fic post: curse of the cuddly monkey! (hot fuzz)
TITLE: Curse of the Cuddly Monkey!
FANDOM: Hot Fuzz
WORD COUNT: 4,400ish
SUMMARY: "It tasted kind of like gardening."
WARNINGS: Choking hazard, American spelling, spoilers.
NOTES: I likes me some C&C. Stay tuned for a bonus deleted scene after the credits!
DISCLAIMER: They don't belong to me, as you know.
ARCHIVE: Please ask first.
His heart was small and hard and black, made from a bit of clay stamped with arcane symbols. He didn't know where he'd come from, or how old he was, but he did know his purpose.
When Reverend Shooter opened the carton and freed him from the plastic bag, he'd been elated. A man of God! What could be better? But it quickly became clear that there was nothing he could do to the man that the good Reverend hadn't already done to himself.
In any case, a few days later, he found himself in a tent, on a hook, next to the saccharine fluffy bunny, and that utter imbecile, the floppy lion. And unless somebody in this godforsaken village had any skill with a rifle, he wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon.
He felt a surge of hope when a strange, corn-fed oaf in a cowboy outfit, clearly smitten, put a coin in the tin and had a go at knocking down all the little people. He actually hit one or two of them, but he was excited and nervous, and walked away disappointed.
Damn it. He'd looked perfect.
He was certain he was going to go back into the carton until the next event, or be traded to another parish, or forgotten altogether in a storeroom. He only hoped the fluffy bunny and the floppy lion wouldn't go with him, and -- worse -- want to be best friends for ever and ever. The combination of cheer and mental deficiency would be unbearable. On the other hand, he could sharpen his tormenting skills on them, and be better prepared for his next opportunity. If it ever came.
But wait. The chunky cowboy was back, and he'd brought a friend. A smallish, whippy fellow in oh my God a policeman's uniform! Yes! Yes!
Doctor Hatcher, the barker, did his patter again.
The cowboy -- his name was Danny, apparently -- practically vibrated with excitement.
The policeman picked up the air rifle, his expression keen and predatory, and fired.
"Good Lord," said Dr. Hatcher. And the cuddly monkey was put into Danny Butterman's arms.
The monkey was ecstatic. This is perfect! he thought. This is perfect! The closest to an innocent soul you'll ever find in a human adult. Yes! Thank you, deadly marksman. Your end will be relatively painless and swift. Relatively.
Then Butterman's rifle went off, and Dr. Hatcher cried out in agony, clutching his leg.
What? No! You idiot! Don't shoot people unless I order it! That one doesn't count! That does not count!
It was a good day after all.
The oaf Butterman took him away, and he had called poisonous and hurtful farewells to the dimwit bunny and imbecile lion.
Then, just a few minutes later, a human being apparently exploded. What sort of town was this? Paradise, surely. Paradise in the West Country.
It turned out that Butterman was a policeman himself, partner to the sharpshooter, Angel. Oh, how wonderful! The potential for mayhem was limitless. Then, oh joy, he spent the afternoon in the company of the entire squad, magnifying their frustration and boredom.
He liked this fellow Frank. A masterful, subtle manipulator. A kindred soul.
He finished the day out in the rain, with the increasingly cross Angel and Butterman. He couldn't make them fight, at least not yet, but adding to the atmosphere of anger and fear and misery was simplicity itself. Angel's already brittle calm was easily broken, and Butterman badly hurt by his words. Wonderful. Wonderful. Completely worth the wetting.
I hate this day, thought Nicholas Angel. I hate this town. I hate everyone in it.
Angel didn't really hate Sandford. Sandford couldn't help being a mutant-infested backwater stuck in a time warp.
And he didn't really hate everyone in it. But having a human being die in the most appalling fashion imaginable, right before one's eyes, tends to put one out of sorts.
At least Tim Messenger's death had been a good deal quicker for Tim Messenger than it had for the onlookers. Nicholas had not only seen him transformed into a grotesque rock puppet, but was still picking bits of the man out of his hair. At least none of the kids had seen. Well, barring a few really determined ones.
Shower, he thought, as he entered the Castle Suite. I need a shower, for as long as the Swan's hot water holds out.
He didn't hate Frank. He seemed like a decent man, if a bit naive.
He certainly didn't hate Danny. Which was a shame, since he'd managed to hurt Danny's feelings, and badly, and had no idea what to do about it. He felt strangely guilty, as though he'd used a kitten's head as a golf ball, just for fun.
Then he noticed the object next to the radiator.
It was the cuddly monkey.
Oh, shit, he'd really hurt Danny's feelings.
The poor thing looked wet and miserable from its afternoon in the rain. The monkey, that is. He had no idea what Danny might look like, though the kitten-golf ball thing still kind of held up in his mind. If you dropped that chunk of the church roof on a kitten, Nicholas thought, I bet it would completely vaporise. Squish! Stop that.
The monkey held a note in its foot.
The sight of it made Nicholas go cold. Notes, in his experience, were never good. He and Janine, toward the end, had communicated mainly via notes. They'd developed a mutual talent that made Post-Its into passive-aggressive razors. A simple reminder to buy milk could draw blood.
Oh, thank God, Nicholas thought, it's from the hag. He was relieved to see the handwriting wasn't Danny's, though he could never have explained why.
Tomorrow. He'd think about it tomorrow. He had an appointment with the shower, and then, if his previous experiences with extreme violence were anything to go by, with the evil nightmare-generating Father Christmas that lived under the bed.
"You...you just stay there and dry out," he told the cuddly monkey.
And the monkey replied, "You left me in the rain, Sergeant Angel. I warn you, I'll not tolerate such disrespect again."
Wait. The monkey replied oh my God -- "I KNEW it! I knew there was something wrong about you and Jesus Christ how are you talking and--"
"Oh, do be quiet!"
Nicholas shut up.
"And forget we ever had this conversation."
"Okay," Nicholas said pleasantly, and went back to contemplating Mrs Cooper's note.
The cuddly monkey did dry out, eventually, but his fur would never be the same. And there would always be the hidden danger of mold. The silent killer. Still, nobody lives forever.
He was absolutely delighted when the giant mutant creature -- its name was Michael -- crept into Angel's room in the dark of night, murder on its mind. Well, it had no real concept of murder, but the monkey understood its intentions perfectly well. Do hurry home, Angel.
He couldn't quite get the creature's attention in the darkness, but he could at least send it encouragement.
Sadly, poor Michael the mutant did its best, but Angel cheated, some ironic instinct making him toss the cuddly monkey into Michael's arms.
Kill him! Kill him, you idiot! Obey me! I WILL GIVE YOU POWER.
But Michael's only response was a delighted smile and thoughts that roughly approximated little sparkly cartoon hearts and birds. Angel put the hapless mutant down with a potted plant to the head.
It's the squeaker, the monkey thought crossly. It simply isn't authoritative. Or menacing.
The oaf Butterman's house stood empty for weeks. The monkey, left alone there, didn't know what to think. As far as he could tell, the oaf wasn't dead. Angel came in every few days to run the taps and pretend he wasn't cleaning.
I hate you, thought the cuddly monkey.
Angel turned and looked at him.
Move along, stick insect. You're no use to me yet.
One day, a few weeks later, the door opened and Butterman lurched in, Angel hovering around him anxiously, like a jumpy sheepdog.
"...and you're home." Angel was saying.
"Yay," said Butterman. Then: "W'happened in here?"
"There's...stuff not here. Boxes."
"Oh. I suppose it's possible that your Auntie Jackie had a go?"
"Riiiiiight. Auntie Jackie."
Angel fussed about, putting the oaf's bag in the bedroom, fiddling with the curtains, and, as near as the monkey could tell, searching for burglars and ghosts.
Butterman, however, settled on the sofa. "Stop that. You're making me twitchy."
"How're you feeling? You did a lot today."
"Groovy. But I gotta say, I miss the heroin, man."
"Yeah. That shit was brilliant! It was like having a giant pussycat sleep on your face."
"Er...yes. Well. Your watch is all set for your meds?"
"And the pills are all laid out in the pillbox by time and day and dose."
"And you've got all kinds of food."
"Yes, Nicholas, thank you, Nicholas."
"And the remotes are all right there."
"And your phone's charged and you can call me whenever you need anything."
"Yes, Nicholas. Go to work now, Nicholas."
"And I'll be by later."
"Yes, Nicholas. Go solve crimes now."
"Do you want the kettle on? Do you need a biscuit?"
"No, thank you, Nicholas. Go foil villains."
"Would you like the radio on?"
"No, thank you. You keep this up, you're going to go all funny and the police shrink will come again. You don't want that. She had those shark ears."
"You saw them. The cold, dead ears of a killer."
"I'm taking your car keys," Angel decided.
"Take the car. Fuckers won't let me drive it."
"I'll walk. Why do you even have a car in a town this size?"
"Same reason as everybody else. So we can fuckin' leave."
"Oh." Angel opened the door.
"Have a nice day at work, honey."
"Oh, stop it!"
"Hey, Nicholas? Thank you."
Angel touched the brim of his hat. "Just doing my job, ma'am." And he pulled the door shut.
Butterman turned to the monkey. "Thought he'd never go. Well, fuck, now I'm lonesome. Howdy there, monkey!" he said, grinning oddly. "Miss me?"
Where have you been, oaf? I have plans that require you.
Butterman picked him up and hugged him enthusiastically, giggling. Giggling? Those must be excellent pills, the monkey thought. "Guess what? I got shot! And my dad's a complete cunt!"
Squeakle, went the monkey's squeaker.
Butterman, said the monkey.
Danny put him back on the sofa, wandering around the little house, looking into cupboards, and bumping into objects. "Not that Dad actually shot me. But he did put a gun to my head. Fucker."
Good heavens. Well done, Frank! This may be my chance at last. The oaf is ill, and weak, and alone. Time to pull out the stops. "Butterman!"
The oaf couldn't hear him.
Medication, the monkey thought. Once you're off it, you'll be mine.
Butterman picked him up again, tottered into the bedroom, and flopped down on top of the duvet. Squeakle squeakle.
"Snorf," Danny said into his ear.
"Don't you...don't you dare roll on top of me, you dolt! I will rend your soul! Get off me. Get off!"
Danny snored happily.
"Oh, God damn it."
As he recovered, the oaf spent most of his days on the sofa, watching his appalling films. And though his various medications waxed and waned in his bloodstream, the monkey still could not make himself heard.
Angel dropped by in the evenings, and the monkey couldn't do anything to him, either.
That was odd. Odd and wrong. Angel wasn't muffled by painkillers or fuzzy with antibiotics like the oaf. His occasional beer didn't make him any more susceptible to the monkey's influence, and booze usually worked a treat. Something was terribly wrong.
Angel and Butterman sat on the sofa until they dropped off to sleep, in companionable silence as often as not. Which was just as well, since the monkey found their jokes and small confidences unbearable. But he watched and listened. He had no choice.
Butterman returned to duty, unmedicated and unbowed. He and Angel staggered in very late at the end of that first week, looking very celebratory indeed.
"We need more beer," Butterman said, and went to the fridge.
"Are you sure? You're not used to it. Perhaps a more..." Angel trailed off.
Butterman sat next to him. "Gradual?"
"I don't know." The oaf handed Angel a bottle. Angel twisted the cap off, and accidentally elbowed Butterman in the side.
"Oh Jesus! I'm so sorry." Angel looked a good deal more stricken than was necessary for having elbowed a colleague in the gut.
"Did I hurt you?"
"'Course not. It doesn't hurt. It goes a bit twisty sometimes, is all. It's not gonna split open and my insides come gushing out. Although that would be kind of cool. Are you gonna freak out every time something like that happens?"
"Yes! No! I'm not freaking out!"
Butterman laughed. "'Course you're not."
Then Angel laughed, too, but there was still a touch of panic in it.
Butterman looked at him a moment. "Hang on." He went to the fridge and returned with two more beers. Back-up, apparently. "We're either too drunk to discuss this, or not drunk enough."
Angel smiled crookedly. They clinked bottles and chugged.
Butterman reached for the remote.
Angel fairly exploded. "Damn it, Danny, you could have died!"
Danny sat back again. "Yeah. But I figured it's, y'know, maths, innit?"
Angel looked at him, hard. "Make more sense."
"Well it's, like, thingie. Probabilities. You definitely dead was a less..." he concentrated hard "...favorable potential outcome than me possibly dead. It's all logical. See?"
And the monkey finally understood what the oaf had done, and what it meant.
Angel scowled. "No."
You complete fool! You shit! You offered up your life for his. Do you understand what that means? You've ruined everything!
Butterman pushed a button or two on the remote. The television lit up, and the torture track started. "We can watch this and drink more and then you'll get it. Maybe you're just not good at maths."
"I'm good at maths!" Angel protested.
This was deep magic, far stronger than the monkey's small power. Anyone present would have been touched by it, Angel included.
"So you don't want to drink more?"
Every unexplained incident, every bit of overheard conversation, Angel's metamorphosis from ice machine to actual human being, the oaf's change from blissful ignorance to, God help him, near competence, it all came down to that one moment.
"I never said that. What've we got tonight?"
"Under Siege 2. Steven Seagal."
Wait. What? Oh Jesus, no, thought the monkey.
"Brilliant," said Angel.
No! Not Steven Seagal!
"I have no idea. What's he do?"
"Um...clubs evil polluting Eskimos with baby seals. Or something. And shit blows up."
"Yay! I suppose."
"And anyway, I didn't."
Angel smiled. "Yeah. That was brilliant."
"Yeah, it was." Butterman aimed the remote at the television and made a pew, pew noise.
Angel, who had evidently developed a talent for filmic self-preservation, nodded off almost immediately.
No! Butterman! Switch it off! Put me in another room! I COMMAND IT! DAMN YOU, BUTTERMAN!!!
But by then Danny was asleep as well -- in truth, he'd never stayed awake for an entire Steven Seagal -- and the monkey was forced to watch the entire film through its unblinking eyes. Then twice more, because the player had accidentally been set to "repeat."
I am in Hell.
But there was worse to come.
One night, to no one's surprise (except, perhaps, Butterman's and Angel's), they stopped falling asleep on the sofa. Instead, they...instead, they...
Oh, dear God, NO! the monkey cried. No, no, no! Stop doing that! Why could I not have been born one of those sleep-eyed dolls? At least I'd be spared the sight of...
The door opened, as it so often did. This time Butterman and Angel came in with a large dog and a duffel bag.
"Here ya go, Sax. Welcome to Uncle Danny's!"
Ah. Saxon. The monkey remembered him from that distant afternoon with the squad. Death and misery in the rain. Good times.
"There's no reason he can't sleep in the station," Angel said.
"Well that's hardly fair. Bob and Mrs Bob get to sleep in a nice bed at the Disneyland Hotel. And while I can't for the life of me understand why anyone wouldn't stay in the Cheyenne, I promised I'd look after him."
"Have you been to Disneyland, then?"
"No. But I know I'd stay in the Cheyenne."
"You're a strange, strange man. Where do you want his bed?"
"Dunno. Where do you like to sleep, Sax?"
Saxon only smiled amiably, as dogs do.
"Put it next to the sofa. He can watch the telly."
"He's gonna end up in the bedroom, isn't he?"
Danny shrugged amiably, as Dannys do. "Plenty of room in there, too."
Angel sighed and rummaged in the duffel bag. "Let's see. We have his bowls, his balls..."
Angel glared at him and held up a stripey vinyl ball.
"Chew toys, frisbee, what the hell is this?" Nicholas produced a blue and white object.
"It's Hello Kitty. I didn't know she was a copper, too."
Saxon gently took Hello Kitty from Nicholas' hand and put her in his bed. Apparently one was not supposed to dangle Hello Kitty by the ear.
"Of course. We have a box of, uh, B-I-K-K-I-E-Ses..."
"No. The things you give him when he's been a G-O-O-D D-O-G."
Saxon barked enthusiastically.
Nicholas gave Danny a withering look. "Dammit, we don't have dog food."
Saxon barked again, and wagged his tail.
"You should say D-O-G-F-O--"
"I know I should say D-O-G--! I'm sorry." He gave Saxon a mercy-and-shut-up biscuit.
"'sokay. Spelling out loud's hard. We're supposed to buy a bag of D-O-G-F-O-D-D on the way home," Danny said helpfully.
"So...we're supposed to buy it before we get here."
"So...we should, and stop me if this is too radical a notion, we should perhaps go out now and secure a bag of D-O-G et cetera so that we might, as becomes necessary, in the fullness of time, give the D-O-G its--"
Danny was already out the door. "I'm driving! Bye, Sax."
"Shotgun!" Angel followed after.
All right, thought the cuddly monkey. All right. This could be the opportunity I've waited for. I've been too ambitious. I see that now. This is a rural area. The animals shall be my unwitting allies. The dog will remove me from this place to some nearby stable, fold, or coop, and from there, my reign can finally begin. Yes. YOU! DOG!
"Nrf?" said Saxon.
Saxon obeyed, wagging his tail, and gave the monkey a friendly prod with his nose.
Stop sniffing me, you foul beast.
Saxon did not obey.
Saxon thoroughly probed every part of the cuddly monkey with his snout.
Saxon gave the cuddly monkey an experimental lick. Then several more licks.
The squeaker squeakled.
No! Why can you not hear me?
Anyone present would have been touched by it. Even the dog.
Even the dog.
Lick squeaklick squeaklick squeaklick.
Nooooooo! The dog will die. The dog will die. Oh, this is appalling. I will burn this village.
Apparently the licking went well. Saxon crouched before the monkey, got his front legs around it for leverage, and gave his arm a good gnawing.
Oh my God, NO! Noooooo! The dog drool...it's...it's starting to set, like jelly. It's getting hard. OH GOD IT'S GETTING HARD, LIKE SOME HORRIBLE FRENCH GLAZE!
Squeakle squeakle squeakle, said the squeaker.
Thump thump thump went Saxon's tail.
The first bits of stuffing flew out across the carpet like dandelions fed into a wood chipper. Despairing, the monkey waited for the end.
"Hey, Saxon, we're back."
Thump thump thump went Saxon's tail. He grinned up at Danny.
"Well, look at you, you got a friend! Wotcher, monkey, you gonna -- Oh, my God!"
"What?" said Nicholas from behind him. Then: "Oh, my God!"
"Oh, Saxon, no." Danny knelt next to the remains, a hand out to pat the dog.
Saxon looked up, puzzled. He knew an I'd kind of like to kill you but I won't because you're a dog and you can't help whatever it was you just did pat when he got one. There was no way to explain that the monkey had asked for it.
"Oh, no," said Nicholas. He set the bag of dog food next to the door. "Saxon, come here. C'mon. I bet you need to go out."
Saxon did not, in fact, need to go out, but he was no fool. Nicholas opened the door for him, and he trotted out into the garden.
"You should know better than that," Angel told him as he went through the door. "You're not CID." He came back into the sitting room. "How bad is it?"
Danny held up the monkey's head wordlessly, looking like a production of Hamlet for small children.
"Gnrf," Angel said, because it would have been incredibly rude to laugh.
"It's okay," Danny said morosely, "You c'n laugh if you want."
Angel ducked his head. "I don't want to now."
"D'you think we can save him?"
Angel probed a bit at the sopping limbs and scattered stuffing. "Well...his head's off."
Clunkl. Something fell out of the monkey's head, onto the carpet.
"What was that?"
"Dunno." Danny picked it up. "It's...some kind of little stone?"
"Maybe it went in by accident at the factory."
Danny examined it closely. "Why does it have a star and a goat head on it?"
"Well. I imagine it's some sort of evil talisman designed to give the cuddly monkey occult powers so that it might serve the forces of darkness."
"No, not really. Somebody in China's missing their lucky rock. Don't put it in your mouth, for Christ's sake!"
"I don't have a pocket," Danny said around the stone. He turned the head upside-down and peered into the neck hole, in search of more treasure. The monkey's eyes fell off. "G'aww!"
"I think they were just glued on." Angel picked them up and examined them. "The cardboard's mostly dissolved. There's just the clear bits and the googles."
"It's okay," Angel said. "We can give it buttons or something."
"Actually, now I think about it, it's illegal to sell children's toys made this way. It should have safety eyes. And it has no tag stating its country of origin."
"Or the little sadface choking Tintin," Danny added.
"I always thought of it as a weeping sperm," said Nicholas.
Suddenly Danny's eyes got big. "Olp."
"I swallowed it."
"Oh, Christ, I told you not to do that! What are you, five?"
"You made me laugh!"
"Jesus. Are you all right? Did it go down? You're not choking?"
"Don't think so."
"Do you want me to Heimlich you?"
Danny waggled his eyebrows and grinned. "Maybe later."
Nicholas ignored this. "Well, unless you really, really want it back, I'm afraid it's gone for good. Or it will be tomorrow."
"I don't want it back that badly, no. Sorry, monkey," he told the head. "No evil powers for you."
"I just hope it's not made of lead."
"Don't think so. It tasted kind of like gardening. Lead tastes like pencils and fishing sinkers."
Don't ask, Nicholas thought. Don't ask. Do not ask. "I suppose there's no way now to tell where it came from, since everybody who worked at the fete is in prison. Maybe the new reverend could have a look in the church records, if she's figured them out."
"Yeah." Danny looked oddly guilty.
"What's the matter?"
"I...Nicholas, I kind of knew that. About the googly eyes."
Nicholas raised an eyebrow or two.
"I didn't say anything. I'm really sorry."
"I thought you'd take the monkey away."
"Danny, you're a grown man, I'm not going to take your toys away. The regulations are in place to keep children from accidentally swallowing or choking on small..."
Danny looked at him. "I meant as evidence."
"Oh. Anyway it'll dry in a day or so. Then we can see what bits are left. Maybe we can clean it, and reassemble it, and change out the stuffing."
"D'you know how to sew?"
"We can learn."
"Lucky Saxon didn't chew the eyes off."
"Saxon's smarter than that."
Danny looked at him again.
"I'll...tea! I'll make tea. We need tea. Possibly tea with beer."
"Forget the tea," said Danny.
"Forget the tea," said Nicholas, and went for the fridge.
The little black heart, its voice growing fainter and fainter as it dissolved, didn't stop screaming for another 18 hours. Then, what little was left of it departed Danny Butterman's home, and, indeed, Danny Butterman, for ever.
Cuddly Monkey's squeaker is, technically, a growler. A squeaker works like a clown nose or a rubber dog toy, and can often be found in an animal's ear or paw. A growler is like one of those mooing cows-in-a-can, and usually resides in the animal's torso, protected from the stuffing by a linen bag. It's important that you know this.
It is indeed illegal to sell children's toys with non-safety eyes. Although it is perfectly legal to sell the eyes directly to children. Should you ever wish to annoy your family or housemates, a sheet of stick-on googly eyes combined with the contents of your fridge does the trick nicely.
BONUS DELETED SCENE:
"Andy! Andy, for God's sake, stop!" Wainwright took his partner by the shoulders. "What the fuck are you doin', man?"
"I'm sorry, Andy, I...I dunno what came over me." Cartwright put down the fire axe, shamefaced.
"Hitting it's not gonna solve anything."
"I know. I know." The monkey had only bounced around the room a bit, squeaking.
Wainwright produced his cigarette lighter. "The only way to be absolutely sure is fire."
Cartwright grinned. "Yeah, baby! Yeah!"