Disclaimer: I do not own nor claim to own any of the characters in Final Fantasy X, or anything Final Fantasy related. Do not sue me, unless you want a moldy cookie and a few pennies.
Updated August 8th, 2007
- - - - -
- Monster Mania -
"Come on you guys! Let's go find Sam!"
And then everything went to hell.
Screams suddenly erupted throughout the mall, cutting through the silence that had fallen in the building. No, it wasn't my imagination. Time did not stop, but all the people had. Stopped and stared at the huge creature that had lumbered into the main part of the building. No, not a creature.
It was a Behemoth King. As I stared up at it, I realized that it was bigger then I thought it would be. And that it had no right being here in the real world. But I doubted there was anything I could do about it, anyway. Someone screamed again, a lonely women in a sea of stunned people. Unfortunately, it caught the Behemoth's attention.
And that, I presumed, was bad.
Cocking its head the monster turned slowly toward the sound, its mane waving softly. The animal's huge tail whipped across the floor, knocking a few people over and sending one into a wall. Suddenly, everyone decided that maybe this thing wasn't suppose to be here.
The stores echoed with collective screams as everyone went running, sending the fiend roaring itself. The sound was so loud; I thought my eardrums would pop. It just made everyone else run faster.
I turned, almost too slowly, toward my six followers. I knew I must have looked like I had seen a ghost. In reality, I had. Or a shell of a ghost, anyway. All their eyes were set on the creature, faces grim. I noticed, painfully, that none of them seemed to have any sort of weapon. Still, they seemed determined. Except for Tidus, that is. His face was white and pasty, and his eyes were closed tight. Leaning closer I noticed he was whimpering.
Great. He was afraid of fiends. Somehow, it didn't surprise me.
Tidus suddenly wavered, and Yuna automatically put a hand out as he fell to the ground in a heap. We all stared at him, the others obviously not surprised by Tidus's actions.
"Does he do this often?" Cynthia asked, staring at him.
Lulu nodded. "Almost every time." Sighing I rolled my eyes, and watched as Yuna put a hand to Tidus's forehead and rubbed the skin a little. Eyes snapping open Tidus sat up suddenly, gasping. Lulu turned to us again, shaking her head. "Someone touching him usually brings him back to his senses. It's pathetic, even for him."
"OH MY GAWD!"
Snapping my head around I saw a man run across the mall, the Behemoth looking at him curiously. Lifting a clawed hand it swept it leisurely at the man, whacking him across the head and sending blood everywhere. I heard a thump behind me and a collective groan from my guests as the mall erupted into hundreds of screams. Tidus had fainted again. And, a man was dead.
Turning around I looked at the five warriors behind me. Walking up to them I scowled, stomping a foot on the ground. Another turret of screams echoed through the mall, and I saw everyone's face whiten a tad. Everyone's but Auron's that is. Taking a deep breath I put my hands on my hips.
"Alright, everyone. We have a fiend on the loose! You're the warriors!" They all just stared at me, faces blank. I growled.
I have never seen so many mouths drop open at the same time. Even Auron looked at me over his glasses, a twinge of disbelief in his eyes. I squirmed a little as the group stared at me. But at least none of them were laughing. Well, besides Wakka. Looking at me like I was crazy he stifled his laughter and managed to spit out a few words.
"With what, ya?"
He had a good point, I realized. My mind flashed back to the pile of weapons, all sitting safe and sound in my house. Even Wakka had put his trusty blitzball back before we left. It would have looked very suspicious in a mall, that much was true. After a minute of thinking and focusing on the random screams that coursed through the building, I finally threw up my hands and shook my head.
"I don't know! But, you can't let this... this monster keep killing people!" I saw Yuna's eyes harden as she nodded slowly with my comment.
"She's right. We have to fight it! Right?" Everyone, including me and Cynthia, looked at Yuna. She stepped back a little, apparently a little flustered. Yet another chorus of screams began to emanate from the crowd, and I heard a large thump behind me. Blood splattered across the cool tile, and the Behemoth King's roar drowned out everything for a good thirty seconds. We had to do something, and fast.
"Yuna's right. We need to fight that thing." Lulu said, nodding at Yuna. Slowly she stepped forward, raising her hands. I almost slapped myself in the forehead, I had totally forgot. Lulu knew magic! We were saved!
And then I just happened to remember that there is no such thing as magic in the real world.
"What's wrong?" Auron was gazing intently at Lulu, whose arms were raised in a standard magic attack. But nothing was happening, and I knew by the looks on everyone's faces that their stomachs had just dropped to the soles of their feet. No magic, no weapons. What was left? But, I had no time to ponder this question.
In almost slow motion, I saw the Behemoth King's eyes focus on Lulu, its lips folding back to show large, sharp teeth. We couldn't stand up to this thing. It was huge! What had I been thinking?
Snarling the fiend lifted its head high, gazing momentarily at the ceiling. Rising on its back legs it extended its claws as far as they would go, and then snapped its head back to look at Lulu, who was trembling slightly below it. If we were going to do anything, now was the time. Screams erupted from the people who were still in the monster's vicinity as the fiend raised its claws, getting ready to strike.
Snapping out of my daze I saw everyone begin to run. Tidus was draped unceremoniously over Auron's shoulder, his head snapping forcefully against Auron's back with every step. Wakka had already bolted, a look of pure terror in his eyes as he glanced at the dead bodies and blood that were scattered on the ground. Yuna was crying, while being pushed along by Lulu who was following behind her. Rikku was the one who had yelled for me, running like mad for the exit.
Taking one last look at the fiend I gulped and started to run, the large claw swooping down after me like a bull after a red blanket. With Lulu out of the fiend's range, it went for the next closest thing.
Closing my eyes I ran blindly, waiting for the huge paw that would crush me like a bug. The large claw that would pick me up and squish me, sending my guts flying everywhere. The mouth that would grind my bones into splinters and swallow me down into the large acidic pit below.
But, it never came.
Opening my eyes I smacked right into Rikku's back, which sent me flying onto my butt and moaning. Dazed and disoriented I slumped against the floor, my sight full of stars. My first solid thought was that the fiend had missed me, that large claw probably smashing into the cool tile instead.
It took me a second to realize that the fiend didn't have nearly enough hands to make that many booming noises so quickly. Rolling my eyes upward I saw police officers poring into the mall, guns pointed at the monster, a few already firing. But I had no time to sigh in relief.
Picking me up by the waist Wakka planted me securely back on my feet, pushing me toward the door as everyone began to run again. Taking the hint I used my shaky legs and started running, using the last of my energy to take me right back to the car.
If everyday life in Spira was just like this, I doubted I could have handled it. Just one fiend swiping a paw at me had scared me more then I would ever admit. And Sin on top of it? I had a whole new respect for the whole population of Spira.
They had to deal with a whole lot of shit.
"Emily, what are we doing?"
"Shut up Zach! You know what we're doing. We're playing hide and go seek."
"Yeah, I know, but then why aren't we looking for Kimahri?"
Emily gazed at Zach like he was the stupidest person on the planet, finally looking back at the TV and changing the channel once again. Zach was sitting on the couch next to her, huddled in a little ball and looking around suspiciously.
The three of them had been playing hide and go seek for a good two hours now. At first, they had decided that they would have Kimahri be the seeker, and that they would find such a good hiding place that Kimahri wouldn't be able to find them until after their sister got home. But, after Kimahri had used his nose and found them five times in a row, they decided that they were too afraid to face that large blue cat with his huge, monster-like smile.
And so, for the last hour and a half, Emily and Zach had both been the seeker, letting Kimahri rot away in wherever he had found to hide.
"Shouldn't we go look for him?"
Emily sighed again and looked at Zach, shaking her head.
"No, we shouldn't. Do you want him to 'smile' at us anymore?"
Zach visibly shivered, thoughts of the large cat's pearly whites filling his mind. Whimpering he shook his head, gazing back at the screen. But he soon thought of another question.
"If he gets mad at us, do you think he'll eat us?"
Emily frowned at Zach, thinking intently.
"I don't think so. Besides, how would we make him mad?"
Zach thought about this for a few seconds before answering.
"Well, he might get mad since we haven't tried to find him for hide and seek."
Emily's eyes opened wide as she thought about this. Voice going shaky she swallowed, setting the remote control for the TV on the arm of the couch.
"You don't think he'll... you know?"
Zach whimpered again. "I dunno... will he?"
intently I leaned back, trying my best to get my heart to stop
beating so fast. Putting my hands over my head I closed my eyes,
focusing on the bumps and weavings of the car as we sped down the
I could get used to this...'
I thought dully, sighing again. 'In
fact, I'm kind of sleepy...'
"Sara... I'm sorry to... bug you... and all... but could you... stop... leaning on... me?"
Opening my eyes quickly I leaned forward, face red. Looking down I saw Rikku below me, face flushed and puffing. I had totally forgotten she was under me, and nearly squished her to death.
"Are you okay?" I said, looking into her dazed eyes. Waving a hand she laughed brokenly, shaking her head slightly.
"Oh yeah, fine... Just let me... get my breath... back..." Sighing I left her to wheeze herself back into existence as I looked out the window, listening to the shuffles of the people in the backseat. Everyone was quiet, thinking about the Behemoth King that had shown up in the most unlikely of places. I shifted, uncomfortable. Perhaps everyone would be more at ease if it wasn't so quiet in the car…
I was going to turn on the radio.
Leaning forward I felt everyone's eyes snap onto me. 'Gees, it's like I'm something you look at in a zoo...' I thought to myself. Putting my finger on the power button I just figured I'd turn it onto a nice, peaceful station-
BA, BABABA-BOOM! NANANA-KOOM! BOOM-BA-NA-KA-CHOOOOOOMM!"
The car jerked suddenly to the right and everyone was thrown to the left side of the car, hands going up to their ears as they tried to get rid of the loud, screeching noise. Wakka actually began to scream as Auron tried jerking the car back on track, but the blitzer was silenced quickly as a slap louder then the raging music connected with his skin.
Fumbling for the power button I managed to squish Rikku in the process, hearing her painful moan emanate from under me. 'What kind of music does my mom listen to!?' I thought to myself wildly, trying not to hurt Rikku anymore then I already had. Hitting the button just as Auron was able to get the car back on track we all sighed in collective relief, ears ringing from the awful noise.
Leaning forward I let Rikku breathe, and Wakka's whimpers continued from behind my seat. Turning around I saw a whole hand mark right over the middle of his face, one of his eyes shut painfully where a fingernail had gotten involved. Grimacing I looked at the others, who had taken up staring at me.
"What was that?" Lulu spat, sitting with her arms crossed. I shrugged and looked at them all, not sure what to say.
"Well, it was music-"
"Music? You call that music!?" I looked over at a red-faced Tidus, who was puffing heavily from under Yuna. Smiling in embarrassment I shrugged again, turning back into my seat.
When would we get home?
"Emily? Zachary? Kimahri can not find."
Padding along the hallway Kimahri sniffed the air for a sign of them, face stoic as usual. Flicking his tail he gave another large sniff, but came up with nothing. After an hour and a half of hiding, Kimahri wasn't sure if Emily and Zach were looking for him anymore. But he had waited it out, and eventually the two shaking humans had found his hiding place. They had congratulated him on hiding for so long, and asked him if he would like to play a 'special hide and go seek' game.
The only thing that had changed was that he could only search for them upstairs, and that he had to plug his ears and count to 1,000 instead of just 50. He had agreed.
Now he wasn't so sure if that had been such a good idea.
After counting (which had taken quite a while since he was a little rusty on chanting anything over 500) he had found that an odd sort of flower-like smell had blossomed in the air. What was worse was that he couldn't smell the two young humans anywhere, and he had looked in every hiding space he knew of at least twice.
He had even attempted his smile, which he was sure the two children loved, trying his best to lure them out of their hiding spot. But still the humans stayed hidden.
Sitting down cross-legged at the top of the stairs he glanced downward, tempted to search the bottom floor too. But, he had promised that he wouldn't, and so he sniffed at the air again, attempting to mentally follow the flower-like scent.
He noticed dully that it seemed to stream down the stairs and through the front door, which was opened just a crack. It was like whatever had been wearing the scent had went down the stairs and out the door. But he couldn't be sure because the cool air that was filtering into the house was distorting the smell. He figured it was probably a coincidence, and stood up one more time.
"Maybe Kimahri miss spot." Kimahri said to himself, walking down the hall and into the room where all the weapons were piled. And so he started his search again, determined to find the two children that were hiding so very well.
"Wait, Zach, turn that back for a second!"
Grabbing the TV remote Emily huddled on the step, switching backwards two channels. Scowling at her little brother's protests she held the remote out of his reach, smirking at him. It was her idea, of course, to put on all the perfume and walk out the door and into the garage. They had everything they needed in there, including food and a TV. If they were lucky, the large cat would stay upstairs until he found them.
Which would be never, of course.
Gazing intently at the TV the two siblings watched as the breaking news anchor began telling what had happened at a certain mall. And, as the story continued, both Emily and Zach began to feel dread in the pit of their stomachs.
"This is Jim Anderson reporting live for ABC news. According to witnesses, tragedy struck at the Mall of America earlier today. A large animal, which many people are calling a sort of 'monster' went on a rampage in the innermost shopping center. No one is sure how this animal may have gotten into the mall. Kate has the exclusive report."
"Thank you Jim. Now, from what our correspondents have been able to gather, no one is quite sure where this animal came from, nor what type of creature it actually was. Witnesses all agree, however, that the creature was large, it was angry, and it was probably infected with rabies, given its actions. Three people have been declared dead, and a few more have yet to be found. Police squads were called on scene, and from what we know right now, the animal has been taken care of. An odd story at the very least, wouldn't you say, Jim?"
"Yes it is. We will most certainly be going into further detail as more information is uncovered. Thank you, Kate."
The TV then went black as Emily switched it off, shaking. Looking at each other Emily and Zach both swallowed, hugging their knees to their chest.
"Is Sara okay, Emily?" Zach said shakily, looking at her with tear-filled eyes. But Emily couldn't answer, because she didn't know herself.
They would just have to wait and see.
- - - - -
Don't worry Emily, Zach! Your sister is okay! But now it seems we have even bigger problems! Will I be able to get these people back into their game before more things happen? Will Kimahri figure out where his hide and go seek players went? Will Lulu ever stop slapping Wakka? You're just going to have to wait until the next chapter to find out!