Sonic the Hedgehog
I'm Looking Through You
Notes: Hmmm, well, for this story, let's just say the only characters who belong to me are Katrina, Lucretia, the wailing Siberian husky, the conceited, operatic Malamute, the flirtatious Vivalene (the skunk lady, in Nack's words), the angry skunk, and Gordon and Stephans! All others belong to their respective owners and companies! :)
I crept stealthily through the abandoned warehouse. The place hadn't been occupied for over fifty years, and was reported by some to be haunted. But I didn't believe that old nonsense—I was here to retrieve some old documents, nothing more.
I left the door that led out of the office area open and poked through the rusted filing cabinet in the corner, mulling over musty, mildew-infested, and rotting papers until I had found what my employer wanted.
At that moment my flashlight blew out. Muttering to myself, I closed the cabinet drawer and prepared to leave the building. I noticed through the window that it was pitch-black outside on the docks. No lights at all. Strange, I thought to myself, then, Ahh, well.
I weaved through the old desks and cubicles until I had reached the door. I went to walk through it, but instead, I wound up walking *into* it. "Somebody moved the door!" I rasped, clutching at my throbbing forehead as I collapsed to the floor.
"Nack! Nackie! Wake up!"
I looked around. I was laying in the middle of a street in downtown . . . where? A familiar voice was calling, but when I placed it, I gasped in astonishment. Was this Katrina Brown, the little missy who wanted to be a CIA agent and who followed me around everywhere when I was near her hometown of New York City? She looked different . . . older. Much older.
Her long, light brown hair was done up in a fancy style, with long curls hanging down in the back. Makeup adorned her five-year-old face . . . Heyyy, wait a minute! She wasn't five anymore—she was *twenty!*
"Katrina!" I gasped. "You've . . . you've grown up!"
Katrina giggled. Still the same old little missy, I thought. She held out her hand and helped me up. "I sure have!" she said. "I'm old enough now, don't you think?"
Katrina as a girl was always saying she was gonna wait for me and when she grew up, then she wanted to date me and eventually marry me.
"Well, er . . ."
Katrina pulled me into an embrace. "I love you, Nack," she whispered. "I've always loved you."
"Hold on, now," I exclaimed. "Before things get too mushy, why don't you explain what the heck I was doing laying in the middle of the road?? And where the heck are we??"
Katrina didn't reply, but instead started to waltz with me. Not entirely sure what to do, I followed along, looking around at my surroundings as we twirled and whirled.
It seemed to be night . . . No, it was definitely night. The buildings were mostly high-rise, and I could make out a lighthouse in the distance, and a bridge. It resembled the Golden Gate Bridge, but somehow I had a feeling we weren't in San Francisco.
Suddenly everything started to happen at once, and I realized just how quiet things had been before that.
A duck wearing a yellow trenchcoat, a floppy red fedora, and a black mask leaped out, carrying a chainsaw. He laughed manically as he started chopping down trees.
A rat-like critter skated above us on the power lines, with a blonde bear following after him, apparently a member of his fan club.
To my left, a nondescript plant-like thing with a duck beak was growing "Little Shop of Horrors" plants, which growled and snapped.
A piano crashed through every floor of a nearby apartment building, with the kitty-cat musicians jumping on it and going wild with their jazzy song, which talked of everybody wantin' to be a cat. When it hit the bottom floor, a loud, angry yell echoed throughout the city, and a blue-furred skunk who looked to be about sixty marched out and stood in the street, yelling, "It's an absolute OUTRAGE!!"
"Pew?" I exclaimed.
"What?" Katrina asked, caught up in the moment.
"That skunk there, he's looks and sounds like Jackly the Pew," I replied. "Only much older. What the heck's going on here??!"
Suddenly a silver Siberian husky appeared and sat down in the road, bawling like an infant. On top of the local bank was a skunk lady with fiery red hair, too much makeup, and long eyelashes, who seemed to be the reason for the husky's wails. Next to the lady was a giant rooster wearing what looked like a James Bond getup in reverse, who was laughing and pointing at the husky.
As Katrina and I continued to waltz, we were suddenly caught in what seemed to be a flood, a rush of water that came from seemingly nowhere, capsizing the both of us.
"Hey! What's the big idea?? I can't swim!" I yelled angrily.
A watery hand reached out and grabbed me. Another hand grabbed Katrina, and we both found ourselves looking at . . . something. It looked like some of dog, but it was *water.*
"High and dry with nowhere to go?" it chirped. "Liquadator brand rubber rafts are just what you need—a steal at the unbelievably low price of one million dollars a raft!"
"Are you outta your . . ." I almost said skull, but this water thing didn't seem to have one, literally. "Are you crazy?" I yelled. "One million bucks—who the heck's gonna pay that?"
"Obviously not you," it replied, depositing us both on a nearby fallen tree, recently felled by the mad duck in the fedora.
As we laid there, confused, perplexed, befuddled, and everything else, I suddenly beware aware of what sounded like a rocket shooting off. "What the-?" I turned to look. Just flying off a nearby skyscraper was a fella with some kinda jet pack strapped to his back. And if I wasn't mistaken, he looked an awful lot like . . .
"Boba Fett!" I burst out.
Katrina gave me an odd look. "Huh?"
"That guy who just flew off some poor fool's roof on a rocket!" I replied. "He looked like Boba Fett! Didn't you see him?"
"I only have eyes for you," Katrina announced.
Just when I thought things couldn't possibly get stranger, a Malamute in an Army uniform marched out, jumped on the duck's shoulders, and screamed "ME!!!" at the top of his lungs.
I covered my ears. "What the heck??" I knew that critter—Corporal Baker, United States Army, and the most big-headed fella around for miles. He thinks he's somethin' else. He also thinks that everyone *knows* he's somethin' else and that they appreciate his "glorious self" as much as he does. He has other such wonderful habits as going into an operatic state when something is wrong with his "glorious fur," even if it's just one piece out of order. He was in one of those now.
The duck wasn't happy about being used as a stepping stone. Baker was now trying to leap to the top of the nearest tree, presumably to show everyone just how "glorious" he was.
"You do that, and I'll chop the tree down in a millosecond!" he growled.
"Me," Baker replied simply.
Suddenly a figure illuminated the darkness. It was . . . Oh no, not her!!
"Lucretia!" I gasped.
"You are quite right, my dear nephew," she responded, coming in closer. "Have you gone totally mad yet?"
"Excuse me?" I jumped up, staring her down.
"Ahh, I see you have." She smiled. "None of this is real, my dear nephew. It is all in your imagination. All of your cases, all of your near-death escapes, they have led to this. You have gone crazy, Fang. But, then, you won't be around St. Canard—or anywhere else—much longer to endure your lunacy. Meet my new apprentice." A younger weasel stepped into view. She was holding a machine gun. Her fang glistened in the moonlight.
"Nic!" I gasped. It couldn't be . . . and yet it was. "Why?"
"Do you know how hard it can be to find work as a bounty hunter when you're a girl? Especially with the male bounty hunters around?" Nic hissed.
"Come on, Nic, you've had lots of jobs." I held my ground, hoping she'd put the durn thing down.
She didn't. "Not enough. When you're always around bothering me, I never get anything done!"
"Now hold on—we hardly ever do cases together. How can you say I'm 'always around bothering' you?" I demanded.
"You bother me just by being alive." She pulled the trigger.
"Nack! Come on, Nack, wake up, will you??"
Suddenly I was slapped across the face. My eyes flew open. I found myself looking at . . . Nic. "What the heck did you do that fer?" I yelled.
Nic sat back, crossing her arms. "You were lying passed out on the floor," she said simply.
"There's other ways of waking a body up," I replied, snatching the file off the floor that my employer wanted.
Nic yawned. "That's my way."
I rubbed at my forehead. "You didn't move the door right before I walked into it, did you?" I asked suspiciously. I hadn't heard anyone in the warehouse with me, but then Nic could be awfully stealthy herself when she had to be.
"Naw. I came in through the window there." Nic pointed. "You were already out."
"Well, I left that durn door open!" I yelled. "Somebody moved it!"
"Who, Nack?" she asked. "There's no one here. There's no one around for miles." She paused. "Except, of course, for the ghost." She grinned michievously.
I muttered to myself. Aloud I said, "You wouldn't believe the wacky dream I just had." Then suddenly *I* paused. It was rumored that if anyone ventured inside the warehouse, the ghost would find a way to send them into an unwilling sleep, and give them odd dreams that didn't make sense and often involved relations behaving in abnormal manners. Also, some people who went in . . . never came out.
A cool breeze wafted by. I stared at Nic. "Did you leave the window open?"
She shook her head. "No. You felt that . . . breeze, too?"
I nodded slowly. A cool breeze was often the sign that marked the appearance of . . . ghosts.
We looked at each other, then both sprinted to the window and wrenched it open again, climbing out into the night. The dock lights were on again, I noted. As we stood outside the warehouse, panting, a low, gravelly laugh shook the crumbling establishment. The wharf started to shake. Nic lost her balance and fell forward into my arms.
I threw the file back in through the window. "That does it! My boss can get his own file!" I yelled.
The shaking didn't stop until we were finally off the wharf.
"I'm not going there again!" I announced. "There are some things that are more important—like staying alive!"
"What were you doing in there anyway?" I demanded.
"Strangely enough, I was looking for the same file you were," she replied.
"Who hired you?" I pressed.
For once Nic was willing to divulge information. "Henrick Gordon. You?"
"Patrick Stephans," I said.
"But he's dead!!" we exclaimed in unison. Then we stared at each other.
"Really?" Nic asked.
"Really. Are you sure about Stephans?" I asked.
She nodded. "He used to work in that warehouse. He died mysteriously fifty years ago."
"So did Gordon," I announced.
We stared at each other again. "Weird," we said finally.