Chapter 1: The Cold can be Dangerous
AN: Heyo, I co-wrote this story with RandomTendancies63 ages ago! She wrote the parts from Pitch's point of view, and I wrotethe things to do with Jack.
"Come on, Mama!" Jack gurgled happily. "Let's go play outside!" He struggled with his boot laces, and eventually his mother bent to help the little six year old.
"Are you sure? It's awfully cold out there. You might get sick." his mother, Angeline, said as she straightened back up. She sighed when she heard a little cry from the cot in the other room. "Look's like your sister is up," she muttered. That baby never seemed to sleep, it was constantly waking her and her husband, Roderick, up so that they were both tired the next day.
"Okay, up you get, Pippa, it seems that someone doesn't want their afternoon nap," she said as she picked her daughter up. For a one year old, she sure could make noise. Angeline carried her back to the living room, ignoring Pippa as she played with her short, brown hair.
"Come on, come on! Let's go already!" Jack jumped up and down, incredibly impatient. He couldn't wait until he got to play in the snow; it was his favorite thing to do! He loved making snowmen, having snowball fights, making snow forts and just the snow itself.
"I still think you'll get sick," Angeline warned.
"Oh, the boy will be fine!" her husband exclaimed, as he strode into the room. Roderick was a tall man with the build of a lumberjack. He had hands so large that they looked like they could snap a tree trunk in two. Despite his looks though, he was a gentle man with a great sense of humor. He loved to help people, and as a mechanic, he was able to do so. Well, he helped their cars. But one thing that you never do is hurt his family. Ever.
"He was practically born of snow, he loves it so much!"
"Yes," Angeline frowned. "But that won't help him when he catches pneumonia."
"Oh, he'll be fine. Besides, I have something for him."
"Really?" Jack's whole face lit up. "What is it? Tell me! Tell me!"
Roderick grinned and pulled a package out from behind his back. "Here you go."
Jack all but snatched it from him and tore it open, paper flying everywhere. His smile fell, when he found what was in it. A jumper. Just a green jumper. "Oh... thanks."
Roderick grinned. "I figured you'd like it."
Angeline sympathized with her son. She knew from experience that clothes weren't exactly the greatest gift when you're a child. She
gently took it from Jack and held it up. "It's huge," she stated.
Roderick looked slightly embarrassed. "Well, yeah, it is. He probably won't fit into it for a while...Or maybe a few years. Okay, when he's a teenager. But I had to get it for him! It's a great color for him, more or less. Imagine how cute he would look, all bundled up in that jumper."
Angeline shook her head and set the jumper down on the couch. Her husband definitely was an impulse buyer.
"Mama, look at me." Jack was warming up to this jumper, it was so soft on the inside. And green was his second favorite color!
His mother turned and struggled not to laugh as she watched Jack run around the room flapping his arms, using the excess fabric as wings. Since the jumper was so long, the hem of it was almost at his ankles, and he ended up tripping twice.
Roderick gave a booming laugh. "Alright, come on you little frost sprite, let's go out and play. We can go down to the lake if you want."
"Yeah!" Jack cheered and squirming out of his grip. "Let's go!" he ran out the door, his family close behind him.
"I'm gonna make a snowman and a snow fort! I'm also gonna make a snow bunny!"
Angeline smiled, before suppressing a yawn. She really hadn't gotten any sleep for the past week. Looking after two small children was beginning to take a toll on her.
"Woah!" Jack's shout made them both run faster.
"Jack? What is it? Where are you?" Angeline called out worriedly.
"I'm over here!" Jack cried out from the bottom of a hill. His parents both let out a sigh of relief.
"Okay, be a bit more careful. Your mum would kill me if you hurt yourself because of that jumper!" his father said, as he helped him up.
"Okay!" Jack replied, happy as ever and ran off to play in the snow.
Angeline smiled, before suppressing a yawn. Roderick placed a hand on her shoulder, concerned. "Hey, are you okay? Do you want me
to stay here and watch the kids, while you go rest?"
Angeline shook her head. "No, I'm fine. Besides, Jack will throw a fit if I don't get to see every snow figure he makes. Remember last time?" Roderick grinned. There had been snow all over the house!
As if on cue, Jack scrambled up to them and held up a lopsided snow figure with what looked like two heads. "Look, Mama. It's a snow bunny!" Okay, not two heads.
His mother smiled. "Oh, do bunnies like the snow?"
"Well, snow bunnies do!" Jack insisted.
"Okay, okay," she relented and Jack went off to make a snowman. They stayed there until a little after the sun had set. Jack had, by that time, moved on from snow figures and now he was building a snow fort. Every now and then he would roll around in the snow, just so he could look at the way it sparkled on his jumper. He felt like a real frost sprite! He was almost finished before he overheard his mother saying something.
"It's getting rather dark, Roderick. We should head back now."
"No!" Jack cried out, causing them to look up in both surprise and trepidation. "I haven't even finished my fort yet!"
"Come on, frost sprite! We have to go!" Roderick tried to pick Jack up, but he was too slow. Jack had took off running and was now on the other side of his fort.
"I'm not coming!" Jack pouted.
Angeline sighed and yawned again. "Come on, Mummy's tired. Let's go, its getting dark out."
Jack was silent. He refused to go, he was having too much fun! Who cares if it was getting dark?
Roderick put a hand on her shoulder. "Hey, why don't you take Pippa back and I'll bring Jack. I can see he's gonna take a while."
Angeline hesitated, before nodding. It was best to get Pippa out of the cold as soon as possible. "Okay, I'll start cooking as soon as I get there," she said before trudging back through the forest. It really was getting dark. The trees were casting eerie shadows on the snow around her. "No need to be nervous, they're just shadows. And you know the way back well. No chance of getting lost." Unfortunately, walking through the snow in daylight is one thing and walking back the other way in darkness were completely different things.
"Uh, maybe it's this way." She walked tentatively in one direction. Angeline clutched Pippa close to herself, fear clawing at the edges of her brain. What was that? There was rustling in the bush. Her tiredness wasn't helping. 'I'm sure that's just a little animal. A- a snow bunny, a cute, fluffy snow bunny. But, do snow bunnies growl?'
Not wanting to find out, Angeline started running. She had no idea where she was going, she just needed to get out of this damned forest! 'Ugh, why did we move near a forest!?' she thought, still racing away from the mysterious animal. She looked over her shoulder to see if it was following her, and that was her fatal mistake.
She tripped and crashed hard to the ground! Her head smacked against a rock that she had taken for a shadow. Angeline still clutched Pippa tightly in her arms. The last thing she heard was Pippa's wails as the darkness closed in, consuming her. Then, Angeline left our world.
"Pippa? Angie? Where are you?" Roderick called. He had been searching for them for nearly an hour. After Jack had finally given up on playing outside in favor for a warm meal, Roderick had carried him home through the almost pitch black forest. Despite this, he had had no trouble finding his way home, he only hoped, though, that Angeline had his luck, too. He knew he was wrong as soon as his house had come into view.
The place was dark, and he heard nothing but the wind rustling through the bushes, causing snow, branches and rocks to toss and scrape along the ground, creating an almost growling noise.
Roderick quickly left Jack, who had fallen asleep in his arms, in his bed with a note scribbled on the bedside table.
Gone out for something. Don't worry, be right back. Food is in fridge.
Roderick had then quickly ran out with a torch to find the rest of his family. He wasn't having any luck though. He heard no one call back, saw no one emerge from the trees, tired but safe. 'Where are you?' he thought, worried.
Something different was caught by his light. Roderick peered closely. It was...red? He walked closer, pulled back the bushes and was greeted with a sight from his nightmares.
His wife was lying on the ground, still clutching their daughter. The snow that surrounded her was stained red. 'Her blood,' he thought dully. Roderick collapsed beside her and felt fat tears roll down his face. His little baby girl's face was blue, and she was struggling to breathe. He quickly wrapped his jacket around her and took her out of his wife's steel grip, holding her close. He pulled out his phone and spoke to the ambulance, but he knew it was too late. The cold was too much for her, she must have caught pneumonia. His own daughter's heart stopped beating while she was still in his arms.
Roderick's beloved Queen and his little Princess, were gone.
A plate smashed above Jack's head. "I told you to clean!" Another plate smashed next to his head, a stray piece of glass cutting his cheek. "I told you and I came home to this!?"
"Yer worthless!" Roderick roared. "Yer can't even do a simple thing like cleaning!" Jack refrained from answering that he didn't clean either. Most ten year old boys were not built for housework, Jack especially. He would much rather be outside, playing, but that would never happen. Jack wasn't allowed outside, especially into the forest, except for school. He pressed himself into the wall as more glass crashed around him.
Roderick took another swig of alcohol. "Yer better clean this up, ya freak." he muttered as he slouched off to the lounge room. Humiliated at being treated like a slave, Jack picked up a broom and began to sweep.
He wiped a drop of blood from the cut on his cheek on his old, green jumper. It was still too big for him, but he stubbornly wore it. It reminded him of better times, when his family were together and happy.
Not like now, when it's torn in half and miserable. They weren't even a family anymore! It wasn't like Roderick even liked Jack, or anything. He yelled, threw things, blamed him for everything, locked him in the basement when he was sick of looking at him, hit him... Roderick just kept Jack practically as a maid and Jack stayed because he had nowhere else to go. How would he survive on the streets?
Roderick didn't even consider Jack as his son anymore. He was always just 'the kid', 'boy' or 'you'. Ever since the accident, Roderick had slowly stopped looking after Jack and had drowned himself in alcohol and Jack's pain.
Jack sighed, it was pointless to dwell on the past. He just had to clean. He felt tears prickle at the back of his eyes. 'No,' he told himself furiously 'I will not cry. I will never cry! Crying is for scared little babies!' Glaring, he wiped a stray tear with the heel of his hand and focused on putting the rest of the glass in the bin.
"Boy!" he heard his father call from the lounge room. Uh oh, he was sure to be in trouble. "Come here." Dreading what would follow, Jack shuffled into the room.
Roderick stared at him blearily from his chair, his eyes unfocused. His expression was that of distaste, as if he couldn't believe that Jack had come from him. Jack could tell from the way he swayed slightly and drooled a little that he was heavily drunk. Jack thought it was best if he was quiet and let him yell it out. Before he could react, his father whipped his hand out a slapped Jack across his face.
"Y'know," Roderick began in a nasty voice "It's your fault that your mother and sister are dead."
This was nothing knew. Roderick told him that almost everyday, but it still hurt him, badly.
"If you just behaved like a child should have and respected me, they would be alive. But no, you had to be the odd one and ignore me. You freaking waste of air." he grabbed Jack's shoulders suddenly and held himself so close that Jack almost gagged from his breath. "Why don't you kill yourself already!? It would do us all a favor!" he shouted in his face.
This time Jack couldn't hold back the tears. He started to sob. His only family member wanted him to die?
Roderick shook him. "Stop crying! What do you have to cry about?" As Roderick's voice grew louder and angry, Jack's sobs became harder. "You're the one who killed them! I'm the one who couldn't save them! It's all your fault!" On that last word, Roderick drew back a fist and punched Jack hard on the side of his face.
Jack looked up at him from where he fell on the floor, clutching his cheek.
Roderick snarled at him. "I can't even punish you normally, you need a special punishment." He ripped Jack's jumper off of his head, scratching the boy's face in the process. Roderick grabbed his collar and broke off several buttons.
Jack flinched violently. What was his father doing!?
Not wanting to find out, Jack latched his teeth on what was closest; his father's ear. Roderick howled and tried to shake Jack off, but Jack held on until he tasted blood. Then he fled, slamming the front door behind him and not stopping. He didn't care where he ran, he just needed to get away! Jack never heard his father's cries and sobs for him to stop, that he was sorry. Jack didn't care anymore.
She held her planner book to her chest. "Sir, I'm here to go over your schedule with you."
"Yes, yes. Go on." The dark haired man didn't look up from where he sat at his desk, finishing paperwork.
Tooth gave a nod, sitting in the padded chair in front of the desk. She opened the book up to the pages for that week. "Tomorrow, you have a meeting with Stevenson and Freders to discuss the finalities of the premier in a few months. Wednesday, Mr. Mensa will be by with Mr. Campanella so you may discuss who will be a good director for your new film. That night you will also be having a dinner with potential investors. Thursday, there's a press conference. Your brother will be arriving for his visit this Friday afternoon. Also, sometime this week, Miss Duvall's agent would like to speak to you about her recent complaints."
"Why, again, must we keep hiring these imbecilic divas to be in my movies?" He rubbed his temples.
"Because it's what the public wants, sir. Shall I pencil her in for Friday morning?" Tooth glanced up at him with a knowing smirk.
"Yes, yes. Is there anything else?"
"Only one more thing. What about the matter of finding a child?" She closed her planner and looked up at him.
"Child? What's this about a child?"
"Sir, don't you remember?" She chuckled. "We agreed that it would help with your image if you bring an unfortunate child into your home."
"Oh. Must I bring a child in here? They're nothing but snivelling, annoying brats."
"You act like it would be the spawn of Satan himself. It won't be too bad. Besides, you'll be helping to better some poor child's life. Plus, the house won't be so empty anymore."
"Are you saying my house is empty?" He sat back in his chair, taking off his glasses and setting them next to his paperwork. With a sigh, he looked over at his overly optimistic assistant. "Very well. When will the peace and quiet of my home be interrupted by this...child?"
"As soon as you choose a child, sir. Would you like me to schedule time after your meeting with Ms. Duvall's agent this Friday?" When she received a nod of approval, Tooth opened the planner again quickly, scribbling it in on Friday. "Very well then. Do you need anything else, sir?"
"I want you to get ahold of Mr. Michaels and tell him I want that damn script. He's been avoiding it for nearly two weeks now, and if he doesn't get it to me by next Tuesday I will refuse to produce his project. That is all." He watched his assistant leave his office, before turning in his chair to look out the window.
Pitch Black, the most revered horror movie producer of all time, the aptly titled Nightmare King, was going to be adopting a child. In what sane reality was he the type of man to be a father?