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A New Member ( Temporary Title )

Chapter 1


© TheGreenVixen

Chapter: 1 2


( Author's note: Not very happy with this one. If I decide to re-write it,I will upload the re-written version. This will still be up, but outdated if I do so. )

Shock and Lock snarled at each other, as Shock began to write an 'X' on the wall.

" I'm not letting you beat me for the fifth time in a row! " Lock yelled.

" Well, it's not my fault you're so stupid when it comes to games! Or anything for that matter. " Shock mumbled to herself.

The two were playing their fifth game of tic tac toe. Lock had lost every one, but he knew, this time, he was going to win it.

" I got it, this time, move your ugly hand. " The devil boy said.

He smacked his sister's hand out the way, and wrote an 'O' in the top right corner of the chart. Lock closed his eyes, full of himself, believing he had just won the game. When he heard his witch sister cackle like a hyena, he opened his eyes to see again, Shock had won.

" WHAT?! YOU CHEATED! " He screamed at the top of his lungs.

Lock pulled his body up from the ground and tackled his sister. The two began to punch and pull hair childishly, throwing ridiculous insults back and forward.

" I'm gonna kill you, you stupid triangle head! " Shock loudly said, tugging on one of Lock's curtains.

" At least I don't look like a witch! " Lock yelled back, trying to kick her.

" Oh yeah real original, Lock. " 

The two went on for a few more moments, until their youngest brother Barrel joined in on their argument.

" Have you guys seen my mask? " He asked with his usual grin. 

" This is what happens when you're messy with and don't pay attention to your stuff! " Shock sneered.

" Yeah, why would we ever want to take your mask anyway? It's nasty! Tons of candy stains and Barrel germs!" Lock said after.

Shock began to laugh over the term 'Barrel Germs' Lock had just used. The two snickered, quit fighting, and looked at their brother, who was now standing there a little confused. Barrel didn't appear to be getting angry like the two expected, making Shock disappointed. 

" Just go find it yourself, Barrel! " 

" Yeah, Barrel! " Lock said, giving his sister an echo.

Their little brother looked to the right. In front of his face was their lion paw slingshot they almost never used.

" There it is! " Barrel said happily.

The skeleton dressed boy walked towards the slingshot and bent down to pick up his mask from under the stool the toy laid on. Barrel took a lick of his lollipop as a reward to himself, then put the mask on. Lock and Shock never understood why he ever wore it in the treehouse, or anywhere for that matter. The mask looked nearly identical to his face at all times. At least the other two's masks didn't have the same expression as their faces all the time. The devil and witch arose from the ground, brushing the dust off their clothes. Barrel had waddled off to sit down on their withered couch. Lock glared at him, but decided to not start another argument. A brief moment of silence had passed, and the trio became mute. Shock wiped the previous fight right out of her mind to calm herself down. She then walked to the other room beside her, where all the weapons and 'toys' were. Lock, Shock, and Barrel did their own little interests for about twenty minutes, without speaking. A loud knock on their back door was the only thing to get their attention. 

" Lock, Shock, Barrel! I need you three for something very important! Jack called from outside. 

Shock's jaw dropped a little.  " What is he doing here? " The witch asked herself, confused.

Her brothers came into the room with her, confused just as much as she was. The three were almost one hundred percent sure he was there to lecture them about something, something relating to what they did a few months ago. They had been hiding away in their treehouse for mostly this reason. They didn't want to hear any more complaining, since the three had learned their lesson long ago. It was tiring. Lock slowly crept up to the giant wooden door, still pondering if he should open it.

" Open up, please! You won't regret it! " The Pumpkin King called.

" Should we open it? " Barrel asked the two, quietly.

" Duh! But if we are in any sort of trouble, we're blaming you for suggesting it! " Shock said.

Lock rolled his eyes at the two, before pushing with all his might on the door. Jack backed up when he heard the door begin to squeak and fall forward. When it fell flat completely, the trio glared at him. Jack grinned widely.

" Hi, guys! " 

Lock, Shock, and Barrel were all taken back by the happy tone in his voice. 
" Is this another trick, Jack? Are you going to lecture us again? We get it, we messed up! " Lock growled.

The skeleton shook his head no softly. " Nope. " Was all he said in return.
The devil child flicked his tail around in sudden annoyance. He hated when people acted too friendly or nice. 

" I have something very special to show you three at Dr. Finkelstines. " Jack informed.

" What makes you think we should trust you?! " Shock asked, suspicious.
Jack chuckled a little. " You have a very good reason not to, but I swear on my grave, you'll love this. Now come on. " 

The King gave a hand motion to follow and began walking down the spiral trunk of the tree. 

" Don't do it, it's a trap! " Lock yelled.

Barrel put back on a wide grin. " I think it's worth a shot! " He said.

The smallest child ran a little after Jack, who was already halfway down the tree.

" Come on! " Jack called to Lock and Shock who were still being hesitant. The witch grunted and began to slowly walk after the two. 

" Where do you think you're going?! " Lock screamed enraged.

" Where do you think? Are you coming or not? " Shock responded.

The devil shook his head side to side, clenching his teeth. " Why are you going anyways?! " He snarled.

" Because maybe we can sell it for money or something... Whatever it is. Now come on! " 

Before Lock could respond, Jack cut him off from the bottom of the trunk. 
" If you don't come, you'll miss out on the amaaazing surprise! " The King said, attempting to use reverse psychology on Lock.

 No matter what it took, he had to get him to come. It was very important they all met Lockjaw at once. The little devil was hesitant for another few moments, until Jack was finally able to convince him. He had been using reverse psychology for a few minutes now, and Lock couldn't listen to it anymore. 

" Fine! But I'm not gonna like it! " The devil yelled as he began to run down the tree.

Jack grinned as the third and last child ran down and caught up with them. The whole trip to Finkelstein's was mostly just Lock whining and complaining about how he wished to be at home. Barrel was an excited and nervous about what could be the ' great surprise ' Jack was talking about. Shock really didn't care about whatever was happening around her. As long as no one bothered her, she was usually fine. Residents of Halloween cowered and hid seeing the three mischevious children walking about. Jack tried to calm them down several times, though no-one listened. Lock and Shock growled at several people in a random order, though under their masks, they wanted to cry over humiliation. 


~🎃~🕸~🎃~ Finkelstine's Lab ~🎃~🕸~🎃~~


" Lockjaw, are you sure you know you can do this? " Sally asked, holding the robots hands gently.

Lockjaw smiled. " Of course! In fact, Finkelstine is addressing me as ' The Number One Dad Machine '! With a title like that, how could anything go wrong? " 

Sally smiled. " I have faith in you, just please be careful. One slip and everything could spiral into chaos! " 

The robot nodded his head a little, softly. " I promise. Thank you for watching out for me. I appreciate it. "
 
The ragdoll sighed.  " You just need to know... These kids have a very- "
 
The metal door creaked open, cutting off Sally. Lockjaw grinned widely and began to wag his tail.
" Ooh!! My babies! " He squealed.
 
" Lockjaw, please- " 

Before Sally could finish, she was cut off once again.

" Guess who's here? " Jack called from downstairs.

Skellington closed the door behind him. The trio of children were close to his legs, a little worried. Lock was still pouting, Barrel was now more nervous than excited, Shock had also become mildly concerned about the whole idea. Lockjaw went to the rim of the stairs, and bounced up and down in excitement. When the witch looked up, the red figure was quickly gone, they only saw it in the corner of their eyes. 

" What was that? " Shock whispered to herself.

" Jack! " Sally greeted, smiling. She walked to the rim where Lockjaw was previously, and waved. The King waved back with a very soft smile.

" Come on, you three. " Jack said, turning to said to the trio.

The four began to journey up the stairs. Lock was still grumpy like before, but starting to slowly be actually curious. The devil looked at his siblings, and folded his arms.

" Make sure you guys don't fall in love with whatever this stupid thing is! " Lock commanded.

Shock nodded, but Barrel didn't answer him. The chubby boy's stomach churned over the thought of something going wrong, and it being their faults again. When Jack and the three made it to the top of the stairway, Sally waved again. She looked a little scared when the trio came into view, but tried to ignore it as best as she could. Jack held her close as a friendly gesture.

" Hello, Sally. I missed you. " He said.

The ragdoll blushed a little. " I missed you too, Jack. "

The skeleton grinned, letting her go. After looking back down at the children for a second, he leaned in and whispered so they wouldn't  hear anything about the surprise.

" Where is he? " Sally looked around, not even noticing that Lockjaw had ran away somewhere.
 
" I don't know, actually. He's probably hiding in Igor's room, or just telling him goodbye. " She said, putting on a nervous smile.

He smiled at the idea of Igor having a robot friend.

 " Well, that's alright. I'm going on this blind too, and am excited to see what the Doctor put together! " Jack remarked, a little off-topic.

Sally didn't respond, just kept an awkward smile. Jack turned to the kids once more. 

" Are you three ready? " 

The trio were again, hesitant. Barrel was the one to finally say a simple. but unsure:
" Yes. "

" Then let's go! " The skeleton said happily.

The metal door of Finkelstine's lab screeched loudly as it was pushed open slowly. Jack walked inside and looked around the room. He was surprised Lockjaw wasn't in the lab, so he assumed Sally's guess was correct. As the four other entered the room, Finkelstine called to Jack.

" Jack, my boy! You made it. "

" Of course! I wouldn't miss it for the world. " The King responded, happily. 
The two shook hands, pleased to see each other again. As Jack looked around again, he realized someone was missing. 

" Where's the Mayor? " He asked to himself.

" He's already seen the robot in early production. Apparently, he's horrified by it. " The Doctor responded, rolling up to Jack.

The skeleton chuckled a little. " Why would he be? "

Finkelstine groaned. " Because he mostly looks.. like Lock. "
 
" Well, wasn't it supposed to look like all of them? I thought he knew that. " 

" No, I mean the entire thing looks like Lock. "

Jack folded his arms. " Oh... Well, that's okay! As long as it works, right? "

" Oh, believe me, boy, it works! " The doctor responded in a groan.

Finkelstine rolled his wheelchair over to the operation table and picked up an ice pack. He pressed it against the right top corner of his head, groaning quietly in pain.

" Are you okay Doctor? Aren't you going to see the children react to their surprise? " Jack asked, watching the scientist slowly turn away.
He was confused as to what happened, and why Finkelstine didn't mention it. The Doctor didn't respond.

" I'm heeeere!! " The robot sang as he twirled in the room. 

Everyone's attention turned to the door to see the tall figure. A medium sized robot with a long sleeved mauve taupe shirt. The pants were the same colored, both ends of them and the sleeve tips were tattered. Different sections of the shirt were visibly well sewn together, and the bottom of his shirt was ripped just like his sleeves and pants. Lockjaw had bright yellow eyes, with black pupils. His eyebrow were mostly covered, but seemingly were painted on. Lockjaw had metal horns painted red, cushioned by soft red, spiky hair. A long metal devil tail swung behind him, and his hands were small with three long claws at the end. His teeth were sharp, with two long and pointed yellow fangs sticking out of the top portion of his mouth. The trio's jaws dropped, confused and amazed.

" Wow... " Barrel whispered as quiet as he could to himself.

The skeleton boy stared up at the tall robot who was now twitching in excitement. 

" Who... What..?? " Lock asked confused.

" I'm Lockjaw! " Lockjaw grabbed the child's hand.

" I'm your dad now! I've been so excited AAAAALL these past few weeks! "
 
Jack laughed a little. " Well, you weren't wrong about him looking like Lock. Even the name has Lock in it! " 

" Yes, yes... I stopped caring halfway through the designing process... " Finkelstine mumbled over at the table.

" What? " Sally asked, only hearing a little bit of what he said.
 
Lockjaw was now cradling the devil child like a baby. " All of us are gonna get along so well, I just know it! I promise I'll make your life great! " 

" Stop swinging me!! " Lock screamed, a little nauseous. 

" Right! Okay, I'm sorry. " The robot said sheepishly, as he placed Lock on the floor.

" Oh, we're gonna have so much fun together! We can sing, dance, play, go to the moon! " Lockjaw began to lecture about all the ' fun stuff ' he wanted to do with them until Finkelstine cut him off.

" Tincan, calm down! You're going to kill those kids if you don't watch yourself! Not to mention my head as well! " 

" He's just excited- " Jack began.

" I know! He was screaming downstairs all night about how excited he was! " The doctor blurted out.

" All night? " The King questioned.

Sally responded, shaking her head yes. " All night. I thought he went into sleep mode but I guess he woke up in the middle of the night and.. My ears still hurt a tad. "  

Jack widened his eye sockets, amazed at how honored the Doctor's machine was to have this job as a caretaker. When the metal devil calmed down his excited act, Lock spoke up.

" I have two questions. " He said monotone. 

" One, ' Why does it look like me '? Two, ' Why does it exist '?! "

" We look the same because we must've been destined to meet!- "
 Lockjaw explained happily.

" Oh shut up with that cheesy stuff! No one wants to hear it! " Lock yelled back, stomping a foot on the ground.

" Listen, I promise we have reasons for both questions, Lock. " Jack explained calmly.

" Then tell me. " The devil child snarled.

Dr. Finkelstine rode his wheelchair up to Lock as he began to explain this whole situation. 

" It looks like you because I made it that way. Now, originally it was meant to have little features from all of you, but I ended up just choosing one because... " The old man turned his head to Jack, then back at the child. 
Without a response, the wheelchair turned around and backed up near the robots legs.

" His purpose is- " 

" He's your father like he said! " Jack said, raising his arms in the air. 

" Isn't that exciting? " The King asked. 

" No! " Lock and Shock said in unison. 

" Oh come on, you guys. We're gonna have so much fun! Come on, let's go! " Lockjaw said, pointing to the door.

" I think he looks pretty cool- " Barrel began to whisper to his siblings.
" Oh, shut UP Barrel! " Lock and Shock groaned. 

" Just give it a few weeks, if you still don't like it then, give it back. " Jack suggested.

" What will I do if they still don't like me then? " The robot asked, curiously. 
" You'd die. I'd shut you down and you'd be gone forever. The end. " Finkelstine firmly said. 

Lockjaw's eyes widened. " Are you sure I couldn't just stick around and help you with your work? Clean, gather materials- "

" I said, the end. " The Doctor repeated, cutting off the robot.

Lock growled until he gave in. " Fine! We'll take him! But we aren't gonna like it! " 

Shock smacked Lock across the face. " Seriously, Lock?! " 

" Slap me again, I dare you! "

Barrel was the first to follow the excited, but now slightly nervous robot out the door. The other two lagged behind because of yet another argument.

" There's no need for shutting me down, I'm a great guy to be around! Do you guys like animals? " Lockjaw asked, nervously.

" Animals are okay, I guess... " Barrel responded quietly.

" What's your favorite? I like kitties. I mean I've never seen one before, but they sound great! " The robot informed.

" I guess I like... I don't know, actually. " 

" Oh, well that's okay! I can be your favorite animal. " Lockjaw said trying to be cool.

The robot gave a small metallic roar for a few small moments until he clumsily tripped over himself. 

" Agghh! Sorry! I'm still in the ' Tumbling Ages. ' " Lockjaw explained.
Barrel rolled his eyes, and laughed a little. 

" You were hurting my ears anyways. " The chubby child complained. 

" I'm sorry. I can be something small like a... A kitten, perhaps? Mew! " 
The robot began to pick himself up as Barrel made a gagging noise.
 
" Never do that again! " He commanded. 

The robot laughed a little, still mildly nervous. " Alright, I'm sorry. " 

" You know... "Barrel said after a brief moment. "  You're not exactly what we expected. " 

" Oh, I guessed! Even Jack the mighty great King was blind on this! "
" Mighty... Great King? " The boy questioned.

" Oh yes, you know, Jack? Pumpkin King? I heard he was the most respected and loved person in the town. I wanted to talk to him, but I was more focused on you guys... I hope someday you guys will love me like the town loves him! "

Before Barrel could respond, Lock groaned behind them. " Would you guys shut up already?! "

Lockjaw turned around and began to slowly walk backward.
" There is no need for saying ' shut up '. How about... ' Excuse m- " 
 
The witch and devil took a stomp forward in unison, " NO! " 

The robot flinched, and fell back. Just like the night before with Sally, he began to roll and tumble down the stairs. Lock and Shock laughed, Barrel couldn't himself, so he giggled as well. Upstairs in the doorway, the ragdoll sighed. Sally turned her body and walked into the lab where the Doctor and Jack were discussing things.

" Doctor... " She called quietly.

Finkelstine groaned, angry that he had to quit talking about science. " What is it, Sally? " He asked.

" Um... He fell again. " 

" So? " 

She sighed to herself again, wishing Jack would say something.
 
" Don't you think you put a little too much confidence in him? Don't get me wrong, he's a very kind-hearted robot... But- "
 
" But what? He's fine the way he is! " The doctor growled.

" But you didn't tell him how the children really are! He was lead to believe they are angels! It's going to be a disaster- " 

" Why didn't you tell him this? " Jack asked. 

" Well... Because the more confident he is, the better he'll be in the long run! " 

Finkelstine's poor, fake excuse was easy for the King to believe, but Sally wasn't buying it.
 
" You called him.. What was it.. ' The Number One Dad Machine ', but I'm going to guess- "

" You guess nothing! Now let me get back to some REAL work! " 

The skeleton smiled. " Come on, Sally. Let's let the Doctor have his alone time. " Jack placed a hand lightly on the woman's shoulder and walked her out of the lab. 

" Wretched girl... " Finkelstine mumbled. 

Outside, the trio of mischief makers and robot were slowly making their way to the graveyard. Lockjaw couldn't be happier to be out for the first time. 
" Hi, hi! Hello! Heya! " The robot said repeatedly, waving in different directions. 

" What is that thing? " The wolfman asked, whimpering.

" I don't know. " Mr. Hyde responded, keeping it to a whisper. 

" So listen, Tincan. If you wanna live with us, ya got house rules. " Lock said, running in front of Barrel, Shock, and Lockjaw.

" Oh, sure! Whatever makes you three more comfortable. " The robot agreed, looking around. 

" Okay, " The little devil cleared his throat.

•No singing
•No dancing 
•No nicknames
•No asking us how we feel
•No stupid questions, we already got Barrel
•No playing with us
•No sleeping in the house
•No calling yourself dad
•No calling yourself ' Lockjaw ', I'm the only Lock 
•No judging our pranks 
•No giving us bedtimes.
There's more, but I'll get to those later. " 

Lockjaw stared at the child for a moment, trying to note all those down in his mind. " Don't you guys think that's a little too much? " He asked.

" No! " Lock and Shock said in sync. 

Barrel stayed close to the robot the whole time they were making it to the treehouse. The Town Square was miserable to be in, so they three were happy to arrive in the Graveyard quickly.

" Woooow! " Lockjaw said, unintentionally sarcastic like.

He scanned his surrounding with an almost eye bleeding shade of yellow, that glowed from his eyes.

" It's really pretty out here, don't you think? " Lockjaw asked. 

Lock, Shock, and Barrel didn't answer. The robot devil halted midway, cocking his head to the side. Yellow beams faded from his eyes, as he turned his head around to look behind him. 

" So.. From what I understand, you're all dead right? "

Lock growled. " Woooow, look at that! Robot got something right! Want a gold star Captain Obvious? " 

" Sure! But let's save that for later. I just wanted to ask what the point of a graveyard is if we're all dead but alive? You know what I mean? "

The trio halted, though they were quite far away from Lockjaw. Shock began to ponder the question.

" You know.. I don't know actually. " The witch quietly said.

" Why do you care? " Barrel asked. 

The tinman turned his head around once more, making him a little dizzy.  " I- I was j-just curious, pumpkin! " 

" What did I tell you about nicknames?! " Lock nearly screamed. 
 
" Sorry... " 

Lockjaw shook his body believing it would stop the dizziness, but it ended up having the exact opposite effect. As he ran forward to catch himself, the trio screamed. The witch pushed her brothers to the side and jumped with them. 

" I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! " He shouted, eventually catching himself on a gravestone. 
 
" You know, the falling gag is getting real old, Tincan! " Lock snarled on the ground. 

" It's not a joke! I'm still unstable. I should be better in a day or two, it's been almost a month! " The robot explained. 

The devil child rolled his eyes. He picked himself up, flicking his tail in annoyance. Shock and Barrel began to feel very uncomfortable with how enraged their brother looked. Lockjaw groaned a little embarrassed, but he didn't let it get him down. This was the day he's been waiting for what felt like years. Some little mistakes won't mean anything in the future as much as they did now. The trio of children walked past him without a word. 
" I'll catch up in a second, guys! " Lockjaw called.
The robot looked down at the ground, waving his arms a little. Sonly after, a muffled up gravely voice groaned.   " How about you do it now, and get off my gravestone?! " 

" Excuse me? " Lockjaw asked, cocking his head.
 
As the metal devil started to pick himself up, a large ghost arose from the ground.

  " Get out of here!! " It shouted, waving a fist. 


Lockjaw screamed at the creature. This girly shriek did manage to get Lock, Shock, and Barrel's attention. The three turned their heads to see their new guardian on the ground, squirming to pick himself up as he and the ghost screamed. The trio laughed, as the robot awkwardly ran towards them. Surprisingly, he didn't fall, though he was shaking as if he had just been traumatized. 
 
" It was just a ghost you sissy. " Shock said, cackling.

" I'm not shaking because of that, I just feel so bad! " Lockjaw responded. 
The witch and devil rolled their eyes. 

Lock grumbled. " You're one of THOSE... " 

Barrel grinned under his mask and stared up at the tall robot who was now standing straight. The robot's shaking was slowly stopping, along with his sibling's laughter.
 
" You're a wussy! " The chubby child said, pointing. 

" Maybe...? " Lockjaw said, a little unsure if the definition he was thinking of for ' wussy ' was correct. 

" We don't like cowards. " Shock said, folding her arms.
 
" Then a coward I won't be! " The robot responded, completely straightening himself. 

" Good. " Lock bluntly said. 

" Now come on, let's go... " He then grumbled. 

The little devil gave a hand motion to follow. Lock's steps seemingly became stomps, the closer they got to the treehouse. He was visibly becoming more and more angry over agreeing to take in the robot.
 
' What a stupid idea ' Lock thought. ' A robot that looks like me to be our parent? You gotta be kidding me! And I thought Barrel was an idiot! He's a coward, and too soft. He's metal! He's... Grr, terrible!! ' 

Lockjaw attempted to strike up a conversation, as they approached a tall hill.
" So... What kind of house do you guys have? I bet you three have a beautiful little cottage or something at the end of the graveyard! " He paused for a moment.

" This is the end of the graveyard, right? " 

As hard as he tried to get them to talk, the kids wouldn't answer. 

" We're here. " Lock groaned. 

" You guys live by this big hill? That's awesome! " Lockjaw complimented.
The robot scanned around, then looked up at the small, withered treehouse. 

" Will I be able to fit in there? " He asked himself. 

" Hopefully not. " Shock said, sighing.

The three children made their way to the cage held up by a strong, single string. They didn't hesitate to lift it into the treehouse as quickly as possible. Lockjaw looked down at the steep pathway, once he stood on the very top. He cocked his head to the side as the trio ran. 

" Come on, Lockjaw. You can do it! " He said, to encourage himself. 

The robot slowly took one step, but ended up tumbling again like before. It was surprising how he was able to take so many beatings in one day to him, but it wasn't something to complain about. In the treehouse, Lock, Shock, and Barrel threw their masks on the ground. The witch stomped her foot and grabbed her devil brother's shirt collar. 

" I can't believe you let this stupid thing come home with us! " She yelled.
" We didn't much have a choice, dummy! If we kept saying no, they'd keep asking!  " Lock yelled back.

" Now we have TWO Lock's as if ONE wasn't enough! " The witch continued, ignoring what her sibling had just said.
 
Barrel watched the two get into yet another argument, that quickly escalated into a physical fight. While Shock had her hands wrapped around the devil's neck, Lockjaw had found a way to get in. 

" Hi guys, I'm in! " He called to them.

" Oh, Jack... " Shock sighed, letting go of Lock's neck. 

" So, I was thinking as I was coming in... " The robot said with a few groans, trying to squeeze into the main room. 

" What's your club name? " 

" Club name? " Barrel questioned.

" You know, you guys live in a treehouse so I figured you had a club! Can I join? " Lockjaw asked, sitting down on the floor in front of them. 

The floorboards squeaked every stomp he took. Sitting down, nearly made a hole. Though watching him fall through the floor would be a funny sight, the treehouse was already broken enough. 

" We don't have a... ' club ', whatever that is. " Shock sneered.

" Oh.. Wanna make one? How about we call it: ' The Cool Kids Club '! " 
Lock wrinkled his face. " No.. N- Just no... " 

" That was... A little cringe worthy, even for me. " The skeleton boy stated.

" He's not a ' little cringe-worthy, he's REALLY cringe-worthy! " The devil yelled, flicking his tail. 

The three children got into another argument for about the fourth time today. The robot watched them, not really knowing what to say. 

" You know what, just shut up you stupid boys! " Shock said pushing Lock and Barrel apart.

" How about we do this; " She said leaning into their faces.
 
" We tell him to go outside and see all the ' cool stuff ', and when he's
outside, we lock the door and never let him back in! " Shock whispered.

Lock smirked at her idea, Barrel was emotionless. Before anyone else could say anything, Lock turned to the robot behind him.

" How about you go outside and see all the cool stuff? " He asked in a sly and silky voice.

" Oh, no thanks. I already scanned it all when I was trying to get in. How about we explore more tomorrow? " 

The devil child wrinkled his face again and turned to the other two siblings. 
" Don't look at me like that! " Shock yelled.

" Please don't argue. How about this, it's still the afternoon, but how about we all sleep in early and tomorrow we'll all have fun. How does that sound? I need to practice getting our family activities in order! " Lockjaw suggested, softly. 

Barrel nodded hesitantly, but did obey and ended up walking to the other room. 

" I'm not tired! " Lock whined.

" Neither am I. " Shock joined in.

" You guys are going to bed now... please? At least take a small nap. " The two looked at each other, then rolled their eyes.

" How about YOU go to bed, Trashcan? " The devil child asked.

" I just said why. I want to get all of the fun activities we're going to do tomorrow planned in order! "

" We aren't doing any ' family activities '. " Shock sneered.

" And do you wanna know why? " She asked. " Because, we're not a family!! " 

Shock stomped past the robot, into the room Barrel was in, Lock soon followed after. 

" Didn't you just say you weren't going to bed? " Lock asked. 

" I'm not! I just want to get away from him. " The witch responded.
 
" Well, what happened to wanting to sell him for money? " The devil asked.
" Forget it! I'm evil, but not evil enough to have to make anyone suffer with him! " The two high-fived at her insult but cringed when they saw Barrel actually wrapped up in a thin, dark blue blanket.
 
" Are you serious?! " Lock asked.

" Yes. We don't want another Oogie do we? It's best we listen. No, I don't like him either but-  " Barrel explained. 

" He's not another Oogie! " Lock cut off. angered her younger sibling would bring up that name again. 

" Yeah, and didn't we already tell you to not say that name again?! " Shock asked mildly shaky. 

" Just go to bed you two. " Barrel pleaded.

" Never! " His siblings yelled. 

Barrel sighed. " Whatever. " 

The two watched their youngest sibling walk behind a curtain, closing his eyes. 

" I can't believe he's listening to that ' thing '. " The witch complained. 

" I know! What an idiot. " The red-headed devil agreed.

Barrel grunted, still being able to hear them from behind the tattered curtain. Outside the door, Lockjaw was quietly squealing to himself.

" I can't believe this day is finally here! Tomorrow, I'm officially a father! "  The robot plopped on his back. 
 
" I can't believe... Ahh!! " He squealed again. 

" Tomorrow is a brand new day. Everything is going to be so fun and pure! I wonder if Halloweentown has a park! Oh, calm yourself down, Lockjaw. But just think of all the possibilities... I got it! " The robot pulled himself up from the ground and held up a finger as if he was shushing someone.

" First thing in the morning, I will take them to get something to eat. Then, I'll see if there's a park around and we'll play. THEN we'll go to get lunch! After that, we'll go home and... Oh! Sit outside and stargaze! " 

Lockjaw rubbed his cheeks. He walked to a glass window that was not too big, still talking to himself about all the activities he wanted to do. 

" I'm the number one dad machine. I'm gonna make these kids life, " 
The robot sat down on the ground, still looking out the window. 

" A paradise. " 

Chapter: 1 2

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