Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tiger, Wild as a March Hare ~ Shere Khan

Springtime howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers, may there always be a spring in your step, and a sparkle in your eye.

Ever wonder about the villain in a story? What makes him or her tick on the dastardly side of life? For my flash scene, I thought I’d delve into Shere Khan’s mind and being. As ‘emperor’ of the Yakuza in Talbot’s Peak, he plays a starring role.

Tiger, Wild as a March Hare

‘Wild as a March hare,’ Shere Khan growled under his breath, once he shifted to full tiger and padded over the forest floor. ‘I will show those long-eared rodents what it is to be born wild.’

Scenting the warren of rabbits, he had found when first arriving in Talbot’s Peak, Shere Khan lengthened his stride. He leaped onto the deer trail, taking an inordinate pride in the powerful ripple of his muscles -- in the grace of his silent landing. In the splendid bold length of his tail, always a sign of prowess.

‘I will demonstrate the Tiger still reigns in this Year of the Rabbit.” Shere Khan sneered with a great snort. The disturbed night air stirred up a feast of scents, reminiscent of his youth spent in the wildlands of Japan and China.

Mentally, he praised himself. How wise had his decision been to establish his family, and his organization, in this remote wilderness in North America? Human stupidity, most obviously, was as limitless as the grand celestial kingdom.

With the night’s smells swamping him, Shere Khan experienced moments of real peace. If there was one thing, he would commend the werewolf infestation on, they controlled the riffraff. Either, the wolves ripped out their entrails and dined, or chased them out for sport. Increasingly, the dense forest returned to Life. The life of the Earth Mother.

It was good to be alone. To walk through the shadows and odors of the deep forest at midnight. At times, his iron-clawed rule became an unwelcome burden. His son, Guri, and his cookie addiction, had become a particularly distracting annoyance.

Shere Khan owned his part in coddling the cub. His own heart had betrayed him. He had been unable to separate his son from the mother, who had been determined to keep Guri out of the Yakuza. She had fed him sweet treats as she fed him a useless pablum of ideas about his ‘choices’ in life.

Ah, well, perhaps, he could find the boy a suitable mate, and settle him into some useful position that would provide necessary intel. Perhaps, he would even sponsor a bakery and rival coffee shop in Talbot’s Peak. Shifters and humans gravitated to such weak silliness. They talked like a river overflowing its banks, with little thought about what they revealed. They used those digital devices as though they were an umbilical cord to salvation. More importantly to his criminal enterprise, they conveniently spilled their guts online. Always an advantage to those in his take-over-the-world business.

Shere Khan yawned a superior smile, then stretched into an easy lope. His tiger nature celebrated the closer he ran toward the rabbits, and their spring mating frenzy. At least, the wild hare’s knew the importance of creating progeny. He had to wonder if his progeny understood their duty to the future. To him.

Loosing his own spring fever, Shere Khan madly dashed among the bunny breeding insanity. Turning and twisting, he swiped his giant paws at the ‘wild as a march hare’ bucks who rapidly bounded after mates. Zigzagging crazily, the overly lean bucks avoided everything but the brush of his claws.

Quick as his chasing spins, the screaming rabbits could be heard beneath every available thicket, where they had been enjoying each other. Hump, humpity-hump-hump, fast as fireworks rockets.

Shere Khan rousted the couples without remorse. With the scent of rabbit blood heating his blood to unquenchable fire, he crashed through and against the brambles. More interested in causing havoc and terror, than in dining, Shere Khan made no serious attempt at a kill.

Like a magnificent opera, his power sang through him, a loud splendor that told him who he was. Tiger. Killer. Ruler over life and death.

He’d always been compelled to rule. His very bowels roiled with the need. It was as if a serpent spiraled and rolled inside him constantly. In the past he had calmed this inner serpent with his devoted training in the high Ninja arts. The disciplined joining of spirit and matter gave him mastery over the material world. To a degree. However, it was not the complete perfection he sought.

Agree to leave, tiger-human, and I will give you knowledge to save your empire. The rabbit’s voice cut like a well-used dagger through the red mist of Shere Khan’s beasting frenzy.

He whirled toward the daring buck, wisely hidden in the crevice between two boulders. One of the rabbit’s eyes watched his prowling advance. Save my empire? How would you possess such knowledge, fur coat?

From the one known as Blade Runner. I heard him speak with your enemies.

Shere Khan rumbled a fierce growl, but only for moments. Blade Runner, the extraterrestrial rodent interloper had shamed two of his Ninjas. However, that hardly mattered in comparison to his Yakuza empire.

Agreed. Only if--

There is a meeting tonight, the buck interrupted. The scent of his confidence filled Shere Khan’s nostrils. You will find the Batman, a chef rat, and a super wolf.

Shere Khan’s instincts raged now. His enemies made plans against him. The certainty spun through him with the force of a blade. Where?

Where Louie cooks.

Shere Khan wasted not a further second. Charging toward Talbot’s Peak, he ran until his speed lightened his body weight, until he phased to Flying Tiger. Wisdom dictated, he discover a way to listen while remaining hidden. Greater wisdom suggested he listen well enough to spring his own trap.



Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Pat C. said...

Yeah ... it's always fun to get into the bad guy's head. It says a lot that the "mighty" Shere Khan chooses to test his strength against a warren of rabbits already distracted by mating season. I'd like to see him try such bullying tactics in an elk herd during the rut. One tiger-skin rug, coming up.

On the other hand, like all multi-dimensional characters, he has a soft spot for the "baby," Guri. He must have, or he'd have killed the kid by now. Or maybe the soft spot is for Guri's mom? I doubt if that sits well with head wife Kali, the mother of Tasman and Rakshasi. This could be a whole other subplot.

I notice the rabbit informant didn't mention Gil. Maybe the magic on Gil shields him from detection? Could the yardrat be the one to take down the big, bad tiger? I can see Rebecca crossing her fingers already.

Serena Shay said...

Ooh, that naughty rabbit may have to face Blade Runner for giving away secrets...though he was saving the warren, so maybe that will work in his favor. Unless, of course, it was all a part of the plot to put the hurt on Shere Khan! ;)

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, darn! Blogger ate my comment.

Mr. Rabbit only overheard Blade Runner, and doesn't know about Gil, sooo go with your thoughts on that...

Yeah, Shere Khan did go after bunnies...hmmm, I wonder if there's a rutting elk herd nearby...??? a bully is a bully.

Yeah, Shere Khan does have a soft spot for Guri... the boy makes him laugh... and he was in love with Guri's mother.

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, never fear Mr. Rabbit ran and hopped all the way to the Pleasure Club to tell Blade Runner what he'd done, as a warning to the good guys. But, he had to save his warren.

At least, that's how the plot developed in my head. ~smiles~

Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, not set in stone. Shere Khan is your character. He just showed up in my writerly head wanting some of his story told. And, I went with it.

Rebecca Murray said...

Oh, man! You going to make us wait until next week to find out what happens? That's just not nice...

And pat? See, I told you the yardrat was usefull! Hehehehe!

Pat C. said...

I'm not sure how much "my" character Shere Khan is. You invented the Tiger Yakuza; I figured they needed a leader, and the most evil tiger in literature was Shere Khan. Beyond that, I don't think I've written any scenes about him, other than comments by other characters. So feel free to go where the muse takes you.

His wives, though ... I may have to think about them.

Savanna Kougar said...

Rebecca, As Talbot Peak Turns... yeah, there's always the next episode... but then, that's life... always the next episode...

What does Shere Khan hear, learn? Does the Rat Pack know and provide a false trail??? Or, does Shere Khan get to spring his trap? Or...

Hey, one of his wives could interfere at the last moment... Guri could be on a cookie run...

Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, his wives could be inscrutably intriguing... hey, who knows they could have turned Gil into a squirrel rather than a wolf...???

Pat C. said...

The tigers had nothing to do with it. Gil's dealing with the consequences of shopping at Spells 'R' Us instead of visiting a legitimate magic dealer.

Savanna Kougar said...

Oooops, sorry! Sometimes, the details escape me.

Rebecca Murray said...

Yes, the story of Gil needs to be added to the author pages. I can't help but wonder just what Shere Khan's going to learn, either...