This story is a work of fiction.  All characters are copyright their creator (me), and should not be used without permission.


The Hunt for Revenge

By Desert Mutt


"Do you have to go out of town for the weekend?" Darlene asked as she watched Desert put his clothes in a duffle bag. "I don't understand why you are going to this art conference in Anthro City."

"It's a great opportunity to try and get the comic strip syndicated," Desert responded as he put several more pairs of jeans into the duffle.  "There are going to be some people who work at newspapers there looking for new comics for their companies.  If the DM Chronicles appear in more newspapers, I'll be able to get more readers, and possibly have circulation grow even more. Eventually I could get the TV series and toys I want to make. Just think, people will be able to have a Desert Mutt plushy to sleep with."

Darlene got out of the chair and walked towards the young mongrel.  "They can have the plushy," she said as she hugged him, "as long as I can have the original to snuggle up with." She pressed her fingers on the ticklish spot, not enough to get a rise, but enough to let him know she could. Desert turned around to look at the Dalmatian.

"You don't have to worry about me, I'll be fine," he told her as he looked into her emerald eyes. "I left the number to the hotel I'll be staying at, as well as Feral's and Kippy's, and we know each others e-mail by heart. I promise I'll call you when I reach the hotel."

"As soon as you put your bag down in your room," she said with a smile.  The kissed for a moment, then Desert placed one more kiss on her neck. They pulled away, and Desert grabbed his duffel bag. He went over and picked up his old letterman.

"I have to get going," Desert told Darlene and he wrapped his jacket around her. "When I get back, I'll show you how much you mean to me, and I promise I'll have a surprise for you." He held her tightly before heading out.


On the cab ride back to his apartment, Desert looked at the emerald pendant he had picked up for Darlene. The conference had been uneventful. The upside to going was seeing Feral and Kippy, showing them his newest story line, and picking up his girlfriend's necklace at the jewelry store.  Darlene will be thrilled over it, he thought.

The mix breed noticed the police in the parking lot as the cab pulled up.  He felt the twinge of worry as he stepped out of the taxi. Desert convinced himself that one of the older couples probably died of natural causes, and the police were just talking with whoever found them. He paid the driver and headed toward the front door.

When the elevator doors opened, the young mongrel saw their neighbor and friend, Maria, speaking with an officer. The duffel dropped from his shoulder as he ran toward his neighbor, calling out to her. When he reached the maned wolf, he could see the tears in her blue eyes.

"Oh god. D," Maria said to him as he stopped in front of her and the cop.  "Darlene asked me to bring over the colander so she could prepare you dinner. I told her I would bring it to her this afternoon. When I came over, I opened the door, and saw her on the floor. I went to check on her, and she was-" she stopped talking as she broke into sobs.

Desert's heart went wild. He pushed past the two and ran to the apartment. None of the officers stopped him. He stopped when he reached the doorway, and fell to his knees. He did not need to go any further. Lying in the middle of the living room was Darlene in her nightshirt and a pair of his boxers. Her eyes were glassy and the side of her neck was brown from the dried blood.

The police soon asked him some questions. He told them how he had been out of town during the weekend; how he called Darlene yesterday, and told her what time, he would be getting home.  The police told him how it looked like a robbery and that Darlene had surprised the criminal, who shot her.  They gave their sympathy half-heartedly, and left the apartment building.

Desert sent off the strips he completed over the weekend with a notice saying he will be unable to create any new strips next week. He went to the bedroom and pulled a small box out of its hiding place. He opened it and took out the handgun. He had hidden it when Darlene moved in. He looked at the smooth black metal, and thought about what happened to the girl he loved.

The mutt spent days on the street trying to find the criminal. Every time he found people and asked them about it, he got a little closer to finding them. He vowed to Darlene that her killer will not get away, and he meant it.

At 6:47 on Thursday, he found out where the murderer was hiding. When he got an apartment number and the fact the guy was out, he slipped into the apartment. Desert looked around quickly. He found many items, including some personal effects of Darlene's. He looked at some pictures of a young male rabbit with ear piercing. When he saw the rabbit coming back, he called the police and told them the address and why the person was wanted.

"Don't move," He said as the rabbit came in. The mutt had his gun trained on the rabbit. "I have been doing nothing but looking for you since Sunday," he said as he glared at Darlene's killer, "Late Saturday night, you broke into my apartment and killed my girlfriend. You fucked with the wrong people, and I'm not letting you get away with it."

He looked at the thug rabbit and started thinking. The police were on their way; he could keep the rabbit here and escape just as they arrived to arrest the bastard. The guy would go to jail for murder. On the other hand, he could kill the rabbit now and leave.  With no prior crimes, he would not be a suspect, his gun could not be traced since it had never been used outside of target practice, and the police probably would not care since the rabbit was just some piece of trash. Desert took a deep breath, and…


Desert entered the apartment coming back from Darlene's funeral. The people had done a wonderful job on the body.  He had put the pendant and his letterman into the casket with her. The drive back had been hell since he was teary eyed the entire time. He sat in the chair when there was a knock at the door.  He opened it to find Maria.

"Hey D," she said to him with a sympathetic tone, "I know you're still heartbroken, so I just wanted you to know that I'm here if you need a shoulder to cry on."

"I know Maria," he said in a somber tone, " I appreciate it.  I don't know what I'm going to do yet, since I had so much planned with Darlene. I was going to propose to her on our next anniversary. Now, she's gone and I…I…" He broke down into tears, "Miss her so much."

Maria hugs Desert, who puts his head on her shoulder as he sobbed. Now was the time to be with friends who would understand.


Notice: This story has probably caused some strong emotional responses, but that is not its purpose. It was written to focus on the criminal and Desert's decision. I did not put the choice in because I did not know what I myself would do. As such, I decided to let the reader decide what he did, and maybe understand themselves a little better.

-Desert Mutt.