Vibrant Night - Chapter 35

Chapter 35

Mr. Dreary-Gravy saw the Eggola coming towards him on the way to the Null-Mart exit. The animated breakfast was holding a red marker and was still dragging a block of Eggola Cola behind it.  Milk-chocolate, coffee-bean floors dipped into even darker colored tiles, with occasional bright squares underneath the tread of the aging yolk.

At the top of cube of cardboard, aluminum, and wet sugar was a woman in dark red with a mustache shaped like a blimp, and hair in giant, punk-rock spikes.  Her one oversized scope eye twitterpated at any red it saw.  Two Japanese businessmen sat beside the mustache art sipping sake, while the trio's presence was ignored or unseen.

"Hold it!" Greary held up his hand.  In his other hand was an egg carton striped between dark violet, light violet, and orangeish-red.

The Eggola stopped with a high-pitched grunt, followed by a low-pitch, "Huh?"

Greary could now spot black stick arms coming off of the animated egg; three fingers protruded from one arm with the marker in hand, the other hand on a paint-chipped handle.

"Surely, you cannot get out of this store on your own as that would be theft.  You will need someone to launder you." Mr. Greary stated.

The Eggola gave off another high-pitched "Eh."

This was followed by a low-pitch, "Oh?"

And with that, on the Second Midnight in a dilapidated superstore, the "first draft" of the Dreary-Egg Treaty was verbally formed.

Victor and Syll were at a Null-Mart register, the green paper holder's surroundings were covered by water balloons filled with unknown beverages.  Mr. Greary spotted them and soon after one or one and a half of the registers crumbled with a splotch of floor, falling into Rock knows where.  But the cash holder near the couple remained.

Syll and Victor collected themselves from the collapse, grateful that their carts had not been taken.

"You smell like mothballs." Syll held Victor's hand to her nose.

"Oh.. that." Victor fidgeted with his cane unenthused, "How will we pay for this?  There is no one here."

Syll started unwrapping the bandages that were not around her head.

“What are you doing?” Victor asked.

“Securing our cheese.” The Japanese woman replied, as warm colored tips and tinted white gave way to blue and brown, revealing a Null-Mart uniform.

"That's a very uncomfortable choice." Victor said, continuing some past conversation.

Mr. Greary smiled faintly but warmly, "So there is someone to ring us-- I mean.. ring my eggs up."

"Just so long as you are quick." Syll said with sleek glasses suddenly appearing, hiding her large brown eyes with a glare.

Some part of the store floor could be heard crumbling from an invisible catalyst; in the same shape as the floor, a piece of the ceiling decided to go with it.

Syll had got behind the counter and started throwing water balloons away from the checkout area to make space.  The latex broke into splashes of tea and hot chocolate, spoiled milkshakes and inedible concoctions.  Victor was keeping his head low while laying cheese on the not-so-black consumer conveyer.

Mr. Greary turned around to look at the block of cardboard, aluminum, and acid behind him, "That sure is a lot of soda, I hope its cheap."

The Eggola was nowhere to be found, hidden out of sight.

* * *

As Lacie started to make her way towards the exit to the outside, she found her own scope-eyes in a temporary blur, the bricks around the double doors collapsed through the ground, forming a large hole giving view of the outside.

Lacie gasped and backed away.  She would have to turn around to find a new exit, but she had very little time.  She kept hold of her skateboard but found herself too afraid to use it.  The store was more dangerous than ever.. and Herbert's three words repeated themselves in her brain, guiding her forward. “Curiosity and guilt, curiosity and guilt..”

She wasn't sure which word she felt stronger, but fear overpowered them both.  For the time being, it seemed the store had stopped collapsing.  But the sudden peace was ominous.

After getting out of Lawn and Garden, the young woman passed by an aisle with what looked like giant out-stretched nerves mixed with pop bottles and disconnected wires giving off electrical charges.  Because of massive gaps and fissures in the Null-Mart floor, Lacie found that the only path forward was to cut through an aisle of mirrors.

The floor in this aisle creaked like thin ice and Lacie walked carefully.  She came across an antique, oval-shaped mirror with a chipping frame, and a label that read: "The Life Wrecker".

A humanoid walrus in a jester outfit walked the edge of aisle shelves like gravity was sideways for him.  His sudden appearance scared Lacie and she backed up a few steps as the grey thing talked, "I could feel your energy-- and I knew you were the duck I was looking for.. Let me gamble with your follicles, Larcie."

Lacie blinked her shutters and the flubbery creature was gone.

The former student forgot about how bad her situation was and laughed before noticing her reflection in one of the mirrors: pearly white teeth under jutting ocular, metal protrusions.  Before it could sink in that she might be quite abnormal, she was interrupted by a change in her appearance that she hadn't noticed before, a green shirt that read in white cursive, "Out of Business."

Lacie's emotion returned to fear again.  Distant parts of aisles started collapsing with the floor underneath of them, she only saw this, but did not hear.  What she did hear was a voice that sounded Jamaican, seeming close by, but nowhere to be found.. "So a little boy goes to a different universe than his own 'n' shit."

"What's going on?" Lacie said to herself, as if her ears were coping with a former explosion.

In the midst of her bubbling trepidation, Lacie stopped to listen.

"He thinks he can become anything he wants to be."

Lacie noticed a two-story house that rocketed up out of the store from the giant hole it had previously made in the metal.

"At first, he becomes a superhero with a red cape." The voice continued, "But a tall, evil monster called Mr. Bagel takes his cape, throws him into a wall, and threatens to eat him if he comes close."

Lacie's heart jumped and she fell backwards as a part of the aisle of mirrors came down.  She let go of the skateboard and it rolled down into the darkness.

“Looks like Fry was lying.” Lacie thought.

"So to get his revenge, he ventures into Black Stock, thinking of a monster he could become."

Lacie crawled backwards and noticed she was blocked off, a gaping hole leading hundreds of feet downwards was also now behind her, on the aisle edge she was closer to.

"As the boy grows and the night wanes endlessly into itself, the legend of a new monster appears, but the boy is never heard from again.."

In her panic, she noticed that The Life Wrecker was no longer reflecting its surroundings, and instead was acting as if it gazed perfectly upon the dimensions of some sort of adorned violet door.

Other mirrors were spontaneously cracking, shattering into pieces that rustled in their doomed slide down the slanted floor, inviting a lethal fall.

"And so the boy's fear of a monster eating him.. becomes someone else's..  Or something like that." The voice concluded.

Lacie reached out to see if she could open the door finding that the mirror now acted like a window.  But she couldn't reach the doorknob and panicked, so she crawled into The Life Wrecker and accidentally banged her head on the door instead, which caused her lenses to fall onto the now carpeted floor.  From her hearing, hopefully fully returned to normal, she heard the echo of an old woman. "Watch your head, young man."

* * *

Jeffrey witnessed a giant rabbit in a shiny vest hopping out of All-Mart.  A fair amount of the bunny's backside blended with the shadow as some rock and roll'er in All-Mart had tried to paint him black.

The African-N'quevnan's eyes went wide in surprise when Herbert dryly talked to him, "Its getting dangerous in there."

A high-pitched scream came from the burning pile of hats.  The man in shoulder straps stood tall and visible from his burnt collection.  His pink fedora had also survived the fall and discoloration of the other cranial accessories.

"The Fifty are upon us!" The man warned.

Also watching the department store was the United Queendom Chief Constable with his whole-wheat mustache and his partner Ecila.  Near the officers was a mostly blue giant tomato, it acted as police carriage with a jail cell carved in its back.  The vehicle had no horses in front, just a couple wheeled recliners; one was stained pretty bad with hot sauce.

"What an excitable man, its just a little rabbit." The constable's wheatstache ruffled.  He continued to listen to the All-Mart collapses with a pleasant acceptance in his face.. "Its all coming down like cold clockwork."

Ecila had handcuffed Ratty, "Under Act 339 of 1919, you are under arrest."

The policewoman pulled the pipe-cleaners out of Ratty's hair and threw them on the ground.

"Why are you taking my pipe-cleaners?"

"No cactus heads." Ecila said.

An almost homicidal expression came across Ratty's face as the policewoman dragged her towards the giant blue tomato.

Ecila opened the cell door of the police carriage as a house busted through the roof of All-Mart and blasted off into the sky.

"You.." The hat lover sweated and pointed to Herbert, "Are.. are you going to send them in to trample me?  Or are you going to do it yourself!?"

Herbert only replied by pulling one of his long feet out of a colorful puddle as he eyed the house on springs falling back down.  When the Victorian house finally smashed its metal foundations across the pavement behind the two.  With eyes bulging, the man in suspenders screamed again, jumping backwards as far as his legs could take him-- which was across the horizon.

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