The Ventriloquist

Chapter 24: Hide And Seek

Back with Bonnie, Goldie and Sparky

Bonnie couldn't quite recall what she saw, a timid expression, a flash of blue, a fluffy tail escaping behind a corner, it was all a bit of a blur. But then again, Bonnie's reflexes were fading as she grew very tired. Though she'd been 'asleep' for a long while, the effect had still lingered within her, exhausting her dramatically. She thought she was going to faint, but she kept going for her friends' sake. Though she was a slender rabbit, the vents were compressed, making her feel sick and claustrophobic. The sudden turns, the dead ends, the thinner routes, it was beginning to get to her. Also, the air was limited, making it stuffy and hard to breath.

"Bloody Hell, again?" she muttered under her breath as she was met with a third dead end.

She decided the best way to navigate was to follow any traces of the blue shape. She scanned the tunnels for anything out of place, before spotting a few blue tufts of fur scattered in one direction.

"Ah ha. Here we go" she sighed, relieved at a track to follow.

She began to crawl past the fur as fast as she could, her knees pressing against her metallic ribs. She was designed like a human, with the supportive bone structure made of metal, which was helpful in some aspects, and in others, not quite as much. The route turned a few corners before she was met with a blood splatter. Odd...

"Wait, this isn't new. Was Jeremy or Fritz taken down here?" she asked herself.

She prayed that they hadn't hurt them too much, but the dream she had whilst awakening didn't provide much help. What if they'd stabbed him? Stuffed him into a suit? Dragged his body over metal? The thoughts weren't ridiculous, which scared her...

"Goldie! Where are you going? We've just been down there!" called Sparky from the other end of the system. It was apparent that Goldie lost his sense of direction after all these years.

"It's not my fault they all look the same!" he called back in defensive, joining her again.

"Hurry up! We've not got all day!" she called impatiently.

"Speak for yourself, I'll take all day getting down here if I want to!"

Sparky rolled her eyes. What was that? A gust of wind blew into her face? The only other thing that was up here was Bonnie, and she was a long way away! Or was she?

"Hey, did you feel that?" she asked.

"What, the feeling of all my limbs cracking. Yeah, I felt that alright" he grumbled, cracking his knuckles.

"Well yeah, but not that! Did you feel that gust of wind? Seems odd that there'd be wind up here".

Goldie had another sarcastic answer, but he decided not to bring it up. Truth was, he did feel it, and it worried him, greatly. There it was again! Though this time it lingered, and a loud banging noise could be heard a short distance away.

"Bonnie... That you?" called Sparky nervously.

No answer. The noise sounded again, louder and closer. They began to back away from it, fearing it could be the puppet or the fox. Wait, that was no fox, unless foxes are now yellow...

"Chica?" called Goldie hopefully, remembering the chickens name.

"Wow, she's had a makeover. Didn't she hate pink?" he asked, talking to himself because Sparky wouldn't have remembered the chickens likes and dislikes.

"That`s no Chica, that thing looks angry!" she exclaimed, urging him to do something.

The chicken lunged at them, screaming. Her endo-skeleton teeth were visible, she bared them proudly as she approached them. Goldie laughed quietly, no girl was going to defeat him (though he knew girls could kick ass). He lunged at her, wincing slightly as he teeth stabbed at him. After a little cat fight, the bear had pinned her. Expecting her to say something smart and attack again, a look of upset washed over the chickens face, surprising him.

"Please don't hurt me! I'm running away from something, I'm terrified!" she begged, her eyes pleading.

"Yeah right. I'm no fool, you work for the puppet. Be thankful you're still alive" hissed Goldie, his fist at the ready.

"No wait Goldie! Who, who are you running from?" stopped Sparky urgently.

The chicken observed the cat, seeing only curiosity in her eyes. She wasn't much of a threat, though she didn't like the look of those claws.

"I'm running from a rabbit" she answered.

"Running from Bonnie? Don't be ridiculous, she wouldn't scare you without a reason" he sighed.

"No, not the purple one. Another one, rotted and decayed. Awful sight" she corrected.

Goldie's face turned blank, he glanced at Sparky who couldn't believe her ears.

"He's... He's not dead...?"

A robotic screech and a clunking noise soon supported him. The rabbit was back from the dead...

"We're getting a move on, now! Chica, where did you come from? We need you to get us to the puppet, he's got our friends who'll help us" ordered Goldie angrily.

"Make a left that way and carry on until you reach the grate. He's in there" answered Chica pointing towards a dimmed tunnel.

Goldie signalled to Sparky to follow the tunnel. He crawled as fast as he could, terrified that the rabbit would kidnap them again.

"WAIT!" called Chica.

The two spun around in a flurry.

"Don't tell the puppet I saw you, he'll kill me if he finds out" she ordered nervously, her feathered hands shuddering.

The two nodded quickly, before continuing down the tunnel. Making a left at the designated stop, they began to see the grate Chica told them about. Goldie stopped just before he reached it, turning to face Sparky, who looked eager to get inside.

"Wait Sparky, I just want you to know something. Your Dad is in there, but he might not know who you are. I'll call you Eve so he knows who you are... If you want him to that is..." he reminded her.

"No.. I'm not Eve anymore.. I'm still his daughter, but I'm a cat now, not a human. Call me Sparky, that is me" she corrected him.

Goldie nodded slowly, before peering out of the vent. The sight made him leap back; it was too much to bear.

"What's wrong?" asked Sparky worriedly.

"Just don't look inside, you'll thank me later, I promise".

There stood his father, with a knife to his throat, with his son holding the weapon...

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