#20 - Kill The Cheaters - in Anger Mouse: The Pregnant Male
“I’M NOT PREGNANT ANYMORE!” yelled Anger Mouse, as two mysterious figures questioned him.
“Prove it. Where is the baby?” the mysterious pair asked.
“I DON’T KNOW,” the mouse raged.
“How come you’re so bad at being a parent but so good at giving birth?”
“I’M NOT A PARENT. I’M EIGHT YEARS OLD. I’M STILL A KID.”
“It looks more like you ate-a-year-old.” One of the figures laughed, “You can still be a parent even if you’re a kid. If a kid gives birth, then they’re a young parent.”
“THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!” Anger cried, though the truth could not be denied.
“We have had it up to HERE with your behavior, Anger Spouse,” an annoyed fist slammed on the table, “tell us who the father is.”
“THERE IS NO FATHER. IT WAS ALL ON MY OWN.” The mouse screeched.
“That’s not how babies work,” sighed the less mysterious tanuki. “Assistant Birdbutt, show him the book.”
“Here ya go, boss,” the helpful bird babe fella handed the book over.
“Ever read one of these?” the tanuki dangled the book in front of Anger Mouse. The rodent squinted his eyes and gasped at the title, The Miracle of Birthing. The cover of the book looked cheerful and pleasant, in calm, pastel colors. A most obvious disguise to the horrors lodged between the pages.
“I HATE NICE BOOKS. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT SISSY HAPPY FAMILY STORIES.” The wretched mouse kicked his chubby legs about.
“Oh, don’t worry...” Nik-or uh, the... mysterrrrious tanuki slowly opened up the pages. “This book makes kids scream, it makes grown ups look away. Nine out of ten people can’t complete the book. Even people that actually enjoy reading!”
“DO PEOPLE REALLY LIKE READING!?” Anger’s eyes widened in horror.
“No.” Nobody enjoyed reading. The tanuki knew the truth.
“Look, Anger Mouse...” Assistant Birdbutt calmly spoke, “we want to help you feel happy. If we find your hopefully underage husband and disgusting child, we can make your life happy again.”
“Let us force you to be happy,” the mysterious orange animal named Nikki nodded. “It’s our current mission.”
“LET ME AND MY GUARD OUT OF HERE AND I’LL TELL YOU WHAT WILL MAKE ME HAPPY.” Anger glared at the pair that was barely mysterious anymore. The two complied, freeing Anger Mouse first.
“So, what can we do to make you happy?” Assistant Birdbutt calmly asked.
“NOTHING.” He then dragged his blind-folded guard out of the booth with him, “NOW LEAVE ME AND MY GUARD ALONE OR WE’LL GET IN TROUBLE.”
Maybe Nikki and Thanks’s plan to help Anger Mouse win would get him kicked out of the competition. The two decided they would have to be more careful about their approach.
Nikki realized, the competition was pretty far along! From figuring out her goal at the beginning, to interviewing all the boxers, and deciding to help Anger Mouse, the competition had been going on for a while now! Whenever Anger Mouse came on stage, Nikki watched closely. He was actually doing a good job boxing on his own. Nikki planned on interfering if he was horrible at it, but so far all she had to do was sit back and watch the show.
“Alllllrighty folks!” the hamster announcer squeaked over the microphone. “It’s time for another battle! Bushy’s not coming in today, so I have you all to myself~”
“Today’sh battle...” Oxnard did his best to sound like his bushy co-host, “Ish a plank battle! Y’all gotta keep yer balanshe while you fight. If you fall, yerrr out!” The audience cheered, ready to watch someone fall on their face.
“HEY. WHERE’S THE REF?” Anger Mouse yelled from below. “THE FAT BEAVER WITH THE STRIPED SHIRT, GET HIM OUT HERE!”
“Shirt! Shirt! Shirt! Shirt!” The audience started to chant. Oxnard was a little lost.
“Shirt? Oh! The referee that always strips out of his shirt... uh... I don’t see him.” Oxnard leaned in, “Gosh dang it. First boxers, then Bushy, now my referee is calling out without calling me...”
Nikki cared about as little as the rest of the audience. And before they could think otherwise, Oxnard called in his hummingbird referee to take over.
“Alright, get ready to start planking!” The hamster regained his cheerful character and counted off for the fight to start.
During this battle, Anger Mouse and his teammate Don Badge were fighting a beefy tiger stud, and a large, chubby elephant. All four fighters had to balance on the plank together, and Anger ordered Don to stay in front of him. He had a plan!
Don’s spikes were sharp enough to fend off most fighters, they knew they couldn’t hit him without risking damage themselves. However, Don let Anger carry him, and the mouse dashed forward, holding the sharp and pointy object in front of him. The tiger had to jump over both Don and Anger, and land behind them, and his elephant teammate had to do the same! But when the heavy elephant landed, it shook the whole board, and everyone wobbled, trying not to fall.
Anger Mouse took this opportunity to throw his teammate right towards the big elephant in front of him, and his spiky snout flew right into the bulge of the elephant’s colorful boxing briefs!
“Ouchie!” Oxnard exclaimed as he watched, “I think you might have pierced his lower trunk there, Anger!” The chubby elephant sighed and held between his legs, if he didn’t have a ring down there, he could easily add one now. The elephant gave a loud... whatever the noise of an elephant is. A roar? No. A trumpet sound. Yes, he made a loud, trumpet-like sound with his trunk flailing in the air as he fell onto his butt, and then off onto the floor of the ring.
“Heeeee’s out!” Oxnard yelled over the mic - the audience cheered, laughed, and cringed. However, the elephant falling on his butt made everyone else lose their balance too! The plank shook and wobbled, causing Don to fall off - and land right onto the elephant’s crotch again.
“Don! Be careful with those spikes!” the hamster bit his lip. “It might not be happening to us, but it’s too easy to imagine the pain...”
The only two left on the plank were Anger Mouse and the tiger hunk. “Well then,” the striped feline purred, “it’s just you and me, mouse.”
Nikki knew a bit about Anger Mouse’s history. He wasn’t a great animal - he was in jail for a reason! A lot of Nikki’s friends regarded him as a danger, or a villain. For a moment, Nikki wondered if Anger Mouse even really deserved to win Boxer Beats. He wasn’t nice, he wasn’t easy to work with - why should a spoiled kid like him get extra help winning when there were kinder, more deserving boxers that could win?
However, as Nikki started to doubt her choice in Anger Mouse, the fallen elephant snuck its trunk around Anger Mouse’s leg, and pulled him off the plank. The audience gasped as Anger Mouse fell to the floor, leaving the tiger as the only one left! The fine-looking feline had some brains on him too, and leapt forward so it looked like he was the one that knocked Anger off the board.
“Hey! That’s not fair!”
“Those guys are cheating! He was out!”
The audience was mixed - some were cheering, thinking the tiger had won. Others were booing, and knew better. The tiger started to look panicked, maybe they wouldn’t get away with it...
“Woooah, what’s going on, everybody?” Oxnard casually asked, guess he wasn’t paying attention!
“Oxnard, I think these guys cheated...” the referee replied, sad and unsure.
The elephant and tiger began to plead their case to Oxnard - but he went straight to video and played it out for everyone to see! And after the video finished...
“So... Anger Mouse just fell?” the stumped hamster guessed.
“Justice for Anger Mouse!” the audience yelled in a riot.
“Watch it again!”
The ref looked down at Don and Anger. The two looked really sad! They worked so hard together, for once they were playing by the rules. Sure, maybe they were usually the bad guys, and haven’t always done the nicest thing. But they still wanted to be treated equally like everyone else.
“Alright, I looked a little closer...” Oxnard’s voice echoed through the speakers. Everyone leaned in, waiting to hear the official call.
“Kill the cheaters.”
The audience gave a shocked gasp! The elephant and tiger’s jaws dropped.
“Haha. Just kidding! But get those cheaters outta here. You’re out. Ya blew it!” Oxnard sneered, “B-L-U-E, blew it!” The crowd cheered for justice! Everyone jumped around in their seats. Some threw their drinks, their snacks, their undies! This was the beautiful mess that we call justice.
“You boys hear that?” The ref pat his wings behind Don and Anger’s back. “You win! You get to go through the next round!” Don and Anger definitely didn’t cry. They totally weren’t worried at all. You didn’t see anything! But they did hug each other and jump happily with relief.
“NO ONE CAN CHEAT THE SYSTEM. NOT US, OR YOU!” Anger Mouse pounced on the tiger, who was still standing on the plank, knocking him onto the ground, and dancing on his body. “WE DID IT! HEHEHE!”
It was a scary moment! But in the end, everything worked out. Nikki was happy for Anger Mouse. Seeing him dance around on the corpse of the very living, alive tiger reminded her that he was still a little kid who was learning about the world, and hoping it was a fair place.
“Good job, Anger Mouse.” Nikki thought to herself, as another night at the Boxer Beats tournament ended.
Everyone was heading out of the building for the night, and as Nikki stepped out, she looked up towards the night sky. Everything felt temporary when she knew she could be reset at any moment.
The tanuki noticed a bright yellow flash across the sky. She looked behind her back, and saw a yellow figure on top of the roof of the Boxer Beats building. It was the same dog that kept resetting her. Nikki worried that any interaction could send her back to the past, but the dog just stayed up there, staring at her.
“Alright...” Nikki sighed, feeling compelled to go up while she had the chance. Dawn the dog was waiting at the top, her stubby black tail wagging.
“So uh... hey,” Nikki awkwardly started. “I’ve been working on the list like you said... I’m starting with Anger Mouse...” Dawn looked around silently. “I uh, hope that’s okay.”
Dawn slowly nodded.
“Cool...” Nikki replied to the silent pup.
The two stood there, both feeling strange with how their relationship was now a forced assignment that neither completely understood.
“Oh, hey, something weird happened.” Nikki thought, “I was asking everyone what would make them happy, and someone said that making everyone win the competition would make them happy. Kind of like what we’re doing... right?” Nikki sighed, “I’m not even sure what I’m doing. You said to make everyone on this list happy, and that means I have to help the right person win the competition, right?”
Dawn didn’t want to answer. But she looked away from Nikki and responded, “All of them. You have to. Help them all. Win the thing.”
Nikki gripped the paper, “But only one boxer can win the tournament...”
“One boxer. At a time.” Dawn sadly stated.
“One at a time? So... is this going to take years to complete?” She started to sound angry. “Or are you going to reset me once for every name on this list!?”
“...I have to.” Dawn closed her eyes. “You and I. Are both stuck. Until the list. Is completed.”
Nikki hated the idea of being reset again and again. “And you can’t do it on your own and leave me out of it?”
“You will still. Wake up. From each reset. And fight me,” Dawn moaned. “If you remember. The list. We won’t fight. As much.” Nikki never remembered everything whenever she was reset, and it sounded like that caused a lot of problems for Dawn.
“So, I don’t remember everything that happens... but do you?” the tanuki asked.
“Yes. I remember everything.” Dawn looked hopeless. She was forced to watch their disaster play again and again. “You. Were supposed to. Remember too. But you don’t...”
Nikki wished she could. At least she knew why these two had so many problems now. “So, uh. Nishi was the one that said he wanted everyone to win... are we following his plan?” Nikki really wanted to solve what was wrong, but she didn’t feel like she had all the information. “I see he’s on the list too...”
Dawn started to growl.
“Uh, was that bad? Should I not mention him?” Nikki chuckled cautiously. “He’s on your list. You wanna make someone happy even if you don’t like them?”
Dawn started barking at Nikki, showing her teeth.
“Allllright well I’m gonna go now, sorry, see ya!” The tanuki lady ran for the door, and left the building. “What a rude noodle.”