Once upon a time in a magical land called New York City, there lived a grumpy lion Therian. Oh, but he was growly and a meanie, and wherever he went he cussed up a storm! Christmas grew ever closer, and while everyone was merry and bright, Simba—that’s not his real name, but we’ll go with that—was not the least bit cheerful. He was so miserable, that not even the sweet little cheetah Therian—who for some reason thought he was dreamy—could make the grumpy lion Therian smile.
That evening after he finished his round of scaring kittens and making little old ladies cry, the lion Therian settled down to watch his favorite show Cops: Therian Edition, when he heard what sounded like rattling chains. Getting up and grabbing his baseball bat, the lion Therian investigated. He yelped like a little school girl when he saw the spikey haired blond ghost in the middle of his living room. The ghost told him he would be visited by three spirits, the Ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. The lion Therian flipped the ghost off and stalked to his bedroom. The ghost wasn’t impressed, and he joined his big tiger Therian ghost buddy, and together they went off to play video games because the jerk had been warned and the rest wasn’t their problem.
Settled in his big bed, the lion Therian huffed at the silly ghost. Whatevs. Like he gave a crap. That night as he slumbered, he was startled awake by the awesome sound of Def Leppard. The lion Therian sat up, glaring at the devilishly handsome ghost in the Marty McFly jacket and high tops floating in the middle of the room with his wicked boom box. The lion Therian asked the ghost who the hell he was—among other choice words—and the ghost replied in an attractive voice that he was the Ghost of Christmas Past. The lion Therian let out a snort because really, was he supposed to be surprised? The dashing, and charming ghost told the lion Therian to bite him, before he snapped his fingers.
Magically, they appeared in a white room with two twin beds and a ceiling painted with stars. The lion Therian narrowed his eyes at the Ghost of Christmas Past and told him that wasn’t cool. The Ghost of Christmas Past agreed, but said there was a point to all this, so to just hear him out. In the room was a sweet, young jaguar Therian and a young grumpy lion Therian. The two did everything together, even at times sleep in the same bed so they wouldn’t feel scared. The jaguar Therian asked the lion Therian to be his best friend forever, and the lion Therian promised he would, even if the jaguar Therian grew up to be a dork, which he didn’t. He grew up to be awesome.
Simba—whose real name isn’t Simba—got all teary-eyed and asked the Ghost of Christmas Past to take him home. In the blink of an eye, the lion Therian was back in his bed and he wondered if he hadn’t dreamed up the whole thing. Going back to bed and cursing the debonair Ghost of Christmas Past, the lion Therian fell asleep.
Later still that night, the lion Therian was once again woken up by a strange noise. When he woke up he found a super handsome jaguar Therian with amber eyes that totally rocked the Ghost of Christmas Past’s world, and they’d have to do that thing again where he swirled the ice cube in his mouth, and then—Uh, where they sat and colored together because coloring is cool. You know they make coloring books for adults now? So the lion Therian sat up and arched an eyebrow at the jaguar Therian hottie, and was all “really, bro?”, and the jaguar Therian ignored him and told him he was the Ghost of Christmas Present and was going to show him what a miserable jerkface he was being.
With a snap of his fingers, the handsome Ghost of Christmas Present took them to a cool hangout where all of the lion Therian’s friends were gathered singing songs, drinking… soda, and um, orange juice. Yeah, so they were drinking non-grown up drinks, and having fun. The lion Therian had been invited to make merry with his brethren, but he’d decided he was going to be a party pooper because he was too good for the office party, despite the cute cheetah Therian begging him to go. So everyone was having an awesome time, and seeing that made the lion Therian wish he’d gone. Especially since some dudes were flirting with the cheetah Therian, and that annoyed the lion Therian. Turning to the Ghost of Christmas Present, the lion Therian demanded to be taken home, so the handsome jaguar Therian did, saying he had no idea why he even bothered, and the lion Therian told him he’d grown up to be a big dork after all, which he hadn’t.
In his bed, the lion Therian had trouble sleeping. He wished all these darn ghosts would leave him alone. All they did was make him sad, and he didn’t want to be sad. He had too much to be annoyed over. Knowing what was coming, he crossed his arms over his chest and sat up in bed to wait for the Ghost of Christmas Future. When she got there, looking pretty angry, he wished he had kicked the Ghost of Christmas Past’s butt, because he did not need this. Why was it the fault of the Ghost of Christmas Past? He’d been roped into this mess. Just because kids loved him, didn’t mean he had to be the one PR called in for this.
So, the Ghost of Christmas Future told him she was going to kick his butt because she had a date with Dimples the Firefighter and she had to cancel to come haunt his miserable patooty. How he better get his head out of his—er, how he should stop being so miserable. The lion Therian told the ghost to get it over with already because he was growing old just listening to her yammering on. She was not impressed, but having better things to do than argue with him, she snapped her fingers, making them appear in a bustling magical place with lots of other Humans and Therians, including one guy who the lion Therian was still—I mean really, man, let it go—still angry at for peeing on his fern.
Anyway, the pretty lady ghost pointed to a door and inside the room was the cute as a button cheetah Therian who sat looking outside his window, wishing the grumpy lion Therian would take him in his arms and give him a kiss. Ew. The cheetah Therian was crazy about the lion Therian, but the lion Therian was so busy being a big tough lion Therian jerk that he failed to notice the lovesick cheetah Therian. In came a big, handsome tiger Therian—who’s totally still in love with a certain wolf Therian, but we won’t get into that—and he asked the cheetah Therian out on a date.
The lion Therian tried to set the tiger Therian on fire with his laser beam stare, but the tiger Therian couldn’t see him. With his little pining heart broken by the lion Therian, the cheetah Therian agreed to go on a date with the buff tiger Therian. The lion Therian fumed. He would have none of it, but he was too late. He should have gotten his keister in gear sooner, and not been such a donkey butt. Sad, and unable to kick the tiger Therian’s butt, the lion Therian asked the Ghost of Christmas Future to take him home.
As he fell asleep, the lion Therian thought about everything he’d seen, and he was super sad about losing the little cheetah Therian. That night, the lion Therian cried himself to sleep.
The next morning, the lion Therian woke up to the sound of his phone ringing. He picked it up with a sleepy growl, his heart pounding when a cheerful voice chirped Merry Christmas at him. It was the little cheetah Therian. The lion Therian sat up, listening as the cheetah Therian confessed his love and asked the lion Therian to join him and his family for Christmas dinner. The lion Therian asked about the tiger Therian but the cheetah Therian said they were just friends and nothing ever happened between them. The lion Therian was so happy, he actually smiled. Like he for real smiled. Who knew he was capable right? Anyway, the lion Therian said he’d be happy to join the cheetah Therian for Christmas dinner.
After hanging up, the lion Therian quickly brushed his teeth and got dressed. He ran out to buy the cheetah Therian an awesome Christmas present, and some funky socks, because the cheetah Therian was a nerd that way, and he wrapped all the presents up. When he got to the cheetah Therian’s house, he knocked on the door, a big smile on his face when the cute guy answered the door. Before the cheetah Therian could say a word, the lion Therian took him in his arms and kissed him. Ew.
The two kissed for a really long time, and after a whole bunch more drama-because really, we’re talking about the lion Therian here—the two started dating. And they lived happily ever after, along with the cheetah Therians charming brother, and the brother’s handsome jaguar Therian boyfriend. The end.
Don’t miss Dex’s 12 Days of Christmas over at Love Bytes! (Posts early morning)
Copyright © 2015 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.