"Now, you've probably wondered what lurks in the dark,
If you haven't, I'd say it's time you begun."
This is the story of a little dark character learning the way in life. Taking place a year or so after "A Nightmare and a Memory", this story is not to be missed by Amy-Skellington fans!
'Twas a long time ago,
Longer now than it seems,
In a place that I'm sure you've seen in your dreams.
For the story you are about to be told,
Took place a year after Oogie Boogie took hold.
Now, you've probably wondered what lurks in the dark,
If you haven't, I'd say it's time you begun.
The silver moon was arising high over the rooftops in Halloween Town, which in light of current events was a desolate, empty place with terrified residents. Their only hope of surviving enslavement or death itself was Jack Skellington, their Pumpkin King who is trying his very hardest to exterminate Oogie's vermin followers and bring Halloween to righteousness again.
Deep in the Lava encrusted bowels of the town, Jack is duelling with his nemesis in what he hopes is their final confrontation. To his dismay, he is horridly mistaken.
The striking green Oogie sinks into the ground and reappears as his shadow.
"Congratulations hero" Oogie mocked bitterly. "You defeated my shadow."
Jacks eyes widened in astonishment and frustration as reality dawned upon him.
"The real me is in Christmas Town" He lifted his shadow arm up and waved evilly. "Bye now!"
Jack watched in shock as a bright light erupted from the shadow and it faded away.
What both of them didn't know was, from that light, a new shadow was born and his life was only just beginning.
A few years on from Oogie's revenge, a troublesome trio by the names of Lock, Shock and Barrel sit in their tree house playing a game of cards, bored out of their minds.
"Look at her" Shock hissed, looking out of the window at a red haired girl and a black haired boy playing in the graveyard. "She's such a spoilt brat."
"Leave it alone, Shock" Lock said, annoyed from her constant bickering about Amy.
"Why should I? She's the one that got us banished here in the first place."
"No, we got ourselves here…we were the ones who thought it was clever to bring Oogie back." Barrel sighed, laying down a 3 of Diamonds.
"You're siding with her?!" Shock spat.
Lock sighed. A long time ago, the trio had decided to bring their master Oogie back to tell him about the new Pumpkin Princess, of course, his first idea was to kill the Princess, he sent them to turn her human and then kill her in the human world.
Unfortunately, Lock couldn't bring himself to do so and left her in the care of a woman. Nine years later, Amy came back and Oogie was furious, he lured Amy to his lair, killed her and then tried to take over the Town. But it seemed Oogie's luck was all out as Amy came back again and finished him off for good, after these events, Lock, Shock and Barrel were banished to the corners of the graveyard.
"Your move, Shock" Lock sighed, trying to change the subject.
"I don't want to play anymore…I want to do something other than laze around here…"
"How about we go into Oogie's basement?" Barrel joked.
"Good idea!" Shock said with a smirk, getting up from her seat.
"Wait! I-I was only kidding!" Barrel intervened.
"Kidding or not, it's still a good idea, now are you coming to the elevator or not?"
Lock and Barrel looked over at the tin cage that was now tinted with rust and covered in cobwebs.
"Are you sure that thing is still safe?" Lock asked, looking at it sceptically.
"Sure, I'm sure! Now c'mon you wimps!"
Barrel and Lock looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and followed Shock into the elevator, throwing their card decks down.
Shock pulled at the ropes on the side of the elevator and they were lowered into the gloom.
"Are you sure about this?" Barrel whispered nervously.
"Don't be a baby!" Shock hissed.
"I'm not a baby!".
Suddenly the elevator hit the ground and the clacking and squealing noise of scampering bugs could he heard from all around.
Shock took her hat off and reached inside to find a torch.
"What do you keep in there?" Lock whispered.
"None of your business" she said, handing him one of the torches. "Now, let's take a look around."
Lock stuck his tongue out and turned on his light, shining it at the floor first to see sharp objects on the ground.
Barrel smiled at him and Shock and went left, leaving Shock to go right and Lock to go forward.
In the darkness, the skeletons and bats hanging on the wall were terrifying, especially as only a few features were illuminated by the light from the torch. Barrel felt his foot crunch on something and when he looked down he saw it was a vial of Human potion.
'I hope we don't need that in future' he thought to himself, continuing to scan the room with his torch.
Shock wandered around the back of the room, looking at all the bizarre artefacts on the wall and the huge King cards that were slanted to one side, broken and cut in half.
'Jack' she thought to herself, admiring the clean cuts in the board. 'Gotta hand it to him, he's not a bad fighter'. She smirked and whipped around. Something had moved behind her.
"Barrel?" she called.
"What?" he shouted from across the room, his face illuminated by a torch.
Shock frowned. "Lock?"
"Yeah?" he called from the right hand corner.
"Wait…if you're over there…then who's over here?" she said, a twinge of fear in her voice.
"What?" the boys said together.
Something moved again behind her, dashing about quickly, sending a chill up her spine.
"I think we should go." She said quickly.
"What, why? Shock, what's going on?" Lock asked.
"You're not scared are you?" Barrel laughed.
"I am not scared!" Shock snapped. "I just think we'd better leave his things alone!"
Suddenly, the lights snapped on and the turntable wheel in the middle began to spin with Barrel on it.
"What did you do?!" Lock shouted.
"I didn't do anything!" Shock screamed.
"Turn it off!" Barrel cried, running around in circles trying to get off.
Lock felt something move behind him now. "What was that?" Lock said in a high pitches squeal.
"What was what you dunce, help me find the off switch!" Shock moaned, looking around for a button that would turn the machine off.
"We're not the only ones here…" Barrel said slowly, his head looking upwards.
Lock and Shock looked at him and then up at the ceiling to see a pair of big, round yellow eyes staring back at them.
Shock screamed and jumped back, hitting a button that turned the lights and the turntable off. Lock shouted from across the room and the yellow eyes sank away into the darkness.
"What was that?!" Barrel screamed, sprawling onto the floor.
"Was that…Oogie?" Shock squealed in fright, running towards Barrel and Lock to huddle close to them.
"W-Where are you?" Lock called bravely, his body shaking.
Out of the darkness, the two yellow eyes appeared again and looked directly at them. The eyes appeared as scared at they were as they were slanted outwards.
"W-Who are y-you?" Shock asked, stammering slightly.
"S-S-S-Shadow" the eyes replied, speaking with a similar drawl to Oogie, except quieter.
"It's more afraid of u-us than we are of i-it" Barrel whispered, getting up.
"Hello S-Shadow" Lock said, clearing his throat. "Where did you come from?"
"I-I l-live h-here…w-where d-did y-you c-come f-from?".
"You live here?" Shock said sceptically. "Then how come we've never seen you before?"
"I-I've seen you…I-I think…"
"Oh really, then what are our names?" Barrel asked with an evil smile.
"L-Lock…S-Shock and B-Barrel"
The trio's eyes widened and they stared at Shadow with awestruck faces.
"Well…" Lock said. "We came from the tree house above" He pointed to the ceiling and Shadows eyes looked up.
"I-I see…" Shadow said, his eyes fixed on the ceiling.
"Why don't you come with us?"
"R-Really?" Shadow said, a little slither of light under his eyes appearing, which indicated he was smiling.
"Sure! You can be the fourth member of our little Trick-Or-Treaters gang!" Barrel said happily. "You'll love the candy!"
"Oh…o-okay!" Shadow said, his smile widening.
"C'mon then, Shadow!" Lock said, shining his torch onto Shadows face.
Shadow screamed and darted upwards onto a wall.
"W-What's wrong?" Shock asked, noticing his horrified face.
"W-What w-was t-that?" he asked, his voice strained.
"It was only a light…"
"It…hurts…" he cried. "Please…don't d-do that again…"
"If the light hurts him, how can he live in the tree house?" Lock whispered.
"Then, maybe you'd better stay down here…there's a lot of that light upstairs…"
"Oh…" Shadow said sadly. "A-Alright…" He moved off the wall and sat on the floor glumly.
"I guess we'd better get going…" Shock said plainly. "See you around 'Shadow'"
Shadow looked up at her with those big, round, yellow eyes and sighed. "See ya…"