Fox floated peacefully on a still lake on his back. No winds to flip him into the water beneath him, just the warm sun beaming down on his skin. It was quiet. No birds around to chirp and the trees did not sway. Just silence.
The only thing there was Cyanide. The ink being was lying in the grass like a normal wolf and even seemed like a normal wolf. Its ink was like fur and covered half of its body. It seemed so real and normal. The beast kept a watchful eye on Fox.
“Fox?” Cyanide asked.
“I believe it is time for you to wake up,” the creature said.
“Why? Maybe it’s my time.”
“Fox-” Cyanide began.
“Don’t. This isn’t some ‘I’m giving up because there’s nothing left’ speech. I’ve been alone all my life. I’m used to it. I’m just saying, maybe it’s my time now. I’ve tried waking up, you know,” Fox pointed at the creature then laid his arm back in the water.
Cyanide sat up and glared at Fox. “Not hard enough. We have work to do, now get out of the water, stop pouting and wake up.”
“What work?” Fox giving Cyanide a pointed look.
“The one that injured you. They have familiar blood,” Cyanide growled.
“Familiar blood? The hell does that mean?” Fox demanded in confusion.
“It means they have some relation to you.”
“Relation?” A thought hits Fox like a ton of bricks. “Sonovabitch.”
Cyanide watched as Fox got out of the water and paced back and forth on the ground before him. It didn’t say anything but watched, silently hoping that Fox would calm down enough to tell it what was going on in his mind.
“Samantha. She found this police report from the night my parents died. I thought for sure it was a fake, just something to screw with me. I’m not so sure now,” Fox explained.
“What does this report say?” The beast asked, tilting his head to the side.
“That my father’s body went missing the night he and my mom died,” Fox said. He stopped pacing and was now biting his knuckle.
“Your father must be alive then, and it’s his blood I smelled,” Cyanide said.
“Fuck my life. Just fuck it sideways to Sunday!” Fox exclaimed angrily.
Fox began to pace once more. He took his knuckle out of his mouth and gripped his hair, muttering as he walked back and forth.
“Wait? How the hell did he get into my house!? It has protection sigils on the door.”
“Sigils can be altered and manipulated,” Cyanide stated.
“True. Very true. So what now? How do I wake up?” Fox asked, finally getting with it.
“Believe in your strengths,” Cyanide said.
Fox looked over at Cyanide and tilted his head to the side.
“Did you just quote Legend of Zelda?” Fox asked, surprised while holding back a smile and a laugh.
“Legend of whom now?” Cyanide asked.
“Right. Scary ink monster,” Fox muttered, then nodded and clapped his hands together. “All right, believe in my strengths.”
Fox closed his eyes to think of ways of getting out of here and came up with nothing.
“GAH! Stupid! Useless empty brain! It’s like having writers’ block but I’m not writing anything! Pfft.”
Fox plopped onto the ground and stared at the cloudless sky once more. He closed his eyes and started to think of his mother. He didn’t remember much of her now. He should feel bad about that but he didn’t. He barely even knew his mother, and now with all this coming to light, how his comics are actually based on real things and not a child’s fever dream, he began to wonder if this was real life or if he was actually dead. Death would explain why he wasn’t freaking out and still a wee bit sane. Fox began to drift without realizing it but didn’t fall asleep completely.
Cyanide watched over the dozing boy. It knew he’d wake up soon.
Fox bolted up with an idea.
“I got it! I know how to wake up!”
Cyanide growled lowly in response and watched the boy stand up in excitement.
Fox stood and closed his eyes in concentration. He pictured his mother and her voice. He imagined what she would tell him if she were still alive.
“That’s it, Fox. Come on Kit, you can do it. Let me see those beautiful eyes,” his mother said encouragingly.
Fox focused on that one little thing until he felt himself waking up.