Life of a Little Red Porcupine Ch. 1
By Flaky Ciel
(Notes: This is an HTF story, so there's gonna be some violence and temporary death and such, and anyone who's familiar with the series shouldn't be at all surprised by it. Also, I don't own HTF or any part of it, Mondo Media does.)
The little red porcupine raised her hand up to her friend. "W-wait, Cuddles! You're not s-supposed to go in there!" Flaky yelled, timidly.
"Oh come on. Don't be such a wuss." Cuddles, the yellow rabbit, returned. He really wanted to check what was on the other side of the fence with the "Do not trespass" sign on it.
"B-But Cuddles…" Flaky protested. The rabbit scoffed and opened the gate. It was only moments later when a gigantic dog had his maw around the rabbit's head, thrashing him and sending bits of gore in every direction. Flaky screamed and backed away slowly as a giant splash of Cuddles's blood landed on her. After it hacked out his mauled remains, it gave chase to her. She ran, flailing, until the dog's chain stopped it dead.
It really must've been her lucky day. Ordinarily she would have been killed too, she thought. She fell on her seat, panting. She was horrified seeing her best of friends being torn apart like that, but he'd be back in a day or two. A week tops. That's how it always was around Happy Tree Forest. She picked herself up and gingerly started back on her way to her lonely house. She hated living there; it was like a living nightmare.
Sure, most of the people were nice, and she loved being with her friends, but she would rather have lived somewhere else, like she used to. Happy Tree Forest was like a living hell for everyone, and no one knew why. Everyone who lived in the area was cursed with extreme misfortune, which usually took the form of death, dismemberment, mauling, and other painful events. But every time someone died, or was maimed, they'd come back good as new in just a few days.
Flaky always wondered how it was possible, and what was responsible. She'd died plenty of times since she moved there, and every time she woke up at Happy Tree Hospital as if nothing happened. Only death was cured like that though, and the first few moments of "rebirth" were really painful too, since their sense of touch kind of "lagged" a few moments when they woke up. It was all so mysterious to everyone. Flaky figured it had to do something with those horrible little Idols that the people sometimes found, since whenever one of those showed up it made everything even worse. If it wasn't the idols, maybe it was whoever made them. They had to come from somewhere. Flaky sighed.
She looked down the street to see Giggles and Petunia playing jump rope. Flaky looked away. It was like she was the only one who dreaded all of the painful events all the time. It was like everyone else just learned to expect it and got along and played just like they had no cares in the world. That changed when they were faced with some of these events, but still. Flaky really tried to have fun and all, but it was hard. She walked up the stone steps to her house, and gingerly stepped inside the stump-shaped building.
She flopped down on her bed, which was always getting less comfy due to all the quill-puncture marks and the flakes of dandruff that accumulated. She had to clean it up pretty soon. She grabbed her teddy and hugged it, curling up and trying to just sleep her lucky day away. She was always so scared. Nothing was ever safe in this place. All of her house was covered in foam padding, soft plastic covers, and every other safety precaution that she could ever think to take. She hugged her teddy tighter. It wasn't always like this…
She used to live with her parents in another place, just over three years ago. She looked the same as she did then, since in Happy Tree Forest age seemed to stop once you got there. In fact, Cub, a baby bear, had been a toddler for several years. At least he had his Dad to keep him safe. Well, Pop did kind of have a tendency to kill his son, but his intentions were always kind. Suddenly she heard a knock at her door. "Flaky!" Petunia, the sweet-smelling skunk, called. "Flaky we're gonna play! You wanna come out?"
"B-be right there!" Flaky called. She squeezed her bear one last time before putting it down and cracking the door open a little bit. "Wh-what are we playing?"
"We're gonna go down to the park and pick a game. C'mon, Flaky!" Giggles the chipmunk called behind her friend. Flaky nodded opened the door the rest of the way. She thought it was kind of funny how little importance age was around there. She was only 15 (though she was still physically 12, and mentally was probably even younger) yet had all the responsibilities of an adult, a lot of times. So did her friends, generally no matter how old they were. They just kind of filled out the jobs that were needed, especially Lumpy, a dim-witted moose.
Flaky cautiously followed her friends. They were so cheerful, but they both still had family to run to when they were scared, or even hurt very badly. Flaky sighed and remembered the last time she actually felt safe. It was with her mom and dad before she moved there. They said that they got a good deal on a house in Happy Tree Forest, and were planning on driving there. Flaky wasn't actually flaky back then, she had her mom to help her get shampoo and stuff in her quills, which was really hard when your arms are so short and your hair's so pointy. She was also cheerful back then, and adventurous to a fault almost. She was simply a happy, bubbly little porcupine girl. "Hey girls! And Flaky!" A purple beaver named Toothy called out.
Flaky snapped to and blushed. People were always mistaking her for a guy, but Toothy was just teasing. Everyone had set up a small baseball field, and were getting ready to play. Flippy, a military-dressed green bear, was up to bat, and Toothy tossed a glove to Flaky. "You can take outfield if you want." He told her. She laughed shyly and scampered into the outfield. She still couldn't help but think of her old way of life…
She remembered how life used to be, back in the world away from this world of hell. It was a lot like Happy Tree Town, only less dangerous and scary. No vicious wild animals, evil killer amusement parks, freak accidents that break physics. It was the life. A large crack signified that Flippy had hit the ball. "I got it!" Handy shouted. The beaver lifted his handless stubs in the air, before flailing them around and shooting a glance of pure frustration. The ball hit him square in the eye, wedging into the poor guy's socket. Flaky cringed, but Handy was still alive somehow and staggered behind the bathrooms, where he collapsed. Flippy sighed, guiltily, before sitting back down since Handy HAD technically caught the ball.
"Don't worry." Lumpy told him, before getting ready to take bat. Nutty the hyperactive green squirrel pitched well, and Lumpy swung well, only he let go of the bat by mistake, sending into an onslaught of equipment. An automatic pitcher started firing balls into Russel, who took several to the head and chest before choking one last "Yar…". Giggles grabbed the machine, aiming it away from everyone. Baseballs clattered against the metal wall of the storage room like machine-gun fire, and it was too late before Giggles figured out that the machine was much less of a hazard than their unstable friend, Flippy.
The green bear's eyes twitched until they took on a ghastly green color. He smiled deviously and his now-deeper voice let out a sinister "DIE!". He swung a bat at Lumpy's head hard enough to send the moose's cranium soaring over the field. Flaky slowly looked back down, her face going white. Flippy stabbed his headless body with a bowie knife for good measure before running to the screaming porcupine. He ran past her, seemingly ignoring her. She liked him, but he really scared her when he "flipped out" due to something reminding him of the war he fought in…
She did let out a sigh of relief though, being still alive. But suddenly a spurt of blood sprang out of her neck. She screamed and cried loudly, realizing he slashed her jugular on the pass-by. She tried to stop the blood flow as best she could, but she kept bleeding until she started feeling woozy. She couldn't run either, since he hamstringed her when she wasn't looking. She just stood there, wobbly, until another baseball crashed into her head, giving her a black eye and knocking her out. It was there she had another vivid flashback…
On the drive over to Happy Tree Forest they got in a car crash. No one was hurt, at first. Her mom and dad got her out of the car and made sure everyone was alright. The other driver didn't make it, though, and he had hit them head-on. They were lucky to be alive, let alone in perfect health. Her parents comforted her and told her it was going to be alright, like they always did. And she was still happy, despite the scary event. But then another car got involved. It side-swiped the wreckage, right into her parents. They all tried to move out of the way, but only Flaky was short enough to dodge the car which barely passed over her head.
She crawled out from underneath the wreckage and looked up at the driver, crying. He had died in the crash, or was at least knocked out. But her parents were pinned to their own car by the front of his. They had been cut nearly in half, and with their last ounces of life tried to tell their daughter it was going to be okay. Flaky panicked and cried for almost an hour before running away, following the road to Happy Tree Forest. When she finally got there, she was all alone, with no one to tell her it was okay… She didn't even have a place to live, only her stuffed bear.
It didn't take her long to figure out the town's nature though. Not only that, but she found out that once she was there she couldn't leave either. Happy Tree Forest and the areas surrounding it literally all melted into the same world, away from the one she lived in before. It was the same, yet so much different and so much more dangerous. And her parents hadn't made it there, and they would never come back… So she lived by herself for almost a month. And it was after this month when she met her first and best friend, Cuddles.
She was just shivering and shaking in one of the town's alleys, traumatized, when the fluffy yellow bunny passed her by. He noticed her and the fact that her eyes were about the size of dinner plates. "You okay..?" He asked, sympathetically. She shook her head, trembling. Of course she wasn't. She had just lost her parents and in the month she'd been there she'd already been beaten, burned, crushed, stabbed, raped, and impaled. She'd become so timid, frightful, paranoid, and, worst of all, alone.
"I'm scared…" She whimpered. Cuddles came over and put his arm around her, poking himself a little with her spines.
"I'm sorry…" He said, pulling a few pins out of his arm. "I'm Cuddles. What's your name? Flaky?"
"Flaky?" She asked. Cuddles pulled off one of the large flakes of dandruff falling off of her quills. "Oh…" She blushed. Her real name was Ruby, but Cuddles interrupted her before she could say anything.
"C'mon, Flaky. Let's see if we can't find a place for you to live." Cuddles said. And it wasn't long before he got Lumpy, the realtor at the time, to get her into the house her parents had bought. The house where she had lived for the past three years… alone… Sure she had her friends, and they were almost always nice to her, but they were always doing things that scared her. She always felt so outcast, and when they weren't around she felt maddeningly lonely.
Flaky woozily opened her eyes, or rather opened one and half-opened the other. She was in the hospital, apparently she survived her wounds. She smiled weakly, thinking that maybe this really was her lucky day. She looked over and saw Flippy next to her bed, looking worried. "Flip…?" She asked. He looked up, and smiled.
"Hey, Flaky…" He said, "I heard I 'flipped out' again… I'm sorry I hurt you, I just wanted to say that. I woke up and took you here. You were the only survivor, heh…" He said, weakly. She only smiled back at him, woozily. He didn't look it, but he was probably in his mid 20's. But he was a sweet guy, and got along great with his younger friends just fine. He fit right in with them anyway. No one's ever sure how old everyone else is anyway. He fidgeted, remembering something. "Oh, I brought you this." He said, pressing her teddy bear into her arms.
She smiled and hugged it, weak from blood-loss. "Th-thanks, Flippy…" She said, cuddling it. He smiled, slightly relieved. He really hated his alternate self. The person eating inside him was the result of war, a personality he made in order to survive, a personality that was a brutal killing machine. But now that the war's over, he can't get rid of it. It caused so much trouble and pain. Especially to poor people like Flaky, who already had it rough. He always felt so bad for her, always so scared and always being hurt.
"Well, the doc says you should be okay." Flippy told her, patting her on the shoulder. She nodded, a bit content. She sniffled a bit. "Are you going to be okay, Flaky?" She nodded weakly. She thought for another moment about her happier life, and finally couldn't take it anymore. She'd been thinking about it all day. She burst into tears, wailing, causing Flippy to literally tumble backwards in his seat. He jumped up and hugged her, carefully moving his arms between her spines, which surprisingly weren't as sharp and pointy as he thought they were.
"There there, it's going to be okay…" He said. Her tears settled down to a dull sniffle. She looked up at him with big watery eyes. "It'll be okay, okay? Soon you'll be out, and you can go home." He smiled.
"Yeah…" She said. After all, it was the safest place for her. But she couldn't stop thinking about her parents. "I miss my mommy and daddy…" She choked. He patted her on the back and thought for a moment, looking around as if trying to spot an answer. He realized that she must be really lonely, living by herself. He was lonely too. Ever since he got back from the war and moved to Happy Tree Town he had been all alone, except for his "other self". Plus, he thought he should do something nice for the little porcupine.
"Say, Flaky…" he started. "Would… would you like to come live with me? You know, at least until your legs heal up."
"R-Really?" She asked. He smiled and nodded. She smiled. Despite the fact that this was a man who, on several occasions, horribly killed her during a berserk rampage, she felt… somehow safe with his normal self. He was a really kind-hearted and strong guy, as long as she didn't make him go nuts. "I-I-I'd like that…" She said, timidly but happily. He smiled and hugged her again. It was the next night when he carried her to his house.
His home was filled with dangerous stuff, which made Flaky shrink down a little bit in his arms. He couldn't help but chuckle. "Don't worry, I'll take care of all the stuff that could hurt you." He said. He'd leave a few weapons around though, just in case she had to defend herself from him. Or if he flipped out it'd make her death quicker. She smiled in return, though.
"H-how long can I stay here..?" She asked.
"As long as you like." He told her. She was still wearing her white hospital shirt, and her legs were still bandaged up, and she still looked exhausted from blood-loss. He found his room and set her down in bed. "You can rest up. I'll just take the couch, okay?" He said, glad that he could help her. He saluted happily before turning off the lights. Flaky whimpered, though, afraid of the dark.
"F-F-Flippy?" She called. He came back in and turned on the light.
"Oh, the dark. That's right… I'm sorry, Flaky. Do you want me to leave it on?"
"D-Don't leave me alone…" She pleaded, tearing up. Flippy smiled, sympathetically.
"Alright, I won't." He said, hitting the lights again and hopping in bed next to her. She instantly huddled next to him, seeking comfort and clinging to her teddy. She shook for a few seconds before calming down. She almost sighed in relief. It was like… having a parent again, she thought. She snuggled against Flippy just like the little girl she was three years ago. Finally, she felt safe again, for the first time in three years.