Aaron Steinmetz

...be very still...the bird's angry...and I think he can see us.

Cocoa Tales: Episode Zero 2

Woah. Okay, what just happened?


Floyd, is that you?


Yeah, Faber, why is everything completely black?


Dunno buddy, but it seems we’re still here. I mean, we’re all still here, right?


Yes, Detective Faber, I’m here, at least. Thought I’d gone blind for a moment.


No, Jessica, you’re not blind. I’m Floyd by the way.


I know. Your voice is much nice than Faber’s.




Sorry, Detective Faber, but I call it as I hear it.


Does that mean you’re falling in love with me?

It means I think you have a nice voice, Detective. Nothing more.


Can we get back to what just happened?


Yes, Sandman, unless you want to disappear on me again.


Now, now, Ms. Holiday, I’d like to think we’ve buried the hatchet.


When?! When we were trapped in a jail cell together?


I thought it was a prison.


Not the point, Faber.


Listen, Ms. Holiday, if you want to catch me, go right ahead. Honestly, this whole killing Monty Gerald thing has been so exhausting, I’m thinking about retirement.


I will catch you! If I can find you...


It is rather dark in here...


Nibbles! You’re still in there?


Yes, Detective Floyd, I have been attempting, while you were distracted by the confines of the jail cell...or is it prison cell? No matter. I found your partner safe and sound and we both cohabitate within the same mortal coil. Wouldn’t you agree, Detective Faber?

I would...if I knew what you were saying.


But we still don’t know why everything is completely black!


I might have an answer for that, Floyd.


Cocoa Tael!?


Yes, Floyd, you are looking at the newest member of the Felidus. I have obtained my first kill. In killing the Storyteller, I am now a feline assassin.


Congratulations, Cocoa Tael.


Thank you, Sandman. Although, I gotta say, your talk about retirement is very tempting.




Yeah. It took me six months, almost to the minute, to get in one single kill. That’s just too exhausting. I think I oughtta rethink my life choices. Maybe consider that whole rehabilitation thing.


Yes, I knew it!


Knew what, Harold?


Give ‘em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.




Meaning, if you figured out how hard it is to actually kill someone then you’d give up on your nefarious ways and find the higher path.


That was your plan? That was it!? No wonder FRAG fired you.


The Feline Rehabilitation Agency didn’t fire me, Jessica Holiday, I left.


To keep from behind fired.


Meh. Tomato, tomahto.


The straight and narrow for me? Well, this is going to be an interesting story. Too bad we don’t have someone to tell it.


Don’t worry, Cocoa, I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end. I mean, can you really kill a storyteller?


Of course I can, Harry. Just ‘cause you buddied up with him doesn’t mean he’s not as killable as the rest of you.


Talk like that, Cocoa, and I might think you’re not very retired.


Relax, Floyd, I’m not trying to kill you. Couldn’t find you even if I wanted to.


Is this it? Is this really how it all ends? The Storyteller is dead and we’re all trapped in darkness?

Better than being trapped in writer’s block, Floyd. My dad is trapped in a world of white.


Oh, I’ve been there. It smells like catnip.


None of this makes any sense! How can a character kill its own storyteller?


Oh, Detective Floyd, there are so many aspects to storytelling you couldn’t possibly understand from your limited perspective.


You okay, buddy? You seem tense.


I am tense, Faber! You had the right idea, all along. We should’ve been beating the ever-loving crap out of the Storyteller the whole time!


Hey, you said "crap" and not bleep. Guess that means he’s really dead.


Hey, hey, hey: my name’s in the title, not yours, detectives. I just got my first kill! Yay me!


Yeah, Cocoa, it’s just...


What, Sandman?


The Storyteller? Kind of on the nose if you ask me.


Yeah, kiddo. He kind of walked into it.


No, he did not, Harold! Do you have any comprehension of how hard I worked to get that kill? To let everyone else out of the jail like you asked?!


I thought it was a prison.


Shut up! I bent over backward to make sure only the Storyteller died.


I tried the same thing with Gerald, Cocoa. Tried to keep from killing everyone else in his house and ended up his own captive. Maybe the moral of this story is kill everyone right away and save time and trouble.


Sounds like the kind of moral this story would provide.


Maybe so, Detective Floyd, but I think we all, who are surrounded in darkness, have learned a valuable lesson today.


What’s that, Nibbles?


Love him or hate him, we all need a storyteller to shine a light on the world.


Well said, cat.


Thank you, Detective Faber.


Woah, hang on, don’t tell me you’re all siding with that hack now!


Sorry, Cocoa: he was inept and a dope, but he was our dope.


And he was kinda cute, in a chubby writer sorta way.


Very true, Jessica. If I swung that way, I might’ve been attracted to him.


No, no stop talking him up! We all hated him! We all beat him up!


But he really tried. You know, it was kinda clever, that little twist at the end.


We all wanted him dead!


I never wanted him dead. In pain from time to time, maybe, but not dead.


You humans and your sympathy. It’ll be the death of you all! Death at the hands of the Felidus!


Cocoa, you don’t really mean that.


Oh shut up, bub.