Monsters Under the Bed

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Zen, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. '"Parents shouldn't assume children are made out of sugar candy and will break and collapse instantly. Kids don't, we do."'
    - Maurice Bernard Sendak, author of
    Where the Wild Things Are

    "I'd give all of the wealth that years have piled,
    the slow result of life's decay,
    To be once more a little child
    for one bright summer day."
    -Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland

    The space under the bed was beckoning, calling. It seemed like that space grew darker - how that was even possible the teenagers weren't entirely sure. All was quiet now in their room, no rumbling, no hissing, no growling. But they all would have preferred that over the silence. The silence felt more like a trick, a trick from that monster telling the children, "It's alright, put what you've seen behind you. All is well now, reality is sinking in." Yet how could reality be there when one of their own was missing, and not by normal means?

    This was what the group of teenagers were thinking as they huddled together. Some were trembling, some close to tears, others were confused and angry. They all stared at that space, wondering what they should do. But aside from their fear, all of them held a kernel of curiosity. They all wanted to know what came from underneath the bed, and where it came from. A silent agreement passed between them. One by one they each crawled under the bed, the darkness swallowing them whole. Their fingers felt the wooden floor beneath them, hard and solid. Soon they felt the dust bunnies and as they continued crawling, dirt. Their noses filled with the pungent scent of roots and mold, sometimes coughing from the overwhelming scent. Noises of their movement sounded muffled but contained. They were in a tunnel and in front of them was a light.

    They saw a night sky filled with stars, more stars than they had ever seen in their lives. They saw trees with different colored leaves: blue, purple, yellow and orange. They saw grass of the deepest green, springy and soft. They could hear the crashing of waves against a beach not too far away. But the leaves and grass were of a dimmed color, and the stars weren't ones that they knew. Even the waves sounded solemn - different. It was obvious that they were in a different world and this realization made the teenagers shiver with disbelief. What were they to do in this foreign land?

    A red flickering tail appeared in their line of vision. And over a bush tumbled a familiar looking creature. It was a fox, red as flame with a maroon streak running over its back. He observed the foster children with one eye, his other orb had been injured and it remains closed. A jagged scar rests in its place. It also wore a brown collar and the words etched none too neatly, read Ally.

    "You're here for the girl aren't you?" The fox said in a gruff voice. "Tell me... What are your names?"

  2. Still clutching Elijah's shirt after the long an terrifying trek underneath the bed, Maddie was torn between terror and the urge to respond to what looked like a fox, an animal that she was extremely fond of. It was dark here, and she did not know what to make of the fact that a fox was talking to her in a strange world under the bed. She was not sure if she was having a nightmare, as even though Leah being abducted by a monster was surreal, she could not imagine herself making it up. She always got out of her way to evade any contact with anything remotely scary, after all.

    Seeing as nobody seemed to take the initiative, the young girl looked upon the faces of her foster siblings and then looked at “Ally” once more, deciding to answer him as she could not see why she should not. A talking, one eyed fox named “Ally” could not be bad.... right?

    “M... Maddie” She mumbled to the fox, still very much afraid as she hid behind her foster brother in hope of getting some comfort out of her action.
  3. Leah was gone.

    But which was worse? Being physically removed...or being forgotten? Elijah couldn't be sure about the answer, though he wasn't willing to accept that he'd simply dreamed her up out of thin air. It just couldn't be the case, not when the other children remembered her just as vividly as he did.

    Initial panic and fear diminished, replaced by roiling anger in the very pit of his gut. He was angry with Rebecca; how could she just forget about Leah?! What the hell was going on?! He was angry with himself as well. Why hadn't he been able to hold on to Leah's arms? Why hadn't he gone after her right away?

    Guilt settled in his chest like a heavy object resting atop it and the overwhelming emotion made his current task all the more difficult. When Leah had been taken and Rebecca had conveniently forgotten about her, Elijah had been the first one to swing his feet over the edge of his bed, the first to touch toes to the cold floor and stuff items into a backpack. He'd wasted only enough time to tug on socks and shoes. Pajama pants and a hoodie carelessly thrown overtop a faded t-shirt and left unzipped would have to do.

    And now he was crawling. He'd lost track of the minutes that had passed since he'd first stuck his head into that inky black maw that was the space under Leah's bed. His hands weren't even slapping against cold hardwood floor anymore. It was dirt that his knees and ten slightly trembling fingers met now as they dropped to the suface that held him up, that cradled him safely and prevented him from falling endlessly into a black abyss.

    This tunnel of dirt he was traversing stank of natural things, but what he hoped above all else was that the younger children following behind him wouldn't be so keen in sense of smell as to pick up the subtle waft of blood. Leah's blood. A chill ran down Elijah's spine as he remembered her terrified face and tears stung at the backs of his eyes and threatened to make the light ahead blurry and distorted. Again... Again he was unable to protect someone who relied upon him. But things wouldn't end the same way they had all those years ago. He wouldn't allow it.

    When he reached the end of the filthy tunnel and pushed out of its opening, hands hit grass and for a moment he just sat there, breathing fresh night air in heavily and trying to rid his body of that stagnant aroma laced with Leah's suffering. Then, when he felt like he could stand without falling over, he pushed himself to his feet and began brushing dirt off of his knees and clothes and the pack on his back. Only when he finished did he realize just how strange of a place they'd all landed in.

    Deep green eyes gazed at the irregularly colored leaves, then at the night sky that looked not so much like the speckled lights of home but rather like someone had thrown a handful of glitter up into the air and it'd stuck there. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. Where was the North Star? Where were the Big and Little Dippers? Where had this tunnel taken them?

    The still mildly dirty shirt Elijah was sporting shifted of its own accord and he quickly glanced down to see young Maddie clinging to him as she was often known to do. This ragtag collection of foster children had hardly gotten the chance to settle in at Rebecca's place but already Maddie had grown attached to Elijah as though he'd always been her older brother, and who was he to complain? It wasn't as though he found younger children annoying. So with a soft smile that was, at this particular point in their rescue mission, a long way off from reaching his eyes, he lifted a hand and brushed some dirt off of her cheek and plucked an earthworm from her hair.

    He was about to check on the rest of the children when his peripheral vision snagged on a flash of red in an otherwise different color of bush. Jerking his head in the appropriate direction, his eyes narrowed with suspicion and might have held a glimmer of disbelief that there was really a battle-scarred and perfectly vocal fox now addressing the group.

    And of all of the children to speak up first, Maddie was the one to do it. Elijah would have given her a surprised stare if he weren't feeling it more important that he keep an eye on this talking animal. The fox's collar sported the word "Ally" though he couldn't help but wonder if maybe someone had purposely left out an "E" for the sake of tricking silly children into thinking a dark alley was a friendly place.

    "Does it matter?" he voiced, balling his hands into fists, though they remained snug against his sides for the time being. "If you know where that..thing took Leah, then just tell us." His voice was soft, barely above a whisper, despite how it clearly shook from frustration.
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  4. Les sat on her bed, holding knees up to her chest as limbs shivered and breathing suddenly became difficult. Her heart was still pounding uncomfortably fast, mouth hanging open in disbelief as the chill of fear took over. She was... insane, seeing something like that was beyond what should be possible, beyond what a sane person should see. That is what Les wanted to believe, because the alternative was accepting that something so terrifyingly out of this world had truly harmed Leah and taken her away, and that Rebecca had so cruelly forgotten the girl....

    But they all remembered, Les could tell that much with a glance at her fellow foster children. A collection of people could not share the same hallucination, it wasn't possible. On the other hand... "possible" was a questionable concept in Les' mind at the moment. Movement caught her eye then, Elijah was frantically collecting things, preparing. Of course... they needed to get Leah back, so how long are you going to sit there looking so damned pathetic?. Said her subconscious, and rather harshly at that.

    Les willed her limbs to move and jumped from her bed as if one of those things could be waiting underneath, looking for feet to grab. She hurried on socks and her slightly worn out red Chucks, then pulled her over-sized white and yellow striped hoodie over her plain sleeping shirt, leaving her braid tucked away under it.

    She waited for the other's to go first before hesitantly following, feeling the cold hardwood floor under hands and knees, heart pounding even more as the surroundings began to feel more like a cave or dirt hole. It could cave in... maybe they'd end up buried alive? What a stupid end to their story that would be. Oh man, why was her humor so dark tonight? Right ...seeing a friend pulled away by that might have something to do with it. By the time they reached the tunnel opening, the too-long sleeves of her hoodie and pajama pants were dirty and uncomfortably damp. She wiped some of it off on the discolored grass before pushing to her feet.

    Les didn't have too long to admire the surreal scenery before she noticed the fox. The... talking fox. And just when she thought things couldn't get any more unreal. "... Lesedi, just call me Les. And he's Elijah," she suddenly introduced her and the older boy, resting a hand on his shoulder. Surely, if the fox was dangerous it would have attacked already? Besides, getting answers might mean playing nice....
  5. In retrospect, climbing after Leah was not such a good idea, but there was nothing Martin could do about it now that he was under the bed. The space there was simply too cramped and too narrow for him to turn back, but more importantly, a strange, tense sensation overcame him as he crawled his way to the unknown. It wt was similar to how he felt when he woke up from some of his dreams, a strange jolt that told him that he entered a new world, a place where rules no longer applied as they did in the real world. He shuddered at that thought, so he looked back behind him, only to see that instead of the faint light of the room, there was absolute, unrelenting darkness that shrouded the gateway back to home. Whoever, or whatever lead the teenagers to this place, it wanted them to stay here.

    When Martin arrived at the strange place, he could not help but marvel at what he saw. Everything was as if he had entered a fairy tale: the stars were numerous and bright, the leaves on the nearby trees had colours that would be impossible normally, the nearby forest was incredibly lush and full of strange plants, not to mention that he could clearly hear the sound of waves crashing against a nearby beach. As the awe subsided, though, confusion took over Martin, for his more rational side kicked in. Where were the things he was familiar with, the plants he could recognise, the constellations that helped one to find their way in their night? How did a beach near a forest even make sense? Even better, where were they exactly? He had no idea, but as he took a look at everything, he became more and more concerned. Something was just not right about this place.

    His concerns came to fruition when a fox, or at least a fox-like animal leaped out of a nearby bush. Then, the creature greeted them in a clear, all-too-human voice, after which it asked them their names. Naturally, Martin eyed the creature suspiciously, and he became even more suspicious after he saw the collar belonging to an animal, which clearly said "Ally." Why would a fox wear a collar when they were not domesticated animals? He did not know, but he knew that whatever the reason, he had to be careful around 'Ally' and he decided that he would definitely not share his name with a strange creature like that. Not even if it came from the fairy tales. He was about to tell this to the others, but some have already answered the call of Ally.

    Sighing in frustration, Martin looked at Elijah, the only one who seemed to follow his line of thought. What were the others thinking, introducing themselves to such a strange being?
  6. When Leah was taken, all Trevor could to was watch in horror. How could this be happening? How? It was totally impossible. Then when Rebecca came in and forgot Leah... These things just didn't happen! And Leah, she wasn't in the room any more. Trevor couldn't help but imagine what horrible creature must have taken her. What it must be doing to her. The thud of Elijah's feet against the hardwood floor jolted him back to reality. He was packing. He didn't really, couldn't really be planning that... could he?

    Then Les started packing too. "Guys?" he called, still not moving from his spot. One by one, they started crawling under the bed. "Guys, are you sure about this?" They just ignored him, Lesedi ducking under the bed. He was totally alone. What were they thinking, crawling after the monster like that. Then he realized... He was totally alone. In the room some thing had just visited. He sure as hell was not staying there. "Wait! Wait up!" He hastily threw on the nearest clothes he could, leaving his shoe untied, then dived under the bed himself.

    He crawled along the cold wooden floor as fast as he could, occasionally slipping, once hitting his head against the bed above... or was it the bed? It didn't feel like a bed, at least. His sleeve, which extended over his hand, caught and he nearly crashed face first into the ground. Was it a loose nail on the floor? No... a root? And this wasn't the wooden floor any more, either. It was dirt. Where was he? What was happening? He worked his way towards the light at the end of this tunnel, finally emerging into a clearing.

    The night sky above sparkled with a million stars, but it seemed different somehow. Looking around, everything was different. The trees were all the many colors of fall, and... wait a minute. Did that tree have purple leaves?! And this grass wasn't like any grass he'd seen anywhere else before. This world was so strange.

    He was right in the middle of brushing all the dirt and twigs that had caught in his sweater, stupid idea, that sweater, when he saw it. The one-eyed fox with the dog collar reading "Ally." Then it spoke. He instinctively ducked behind Elijah. Maddie and Les told the fox... thing their names. "What are you doing?" he whispered, "How do we know he's trustworthy?" He saw Elijah and Martin nod in agreement. He didn't know where they were, but he was sure the surprises were far from over.
  7. Risa carefully and quietly brushed down her clothes from the dirt, dust, and debris that came with her from underneath the bed. A dirty child is not good for society. One must remain primped and proper always. The thoughts rang throuh her head, a quick nagging that pulled a string from her head and manipulated her to do as it said. She came with a group of other children, but they were all splayed apart. Some were staring at the fox-like creature-- pitiful with the way it lost its eye. Despite it asking the children, much less herself, who they were, she found it polite to wait until all others were finished.

    While others met the fox with intrepidation, or curiosity, Risa simply greeted it with courtesy. She made a small curtsy, a snappy wave, and announced her name. "Risa. Risa hallowitz." What are you doing? The voice snapped. Talking to strangers is bad! It is a nasty, flea bitten creature that is undeserving of your company. And yet, thought Risa, it has done no harm to me, and the other children seem to like it. Where is the harm?

    Over hearing the other children, despite that listening in on others' conversations was a rude thing to do, she could not help but capture the creature's name. Ally. A strange name for a fox, but perhaps could be of some help. Patiently, she awaited for it to speak or for one of the others to do something.
  8. Anita was silent long before the monster came and took the girl named Leah. Was it a nightmare? No, it couldn't have been because everyone was awake, everyone witnessed the same horrendous thing that she did. Somehow in silent agreement, everyone got up and packed. But pack for what? Were they seriously going to go after that thing? Anita didn't really want to be left behind, not all alone in that room...where things seemed to lurk. She was still frozen in the corner of her small bed,her knees were bended not daring to touch the floor. Not after...she shook her bed trying to get rid of the images, of the screams from that helpless girl who met such fate. Leah, that was her name, at least she knew something about her. It seemed like everyone knew each other so well, everyone but her. She was the odd ball, the loner.

    Somehow she summoned up a bit of courage and got up to get ready. She wasn't going to stay behind alone, not in that dark room where thing seem to happen. Finally, she grabbed her purple hoodie and began to put it on as she searched for her tennis shoes. In no time, she was ready and set to go, or at least that was what she thought until it came time to go under the bed. She kept close to the girl name Risa as she was one of the kids that had stayed back.

    Anita sneezed as she travel underneath the bed, the path seem to go on an on until everyone in front of her stop and then...came the clearing. The place seemed to belong to a fantasy setting. Nothing in there seem real but at the same time, it did. There were different colors on the tree leafs, the sound of waves, but wait wasn't that a forest ahead of them? How come there be water in a place like this. Is this a dream? No, it can't be. But she pinched herself in her arm just to be sure, and her eyes filled with water. Not a dream.
    And then, someone talked and her attention was taken by a large massive fox. It seemed that its name was 'Ally' by looking at his collar. But how? He/she commanded them to say their names and some kids did, but not her. She wasn't about to talk to a fox. What if it was the monster? What if it had Leah?
  9. Ally spotted their suspicions and hesitations, the creature couldn't blame them. After all they had seen one of their own taken by a monster and now here they were in a strange new world. He flickered his tail in thought, surveying the teenagers with a serious eye. He had three names, but not the rest of them. Perhaps in time they would learn to trust him. If only he hadn't lost his other eye, then maybe he would have attempted to be adorable for their sake. The thought then repulsed him. With the state of his world, being cute should be the farthest thing from his mind.
    That same conclusion appeared - yet again - that these group of people could the Saviors. It wouldn't be the first time the fox had thought that. Ridiculed he was for hanging on to that naive notion. Give up, the others said. But Ally couldn't give up. If he gave up his world would be lost.

    "I'm afraid there's no hope for your friend. Those who are forced to come here die at the hands of the Emperor. It is a most gruesome death," he said solemnly, his gaze stopping on Elijah. He paused then, looking at Maddie and Lesedi. His features softened and he relented. "But it looks like you are all strongly convicted. Perhaps I'll give you a chance. Follow me."

    And he was a blur, moving swiftly through the trees and shrubs. The teenagers followed, just barely, for the fox was quick on his feet and nimble at that. He weaved through rocks and rabbit holes, through dirt mounds and piles of rainbow colored leaves and then he stopped.

    They were at the edge of the forest, giving way to a small thin beach. The teenager's senses would be assaulted, a heavy weight dropping into their stomachs. The sky and sea lay before them, an endless expanse of space. The water reflected the color of the sky - it was gray and gloomy. But even so, the water looked wrong. It was murky and polluted looking. In the center of the horizon was an island and they could faintly make out a structure sitting upon that land mass. Massive pipes crisscrossed throughout the area, some entering the waters. To either the left of right of them were more landmasses and thunderstorms, their distant rumblings adding to their fears and trepidation. What was troubling was how pieces of the land broke off, rising into the air to be swallowed up by the clouds. The water eagerly filled in the space in silence.

    And traveling by boat towards the island was a tall muscled creature with horns on his head and a dark mane. His back was to the foster children but a human lay unconscious on his shoulder, her black hair swaying with the movements of the boat. It was Leah.

    On their shoreline was another boat, larger than what the monstrosity was using. It was big enough for all seven of the children, but four would need to paddle; there were four giant oars for them to move and steer with.

    "Get in and be quick about it," whispered Ally . "The Emperor's henchmen frequent this place. It won't be long till they return - "

    A shadow from behind Martin contorted, twisted then rose. A crocodilian looking creature took shape from the darkness, wicked teeth grinning at the teenagers. His amber colored eyes glowed in the evening light. He lunged towards the boy, opening wide jaws to snag and injure his prey.

    "Run! Get to the boat! And don't touch the water!"
  10. Even though the words of the fox were dreadful, Ally left Martin and the others no choice but to follow him if they wanted to save Leah. And because Leah was a dear friend, a fellow comrade of theirs, the children had to follow Ally, no matter how grim the terrain around them looked and how frightened they were. Because if they did not follow Ally, Leah would die at the hands of the Emperor, a name which made Martin shiver for some reason. Whatever this place was, despite its colourful leaves and strange architecture, it was most definitiely not a magical land like the ones described in books. It was something worse, something more ancient that presented danger to all of them. The fact that the next place they arrived at was colourless and devoid of life confirmed that.

    But the sight of the gray, expressionless sky and the dead water was nothing compared to the sheer presence that the lake and the island emitted. It was as if something enormously powerful, not to mention enormously evil was close by, and as soon as Martin felt that presence, he immediately started to look around for any sign of movement. He was so busy scanning the environment that he did not even have time to take in the sight before him, but maybe that was for the better, as the very next moment, a creature simply appeared beside him from the shadows.

    Fear gripped Martin's throat as the creature took shape before him, the simply hideous appearance of the thing stretching milliseconds into aeons. It was a man, yet it was a reptile and even though it was a reptile, it was an insect. His mouth was long, lined with ridiculously sharp teeth, but his eyes were too large for his head and consisted of small, hexagonal windows. His body was strong, but it looked as if he could dissolve any moment as his clothes bended into shadows that came from nowhere, and his figure was simply too ill-defined to belong anywhere but in the realm of imagination. Still, the figure seemed real, and the next second, Martin would get a real taste of how real it was.

    The strange and frightening figure suddenly lashed out at him, ripping the right sleeve off from his T-shirt as he somehow managed to dodge at the last moment. Not even he was sure how he did that, but his mind was still paralysed from seeing such an unlikely creature. His thoughts were empty, his eyes were filled with fear and his limbs just refused to move as he stared at the thing with unblinking eyes. Of course, the creature could not let this opportunity slip by, so it grinned maliciously, then took a step forward towards the paralysed teenager.
  11. Lesedi could understand the other's hesitation really, after what they'd all seen. But just looking at the fox thing called Ally, how could it be seen as threatening? It was kind of cute really, despite the scarred area were an eye surely used to be. Anyway, the most important thing was finding Leah and if Ally could possibly be of any help, they would have no choice but to trust him.

    Les didn't get a chance to voice this thought before the fox spoke again, his words making a pit in her stomach. Words of no hope and gruesome death at the hands of some Emperor. Just what did some funky Emperor want with Leah? Why take someone just to kill them? Ugh, nothing was making sense and she felt a knot of frustration and fear building in that pit. And she didn't need to look at the expressions of the other's to know they had similar concerns.

    Then, so quickly, the fox raced off and Les stood dumbfounded for a moment before her feet finally responded, racing over the terrain to follow after Ally and the others. So strange, this place... while the forest had been gloomy it as least had a rainbow assortment of colors everywhere. Then, right out of the forest, a colorless coast and cloudy sky... What happened to the insane amount of stars? And then there was the feeling... she couldn't explain it. "This place feels... weird." Well, that certainly didn't do more as far as explaining but it needed to be said.

    Quickly enough, her attention fell on the large figure floating away. "...Leah," holy hell... how were they to retrieve their friend from... that. Her knees felt weak again... She didn't even notice the new and frightening arrival until she heard the sound of the clothing tearing. A small shriek escaped her before she knew it, her body stiffening as the... thing stepped closer to Martin.
  12. There was a throttling air of fear and nothingness. As if all positivity was drained away deep, deep into the ground below. Things were strange, and they were about to get even stranger. Risa could feel it. She listened quietly, intently, rushing forward through the forest afterward to follow the fox and the others. She was slow, not wanting to trip on anything as caution endulged in her fear. The omnipresent weight pressed down on her even more as Leah was pointed out on the creature's back; her fate already sealed.

    The beach before them did not seem like the pleasant resemblance that the girl was used to. Nor did the warning Ally gave her make it any more appealing. All the fond memories, they meant nothing now. Anxiety built up as more and more fear trapped itself in her body. She started to move, until she saw a creature morph itself behind one of the boys. her mouth hung open, paralyzed at its grotesqueness. But the thought of saving the boy beat more sense into her than her fear, so she searched around quickly in the forest for anything she could use. Taking a risk, she grabbed a low hanging branch that seemed small enough to break off, hoping to the world that she wouldn't lose part of herself, and yanked it free. Without a moment's hesitation she charged at the creature and attempted to batter at its hand where it clung to the boy's shirt.
  13. Annoyance, frustration, worry, and fear. Elijah was feeling all of these emotions although he was certain that they weren't really reaching the surface properly. He'd never been good at projecting his emotions. But this time it was absolutely for the best, considering he was the oldest of the group and therefore needed to set the example. If he seemed nervous and scared, the rest of them would pick up on that and mimic it, and they were all frightened enough as it is.

    So instead of speaking, Elijah kept his mouth shut while some of the other children introduced themselves, even while the fox named "Ally" prematurely announced Leah as some kind of lost cause. As if it's that easy to just turn your back on someone, he thought to himself. Whether Ally chose to be their guide or not, Elijah was going after Leah. But it seemed the fox had at least a bit of heart after all.

    Stepping through the brush and debris of the forest, the quiet young man was careful to keep his attention turned outward. He couldn't be sure, because he had no idea about how this world functioned or of the inhabitants, but the atmosphere of this place was ripe with danger, a sense that something just wasn't right about the world they were traversing. The imposing feeling only grew worse as they passed quickly through the forest and came to face a disheartening sight. The edge between rainbow woods and polluted lake was so crisp, so clean-cut that Elijah was for a moment reminded of the old red plastic View-Master he used to play with as a child. They'd just flipped the lever from one slide to the next. He wished they could all go back into the slide with the forest but this toy was old and the reel only turned one way: forward.

    When the young artist took in the new horizon and all of it's dreary gray, his heart sank right past his feet and straight into the ground. His eyebrows knitted together, his eyes narrowed at the center landmass where massive, sludge-stained and rusted pipes jutted here and there and down into the water like a cancer on the earth. Then he spotted the boat and- "Leah..." That heart of his was back in his chest and thumping wildly against his ribs and his muscles tensed, getting ready to run to the shoreline.

    And then something flickered in the very corner of his vision and his head immediately turned to face whatever it was head on. And it was lucky for Elijah that he was expecting something like this, so he reacted instantly. "Martin, look out!" he shouted. There was a brief feeling of relief when the boy dodged, then Elijah whirled on Maddie, grabbed her by the shoulders, and turned her toward the boat. "Get in! Hurry! Take the rest with you!"

    Then he was facing Martin and the creature again. He saw Risa bravely smacking at the beast with a medium-sized branch and he knew he had little time to act. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, Elijah bent a little at the waist, lowered a shoulder and burst forward at a full-out run. He plowed into the side of the beast with his shoulder, tackling it to the ground with a frantic battle cry, knocking the wind from the creature's lungs. He took that small but golden moment of opportunity to roll away and shout at everyone again to run for the boat while he staggered back to his feet.
  14. It was about to attack, to finish off the intruder that stepped into his land. He pulled his arm back, sickening claws glistening in the dim light until a branch smacked him out of his senses. He blinked his hexagonal eyes, too stunned to act. In the next moment all breath was knocked out of of him as a solid body rammed him to the ground. The creature was left wheezing on the forest floor, no doubt with a rib cracked or two. But it still had some fight left in him. As Elijah staggered back to his feet, the crocodilian monster rose just enough to snap its jaws at the teenager's feet.

    A viscous snarl tore the air. Ally lunged towards the creature, biting hard into the flesh with his teeth. It hissed in agony, all attention pinned onto the fox. Elijah was saved. Ally had gotten a hold of its neck, distracting it momentarily. He was trying to save them before they were killed, trying to win all of their trust. A clawed hand swung up and knocked the fox away. Ally landed on all fours, sand swirling around him. He was dazed, but he was determined to keep them safe.

    "Get to the boat and get off the island! Don't worry about me!"
  15. Anita did as told by Ally and so did the other kids. They followed the fox without much option, if it knew where Leah was then there was no questioning it. It was the only clue they had and any chance would be better than nothing. While walking at the end of the group Anita noticed that this was no ordinary place. Everything in its surrounding seemed odd and at the same time, everything came together to make a horrid scene. The sky was lifeless, the water was probably polluted, and the trees seemed unreal. The place was a living danger and she could feel it in her bones and by looking all the other kids she could confirm this.

    She was so taken aback by this place that she didn't even see the creature coming. It was only when she heard the cry of one of the boys that her attention was set on the monster before her. "Dios mio!" (My goodness). This was far more worse than some talking fox. The creature was so abominable that all she could do was stare at it. On the next blink of an eye, Ally was there biting the monster so it could let go of Elijah's feet. Her own two feet started moving rapidly towards the wounded boy and she helped him out by wrapping his arm around her neck and wrapping her own around his waist. "Let's go. We can't stay here!" she told him and hurried toward the other kids, following them to the boat.
  16. Trevor followed Ally through the woods as best he could. But physical activity wasn't something he practiced a lot, so he was quickly out of breath. Still, he continued his dash through the forest. The tree branches clawed at his knit sweater, nearly tearing it off his body. Fallen logs and stones jumped up causing him to stumble. But he couldn't give up. He couldn't leave Leah by herself. If there was any hope of catching up, any at all...

    All of a sudden, the forest ended. Ahead was a beach. A grey, desolate beach. It was so different from the colorful, dreamlike forest that it hardly seemed like the same world. The water was a reflection of the stormy sky, and of everyone's hearts. He didn't have time to reflect on this reflection for long, though.

    A terrifying creature, something in between man, insect, and reptile, appeared out of nowhere and attacked Martin. It tore a piece of his sleeve before Elijah came and pushed Martin out of the way. He couldn't feel anything but pure admiration at the way Elijah tackled the beast head on... except regret that he didn't have the strength or courage to do the same. He returned his thoughts to the boat as Ally joined the fray. "Come on, I'll help you," he offered to his younger companions. Soon, everyone but Elijah was in the boat, and Trevor breathed a sigh of slight relief. But he knew that the danger had only just begun. He would have to be brave and strong, especially for the younger ones. "I think we should all take an oar," he said. "The younger ones can share. We have to be ready to row away fast." He took an oar in his hand, mentally and physically preparing himself for the task ahead.
  17. Les willed her shaking legs to move, more than she monster itself, she feared for the ones who bravely tried to fight it off. The very possibly of them getting hurt or worse made her heart tighten. Then she watched with a start as Ally attacked the beast, just in time to save Elijah's feet from being snapped off.

    Everyone ran for the boat and Lesedi quickly joined them only looking back to make sure that everyone was following. As she neared the shore and the boat she turned and was walking backwards as she watched Ally fight with much larger monster. She swallowed her fear again and turned back, "don't touch the water!" She called the reminder back at the others as she climbed on board, already agreeing with Trevor. They could row faster if they combined their strength, so she sat and held onto the same oar he held, her attention falling back on the line of trees.

    "We should wait for Ally... he saved us, we can't just leave him." And they little to no hope of finding Leah alive without him....
  18. Everything was happening too fast. One moment, he was paralysed by fear, yet the next second, someone smashed the arm of the monster that was attacking him. As if that was not enough, Elijah literally slammed into the strange creature, sending it down to the ground. With a loud snap, some bones broke in the bizarre, simply inhuman creature, but it could still fight. It could still fight until it was alive, and it would be damned if it let itself be destroyed by mere teenagers! But it had no time to make even a single move, for Ally was on him the second it tried to catch Elijah's legs in its jaws. All through this, Martin was unable to act, watching the unfolding events in a mixture of fear, confusion and wonder.

    The voice of Ally snapped him out of it, and he did not need to be told to escape twice. He somehow managed to get back on his feet, almost tripping over in the process, then he ran towards the boat. He ran because he knew that his life was on the line. He ran because he was absolutely terrified of the strange creature that was attacking them. He ran because the sheer terror overwhelmed his heart, and he was one of the first who arrived in the small boat. Luckily for the other children, though, his rational side kicked in as he arrived at the small boat, not to mention that he could muster enough self-control to not start paddling right away. He even decided to help the other, smaller children in to make himself more useful than he was in the fight against whatever creature Ally was facing now. He was glad that there was someone who distracted it, so when everybody was in the boat, he sat down near one of the paddles, eager to leave the place.

    Thus, it should come as no surprise that when Les spoke, Martin looked at her as if she was crazy.
    "Are you mad?" asked Martin, his hands already on the paddle. "If we wait for Ally, that... thing will catch up to us! Who knows what will happen then? Let's start paddling now!"
  19. Even before he could turn his head to see what was happening, Elijah could feel that creature's hot, sticky breath on his heels and it was enough to make the boy's blood run cold. Falling on his rear, he closed his eyes, expecting the piercing sting of teeth in his flesh, but instead heard the tell-tale snarl of Ally jumping into the fray.

    Heart leaping up into his throat, Elijah's eyes burst wide open again and he watched the fox battle the reptilian creature as if he were hypnotized by the scene before him. Strangely enough, there was no sound except for the pounding of his own heart and his panicked breaths and it was almost as if someone had just let loose a concussion grenade, causing Elijah to become tangled in a bundle of confusion and defeaning silence to the point it was difficult to organize his thoughts. He was still surprised at himself for recklessly tackling the beast, but Martin had been in danger and Elijah's need to protect his foster siblings had overridden any worry for his own well-being. But now that he was the one in danger, his fear was prominent in his mind and it was incapacitating to say the least, especially when the source of that fear was a mere foot away from his very mortal human body.

    And then Ally's voice tore through the silence and the thumping of a panicked heart returned to his ear. The brave fox's voice snapped Elijah back to his senses and with Anita's help the boy quickly scrambled back to his feet to do what he'd been told and had told the others to do. Together, they were the last to clamber into the boat, and Elijah still hadn't realized the truth of the incident and of how the bottom of his pant leg was steadily growing deep red.

    He was still too high on adrenaline at the moment to notice his injury, and as much as he wanted to agree with Les about waiting for Ally, he couldn't risk putting the rest of the children in danger. It was bad enough that he'd let them follow him under the bed. So he took up an oar and said, "Don't worry. Just start rowing," before doing just that.

    The boat pushed away from the shoreline, and Elijah glanced over his shoulder. The gap was too big to jump without touching the water, which was apparently a dangerous thing to do, but if he stuck the oar out over the back of the boat like a plank, then maybe Ally could make the jump. Carefully, he shifted in the boat, moving the oar into place. "Ally! You have to jump before we drift too far!" he called back to the fox. "Hurry!"
  20. With Ally's distraction all of the children were loaded onto the boat, the only thing that prevented them from leaving the beach was their guide.

    The crocodilian creature lowered itself on all fours and lunged towards the fox, jaws snapping madly. It hissed and kicked up sand - a most vicious sight indeed. The lack of another working eye costed Ally this time. He leaped to the side to avoid the glistening teeth but he wasn't fast enough. A back paw was caught and the resounding crunch told the teenagers that his foot was broken. He whimpered as his blood spilled upon its jaws. But he struggled and squirmed, and loosened his paw. Bounding across the sand, droplets of his blood littering the beach, he sprinted towards Elijah and the oar he held out.

    One paw touched the ocean. It was dipping a brush loaded with paint into water. The color from Ally's paw rinsed away from his fur. There was a moment of weakness when it seemed like the fox couldn't hold itself up anymore and collapse. But he wouldn't give up and a surge of energy made him jump onto the oar, rolling off of it and into Maddie's lap.

    A sudden roar brought the teenagers' attention back onto their enemy. It was advancing, weaving toward them like some serpentine creature.

    Now was the time to make their escape.