I like to liven things up.”

            “By smiting people with a butter knife?”

            “Well I think it’s hilarious.”

            “I’m not going to get distracted,” said Scar. “I’m tired of dealing with you. Get out of the kingdom.”

            “Or else what?”

            “Or else I decide that I want to paint my walls red.”

            “Ooh! You have a bunch of dead babies?”
            “Okay, that’s sick, even for me.”

            “Hey, they aren’t using that blood anymore.”

            “Get out of here, Chisan.”

            “Make me.”

            Scar grinned. “I know you’re going to enjoy this. I’m just going to have to try to enjoy it even more . . .”

 

 

 

            “We’re back!”

            “Mom! Dad!” Mufasa leapt up and hugged them. “Whadjabringme?!”

            “Well, your father has brought you his very own restraining order from China. He managed to start a war and get himself banned for life from setting foot in the country. But we did bring back a bunch of cheap toys for Scar to give you.”

            “Yay! I love Chinese toys! They’re so safe!”

            “Yes,” said Uru,” patting Mufasa on the head. “You keep telling yourself that.” She looked around. “Where is Scar, anyway?”

            “Someone say my name?” The pride turned to see Scar standing in the entrance. “Oh, you’re back.”

            “Where’s Chisan?” asked Uru suspiciously.

            “Oh, he was in the P.O.T.T.Y. the last time I saw him—”

            Scar was cut off as the den gasped. He turned to see Chisan standing next to him, covered with cuts and gashes. An eye was being swollen shut. One of his legs was clearly broken, and it looked like there were several teeth missing.

            “Chisan, what happened?” asked Uru.

            “Uh . . .”

            Scar prompted, “He fell down some stairs . . .”

            “I fell down some stairs . . .”

            “Stairs,” said Uru doubtfully.

            “Yes. That’s what happened, isn’t it, Chisan?” asked Scar, leering at him.

            “It was a lot of stairs . . .”

            “Hmm. Well, you should be more careful,” said Scar, turning to walk away. “If you don’t mind, I’ll be in the P.O.T.T.Y.—”

            “Wait one second!” thundered Ahadi. “I will not stand for this in my own den!”

            “Stand for what?” asked Scar, confused.

            “I have to admit, it’s a little extreme, even for me,” said Uru uncomfortably.

            “What’s extreme?”

            “The hammer and sickle shaved into your ass!” roared Ahadi. Chisan snickered. “I will not have a commie in my den!”

            “I’m not a commie! Chisan, tell him—ew . . .”

            The den turned to look at Chisan. A mutated cheetah was chewing on his leg. “Get it off! It’s all slimy . . .”

            Uru sighed. “I’ll get the shotgun.”

            “Mommy, what is that?” asked Mufasa.

            “It’s just a zombie.”

            “But why is it chewing on Chisan?”

            “It just wants brains. Don’t worry, you should be fine.”

            Shoot and kill. The author would like to say more, but unfortunately, when zombies are involved, apparently there is nothing else involved, save for crappy dialogue and shallow characters. I, for one, agree. I mean, come on, these are zombies. All they do is shuffle around. You can walk around with a pistol and pop each one in the head. How did they manage to become scary with C-movies and no explanation for even existing? If you’re going to make zombies scary, at least make them able to move better than a guy with polio! . . . And that’s what really grinds my gears. Tom?

            Finally, with the last zombie lying permanently dead on the ground, Ahadi turned to Scar. “This is the last straw! You’re grounded!”

            “Father, you do realize that if I was grounded for as long a period as you said I was, if you add it all up, I would be grounded until I was at least thirty-seven?”

            “I don’t need any of your red backtalk! Guards!”

            Nothing happened.

            “I said ‘guards!’”

            “Dear, there are no guards,” said Uru.

            “Oh yeah? You and you, you’re deputized! Escort this commie scumbag down to the brig!”

            Scar rolled his eyes as two lionesses walked him down to the P.O.T.T.Y. He lied down. He’d done it. Chisan wouldn’t be bothering him anymore, that was for sure. He smiled as he closed his eyes and laid down his head. He could finally get some peaceful rest . . .

            “Death to the man.

            Scar whimpered.

 

 

 

            Scar and Chisan walked into the den. “Hello, boys,” said Ahadi. Also in the den were Uru, Mufasa, Sarabi, Sarafina, Shenzi, and Banzai.

            “Now, I assume you’re all wondering why you’re here,” said Uru. “Very simply: you’re all becoming adults. And, as adults, you’re all going to be—okay, look, we’re just doing this to appease him, okay?” said Uru in an undertone. “Anyway,” she said in a normal voice, “you’re all going to be eligible to vote come this election—”

            “Since when do we have elections?” asked Banzai. “You don’t vote for king.”

            “That’s what they want you to think,” said Ahadi. “But don’t listen to them! Your vote counts. So when you go to those polls, feel free to vote for ‘Ahadi for Ale and Whores!’”

            “You’re running on a platform of beer and prostitutes?” asked Scar skeptically.

            “Hell, I’ll vote for him,” said Chisan. “Sounds better than that Osama guy, anyway.”

            “Just all of you remember that you’re free to vote for whoever you think is the better candidate,” said Uru.

            “So, you’re all going to be voting for me, right?” said Ahadi. There was a general noise of assurance. “Good. Because I’d have to lock you in the dungeon until after the election if you weren’t.”

            Scar and Chisan laughed along with the rest. “Uh, Dad?” asked Scar. “Why aren’t you laughing?”

            “That’s all. You kids can go and vandalize something or whatever it is you do.”

            “Wow, this is almost as awkward as that time Scar beat the crap out of me,” said Chisan. He looked over at Scar. “I mean—”

            “That statement just had to slip out, didn’t it?” said Scar. “You just didn’t want to leave your insides inside, did you?”

            “Scar! You did that?” said Sarafina, appalled.

            “I told you not to harass—” began Uru.

            “You told me not to kill him,” said Scar. “And I can’t kill him anyway—”

            “It was awful!” said Chisan. “What happened was . . .”

 

 

 

            Chisan laid in the P.O.T.T.Y., reading War and Peace, trying to comprehend the immersing environment and deep, introspective thoughts that Dostoevsky put forth. He sipped lightly at a glass of wine. He turned his head to see Scar barging in, wearing a wife-beater t-shirt. ”Where’s dinner?” Scar demanded.

            “What do you mean, where’s dinner?”

            “I mean where’s my dinner! I told you to have it here when I got back!”

            “What do you think I am, your slave?” asked Chisan. “Get it yourself.”

            “You don’t talk back to me!” Scar backhanded Chisan. “I told you to get it done, so you get it done!” He hit Chisan again. “You think I want to hit you? You think I like it? Huh?”

            “Oh, you’re gonna pay for that!” Chisan leapt up at Scar. He swiped at Scar, hitting him across the face.

            Scar staggered back, then took a crowbar from the side of the den, swinging it at Chisan. Chisan quickly grabbed one, blocking his blow. The two of them clashed, holding each other’s crowbars at bay, molten lava shooting up epically in the background.

            Chisan pushed Scar back and heroically managed to shove him out of the den. Scar tumbled over the edge, Chisan panting. Suddenly, defying all reason, Scar was above him on a floating platform. Scar jumped down, grabbing at Chisan.

            The two of them struggled for a stronger hold, Scar finally deciding to simply bash Chisan’s head against the ground in the end. He left Chisan on the floor, dazed, and then climbed up the ropes before jumping spread-eagled on Chisan. He grabbed Chisan’s hind leg and began pulling on it backwards, Chisan yelling out in pain and slapping at the floor in front of him.

            Chisan slipped free and roared out, his mane turning bright yellow. A small blue ball of energy appeared in his paws, which he launched at Scar. Scar dodged it and delivered a devastating uppercut.

            Chisan staggered back and stood, wobbling back and forth. A deep voice rumbled from the heavens: “Finish him!” Scar walked up to Chisan, slammed his paw into him, then ripped out his spine, holding it high in the air for all to see. The voice boomed out again: “Scar wins! Fatality!

 

oOo

 

            “And then,” said Chisan, “after he ripped my spine out, I had to crawl up here after him to try to get it back. And that’s when all of you saw me.”

            “That’s awful!” said Sarafina. “Scar, how could you do such a thing?”

            “Okay, that isn’t what happened at all,” said Scar. “Did none of you notice that that isn’t just a huge string of bad parodies?”

            “I can’t believe you would do that to him,” said Uru.

            “Yeah, Scar, that’s low,” said Shenzi. “Even for me, and I’m shorter than everyone here.”

            “Get your own dinner next time, bro,” said Mufasa.
            “Look, it was really more of a beat-the-crap-out-of-the-death-demon kind of thing . . . all I did was beat him, alternating between a lead pile and a two-by-four, until he was a twitching mass. And then I kept beating him until he stopped twitching. And then I poked him a few more times for my own amusement.”

            “Scar! That’s awful!” said Mufasa.

            “Well, you see, I’m just evil like that.”

            A somber violin started in the background. Everyone turned to look at Chisan. “What?” he asked, pulling the bow away from the strings.

            “As I was saying,” said Scar, Chisan starting again.

 

 

When the Devil is too busy

And Death’s a bit too much

They call on me by name you see

For my special touch!

To the gentlemen I’m Miss Fortune

 

            “Hell yeah, you are, trannie!” called out Chisan.

 

To the ladies I’m Sir Prize

But call me by any name

Any way it’s all the same . . .

 

            Scar began to dance happily around the den.

 

I’m the fly in your soup

I’m the pebble in your shoe

I’m the pea beneath your bed

I’m the bump on every head

I’m the peel on which you slip

I’m the pin in every hip

I’m the thorn in your side

Makes you wriggle and writhe

 

And it’s so easy when you’re evil

This is the life, you see

The Devil tips his hat to me

I do it all because I’m evil

And I do it all for free

Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need!

 

            “But wouldn’t that make you out to be a bit of a jerk?” asked Mufasa.

            “Oh, you have no idea how much of a jerk,” said Scar.

 

While there’s cubbies to make sad

While there’s candy to be had

While there’s pockets left to pick

While there’s grannies left to trip down the stairs

I’ll be there

I’ll be waiting ’round the corner

It’s a game I’m glad I’m in it

’Cause there’s one born every minute

 

And it’s so easy when you’re evil

This is the life, you see

The Devil tips his hat to me

I do it all because I’m evil

And I do it all for free

Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need!

 

            Scar saluted a black flag, Nazi style.

 

I pledge my allegiance

To all things dark and I

Promise on my damned soul to

Do as I am told

For Beelzebub has never seen

A soldier quite like me

Not only does his job but does it happily

 

I’m the fear that keeps you ’wake

I’m the shadows on the wall

I’m the monsters they become

I’m the nightmare in your skull

I’m the dagger in your back

An extra turn upon the rack

I’m the quivering of your heart

A stabbing pain, a sudden start

 

And it’s so easy when you’re evil

This is the life, you see

The Devil tips his hat to me

I do it all because I’m evil

And I do it all for free

Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need!

And I do it all for free

Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need!

And I do it all for free

Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need!

 

            Scar stopped his prancing around the den, stopping in front of Shenzi. He sat down in front of her, with a sigh.

 

It gets so lonely being evil

What I’d do to see a smile

Even for a little while

And no one loves you when you’re evil . . .

 

            He sighed, caressing her face gently . . . and then grinned manically.

 

I’m lying through my teeth!

Your tears are all the company I need!

 

            Shenzi grabbed the violin from Chisan and broke it over Scar’s head before walking out of the den, Banzai following her.

            The lions looked down at Scar’s unmoving form. “Well,” said Chisan, “I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say ‘thank you’ for that public service announcement, Scar. On a more serious note, don’t forget to vote! I’m sure you’ll all vote for the right person.”

            “And by the right person,” said Ahadi, “he means for me. Vote for foreign wars and idiocy in 2008!”

            “Woo!” yelled Mufasa. “Four more years! Four more years!”

            “God bless the Pridelands’ education system.”

 

 

 

            “Mother?” Uru looked up to see Scar and Chisan standing in front of her. “Could you help us solve something?”

            “Sure. What is it, dear?”

            “Chisan says that giving doesn’t feel good. Now of course, I’m completely against that, I can think of dozens of things that feel good to give. Grenades, bullets, rockets in the face—”

            “You know perfectly well that’s not what I was talking about,” said Chisan. “And besides, that’s a sign of a psychopath.”

            “Anyway, we just can’t settle this. So we bet each other twenty bucks that you’d be able to solve it.”

            “Alright,” said Uru. “Give Chisan forty dollars.”

            Scar opened his mouth, nothing coming out. He finally said, “Well that doesn’t feel good at all.”

            “Alright, then just give him twenty.” The queen walked away.

            Scar blinked. “Did I just make a bet where I’d lose twenty bucks either way?”

            “Don’t feel bad,” said Chisan, rifling through Scar’s wallet. “After all, you helped someone more fortunate than you.”

            Scar glared at Chisan . . .

 

 

 

            Shenzi stopped dead as she saw Scar standing over Chisan, a bloody knife in his paw. Chisan lied on the ground, not moving, several stab wounds bleeding onto the grass. “Scar?” she asked.

            Scar immediately dropped the knife. “Oh. Er . . . Hi.”

            “What happened?”

            “Um . . . He was crazy. He just started screaming at me. ‘You screwed Sarafina, you screwed Sarafina—’ And he ran into my knife.” Shenzi raised an eyebrow skeptically. “He ran into my knife ten times,” insisted Scar.

            “Oh, come on!” yelled Chisan, bringing his head up. “Chicago? Of all the possibilities, you choose Chicago?

            “Shut up, you’re dead,” said Scar. He turned back to Shenzi. “Yep. Ten times . . .”

            “Uh-huh . . .” She looked back down at Chisan’s now unmoving corpse. “Anyway, I—need your help with a little something.”

            “What?” asked Scar warily.

            “Well, you could come with me, or me and the three henchmen hiding in the bushes could tie you down, rough you up a little, and then take you with us.”

            “Um . . . let’s start walking.”

 

 

 

            Scar stepped inside the mansion, thankful to be breathing clean air. The air in the graveyard was becoming even more putrid than before. Shenzi cast an accusing glare at him as she opened a door. “Down through there.”

            Scar looked through the door. From what he could see, it led down a long spiral staircase, the only light coming from where the door was opened. “Uh, it looks dangerous—”

            Shenzi kicked Scar in the backside, sending him down the entire staircase until he collapsed in front of a lump. Scar heard the sound of something eating. “I’m turning on the lights,” called Shenzi.

            Scar’s eyes widened as a single light was illuminated, shining down on a hyena that didn’t seem to be the brightest one around. The hyena was chewing on several sheets of paper. Scar pulled one that was on the ground closer to him. “Riemann?” Scar whispered.

            “This is Ed,” said Shenzi. “He wanted to see you.”

            “Uh, how do you know?” asked Scar.

            Shenzi flipped a switch on the wall. The rest of the lights flipped on, revealing along the walls, written in what looked like blood over and over, the words “MUST HAVE SCAR!

            “Oh,” said Scar.

            “We’re afraid he’s gone a little mad.”

            “Eregurah!” said Ed.

            “No, he hasn’t,” said Scar.

            “No, we’re pretty sure he’s crazy.”

            Ed let out a high peal of maniacal laughter. “He says he’s fine,” said Scar.

            “You can understand him?”

            “Well yeah. All you have to do is take his speech, take inverse cube root of his pitch, derive that, plot it on a graph relative to sine . . .”

 

 

 

            “. . . and then take the limit of that as it approaches the number of syllables,” finished Scar. “It’s really not that difficult.”

            Shenzi stared at him, her mouth open. “He’s eating paper!”

            “Males think with their stomachs.”

            “It’s an expression, not a reality!”

            “Well now you’re just splitting hairs.”

            Shenzi groaned. “I’ll leave you two morons alone. I’ll be back to collect what’s left of you in an hour.” She walked back up the stairs.

            Scar turned to Ed. Ed pressed a button on the wall. Several sections of the floor turned over, revealing a laboratory. Scar grinned. “Let’s get started.”

 

 

 

            Shenzi woke up sleepily. She yawned, got up, and went to use the toilet and brush her teeth. After she was finished, she walked back put on her makeup. She walked out the door, noticing her shrine to Scar as she left. She’d have to burn that in effigy sometime—

            “Oh my god, I forgot Scar!!”

            She ran down the stairs. It had been three days since she had left him down there with Ed. Who knew what would have happened to him. She opened up the door and gave a little shriek as she saw Scar, eyes bloodshot, mane completely mussed, and wearing what looked like a catheter. He was carrying several things in his forelegs.

            “WhatareyoudoingsnoopingaroundtryingtostealmyworkyounogoodsonuvabitchI’llkillyouIswear . . .” He blinked sleepily, then seemed to recognize Shenzi. He pushed what he was carrying into her forelegs, then walked past her. A few moments later he walked back down the stairs carrying a toaster and a fork, slamming the door behind him.

            Shenzi looked over what she was carrying. There were six letters to the Clay Mathematics Institute, a vial which was labeled “Cure for Cancer,” another one labeled “Cure for AIDS,” a treaty for world peace, and a syringe with the label, “Experimental, DO NOT DROP!”

            Shenzi suddenly heard a loud scream, and the power suddenly flickered. “IT’S ALIVE!!

            Shenzi slowly backed away from the door.

 

 

 

            Chisan walked down the spiral stairwell, seeing Scar sitting down, staring at what looked like a gun. He sat down next to Scar. “What is it?”

            “I really don’t know.”

            “What does it do?”

            “It emits a beam which, when it reaches its target, creates a small explosion in the target, taking all of the Heisenberg particles around it and messes with them—don’t ask me how, we’re still working that out.”

            “So . . . it does what?”

            “Well, it turned a pencil into a duck.”

            “A duck.”

            “Yes.”

            “What do you think it’d turn Mufasa into?”

            “That’s the next step.” Scar looked over at Chisan. “Hey, would you mind helping me out with something?”

            “What?”

            “Well, we were going to tackle Schrödinger next.”

            “You were? Um . . . I hate to ask this, but isn’t that where you set a lock a cat in a box with a can of poison gas and make it both alive and dead at the same time?”

            “So you’ve heard of it?”

            “Look, I just came down here to tell you that your mother wanted you back at the house for dinner. It’s Thanksgiving, after all.”

            “We’re in Africa. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.”

            “Tell that to your father.”

            Scar sighed. “Fine. I’m coming.”

 

 

 

            “There you are Scar, I’ve been looking for you all over,” said Uru.

            “Really?” asked Scar.

            “No,” said Uru. “As I was saying, you can help out with the food. Here’s some stuffing and the turkey. I’m sure you can figure out what to do.”

            “You just want to tell me what to do, don’t you?” asked Scar bitterly.

            “I am your mother.”

            “Said the white lioness to the black-maned lion,” muttered Scar.

 

 

 

            Chisan walked into the P.O.T.T.Y., seeing Scar hunched over something. He walked around to see Scar with the turkey. “Oh, so you’re stuffing the turkey, I see. Stuffing it up the butt.” Scar glared up at him. “Is that what you like? Does stuffing turkey butt do it for you?” He leaned closer to Scar. “I can just hear it. ‘Ooh, Scar, right up the butt—’”

            Scar turned around, his paw still stuck in the turkey, and hit Chisan across the face. Chisan fell to the ground, grabbing at his mouth. “You’re possibly the first animal to ever be sucker-punched with a turkey,” said Scar. “Congratulations.”

            Chisan glared up at him, then lunged at him with a snarl.

 

 

 

            “Dear Lord,” said Ahadi, “we would all like to take this time to give thanks for the health and prosperity of our great nation, and for this food which you have blessed us with. For this turkey—which has, for some strange reason, teeth in it—for these red, blood-ish colored mashed potatoes, for this green bean casserole which has an indentation of Chisan’s face in it, and for the pumpkin pie, which will hopefully be fine. In your name, amen.”

            “That was beautiful, honey,” said Uru. “Now who wants—oh, for crying out loud, Scar, stop trying to kill Chisan with that wishbone!”

            “He started it!”

            “I did not!”

            “Did too!”

            “Did not!”

            “Did—”

            Ahadi stood up and slammed a belt down on the table. “Who’s first?” he snarled. Scar and Chisan fell silent. “You should be ashamed. What kind of family fights at Thanksgiving?”

            The rest of the main course was eaten in silence. Uru finally said, “Scar, Mufasa, why don’t you two go get the pies?”

            The two lions stood up and walked out of the den, down to the P.O.T.T.Y. where all the food was being held. “Say, Mufasa,” said Scar, “would you mind stopping right there?”

            “Sure thing, B.M.!”

            Scar rolled his eyes and pulled out his gun. He aimed it at Mufasa and pulled the trigger.

            Nothing happened.

            He pulled the trigger again. And a third time.

            Nothing happened.

            “Gods, damn it!”

            “What’s taking so long?”

            Scar turned to see Chisan behind him. “It won’t work!”

            “Are you sure it works in the first place and it wasn’t just some kind of hallucination from staying up three days inventing stuff and shocking yourself by sticking a fork in a toaster to keep you awake?”

            “Yes! Look!” Scar pointed the gun at one of the pies. The pie turned into a small, flaming clockwork soldier.

            “Have you just thought that it could just be that Mufasa’s so stupid, he doesn’t know the laws apply to him? I mean, I know Gravity—good guy—and he has a hell of a time with this guy as it is.”

            “Ignorance of the law doesn’t mean anything! They’ve proved that!”

            “In America,” reminded Chisan.

            “Dammit!” Scar collapsed, weeping. “It’s Thanksgiving, and I don’t have a thing to be thankful for!”

 

 

 

            “Dad?”

            Ahadi looked up. “Oh, it’s you . . . Claw, is it?”

            “Actually, it’s Scar.”

            “Whatever.”

            “Well, it’s Black Friday, and there’s a ton of sales going on right now. Anyway, I was wondering what to get Mother for Christmas, and well, I thought, ‘Hey, why not get her a country? She’s been wanting one of those ever since she realized she was getting screwed over by just being queen.’”

            “Well that sounds nice. Which one?”

            “Well, that’s the hard part. Could you pick for me?”

            “Sure! What are they?”

            Scar held up two pieces of paper, a flag on each one. “Well, this one is a country with a proud people that are determined to defend their homeland at any cost, even if it means going to other countries and kicking the crap out of them in order to get what they want.”

            “Ooh, I like the sound of that!”

            “They also turn a blind eye to genocides that they’ve caused, and insist that their budget be spent mainly on the military in order to put the fear of God into their enemies.”

            “What about the other one?”

            “Eh, pretty much the same thing. This is the big difference,” said Scar, holding up the two flags again. “Which one do you think she’d like more?”

            “Hmm . . . well, the first is pretty . . . a lot of stars and stripes. Does it stand for anything?”

            “For how many provinces it’s divided into, and the red and white stripes are the blood they spill in war and the courage they have in doing so.”

            “Sounds like something your mother would like. But the other one has that nice, red background . . . and it’s got that neat design in the middle. What do you call that?”

            “Oh, that right there? That’s a swastika.”

 

 

 

            “Ma’am?” Shenzi looked up. “Scar is here to see you.” Shenzi sighed as she got off her bed and walked into the next room and sat down behind a desk. Scar was ushered in through the door, several armed guards along with him.

            “What do you want, Scar?”

            “I was just wondering if I could borrow a few of your henchmen for some Christmas shopping.”

            “Can’t you get the lionesses to do it for you?”

            “Eh . . . it’s a different kind of Christmas shopping. The kind that may attract unwanted attention.”

            “What are you stealing?”

            “Who said anything about stealing?”

            “Remember what happened the last time you went to the mall?”

            “Hey, those cops were vicious!

            “Mall cops.”

            “They were going to kill me!

            “I bet. And the answer is no.”

            “No?” asked Scar incredulously.

            “No. Nein. Non. Het. Geen.”

            “Screw with my Christmas, will you?” Scar whipped out a bowie knife and stabbed it into the ivory desk. “Bitch, I will cut you!” Several clicks were heard behind him as several rifles were raised. Shenzi pulled out a switchblade from under the desk, flipping it open. “Eh . . . and by that I mean that I will try to reasonably negotiate with you so that we may reach an agreement.”

            “Get out.”

            “I’m getting you a nice gift this Christmas.”

            “How nice?”

            “Nice enough for one little favor . . .”

            Shenzi sighed. “Fine. You can take the black guy.”

            “Black guy?”

 

 

 

A few days later . . .

 

            “Hey Scar,” said Chisan as Scar walked into the P.O.T.T.Y. “Where you been?”

            “Shopping.”

            “So I’ve heard. You leave a big mess to clean up . . .”

            “Huh? You know about it?”

            “I know every time you kill a person.”

            “It wasn’t me this guy, really. It was the black guy. He’s a beast.”

            “Uh-huh.” Chisan looked back down at the magazine he was reading.

            “He tore out a guy’s trachea and then yelled into it, ‘I’m you!’ And it kind of sounded a little like the guy because it was his trachea, you know?”

            “Nothing like a little evisceration to brighten up your day, huh?”

            “So you have any plans for Christmas?”

            Chisan turned the page. “Oh, you know, just staying next to the fireplace, waiting for Santa to come down the chimney.”

            “Seriously?”

            “No, asshole, I’m gonna be out killing people. I’m frickin’ Death, what did you expect me to say?”

            “I don’t know, I just thought that maybe you’d be going to a party or—” Scar paused. “What are you reading?”

            “A magazine.”

            “Is that—is that Cosmo?

            “Yeah. And?”

            “What, are you gay or something?”

            “Yeah. And?”

            Scar looked at him wide-eyed. “You’re gay?!

            “Well, yeah. It’s not really that big of a surprise, is it?”

            “My denmate is gay?

            “Breathe, Scar. Breathe.”

            “Why the hell are you telling me this?!”

            “Well, you asked. And I kind of assumed . . .”

            “NO!!”

            “I suppose that this would be a bad time to bring up that I sniff you when you’re sleeping—”

            “AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” Scar ran out of the den.

            Chisan flipped idly through the magazine. “That’s this season’s fashion? Geez, it was better when they had togas . . .”

            Sarafina walked into the den. “Well?”

            “You owe me five bucks.”

 

 

 

            Zazu fluttered down out of the sky, landing on a rock. He saw Scar behind an elephant with a grabbing tool that was grabbing a large wooden stake. The stake was positioned right behind the elephant’s rear.

            “Three . . . two . . . one . . .”

            “Oh, Scar!” called Zazu.

            Scar sighed in exasperation. “Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?”

            “Well pardon me for interrupting you from shoving a piece of wood up a pachyderm’s rear—”

            “It’s a perfectly standard medical procedure!”

            “—but your father would like you to come back to Pride Rock. And, ironically enough, has requested that you leave the stick that normally resides in your posterior here.”

            “It’s like he wants me to kill him. No, I’m not going, I’m busy.”

            “He said that if you said no, he would like me to mention to you—supposedly a fact—something about ‘bros’ coming aforementioned to ‘ho’s.’”

            “I’m not even with a girl!”

            “Which he has predicted, apparently due to the abnormally small size of your reproductive organs and appalling lack of personal hygiene.”

            “This is outrageous!”

            “I would highly recommend going back to Pride Rock, sire. He has threatened that if you do not return posthaste, he will seek you out with his ‘posse’ and ‘lay the hurt down real good.’” Zazu ruffled his feathers. “Now, I must be off. Good day to you, sire.”

 

 

 

            Scar walked into the P.O.T.T.Y. and flopped down, Chisan still lying in the den, now reading The Da Vinci Code while drinking coffee. “You know,” said Chisan, “your dad was looking for you.”

            “I really don’t care.”

            “He wanted to spend ‘quality time’ with you.”

            “Don’t. Care.”

            “He said something about going to a strip club and teaching you what girls were.”

            “Ha, ha, ha.”

            “Bad day?”

            “Just about every time today that I’ve tried to act on my evil whims, some idiot has to go and interrupt me. It’s painful.”

            “Maybe you can ask Santa to bring you a nice big helping of evil.”

            “Psh. Like Santa exists.”

            Chisan stared at him.

            “Santa exists?!

            “Well, yeah. We fictions all kind of hang out together.”

            “Is the Tooth Fairy real?”

            “Yep.”

            “Boogeyman?”

            “Oh yeah.”

            “How about the Easter Bunny?”

            “What, are you crazy? A bunny that just lays eggs? That’s stupid. Of course it’s not real.”

            “Oh, I just . . . I just assumed . . .”

            “Yeah, well you thought wrong.” Chisan sipped at his coffee.

            “When did we get Starbucks?”

            “When I came here. I’m their best customer.”

            “You are?”

            “I stay up all day, all night, and I’m going all the time. You think I don’t need something to keep me going? This is my fortieth cup today.”

            “Uh . . . maybe you should back off that. I heard that you can actually get a heart attack or something . . .”

            Chisan stared at him.

            “Hey, I didn’t say you would die from it . . .”

            Chisan took another sip.

            “Really, though, you probably should back off.”

            “There’s too much blood in my caffeine system.”

            “See? That’s what I’m talking about.”

            “Aren’t you supposed to be writing to Santa instead of criticizing my drinking?”

            “Well, what should I ask him for?” asked Scar.

            “A coal mine. Save him some of the trouble.”

            “What did you ask for?”

            “Are you kidding? I hate the bastard.”

            “You hate Santa?”

            “He’s like the Hugh Hefner of fictions. And he has no problem rubbing it in our face. Honestly, I wouldn’t be happier if someone got rid of him. He’s totally sold out. I mean, everywhere you look, it’s Santa this, Santa that. It’s not even about giving the toys anymore, it’s about sneaking into kids houses at night and ‘accidentally’ getting caught on camera.”

            “Um . . . just wondering . . .”

            “No, he’s not a pedophile,” said Chisan, taking another drink.

            “Oh, that’s a relief.”

            “He’s just a furry.”

            “Ewwwwwwww!”

            “‘He knows when you are sleeping.’”

            “Ewwwwwwww!”

            “Oh, get over it. Besides, if he molested you, it’s probably not going to come out until a couple of years from now when you get totally drunk over the fact that you killed your brother and you’re consumed with remorse and grief.”

            “What?”

            “Hmm?”

            “But really, someone should do something about that.”

            “Yep,” Chisan agreed.

 

 

 

            “Mufasa, have you seen Scar?” asked Uru.

            “Scar? Oh, yeah, he was alarming the chimney with tripwires and lasers.”

            “He what?!

 

 

 

            Scar sat outside the chimney he had built, waiting patiently. He had been sitting there for hours, despite his mother’s insistence that this was the most stupidity he’d ever displayed. He watched the clock eagerly. The hour hand hovered between the one and the two. He grinned as he heard scuffling coming down the chimney. A few seconds later, a pair of boots appeared, and a few seconds later, so did the rest of a fat, old man.

            “Ho, ho, oh! What are you doing up this late, Scar?”

            “Waiting.”

            “You’ve been a very naughty boy!”

            Scar unsheathed his claws. “You’ve been a corporate whore. Merry Christmas.”

 

 

 

            “Get up! Getupgetupgetupgetupgetupgetup!!” Mufasa yelled. The rest of the den murmured sleepily, being unwillingly woken by the prince.

            “Mufasa,” said Uru, “it’s five in the morning.”

            “Presents!!

            Ahadi was suddenly completely awake. “Presents? Presents!!

            “Presents!!

            “Presents!!

            “Presents!!

            “Presents!!

            “Shut up!” yelled Uru. “Just go sit over there—quietly—and we’ll open the damn presents.” She went and got Scar and Chisan; if she was going to have to suffer through this, everyone was. She sighed as she saw Mufasa and Ahadi doing something very similar to the pee-pee dance. “Scar, why don’t you go first?”

            Scar sighed. “Fine.”

            He slid something over to Sarabi, which she promptly tore open. “An empty box!!” she squealed. “It’s so pretty!!”

            “Yeah, Merry Christmas, spaz. Now, for my lovely girl Sarafina . . .” He handed her an envelope, which she opened. “It’s a whole sentence for you to use. Just don’t blow it all in one place.”

            “I’m going to start wounding you now.”

            “Well spent. And Mufasa—I know that you’ve already beaten the first to death with a rock, so . . . I decided to get you a new tail!” said Scar, holding up Mufasa’s tail.

            “Yay!!”

            “And like father like son, so . . .”

            “Oh, Scratch, you shouldn’t have!” said Ahadi, caressing his tail.

            “It’s Scar.”

            “So what’d I get?” asked Chisan.

            “Well, you were really hard to shop for. It’s that box right over there.”

            Chisan opened it up and held up a severed head. “Oh, Scar . . . you shouldn’t have.”

            “You’re welcome.”

            “No, I mean it, you really shouldn’t have. This could be a real problem . . .”

            “Well, we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it. Now Mother, the last is for you.” Scar disappeared for a moment, then came back, wheeling in a massive vault. He opened it up, revealing dozens of stacks of paper. “Merry Christmas!”

            “Er . . . what is it?”

            “Every deed of every piece of land from your favorite empire.” Scar reached in and pulled out a Nazi flag. “And it’s all yours, Empress Uru.”

            Uru looked as if she was going to cry. She hugged Scar tight. “This is the best Christmas present I’ve ever had. Oh, thank you so much!”

            “So, what are you going to do first?”

            “Reopen the concentration camps, of course. And then take over the Pridelands. Maybe make a few nuclear threats . . .”

 

 

 

            “Madam Marie . . . there is a package for you.”

            Shenzi yawned sleepily. “Bring it in.”

            “I’m afraid we can’t fit it in the house.”

            “What?”

            “It’s too large to pass through the doorway.”

            “Oh, come on!” Shenzi got up angrily and walked out of the bedroom. She walked down the stairs and out the front door, seeing three black Ferrari Enzos. “Oh—my—God. OHMIGODOHMIGODOHMIGODOHMIGOD—“

 

 

 

            Chisan and Scar sat, listening to the screams from Pride Rock. “Somebody’s happy,” said Chisan.

            “Maybe she’ll forget about me trashing her place.”

            “Maybe.”

            “She won’t forget, will she?”

            “Hell no.”

            “Well, I tried.”

            “Oh, by the way, I got you this,” said Chisan, handing Scar a box.

            Scar unwrapped it. “A big red button? Aw, thanks.”

            “You’re welcome.”

            “You just want to see how long it is until I snap, don’t you?”

            “Yep.”

            Scar hugged Chisan. “Merry Christmas, asshole.”

            “Merry Christmas, bitch.”

 

 

 

            “Hi, it’s me, Chisan. Now, before we start the chapter, I’d just like to do my civic duty, and deliver an important service announcement. This may freak some of you out, but you do have a soul. And it tastes like those little chocolate mints that they leave on pillows in hotels. I’m serious.”

 

 

 

            “Hello Mother,” said Scar as he walked into the den. “Nice day.”

            “Yes, it is, but Mommy doesn’t have time to stay.” She kissed Scar on the cheek. “I’ll be back in a while. You be a good boy and stay away from your father, okay?”

            “But—but where are you—”

            “Mommy just has a lot of work to do. I’ll see you later, Scar.” She practically ran out of the den.

 

 

 

            Scar flopped down onto the den of the P.O.T.T.Y., Chisan sitting with his back to him. “What’s going on?”

            Chisan moved aside, showing him. “I’m trying to get this damn radio to work.” He hit it and it let out a squeal.

            “In other news, the sudden return of fascism in Europe has already been felt around the world. The leader, who has yet to be named, but is assumed to be wearing a tiny little mustache, has announced plans for world domination, which, if all goes according to schedule, should be achieved by the end of the week.

            “According to spokesperson Tony Snow, who apparently was brought out of retirement yesterday, the dictator wishes a peaceful transition, and also wishes to state that once a country has joined, it will receive zero-tolerance gun control, abortion rights, government-paid medical care and schooling through university, and the death penalty will be outlawed. In response to this announcement, the United States issued a statement saying . . . well, I can’t read this on the radio—maybe cable TV—but hopefully the president will come to his senses. If not, they do have a new one coming in a few days, so there may still be hope for that nation of overpaid slobs.

            “Apparently the newly formed government will be conquering Africa first, and later moving on to Russia, which makes this commentator wonder has history really taught us anything? Anyway, in the spirit of welcoming our new oppressors, we bring you a new hit song. Here’s ‘Get ’Em (They’re Different)’ by The Nazis!”

            Chisan flipped off the radio. “Well, Scar, I’ve got to go for a few days. You hold the place down.”

            “But—wait, where’re you—”

            “Be a good boy.”

 

 

 

            Scar walked through the door of the Hyenatelli mansion and immediately walked down to the basement. “Hey, Ed. Get anything good for Christmas?”

            Ed laughed, pointing at a bag.

            Scar opened it up. “Hmm . . . we could have some fun with this.”

 

 

 

            Shenzi followed the sound of laughter down to the basement. She found Scar and Ed sitting in front of a massive markerboard, easily too big to get in the house in any possible way. Both of them were laughing maniacally, grasping their guts as they gasped for air. “Wait, wait,” panted Scar. He took the marker and changed a “less than” sign to “greater than or equal to.” Both of them fell on the floor again, laughing harder than ever.

            Shenzi walked over to the board, not able to make heads or tails of the crazy symbols. Out of curiosity, she changed an eight to a six. Immediately both Ed and Scar stopped laughing. Ed said something unintelligible, Scar nodding in agreement. “I hope you get cancer and die.”

            “What makes you think you can just walk into my house?”

            “I just came to see my good buddy Ed. What makes you think you can just walk into your house?”

            “It’s my house.”

            “Or is it?”

            “Where’d you get the markerboard?” asked Shenzi.

            “We made it.”

            “Out of what? It’s huge!”

            “Well, Ed got some gold bricks for Christmas, so we just used those.”

            “You made a markerboard out of gold bricks?

            “Yeah.”

            “And you didn’t think there could possibly be a better way to use them?”

            Scar and Ed looked at each other, then at back Shenzi, shaking their heads.

            “Nothing at all?”

            Ed said something. Scar nodded. “That is a good idea. We could have gotten pizza.”

            Shenzi scowled, then walked out of the room. “Boys . . .”

 

 

 

            Chisan walked through the streets of Moscow, staring in horror at the devastation he saw. A little ways away, a CNN reporter was filming as a man crawled toward the reporter on his stomach, begging for help. Chisan decided to be merciful and reaped the poor soul.

            He walked further down the street, stopping in front of the Kremlin. He sank to his knees. “You maniacs! You blew it up! Oh damn you! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!”

            A tank wheeled up next to him, the top hatch popping open, Uru’s head popping out. “I do love my work.”

            “Okay, look, this has to stop,” said Chisan. “Get out of here now!”

            “But I’m winning,” pouted Uru. “That’s not something even Napoleon could say.”

            “Great, so you’ve invaded Russia in winter, wonderful. Now get out! There aren’t many things I draw the line at, but this is one of them! I kicked Napoleon and Hitler both out; you’re going, too.”

            “Well that’s not fair. Why can’t we win?”

            “Because you’re a monarchial bitch.”

            “You got something against monarchs?”

            “YES! For crying out loud, I’m a communistic, homosexual, vegetarian, tree-hugging hippie! Now get out of here, or else!”

            “Or else what?”

            “I’ll introduce Scar to someone who’ll turn him gay.”

            “You wouldn’t! Not—”

            “Yes, her. Now turn the troops around and get out.”

            Uru glared at Chisan. “You’ve won this round . . .” She turned around the tank and went her way down the street. “Scheißkerl.”

            Chisan ran into Lenin’s tomb, hugging the glass around the body. “Shh. It’s okay now. The mean old lady’s gone . . .”

 

 

 

            Scar looked up as Chisan walked into the den. “Where’d you go?”

            “Back home for a little while.”

            “Home? Death has a home? That’s—disturbing.”

            “Why? I can have a mother, too.”

            “No you can’t. Now shut up and let me finish my dinner.”

            Chisan smiled. “In Soviet Russia, the dinner eats—”

            “So help me, if you finish that sentence, after I kill you I’ll do the twenty-five to life with a smile on my face.”

            “Eh . . .”

            “Good choice.”

            Chisan sighed and flipped on the radio. “In other news, a full-scale invasion was launched on the United States today from China, recently conquered by the blitzkrieg of Neo-Germany. Now, continuing with our hit music, coming up is Grammy-nominated ‘No More Sickles, No More Scythes’ by Himmler and Mengele.”

            Chisan flipped off the radio. “I’m gone again.”

 

 

 

            Chisan drove up to the checkpoint in a Mercedes, assuming a human form for once. He stopped at the Canadian/American border checkpoint and rolled down the window, holding out a hand for Chisan’s passport. Chisan handed it over. “Purpose of visit, Mr. Black?” the security guard asked in a disinterested voice.

            “Oh, the usual. Jihad, maybe a little shopping.”

            “I see.”

 

Two Minutes Later . . .

 

            “You know,” said Chisan into the hood of the Mercedes as a guard cuffed him while another held a gun to his head, “just know before you haul me off to Gitmo, that I prefer water-boarding over water torture. Just a little note.”

            The guard with the gun clubbed him in the back of the head. “Shut it.”

            “Oh, yeah, one more thing . . .” said Chisan.

            The guards stared as the arms suddenly grew fur, the cuffs slipping off easily as the body suddenly morphed. “Holy shit, it’s a lion!” yelled one of the guards. “Get in the car!”

            Chisan walked across the border, grinning. “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

 

 

 

            “Okay,” said Uru, looking over the White House, seeing the numerous bombs strapped to it as she grinned. “Blow it away.”

            Nothing happened.

            “I said ‘blow it away!’”

            “Frau Uru? We’ve seemed to have misplaced the detonator . . .”

            “How do you lose a big red button?!”

            “Is this it?”

            Uru whirled around to see Chisan holding it. “Give me the detonator!” she demanded.

            “Give me head.”

            Uru blinked. “You didn’t just say that.”

            “I sure did, what’re you gonna do about it?”

            “I—well, I was going to blow up the White House . . .”

            “Oh, please. Half of the American populace would do the same,” dismissed Chisan. “And if they were smart, they’d do it for the right reason: they didn’t vote for Ron Paul in ’08. Now get out.”

            “But—”

            “Out.”

            “But—”

            “Out, or I turn Scar gay.”

            Uru gasped. “You wouldn’t dare introduce him to—”

            “You know I would. Now out. Take the army and leave . . . There’s a good girl.”

            “Scheißkerl.”

 

 

 

            Scar sighed as he lay in the P.O.T.T.Y. “Hey there, Scar.”

            Scar’s ears perked up. “Sarafina?”

            “Whatcha doing?”

            “Nothing. Chisan left, Mother left, and I don’t feel like having my ears gouged out by Dad or Muffy, so I’m stuck here with nothing to do.”

            “I can think of something to do,” said Sarafina suggestively.

            Scar’s eyes widened. “You’re drunk.”

            “You know it.”

            “This isn’t right at all.”

            “Nope.”

            “Alright, then, let’s do it!”

            The sounds of lovemaking soon filled the P.O.T.T.Y.

            “Yes, Scar!” moaned Sarafina. “Yes! Oh, you make me feel like a young boy again!”

            “…Say what?”

 

 

 

            Chisan walked into the P.O.T.T.Y., finding Scar sitting there with a smile. “What are you so happy about? I know that smile . . . that’s your ‘I finally got laid, but the chick was drunk, and when she woke up in the morning and found everything out, she puked all over the floor’ smile, isn’t it?”

            “Yep.”

            “Question . . .”

            “Answer.”

            “Who’s the girl?”

            “Sarafina,” said Scar smugly.

            “You’re joking.”

            “Nope.”

            “Okay, and where’s the puke?”

            “Uh-oh . . .”

            “Well, at least you used a condom, right?”

            “Um . . .”

            “You got her pregnant?!

            “Hey, I don’t know if she’s pregnant.”

            “Scar, you finally had sex for what is probably going to be the first time in your life. You think the gods don’t have a sense of humor?”

            “You really think she’s pregnant?”

            “As much as I think the Obama will make the U.S. a heaven by slowly urging on communism and driving out all potential and motivation for personal achievement.”

            “. . . Is that a yes? My foreign politics are kind of shaky . . .”

            “Go find a way to pay for child support, Scar.”

 

 

 

            “Welcome to Zebra Burger, home of the flame-broiled meerkat. How may I take your order?”

            “Scar?

            “Shh!” hissed Scar over the counter. “Quiet, Mother!”

            “What the hell are you doing working in a Zebra Burger?” asked Uru.

            “I’m trying to get money for child support.”

            “Child support? You don’t have a cub!”

            “I may have gotten Sarafina a little pregnant . . .”

            “A little pregnant?!” Uru exploded.

            A beep was heard. “Hold on one sec,” said Scar. “Welcome to Ze—”

            “I’ve been waiting in the drive-through for five minutes now!” yelled the headset.

            “Loser,” said Scar.

            “What did you say? Can I speak to your superior?”

            “There’s some religious debate on that one, I’ll let you know when anything changes.” He switched off the headset. “Now, like I said, just a little pregnant . . .”

            “Scar, let me explain something to you . . .”

 

 

 

Five Minutes Later . . .

 

            “So, she can’t be a little pregnant?”

            “That’s right, dear. Now would you please explain to me why, of all things, you’re working for child support here when you could just pilfer off of the treasury?”

            “Uh . . .”

            “You’re displaying an almost Mufasa-like amount of intelligence here, Scar.”

            “Eh, funny you should mention—”

            “Scar! I thought I told you to stop loafing around!” said Mufasa sternly. “Now get back to work before I have to fire your ass!”

            “Mufasa is your superior?” asked Uru.

            “I’ve never wanted to kill my boss before. It’s a good feeling.”

            Uru sighed. “Just quit and come back home . . .”

 

 

 

            “So wait, she actually asked you out to dinner?” asked Chisan.

            “And that can only mean one thing, right?”

            “Well, seeing as how you’re about as sexually appealing as a hamster on crack, yeah, it probably means she’s pregnant.”

            “Couldn’t it mean she just wants to enjoy my company after a night of great—” Chisan stared at Scar. “Eh . . . okay, good—” Chisan shook his head. “Mediocre?”

            “Try pithy and work your way down from there.”

            “I mean, she’s just inviting me out to the Bourgeois—”

            “Oh, that swanky commie place that Obama was spotted at last week? Bring me back one of those little shrimp cocktails, I love those. Oh, and yeah, she’s definitely pregnant.”

            “Argh!”

            “Look, just play it off and pretend like you don’t know what she’s asking you out for until she actually brings it up. Simple enough, right?”

            “I . . . I guess so . . .”

 

 

 

            “Sarafina, party of two? Right this way, madam . . .” The waiter led the two lions to a table. “I’ll just give you a few minutes to look over the menu.”

            Scar looked down at the menu. He kept glancing up at Sarafina. She was calmly looking over the menu, completely undisturbed. The walk over had been chillingly quiet. Scar toyed with his silverware.

            “So, ready?” asked the waiter, appearing out of thin air.

            “Yes,” said Sarafina, “I’ll be having the filet mignon, with a Caesar salad. Italian for the dressing.”

            “And for you, sir?”

            “I’m having a baby.”

            Sarafina dragged Scar away from the table.

 

 

 

            “Look, seriously, it just slipped out. I never meant for it to happen,” said Scar patiently. “So really, there’s no need for this, is there?”

            “Actually, no,” admitted Sarafina.

            “So why are we out here?”

            “Well, partially because I’m pissed, and partially because I’m just bored.”

            “I know you’re going to find this difficult to believe, but I really am not looking forward to more of this.”

            “Mm-hmm.”

            “So . . . ready to do it again?”

            “Sure, why not?” said Sarafina. She wound up and slammed her paw into Scar again. And lo, there was much falling and screaming and kicking in the air as he flew off the tip of Pride Rock. He landed with a sickening thud.

            “Why is my spleen in my ribcage?” he moaned.

            “Now,” said Sarafina, looking down at him, “who’s my baby’s daddy?”

            “Not me . . .”

            “Very good.”

 

 

 

            “I still don’t see why I have to come,” muttered Scar.

            “Because you got her pregnant, and Mufasa, your brother, got Sarabi pregnant,” said Uru. “So you’re going to the baby shower. And bring a gift.”

            “Eh . . . I’m kind of short on money . . .”

            “And what did you do with the two hundred million American dollars you had?”

            “Well, American doesn’t go as far as it did . . .”

            “What did you do, Scar?”

            “I’m still recovering from Christmas.”

            “Just get a gift, Scar. Something useful.”

            “Hey, what if I get—”

            “No, you can’t get her anything that contains alcohol.”

            “Well then how about—”

            “No poison.”

            “Then—”

            “No explosives. She’s carrying your cub, Scar.”

            “I meant for Sarabi.”

            “Oh. Well, I’ve already gotten a coupon for a free abortion . . .”

            “Damn.”

            “You’ll come up with something.”

 

 

 

            “Madam Marie, Prince Scar is here to see—”

            “What do you want, Scar?” asked Shenzi, waving the servant away, not taking her eyes off the television.

            “Uh . . . well, I kind of . . . need one of those cars back,” he said.

            Scar flinched as he heard the remote crack in her paw. “What?

            “Just one of them. After all, you do have three . . .”

            “You came here to ask for your gift back?!”

            “Just one of them!”

            “Hold on a sec while I get my gun.”

            “Maybe we can work something out?”

            Shenzi loaded her pistol and cocked the safety. “I’m all ears.”

            “Well, what if I took the one you gave to your mother?”

            “And just how do you know I gave one to my mom?”

            “Uh . . . well, I got my paws on a U2 . . .”

            “I don’t need to hear none of that scientific crap.”

            “So can I use it?”

            “Fine,” said Shenzi. “If you can get her to let you.”

 

 

 

            Scar walked up to the outside of the DoĖa’s room, seeing the two guards outside. “Eh . . . excuse me for a moment . . . just need to talk to her . . .”

            “Sure, go right in.”

            Scar walked into the room, then grabbed the DoĖa and pinned her to the desk. He raised his paw.

            “Something’s missing,” he mused. “Er . . . oh, stupid me. Wait right here,” he said, darting out of the room. “Hey, guys, you think I could borrow one of your pistols?”

            “Sure,” said a guard, handing his to Scar, “so long as you don’t shoot anyone in the face with it.”

            “Thanks.”

            The guard closed the door behind Scar, and then went back to standing around, bored. He heard a shot and rushed into the room. “Oh, come on!” he said. “What did I tell you?”

            “Not to shoot anyone in the face,” said Scar.

            “And what did you do?”

            “I shot the DoĖa in the face,” admitted Scar guiltily.

            “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

 

 

 

            “So,” asked Chisan, “what’d you get for the baby shower?”

            “A Ferrari Enzo and a bag of small toy pieces,” said Scar, lying down on his back.

            “Um . . . what is Sarafina’s cub going to do with a Ferrari Enzo?”

            “Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

            “Actually,” said Chisan, “you don’t.”

            “What? But Mother always said—”

            “Put out a jar of honey and a jar of vinegar, and you’ll see what happens.”

 

 

 

            Sarafina looked around at the gifts around her and Sarabi. “I’ve got to say, this has been a great idea. It’s been a wonderful shower, thank you all, girls. And, surprisingly—thanks to the guys, too.”

            “Hey, anytime,” said Chisan with a smile.

            “So,” said Uru, “who’s the father, Sarafina?”

            “Well, it’s not Scar.”

            “Ah . . . I see.”

            “In fact, what did you guys do with Scar? He hasn’t been here at all . . . it’s been rather pleasant.”

            As if on cue, there was a loud crash heard. A few moments later, Scar stumbled into the den, plainly drunk. “Happy birthday, everyone!”

            “Scar, what do you think you’re doing?” hissed Sarafina.

            “Don’t worry, I just parked your gift in the garage downstairs.”

            “We don’t have a garage.”

            “That’s what she said!”

            “Um . . . yes, it is.”

            “And here’s your little gift!” said Scar, holding out a bag to Sarabi. “Choke on it, bitch!”

            Uru spun Scar around. “Just what do you think you’re doing?” she growled.

            “You lied to me,” said Scar, bursting into tears. “It was vinegar! It was vinegar all along, and you knew it! And you know what else? I watched a pot, and guess what it did? It boiled, Mother! And my face isn’t frozen into something ugly—”

            “That’s debatable,” interrupted Chisan.

            “You! Don’t get me started on you. You and your fancy-shmancy communism. ‘I love Marx, I love Lenin, I have sexual fantasies of Barack Obama!’”

            “Um, Scar . . . stick to the script.”

            “Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? ‘We can do it, yes we can! You couldn’t ever do it by yourself, you need everyone else, you’re just a cog!’”

            “Scar, seriously, he’ll kill you off. He does it all the time . . .”

            “And you’ll be the one to help him!” Scar vomited on the floor and passed out.

            “Well . . . um . . . why don’t we just end this scene here?” asked Uru.

 

 

 

            Uru lay in the back of Pride Rock with Ahadi next to her, holding her close. “So, what do you think of the cubs?” she asked.

            “We have cubs?”

            “I mean Sarafina and Sarabi’s.”

            “They have cubs?”

            “Okay, Ahadi, let me try to explain this to you again. Remember that thing that I let you do to me with your happy stick?”

            “Ohhhhh.”

            “Yes, well, that happened to both of them. And soon enough, they’ll be in blinding pain and giving birth to cubs.”

            “So . . . why are you talking to me about this?”

            “Well . . . we’ll be grandparents. We’re getting pretty old, the both of us. And I don’t know if I can handle the responsibility of all this.”

            “You won’t have to.”

            Uru looked up. “Chisan? What do you mean?”

            “Well . . . it’s your time.”

            “Our time?”

            “Yes. You see—” Chisan slipped and fell in Scar’s pile of vomit. “Shit! Who the hell forgot to clean this up before the scene? Huh? Is it that hard to remember to clean up the massive pile of puke?”

            Outside of the den, a voice was heard: “If it’s so massive, why didn’t you walk around it?”

            “Oh, shut up!” Chisan did his best to shake off what he could. “Alright . . . as I was saying, your time here is up. It’s time for you to move on.”

            The two lions simply looked up at him. “It’s like dripping down your leg, you know that, right?”

            “Oh, for crying out loud! Why don’t I just kill the both of you, huh?”

            “Isn’t what this is building up to?”

            “You know what then? Fine!” said Chisan. “Boom and boom, the both of you, dead. Stupid script is completely worthless anyway . . .” he muttered, storming out of the den.

 

 

 

            “Hey there, Scar!”

            “Oh, hey Chisan. What’s with the—is that puke?”

            “Yep, and it’s your puke. Just let me give you a great big hug,” said Chisan, wrapping his forelegs around Scar, wiping them up and down, “because I’m leaving! Yay!”

            “Wait, it’s that time already?”

            “Well, we weren’t scheduled to shoot for another two hours, but guess what? I just felt so good, I thought I’d give it a shot right now.”

            “You’re leaving?”

            “Yeah. Oh, and by the way, you might want to clean up; both your parents are dead.”

            “They WHAT?”

            “Look, it’s the only thing I hung around here for. I mean, I was supposed to kill you, but I had to leave with a body, so I just took them instead. Anyway, I’ll see you around.” Chisan walked out of the den.

            “You’ve got to be kidding me. This is almost as bad as the Sopranos when they cut off an episode in mid