and then alison

10

Filling the Comic Con void

Yes, we know it’s hard not to see Eddie Redmayne and the Fantastic Beasts gang at Comic Con this year. We get spoiled easily and pout when he doesn’t appear at the Oscars, Wimbledon or the Met Ball — or any place we’ve seen him before and expect him again. 

Until the anticipated appearance of the FB2 cast at next year’s Comic Con, we’ll just have to live on these memories. We hope they wipe that pout off your face.

youtube

On this day in music history: July 22, 1977 - “My Aim Is True”, the debut album by Elvis Costello is released (US release is in November 1977). Produced by Nick Lowe, it is recorded at Pathway Studios in London circa Late 1976 - Early 1977. After six years of performing in pubs and clubs around his native Liverpool, Costello receives his big break in 1976 when he submits demo recordings of several songs to Stiff Records in the hopes of being signed to the new label. Initially, the label is only interested in him as a staff songwriter (for musician Dave Edmunds), but are persuaded to sign him as a recording artist. The album is recorded in twenty four hours of studio time (cut in six four hour sessions at a cost of £1,000) spread out over several weeks. Recording with members of the band Clover, Costello often takes time off (calling in sick) from his day job as a data entry clerk in order to rehearse and record the material. It spins off the classics “Alison” and “(The Angels Want To Wear My) Red Shoes”. Originally released as a stand alone single in the UK in October of 1977, the track “Watching The Detectives” is added to the US version of the album, when it is issued four months after its UK release. The original US LP cover art also differs from its UK counterpart, with the UK version featuring the front cover photo in black & white, with the background on the back airbrushed pink, beige, blue, green, purple, yellow, orange or crimson red. The US version features the front cover photo airbrushed yellow, with the back cover photo, using either a yellow or white background.  A mid 80’s reissue of the album reverts to the original UK cover with the black & white front photo, and yellow background back cover. The album is remastered and reissued numerous times over the years since its first CD release in 1986, with expanded reissues on Rykodisc and Rhino Records. “My Aim” is also reissued as a hybrid SACD in Japan by Hip-O Records in 2011, with 180 gram vinyl LP pressing released by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2009, and UMe in 2015. “My Aim Is True” peaks at number thirty two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

A Taste Of Hazel Chapter 11 (A Zootopia fan-story)

Alison arrived home from school she had her backpack over her should and looked exhausted she had been teased relentlessly, she wanted so badly to punch the dickens out of the other kids, but knew deep down that would not help.

“Hey sweetie” called a voice from the couch.

Alison hadn’t even seen Jack sitting on the couch.

“Hey dad”

“Hi sweetheart, how was your day?”

Alison smiled brightly “We had the whole last class was art and it was great, I drew a fox”

Alison pulled out her book and showed Jack the picture. He didn’t move from the couch but held a paw out and took the book looking over the picture.

It’s beautiful, “who is it?”

“The neighbour, I think she is very pretty!”

Jack knew who Alison spoke of; she was speaking of Ms Raine, the young fox who lived in the penthouse across from Jacks penthouse suite.

“Can I go show her?”

Asked Alison, Jack pursed his lips, he hated Alison’s fascination with other foxes, and it made him feel bad, but mainly uncomfortable.

“Sure” he said through strain “just be home before mom gets home okay?”

Alison did a 180 degree turn and went to go to the neighbour’s house when she paused under the doorframe.

“Dad?”

Jack who had gone back to watching television hit the mute button.

“Yeah?”

“What are you doing home?”

Jack looked blankly at the television “Just sick sweetheart”.

“Oh…okay, I’ll be back soon”.

Alison shut the door and Jack waited till her heard her paw steps disappear before reaching between the couch and pulling out a bottle of scotch and his pills.

“This is getting out of hand” he sighed throwing back three of the pills, as his eyes stayed poised on the dark figure sitting in the corner of the room rocking back and forth crying.

Alison tapped gently at the door to Ms.Raine’s penthouse suite.

“Hello Ms.Raine?”

“Hello?” choked a voice from the other side of the door; the voice was soft but sad.

“Hey Ms Raine, it’s me Alison”.

“Oh hi sweetie, what can I do for you?”

The door cracked a little and Miss Raines hazel eye peered out.

“I drew you a picture!” Alison confirmed with a gleeful smile holding up the picture.

“Oh sweetie that’s beautiful, is that you” she breathed out, sounding to Alison as though she was out of breath.

“No…It’s you!” explained Alison holding picture up for Ms Raine to take.

“Aw thank you” she exclaimed reaching a shaky paw out to take the picture from Alison, her paw however was shaking like mad.

“Are you okay Ms Raine?” quizzed Alison.

“Yeah, I’ve just got a temperature and haven’t been feeling too well, but it’s okay, its normal…you’ll understand when your older sweetheart. Ide invite you in but I don’t think I can today, maybe another night you can come over and we can watch a Fox tales?”

Alison’s face lit up with excitement.

“Well I hope you get better” comforted Alison.

“I think I’ll be much better soon enough” said Ms Raine with a bright fangy smile.

Nick was sharply woken by the god awful sound of his watch blaring in his ear; his sight was blurry as he tried to push himself up, his arms felt like paper that folded beneath his own weight.

“What? Are you kidding me?”

Nicks rest had barely recuperated him and he had 30 minutes to get dressed and get down stairs for his first shift.

He tried to sit up but his whole body seemed to resist him.

“Come on Nick, enough already” he spoke to himself, bashful that he was feeling this way, never having felt anything like this.

Each second the image of the Vixen in his mind reminding him why his body was completely drained.

It took Nick 12 minutes to drag himself from the floor and into the bathroom where he stared at himself in the mirror, trying his hardest to give himself a pep talk, grasping each side of the basin with as much force as he could muster.

“She’s just a Vixen, you’ve seen plenty before, this one is no different, she’s just…” he paused a moment as his thoughts took over thinking of other Vixens he had fancied and noticing none of them came close to this fox. “She’s just…undyingly beautiful and kind” he finished in a defeated whisper.

Nick sluggishly walked into his living room, snatching his shirt off the floor and slowly buttoning it up and rolling up the sleeves. He could hear the crowd grown downstairs, he knew he should be nervous but was too tired to think straight.

He grabbed the aftershave off the small bedside table and sprayed around his scruff twice.

He then walked to the mirror in the bathroom; he took a deep breath, poked his chest out and smiled.

“Nicholas Piberius Wilde” he exclaimed to himself smiling brightly extending his paw out as if he were to shake someone’s paw, his paw trembled with an uncontrollable force.

He pulled is paw back placing on in the other and rubbing them together as if that would sooth his tremor, however it did nothing.

Nick breathed out “Well, here goes nothing”

Nick got down stairs spot on time, the place was busy but, relaxing, he felt as though all eyes were on him, and at the same time calm; every animal here was simply relaxed having a nice dinner or laughing around a table that had one too many beers balancing atop it.

“Hey Nickie, sweetie”.

“Hey Pricilla, where do you want me?” asked Nick wondering where to start and feeling a little out of place.

“Well Sarah is behind the bar serving if you wanna start cleaning the tables and throwing out those bottles” she shouted over the sound of the jukebox starting up.

Nick smiled and nodded turning to catch Sarah’s eye, giving her a greeting nod, she was a deer in her early twenties with a cock sure smile, she had freckles and dressed in very casual attire and worked the bar like she lived there, knowing where everything was, she flung her head back reciprocating Nicks gesture, Nick could tell she must have worked here a long time as she knew everyone’s order before they even placed it.  

Nick turned and made his way table to the first table the people continuing their conversation as if Nick weren’t even there only turning when he had the last bottle in paw to thank him for cleaning the table, the second table and third table was much the same, then Nick came to the table that had the most bottles on it, the one that looked as though it was about to overflow; he grabbed an empty glass and some at the table turned and sneered when they saw the fox only to lighten up and join him in their conversations when he gave them a reassuring and shy smile which was mirrored by Pricilla shooting them a stare as she walked by, obviously the rowdy ones were regulars and knew Pricilla’s stance on treating other with respect.

“Nicholas but people call me Nick” explained Nick answering ones question while still collecting their empty bottles.

He reached out grabbing a half full bottle while talking and a tiny paw grabbed his “hey there fella don’t be to overzealous, that’s not finished yet” pointed out the beaver with a chuckle.

Nick also chuckled letting go of the bear and moving instead to stacking up the empty glasses that remained. It took Nick two trips to get their table clear,

“Don’t forget to wipe down the table and put down coaster newbie” explained the deer who walked past him with a tied-up bin bag

“Coasters?” asked Nick unsure as to where they were located.

The deer simply pointed to a marble bench top that led toward the kitchen, which atop sat a stack of fresh coasters, Sarah manoeuvred past Nick, making her way to the back door to take out the trash.

Nick grabbed the coasters and made his way to the sink where he found the cleaning spray for the tables and a clean cloth; he tucked the cloth into his belt and hung the spray by the nozzle from his pants pocket.

Nick returned to the rowdy table; he sprayed his cloth wiping the sticky spilt beer from their table top and threw down several coasters from in his pocket.

“Thanks Slick Nick” laughed a leopard slapping Nick encouragingly on the back .

Nick swayed with the hit and went to speak but instead just smiled, nodded and moved to the next table, then the next and the next when he was suddenly interrupted.

“Nick!” yelled a voice; he looked to the back door to see Sarah standing there an aggravated look on her face, her paw gesturing to the bar.

Nick just stood confused

“When one of us goes somewhere the others got to watch the bar” she called out rolling her eyes and storming over to the bar to serve the queue of various mammals.

Nick fumbled and with haste nervously made his way to the bar

“Hi, what can I get you?” he asked the first animal in front of him

“I already got him newbie” called Sarah, focusing on punching the order into the til and not even looking up to address Nick.

“What can I get you sir; he asked sliding to the next animal.

“Hey I was first” called out a customer to the left.

“Sorry, what can I get you?” Nick asked moving to the customer that had called out.

“Two scotch on ice, 2 jerry lagers and one of these” explained the customer holding up the cocktails menu and pointing to one.

“Cold never bothered me anyway” read Nick out loud revising the name of the drink “on it” He confirmed turning to the bench of alcohols and glasses behind him, and suddenly his confidence became staggered, it was like a maze to him, everything looked the same and he could only hear the yelling of the customers behind him and to make it worse the images of the Vixen seemed to only get more progressive the longer he was awake.

Nick fumbled and dropped glasses and took more than twice as long to make the drinks as Sarah, he handed back incorrect change and forgot the ice in one of the scotches.

But after 17 minutes he had finally served his first customer. He moved down the bar asking the next customer, who, to Nicks surprise seemed to be the last one there.

“Sorry fox, the lady already got my drink” he confirmed reaching over and taking a drink from Sarah who passed it over Nicks shoulder. The customer raising his glass to her in thanks and her responding with a glinted wink.

There was silence as she waited for the bar to be completely clear before she threw = a tea towel over her shoulder crossing her arm and tapping her hoof.

“Listen Newbie, rule one of this bar, there is always someone here” she explained uncrossing her arms to point to where Nick and her stood behind the bar.

“Always…got it?”

Nick nodded he could feel his body shaking.

Sarah raised an eyebrow, her eyes seeing the shake in Nick, Had she gone to far? She thought to herself.

“You don’t look so good?” she confirmed suddenly “are you okay?”

Nick didn’t reply he simply nodded.

Sarah rolled her eyes realising she was being a little rough on the new guy, she tapped Nick on the shoulder.

“Hey don’t worry, I’m just a little stressed tonight okay? Just relax, and pay attention you’ll be alright”.

Nick looked up and smiled at her “what do I do next?” he asked.

Sarah smiled “the best job there is”.

Nick was in the bathroom sliding the mop backwards and forwards the bathroom was in shambles and someone was on the toilet with a symphony going.

“Greeeaat” he explained as he held his breath slopping the mop back and forth as quick as he could.

Nick was minding his own business when two Coyotes walked into the bathroom standing next to one another by the troth.

“Yeah so Cory might have us a new job… two cops” He whispered leaning over into his friend ear who pushed him back and gestured his eyes back to Nick.

“What him? Hey janitor, you’re not eavesdropping are you?”

Nick who was nervous he may get caught out simply shook his head and continued to mop.

“Yeah I didn’t think so” laughed the Coyote nudging his friend “told ya”.

The two finished washed their paws and towelled them and threw the towels on the floor in front of Nick, who starred at them as he grudgingly bent over to pick them up.

“Not your issue anymore Nick…head down…” he convinced himself trying not to think of what the two Coyotes had been talking about while taking a leak.

Nick got back to the bar and Sarah was simply towling it off and checking the pressure of the taps.

Nick strolled up next to her, “need any help?” he offered

“No, but you can serve the customer waiting”

Nick turned “oh sorr-“He began until he saw who it was.

“Hello Nick” spoke a she wolf on the other side of the counter “Nice earring barkeep” she giggled.

“Hi…” said Nick his earlier confusion coming back like a wave.

“Can I please get -“she asked while her seductive eyes danced over Nick and simply fell off him, his minds only thought however was the eyes of the unknown vixen.

“A water with ice”.

“Coming right up” Nick walked over to the bar, his eyes however were watching the she wolf from the reflection in the tiles, the stance, the gaze, he couldn’t be wrong.

He scooped ice into the glass and put the glass under the tap of water turning it and placing it down in front of the she wolf.

“Thanks stud, how much is that?”

“Waters free” confirmed Sarah, intervening without realising, what Nick knew was so obvious; the she-wolf was playing games.  

“$5.00” confirmed Nick ignoring Sarah, unable to help himself from playing the game back. His years in the ZPD, screaming for him to confirm what he already knew to be true.

Sarah stopped wiping the table and stood chest to chest with Nick trying to grab his attention “No newbie water is free to customers” Nick moved his head to see past her not wanting to break eye contact with the wolf.

Nick knew the game, intimidation, seduction, information and resolution…he had seen it played much better than the she wolf was playing, he had been on the receiving end and learnt what it was and how it looked, and Nick never forgot a lesson learnt in pain.

The she-wolf smirk deepened “Okay slick, $5.00” the she-wolf opened her purse and pulled out a 5 handing it to Nick who took it and held it.

Sarah, turned back to the she-wolf whose eyes were locked with Nicks, Sarah looked at her for a moment then at the look plastered on Nicks face and realised something was not right

“What’s the catch?” asked Nick

“What about a kiss?”

“Not happening” responded Nick almost robotically, his hair standing on edge as if the question offended him, his mind going straight to the vixen, right to her defence as if kissing this wolf would be a betrayal on her.

The wolf sighed “Well then I guess I’ll be going home alone tonight after all”.

Nick needed answers and as the she wolf walked away he knew what to do.

He paused a moment thinking of whether or not this would help his situation with Pricilla, but he needed to know, he needed to verify what he knew so obviously.

Nick took a deep breath and barked as loud as he could “GUN!” he shouted.

Everyone dropped to the floor, cries of fear exiting their mouths and muzzles.

However due to years of training, the wolf had dropped the glass and in one motion held a handgun in her paws; pulled from her purse. She scanned the room for the perp with the gun; her stance typical of an operative, when there was no one else except her with a gun, she realised Wilde had gotten the better of her.

She was looking around bashfully when she gently placed her firearm into her side holster turning back to Nick who wore a smug grin.

“You’re a cop” chuckled Nick unenthused, unfolding his arms and pointing at her. “I saw the firearm from the get go”.

“God damn it” muttered the she-wolf to herself.

“Not too good at the cop game are you?” confirmed Nick scrunching up the five and throwing it on the bar.

The wolf stalked forward snatching the five dollars shoving it into her purse “I’m not the first officer to be tricked though, am I Officer Wilde”

Nick knew she must have been speaking of the deception of Judy and Jack and simply nodded in agreement, everyone who had a badge had known about his decimation. He finished with a simple sentence; “I am no officer…”

Pricilla was just behind Nick and grabbed his attention.

“What’s going on Nickie?” she asked nervously, phone in her hand ready to call the police

Nick smiled at Pricilla, “sorry, just a misunderstanding, this is officer…-”

“Sparrow, Violet Sparrow” exclaimed the wolf putting a paw out to Nick, who grasped it and shook once.

Sarah was just behind Nick, pushing herself up against the wall as close as she could, she had never seen a gun before and her heart was racing, Nick could hear it and he turned.

“Relax, she’s a police officer-“comforted Nick before his attention returned to Violet ”… so…What do you want? Jack send you? Keep an eye on me?”

While her and Nicks spoke Nick saw the two Coyotes from earlier nudge one another and make haste for the door, looking back every step or so to make sure their withdraw had not grabbed unwanted attention.

Violet laughed into the back of her paw throwing her head back “I don’t answer to that puny little runt, I’m in the K-9 division, we deal with, bigger issues…”

“Such as?”

The wolf walked forward and pinched Nick’s cheeks “If I told you that good looking, I’d have to kill you” she spoke through pursed lips, teasing Nick playfully.

Nick pulled his cheeks from her clutches “I’ve had enough of cops…I think you should leave”

“I’m not the enemy Nickie boy” explained the wolf over her shoulder as she went to leave.

“Yeah Ive heard that one before” he gnashed. “Then what are you”

The wolf did a 180 degrees turn and walked over to the bar leaning over and whispered into Nicks ear- “undercover”

The words itself burnt Nick to the core Nicks thoughts went into overdrive,” Undercover, just like her, just like him, a liar in disguise a two face, traitorous, sly! Mother fu-“.

Nick hadn’t realised but his muzzle was gently pulling back to expose his canines in an aggressive manner “Settle down Vulpes, I’m just playing”

Nick didn’t respond; he just starred at her.

She gently pulled her head back and her ears dropped to the side in sadness, she had never seen someone look at her the way Nick starred at her, with undeniable hatred and fury.

She went to speak, when a throat filled rumble left Nicks throat and without understanding or another words, she fluster turned and walked out.

There seemed, in Nicks mind at least, to be several hours of silence.

“Psst” called Pricilla to grab Nick’s attention; who seemed to be starring off into a very bad dimension full of pain, suffering and underlying rage.

Nick turn to her rigidly to see what she wanted and she gently placed her hands either side of her mouth gesturing for Nick to drop the snarl and close his mouth and hide his teeth, that’s when he noticed every set of eyes in the place where on him.

Nick turned his snarl into a genuine yet awkward smile moving as slow as possible as if people couldn’t see him do it. He stood smiling at everyone who made eye contact, patiently waited for the crowd in the pub to return to talking and eating; when they did he made a direct line over to Pricilla.

He huffed out a deep breath, reached deep into his pocket, fumbled around before he grabbed the key to his room from his pocket holding it out in an open palm.

“I’m sorry” he apologised, “I assume you would like me to leave”.

Pricilla looked at the room key being held out to her and was instantly offended, her face screwing up in disbelief at Nicks action, she grabbed Nickies paw and folded his hand into a fist, making him grasp the keys, her eyes locked with him in an annoyed way, but annoyed that he would ever assume she would leave him on the streets over a small misunderstanding; not that there had been an altercation on his first night.

“Dos tables aint gunna get clean if you keep standin ere checking me out Nickie” she explained shoving his chest playfully, her eyes softening; worried her annoyed look may scare Nick.

Nick breathed out, “how stupid can I be” he thought; his eyes praised Pricilla, she never got mad at Nick, she simply fought with all her strength to show that someone gave a shit.

The night died down and the incident with Violet had left Nicks mind, replaced only by the exhausting thoughts of his mystery Vixen.

Nick had been at the biggest table towelling the same spot in a circular motion for the last 15 minutes.

“Hey Newbie” called Sarah, placing down the bins she was taking out to empty, packed to the brim with bottles.

“yeah?” replied Nick lifting an ear to show he was listening and ceasing his methodic wiping of the table to give her his full attention.

“You did good tonight…scarred some of the patrons, but you needa be a little scary to work in places like dis”

Nick smirked he had come to notice that every now and again when Sarah spoke, there was a slip of Pricilla’s accent that would mix in, and Nick also noticed that Sarah didn’t notice she did this.

“So when is clock off time?”

“Why you tired?”

“All damn day” explained Nick turning back to his table and continuing to do small circles with his cloth.

“But you’re a fox, you should be wide awake”.

“It’s complicated” huffed Nick, who now had such little energy; he couldn’t even do the circles on the table and simply leaned on it to catch his breath.

“Yeah well, you better get use to this night shift thing, otherwise da place-le eat you alive” explained Sarah, heaving up the heavy bins full of glass bottles and continuing on her way to empty them into the industrial bin located near the car park.

Nick was in his own world when he felt a Pricilla’s hand land on his shoulder.

“Hey Nickie, you look bushed”

Nick chuckled with a nod “yeah”

Pricilla began wiping down tables and they worked side by side while talking.

“Yeah, Nightshift is hard to begin wit, but you’ll pick it up soon enough sugar, don’t even fret”.

Nick smiled at her as he forced his body one aching moment after the other to continue to clean.

Keep reading