Vibrant Night - Chapter 19

Chapter 19

Lacie and Mr. Greary found themselves back in Black Stock, the sleek machines they were buckled into had overheated and were filling with smoke.  The two coughed hard as they quickly scavenged for the levers which would let them out of the murky contraptions.  They got out of the machines as soon as the glassy faces raised and still coughing, began fanning off the smoke.

Mr. Greary took off his glasses.  Then, he pulled the red cape out from underneath his gravy-colored spectacles.  If the glass in Greary's frames might've been tinted rose, that color was gone now.  He and Lacie silently noted that the order of the machines were all the same, but they were off to the side of what seemed to be somewhere further down in Black Stock's hall.

"That worked?  Oh cool." Lacie said with a whisper, referring to the cape as the smoke cleared enough for her to see.  She was disappointed, as the almost two hundred pounds of weight she had acquired remained.  Not to mention she was still covered in black guck.  The hall was still long and twisted, luminescent with poetic words, too lighted with blue on one end and too dark with shadow on the other.

Coffee makers littered the blue path ahead.  Most appliances were knocked around, while some were plugged in and running as if taking electricity from wires in the wall-- a rare selection of these were steaming.  The smell of coffee beans penetrated the air, subsiding in hints with gusts of wind blowing back and forth from large rooms on the fringe.

"This is only one half to the recipe of our ticket out of here." Mr. Greary explained looking at the long red fabric, "There is a secred way to make the ceiling open up ahead."

From behind the two, the boy named Midnight appeared like a piece of origami craft unfolding.  He held the golden wall clock of numeral reform that read '11:15,' and he stared out blankly without drawing attention to himself.  The Black Stock walls around Midnight gave testament that few 'attentions' were wrote, while no attention was drawn.

"Secred?" Lacie was barely able to voice.

Mr. Greary ran his hand down the wall, "Somewhere around here."

Lacie spotted a red, Eggola Cola machine that stood some feet ahead with an LED display that showed it had no power.  There was a small AA battery on the floor in front of the broken, mechanical merchant, but not yet under.  The battery was graced with the scattered chaos of the coffee pots, with its tiny outward cylinder of positivity pointing towards the left.  A paper was posted on the Eggola cola machine reading: "Dlhbfbpwubf."

"Oh its this giant button." My Greary asserted.  A large green button had appeared hanging down off a pipe covering its wiring, over the push switch were the words, "This is a button, it does something if you press it..  Don't press it twice."

"Where did that button come from?" Lacie whiffed.

Mr. Greary pressed the green push switch once without pause.  The switch rose back up towards the ceiling and folded with it, disappearing with other actual pipes.  Black Stock instantly began cycles of shaking like it was under an earthquake, stopping, and then continuing its shaking; while this happened, the blue-lighted end of the hall began raising upwards, the other end down at a fair pace, while loud beeps hit the start of every minute like the mark of an emergency.

With effort, Mr. Greary ripped the cape in half and placed the halves on the floor.

"What are you doing?" Lacie asked, completely confused by the action.

"Its no good this way." Mr Greary said, speedily pulling some beef gravy out of his pocket.  He opened the can, tossed the lid, and poured the liquid topping on top of each piece of fabric.  The gravy began bubbling and something formed under the fabric with harsh sound.

Meanwhile the shaking, twisted hall continued to inch towards becoming a pit.  Lacie and Greary leaned forward with the changing difference in gravity as coffee-makers, other products, and cleaning supplies started to roll down the hall.  Both understood that if they didn't get out in time, they would be taking a lethal fall.

"Grab them!" Mr. Greary yelled as he grasped what looked like a bulky strap underneath his cape scrap.

Lacie leaned over and picked up a strap attached to something heavy and metal underneath the other cape scrap.  She made enormous effort to pick the contraption up, and as she did the extra one-hundred-and-eighty pounds of weight on her began shedding off into unknown, flying insects that immediately took retreat.  The half of a cape came off and with fear-ridden uncertainty, with her back leaned to not slip and her weight almost normal, she saw a jetpack.

"Just put it on." Mr. Greary said, pocketing the halves of red cloth.  He then quickly began pressing buttons while looking at the jetpack display coming off of a connected rounded pad that was at the back of his head.  After Lacie got her jetpack on, Greary, who was now profusely sweating, pounded in a bunch of codes on the instrument's keypad.

"Oh no." Greary said, thinking something to himself.

"What?"

"I left my eggs..  We'll have to fly to the Farmer's Market." Mr. Greary almost said to himself in exasperation.

"How do I fly this thing?" Lacie asked, a happiness arising halfway in her phrase as her voice returned to normal-- though she was still drenched in something between water and tar.  The jets of both flying instruments turned on, answering her question, and the two began moving forward-- something with human weight grabbed Lacie's foot.

"I've programmed it to will itself." Mr. Greary explained as they moved upwards towards the blue-lighted end of Black Stock.

The hall was almost vertical as the blue bulbs passed by, and the exit only displayed the mixed color of the sky.  When Lacie came shooting out of the ground she kicked at the weight on her right foot, which felt like two hands.  The weight subsided and she heard a young male screaming exactly as though falling from below her.  Though she saw nobody to accompany the sound.  And when the scream diminished she heard no crash.

They jolted towards the pale white shreds of the smoking moon while commotion and play made beelines below.  The exit Lacie and Greary took rotated towards invisibility, their exit into the outside was part of a great, roughly-formed wheel in and of the ground.

With panning and zooming, Lacie noticed All-Mart had became a kind mix of green garages, orange window shields, with outer walls of crimson, dingy yellow, and brown.  In the parking lot there was a crying woman looking down into her hands and walking in the middle of a group of people whose heads were fixed upwards, half of them twirling-- the other half standing on upside-down floating umbrellas.  The tower of pink hats had fallen, and there was no sign of the man who once stood by it so triumphantly-- and in so much fear.

Other adults: colorful, bleak, sober, and drunk-- were sprinting to electronic music; the music was coming from speakers on the crooked stands for power lines-- while some lines were unconnected, down, and uninspected.

More trees, large and small, had uprooted themselves and were crashing into buildings-- like missiles, never missing.  Some of the buildings were retaliating, forming mouths at their halves or limbs with which to swat at the trees.

Architectural debris and splinters stormed the air with each movement causing some grounded individuals to take shelter.  Others were hit, which somehow resulted in them falling into the sky.  Unaffected by this were a group of multi-colored cats on strike and a singing llama dancing (albeit on four legs), who was of different breed than his underground, melodic ally.  Over the storm of aerial conflict, a group of birds and stranger flying objects traveled off towards a donut shop.

A group of police officers focused sternly or with quizzical analysis on the events around them.  However the group's attention was mostly drawn towards the moon and how to get to it. Their outfits ranged from official to imposter, and here to there.  Differently sized ladders from futile to dangerous, stood or laid on either sides of the collective cops.  One lawman was climbing down a ladder shaking his head.

Shivering from the air as it grew colder, Lacie took in no less of a lensful when she looked over her head at a moon, which seemed far too close to N'Quevna than she had originally perceived.  Beyond the smoke was a bulbous grey and white rock full of raggedy edged craters and huge, specially lit patches of dirt; the patches were farmland that had been lit on fire, hidden from afar by billowing smoke.  As she and Greary got closer they heard the resonating of some stunning mixture of Reggae, Jazz, and Arabic music.

As the two passed through the smoke they noticed its composition had a sweeter smell differing totally from that of the machines they were trapped in earlier.  They flew into a clearing with a fairly-sized collection of curious vendors set up below.  As they landed, the two were immediately met by a dreadheaded man with patchwork skin-toned hands, a smiley paper-plate mask, and skeletal cardboard wings.

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