Pride Lands Online

     I had a weird dream. I dreamt I was at the north pole with a hangover, and was waiting for this tiny snowshoe hare to make some coffee for me. Then suddenly from out of nowhere comes a lion with a flamethrower. I was running away, trying get to the coffee. It was a stupid dream, but a frustrating one with a headache attached. The pain was enough for me to wake up to the scent of coffee. Sensing that, I forced my eyes open to see what was going on.
     I found what was left of the bag of ice was sitting on my head in place of my hat. My ears heard some humming, and I proceeded to to look into the little area separated from the living room by a counter, known as the kitchen. Veronica was in a robe with a towel around her head, sipping some coffee. I guess she took a shower when I was still sleeping.
     "Oh," she sighed, "you're up."
     "I had the strangest dream..."
     "Was I in it?"
     "No. I said it was a strange dream, not a GOOD one."
     "Oh, so I'd be a good dream?"
     "Well, you're definitely not a nightmare."
     She sighed with a smirk, and looked down at her cup of coffee. She gave a short laugh, and looked away from my direction entirely.
     "I don't think I need your services, any more, Rindimo."
     "Services?" I looked around, and thought a second. "Services... You mean you and I-- on the couch?! Was I that drunk?"
     "No, silly!" She laughed, but she was starting to cry.
     "What's wrong?"
     "I don't have Five thousand dollars! I can't call the police! My stuff is as good as gone. There's nothing else you can do." She proceeded to baul her eyes out.
     Did I mention I hate it when they cry? I got up even though I apparently did have a hangover. As she continued to cry, I gently hugged her.
     "Now now... calm down... shhhh. Don't cry."
     "I'm sorry! But there's nothing you can do!"
     "Silly girl," I chided, "you hired the best. The best don't quit."
     "But what can you do?"
     "Get five grand."
     "What? How?"
     "Didn't I tell ya? I run a professional business. I'm prepared for just about every contingency."
     "But then what about all the money you owe Bobby?"
     "You'll see. Don't worry, we'll not only get your stuff back, but we'll capture this guy, and send him to the slammer for good!"
     "Anything to keep such a pretty girl from crying. It'll be a cold day in hell I leave someone to cry all by themselves."
     She hugged me tightly, and kissed me real good right on the lips. Well, when in Rome, do like the Romans do. I hugged her tighter too, and helped with the kissing bit. However much I enjoyed it, I had to come up for air.
     "That felt nice."
     "Hmm-mmm!" She softly giggled, "Did you ever plan for that contingency in your line of work?"
     "Nope," I sighed, "I had no idea you were going to pour your hot coffee down my back."
     "What?! Oh, I'm so sorry!"
     "No problem," I commented as I took my jacket off, "If hot coffee doesn't wake you up in the morning, what will? 'Course, the kissing was pretty stimulating in itself..."
     "Here, I'll wash it for you."
     "Okay. Here, I'll help! After I take a shower, if that's all right with you. Coffee get's sticky after a while."
     "Sure, go ahead. Though it takes a while for the water heater to heat back up again."
     "Believe me," I winked, "A cold shower should do the trick."
     Veronica sat down on the couch with my jeans jacket.
     "You're not the only one. God, what was I just going to do back there?"
     She wasn't the only one wondering what happened back there...

     The problem with women is that they like all these flowery shampoos, and stuff. I mean, what's wrong with just a simple bar of soap? Don't they know that bugs and stuff go for these perfumy smells? Needless to say, when I came out of the bathroom, I smelled fresh as a daisy. It was embarrassing.
     After the male-scent-robbing-shower, I poured myself a cup of coffee. I guess Veronica was where ever the washing machines were. I found my hat on the counter connected to the kitchen, put it on, and sat down on the couch. I'm on business. Now all I needed was my jeans jacket. Good thing I wasn't wearing any pants. Then there'd be more stuff to wash. I hate pants. They just don't make 'em right for undomestic-type species such as myself. Too small in the thigh area...
     Around this time, Veronica walked in with the first load of laundry. We looked at each other for a while without saying anything. But we did smile a couple of times.
     "Silly us-- doin' what we did." I chuckled.
     "Yeah, it was sort of silly."
     "But it felt good..."
     "Yes, it did..."
     "Here, I got an idea. Right now, with all the excitement in all of the uncertainty that lays ahead, let's put this aside, and act mature about it. I'll just maintain a professional distance, and after this is all over, then we'll see what happens. How does it sound?"
     "Yes," she smiled, "that sounds good. Oh, here's your jacket."
     "Hey, thanks! Wow! It looks almost like new..."
     I put it to my face and took a sniff of that fresh clean smell. Flowers. Great, more flowers... I put it on anyway, and started helping pick up more clothes and putting them through the machines.
     "No, Rindimo, you have to separate the brights and the darks."
     "I knew that."
     "No! Don't put bleach with the dark clothes!"
     "I knew that.
     "No! you use cold water with that kind of fabric!"
     "I knew that."
     "Really? I'd like to see YOUR clothes when you're done with them."
     "Well... it's been so long, that's all."
     "Can you at least fold clothes?"
     "Yes ma'am! Now that I can do!"
     Washing clothes was an interesting thing to experience. The job itself was horribly menial and boring, but I guess this is why women are such spiritual creatures. I mean, you have plenty of time on your hands, so why not think about deeper things? Maybe if I stare at underwear spinning around in circles, I can figure out where I placed my check book. Or better yet, come up with five thousand dollars. In Veronica's case, she just hums, and reads magazines. Curiousity got the best of me, and I tried to identify the tune she was humming. It was "Happy Birthday."
     "So Rindimo, are you really going to give the theif five thousand dollars?"
     "Not for long. Don't worry, I have some connections that will help me out with that."
     "What are you going to do? Put a hidden transmitter in the breif case? Or how about sleeping gas?"
     "I was thinking of monopoly money..."
     "Well... not exactly. I got an ex-con that owes me some favors. He used to print counterfeit bills. I can have him run some cheap fake ones up just to fool the theif. You know, one-sided, or Ulyssee S. Grant sticking out his tongue... Stuff you wouldn't notice in a hurry."
     "But I thought you said you were going to capture him too. What about a transmitter?"
     "Don't worry. I'll arrest him on the spot. I did this sorta stuff before."
     "Hopefully better than the way you're folding my clothes," Veronica giggled.
     "Okay, so I'm a little rusty..."
     "Let's hope your arm doesn't fall off."
     "Okay, smart-alek! You better be ready when I come over to pick you up at ten."
     "Why do I have to come?"
     "The note was addressed to you, therefore you need to be there. I'll just handle the dealings and all, and you can enjoy the show."
     "How can you be so fearless?"
     "Two syllables: Whis-key."
     "No," Veronica giggled, "You really are a brave man. You can do stuff where I'd be scared stiff."
     "Sorry, I can't help it. Besides, I like being the protector. Girls just cling to ya."
     "Maybe... if they can't take care of themselves."
     "What is that you're reading?"
     "Oh, this?" Nothing. I don't normally read these, honest!"
     "You have a whole pile of "Galactic Inquisitor" laying next to your couch."
     "Oh, okay! I confess! I read these all the time! I can't help it! There! You happy?"
     "If you'd let me read the article of Simba an Nala when you're done, I will be."
     "Here, take it." She sighed, "I already read it last week. It's an old issue."
     Normally, I don't read these things either, unless they talk about aliens, or the two-headed rheusus mokey that terrorizes circus clowns. I especially enjoy reading about him. But this time around, there were no monkeys, or aliens. In big letters, It said, "Simba, Nala, and Jack Daniels-- Marriage on the Rocks." Catchy title.
     It turns out that Simba and Nala weren't having the best of times together. Though neither would say, somebody had a drinkng problem and was pulling the other down with it. Countless times, police were called on the scene to break up domestic disputes between the two. Rumor has it Nala is cheating on Simba, but only because Simba was first. It's junk like that that makes me just stick with the two-headed monkey.

     Having finished all the dirty laundry of Veronica's, It was about time that I should leave. Besides, she needed to change. She was still wearing the towel on her head, slippers, and the robe.
     "Me and the iron horse have some things to take care of before our escapade tonight, so I must say good bye, until we meet again."
     "Okay Rindimo. Thanks for helping me with everything."
     As I started to walk away, she quickly stopped me.
     As I turned around, I promptly recieved another hug and kiss.
     "It's for luck."
     Though I have a bunch of fur on my face, I bet she could tell I was blushing.
     "And you must be lady luck herself." I waved as I began to walk off towards her window.
     "Where are you going?"
     "Out the window."
     "Why? Why not the lobby?"
     "The lobby is such a silly place... I don't like it."
     "You just want to avoid those three, don't you?"
     "Can you blame me?"
     "Not at all," she smiled, "Take care."
     Little did I know that in the day time, they sit outside on the steps... right next to where I parked.

     At the appointed hour, I pulled up for the lovely Veronica Lionlove To step out of the building, and hop into the noble iron steed. Hearing the hoots and hollers, I deducted she just entered the lobby. After knowing her for a while, I wasn't at all surprised to see she was wearing the same bunny suit. In fact, I never even saw her take off the ears.
     "I don't mean to pry, but how many outfits do you have like that?"
     "Just this one."
     "Then why did we wash all those other clothes? Why do you keep wearing this one?"
     "I don't know," she sighed, "I guess I just feel more free, more individualistic."
     "A tight-fitting top, a mini-skirt with a rabbit tail, and ears make you more free?"
     "Yes, they do."
     "Well, whatever suits your fancy, I guess."
     "Forget it. Let's go before we're late."
     "Glad to hear it!" I said as I hopped out of the car.
     "What are you doing?"
     "Turn the key when I tell you to..."
     "I thought you said once your car starts, you don't need to do these things!"
     "And that is absolutely right."
     "Then why now?"
     "Because," I embarrasingly replied, "I pushed her over here. I need my special helper, it seems."

     It's always abandoned warehouses. I swear, all the crooks in town must take a number or something to use these things. If we were to get rid of all these places, the only place left for the criminals would be city hall. I am not one who instantly makes a hasty decision on something, but after ending up in a couple of these dark places, I believe I have enough experience to make an opinion. I hate them.
     Buttercup started backfiring, and her idle was irregular when we started to approach.
     "What's wrong with your car?"
     "She's a little edgey and restless when it comes to these things."
     "She's not the only one."
     The old iron mare's thunder echoed off of the walls of the buildings of the marina as we drove towards the meeting place. Naturally, we were the only ones there. Or so it seemed. It was just as edgey as in the case of the psycho sushi samari. Just thinking of it made me want to order a pizza.
     We walk in, and naturaly the whole place is dark. No originality on their part. I'd like to see the day where you can walk into a well-lit abandoned warehouse. I was beginning to enjoy it, though. Every step we took, Veronica held me closer. I love my job.
     Flash! a small light comes on in a far corner of the warehouse. Sitting there, was the Lion we encountered at the bar, smiling as happily as could be, dressed in the same black clothes. I'd like to erase that smile-- permanently. But alas, I don't have a degree in plastic surgery.
     Silently, the lion motioned us to come closer. We came. It turns out that he had almost the exact same briefcase. Silently again, he motioned for us to hand him our briefcase.
     "Not just yet, pal. Before I give you what's coming to you, I want two things. Firstly, I want to make sure you got the lady's things in mint condition, or you're not only getting nothing, but I'll hang you with your own intestines!"
     The lion made a disgusted face, but motioned for us to look behind him. There was a door leading to the outside. Right outside the door, was the trunk of a car that was open-- revealing all the stuffed plushies, and other goodies.
     "Wait!" Veronica spoke up, "Where are all my posters and pictures?!"
     The lion smiled as he gently tapped his paw on the breifcase that looked almost like ours.
     "May we take a look?"
     He shook his head, and pointed to our briefcase.
     "Pushy fellow. And such a man of few words, too. Veronica, all your stuff in his car look like it wasn't harmed?"
     The lion motioned yet again for the cash.
     "Keep your shirt on, pretty boy. I still got my other thing I want from you. Who are you-- you, who would sink so low as to steal this woman's Lion King collection?"
     With a big grin, the ne'er-do-well pulled off his broad-brimmed hat. Veronica gasped at what she saw. Me? I just gritted my teeth in anger, looking at him with death in my eyes. It was Simba.
     "You rotten son of a hyena! How could you have sunken so low, as to pick off your ex-grilfriend!" I put my hands to my head, feigning frustration, while Veronica just stood there in shock. "No wonder Nala's dumping you and you can't keep a marriage together! Oh, you got what's comin' to you, all right, and here it is!!"
     I pulled up and over my head my shotgun, and aimed it at Simba's face. I had it hidden underneath my coat, behind my back, and just faced Simba the whole time. I could see the fear in his eyes, as I pumped the rusted magazine for a shell.
     "FREEZE, PUNK!!"
     Both me and Veronica turned to see a battalion of police officers aiming our way. There were more cars outside the main door of the warehouse we entered.
     "Drop the gun, and put your hands behind your head, NOW!"
     "You're arresting the wrong guy, Murray."
     "Shut up, Rindimo! We're on to you, and your little girlfriend's cocaine smuggling operation!"
     "We got an anonymous tip that there would be a big deal going on at the abandoned warehouse at five minutes after eleven o'clock. And whatta ya know, here you are!"
     "Us? What about--"
     When I turned and looked, all I saw was a vacant table, and a doorway with a a clean view of the ocean. So that's why they have no lights, and dress in black.
     "I thought you said you done this stuff before," stammerred Veronica.
     "Yes, but not with the entire police force aiming rifles at my head."
     Seeing talking to the old boss wasn't going to do any good, I figured now would be as good a time as any to try out an old wildcard I hopefully still had up my sleeve.
     "Mike... There was another guy here! He looks like Simba, in fact, he is Simba! I was just about to arrest him for stealing this lady's goods, when you guys sprung on us!"
     "Simba? You mean, from 'The Lion King'?"
     Good ol' Mike.
     "That can't be right! Simba's my hero!"
     "Well then, let me prove myself. Take the laser sights off my face. One more hit in eye, and I'll sue you all for causing blindness."
     "No! We're not moving them away!" Shouted officer Murray. "You've read your last comic book!"
     "Well let's hear him out..." notions Mike. The marksmen complied.
     "We had five grand to trade for this girl's Lion King stuff, and--"
     "Did you have the life-sized Simba plushie?"
     Veronica seemed a little bashful, but answered a nervous "yes."
     "Hey, neat! Me too! I even have all the posters, and cells, too!"
     "Well," I confidently replied, "Here is our proof. In here are all of the little lady's posters an things. Too bad we couldn't get her plushies in time, because SOMEBODY had to scare him AWAY!!"
     I opened the briefcase, and let all take a look. The chief grinned.
     "Finally! I finally have a good reason to throw you in jail for! Your stupidity finally paid off, Rindimo!" He started laughing.
     I looked into the briefcase to see a bunch of white powder. I could tell from the smell that it was the real thing, too. I was starting to get angry realizing we have been setup this whole time.
     "Well... unless there's a two-headed rheusus monkey you want to show us, I suggest you just give up, and make it all nice and easy on you. Don't worry, Ms. Veronica, I'll make sure you get off easy." Murray winked.
     "How'd you know my name?" Veronica pressed.
     All the officers started to hum "Happy Birthday."
     "Never mind."
     "Well... there's only one thing to do now, Rindimo," growled officer Murray.
     "Yep," I sighed, "Here goes nothing!"
     I flung the briefcase as hard as I could at all the officers. White powder flew every where, generating a cloud where visibility was reduced to practically nothing. I quickly grabbed my shotgun, Veronica's hand, and ran like the dickens out the back door.
     "How's that for a snow job?!"
     We ran to the front of the building where all the other cars were waiting outside. I knew half of the guys on the force, and they knew me as only a mild threat. With our lines of work, we meet rather regularly, and this was no exception.
     "Help! Help! The guy's getting away!"
     "What?" shouted one of the officers. "Who?"
     "The drug dealer, Clyde!", I lied, "He's getting away!"
     "We've seen no one go past us, Rindimo. What the heck you doin' here, anyway?"
     "It doesn't matter! can't you hear Murray cursing back there? The felon is on the loose!"
     "You better go home, Rindy, 'cause nobody has come out the building, except for you, and Veronica..." Suddenly, Clyde put two-and-two together, and started coming towards us. I knew sooner or later he'd catch on.
     Luck was finally with us, however. Suddenly, a purple Porshe shot out from behind the warehouse, and zoomed past us.
     "There he goes!" I shouted, as Veronica and I bolted for the car. "Clyde, have your men follow me!"
     KATHWOOM!!! I gunned the engine, and engaged it into Over-Drive.
     "KICK THIS MULE!!" Veronica screamed over the loud engine exhaust. Finally, she's talking my language!
     The tires screamed like banshees, as we launched into a high speed pursuit. Shortly after our departure of the scene, the police began to follow with their lights flashing, and sirens blaring. I love this part of the job the most.
     "Where did he go? Where's he headed?" Veronica was all excited. The thrill of the chase was upon her.
     "Judging from the initial direction he's headed, it's the rich side of town."
     "We'll never catch him in time!"
     "Don't you fret one bit, sweetheart. Old chunder thunder Buttercup can keep the pace any day! Besides, we'll take a shortcut."
     "What?! I can't hear you over the noise!"
     "You'll see!" I never did mention that the exhaust headers were totally rusted off. All that remained of my dual exhaust, was part of a muffler hanging on with a coat hanger.
     I quickly took a sharp turn with the emergency brake, and dashed through the city park. I don't think the mayor will mind about twenty pairs of tire tracks over the newly seeded lawn. Up next, I turned onto the railroad tracks that went next to the highway intersection where Simba was headed. There he was in his purple porshe, putting along at the far base of the steep incline we were on, thinking he lost us. Little did he know, that danger can come from the sky.
     "Th-there h-he i-is!!" Veronica shouted as we bounced along the train tracks. "B-but h-how ar-r-r-re we g-going t-to re-ea-ch him-m?"
     "H-hang O-on!!" Was all I could shout, as we neared a Holy Days Inn that was next to the steep hill we were on. With a stomp of the gas pedal, I jerked the steering wheel to send us flying off of the hill towards the general direction of the motel's roof. Poor guys-- they just repaired the roof from the last time I did this sort of thing.
     We hit the roof, rammed through a short wall (one they had just recently repaired), fell onto the lower roof of a nearby burger joint, and finally touch asphalt again when we drove out on the aluminum roofing (also recently repaired) that slowly crumpled into an inclined plane the farther we went.
     "My GOD! How'd you know how to do that??!!"
     "I told you I did this sort of stuff before!"
     The minute Simba saw me in his rear view mirror, he suddenly accellerated from the outskirts of town, straight into one of the major parts of the city. Lucky for us it was late at night. At this time there is normally only gangs, and irate drivers. We charged through china town, spun past greasy spoon corner, lashed little italy pavement, dodged around downtown... well, you get the idea.
     As invigorating a high-speed chase might be, I wanted to close the book on this case as soon as possible, so I could celebrate. It was while we were beginning to leave town on the other side opposite the pier, that I finally grabbed Veronica's hands, and placed them on the steering wheel.
     "Here, you drive."
     Despite her screaming, I stuck my torso out of the car, while I kept my foot on the gas. I held one hand on my hat, the other held my scumbag-duster-off'er. Unfortunately, I held the gun with my left hand. I'm right-handed. But that's the beauty of the shotgun: You don't need to aim.
     Still, I concentrated as best I could-- what with all the hills and bumps we were jumping. I carefully timed it to where I'd hit the back tire of the porshe when it hops a hill. I carefully began squeezing the trigger, waiting for the moment to come...
     *click.* I forgot all about it being rusted frozen. "Aw, MAN!" In anger, I whacked it against the side of my car whil we were just descending another hill.
     *BLAM!* *BOOM* *ScreeEEEE!* *Flop flop flop* *crash!* Well I'll be a Puma's cousin! I never had that kind of luck since I solved the case of the missing lottery ticket of Asa Kurr, the 900 number psychic! With the porshe's rear tire blown, Simba lost all control, and veered off into a fire hydrant in front of a local business store, on the side of the vacant street. Unfortunately for us, we also rammed the back of his porshe. it turns out one of Buttercup's break lines ruptured when we did the jump from the train tracks. It wasn't too bad. You could tell that all the Lion King merchandise was still safe.
     As Simba slowly crawled from his crumpled vehicle, I pointed the gun to his head.
     "One false move, and you'll be topless-- PERMANENTLY."
     He quickly raised his hands up, and faced me. He didn't bother to stand, but instead sat against the wall of the until-recently-pristine-condition building. You could tell he was shaking out of fear. Slowly, the sound of police sirens started to get louder, as I maintained a vigil watch on the prisoner.
     "Here, Veronica," I said as I slowly backed up, while still facing Simba, "Use this to get your stuff out of his car, and put it in my trunk. You can throw out the empty bottles I have back there." I handed her the crowbar.
     Veronica nodded with tears in her eyes. As she walked past him to the Porshe, she sadly cried out to him, "Why Simba, why?" But it seemed that Simba was still a little too dizzy from the crash to respond just yet. Still, I maintained a steady bead on his head, as water from the broken fire hydrant sprayed about us from under Simba's Porshe.

     Mike was one of the first policemen to come on the scene. He didn't look to happy either.
     "You idiot!! You stoned half the police force with your stupid manuver at the warehouse!! Why the hell couldn't you just stay on the road?!! You totaled the businesses on hollywood corner for the fifth time!! And what's worst of all, you probably gave Simba a concussion!!"
     Other officers gathered around to watch, as I slowly walked up to Simba, and put my hand on his head.
     "Negative, Mike. Simba doesn't have a concussion. On the contrary, It's none other than... NALA!" I yanked hard on the mane, pulling off a mask that revealed a slightly bruised face of Nala King herself.
     Everyone gasped. Everyone, that is, except Veronica. She screamed, and slapped me.
     "God! Don't ever do that again!"
     "Nala King!" Gasped Mike, and the other officers.
     "NALA!! NALA!!" Someone shouted from down the street. It was none other than Simba King himself, running towards us in a jogging suit. He didn't look too happy.
     "What're you doing to my wife!!??" He screamed.
     "Oh my God! Simba just yelled at me!" Mike elatedly shouted. "Wait till my wife hears this!"
     "I'm placing your wife under arrest, Mr. King," I calmly stated.
     "What for?!"
     "Breaking and entering, grand theft, conspiracy, extortion, and oodles of driving violations. I think there's some more... but I'm a little rusty."
     "Damage to city property, and parking violations."
     "Thanks Mike."
     Simba put his hand to his forehead, and leaned against the wall of the building. Everyone watched, as he took some deep breaths before looking at Nala.
     "No no NO!" Simba cried, "You said you were going to visit your mother! What're you doing here?! You've been nothing but trouble ever since you got me drunk enough to marry you! Oh, Nala, why, why, WHY??!!" He proceeded to cry on officer Mike's shoulder.
     "Simba's crying on my shoulder!!" Mike happily shouted.
     "So, *detective*," Nala cackled, "What tipped you off?".
     "The hairbrush."
     I pulled from my coat a plastic sandwich bag containing the hairbrush from Veronica's bathroom. It still had the red hairs trapped in its bristles.
     "When you broke into Veronica's place, you entered through the window using the fire escape in the alley. However, your fake mane you were wearing got caught in the window's many splinters. When you were rummaging through Veronica's many dressers and such, you happened to pass by the bathroom door-- which was open. Being a female, you couldn't pass the opportunity to straighten out the tangles and such once you looked in the mirror. Unfortuneately, while you were making yourself all pretty, Veronica walked in. The only means of escape was the window in her bedroom, which ruined your hair as you fell from the second story, onto your car. I pointed to her caved-in roof.
     "SO? Why'd I want to steal from her anyway!?"
     I held up the Galactic Enquirer for all to see.
     "You and Simba haven't been getting along lately, and divorce seemed inevitable. But that's not what you wanted. I'm certain you enjoyed the money and power Simba's fame brought you. That's why you had to destroy the old flame of his life! The last thing you wanted to see was Simba and Frieda get back together, and be happy the rest of their lives. No, you needed to separate them as far away from each other as you can. What better way than to frame them both: Make Frieda seem undesireable, or inaccessable, by setting her up as a desperate crack dealer, and then making Simba look like one real rotten son of a hyena by framing him as a two-bit thief. The only way to do that was to make her think Simba stole his gifts back to destroy her, and it was perfect for getting a cool five grand, and setting the poor gal up for your rotten hatred streak! That way, no one's happy, and every body's miserable! It's that lousy 'If I can't have him, then no one can' crap again."
     "A nice plan. Wish I'd thought of it myself." Nala growled.
     "Oh, but that's not all." I pulled out of my pocket the note Veronica got from the bar.
     "You also made the mistake of using Veronica's real name."
     "Any normal thief would've just stuck with the name Veronica in their ransom note. However, you either unconciously wrote her real name down, or you really wanted her to think it was Simba that was doing all this. Too artificial. Even the guy in charge of the hotel didn't know Veronica's real name."
     "All right! All right.... I did it."
     "So they can hear you...."
     "I FRAMED SIMBA AND FRIEDA! IT WAS ME, ME MEEEE!!! AND I FEEL GRRRRRRRRRREAT!!! Ha ha ha!!! And I would've gotten away with it all if it wasn't for you kids and your stupid dog!!"
     "What did she say?" asked Mike, who was helping Simba blow his nose.
     "I think she's still recovering from the crash, or recovering from buying all that crack to frame us. One or the other."
     "Oh. Hey!! I have Simba's SNOT!! Oh God, this is so spiritual!!"
     "What's his problem?" inquired Nala.
     "He's a big fan of The Lion King."
     "Rindimo, I'm done loading all my stuff in your car!" shouted Veronica. "Oh, I'm so happy! I got everything back! And best of all, it was Nala?! I mean, it can't get any better than this?!"
     I swallowed the lump forming in my throat. I didn't want to tell her what's next for her. But I just had to. It was the right thing to do. I mean, me playing the good guy and all.
     "Veronica-- or should I say Frieda-- there's someone here I think you'd like to meet." I led her over to Mike. "Simba, I think this is what you came to town looking for. Frieda, you remember Simba, don't you?"
     The two looked into eachother's eyes for the longest time before bursting into tears of joy, and hugging one another. I smiled, and wiped a few tears myself.
     "Oh Simba! I knew it wasn't you that did all those mean things! I knew you still loved me!"
     "Frieda! Oh God, I thought I'd never see you again! I'm so sorry I got drunk and married Nala! But I didn't want to just do an instant divorce! I wanted to try and work things out. Oh, I'm so sorry!"
     "You haven't changed one bit." Smile Frieda. "You're still so gentle and loving, and caring as ever."
     "You haven't changed much, either. Still the old Frieda. You know, I was jogging tonight to clear my mind... I just kept thinking of you, and I felt compelled to jog this way and--"
     "Hold it!" I interjected. "You mean she wore this same bunny suit years before her present career?"
     "Well... Frieda's always wanted to be a dancer and actor. In fact, that's how we met. She was practicing dancing for this play I was in back in acting school."
     I could just imagine the reviews...
     "I knew I just had to find you again, Frieda. Leaving you was the biggest mistake of my life."
     "Oh, Simba!"
     "Oh, Frieda!"
      They kissed. Funny thing, because that instant was the instant all the media came with their cameras. It seems you can't keep a car wreck with twisted marital problems attached under a lid for long. It turns out a seemingly small good deed of helping out a beautiful woman helped stick a group photo of me, Frieda, and Simba on the front page of the papers. That's okay in my book, but the thing I hate about news media, however, are all the questions they love to ask. I mean, I don't even wear boxers or briefs. Heck, I don't even wear pants!
     It was during one of these interviews when everyone turned to see Nala kicking and screaming, as some of the officers tried to shove her into the back of a squad car.
     "Wait!" I exclaimed.
     I ran up to Nala, and sheepishly looked away for a second, before awkwardly looking her in the eyes.
     "Back at the bar... when we were fighting... I thought you were a male lion at the time... and... well, I'm sorry I smashed my hands against you chest. It was a total misunderstanding on my part, and I'm sorry."
     Nala looked at me with forgiving eyes. It made me feel a little better. I felt more courageous to venture on:
     "...And I'm never washing my hands again!"
     This was the part where the guys needed to break out the mace spray. My, can that girl KICK!


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Author: Rindimo
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