Lost Children - Chapter 1
Note: Hello again! This is something that I'll hopefully finish one day...one day. ;w; Be sure to tell me what you think!
I can feel myself slipping away.
I feel blood.
What happened to me?
Everything's so blurry...
I hear sirens...
Loud sirens...so faint...
I feel something sharp...
In my body...
Under my skin...
Where's mum? And dad?
The noises are fading away now.
I hear people moving...
Ever so faintly...
But it's too late.
I can feel it.
The pure nothing.
The sweet release of sleep.
Ignacio awoke -- but he knew he wasn't truly awake.
The world around him was shades of gray and black. The land looked like a melted, monotonous masterpiece: the gray and dismal trees sagged towards the ground, and he couldn't tell where the ground stopped and the sky began.
He slowly sat up, noticing his outfit had been changed -- at least he thought it had.
He now had on a black-and-white striped, long-sleeved shirt with a pair of black overalls over it. His shoes were black and polished, a gray gleam flashing across them if he angled them a small bit. There was a black string tied around his wrist. When he glanced up, he saw a balloon.
A bright red one, shaped like a heart.
Where am I? he pondered silently as he stood.
He held up one of his hands, noticing his skin was now completely white. His nails were a deep black, so deep it confused his eyes to look at them for too long. He didn't remember much of anything before this, but he was sure he didn't look like this normally.
So not only was this strange world monotone, he was as well. The only thing that stuck out was the balloon.
Ignacio faintly wondered what it would happen if he untied the string -- if he let the bright color disappear and fade into the gray sky. But then he got a feeling in the pit of his stomach.
He couldn't let go of the balloon.
Ignacio began walking, his legs a bit shaky. He didn't know where he was going, but he thought that since he was here he should explore this world. He felt like he wouldn't be leaving for awhile.
He felt as if he'd walked for centuries, but it at most had been a few minutes. His feet felt tired and heavy as he trudged along. The landscape hadn't changed, and he has no idea where he was.
And then he saw the children -- kids his age, he assumed.
As he listened in, Ignacio realized they were singing.
Tick tock, goes the clock,
And all the years they fly.
Tick tock, and all too soon,
You and I must die.
The strange verse was repeated over and over as the children did assorted activities: bounced a ball back and forth, skipped on what he assumed was crooked hopscotch squares...some just ran around while another jumped rope.
They had balloons, heart-shaped like his, but they were all a dull gray. Their clothes were similar: the girls wore black or gray dresses, and all the boys he saw had overalls or dress pants.
He also noticed that they all had masks -- dogs, cats, rabbits, and other assorted animals. The eyesholes cut into the masks were completely black, making it impossible to see the childrens' eyes.
If they had any eyes at all.
As he approached the group of children, the bunny masked child stopped jump roping. The dog and the cat that bounced the ball let it lay on the ground as they raised their empty sockets to look at him. The duck and the pig stopped in their tracks, turning to stare at him as well.
He felt creeped out, but these were the first people he'd seen here, and he wasn't sure if there was anyone else around.
The group solemnly stared at Ignacio.
Wait...they weren't staring at him...
They were staring above him.
He looked up at his balloon, then back at the children, a feeling of unease washing over him. He tried to continue on his way through the group, but one of them grabbed his arm.
It was the boy with the rabbit mask. His grip was abnormally strong; Ignacio had found out when he'd tried to pull away.
Ignacio heard the soft wetting of lips beneath the mask before the boy, in the most raspy voice Ignacio had ever heard, spoke.
"Stay," he stated simply. His empty-looking sockets were filled with a nervous energy that sent shivers down Ignacio's spine.
He was about to try and break out of the boy's grip again when he felt another hand on his other arm.
"Stay," the girl in the cat mask echoed, her grip as iron clad the boy's.
"Stay," the twin lambs said in unison.
They all began to repeat the phrase.
The dog. "Stay."
The pig. "Stay."
The duck. "Stay."
Ignacio didn't want to stay, but maybe the children were just asking him to play for a bit. They didn't mean that he had to stay forever.
So he smiled at all the children, and he began to play with them.
He ran around with the lamb twins and jumped rope with the rabbit; he bounced the ball with the dog, the pig, and the cat, then played hopscotch with the duck.
As he played, the children never said another word. They played in silence, watching Ignacio -- his balloon -- with a creepy fascination.
Eventually, Ignacio grew tired.
"I have to leave," he told the other children before beginning to walk away. "It was fun. Thank you."
He thought his leave would go unperturbed, but he felt a grip on his arm.
"Stay," the rabbit spoke.
The children began to slowly move in around Ignacio, trying to block him in. He began to panic, and in his panicked state he did the one thing he knew how to do.
He knocked off the rabbit's mask.
And immediately began to scream.
The boy's face wasn't there.
There was nothing there, only a deep black hole that hurt Ignacio's eyes to look.
The boy let out an ear-piercing shriek before covering his face. The other children began to scream as Ignacio ran, his balloon trailing above him.
He couldn't hear the children, but he knew they were there: slowly gaining on him with bad intentions in their blank faces.
Ignacio began to sob, but all he managed was a gasp as the ground gave way beneath him. He looked up, seeing the children around the hole, their voices still screaming as he fell.
Ignacio was silent as the air brushed against his back. Darkness surrounded him on all sides as the mild light from the hole faded.
Slowly, the darkness consumed him and his senses, and everything went pitch black.