>>CAMP HAPPINESS — CHAPTER ONE: SMILE FOR THE CAMERAS::
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.
"This is complete and utter bullshit, I won't do it," complained Fox.
The golden retriever sighed, "You have to! People love this sort of thing. I am not going to sit here as your publicist and let you ignore these wonderful opportunities!"
He curled his eyebrows, clearly not impressed. "How the fuck is helping a bunch of kids at a camp a wonderful opportunity?"
The publicist ran a paw through her long blonde hair, glancing at her tablet again. "Look, the public wants to see who Fox McCloud is. Helping these kids at this camp is a golden opportunity to show that you're a down to earth guy who loves children! We'll totally win points with the female demographic."
"I'm not a down to earth guy. I like to blow up things, and smoke pot. Oh and I hate kids. Why the hell do I gotta worry about polls anyway?"
"You know why!" she spat. "General Pepper is running to be leader of this planet and you're his most visible asset. If people don't like what they see it'll hurt the campaign. Let me put it this way. You're going to do this whether you like it or not." She shoved the tablet into his hands and headed for the door.
She turned around, baring narrow blue eyes at him. "You have thirteen hours to get your shit together and meet the kids at that location." She pointed at the tablet. "Oh and don't think you can half-ass this McCloud. There are going to be cameras everywhere so you're gonna put on a happy face and you 're gonna do this right. Got it?"
"Oh go fuck a tree."
"After you grow up. See you in thirteen hours."
Falco looked up from the tablet just handed to him. He laughed. "They want you to do what?! Man, fuck that!"
Fox rolled his eyes. "I know I did not bust my ass saving Lylat for this."
Falco handed him the tablet back. "Well thank heaven I'm not apart of it! You better get packing!" He laid back on the couch propping his feet up with a grin.
"Oh fuck you."
"I don't think you can have that dirty mouth around six year olds buddy."
"Fuck those six year olds too."
"Now there's a quick way to go to jail."
"I wouldn't be talking Mr. 'I banged a fifteen year old whore on Zoness'," Fox started to pad away.
"That's not fair!"l Falco shouted. "She told me she was twenty!"
An early morning breeze was blowing calmly out of the east at Camp Happiness for Adolescents Suffering with Autism and Other Mental Illnesses. A group of twenty or thirty kids were waiting by a beautiful golden retriever with long blonde hair and blue eyes. It was Fox's publicist. A crowd of parents, camp officials and media stood nearby, some with cameras, watching the dirt road for when their exalted guest would arrive. The retriever looked miffed in her nice blue pant suit, tapping a pen on her tablet out of frustration. The canine glanced at her watch.
"Where the fuck is he?!" she grumbled. One of the kids, a small coon standing next to her, heard.
"My mommy says that's a bad word." He looked up at her with big brown eyes.
The retriever glanced at the group of parents, bit her lip, and kneeled down with her purse. "Hey, ten bucks says that mommy didn't hear me say that." She handed him a small paper bill smiling.
Just then a black sports car veered around the dirt trail ahead. The group of kids and parents took a step back unsure if the car was going to stop as it sped toward them. It swerved in front of them, its wheels locking in the dirt as it skid to an abrupt stop, kicking up a cloud of dust that drifted into the crowd. The small children started coughing, gagging, and rubbing their eyes.
The golden retriever gritted her teeth and approached the car as a fox in a brown leather jacket and sunglasses got out and surveyed the surrounding woods in front of him before turning, realizing the crowd was behind him. The crowd mumbled unsure if this was the guest they were waiting for.
The retriever paced toward him. "Nice entrance," she growled in a hushed whisper.
"Hey thanks," Fox said lazily.
The canine sniffed, "Oh God have you been drinking?!"
He adjusted his shades. "Yup! It's how I get my day started!"
She glanced at her watch again. "Well congratulations you're already 14 minutes late. Walk this way please."
The retriever made her way around the front of the car toward the crowd. The small media group got their cameras ready. "Ladies and gentleman, young and old. I'd like to introduce to you Fox McCloud." She clasped her paws and smiled as Fox tiredly stumbled behind her to lean against the car. Everyone clapped which made Fox groan. He clenched his eyes shut.
"Stop that!" he shouted while cupping his ears. "It feels like someone's drilling my head with a screwdriver!"
The crowd stopped clapping and some of the kids giggled. The retriever laughed. "Fox has always had a sense of humor." She glanced nervously at the media's video cameras. "Well!" She forced a grin at the crowd as they became less and less impressed by the fox who was now sitting in the dirt against his car picking at his ear. "I'm sure the kids would love to meet Fox right!" The kids jumped and cheered. "Then run over there and say hello!"
"NO!" he howled, trying to get up, but it was too late. The massive group of squealing children swarmed him with their little furry paws and faces.
The golden retriever grinned and looked at one of the news cameras, "Oh he just loves kids, look at him!"
"Get 'em off of me! Get 'em off!" he shouted. "I smell piss! Oh god it's pungent!" Fox struggled to stand as the kids dashed off excitedly to tell their parents they just met the great Fox McCloud. He growled and pointed at a little kitty running with a wet spot in her pants. "Someone put a diaper on that bitch right there, yeah that one." A mother whisked her away, embarrassed of her daughter.
An older obese hippo lady with a cane slowly made her way over. "I'd just like to say thank you for doing this wonderful deed."
"Who the hell are you?!" Fox grumbled while straightening out his jacket.
The publicist jabbed Fox in the side with her elbow and laughed, grinning at the lady. "Fox this is the camp director Ms. Denseneck."
"Oh please call me Vilda," the wrinkled elder said with a quivering smile.
Fox took off his sunglasses and narrowed his eyes at her. "Wait a minute… so your initials are… V.D.!" He made a raspberry with his lips and burst out laughing.
The golden retriever clenched her eyes shut, unsure of how the hippo would react.
Ms. Denseneck appeared confused but was still grinning with wide eyes. She extended her hand. "Why yes I suppose — they are. It's a — pleasure meeting you Mr. McCloud."
"Oh sorry V.D. I'd shake your hand but I don't got any protection on me." He snickered.
The retriever grumbled but forced a smile as usual. "Fox would be happy if you could show him around the camp. Perhaps just a little tour."
"Yes, I and some of the kids would be more than glad to do that," said Vilda. The old lady thought for a moment. "V.D… I like that. It's very catchy."
Fox's publicist blinked and shook her head as the hippo hobbled away.
"Crazy old bitch," Fox mumbled, pulling a flask from his back pocket to take a swig. The golden retriever groaned and knew it could only go down hill from here.