Posted in Friends For Life, Stories

Chapter 22; Visit the Toy Store

Justine looked around the group of six (Pluto joined the group, much to her dismay). “Alright,” she stated. “we need some scent of one of our parents. If Pluto is good for anything, he can track them, and roast those angels.”

“I can track them too!” Angel shouted.

“Yeah,” the reaper stated with a shrug. “But…you need to be in dog form to track. Pluto can track in either form (and it’s less sharp teeth to worry about).”

Rachel pulled out Bard’s flamethrower and presented the weapon to the demon hound. Pluto sniffed it and looked around confused. “Come on boy,” the human encouraged. “you can find him, I know you can.” The hound barked happily before taking another sniff at the flamethrower and started searching for a match.

Not long at all, Pluto howled and grew. Justine’s eyes went wide at the sight of his long white tail, large sharp teeth, and huge paws that could easily crush her. As everyone else climbed on his back, she backed away in fear. “…I think I’m just gonna-” She was interrupted when Jeremy took out William’s scythe and took the back of her blouse in its grasp, pulling her on the dog’s back before lightly kicking his thigh like one would a horse.

Pluto ran in the direction of the scent, Paul gripping the collar like the reigns of a wild horse at a rodeo, Angel hanging onto him for dear life, Rachel simply leaning back a little while rooting her hands in his white fur, Jeremy completely leaned forward in determination, and Justine hanging off the hound’s tail, screaming the whole run.

.   .   .

It felt like hours, but they finally made it to the shop in the middle of London town that night. The friends looked around as they dismounted Pluto…except for one. Angel looked over at the tail as the hound lifted the extension in his own view. “Justine! You can open your eyes now!”

“…Is it over?” she asked hesitantly.

“Yes, scaredy cat!” Jeremy shouted. “The run is over!” Justine sighed in relief as she started to make her way off the white fur. What she didn’t see was her half-brother’s evil smirk. “…Just not for you.” he stated, which caused the sister to stop and look at him with wide, worried blue-green eyes before she had the chance to touch the cobblestone street.

“Wha-”

“Look Pluto! A squirrel!” The hound perked up in the direction the reaper pointed in before he bolted. Justine again squeezed tightly on the dog’s tail and screamed as Pluto ran in the direction he believed there to be the promised rodent.

Angel, Paul, and Rachel slumped and just looked at him as he clutched his hurting stomach. “…Was that really necessary?” the demon asked.

“No.” he huffed out between laughs before roaring. “But it was hilarious!”

The dog demon groaned as she leaped into the air, shifting to her dog form in midair, and chased after Pluto. After a while of tracking him, she picked up her pace to out run him and slid in his path, shifting back to her human form as she did so. “Whoa!” she called, holding her hands up, essentially causing the hound to slide to a stop. “Pluto! Down!” He started to lower his stance before Angel re-encouraged sternly, “…Down…” and he dropped to the dirt.

With a smile, she grew out her wings and flew up to his head, scratching him behind the ears. “Good boy~!” she praised before flying back to his tail, where Justine still hung on tightly and fearfully. “Come on.” she stated. “I got you.”

Shakily, the cat demon got up and just hugged her friend close. “…That was really scary…” she whispered in her ear.

“It’s okay.” Angel soothed before grabbing her arms. “Let’s get back to the others; we still need to save our parents, right?”

“Aren’t you still kinda new at flying?” the demon reaper asked as they both took off in the sky.

“I think I’m getting the hang of it.” Angel stated before Justine was knocked in a tree branch right in her stomach. The dog demon cringed before rising higher. “…well, almost…” Justine glared up at her. “It’s not like there’s someone at the Trancy manner who can teach me how to fly! My dad’s a spider, not a bird!”

Hearing that, the demon reaper avoided the golden brown gaze. “…My dad’s a-”

“Shut up!”

When they returned to the shop, Justine practically kissed the street. “Land sweet land!” she praised.

“My flying isn’t that bad!” Angel shouted, tucking her wings back under her coat.

The five teens entered the dark, dull, dusty shop, the only sound being the bell at the door. It might’ve looked like a normal, old toy store during the day, but when the only light in the whole shop was the dim silver moonlight, everything just looked creepy. Dust collected all over the toys, clocks, and games to the point that made it impossible to decipher what they were originally built to be with the exception of six cloth dolls that looked vaguely familiar to them.

Rachel brushed the stiff cloth that served as one of the dolls’ hair. This doll specifically had solid, round blue eyes, dark yellow hair, and long white cloths. The goggles that hung around its neck would’ve never fit on the doll’s oversized head, which was half the doll itself.

Paul tilted his head at the doll in black in front of him. This doll had long, solid, gray hair that looked short compared to the head but still reached the doll’s legs. The hair also covered the eyes and seemed to be stitched over them.

Angel picked up the small doll that caught her eye. This doll had half open golden yellow eyes with sewed on silver glasses and jet black hair framing its face. Its white right hand seemed to also be sewed over where its heart would be with the other hand sewed behind its back.

Justine held a doll that looked similar to the one in Angel’s hand, only this one’s eyes were bold blood red, and it had no glasses. Also, its raven black hair was swept to either side with a cut of it across its face. Its white hands were in the exact same position as the one in the dog’s hands.

Both siblings looked over at the doll that looked like the oddball in the bunch with its yellow-green eyes and long fiery blood red hair. The grin of the doll had triangles painted in the mouth as the points of the grin were near the bright red pentagonal shaped frame of the glasses that were sewed on its face.

Jeremy looked curiously at the doll on the shelf in front of him, seeing the doll’s yellow-green eyes and bold black glasses sewed on its face. Its own coal black hair appeared to be too short to do anything with, so it just sat there with an uneven split at its right side and swept back. Its own hands were simply free at its sides.

The five teens looked at each other wide-eyed before placing the dolls back where they were. “These dolls look familiar to you guys too?” Paul asked as they all nodded.

“Our parents are here.” Jeremy stated with a growing smile. “I can feel it.”

“Let’s split up, they have to be around here somewhere.” Justine suggested. “Rachel, you and Paul go and check the back rooms, Angel, you and Ax Brain go and look around in the basement, and I’ll look around the back ally way.”

“Oh no, you don’t!” Angel shouted. “Jeremy’s YOUR brother! Not mine! I’LL look in the alleyway, YOU and Jeremy look in the basement!” With many complaints, they agreed and split up into their assigned groups.

.   .   .

Angel peeked her head out the alley, looking around before stepping on the cobblestone. “…H-hello?” she called. “…Dad? You out here?”

“…Angel?” came a female voice that was unfamiliar to her. She turned around to see a woman with short, wavy white hair and a long white dress with large white feathery wings. Thin purple lace rested over the white dress as a veil.

The woman smiled down at the teen with loving, deep purple eyes. She approached her slowly, stretching out her arms, reaching out to her face. When the hands made contact with the dog demon, her thumbs stroked her cheeks in a continuous circle. Angel didn’t know if she should have ran away from her or stayed to hear her out as she stood there with calculating eyes and furrowed brows. “I can’t believe you’ve grown so much.”

Angel backed away from the stranger, leaving the woman’s reach. “…Sorry…do I know you?” What she really wanted to say was, “Who the heck are you lady?!”…but she thought that seemed a bit rude.

The woman only smiled wider. “Angel, I’m your mother, Angela Blanc, remember?” she answered before her eyes filled with sorrow. “…Giving you up was the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but now I can make it right.” She then approached the demon again. “I’ll undo the damage Claude has done on you, cleanse you; give you a proper family.”

Angel tilted her head in confusion. “…What-?” she asked before Angela grabbed her and took off in the sky with a majestic whoosh of her large wings.

As Angela flew away, Ash made his way to the front of the dust covered shop with Drocell. “But, I wonder to myself, are you sure about this?” the puppet asked, tilting his head jerkily as he hurriedly followed the angel.

“I’m sure.” Ash nodded. “Angela got what she wanted; he’s of no more use to me.”

With a nod, Drocell took the yellow-eyed doll in his hand and walked to the other room. Ash followed him and closed the door as the record started. Once they were isolated from the other dolls, Drocell sang:

“Build it up with flesh and blood~
Flesh and blood~
Flesh and blood~
Build it up with flesh and blood~
My fair lady~”

Gradually, the small 8” plush doll started to grow before it started to move.

Claude stretched out his arms and shoulders. “Whatever are you two going on about?” he asked casually while he popped his knuckles and shook the feeling back in his hands. “If you don’t need me now, then why did you need me before?”

“I didn’t need you.” Ash answered.

After a second, it started to click in the demon’s head as he smiled. “…Angela…you only took me because Angela wants Angel, is that correct?” he asked, only being greeted with silence. “Well, she had her chance to raise our daughter with me; she lost that chance long ago.”

“1,648 years to be exact.”

The spider shook his head. “1,649 as of 10:23 this morning.” he stated.

The angel sneered, pushing his face threateningly towards him. “Okay, Claude, Angel is now mine and Angela’s daughter. I’ll be a better father than you ever were. How, you might ask, can I be any better than her birth father? I won’t corrupt her mind with filth! If you try to follow us with the illusion that you’ll get her back, we’ll wipe away any good memory she’s ever had of you and replace it with the mistrusted spider that you are.” He let that sink in, causing Claude’s smirk to be whipped clean and  replaced with a look of petrified fear before he stood straight.

“One more thing,” he stated, regaining the worrying father’s attention. “If you attempt to assist Angel’s friends in discovering Sebastian and the reapers, I will personally crush you while you wait for your prey to wander on your sticky web of lies.” With that fresh in the spider’s mind, he marched out the shop door and flew away.

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