Molly laid on the ground, slowly panting. Her mind is ill and her body is sore, Not a single soul is out on the streets, as the poor girl is all alone. In her mind, she's dreaming herself as a little, cute mermaid, swimming in the deep darkness of the ocean. Asking for a friend but, she swims alone. Heartbroken, she feels that she lost her battle and deserves to die in vain. She thinks she has nothing to fight for. Rethinking Albert's words, without her brother, she is nothing. There's no home she belongs to.
Back in the real world, the cold wind blew in the air as the bright moon shines out of the dark clouds. The wind change direction as it blew to the spot were the sack man stood. It created a small whirlwind as nearby leaves danced along with the wind. A tiny beam of purple light formed in the center as the light slowly expanded to the sound of a human's heartbeat. Then, the light flashes as the leaves falls down. When the flash disappeared, there he stood.
A tall, thin creature that stands like a man, with limbs that mirrors a spider, has appeared out of the light. His round pale skull has two empty eye sockets, two holes as nostril, and a lip that's look as it was almost stitch together, that expands to the edge of the skull. Each of the four fingers on both of his hands were long and bony. He appears to have a ghostly energy surrounding him. He wore a black tuxedo with white pin stripes, a bat bow tie and black formal shoes.
He notices the fallen trick or treats items on the ground as his eye sockets went angry, "Oogie Boogie!" He cried. His eyes turned sad as he sigh. His voice changed from rough to a smoothly. musical tone. "Am I too late?" He sounded so sad as he checked around him. "Perhaps, I shall investigate before making my final conclusion."Kneading down on one leg, he began to examined the following items; a robot style paper bag, a brown bag and a pumpkin candy bucket with a blue car sticker on the bottom. He placed his bony fingers on his chin as he began to think out lound.
"Hmm... Lets see. There are two bags and one candy bucket, probably for getting candies as they seems to be alot on the ground. But, there were four children and a dog, who were trick or treating as a group. Judging by this leach here, that puppy must had got taken too. I believe that there were two pumpkin buckets. By the look of this one here. Then that means..,," He gasp as his eye sockets widen. "THE LITTLE GIRL! If Oogie had capture her, her candy bucket would have been here too! She must be still out there! Did she make it home safely or is she in trouble?! Knowing Oogie, it's probably the latter! I know, I'll follow this candies trail! That'll lead to her!" He got uo and began to walk.
As he walked down the lane, he looked around the empty streets and wondered.
"Hmm, how strange. It's awfully quiet for a Halloween night. The humans must saw Oogie's attacks and are afraid to come out." He sees many orange pieces on the ground as he figure that it must be leftover pieces of Oogie's bombs. He sigh and went on. After a long walk, he came to a halt. His eye sockets sadden as he stared at Molly's injured body. "I knew it!" He sigh. "Though it seems that one of Oogie's bombs got to her, he fallen to kidnap her! Must be because, he sensed that I was coming. That's why he left her behind. But, she looks hurt. I wondered if she's okay?"
Meanwhile, in Molly's dream, she continued to roam the empty sea. Calling for her brother but, no avail. She stop, only to cry. But then, the haunting voice returned! Don't want to deal with it at the movement, she covered her ears as a pink sphere surrounds her, acting like a shield to block all outside sounds.
The skeletal creature knead down on both legs as he slowly pick her up and gently held her in his arms. Mermaid Molly felt a strange coldness inside of her as she held herself to try to stay warm. Blocking any possibility that the one who is calling, IS NEAR! He notices Molly's heavily breathing (which he don't know that it has slightly increase, do to his present.) He sees the rash on her forehead, along with the poison mark. He slowly place his left hand on her head, while holding her in the other arm. Just a slight touch, he felt a burning pain on his plam. Didn't mind the heat, he let it there for a minute.
Mermaid Molly suddenly led out a stressful yelp as the shield crack a little. She notices as she used a magical power to heal the crack. She then, curled herself up. Trying to stop the shield from breaking any more, while enduring the pain in her mind. The real Molly started to sweat a little as the skeleton removed his hand away.
"Her forehead is as hot as a Jack-o'-lantern's flames. This isn't a normal fever! Where on her body wae she hit at?" He carefully examined her, trying to find the weak spot, other than her head.
He then discovered a big sweat spot on the center of her back. Knowing that the damages has gone through her dress, he slowly unzip the back of her dress, revealing a big rash between her shoulder blades. Upon touching it, caused Mermaid Molly to flinch. The shield crack again but, she couldn't heal it as before.
"One of Oogie's bombs must has hit her here but, it couldn't be just a normal sleep bomb. What else could it be?" Looking around, he founded a purple piece on the sidewalk. He pick it up and held it in front of him. "It exactly like the orange ones! I believe that this what has poison her. It must had travel from her back to her brain! I save this to have analyze later." From his coat pocket, he took out a small, cylinder tube. He place the item inside and put the tube away.
He stared at Molly's face.
"Poor little girl, feeling great pain in her mind. No mortals can find the right cure for her, but I know who can! I must take her to my world and have the doctor find the right medicine for her illness. I need to take her, IMMEDIATELY!"
Opening her eyes a little, mermaid Molly see a bubble up ahead. Inside is her cat doll! She feels that holding Mittens might make her feel a little better. Doesn't want to leave her post, she used her powers once more to create a faded version of herself, outside of the shield. As the copy tried to reach for the bubble, the real Molly slowly opened her eyes halfway. Not quite herself or noticing the one who's holding her, she groan a little. The skeleton notices.
"Little girl, how are you feeling?! How's your head?!" Molly couldn't hear as she points her head to the candy bucket. "Is there something inside of there?" He reach inside and pulled out the doll.
"What's this?" Molly stared at it as she groan the cat's name. "Do you want this?" He tried to give it to her as Molly struggles to stay awake.
Mermaid Molly was so near, yet so far as the bubble keeps floating away! She couldn't keep her energy to get her copy out there much longer! The copy faded away as the real Molly, who almost got to get to hold the doll, slowly faints. The skeleton felt sad.
"She didn't have the strength to stay awake. She probably still want this toy. I'll save it for later." He placed the doll in his other coat pocket. The bubble pops, taking the doll with it. Mermaid Molly's heart sadden as she curled up once more. The skeleton stood up tall. With his free hand, he waved his hand in a circle pattern, creating a big purple vortex in front of him. "Be patient, my dear, Your mind will rest easy soon. Hang in there." He walked into the portal, taking Molly with him. The portal disappeared, along with them.
The portal took them to a dark and gloomy hill. The sky was pitch black. Only the golden moon lighted the way. Bats squeaked in the night and moaning sounds can be heard,
"Home spooky home." The skeleton say proudly. But, the area made mermaid Molly shivered a little as more crack are revealed on the shield!
He carried her up the hill, to the front door of a strange building. He rang the doorbell as an odd voice cried out.
"All right, I'm coming!" The door open to reveal an old white creature with small black glasses and a beak like mouth. He wore a mad scientist looks and sat in a metal wheelchair. He was holding a latern as he looks up and gasp.
"Jack Skellington! Such a surprise in a night like this!" He cheered. "Speaking of with, aren't you suppose to be celebrating Halloween at the festival?!"
"Doctor, have you heard?! The festival got cancel!"
"WHAT?!" He almost dropped his latern. "Did something happen?! The experiment that I was working on got too noisy that I couldn't hear any announcements."
"Oogie went to the human world to capture trick or treaters again!"
"So, he always does that."
"I found out about this in the last second, but in the end." He shown Molly's body to him. "I mange to save one."
"A human child?! Jack, you know our rules about bringing humans to our world! Unless, you have brought me her dead corpes for me to experiment on." He shook his skull.
"She's very much alive but, she's very ill and wounded. Doctor, you gotta save her! After all, she's the lone suviver of Oogie's Halloween attacks!"
"Fine, we'll take her to one of the operation rooms!" Jack is very please that the doctor is willing to cooperation as he followed him inside. Up the ramp they go, leading to one of the many rooms of the Laboratory.
One inside a room, Jack gently placed Molly's body on the examination table and sigh. He faced the doctor.
"What shall our first order be?" He tried to stay hopeful. The doctor rolled to a cabinet. He placed the latern on the cabinet table and pulled out something from a draw.
"Remove her current clothing and place her into this." He threw it at Jack's direction as he caught it with one hand. It reveal to be a white hopital gown. "It will keep out any more germs from feeding her illness and it'll be easy to examine her to find the cure."
"I shall get on to it." He placed the down next to Molly and began to renmove her costume.
"Judging by her looks, she must had come from a wealthy neighborhood." The doctor wondered. Jack placed her slippers near the gown and stook his skull.
"She's not a real princess! These slippers are fake and her dress is cheaply made. It's obviously a Halloween costume." He pulled on the sockings.
"What's up with these stupid human's costumes?! Princesses, rainbows, cowboys, HOGDOG?! These costumes has nothing to do with Halloween! Those humans has no clue about our Holiday!"
"Now, now. Don't be rude. They have our ways and we have ours."
"Some say that Halloween is fake! It really disgust me!" Jack sigh and went on to her dress.
"What shall we do with the girl's clothings?"
"I'll have Igor dispose of the to the furnace. We'll get her something else to wear later. That dress really bother me."
"Doctor, that's not very nice!"
"I'm helping to cure her! That's enough help from me! I'll go get a basket!" He rolled into a nearby closet as Jack stared at the dress.
"Oh, such a shame. It's such a lovely dress. Oh, well." He folded the dress and went on to the last item. The doctor gave him a big, grey basket as Jack placed the costumes inside.
"Doctor, don't you think we should save this piece of clothing for her?" Jack shown it to him.
"Hmm, I guess she might need that. Go and place it in one of the empty draws by the cabinet." He went on to it and came back quickly. He pick up the gown and dress Molly into it. He tied the knot in the back and placed her down. He sigh as The doctor faced the door.
"Igor!" He called as his ugly, one eye sealed hunchback assistant came in the room.
"Master, you'd called?" He asked in a ghastly voice.
"Take this basket of clothings and burn them in the furnace!" Igor looked inside and gasp happily.
"Master, why Igor do such thing?! Igor thinks they're pretty!" He placed the crown on his head and danced around with the dress. The doctor growl as Jack watched and giggle.
"See, I think Igor likes the dress too!"
"Igor, you better dispose of that dress or no dog biscuits for a
year!" He snaped Igor gasp and ran out with the basket.
"At least he has a sense of fun!"
"Go check on the girl!" Don't want to mess with the doctor anymore, he turn to face Molly as his smile faded away.
Molly's stress level has gone up as she began to grin her teeth and her body struggles. She groan in her sleep as her head sweat. In her dream, the shield now have many cracks. No, not like this! she cried in her mind. I'm not letting that dream happen again! I won't let him get to me! Mermaid Molly knew that the shield is about to break but, she's still trying to keep it all together.
"Doctor, the pain is increasing!"
"All right, I'll go to find the diagnosis." He wheeled up to her as he starts to examine. Checking the body before heading toward the head. Apon touching her forehead, caused the dream shield to reach fragile state! Must hold on! But, Molly couldn't hold on much longer. She began to chant 'There's no such thing!' The doctor finished the examination as he faced Jack "There's are a few bruses on her body. The big one is on her back. She must got hit with something hard but most importantly, the source of her pain is coming from her forehead. Jack, do you have any ideas what Oogie had done to caused this?!"
"I believe I do. I have it right here." He took out the cylinder and gave it to the doctor.
"I'll analyze this to find the right cure for her headache. Stay with the child 'till I return." He wheeled out of the room.
"Please hurry!" Jack called out. He walked to her right side as he stared at her. "The doctor will find you the right medicine. It won't be long now." He held her hand but, that was a big mistake!
Through the cracks, she started to hear the voice again. She chant the word in her mind. 'No, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO!!!!!!' Mermaid Molly wail an echoic siren as the shield shattered into millions pieces! She continued to yell to block all sounds. But, this caused her real head to violently scream! Sweating fast as her whole head turned red. Jack's heart bumps as he fell into a panic!
"Oh dear, the poison is taking control over her! She's suffering in her sleep! If the doctor doesn't come back soon, her head will explode! I got to cool her off!" He rush to the cabinet and founded a small towel. He then, wet the towel with cold water, under the sink. He returned to Molly's side, He folded the towel in a square shape and started to soak up the steam off her head. It helped a little but, she still screams.
"Doctor, where are you?" His heart fell into pain as he watched the child suffer. The doctor finally came in as Jack stared with a worry look. "It's getting worse! Her head is like a red balloon! It could pop at any moment!"
"She's under ther affection of the poison bomb! The good news is that, I have the cure in this tube right here! The thing is, I never tested on any humans before!"
"Then she'll just be the test subject!"
He wheeled up to her and watched her cried.
"I never thought screaming could get so annoying!"
"I love the sound of screams, but not like this! Cure her now!"
"Fine! Hold her mouth open while I pour the medicine down her throat!" Jack placed two of his fingers on each side of her mouth, causing her to stop screaming. Her mermaid form stopped as well, as she started to choke! She felt mice has crawl in her mouth, causing her to react. The real Molly choked too as Jack's worrying look can't seems to go away. The doctor poured the anidote down her mouth as the taste made her flinch. Just like that, the poison has been lifted from her mind, along with the red line. Her face returned to normal, but the rash on her remains. Sighing with relief, Jack let go of her mouth.
Mermaid Molly floats in the sea, confused. I feel poison anymore. She thought. But, I can still sense him! Where is he?! Oh! Her stress still remains.
"Doctor, you're a genius!" Jack cheered. "But, her forehead is still hot!" He felt her head, while taking the towel away.
"That's because, she's in stress. Not good for her health, especially after that blow. So, lets take care of that." Jack watched the doctor go back and froth from the cabinet to gather some supplies and placed them next to Molly. "Tape the medicine on her forehead. It'll remove any heavy stress for the rest of the night. Leave it on her for ten minutes. Ice pack her back for a few minutes. Finally, clean off her body with this sponge and buckets of water. scrub off the sweats and sore feet. Got it?"
"I'll make her as healthy as ever!"
He slowly pour the bottle of medicine on the double layers of gauzes and gently placed it on Molly's forehead. Back in the ocean, mermaid Molly continued to stress to block the voice out. When the medicine reached her real self, her stress disappeared. Though she can hear the voice, she doesn't feel bother by it. She floated there with a frowny face but, nothing more.
Jack sees her breathe calmly as he tapes the gauzes on her forehead. He untie the gown knot and placed the ice pack on her sore back. He began to sponge around the pack.
"So, tell me. How did you find her?"
"Hmm.. where to start? Well, just when the festival was about to begin, I spotted Oogie ganging up on her little through you-know-what. The Mayor slowed me down a bit as he wouldn't have the festival without me. So, I told him that to either start with me not being there or to cancel the whole thing! Then I left to the human world. He chosen the latter, of course. He caused me to almost be too late. She was the only one left.
You said it yourself. Oogie has been kidnapping children every other Halloween. He never failed on a capture, until now. She is a very lucky girl. I can't believe I never knew about this, until a few years ago. But, when I sneak in his lair and found out abouthis evil plan, well, you know what happen." The doctor nod and sigh. "Because she's the only survival, we should protect her at all cause!"
"What do you have in mind?" Jack grin as he told the doctor his plan.
Sometimes later, Jack has finished off healing Molly's body. He tied the knot back together as he and the doctor waited patiently for her to wake up. Mermaid Molly felt coldness inside of her but, she only shiver, Suddenly, the coldness stopped as the voice fade away. She never did encounter him. Just then, a beam of light shines up above. Could this be her chance to escape the darkness or does it lead to him?! The little cute mermaid was through with hiding and swims to the surface of the ocean as the light flashes.
The real Molly had began to slowly open her eyes, staring at the light above. "I'm alive? Is it day time? That's funny, why don't I feel any illness in me. I better get myself home." She thinks that she might be still on the sidewalk. But of course, she's wrong. She stood up and rubbed her eyes. But as she reopen them, she stared at the doctor's face. After a few seconds of awkward silences, she screamed in fear! "What?!" She cried. She also cried at what she's wearing and on the room itself. She was confused and panic all over.
"Child, stop screaming!" The doctor yelled.
"Only if you tell me what't the heck is going on!"
"Fine, just shut up!" The doctor feels annoyed. Remembering about what her brother said about how to say calm in the worst situation, She took a deep breath and let it all out. She tried to act brave.
"Who the heck are you?"
"My name is Dr. Finklestein. You are in one of the many operation room in my Laboratory." She feared a little but, hanged on.
"Oh, I get it. You probably founded me on the streets and brought me here to be use as a lab rat! Is that it?!"
"Child, you were only brought to me to cure your illness!
"Yeah, right. You look like a mad scientist and all mad doctor are evil!"
"Though I love to experiment on humans, I did nothing harmful to you!"
"Like I believe that! Wait, you said I was brought to you. By who, your henchman?!"
"That would be me."
Suddenly, all of her braveness went away. The moment she heard his voice, she gulp in fear. She could feel butterflies pound her stomach as the sweats returned. Remembering the voice calling her name, she gulp once more. No, it can't be! She throught it have to be a coincidence! There's no way! She slowly move her head behind her. Clutching her fists as her heart races fast. Slowly looking up, she gasp. Her jaw hanged out and her heart fell like a pin. She stared at the tall, slim skeleton beside her.
"Hello, there!" He happily greets her. Her eyes widen as the memories of the poem, the crisis story and her dream flashes before her eyes. He tried to place his hands on her shoulders as she remembers the shadow in her dream, trying to grab her. Coming back to her senses, She screams and fell over the table!
"Jack, What did you do?! Did you scare her?!"
"I guess I excel without ever even trying!" While they talk, Molly shiver at the other side of the table. What is happening?! She cried in her throughts. This can't be real! It's all another bad dream! I need a place to hide! She notices the closet and ran inside.
The creeps notices a slight door closed as they stared at the closet. Molly had locked herself inside. She placed many boxes in front of the door, she used a ladder to place higher boxes as she created a wall. Once done, she sat down as she rested her back against a leftover box. She warp her arms around her legs and shiver.
"What is the meaning of all this?!" She quietly cried.
"One minute, I'm running for my life. The next thing, I'm in the hands of a quack doctor and (gulp) HIM! When that dreamreader said that we'll meet in real life, HE REALLY MEANT IT! That ocean dream I just had. The reason I couldn't find is because, HE WAS STANDING NEXT TO MY REAL BODY!" She shiver even more.
"That's why I felt so cold! This doesn't make any sense! In a situation like this, I-I-I can't think! This isn't real! I must be still dreaming! I'll just sit and wait in here 'till I wake up. He can't get to me with the door's lock. I'll be safe in this dusty old closet." Just then, a knock was heard on the door. It made her squeal. She tried to ignore and remain quiet. The knock was heard again.
"Little girl, sweet little girl.?" Hearing his sing-song voice made her clutch her fists and tightly closed her eyes. Never again. She thouht.
"This is no time for hide and go screams, I know you're there!" She gulp.
"Don't you want to know why you're here? Don't you want to know what happen to your little group?" She initially thought of her brother as she actididly said his name out lound. She quickly cover her mouth. "A-ha! You are in there!" She quickly tried to think of a something. She tried to imitate a mouse. "Nice try, the doctor got rid of the mice a while ago." Dang it! she thought.
"My dear, are you afraid?" She wouldn't admit it. So, she tried to stall him long enough to 'wake up' from this nightmare.
"I'm not afraid of anything."
"Then, why did you lock yourself in?"
"I don't want you creeps to experiment on me!"
"Experiment on you? Why, you have such a silly imagination. We only just cure you."
"From what?!" She's too worried to remember.
"Come out and we're tell you."
"Tell me through the door!"
"Now, that's very rude. It's okay to be little afraid."
"I told you that I'm not afraid!" Her voice crack a little.
"And you still won't come out?! All right, you can't in there forever! I'm giving you to the count of three before I'm coming in!" Doesn't want to waste any more time, she hid herself in the back corner, surrounding herself with more boxes. "One, two, THREE!" He used a special tool to pick on the lock and opened the door.
He notices the boxes blocking the way in but. he sees a small opening on top. Using his tricker skills, he jumped through the top, spins like a ball and lands on both feet, without making a sound.
"You'll still playing this game?! Okay, I'll play along. But, I'm warning you. You'll be in for a big surprise!"
Molly curled herself up and shiver fast! Even snots started to come out of her nose.
"Why can't I wake up from this nightmare?! Matt, I need you by myside! I admit, I'm scared! It's getting too real! Mittens, I need to hug you! I can't take anymore of this! Am I going to die tonight?! Matt, help me!" After a while, nothing happen. "Why haven't he grabbed me yet?" She peeked behind her and stared at the pile of boxes. "He was only bluffing." She sigh. "Good, I thought that my heart would go out at any moment." She got up and walked around. She came across a small mirror on the ground. It shown her something black and white on the ceiling. She looked up as she wishes that she didn't.
The skeleton hangs on the ceiling like a spider as he looked at her face. He sang 'Peekaboo' to her as she open her mouth but, she couldn't get the screams out. She tried to run to the door but, Jack landed in front of her. She fell on her bottom and crawl backwards while he slowly followed. Reaching a dead end, she curled up again, chanting 'This isn't real!'
He knead down on one leg and waited patiently.
"How long are you going to keep doing that?" He asked softly. She nervously looked up.
"I know how'll I wake up! I'll laid down, scream and sit up! Yeah, I'll try it!" She did the process and panted afterward. "Phew, Just another bad dream, Its seem so real!"
"Good Morning!" He closed his eyes for a few seconds and smiles.
"Ahh! That didn't work! Gotta think fast! I'll..... pinch myself! That'll do it!" She pinch her left arm and yelp a little. "Did it work?"
"Nope!" He said, in a friendly way. She screamed again.
"Maybe I'll hit my head with something! What's in this box?" She fishes inside a nearby box, only to pull out a jar with green water and a FLOATING EYEBALL?! She yelp as Jack took in away from her.
"Injuring yourself will only make matters worse!" She continued to shiver.
"Why must you struggle your little head?"
"Are you a real supernatural being?" She nervously asked. He chuckled and warmly smile.
"Little girl, I'm very real as I am. Now, what can I do to make you feel better?"
"You can start by getting rid of your costume." He shook his skull,
"This isn't a costume. I told you, I'm real"
"I don't believe in supernaturals."
"You shouldn't be afraid, Here." He held out his left hand. "Go on, feel my bony hand. I'll wait patiently. If you say that you're not afraid, go on. I won't move a single bone."
Testing her braveness, She placed both of her tiny hands into his. His hand felt cold as she felt from the plam to the tips of the pointy fingers. No skin, no mechanical, no gloves, it's all real! She even placed his hand in her mouth, to know how it taste. Remembering the crawling feeling, she quickly pulled his hand out.
"Why did Ido that?!" She cried. Jack chuckled.
"That's okay. What to see a cool trick?!" He took off his head and held it in front of her. She yelp. "Fascinating, isn't it?!" She nervously shook her head as he placed his skull back on his neck. "Do you believe now?!" He cheered.
"No! It's only a dream!" She went back to curling up and chanting.
"You can't just sit here and wish for your trouble to vanish!" You're only hurting yourself!" She looked up. "You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. I know how you're feeling, lost and confuses. Trust me, it'll clear up. The truth may sometimes hurt but, the true can also set you free!" He held out his hand once more. "Come with me, I promise to keep you safe. You have my word."
I remember something else. She thought. The dreamreader had also said that he's isn't evil. Scary but, with a gentle heart. My frustration got the best of me. Maybe, I should trust him. She placed both her hands into his once more as he slowly and gently cups them with both of his own.