Marc was pushed up against the nearest tree, in his attempt to escape the humanoid creature before him.
“Sorry, I don’t taste so good, I don’t think! I got diabetes, your blood sugar will go through the roof! Go away, go away!”
His words didn’t seem to deter the little monster one bit. It just kept crawling forward and speaking in a garbled voice. In an attempt to escape it further, Marc climbed up the tree and held on.
“Ohh, I really hope that urban legend about dying in your dreams isn’t true…” He whined as the grotesque creature began to climb up after him. Already, he could see his life flashing before his eyes.
Then, all of a sudden, the monster was knocked off the tree. As soon as Marc stopped hearing it growling, he looked down again.
In the creature’s place stood Harwood, looking up at him with a rather amused expression on his face.
“Hai! Marc, if you’re intent on being a cat, I’d have gotten you a scratching post!”
Marc just cringed at Harwood’s weak joke, before sliding down and climbing back down to the ground.
“Yeah, sorry. Uh…” He then turned to look at the now motionless creature. “What was that thing?”
Carefully, both of them stepped towards it, and Marc crouched down to get a better look. When he looked at its face, his chest tightened in pain.
“Oh, man…” He reached out to smooth its dark hair away. “It’s just a kid…”
Harwood swallowed, then clasped his hands together. “As an elder, I’m not supposed to show respect to a younger individual. But if she comes back as a ghost, I’d rather she not come after us again.”
Both of them tried to ignore the abominable state she was in, as Marc picked her body up and wandered into the forest. Harwood followed behind him, whispering a sort of chant under his breath.
“Ah, boy…” Blaise and Dennis had no idea what they were dealing with now. They did know that if they didn’t think of something, they were going to be dead in moments.
The two vaguely human-looking beings sat atop two giant, ferocious-looking felines. They all looked quite angry, and desiring of human flesh.
“Hey Denny,” Blaise said to her husband, “ya got any ideas to get away from these?”
Dennis shook his head. “‘Fraid not, madam. You?”
“Yeah, just one.” Blaise then grabbed Dennis by the arm, and pulled him along before shouting, “Run like hell!”
The two were then off, trying to escape their likely predators. Both of them could hear each other’s heavy breathing and rapid steps.
“Any idea what in the hell these things are?!” Dennis shouted to Blaise as they tried to find a proper escape route.
“Not a clue!” Blaise answered him. “And I sure don’t wanna find out!”
After running for what felt like an eternity, the two finally managed to find a place to run into. Their would-be attackers then lost momentum, causing the giant cats to stumble and fall onto their sides.
Instead of letting this slow them down, the two assailants continued to run after Blaise and Dennis on all fours. However, they had ended up losing sight of them.
Above them, a damaged tree branch hung precariously, a large pointed end facing downward. It looked like it would fall at any second. Getting a morbid idea, Dennis quietly began climbing the tree they were hiding behind.
“Oh, be careful, Denny,” Blaise whispered. “Don’t let ya turn yerself into their next meal.”
Dennis nodded, and carefully made his way to the dangling branch. Taking hold of it, he held on as he felt the branch he was on sag under his weight.
“Ah, boy…I ain’t gonna forgive myself for doing this…” Dennis got a more competent hold of the makeshift spear, and aimed at one of the assailants.
In what both he and Blaise hoped was a short time, both monsters were impaled. The first one thrashed about wildly before presumably bleeding out.
The second was speared right after, flailing about like a speared fish before also going still.
Upon jumping down from the tree, Dennis cautiously approached the two bodies, noting a bizarre similarity between one of them.
“Ya think maybe we should get rid of the bodies?” Blaise asked him when she came out from her hiding place to be by his side. All Dennis could really do now was quietly nod.
Grabbing hold of a body each, the two then proceeded to grab hold of the now presumably dead cats. Both then disappeared into the forest, in search of a resting place.
After Sinbad was finally able to get Shark to notice him, Shark calmed down to just hiccuping and sobbing, rather than all out wailing.
“Sinbad…?” Shark sat up to get a hug, which Sinbad was happy to give him. Annette could only stand nearby, as Sagebear trotted over to the two men.
“All right, man,” Sinbad spoke up as he pulled away and wiped the tears off Shark’s face. “What’s with all the brouhaha?”
The face Shark made looked like that of a slapped child. “Sagebear doesn’t like me anymore,” he moaned out. Hearing her name, Sagebear waddled over and took a seat on Shark’s lap. Sinbad just gave a snort at this.
“You sure? She seems to like you just fine.” Sagebear then rested her paws on Shark’s shoulders, and then lay her head against his chest.
A shaky little smile made its way across Shark’s face. He wrapped his arms around the chubby dog, holding her a little closer.
“Doggy!” He cried out in happiness. Sagebear returned his joy in the form of snuffling his hair and licking his cheeks.
Their happy little reconciliation was interrupted, though, when Sinbad quickly got to his feet and took a protective stance. Annette thought he was looking at her, but he wasn’t.
“What is it, Sinbad?” All Sinbad did in response to his fiance’s question was bare his teeth and growl. The others didn’t see anything that could have been raising his ire.
Then, a figure jumped out from behind the trees, emitting a shrill noise.
Annette was so taken off guard, she fell back onto her rear. Shark protectively wrapped an arm around Sagebear, who in turned barked at the newcomer.
Only Sinbad didn’t react in fear. Rather, he grabbed the creature in midair by the neck. He then took his free hand and slammed it under its chin.
Shark, Sagebear, and Annette watched on in horror as Sinbad proceeded to twist the monster’s neck, until it stopped moving. Then, he dropped the now lifeless creature to the ground.
By that point, Annette recognized the face of who it was Sinbad had just killed. Letting out a loud and pained shriek, she fell to its side.
“No! Julian! Oh please, no…”
Seeing the way Annette reacted to the corpse got Sinbad to raise an eyebrow, and scrunch his face in disgust.
“‘Julian’? That thing had a name? And how the fuck would you know?” He pointed an accusatory finger at her. “Are you the one who sicced that on us?! The little bastard looked ready to tear our heads off!”
Annette scowled at him as she stood up, holding the mutated-looking Julian’s corpse in her arms. “Of course I didn’t! And Sinbad…!”
She then raised his head to show him the resemblance. “He wasn’t a ‘thing’, as you call him! This was your son!”
Taking a good long look at him, Sinbad’s disgust turned into shock. As he took a step back towards Shark and Sagebear, his shock turned into fury.
“Oh, hell no! You honestly expect me to believe that creepy little fucker…” He gestured toward Julian again, “is supposed to be my kid?!”
Sinbad looked to be on the verge of tearing his hair out now. “How many times do I have to tell you, Liara?! I am never having kids! How the fuck is that so hard to get through your thick skull?!”
Annette was about to snap back at him when she heard a few pairs of feet behind her. Turning to look, she saw the other four approaching.
“Well, would you look at that!” Harwood said in an oddly cheerful voice. “The immortal blue woman graces us with her presence yet again!”
Marc took a good look at who she held in her arms. “And I guess she and the others had the same problem we all did.”
Now Shark got up while holding Sagebear, and he and Sinbad took their place with the others, leaving Annette alone to look at all of them while holding a corpse.
Annette opened her mouth to try and explain what was going on, when a loud boom caught all of them off guard.
“So sorry to interrupt,” Emit’s voice echoed through the area, “but I think it’s time that you all return to the land of wakefulness!”
Looking around to try and find him, Sinbad called out to him. “Yo, Mister E! Quick question.” The silence that ensued presumably meant he was allowed to keep speaking.
“Is that,” he shouted while gesturing to Annette, “coming back with us?”
The way Sinbad referred to her made Annette cringe, flinching back as though she’d been stabbed in the chest.
Emit remained quiet for a short while before answering. “She is not in the same location as the rest of you, so I am afraid she will not join you on the way back. Now then…”
At once, the others began to fade from her sight. In a moment of impulse, Annette dropped the body she was holding and tried to grab at them.
“Wait!” But she wasn’t quick enough, by the time Annette reached them, Sagebear and the humans had completely vanished.