Chapter Eighteen: The Silver Pointy Scissors

"Recalculating," the mechanical woman's voice said for the millionth time as Meggie, Mo, Allie and Dustfinger stared at Capricorn's fortress in wonder. "Recalculating."

"Would you shut up!" Allie finally screamed. If Allie were a cartoon, her hair would have been in flames from her anger, Meggie thought to herself.

"Sooooo." Meggie dragged out the word a few minutes later after Allie had ripped out the GPS in a fit of rage. "How the hell do we get in?"

"We could try the Bubbalicious gum and Nerds plan?" Allie offered, a hopeful look in her eyes. Meggie gave her the stink-eye. "Or not."

"We need an awesomely amazing plan that will make sure we don't get caught and we can rescue Bridget and Emma. We're going up against a mad man here and I don't think gum and candy will help in any way, shape, or form. We need to work together! We need to be a team!" Meggie said, inspiration swelling inside her. She looked around at the hopeful face of Allie, the dazed face of Mo, and the skeptical face of Dustfinger.

Which pretty much summed up all of their personalities as a whole.

"That's very inspirational and all," Dustfinger mumbled, producing a match from his pocket and lighting it spontaneously, staring at the flame with little interest, "but we still don't have a plan, so, unless you can think of one—"

"Well, I don't see you coming up with any, fat ass!" Meggie shot back at him. "You just sit there and watch fire! What the hell's so damn interesting about—"

"FIRE!"

The command rang clear in the open air, and they all had about .5 seconds to duck for cover before an array of bullets pelted from all sides around them. Meggie screamed and launched herself under one of the seats, too terrified to look up and see what everyone else was doing. She cowered, whimpering, as gunshots were fired all around.

"Stop!"

That was the same voice. Meggie could have sworn it sounded slightly familiar.

"Goddamnit, Cockerel, you're the shittiest sniper I've ever seen," the familiar voice continued. "I mean, I don't really understand these 'gun' contraptions either, but they'll a lot more convenient than killing with my knife, so learn how to fucking shoot for Christ's sake. And Flatnose, does your deformed face affect your eyesight, or something? I doubt we even shot any of them."

"Well, let's go check," a nasally voice suggested. Meggie found that one vaguely familiar as well. Like from some far off memory, or a scattered dream...

Oh wait, that was a Kingdom Hearts reference.

Meggie heard the heavy pounding of feet as the man who spoke and his two accomplices ran after him. When they got to the truck, which was now covered with bullet holes, Meggie noticed, they wrenched the doors open and peered inside. Meggie had to hold back her gasp. The nasally voice she remembered, it was the voice of that creep who came into her room and tried to kidnap her. The same douchebag that kidnapped Bridget and Emma.

"AHHHHHHHHHH!" The battle cry was out of Meggie before she could register what she was doing. She flung herself from her hiding place under the truck seats and football tackled the man. He easily toppled over from the unexpected weight of Meggie. He was also very scrawny and not broad sholdered at all. Meggie was positive that if he turned around he would have looked like a woman.

"How dare you steal my friends!" Meggie shouted, emphasizing each word with a punch to the man's face. "You no good son of a—" She was cut off as a pair of big, masculine hands grabbed her around the waist and pulled her off of the feminine man. Meggie turned to look at the creep who had grabbed her. "AH!" The scream was out of her before she could think of her manners. But the man was so goddamn ugly! His left eye was drooping, his nose was smashed onto his face like a frying pan had hit him there a few hundred times and his mouth was crooked into a perpetual grimace.

"Hello, girlie!" the scary man sneered. He dragged her away from the truck and tied a scarf around her eyes. Meggie was engulfed in darkness.

"What's this we have here?" A new voice asked, as Meggie was finally tossed down on hardwood floors. For the past ten minutes Meggie had been thrown over the scary man's—whose name was actually Flatnose(how fitting)—shoulder and carried away from the truck and into the fortress, most likely. Meggie's throat was now sore because she had been screaming insults and obscenities at Flatnose.

"I don't know who the fuck you are, but let me go this fucking instant!" Meggie heard Allie scream and Meggie was filled with a sense of relief. At least Allie was with her. Before Meggie could agree with Allie and demand to be let go, the scarf was ripped from Meggie's eyes and she had to blink against the sudden bright light.

She saw... (INSERT DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CAPRICORN HERE). *

"Now why would I let you go?" the man mused, making a subtle gesture to Flatnose, who moved to bar the door behind them-the only exit that Meggie could see in the large room. Allie spit at the man, and was promptly punched in the stomach by one of the other random men standing guard. Meggie was surprised none of the mounds of food that girl must have had packed in her stomach came up.

"Why are you here?" the mystery man—though Meggie could now tentatively identify him as Capricorn—continued.

"Why are we here?" Meggie barked at him. "Why do you think we're here, you big pompous bald-"

She was elbowed in the throat before she could even finish her sentence, which left her choking and gasping. Which was just as well for Allie, who suddenly smiled and shot Meggie a warning glance. "I think there's been some mistake," she began, in a tone Meggie recognized from when she fooled the cop who pulled them over into thinking she and Mo were getting married. "Are you Capricorn?"

"Yes, I am," Capricorn stated proudly, smiling (a sight so creepy that Meggie only prayed that small children never had to see it).

"Oh!" A Cheshire cat grin broke out on Allie's face. "Well in that case, I'm terribly sorry for our rudeness, sir! You see, we were sent here to help you with... uhm..." She trailed off, faltering, probably realizing she had no idea what Capricorn would need help with. "Well, let's just say we specialize in your personal needs."

That sounded so perverted, Meggie had no idea what to make of it. She cast a horrified glance at Allie, who offered a meek shrug. Capricorn, however, looked ecstatic. "Oh! I know exactly what you mean! I've been waiting for you for quite some time now, you know." He winked at them.

Meggie glanced sidelong at Allie with a wide-eyed look that said both 'what the fuck do we do now?' and 'why the fuck did you get us into this mess?'

Duplicate messages sent via glances. It was a talent.

"Well, we're here now,"Allie said, developing a sultry tone. Meggie shot her another knock-off-with-the-sexual-tone-I-don't-wanna-be-this-guy's-sex-slave look. "Sorry to keep you waiting," Allie finished, obviously ignoring Meggie's look.

"Thank God! My wardrobe is in dire need of a pick me up!" Capricorn said, crossing his legs in a girly fashion. "All I have are black and whites and I was thinking of something purple maybe. With sequins or sparkles. I wanna jazz up my wardrobe!" A million emotions shot through Meggie at once, but the most prominent one was relief. She thanked the lucky stars that this Capricorn did not want Allie and her for their bodies so he could violate them. That would have called for some serious ninja skills to get them out of.

"Of course!" Meggie cut in before Allie could say anything. "Of course we're here to help with your clothes. We're fashion designers! Could you not tell from our—" Meggie looked down at her outfit, only to remember she was still in the hooker outfit used to fool Alphonzo Glen. She looked over at Allie, and saw that Allie was looking at her clothes in disgust too. "—fabulous outfits," Meggie finished weakly.

"Your outfits are darling! But, I was hoping for something more—" Capricorn was cut off as the doors in the back of the room swung open and Mo and Dustfinger were brought in, still in their pimp getup. Capricorn's eyes lit up when he saw Mo and Dustfinger. "Something more like that!" He pointed to the two men and jumped out of his chair, striding towards them and examining their clothes. "These are designers like you?"

"Yes!" Allie said, grabbing ahold of the line Capricorn just threw her. "Of course. I am...Tanisha, and this is... Gretchen," she pointed to Meggie. "This is... Andre." She gestered towards Dustfinger, then pointed at Mo. "And he is...Viktor. We are the... Designing Duo plus two!"

"Heh, what are you talking about, Allieleaf?" Mo piped up. "No we're—" Before he could finish, Dustfinger jabbed him in the ribs, probably with a bit more force than necessary. "Ah—oww, uh, I mean—I HAVE A PASSION FOR FASHION!"

"Yes, I always wanted to be gay," Dustfinger mumbled inwardly.

"Well that's just splendid!" Capricorn chirped, not hearing or otherwise ignoring Dustfinger's comment. "You can start immediately! Mortola show them to the designer's rooms." He gestured to an old, wrinkled, disgusting old lady with a perpetual frown on her face.

"She's hot," Mo whispered. Meggie, Allie, and Dustfinger turned to stare at him.

Luckily, neither Capricorn nor Mortola heard this, and the old lady shuffled away, to which they all presumed they should follow. Meggie, however, couldn't stop staring at Mo, who was grinning cheekily after Mortola. She really, really didn't understand her father.

"I expect a full-out fashion show when you get back!" Capricorn called after them as they exited the room. "You all take as long as you need to make me some fabulous new sequin robes!"

Mortola led them to an enormous room laden with all sorts of cloth, fabric, sewing kits, mannequins, tables, paper, and anything anyone needed to design and create articles of clothing. There was another room adjoined to it; from what Meggie could see, it only contained beds. "Don't take too long," Mortola told them bitterly, before slamming the door on them.

"That was a close one," Allie breathed immediately, setting herself down in one of the 'designer's chairs.'

"I need to come up with a better disguise," Dustfinger blurted. "Capricorn knows who I am, I'm really surprised he didn't recognize me. Does anyone have Mederma?"

"Mederma?" Meggie questioned, raising an eyebrow. "You mean like for scars and stretch marks and that kind of thing? Ew, Dusty, do you have nasty stretch marks?"

Dustfinger scowled. "Can men even get those?"

"Sure they can!" Mo piped up cheerfully. Everyone just looked at him.

"Anyway," Meggie said, changing the subject. "How the hell are we supposed to make sequin robes for this Capricorn dude? None of us know how to sew or any of that shit."

"Where's Rumplestiltskin when you need him?" Allie joked. She was met by three blank stares. "I thought it was funny!" There was a knock at the door and Capricorn's head popped in.

"Hello, sorry to disturb you, but is there anything you might need to help you with designing the clothes? Assistants, a personal cook, a comedian..." Capricorn was still prattling on about things he could get for the Designing Duo plus two when Meggie had a brilliant idea.

"Actually, we could use two assistants," she said. "Preferably two girls around the ages of twelve. Maybe slightly annoying and with the names-oh I don't know-Bridget and Emma?" Meggie could practically hear the eyeroll she got from Dustfinger, and Allie kicked him in the back of the shins, probably thinking they'd get caught.

"Oh!" Capricorn sang. "We do have two annoying girls named Bridget and Emma in the cells. I'll send Basta to get them for you!" He turned his head towards the door and screamed, "BASTA! Get those annoying bitches out of the cell and bring them up here. They will be used as assistants for the Designing Duo plus two!" He turned back around and smiled at the four of them. When his eyes met Dustfinger's, his eyes widened. Meggie turned towards Dustfinger who was most likely wishing he had used Mederma more often when Capricorn spoke, "My God! It can't be. You look exactly like Paul Bettany!"

There was an audible sigh throughout the room.

"Do you get that a lot?" Capricorn asked, his eyes still fixed on Dustfinger.

"Uh...not really. I usually get George Clooney or Brad Pitt," Dustfinger said, a smirk upon his scarred and not-look-alike George Clooney face.

"Oooookay, Du—er, Andre," Allie drawled. "Sure you do."

Dustfinger frowned at her, but Capricorn grinned and winked. "I can see why they would say that," he purred, flirtatiously. Dustfinger gawked at him, but before either of them could say any more Capricorn suddenly turned. "Oh, Basta's here with your assistants!"

"Get in there, skanks," grumbled Basta's voice, and Bridget and Emma were suddenly shoved into the door, which slammed shut behind them. Their clothes were tattered and they looked a bit thin, but not scarily so. Their hair was also mussed and disheveled, with pieces of hay in it, as if they had been sleeping in a barn.

There was a few stretched out moments of silence, and then Meggie, Bridget, and Emma all let out high-pitched shrieks of joy simultaneously. Meggie bounded over to her friends and trapped them both in an unescapable death glomp. "I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU GUYS IN FOREVER!" she screamed. Bridget and Emma were both too busy being suffocated to answer.

After a minute of squeezing her friends to death, Meggie released them and stepped back, grinning. "We got here as fast as we could," she told them, grinning.

"Yeah, I'll say," Bridget murmured, rubbing her abused neck. "How is it that it took you guys like three fucking months to get to Elinor's, but you got here in less than a day?"

"Logic flaw!" Emma sang.

"Yeah, well, no one fucking asked you!" Dustfinger spat, giving Bridget and Emma the stink eye.

"Anyway!" Meggie interrupted, feeling a fight about to break loose. "We're here now and we're gonna save you from this hell hole!"

"Yeah, how do you plan on doing that?" Allie commented, cynically. "We're supposed to design sparkly sequin robes for the gay terrorist, not plan an escape!"

"Would you prefer to make the clothes?" Meggie asked sarcastically, giving Allie a cold look. "We have three choices—one: we don't make the clothes and Capricorn kills us; two: we do make the clothes and Capricorn kills us because we are no longer useful; or three: we escape and don't die. I like plan three, what about you?"

"I like plan two!" Mo chimed in. "Let's make sparkly clothes!" Dustfinger smacked him and he began to cry.

"I think we can all agree that plan three is the best," Dustfinger remarked dryly, shooting the sobbing Mo a scorching glare. "But how are we supposed to escape? Especially without any of your precious bubble gum or Nerds..."

"We might not have any of that," Allie piped up, "but we do have a lot of equipment here we could use." She swept her eyes over the table in front of them, laden with designing tools.

"Right," Dustfinger snorted. "What are we supposed to do? Stab him with a sewing needle?"

"Shut up," Allie snapped at him. "Like you could come up with any better ideas."

"Better no ideas at all than dumbass ideas," he shot back.

Their bickering continued for a good ten minutes, with Meggie glancing around irritably and Mo continuing to cry. Heaven knows what the reason was anymore. Meggie doubted Mo even remembered why he was crying.

"Hey!" she yelled, finally, loud enough for Allie, Dustfinger, and even Mo to shut up and look over to her. "I have an idea. Why don't we just wait until he opens the door, and then we push him out of the way and make a run for it?"

They were all quiet, looking around at each other as though this plainly simple idea had never occurred to them. Dustfinger was the first to speak. "That might just be stupid enough to work."

"Of course it's stupid enough to work!" Bridget said, faithfully defending her friend.

"Yeah, it's so stupid, Capricorn wouldn't even think that we would be stupid enough to think it!" Emma added, shooting a smile at Meggie. "Good job, Megster!" For some reason, hearing that her idea was so stupid, Meggie didn't feel good.

"Now, we have to time this perfectly! Take him completley off guard!" Meggie said, and then for the next three hours, twenty-eight minutes and fifteen seconds, Meggie, Dustfinger, Allie, Mo, Bridget and Emma sat huddled around the designing table strategizing their perfect escape plan. Bridget and Emma helped them form a map of the fortress. They tried their best to make a perfect and accurate map, but they had only been in the cells and the Meggie, Dustfinger, Mo, and Allie had been blindfolded when they were brought in.

"This is a fool-proof plan!" Meggie exclaimed, leaning back in her chair and admiring their map that Mo had drawn. They used a piece of purple cloth to draw on and in the middle was a giant X to show where they were. Then there were tiny squiggly lines to represent the hallways. Mo was not the artistic one, but what are you gonna do about that?

"We're the fools who are trying to use it," Dustfinger mumbled, pessimistically. Around the two hour mark, Dustfinger had gone from thinking the plan would work to thinking they would end up dead. "We're all gonna die!"

"Shut up, skank!" Bridget snapped, glaring at him.

Dustfinger rolled his eyes. "That doesn't even make any sense. I preferred you two when the authoresses constantly forgot about you."

"Like five minutes ago?" Emma chimed in. There was a distinct crack to be heard in the background, faintly reminiscent of the sound of the fourth wall breaking, but they were all too used to that sound to really register it by now.

"Yeah, whatever." Dustfinger sighed, pulling out a match and striking it, staring boredly at the flame that erupted. "Why don't I just burn the place down?"

"You can do that once we use our ingenious plan to escape," Meggie assured him, smiling.

"Seriously, Dustfinger, stop being such a Debbie Downer." Allie was standing and hovering around the designer tables, sorting through all the sorts of fabric and cloth. "You know, I could make a really nice dress out of this..."

"Now isn't the time to worry about stupid things like dresses!" Dustfinger snapped at her.

"Oh? Why not? I mean, since according to you we're all going to die anyway..."

"So!" Meggie jumped in, before Dustfinger could retort and the two could start fighting again. Honestly, for whatever reason they just couldn't stop arguing.

Maybe it was sexual tension.

Ew.

Meggie was about to continue when Mo suddenly piped up. "Dusteh, Allieleaf ... this is a crucial time in our journey, the point where no matter what way you look at it, our actions boil down to life and death. Our fate rests in our own hands now, and it's up to us to act upon that in such a way that will save us from a horrifying doom. Even the slightest mistake and everything we have worked on for the past three hours, thirty-five minutes and twenty-two seconds will have all gone to waste. Not only that, but our lives will as well. It seems foolish to be fighting amongst ourselves when, in the end, we are all we have in the hopes of making it out alive."

During the next three minutes in which everyone stared at Mo, Meggie couldn't help but wonder if this was a little too repetitive. Mo does something really stupid, he gets hit. Mo says something smart, and everyone stares him into oblivion for the next couple of minutes before he does something stupid again. It's like everyone was afraid the world would end if Mo never reverted back to his dumbass self.

Which is why she decided to break the monotony by saying, "Mo, I really can't muster up enough patience to be shocked by what you just said. At least not at the moment. So for now I'm just going to say that I agree, and we should all work together to get the fuck out of here." Beaming, she glanced around at her companions. "Who's with me?"

"Me!" Evidently the trance that bound them to stare at Mo was broken, because Emma's hand shot up in the air, accompanied by a grin.

"Oh, me too!" Bridget contributed. "Let's kick this Capricorn dude's fugly ass!" She and Emma exchanged a high five, and Meggie grinned at them. Even with Dustfinger being a complete buzzkill, they had more than enough optimism in her enthusiastic friends.

Their buzz was broken as the door tentatively opened and Capricorn stuck his bald head in the door.

"Excuse me, Designing Duo plus two. But I was wondering if you could dress this horrid boy. Our reader, Darius, read him out instead of the gold I wanted. And to be truthful I can't have someone walking around with such a horrible sense of fashion," Capricorn said, before shoving a boy into the room. The boy was around Meggie's age, maybe a few years older, with dark skin and long ratty hair and torn clothes. "Oh, and here's an extra pair of scissors to cut the cloth." As Capricorn smiled at them, the door wide open, Meggie saw this as their chance to escape.

"NOW! IE IE IE YA YA IE YA IE!" Meggie shouted, the Native American battle cry ringing loudly throughout the tiny room. She ran forward and tackled Capricorn, leaving the doorframe wide open for the rest of the group to run through. Meggie noticed that the weird dirty book boy ran with them.

"Get them!" Capricorn shouted, as he laid lying on the floor, the scissors still in his hand. Meggie, who was behind the group, ran past all of the others until she was in the lead. Bridget and Emma by her side. The ran down the hallway, evading Blackjackets and deadends. The pounding of footsteps behind them encouraged them to run faster and before Meggie's eyes she saw her father, Mo, running as fast as he could. Huffing and puffing, sweat gathering around the neck of his shirt and pitters forming under his arms.

How is he sweating that much? We've been running for two minutes, Meggie thought.

"Stop them!" The nasty voice of Basta came from behind. Meggie turned around, only to regret it a second later. At least twenty Blackjackets were following them. Capricorn and Basta in the lead, both with a crazed pyscho look on their faces.

"In here!" Mo shouted, stopping in front of a corridor with only one door. Mo, Allie, Dustfinger, Meggie and the book boy ran in. Meggie slammed the door shut, only to hear indignant voices and fist banging on the door. Oops. Forgot Bridget and Emma. Meggie let them in with a sheepish smile. Emma flipped her off.

There in the middle of the barren room, was a tall pedestal, with a book on top. There was one light in the entire room, shining directly over the book. The books title: Inkheart. Mo developed a serious face and turned towards Dustfinger.

"Dustfinger, if you want, I can read you back," Mo said, all jokes and dumbassness aside. "I will read you back into the Inkworld if you want. You can be back with Roxane, your wife, and your kids. You will never have to worry about Meggie or Allie or Andy or Meggie's bitchy friends again. I can read you back if you want me too. I will read you back, I promise!"

Meggie looked over at Dustfinger, anticipating his reply to Mo's determined and heartfelt speech. Dustfinger took a long pause, thinking over his options and knowing what was the right thing to do. He knew where he wanted and needed to be.

After what seemed like hours of silence—albeit the shouting and pounding of feet outside of the door—Dustfinger looked directly at Mo, holding his gaze steadily with a perfectly serious face.

"Nah. I like it here. I could care less about that bitch," he announced flippantly, rolling his eyes before tossing a lit match forward. Mo had just enough time to release his hold on the book before Inkheart burst into flames. Meggie watched fascinatedly at the black and orange ripples consuming the yellowed paper.

"So that's it?" Allie shrieked. "This entire stupid adventure was about trying to find this book, and the only reason Dustfinger was ever even here was to get read back into it, and now that we finally found it he lights it on fire?"

"Are you surprised?" Meggie asked with a wry smile. "All things considered, that's probably the most reasonable thing I've heard in a while."

If Allie had anything to say to that, she never got the chance, for at that exact moment the door burst open and half a dozen Blackjackets piled in, successfully blocking the doorway and any chance they had to escape. Emma, Bridget, and Meggie all screamed and clung to each other at the sight of their impending doom.

Luckily for them, however, the sight of the (presumably) last remaining copy of Inkheart going up in flames was enough to send every single Blackjacket into a shocked stupor. Meggie took this opportunity and snatched both of her friends' hands before dashing forward, pushing swiftly past the paralyzed men. Mo, Allie, Dustfinger, and the random Indian boy followed behind her as she burst into the corridor, making a sharp turn and running for dear life.

All prior knowledge Meggie had of the inner layout and blueprints of Capricorn's fortress that she had studied for three hours was entirely wiped from her mind as she ran, blindly, still dragging Bridget and Emma along behind her.

"What way should we go?" Meggie screamed, fisting her hands in her hair, as the group came to a stop in (presumably) the middle of the fortress. They were standing in a circular hall with different hallways sprouting off in each direction.

"THAT WAY!" Mo shouted, pointing in front of him then charging into the hallway, blindly.

"I guess we should follow him," Meggie said, dejectedly, though the thought of losing Mo in the maze of hallways did sound appealing. The sound of feet stampeding towards them sent the others into action following Mo at a full sprint until the caught up with him.

The hallway ended in the kitchen. There were still kitchenmaids in there cleaning up and preparing food. Meggie grabbed the first thing she saw, a huge butcher knife.

"Everyone stay calm! We are just passing through and intend to mean you no harm. Just let us go and we won't hurt you!" Meggie shouted, pointing the knife in random women's faces.

One woman in particular, who Meggie would realize much later looked peculiarly similar to her, stepped forward. Meggie jabbed the knife in her direction threateningly, but she seemed undeterred. She opened her mouth, then took a pad of paper seemingly out of nowhere and scribbled hastily on it. When she turned it to Meggie, it read 'TAKE ME WITH YOU.'

"Hell no, bitch!" Meggie snapped back at her. "We have enough random people following us without you! If you wanna leave, do it on your own time!" She really didn't know why she was being so mean to this lady. Maybe it was because she didn't even have the courtesy to talk to them and instead wrote everything down. What a jerk.

The mystery woman's eyes widened, and she began to scribble something else down. Meggie watched, warily, as the letters formed 'I'M YOUR M—'

But whatever the seemingly mute woman was going to say, Meggie would never know, for at that exact moment Allie yanked the knife from her hand and drove it straight through the woman's stomach. "She's wasting too much time!" Allie yelled, pointing back to where a gang of Blackjackets was almost upon them.

As Allie pulled the knife roughly out of her stomach, the woman made a strange gurgling sound—which was, come to think of it, the only audible sound she uttered—before collapsing on the floor. Blood spurted in all directions. Meggie was wholly undeterred; after all, this wouldn't be the first time she and Allie had killed someone.

"Let's go!" Allie's hand snatched Meggie's wrist, and they flew to the exit, past all of the shrieking kitchen maids, and into freedom.

Meggie wrenched out of Allie's grip and pelted as fast as she could into the surrounding trees, the sound of Blackjackets behind them growing louder and louder. She heard a high-pitched battle cry and turned just in time to see Allie launch the kitchen knife through the air, where it landed directly into the chest of the skinny feminine-looking Blackjacket. With a scream he fell, and all the other Blackjackets paused, appearing momentarily uncertain.

"Run for it!" Meggie howled to her companions, and then, without bothering to wait around for them to follow her command, she turned and sprinted as fast as she could away from that shithole.

After what seemed like hours of running but was in reality probably only a few minutes, Meggie's lungs were heaving with effort and she had to stop temporarily. She really needed to get in better shape. Allie, Mo, Dustfinger, Bridget, Emma, and the Indian boy—who she was seriously considering naming Aladdin unless he told her his name sometime soon—gathered around her, all panting for breath.

"You know," Mo breathed, as everyone got their bearings (whatever the hell that meant). "That lady Allieleaf stabbed sure looked familiar!"

"Well, she did look a lot like me," Meggie muttered.

"Hm." Mo had his thinking face on for a moment, which was an odd look for him. "Yeah, I guess that must have been it!"

"Mo, you're an idiot," Dustfinger said, looking Mo up and down like he was something you found on the underside of your shoe. "That bitch was Re—"

"FIRE!" It was the same command that Meggie had heard in the truck, so she knew in a moment it would be a shower of bullets raining upon them. Meggie grabbed Allie and Mo's wrist pulling them far away as the rest of the group followed suit. Allie who suddenly seemed to be in a much better shape than she was in ten minutes ago ran a few feet ahead of the rest of the group before turning around to face them, and run backwards.

"And we're running, and running! Keep up the pace, ladies! Mo get those knees high in the air. Pick up the pace!" she cheered, as if she was teaching an aerobics class and not running for her life. "Who wants to die today? NO ONE! So, let's keep running, and running!"

"Shut up, bitch!" Dustfinger gasped out, sounding like a ninety-year-old smoker who walked up a flight of stairs. He was wheezing a lot more than Meggie was. Allie flipped Dusteh off. As they ran, they got closer and closer to the road and Meggie could start to see Alphonzo Glen's broken truck. She speed up her pace, knowing that the closer they got out of this damned fortress the less likely a Blackjacket would get them.

Meggie could suddenly hear tires squealing and the sound of a honking horn as a gigantic black SUV stopped in front of Meggie and the rest of her companions.

"YOU STOLE MY MONEY!" The words were shouted out of the car, and the voice was very familiar to Meggie. It was like she heard the voice on a voice mail or message machine.

"Mortimer! You and your bratty daughter stole my food, and my money! You used my house and burnt half of my belongings!" A figure emeraged from the SUV, and Meggie gasped at how fat her great-aunt Elinor was. She was really fat. Like six chins fat, and flappy underarms.

"Jesus, she's fat," Allie whispered to Meggie. Meggie stifled her laughter before replying sarcastically, "No, she's just big-boned."

"Mortimer, I want my money—" She was cut off as a meteor shower of bullets came falling from the skies and one hit her through the head. She fell to the ground with a final seize, then was still.

"Did she just die?" Allie asked, confused.

"I think so," Mo replied. "Well, now I don't have to pay her back!"

"DESIGNING DUO PLUS TWO!" A voice shouted from behind. "Get back here!" Meggie saw Capricorn running towards them at full speed, waving the damned scissors above his head.

"GET IN THE CAR! GET IN THE FUCKING CAR!" Dustfinger shouted hopping into the back seat-you know he can't drive-as Allie took the drivers seat (after pushing Elinor's gross corpse out of the way) and Mo took the passenger side. Meggie hopped in the back too, only to be slammed into Dustfinger's side as Emma, Bridget and the Aladdin wannabe hopped in too.

"Start the fucking engine!" Bridget and Emma hissed together, speaking for the first time in a while. They really are forgettable. Allie tried to start the engine, but it kept stalling and Capricorn was gaining on them.

Capricorn was running at full tilt towards the SUV when, out of nowhere, he tripped over his shoes and went falling down. The scissors, the silver pointy scissors, went right into his heart as he fell on the ground and rolled onto his back, designing scissors sticking out of his chest.

"I guess running with scissors is dangerous!" Mo said, wide eyed.

"Wow, three deaths in ten minutes. Must be a new record for the authoresses!" Allie commented, breaking the fourth wall for the first time in this story.

"Allie!" Meggie screamed at her, noticing an army of bewildered Blackjackets standing around Capricorn's body. It was only a matter of time before they stopped being dumbshits and remembered they were supposed to be shooting them. "Fucking drive, bitch! Drive!"

Obediently, Allie slammed on the gas, and the car went flying forward, running straight over Capricorn's corpse and bowling a couple of Blackjackets over in the process. Allie laughed maniacally as a sickening squelching sound was made, and what could only be blood splattered up on the windshield.

Allie was acting so much like a deranged murderer at this point, Meggie was beginning to seriously wonder if she was going to kill them all.

Then again, it's not as if 'deranged murderer' would be the most worrysome title in their group.

They continued driving full-speed down the winding road leading away from Capricorn's fortress, the car silent aside from everyone's heaving breaths.

"Someone farted," Emma announced in a whiny voice.

"Wasn't me," Dustfinger murmured, boredly examining his fingernails.

"We never said it was," Bridget pointed out. "So that proves it was you!"

"It does not, you annoying bitch," Dustfinger snapped back with a cutting glare.

Bridget was about to retort when suddenly Mo, who was always a bit slow on the uptake, raised his hand in the air and emitted a high-pitched "GUILTY!"

"Mo, you disgust me!" Meggie snarled, as the nasty smell of fart hit her nose. "Oh god. Somebody roll down a fucking window!" Allie was quick to follow up on that order.

After the fart outburst, the gang drove in silence, only making the occasional comment on how crowded it was having five people in three seats. Meggie was essentially sitting on Dustfinger's lap, much to his displeasure. And Bridget and Emma were sharing the middle seat, Bridget's legs sitting on Emma's lap. The Aladdin kid sat close to the window, silent.

"Soooo..." Meggie began, drawling the word out. "I think I'm gonna write a story."

"About what?" Allie asked, looking at Meggie in the rearview mirror.

"Our adventures!" Meggie replied.

"That's the gayest thing I have ever heard!" Dustfinger snapped, flicking Meggie in the back of her head like a petulant little brother.

"I think that's a wonderful idea, Maggie!" Mo said, turning around to face her. Meggie rolled her eyes at Mo messing up her name and the manical grin on his face. "I have the gift of reading stories, but writing stories is a kind of magic, too!"

"Mo, stop acting like some fucking poetic genius. We all know you have the brain of a five year old!" Dustfinger spat at him, getting spittle in Meggie's hair. Ew. Dustfinger was not in a good mood.

"Alright, chill," she growled to him, and though he shot her a venomous glare, he did fall silent. "Can we get back to my beautiful story?"

"Whatever you end up doing with it, take us out of it!" Bridget interjected vehemently, flailing her hands as though this was an extremely dire matter. "We don't want to be associated with you freaks."

"Not like it matters," Emma added, rolling her eyes. "You'd probably forget to put us in anyway." Meggie hummed agreeably, and they both glared at her. Then she turned to the unresponsive Indian boy, who continued to stare out the window.

"You," she hissed. He turned abruptly. "I don't know who the fuck you are, Aladdin, but you're going in my story."

The boy quivered, blinked at her, and said in a shaky voice, "My name is Farid."

"Whatever, I'm going to continue to call you Aladdin," Meggie said, waving one hand dismissively. "But for the sake of my story you'll be Farid. And ..." She looked him up and down carefully. "You're kind of cute, so I'll make you my love interest. The heroine's gotta have a love interest, after all."

"Oooh, can I be in the story?" Allie chirped excitedly, a gleeful glint in her eye. "Take my whore of a sister out of it, but keep me in pleeeease!"

Meggie scoffed at her, turning away from 'Aladdin' and commencing to ignore his existence altogether once more. "No thanks, Allie. I don't want to be associated with you."

"I don't really blame you," Dustfinger remarked before Allie could protest. "She kind of seems like a serial killer. You might want to keep your story as PG-rated as possible."

"Fine," Allie huffed. "But if you're going to take me out for the sake of normalcy, you'd better make Mo not act like such a dumbass!" She glanced at said mentally-unstable man beside her, and he offered her a vacant smile, in response to which she shuddered.

"Sounds like a completely different story already," Dustfinger commented snidely. "It'll be like in the first couple of chapters when the authoresses actually tried to make this story semi-serious."

Meggie nodded. "Exactly. Can you blame them? No one would read a cracked-up story like this! Oh, and I guess I'll have to invent an alias for myself, since I don't want to change my name in the story and I don't want everyone to know I'm writing about myself."

"Make it something Italian!" Bridget piped up.

"No, no, not Italian," Emma disagreed. "Make it German! It'll sound more badass that way!"

Before the two could fight, Meggie cut in. "I like the German idea. I'll do that." Emma stuck out her tongue at Bridget, who merely rolled her eyes.

"Plus, you might not want to kill your great-aunt," Dustfinger added. Pause. "Or your mother."

"What?" Meggie asked, whipping her head around to face Dustfinger's scarred face.

"That kitchenmaid Allie shanked was your mother, why else would she look so familiar to you?" Dustfinger said, in a you're-so-dumb-it's-pathetic voice.

"Ohhhhhh...that chick I murdered was your mother," Allie said slowly. "Well, sorry about that. She should have done a better job at conveying the whole 'mother' thing." Before Meggie could reply to Allie, though she would have agreed, there was a rustling from Dustfinger's backpack and a tiny ferret popped out and jumped into Meggie's hands.

"Snowball!" Meggie shouted, cuddling up to her long forgotten ferret.

"You mean Sunshine." Bridget deadpanned.

"Sunshine! I forgot about you!" There was a long moment of silence before Meggie spoke again. "Sorry, Sunny, but you're nixed from the story. We'll keep Gwin in though, he's the best character of us all." Said marten slithered out of Dustfinger's backpack as well, chattering in agreement.

"We're all one big happy family!" Mo threw his arms out, beaming like the complete idiot he was. "And we have a happy ending now!"

"As weird as that is to think about, I guess we do," Dustfinger agreed. "Capricorn and Basta are dead, the rest of the Blackjackets are too stupid to do anything without them, Inkheart's destroyed, and now we can all go and ransack that fat lady's house and live there for the rest of our lives."

"You know," Emma sighed, "I can't help but think that all of this was just really fucking pointless."

"It's fanfiction," Bridget reminded her. "What do you expect?"

Emma smiled a bit. "Touche."

"Well!" Meggie announced loudly, startling everyone. "I'm going to go climb in the backseat that none of you were smart enough to realize was there, and I'm going to start writing this shit as soon as possible. Don't want my memory to fade!"

"Not like it'll even remotely resemble anything that happened to us," Dustfinger murmured wryly as Meggie clambered into the back of the car, stretching herself out on the seats and digging out a random notepad and pen. "Or at least, I hope not."

"Dusty! Since you're living here now you're gonna have to get your license!" Allie giggled, sounding like the twenty-some year-old girl that she was supposed to be, and not the cold-blooded murderer that she was.

"Fuck you, Allie!" Dustfinger snapped.

Smiling blissfully, Meggie tuned them out as she uncapped her pen and opened to a fresh, clean page in her notepad. Where to begin ... well, the beginning was always the best start, she thought, listening to the chatter and light bickering of her carmates in the background.

Without further ado, she lowered the pen to the paper, her tongue caught between her teeth in concentration as she thought back to where this all began. Her memory was hazy at best, but there were some things she could make up. In a small, hurried scribble, she began her tale.

"Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could still hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane . . . ."


A/N: Can you believe it? Eh? EH? Oh, who am I kidding, no one's reading this. Still, to Flicka and I, this is an amazing achievement. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I've never actually finished a story in my life. Hopefully this will inspire me to finish things in the future.

Yes, if you haven't gathered it by now, this is the final chapter of Inksecrets. After nearly four long, grueling years of writing this—and three years of having it on this site—we've finally completed it. We're not entirely sure what we're going to do with our lives now, haha, since our friendship has revolved around this story for so long. We tossed around the idea of a sequel for a bit, but it's still debatable. If we do, though, it probably won't go on this site, since ... well, our fanbase isn't the biggest.

Maybe we'll try a different fandom or something, and hope for more luck. Anyway, to any of you who ARE reading this, thank you for sticking with us through thick and thin—and, more importantly, literate and nonliterate xD—and please, please leave a review to show your appreciation, just as I am taking my time to show my appreciation to you now.

And this is Myst, peacing out, and telling you on behalf of both of us, thank you. Inksecrets will remain in our hearts forever, and we hope it has a lasting effect on you, too. (: