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    Grumpy Bear
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Worlds Apart - 23. An American Thanksgiving

Nameer opened the front door and looked up to see three sets of eyes staring back at him intently.  Blue, green, and hazel, belonging to Siku, Charlie, and Gunnar.

“Welcome to our home!” Nameer said with a hint of excitement in his voice, and he pressed his hands together in front of his heart and bowed his head slightly.

“Father,” Siku said, “I am so happy to see you again.”

He reached his arms out and grabbed the tiger into a warm hug, and Nameer hugged him back with a smile.

After he was released from the polar bear’s embrace, Nameer ushered the trio into the foyer, and they were immediately followed by twenty more bears, all dressed neatly and smartly in American-style clothing except for Dom, who wore a crisply pleated tartan kilt.

“Husband!” Nimerah shouted from the dining room doorway.  “Who are all of these strange men, and why did that tall white-haired one call you ‘Father?’”

Nameer noted that Vishal and Amoli Banerjee had risen from their seats and now stood behind his wife, surveying the new additions to the dinner party.  Lakshmi remained seated next to Shivay, holding his arm nervously.

Siku looked over Nimerah’s head into the dining room and his blue eyes met the green of his tiger.  Shivay’s worried expression softened, and he stood, looking back at Siku with longing.

“These are not men, my Lotus,” Nameer replied calmly with a smile.  “These are noble werebears.”

Nimerah hissed, and the Banerjees looked at her with surprise.

“And the tall fellow with the white hair and beard who calls me ‘Father,’” Nameer continued with a smile, ignoring his wife’s reaction, “Is Siku.  Our son’s true mate.  I did not feel that it would be appropriate to celebrate the occasion without inviting him and his family of bears as well.”

“Siku!” Shivay cried from the dining room.

“Shivay!” Siku called back.

Mate?” Vishay and Amoli shouted together in disbelief.

“Meow!” Charlie said, wanting to contribute to the conversation.

“Shivay, is this true?” Lakshmi asked calmly at his side, now standing as well but still holding his arm nervously.  “Are you gay, and is this bear really your Mate?”

Shivay sighed and looked at the young girl he now knew was not destined to become his bride.

“I’m sorry Lakshmi,” he said. “I tried to follow tradition and marry you just as my mother wished, but it seems that I am not fated to have a traditional life!”

“No!” Shivay’s mother shrieked, “I forbid this!  You will marry Lakshmi!  I demand that you obey me!”

But Shivay and Siku could not hear her for their eyes were locked upon each other and Siku strode boldly across the foyer and into the dining room, gently nudging an outraged Nimerah aside as he passed her in the doorway, and the orange cat sitting upon his shoulder looked down upon her with scorn.  The pair met at the head of the table and Siku took the tiger into his arms in front of his entire family, the Banerjees, and all the assembled bears, and kissed him passionately and deeply.

“See!” the oldest tiger cub said from the kitchen doorway, “I told you all Uncle Shivay was a fagg…”

But he didn’t get to finish his sentence as he was smacked smartly on the back of the head by Dom as the bears erupted into cheers and surrounded the mated pair in celebration.

Nimerah seethed with rage as she was jostled back and forth by the cheering bears and pushed out of her own dining room.  Her eyes darted around at the bears who had disrupted her dinner and her son’s very future with hatred and malice before meeting the intense stare of Vishay and Amoli Banerjee.

“Please,” she said to the couple, “This is all a misunderstanding. Shivay can still marry your daughter.  He promised me that he made his choice…”

“Choice?” Vishay shouted at her, interrupting the celebration, and causing all heads in the house to turn in his direction. “Do you think that your son’s sexuality is a mere matter of choice?  We are in the twenty-first century, woman!  Shameful parents like you cannot continue to foist their gay sons off on the daughters of unwitting families any longer.  He has quite obviously chosen his Mate already in the handsome bear who even now holds him in his arms and kisses him quite boldly.  What kind of a life did you expect my daughter to have, married to a man who felt no real attraction to her?”

“You don’t understand,” Nimerah cried, pleading with Vishay and his wife. “These bears are no good for my son!  In the one week that he spent with his so-called Mate, that bear allowed all these other bears gathered here to sexually assault him!  What kind of man allows his Mate to be raped by his own group of friends?”

“It wasn’t these bears, mother!” Shivay shouted, his arms still wrapped around Siku.  “Siku was betrayed by a different group of bears who deceived him into thinking that they were welcoming us to the City!  I know now that these are his true friends who have come very far to help him rectify the grave wrong that was done to both of us!”

“What your son says is true, ma’am,” Gunnar said calmly, taking Nimerah gently by the elbow and leading her and the assembled group down the hallway into the living room where they might sit and discuss things rationally. “Even now, we have ten of the offending bears in our custody, and we will not be leaving the City until we have the rest and have apprehended their ringleader.”

“And just who do you think you are to be telling me this with such an air of authority, bear?” Nimerah hissed at him as the group followed them into the living room.

“I am Siku’s friend,” Gunnar replied, looking at the tiger calmly with a smile. “I am also a Councilmember of the North American Lycan Council and therefore his advocate.  If a crime has been committed against lycans on this continent, be they wolf, bear or even tiger, it is my responsibility to intervene and ensure that justice is served.”

Upon hearing the words “North American Lycan Council,” the Banerjees gasped audibly, and looked at Gunnar with fear and desperation in their eyes, but he glanced back at them with kind eyes and his warmest and most reassuring smile.

Nimerah looked at the bear in disbelief and jerked her arm away from his grasp.  Her brain was struggling to find a valid counter point to all that had been said to her by these bears, her husband, the Banerjees, and her own son.  She did not have to struggle for long before she was rescued from her awkward moment by a booming voice coming from the foyer once again.

“Knock, knock!  Any little pussies home?  The front door was wide open.  Not a very good idea for a bunch of fucking tigers who planned on living to see another day!”

Nimerah growled and turned her back on Gunnar, striding back down the hallway to the foyer, followed closely by Nameer, the Banerjees, Siku, Charlie and Shivay.

She reached the doorway and stared at the seven-foot tall, broad-shouldered man who now stood in the middle of her foyer, flanked by fifteen more large men standing slightly behind him.

“And who is this, now?” She growled, turning to look at her husband. “Have you invited even more deviants to come and ruin our lives?”

“No,” Nameer replied, “I do not know this man or his companions at all.”

I do, mother,” Shivay said from behind her, “That is Colt.  The werebear who deceived Siku and me, and who assaulted and raped me on Saturday night.”

“Ah, there’s my favorite pussy!” Colt called, spotting Shivay and Siku standing behind Nimerah, “And the polar bear is here too!  That’s a lucky surprise!  Did you two kiss and make up already?  Sorry that me and the boys stretched your bitch’s tight little asshole out so much, Siku.  Must be like throwing a hot dog down a hallway now, am I right?”

“Your attempt to drive a wedge in our mating bond was futile, Colt.” Siku said with anger in his eyes. “Your reign of terror over the bears of San Francisco is coming to an end.”

“I think not,” Colt replied with a smirk, “You’ve only saved me a trip.  I can finally kill you and your fucking tiger and his whole fucking family all in one shot, and there’s no way you can stop me this time.”

“I don’t think so, Colt,” Mike said emerging from the hallway behind Siku and moving to stand to the side of the small group of tigers facing the Kodiak and his minions. “You’re out of your territory and totally fucked this time.”

“Aha!” Colt exclaimed, “It’s my little blond fuck toy!  Feeling better Cub?  Ready for Daddy to give you another round of the good stuff?  If I recall, I still need to fill that ass of yours with my seed to mark you as my property.”

“My Cub is not your property, Colt, and he never will be,” Gunnar said, stepping out of the hallway from behind Siku next and moving to stand next to Mike.

“And who the fuck are you?” Colt said, “Not that it matters, you’re dead meat just like the rest of the pussy family here.”

“I am Councilman Gunnar Bergan of the North American Lycan Council,” Gunnar replied. “You and all of your bears assembled here are under arrest for assault, rape, and attempted murder.”

The fifteen bears standing behind Colt looked around at each other nervously, but Colt snorted and let out a belly laugh doubling over with amusement.

“Oh yeah,” he said after his giggles were under control, “Right. Under arrest.  Sure thing.”

Colt stood back up straight, puffed out his massive chest until the fabric of his tee shirt threatened to split in two, and flexed his muscles aggressively.

“I think you’re way out of your jurisdiction Mr. Councilman,” he said with a sneer. “If you think you’re going to arrest me and my crew today, I’d like to see what fucking army you brought with you to try it!”

Gunnar glanced back at Siku and Shivay, and the pair stepped to the side in the hallway.  Immediately, the other eighteen bears began filing into the foyer to stand behind Gunnar, Mike and both sets of tiger parents.

“Fuck, Colt!” Shane shouted from behind him. “Let’s get out of here!”

“If a single one of you runs from this fight,” Colt said to his gang of bears standing fearfully behind him. “I’ll personally skin you alive when this is over.  We stand and fight.  Remember, when I tell you to kill me some tigers and bears, you all ask…”

“How many?” the bears behind him finished, but their voices were lacking in enthusiasm.

“Colt,” Mike said, “You really are a fucking idiot.  You sent ten of your bears to kill six of ours on the fishing boat yesterday, and it took our six all of five minutes to mop the floor with them.  Your crew are undisciplined, untrained, and have lost the way of the bear.  You don’t stand a chance.  You’re done.”

“Did you kill my bears, you assholes?” Colt asked, his mask of confidence cracking only slightly.

“Of course not, ye great oaf,” Dom replied, stepping forward and planting his feet with a ruffle of his tartan kilt, “We merely subdued them and they’re safely in our custody.  It will probably be a shock to your wee pea brain, but they seemed relieved to finally have a safe place where you cannae find them.  They’re happily enjoying a nice Thanksgiving dinner in their jail cells even as we speak, and they actually thanked us for arresting them and treating them like decent bears instead of the trash that your sorry arse has turned them into for the last half-century!”

Colt seethed and shouted to the bears standing behind him.

Attack my bears!  Shift and tear these worthless piles of shit and fur to pieces!”

Shane immediately shifted to his grizzly form, shredding his clothing, but soon realized that he was the only one to do so.  He looked at the other bears with confusion and then anger, but they simply stared back at him with tired and sad eyes that no longer cared about following Colt’s orders. After a few seconds, he shifted back to his human form as well, pulling the tatters of his shorts back up onto his hips to cover his nakedness in embarrassment.

“So that’s how it’s going to be, is it?” Colt said, turning and looking at his crew with scorn. “You’re all fucking dead to me.  I guess if you want something fucking done, you have to fucking do it yourself.”

Colt’s clothing shredded as he changed into his Kodiak form and stood on his hind legs raising to his full ten-foot height.  He roared menacingly at the assembled force in front of him and stepped to the center of the foyer, daring any of them to fight.

“I guess we just have to decide which one of us is going to take him down,” Mike growled, shedding his clothing.  “I have a little score to settle with this fucking rapist, and I’ll be happy to feed him his own balls for dinner.”

“No, Cub,” Siku said, removing his own shirt and handing Charlie to his mate, “Introducing a shithead like Colt to Shivay was my mistake in the first place.  It’s only fitting that I keep the promise I made and rip that meddlesome fucking cock of his off at the root and shove it up his own putrid asshole!”

Colt stopped growling and now stood with a confused expression on his furry face, not expecting there to be such a debate in deciding who was going to get to fight him.

“No, son,” Nameer replied to Siku, shedding his coat nervously. “It is I who must defend my family’s honor.”

“Bitch, please,” Nimerah growled to her husband as her sari dropped to the floor.  “You don’t have the balls for this fight.  This bear has admitted to harming my cub, and even though Shivay has broken my heart by choosing to mate with a bear, he’s still my son, and a mother will defend her son to the death!”

All debate was promptly ended as Nimerah shifted quickly into her tiger form and leapt directly at Colt’s massive shaggy head.  Colt may have had size and strength on his size, but he was no match for a female tiger’s speed and reflexes.

Colt swiped at the tiger with his mighty bear paws as she sprung at him, but Nimerah twisted in mid-air to avoid his grasp, and faster than any of the assembled tigers or bears could blink, slashed at him with her sharp claws three times.

The first slash landed across Colt’s face, shredding the fur and skin, and tearing his very eyes from their sockets, leaving him blind.

He did not have more than a fraction of a second to register the wound to his face and the loss of his sight before the second slash tore through the hard muscles of his belly, opening his abdominal cavity from which his intestines started to spill like a loosely coiled garden hose.

Colt was not even aware that he would soon be dead as his internal organs began to evacuate from his body cavity when Nimerah finished the job with her third slash.  With one quick motion, she castrated the bear, finishing her attack in a crouch in front of him, his bloody testicles hanging from the claws of her right front paw which she held aloft for Colt’s terrified crew to see.

The Kodiak bear had just enough time to realize his defeat with a single strangled howl before slumping to the floor and shifting back to his human form, mangled and dead.

“All of you lot get on your knees over there along that wall,” Barry shouted to Colt’s gang, who scrambled to comply. “We’ll see that you get a fair trial and maybe some rehabilitation to become productive bears for a change!”

“If all of this… unpleasantness is over,” Amoli said, taking Vishay and Lakshmi by their hands and keeping an eye on Nimerah, who was still crouched in tiger form over the body of the dead bear laying in the middle of the foyer, “I think we will be taking our leave.  I have decided that Shivay is not a suitable husband for my daughter, and now I will have to suffer the indignity of finding a replacement before she becomes an eighteen-year-old spinster!”

“Oh no, mother!” Lakshmi cried, pulling her hand from her mother’s grasp, and stomping her foot. “We had an agreement!  If you did not find Shivay suitable, then you were going to allow me to go to university.  Unless you want me marrying a gay man and his bear mate in some kind of bizarre lycan throuple scenario, I’m going to be sending my application to Parson’s School of Design in New York City tomorrow!”

Lakshmi stomped out the front door with her mother and father following closely behind.

“New York?” Amoli cried, as the family hurried to their car and the sound of their argument began to fade. “Daughter, be reasonable. How am I supposed to watch over you and plan out your future if you’re three thousand miles away?”

The group remaining in the home began to relax, and Dom conveniently pulled a bag of zip ties from his sporran and passed them out to the other bears so that each of their new batch of captives could have their hands bound to prevent any mischief and make shifting a difficult proposition.

Sivay heaved a sigh of relief and looked up into Siku’s eyes.

“You never gave up on me,” he said to the bear, “Even after I left and made the commitment to my mother to abandon you and marry Lakshmi, you continued to fight to win me back.”

“You are my other half,” Siku replied, looking back into Shivay’s bright green eyes, “I could no more decide to go on living without you than I could decide to live without my own beating heart!  You are my Mate, and fate has brought us together.  Forever.”

Nameer watched the interaction between his son and Siku with pride, and he turned to make a comment to his wife when he realized that she was still in her tiger form and was watching the same interaction with the fire of furious anger dancing in her eyes.  She crouched on the foyer floor, preparing to pounce.

“My Lotus!” Nameer called using the nickname for her that always pleased her in the past and could calm her irrational rages, “Do not do this!  Let our son and his mate be happy together!”

“If my son will not live the life that I have designed for him,” she hissed back to her husband in the tiger-language, “Then he will not have the one that he designed for himself, either!”

Before Nameer could react, the tiger pounced, aiming herself at the big polar bear’s head.  If she was able to blind, disembowel, and castrate a Kodiak in a matter of seconds, the same quick movements would take care of her son’s troublesome bear just as easily.

Her front paw, claws extended, was already in mid-swing aimed directly at Siku’s eyes when the orange ball of fur leapt from Shivay’s shoulder in front of the bear’s head, blocking the blinding blow and absorbing the full force of the attack.

The slash ripped open the cat’s side and knocked her across the foyer where she impacted against the wall with a bone-breaking crunch and fell to the floor in a limp bundle.

“Charlie!” Siku shouted, and he and Shivay ran to the spot where the brave orange feline lay bleeding onto the floor.

Nimerah gasped and shifted back to her human form quickly, looking at the blood on her nails in disbelief.  Every eye in the room except for those of Siku and Shivay were focused on her now, glaring at her with disbelief and hatred.

“Mother,” her daughter said, stepping forward from the kitchen doorway where she and her mate had been protecting their cubs during Colt’s intrusion, “You raised me and my brother in the values of Hinduism, and we dutifully listened to every lesson, believing that you were the example to which we should strive.  That animal is a manifestation of God and a child of Prajapati.  She is not an inferior creature.  She contains a spark of the divine and is capable of becoming human and achieving salvation just like the rest of us.  Killing an animal except for food is forbidden.

“After your actions today, you are clearly not the example to which I should strive to emulate.  If you continue to ignore the great opportunity you have earned through the karma of your previous lives, the karma that has allowed you to be elevated to the supreme existence of the tiger, then I fear you may very likely regress to an animal existence and have to begin your journey all over again.

“I wanted my cubs to be raised in your presence and live by your example, but if you are capable of such irresponsible actions as the killing of an innocent feline, or attempting to kill your own son’s mate, then I must reconsider whether this is the appropriate environment in which we should live.”

“Please… I didn’t mean… I’m sorry,” Nimerah stammered, but the glares of the bears and tigers in the foyer continued to stab at her soul like spears.

“My Lotus,” Nameer said to her, standing next to his son and Siku as they held Charlie in their hands, “I think it is time that I took my leave of you.  I have given you all that you demanded from me after you killed my true mate.  I owe you nothing else.  Our cubs are grown and have mates of their own.  It is time for me to follow the example of my son and choose my own destiny.”

Nimerah crumpled onto the floor, sobbing.  The entire world that she worked so hard to build over the course of her whole life had collapsed about her like a house of cards in the matter of a single hour.

A bear wearing a kilt walked over next to her as she lay in a heap and patted her on the shoulder.

“There, there, lass,” Dom said, “Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it?”


Charlie padded softly along the road through her dreamland.  It was strange, she didn’t remember going to sleep, but the bare-breasted woman in the chariot pulled by the long-haired male cats approached her just as she always did in her dreams, so Charlie sat by the side of the road and waited patiently for the Viking woman to arrive.

“Kaarel,” Freyja said, “You have done exceedingly well.  Odin and I have used seiðr to view the future once again now that the uncertainty and clouds obscuring the visions have passed.

“The fated pair have been restored.  The future of the lycan world is secure.  The fated pair will play their own part in the destiny of the lycan world in due time.  All is as it should be, and none would be possible if not for your act of sacrifice.”

“Meow,” Charlie said to the woman.

“You will have your reward, Kaarel,” Freyja replied.  "A place is ready for you to dwell in the fields of Fólkvangr.  You may come with me, and ride upon my shoulder as the feast is prepared in your glorious honor.”

“Meow!” Charlie said.

“No,” Freyja replied, “The great bear has a destiny to fulfill, and his own reward, should he be worthy, will be with Odin in Valhalla.  You have fulfilled your destiny and your time with him is at an end.”

“Meow,” Charlie said sadly.

“If that is your choice,” Freyja said, “You are free to do so, but the fields of Fólkvangr will be closed to you forever.  If you so wish, you may rejoin your bear in Midgard.  The two of you will be cosmically linked, as befitting soulmates.  As long as the bear lives, so shall you live.  When the bear’s life comes to an end, and if Odin deems him worthy, you will join him forever in Valhalla.  Is this truly what you wish, Kaarel?”

“Meow,” Charlie replied, sitting tall and proud, certain that her decision was the right one for both her and her soulmate.

“Very well,” Freyja said, “Return to your bear and his mate.  Have a long and heroic life.  Guide your soulmate in his decisions throughout his journey and make sure that Odin finds you both worthy of Valhalla.

“Farewell, Kaarel,” Freyja said finally, and her mighty cats bore her chariot off into the horizon.

Charlie smiled to herself and found the dream world dissolving into darkness.


In the foyer, the bears were busy moving the captives into their vehicles in pairs, commandeering Colt’s van to transport the rest of their group back to San Francisco.

Nameer was gathering his bags and the bags he had packed for Shivay so that they might leave his wife’s house and join their new bear allies in freedom.

Shivay’s sister and her mate were tending to their cubs and discussing the future, reconsidering whether continuing to live with her mother in San Jose was still the best option for the children’s upbringing.

Shivay’s mother finally regained her composure and had retired to her sitting room where she rocked back and forth in her chair and gazed at the sari laying in her lap.  The sari that she had so painstakingly embroidered to wear on the day of her son’s wedding.  The sari that she realized was now meaningless, as meaningless as her own life.

Siku and Shivay sat in the foyer, still cradling the lifeless orange cat in their joined hands, crying softly together.

“She saved me,” Siku said.

“She saved both of us,” Shivay replied, “For if I had lost you at the claws of my own mother, I would have wasted away from this world.”

“I wish I could tell her how much I really loved her,” Siku said, a tear dripping from the end of his nose and landing on the orange cat’s face.  The tear rolled down her whiskers, and her nose suddenly gave a twitch.

“Did she…” Shivay said, his eyes going wide, “Is she…?”

As they looked at the cat, the bloody wounds in her side from the tiger’s claws closed and healed.  The broken bones from her impact against the wall straightened and reset themselves.  Finally, her chest heaved as she took a deep breath and her green eyes popped open.

“Meow!” Charlie said, looking up at the bear and tiger who held her in their hands.

“Charlie!” Siku cried, “You’re alive!”

“Meow,” Charlie replied and pulled herself to her feet, stretching her muscles before leaping to her usual spot on Siku’s shoulder.

“It’s a miracle!” Siku shouted.

“I told you that cat was special,” Gunnar said, walking over with a smile on his face to scratch Charlie on the top of her head, making her purr with contentment.  “It would seem that Freyja has more in store for you, Ice Bear.”

“That,” Mike said, walking over to join them and stroking the cat along her back, “Or Charlie here still has one or two of her nine lives left.”

“Whatever the reason,” Siku replied. “I’m keeping this cat with me for as long as she lives!”

“Hey,” Shivay said with a mock pout, “What about me?”

“Okay, fine,” Siku said with a grin before kissing his mate on the lips, “I suppose I’ll keep both of these cats with me for as long as we all live!”

Copyright © 2021 Grumpy Bear; All Rights Reserved.
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