Tiger, from Deers, by Marcus Gorman

DEER turns to exit. The front door to the tavern opens, revealing TIGER. All the animals freeze. If they were frightened of DEER, they are TERRIFIED of TIGER.

TIGER. Hello, insects. No, Raccoon, I shan’t give you back your trash piles. I’m saving you from yourself and everyone else from whatever is rotting inside your mouth.

TIGER sizes up the room.

Rabbit, if I saw you crossing the street, I would go out of my way to hit you. How are you, Bobcat, you delicious little kitten?

BOBCAT recoils. TIGER nods at BINTY.


BINTY lunges at TIGER, but RABBIT holds them back.

Watch it. And you, Owl, how’s the family life? Is it everything you ever wanted? Being tied down to some mewling little hatchling and a partner past their prime, never being able to fly away again without being branded a lesser bird? And Turtle, it is truly a displeasure seeing you.

TIGER goes to DEER. They shake hoofs/paws.

And you. That game show you did. On the day you murdered your friend. Do you remember?

DEER breaks the handshake.

That was the day you humiliated me. In front of your friends. In front of a crowd of critters. In front of my new community. Do you remember that day? I’ll ask again. Do you remember? I gained something that day. The ability to turn humiliation into power, the determination to vanquish my enemies. And you, Deer, are my enemy. I could have bought this bar and burned it to the ground, but one thing kept driving me. Not the money I get from the filthy, lowlife degenerate alcoholics you call friends. No. It was all for today, the day of your release. To welcome you back to your only home, and then have you watch in horror as I remove every piece of its spirit.

TIGER gets in DEER’s face.

I will remove your soul until there is nothing left. What do you have to say to that? Very well. Everyone, I have an announcement to make. Starting tomorrow, Deer’s will be serving meat. Merry Christmas.

Context: Deers is four episodes of a live 1980s-style sitcom about an animal bar in the Cascades. Every character is written without a predetermined gender and all are referred to as “they.”

At the top of Episode 3, titled “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” our hero Deer returns to their bar on Christmas Eve after spending two years in a mental institution after accidentally goring a patron, Bear, in the heat of rage. Deer has returned to sign their half of the bar away to their co-owner, Binty the Binturong, only to find out that Tiger, who was humiliated by the patrons of the animal bar Deers during Episode 2, bought the bar out from Binty to exact revenge.

More information: marcusgorman.com

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