|An Imaginary War
Author: McGeesJabberwock PM
Sequel of sorts to my fics 'Foster's House' and 'Brandy'. In the Otherworld, Wilt is coming to terms with his time as a monster, while the other friends are forced into a war against the Hatter.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Angst - Wilt & Gaspar - Chapters: 6 - Words: 11,780 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 1 - Published: 02-18-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3400548
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
OK, this is going to be a bit different than what I usually do. This story is a sequel of sorts, not to just one fic, but to two fics of different fandoms, both written by me. It is based on my stories 'Foster's House' (primarily) and 'Brandy' and you won't really understand this story without having read those first. Going on my website www dot freewebs dot com slash entertheotherworld slash will also help your understanding. Enjoy!
Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.'
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
"We can do nothing for him," said the Tin Woodman, sadly; "for he is much too heavy to lift. We must leave him here to sleep on forever, and perhaps he will dream that he has found courage at last."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L Frank Baum
One may say it would be impossible for a fictional character to die because they never lived to begin with. And they would be dead wrong. Imaginary creatures live in two different ways. One way is in the minds and hearts of their admirers, who want them to be real and treat them as their best friends. Were this not true, the major plot twist of the sixth Harry Potter book would not have had the emotional impact it had upon its billions of raving fanatics.
The second way is much more flesh and blood. Imaginary friends are very much physical in the realms of the Otherworld, where they are sent when the child they owe their lives to grows weary of them, or they are exorcised by a very good therapist. Away from the Creators, Visitors and Cheshire Cats of the Otherworld's main neighbourhood, they reside in a special building, in a special area of the world. Being physical has its price though, and with life comes…
Do imaginary friends die? The answer should be obvious when one sees the graveyard. A special graveyard in that special part of the Otherworld, one specifically created for the imaginary friends that live there.
There are more gravestones there then you may think.
The subject on imaginary friends dieing should be relevant here, as this story begins with several of these strange imaginary friends holding a funeral for one of their own. Itty Bitty Kitty. She had suffered quite a lot before her death, especially when she was held face to face with the girl that had created her. It should have been a good thing then, that her miserable existence was cut short with a quick and painless death. Another reason the subject of imaginary friends dieing should be seen as relevant is due to the fact that Mr. Herriman, who had survived for God-knows-how-long and thus carried an air of authority around his peers, appeared at the funeral reading the main eulogy.
"Friends. Colleagues." Herriman took a deep breath. "I am sure that we all feel pity for Itty Bitty Kitty." An immature chuckle emitted from the crowd.
"Master Blooregard!" Bloo pouted. "This is a serious procession and if you can't behave in a respectable manner, I will have to punish you." Bloo sighed and mimicked the rabbit under his breath. "Now, where was I before I was so rudely interrupted? Oh, yes. I most definitely feel sorrow for the fact that this poor friend, just because she was a feline, was, how should I say, mistreated, by the, ahem, more raucous members of the Cheshire Cat army. Also…also…"
"Go on, Mr. H."
Herriman couldn't go on. Discussing incidents like this, and to such a crowd, made his gut feel like it was being throttled. He knew that something...not good was happening. It began when they were blown away from the Otherworld into the real world, and were forced to do so in malevolent, sinister forms, bringing the nightmares they were supposed to prevent. The Cheshire Cats. Their entire job concerned the deliverance of nightmares, and as long as the Hatter had the Otherworld in his grasp, the friends were supposed to see them as heroes. The Hatter said his mission was that of good; that nightmares were important for a person's development. Nightmares of failing a test would stop procrastination in revising. Internally combating fears will help with external affairs. The Cheshire Cats themselves were once the lowliest of human beings, treated as toilets until the Hatter brought a glimmer of hope into their lives. But it wasn't the Hatter that made the friends monsters, it was that trenchcoat monster. The Hatter said he would deal with him. Should he feel comfortable in that? Herriman never did trust the Hatter though. He may be capable of selling ice to Eskimos, but someone who collects the souls of the insane and creates an entire army of grinning felines obviously has a sinister air about them.
Mr. Herriman left. He didn't say a word more.
"Geez, what's that guy's problem?"
"Bloo! I'm sorry, but I can't believe you sometimes!" Wilt. "I mean, seriously." He buried his head in his one hand, a scar of an incident. "I mean, I can understand you want to forget it, I do as well, but you can't…"
Bloo rolled his eyes and answered with a loud 'pfft'.
"Co co co co." A bird with a palm tree for a head and airplane wings.
"What do you mean I'm delusional?"
"Co co co co co co co co co."
Mac. Mac. Mac.
"Shut up." He missed Mac. Yes he did. But would he seriously expect anyone to want him to admit it and act all sappy about it? Look at Wilt. He suffered a lot, possibly more than Itty Bitty Kitty before she died. He still greets everyone with a big smile though, he always says please and thank you. He's obviously hiding something. Why not pick on him? Favouritism, that's what it was.
Wilt had one arm. He had a bendy eye. His transformation back into his original cute form was not entirely successful. He couldn't wake up in the morning without a faint recollection of that damn house. He couldn't look at Bloo without visualising him as a floating spectre. He couldn't look at Coco without seeing a nail in her eyeball. It was his creator that did all that. He couldn't help but feel he should bask in some of the blame.
The two friends had feelings that they wanted to share, but felt it would be wiser if they didn't. Especially seeing how Berry was reacting.
Berry had been very annoying, before and during the incident with the house. Afterwards, however, was different. Bloo and Wilt, now looking at Berry clinging to the grave and mumbling to herself as if she were speaking in tongues, couldn't bring themselves to believe that, less than a year ago, she was always grinning and vying for Bloo's admiration. She and Itty Bitty Kitty always had been the best of friends, they had a lot in common, so this, coupled with how she had been forced to act in that accursed mansion…
Bloo and Wilt both considered coming to Berry to give her comfort. But they didn't.
They just left.
Berry swerved away from her friend's gravestone for a second, to determine the source of the voice. Just as she did, she felt something warm and slimy, yet comforting, wrapping around her waist. Don't cry…don't cry…She smiled, she even chuckled. I'll be here for you…
Watching this scene behind a gravestone was a rather large gecko, a former Otherworld Creator stripped of his world through a lost battle. All he could really do now is just wander the Otherworld, but not go into any houses, or even go back to the real world. So he had to watch occurrences like these, in hopes it would help take his mind off his defeat, or Lola's defeat, to be more precise. He had trained her so hard; she was practically guaranteed to win…what went wrong?
"I was hoping to bump into you again."
It was because of this creature that he was even in this mess to begin with. That shadow…thingamajig promised him power and wealth, but just threw any horrible thing he could find at him for 'tests'. Now taking on a more humanoid form and wearing a grey trenchcoat, he looked different from when they had first met, but was still instantly recognisable.
"You! Get away!"
"Gaspar! Is that any way to treat an old friend?"
"If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here!"
"That's it; always pin the blame on others. I didn't bring you here, lizard face, you came here by choice."
Gaspar just grumbled and folded his arms in response.
"If you insist on being such a fucking sourpuss, then I guess you don't need my help…"
Gaspar turned to the shadow. "What do you mean?"
"I'm fed up of that hat freak running the show. I thought that you would make a much better ruler than he would, but since now, you're acting like such an ungrateful asshole…"
Gaspar scoffed. "Give me one good reason I can trust you."
The shadow stood still for a minute as his eyes, his fiery, brimstone eyes, faded away completely. He took off his hat and let it fall to the ground. He slowly unbuttoned his trenchcoat and it slid right off his body. His trousers dropped down and disappeared completely. All that was left was a silhouette…
…which morphed itself into a vortex spinning rapidly like a tornado until it became a blob. No, it wasn't a blob. A torso. A torso that curved and thinned in ways that excited Gaspar, yet paralysed him. Two arms forced their way out of the blob, two slender arms made for holding and touching. Two legs burst out like torpedoes from a submarine. These legs, although Gaspar wasn't touching them and could only see them as silhouettes, felt soft and smooth. A head then burst out triumphantly, with hair slithering out of it like snakes. Gaspar could actually touch the hair, it wrapped around him like a ribbon. As his scaly fingers moved through the dark tresses, the shadow began to gain flesh. Light, smooth flesh, thick, red lips, cheeks, hips, toes and, of course, eyes.
She smiled at him.
Then she turned back.
"I bet the Hatter and his goons didn't promise that, did they?"
Gaspar was breathless.
"Here's what we'll do." The trenchcoated demon grabbed Gaspar by the shoulders and held his face closer to his own, reminding Gaspar of those burning yellow eyes. "It is impossible to turn the Cheshire Cats against their master, so we will need to form a new army, and I know just who to use." His eyes turned towards the imaginary friends walking away from the cemetery. "Gaspar, I feel it's you who should lead, due to the fact that they won't trust me, due to an earlier…well…'incident'. They may seem cute and fuzzy, but I assure you, a killer instinct lies within them. It's getting late, so we'll put our plan into action tomorrow. I'll be back."
And he just disappeared, leaving Gaspar sitting atop a gravestone. Just as Gaspar walked away to find a place to sleep, he swore he heard another voice register inside his head, one more nervous and neurotic.
'Don't listen to him…he's lying…you'll die…'
Gaspar scoffed. Just scoffed.
The Duchess. Not the one from the house though, not Miss Foster, not the monster that transformed poor imaginary friends into beasts, another Duchess. A three-eyed blob with huge tusks protruding from her mouth, and tentacles where there should be arms and legs.
"What is it?" Her lord and master crept off his chair and turned to face her.
"It's 'im again. That trenchcoat shadow person."
The Duchess nodded. "It's them imaginary friends again. 'E says 'e wants to take over the world with 'em, and defeat our armies."
"That little…" The Hatter took a few minutes to calm himself down. "I suppose our friend has a point though. These imaginary friends can be of use to us. I mean, with gratitude to that person, they've all suffered trauma and will never be quite the same. I especially sense some potential in Master Wilt…"
"What is it?" The March Hare.
"Um…well…I work with those friends, you know, and…well, don't you think that Wilt guy has suffered enough? I mean…"
The Hatter laughed and walked back to his seat. "Oh, how naïve you are. Don't you know anything?" The Hatter waved his hand and a bowl of ice cream appeared in front of him. "Trauma is like ice cream. On its own, it's delicious. But add sprinkles, and it's more delicious. Add syrup and chocolate sauce and it's even more delicious. Likewise, add more trauma to trauma, and it becomes more and more delicious." The March Hare still looked unsure. "And, like ice cream, trauma comes in all sorts of flavours, and each of us has his own preference."
The Duchess approached. "And wot should I be doin', m'lord?"
"Tonight, just before our little friend puts his little plan into action, you will infiltrate the dreams of Master Wilt and help me bring him to our side. It's just the job for you. The poor red creature still lives in fear of his mother. You specialize in that type of emotion, don't you?"
The Hatter chuckled. "Then I assume you will enjoy yourself."