by Thamanda Crompson
Fauxhasset Paroder Staff Reporter
Things have been quiet in the Womp. Too quiet. Even the pig-bear and her cub haven’t been seen in a while. We at the Paroder were starting to get suspicious, so we assembled an investigative team to go and, well, investigate.
Your reporter was joined by the Local Animal Whisperer (LAW) and Rookie Ranger Devan Branch, Part-Time Jedi, Part-Time Pirate, and Part-Time Wandering Minstrel, who has been trying to redeem himself since the pirate flag incident.
LAW led the search, veering off the beaten path to follow some sign or scent invisible to us. But it wasn’t long before everyone could hear it: the telltale heart, the drum-like beat, the thrumming womp-womp-womp that had earned the state park its name.
The trees grew close, blocking out the sun. Progress grew slow and labored. Just as we thought we would be forced to turn back – a fact we signaled to one another with sign language, since the womping had grown so loud – we broke through into a moonlit clearing. This despite having started our journey at around 10:00 in the morning. We certainly had not walked for 12 hours. And yet, it was night.
And it was loud. Not just with womping, but with animal sounds. The clearing was full of them, cheeping and chirping and barking and hissing and flapping. At the center rose a tower that was surely tall enough to be seen for miles, though no one in the outside world seemed to have noticed it. It was built from concrete scraps with bits of graffiti on the sides. And at the top, sitting in a scrap metal throne…
“Fil,” growled the LAW, charging forward, gun drawn.
Fauxsutawney Fil is an armed and dangerous raccoon who emerged from the Hallowed Burrow on Groundhog Day, claiming to be the reincarnation of the original Roman groundhog RALPH (Romulus Augustus Legolas Petrificus-totalus Hedghogius).
When the community refused to believe him and repent, Fil had vanished into the Womp, leaving the town to clean up his mess – namely, the Mile-High Snow of 2017, not to mention the still-missing Mr. Phil (later found trapped in a cave on Fame Island).
The LAW has been looking for the impostor ever since. But today was not to be his day. The animal sounds quickly turned unfriendly as the LAW barreled through the crowd, and he didn’t get far before they’d arrested him altogether. He was tied up with snakes and carried away by wolves. If he made a sound, it was only to whisper futilely, for the animal whisperer had finally met his match.
“My friends!” boomed Fil. “So good to see you. I take it you’ve come to repent.”
“Hells nah,” said Branch.
The next thing we knew, those unfriendly animal sounds were all around us, and we were borne away by the crowd. Readers, things look grim for us. I write this on my dying cell phone from Fil’s concrete prison. I don’t know if I can even post from here. Honestly, I’m not even sure this is the same universe I woke up in, and I can’t afford the inter-dimensional data plan.
If you’re able to read this, then please, notify the authorities. The police, the Panic Brigade, the Regional Animal Whisperer – whoever you can find. Both of us are (for the moment) alive and unharmed. The pig-bear snuck us a bag of potato chips and a crumbled Pop-Tart, so at least we won’t starve. But we don’t know Fil’s plans, and he seems like the unhinged type, so the sooner you send help, the better.