Location: Apple Blossoms Day Care
The Nightmare raced until the roaring meows ceased. He cursed. The pink bike handle bent out of shape as Theo gripped it tightly – whether it was out of anger, or in an effort for control it was impossible to say.
He knew Miss Vierra wouldn’t kill the boy, or at least wouldn't allow Mirror to kill him. As long as Aiden’s life is not in danger Theo did not need to concern himself. He halted by the curb and checked behind him to make sure the fluffy beast wasn’t following.
But there was a fluffy beast: a smaller one, the size of the bicycle, with fur as black as the night. The feline's immaculately black eyes watched him intensely as if he were prey, its tail twitching.
A pleased smirk accompanied the flash of sparks in the Nightmare’s dark irises. He dismounted and allowed the bike to collapse behind him. Theo saw this form enough times to understand it was simply a real illusion. Grinning as he approached in wide strides, hands twisting to form some weapon, Theo spoke in a low growling voice:
"There you are, damned Nightmare."
The giant black cat realized that Theo desired its capture more than he feared its form. It sprinted away like a cheetah. The hooded teenager jumped on the pink bike in pursuit of the cat through the residential area. Passers-by screamed, ran away and/or fainted at the sight of Theo's mark. (It would be interesting to note that one boy saw a malicious goldfish, another saw a man in a blue dress -with pink ribbons- and one girl saw a giant, intelligent, vicious, floating turkey.)
The black cat disappeared behind a turn. When Theo came around he saw no sign of it. The pink bicycle stopped by the gates of the abandoned paper factory. The building's looming hollowness made the memory of the bathroom door flash across his vision:
Not a person,
Not a place;
As white as snow,
Has no face;
As thin as a leaf
As silent as a thief.
When it forgets the self it once knew,
It remembers what you need it to.
White, thin, silent - Paper. Possibly- the paper factory? For a fleeting moment Theo doubted the answer. It was an easy, artless riddle – which felt more like the cheese on a mousetrap rather than an arrow pointing to the right place.
No matter. His target was here. The Nightmare strode up the front steps, picked the lock with a malleable finger, and was welcomed into the vast darkness of the abandoned factory. Theo’s unmasked Nightmare voice roared through the silence.
“Madeleine misses you dearly.” He barked into the dark, “Come home to her.”
No answer. His voice lowered, realizing the echoes will carry his words.
“She told me she’s cold, afraid, and very alone. Alone with that man. Come home, little Nightmare. Just one more procedure and it’ll be all -”
He halted when he heard a tune. A playful tune like one from a child’s toy mocked the innumerable shadows of the factory, including Theo.
All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel;
Jigsaw was probably luring him into a trap. Every fiber of his soullessness tells him so. Still, he followed the tune.
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun,
No trap greeted him, but a jack-in-the-box - the jack still inside. Theo stood ten feet away, cautiously watching, looking around for signs of movement but saw absolutely nothing. After what seemed like hours he warily knelt down in front of it for a closer look. It had a note in fine print taped on the top:
Before Theo could finish his thought the jack-in-the-box finished its tune and out came the leering head of the jester-
POP! Goes the weasel
A mile away or so in the police station, Callaway thought a jet had sped by too closely. He felt the tremors first before he saw the clouds of smoke rising up to the heavens. Outside in the direction of the paper (!) factory, the growing orange blaze challenged the dark night sky. Callaway’s cigarette fell from his lips, as if in slow motion, and scattered ashes on the pavement.
(YAY! I blew up a building! *crosses it off ‘Things to do before retirement’ list* Anyway, Cross and Sab, you may control my characters if it pleases you to. Also, there’s no need to be gentle with them. Theo, I promise I will show you more mercy after my Hiatus.)