by Dominic Jackson·
The videos have been going viral for a few weeks now. People think its an elaborate new way of Vtubing or that I must work in the special effects industry but that isn't the case. Hell I don't even make the videos, I just wake up to them every Wednesday and upload them to youtube. There's only a handful of the videos on there at the moment but each one is getting more traction than the last.
The comments are great, everyone confused about how real it looks and wondering how the voice is so cute. People comment under the clips with theories about what technology I'm using to make it happen but the secret is - It's all real. I barely believed it myself when I woke up one morning to see a notification from my Ring doorbell with a 5 minute long video of him creating content totally unprompted. I thought it was somebody playing an elaborate prank on me but over time I came to the conclusion that it had to be real.
The first video was him introducing himself in a mumbling, unsure voice. Higher pitched than I'd expect, like a nervous chatter. This little raccoon holding my ring doorbell like a tiny phone in his hand and sitting on my porch.
"Hey youtube welcome to my first video. Tonight I'm going to do an unboxing video for you all, if you like it don't forget to like and subscribe." He said before putting the doorbell down and angling it at my trash cans before routing through them and showing the camera bits of my leftovers he had found, real smug with himself. When I went out there to look the next morning, my ring doorbell was still on the floor and of course my trash was all over the place.
I was really confused and thought I'd just upload the video to see what people would say. Maybe help me make some sense of it all, make me feel less insane. The video went viral almost overnight with thousands of comments and likes, everyone subscribing to the channel. I saw the monetary potential almost immediately but thought the video would be a one off, until the next Wednesday when it happened again.
He was back, this time doing a compilation of trick shots in my yard with a pingpong ball and some old disposable cups he must have found. I gotta admit I was impressed with his skills as he maneuvered around my lawn throwing the ball in increasingly difficult ways. Before he finished this video he picked up the camera.
"Hello all my Rufus-afarians out there, its ya boy Rufus. If you liked this video please support me by supporting my sponsors, raid shadow legends. Use the code 'Rufus_Raccoon' for early access to the new warrior queen who has huge breasts and comes with a new special attack that makes them jiggle or some shit. I think this phone is an android or something because I can't get any games on it so what do I know. Aaaannddddd A-PEACE." He finished by flashing two fingers to the camera.
A lot more bravado this time in his style and he was clearly becoming more confident in-front of the camera. The video did numbers too and I started to make some serious money from this little garden gremlin of mine. Viral hog offered to buy the video for $2000 and I told them to shove it, I had a gold mine here and they weren't about to cheat me out of it like they cheat everyone else out of their content.
He continued to make videos every Wednesday night. Sometimes the videos were pretty hardcore like the one where he jumped off my porch into a pile of broken glass as some form of extremely stunt. Another one he played a practical joke on a cat by sneaking up behind it and making loud barking noises, calling it a social experiment (the cat wasn't happy). And for me the cash kept flowing. I figured I'd be best investing it back into his little career so I had somebody on Etsy custom make me a tiny, to scale, replica of Jimmy Kimmel's studio set from TV.
When it arrived I constructed it outside in the corner of my garden with some makeshift lighting, set to turn on at the usual time he made videos at 2am for an hour. It was a masterwork of craftsmanship and I was smitten the next day when I woke up to find the ring alarm turn on at the perfect moment to see him sat in the tiny chair and introduce a local possum for a brief interview. I didn't understand a word the possum was saying as it didn't talk English like Rufus but it was highly engaging.
Rufus had some great questions too, here's some examples from the video -
"So Pete, haven't seen you around here for a while, you been playing possum? Haha just a little joke there don't take it so seriously" Rufus gestures and winks to the crowd as the possum hisses.
"Pete I heard there's been an uptick in crime recently, I thought you were meant to be on top of that? You're looking a little skinny recently if you catch my drift." - Rufus taps his que cards on his desk with both hands and looks around at the 'audience' smiling and I think I see the possum roll its eyes.
He was a natural on the stage. Hell he even somehow got a bunch of crickets and put them into a plastic bottle just out of shot to act like a live crowd. He really knew how to work the audience and afterwards he gave a little bow just in perfect timing for my lighting rig to cut out for the evening. How did he know I had timed them to shut off at that moment?
It wasn't long before Rufus was trending on youtube and I was starting to get paranoid people might find out my secret. That Rufus was real and could talk. A real talking raccoon in my back garden making late night talk shows every Wednesday. I couldn't tell anyone incase they endangered my now only source of income. I was able to quit my day job several months ago at Zoumies skate shop and I kinda burnt a bridge there. I told my boss I quit and then threw a skateboard through the window and told him to stop saying 'cowabunga' all the time because it wasn't cool and had never been.
After several weeks the tone of the Rufus show seemed to change. He no longer had guests and would use his platform to becoming increasingly irate at the 'state of the neighborhood' as he would put it. He started wearing a little bow tie he had fashioned out of an empty bag of chips twisted in the middle and stuck with gum to his neck. It was painful to watch how angry and bitter he had become, especially when thinking back to how cute he was doing little stunts and playing basketball.
He would rant into the camera angrily waving his arms around like a tiny dictator.
"Local skunks in the area have been making a huge stink recently. Whats going on? How did we get here?" he would say, his tone slower and more controlled now but still obviously irate.
And the viewers hated it too. Viewership was going down as Rufus abused his fame to further his weird skunk hating agenda of which he seemed rather obsessed. It was bizarre and the comments reflected the viewers anger.
"What gives? He used to be so cool. What is this shit?" Wrote one person.
Another comment read - "He's becoming a little tyrant! I used to let my kids watch this now I can barely stand his little bastard face and twat bow tie, makes him look like young Sheldon covered in pubes."
I had to get this info to him, over to Rufus. I think he was far too removed from reality by this point (as I felt myself) and probably a little up his own ass believing his own bullshit. So I printed off the comments onto A5 paper and left them on his desk one night before I went to bed. Let him know what people were saying about him on the internet. Maybe this will help him realize how hateful he has become, how judgement he is.
And it did. That night when the camera turned on he had tears in his eyes holding the stack of comments in his tiny paws. Flicking the pages every few minutes becoming visibly more upset. When he had finished, he put the papers back down on the table and staring directly into the camera, reached into the little drawer next to himself and pulled out a tiny revolver, aimed it against the side of his head and blew his raccoon brains out, slumping snout first onto the desk. Thick dark blood flooded the surface in front of him, over the papers and finally cascading like a savage waterfall over the side just as the lights went out.
I ran outside instantly after watching the footage and found him hunched motionless over his tiny studio desk. He was solid as a rock as the sun came up over my fence and illuminated his corpse like a spotlight. It was a gruesome scene and I was worried that my neighbours might notice any at any moment. What if they started asking questions about why I had a tiny replica of Jimmy Kimmel's studio with a dead raccoon slouched at the desk? I ran inside and grabbed some old bedsheets from my linen closet and draped them over the whole scene. It wasn't until it was covered that I noticed they were my old Captain America bedsheets I used to sleep in when I was a kid.