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The Quest for Mary pt. 11

HELLO, HELLO, HELLO! Welcome to part 11! You already know what happened in part 10! (If you didn't then you might as well read it cause reading ahead of parts you haven't read is kind of dumb and looked down upon by most reading societies!) So. I suppose you're here to read this part, RIGHT? Well then, please do.

There was silence, pure, complete silence. Only the sounds of dripping sewage echoed through the hallways, a few strange howls and gargles heard every now and then. What had just been revealed had left everyone quiet. Nobody spoke a word to each other.

Heather clutched little Walter and lightly rocked him back and forth as he slowly drifted to sleep. Henry, on occassion, would glare at little Walter and mumble a few inaudible insults. James was looking around for any other mysterious holes he could have the epic pleasure of jumping into. And Melinda was flushed with combined embarrassment and rage. She couldn't look at anyone else.

Finally, James piped up. "Why don't we make things a little more fun and split up? I stick with Heather, Henry, little Walter and Melinda keep together? And if anyone finds anything interesting we report back here and wait for the others?"

"Fine," Heather grumbled.

Little Walter was sleeping.

"But I don't wanna work with that!" Henry pointed at the sleeping child. Heather stomped on his foot. "FINE."

Melinda, as usual, kept quiet.

James gave a grin of satisfaction. "Then it's settled." With that, Heather skipped on over to him. Henry angrily snatched little Walter from Heather and plodded over to Melinda. Both groups went in the opposite direction of each other without a word.

"Heather? Hello?!" Douglas called, frantically glancing around for his rowdy teenager. "Come on out, Heather, this isn't funny!" His voice bounced against the grimy walls of the hospital hallway. He took a step forward and clutched the submachine gun. "You're gonna be grounded when we get home," No reply. "For LIFE!" Still, nothing but the sounds of his voice accompanied him.

He couldn't help but wonder why she wasn't answering. Normally Heather would come up with some wise-crack remark when he mentioned grounding or anything like that. Instead, he was hearing nothing but his own panicked breathing. It was starting to bug him.

"Why did you come back here, anyway?" It was more to himself than to Heather. After all, he knew darn well how much fun she had the first time she came to visit. She still had scars from the slashing of the pendulums and the bite-marks of the dogs. "You've got to be alive..." He assured himself cautiously, but he couldn't help that dim thought that Heather might be long gone. And he felt a tear drop slowly sluicing down his cheek. "...Please..."

"Darn it! I hate it down here!" Heather screamed, lazily climbing down a rusted ladder into more sewage and an apparently underground corridor. "It's so gross..." She shuddered when she heard something vile squash under her foot. "UGH!"

"Quit complaining, Heather," James grumbled. "It could be worse." He plowed through a mannequin and beckoned his teammate over to another ladder.

Heather rolled her eyes. "Yeah, it could be worse. I could be as insane as you," She gave a taunting smirk. James went cross-eyed, stuck his tongue out, and started climbing up the ladder. "Yep, he's insane." Heather snickered while she followed him.

They both made their way up the ladder and came face to face with a cube. On each side was a face, each of them with slightly different expressions. In front of the cube was another room, filled with random doors and strange walls. The doors were in each and every direction, up-side down and side-to-side. Heather walked into the room and James examined the cube.

Heather looked up at the ceiling, glancing at a door. "Well, we aren't going up there, are we..." She hissed to herself. Suddenly, James flipped the cube. And the room flipped right with it. Heather felt herself topple and she went right over. "AAAAAAH!" She fell down with a sickening thud. "OOMPH!"

James stared at the cube. "When I play with the faces..." He turned the cube again. "The room moves around..."

"WHOOOA!" Heather felt herself go overboard again, flat onto her back. "GAH!"

James messed with the cube once more. "NOOOOO!" He heard Heather scream again. "OOF!"

"You see a door in there, Heather? An open one?" He called.

Heather looked around, her head throbbing and the background blurry. "...N-N-No, James. And don't kill me just cause of the way I'm t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-talking."

"Alright, I'm turning it again!" He turned the cube and heard Heather let out a cry of mixed fear and agony. "AAAAAAH!"

"So, how were you hired to kill Walter if he was your best friend?" Henry asked softly, purposely smacking little Walter on the back of the head.

Melinda sighed. "I heard that some guy named Jimmy Stone died on the radio and that he had the name Walter Sullivan carved into him. I recognized Walter's name, so I went to the police." She sadly jammed her fists in her pockets.

"And then?" Henry wanted Melinda to continue. He glared at little Walter again.

"When I went to the cops, I met some cop named Jean McDonald." She mumbled. "Jean said that because of my history with Walter, I'd probably do best doing the job myself and killing him. So she paid me to."

Henry sighed. Apparently Melinda WAS hired to kill her best friend. That had to hurt. "Well, granted, he is a psychopathic serial killer."

Melinda took an angry stride forward, her eyes bubbling up with fury. "He wasn't when I met him. I don't know why he's doing what he's doing." And with that, she zipped her lips and turned away. "And yet here I am supposed to kill someone that I've cared about for so long. How'd you like to live with that, huh?" She jammed her gloved fists in her pockets.

Henry didn't say anything else. Neither did Melinda.

"Alright Heather, it's the last face," James turned the cube again. Heather was worried she was about to get a concussion or go into a coma.

"AAAAAAAAH! STOOOOOP!" She landed on her side and crumbled up in pain. "Oooooooh..."

James proudly entered the room. "Well, there's the open door. Let's go."

Heather felt like kicking James in his groin. But she was hurting so much she could barely wobble up. " are so...freakin' dead when we find Mary..." She mumbled.

And then, to James' very eyes, a miracle. Maria was...ALIVE! Completely unharmed, flawless as usual, make-up all pretty, hair all propped up and nice. She was sitting in a cage nice and fancy, legs crossed with satisfaction, looking at James.

To Heather's eyes, boring. Just an empty cage, a bed, and a chair. Which is probably why she got even more ticked off when James shouted out, "MARIA!"

James ran over to the cage and took a seat on a much less comfortable stool. "Maria!" Maria looked at him as if she had swallowed something putrid. She looked confused. "...That...that THING! It...stabbed you! There was blood everywhere!"

Heather rolled her eyes. "There's gonna be blood everywhere, alright..." She mumbled to herself. She slowly took out Melinda's diary and flipped to the second page.

"Dear Diary,

I told my mother I was leaving to see that boy today. Walter, that's his name, right? Yeah. Well you know what mom says? "So what. Yeah, you go and see him. All you'll ever do is let people walk all over you." I felt kind of let down. Which is weird, cause my mom talks to me that way all the time. I just stormed out the door. I didn't even bother slamming it. I left it wide open.

Strutting down to the Subway like I'm on top of the world, I met my new friend. I figured he shouldn't be moping around that place so much, full of hateful people that spit on him and call him names before they get to know him. So I asked Walter very kindly to get up and follow me. And I led him into the town of Ashfield.

He seemed amazed, looking around at all the shops and stuff. I glanced at my other friend, Charlotte. And she looked at me as if she had smelled something rotten, dead. I felt something curl up inside of me and I tried to hide my sweat from Walter. "Hey"

"I what?"

He pointed at an apartment building, at a window. "T...That room there,'t it nice?"

I looked up at it. Awkward, whatever he was trying to get me to see. "Uhm, yeah, Walter, it's nice." I attempted a smile. It worked.

"'s really nice..." He seemed to trail off on a bunch of reasons why that place was so cool. I wonder why.

We wandered around South Ashfield a little more. I bought some hot dogs and stuff. We were out there for hours, chatting it up. Needless to say, he wants me to see him again tomorrow.

Writing to you tomorrow, Melinda Sanders"

Meanwhile, James was still bewildered at why the heck Maria wasn't cooperating. "...Remember that time in the hotel?" He heard her say, and he froze up in memory. "You said you got everything, but you forgot that videotape we made." James saw Mary's face flutter up in his head. He shook it off with a shudder.

"How do you know about that?!" He abruptly blurted out, staring at her in pure confusion and pandemonium. "Aren't you Maria?!"

Things are getting very strange for our friends. What'll happen next? Part 12, anyone?

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