1, 2, 3, 4...well, if I were to count all the parts my series has, this would be a very long and boring introduction, am I right? Well, we're getting closer and closer to the end, but the series still has a lot to go before it ends in glory. So, without further blah-blah, here's part 23 of The Quest for Mary. WOOTNESS!

Jean stared in disbelief at the heap of trash that used to be her police car. "You wrecked my car. You wrecked my freaking car, Mandy. You wrecked my-"

"I heard you the first time." Mandy grumbled. "Besides, you're the one who crashed it into the tree! You're so unprofessional, Jean."

This made Jean even more irritated. "I'M unprofessional? YOU'RE supposed to be helping me look for a lost assassin and instead you're rocking out to music!"

Mandy scowled and smacked Jean on the back of her head. Jean responded by lifting up her leg and slinging her heel into Mandy's knee. This continued for quite a while. Smack, kick, smack, kick. "Ow!", "Ouch!", "Stop that!", "Make me!". Finally, Jean was the last one to make a move and Mandy gave up.

"But now we're gonna have to look for Sanders on FOOT!" Jean screamed, stomping her foot in frustration.

Mandy gave a puzzled look and stroked her chin in a strange pose. "Hmm, Jean. That's a weird idea. How are we gonna ride on a foot?" Jean swore at Mandy under her breath and dragged her away from the chunk of metal that was about to explode.

Henry was the only one not to run over to Melinda as she fell with a cry, unconscious as she hit the matted carpet with a sickening thud. But he was also the most worried as everyone else gathered around her. A tug of anxiety yanked into his chest and he shivered, not at all from the cold that was filling every inch of the dreaded hotel.

"At least she's alive," James mumbled as he took his head off of her chest. Henry let out a quick gasp of relief.

Eileen slowly awoke from her knocked out state and she looked around. "Darn it, did I black out again?!"

"Yeah, Melinda hit you." Heather grumbled as she poked Melinda's shoulder with her pipe. "But she blacked out too, just now. We don't know why."

"I'll carry her body. You guys don't need to worry about it." Henry assured while the others left the room, leaving him and Melinda alone.

He stared down at her, trying to wonder what would have caused her to faint. Certainly she had been horrified by something, he could see it in her frozen eye. Because she had fallen, her bangs had drifted away from the other eye, revealing her disgusting purple scar. "Melinda...please wake up..." He whispered as he stroked her bangs. "I'm worried about you." He turned his head away and rubbed it. "...Because I..." He turned over to her again. "Because...I...." He felt the words climbing up his throat, and he tried to fight them back, but they were strong enough to overpower him. "I love-"

"Ugh..." He heard Melinda's golden voice drift from her head. "Sorry...I just..." She got up and looked around. "Henry, where are the others?!"

Henry's face flushed to a scarlet hue and he looked in all directions. "I wasn't about to say anything revealing about my feelings just now, just so you know."

Melinda rolled her eyes. "I didn't ask about that. Where are the others?" She repeated, angrily slamming her fist on the ground.

"Well...uh, they're probably outside waiting for us. I told them I was going to carry-you blacked out for a minute there," He explained, nervously shifting his head over his shoulder and standing.

"I blacked out?" Melinda shuddered and remembered the pictures. "Oh, I'm sorry, I just saw..." She paused and looked for the right word. She didn't like talking about her memories of Walter. "...something."

"Well, let's go. The others are still waiting for us." Henry extended his hand toward Melinda. He wanted her to hold his hand, not just an offer to help her up. But she ignored his friendly gesture and stood on her own, strutting out the door. Henry gave a sheepish grumble and followed her.

To their surprise, they were alone. James, Heather, Eileen, and little Walter had apparently walked away, abandoning Henry and Melinda. They must have gotten impatient. "Right...the others are still waiting for us..." Melinda mimicked.

"I coulda swore they were! What the hell!" Henry blurted out, running down the hall even though he knew they weren't there.

"Well, even if you 'coulda swore' it, they aren't here, and we're alone here now. In James' special place. Waiting for him." Melinda scolded. "Just you and me."

Henry felt another tug of worry, but then he gave a blushing smile. He and Melinda were alone. "Come on then, we need to find them." Melinda grabbed his hand and held it tight, tugging him in her direction. "Even if they left us, they've gotta be close by."

Melinda was holding his hand. Henry giggled a little bit and Melinda looked over at him and frowned. He stopped giggling. "Cut the crap, Townshend..." Henry blushed and hung his head.

The others seemed to be completely unaware that they were missing people. "Huh. We've got a Little Mermaid, Cinderella, but we're missing one." Heather grumbled impatiently.

"So where's the other one? Um...Snow White? Yeah, where's that one?" Eileen leaned against the antique stature that held the two music boxes and left one blank indentation.

All of a sudden, little Walter's face turned blue and he started coughing and screaming bloody murder. "BLAAH!" He wheezed and coughed again, sounding like he was being strangled. He coughed, and coughed again, and again, and again.

"What's up with the momma's boy?" Eileen nudged James as if he were some sort of doctor. "Come on, you said you read medical books."

"Could be whooping cough," James suggested. "But I think he's a little too old for that one."

"AAAAAGH!" Little Walter shreiked over all of them, forcing them to cover their ears. Heather wondered foolishly for a minute if she was gonna go deaf. The other two just wanted little Walter to shut up.

Suddenly, little Walter gagged and fell to his knees, gripping the floor. "BLAA-UUGH-"

Eveyone slowly backed away as he started coughing something up.

"It's a bird!" Heather screamed.

"It's a plane!" Eileen giggled.

"It's a hairball?!" James cried.

Out came a disgusting and slobber-coated Snow White music box. Little Walter writhed on the ground for a moment and then stood as if nothing had happened. "It's a music box!" Little Walter giggled and hugged Heather's leg as she picked it up and inserted it into the empty indentation.

"Ow. Stop that, Jean! That's my ear! I use it to hear with!" Mandy grumbled as Jean tugged on her ear and continually dragged her into the foggy town.

Jean smirked and winked at Mandy. "You certainly don't listen with it enough."

"Just let me go! I need to call someone." Mandy smacked Jean's hand and flipped out her phone.

"Who are you callin'? The same moron who did your hair?" Jean snickered at her taunt and kept walking while Mandy grumbled a few insults and lifted her phone up to her ear.

"Oh, hi, Nero," Mandy giggled into the phone while skipping by Jean, purposely raising her voice. "I can't make our date today. How about tomorrow?" She winked at Jean.

Despite Mandy's attempts to make her jealous, Jean wasn't at all upset that Mandy was speaking to Nero on the phone. It was the greatest glimmer of hope she had. "You're able to call someone, Mandy! This means I can call Sanders!" She snatched the phone from Mandy. "Sorry, Nero, but-"

Nobody answered her. Jean flashed Mandy a look of accusation.

Mandy decided to spill the beans. "Fine, Jean. I faked calling Nero to make you jealous. My phone doesn't work either-"


Part 23 is completed! Finished! Over and done! But the series isn't-if you want a part 24. "Ooh man...part 24 would be AWESOME!" -The famous words of Jasper Gein

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