Disclaimer: Hi! This is Gracie! I've locked Hawklover90 out of the house so I can tell you she doesn't own The Nightmare Before Christmas.
LEMMIE BACK IN, YA LOUSY--!!!
Grace: Language, Hawky. This fic israted K+. Anyway, she doesn't or ever will own The Nightmare Before Christmas. That belongs to Mr. Burton. I am the unfortunate product of her warped little mind…Oh, and Edmond and Hunch don't belong to her either. They belong to a guy named Don Bluth. Probably should've mentioned that earlier, but she was either too lazy or in denial…I'd go with too lazy.
Grace: Ah, you'll get over it. Enjoy!
Chapter 2: Doorways
Grace's first impulse was to call out for help. Then she remembered Hunch.
'Stupid bird brain,' she fumed inwardly. She then let out a quiet, frustrated sigh. "Who am I kidding, stupid me! Stupid, stupid, STUPID!!!"
Momentarily forgetting (and not really caring) where she was or the possible danger she could run into, Grace plopped down on the ground, softly grumbling a few choice words for her foolishness, many of which she was pretty sure Robin, Marian, and Little John would put soap in her mouth if she ever said them out loud.
"I should've guessed something was wrong," she grumbled. "I mean, come on! What kind of wind blows a hat like mine this far?! It's not even possible! And exactly how many times has Basil told me? I have a mind, USE IT!! If something doesn't seem right, it's either a trap or in my case, warped reality. Okay, that last part might've been a joke, but still…ARGH!! DAMMIT!"
Her profane scream of frustration echoed throughout the wooded area. The silence that followed was quickly broken by a sound in the woods.
'Speaking of using my head, I'd better move and use it to find a way outta here,' she quickly scampered to her feet, snatching up her fallen flashlight. 'Little coward's probably getting his uncle.'
Keeping her flashlight on, Grace looked around in all directions. "Okay. Use my head to find out wherever here is, then leave."
She began to walk deeper into the trees, unknowingly farther away from the street.
What was a few minutes felt like a very long time to the six-year-old. Grace had given up on walking during that time, telling herself running would get her out of the woods faster. She ran farther into the forest, looking for a way out. As much as she tried to fight it, a sense of panic began to creep into her thoughts.
Which way should she go?
Her mind was so focused on finding a way out, she finally stopped running when she tripped on a root and fell face first to the ground, landing with a grunt. She lay sprawled out on her stomach for a moment, her face hidden in the dirt as she got her wits back. Then, very carefully, Grace lifted her head from the ground and pushed herself up until she was on her knees and elbows.
The fall wasn't that painful, but it had to be said. Her hands were scraped and dirty, her face was grubby, her costume had dirt all over the front, and one of her stockings was torn, revealing a scraped knee. Other than those minor injuries, she was fine. By some odd miracle, her hat stayed on her head during the fall.
'Maybe I should just go home the usual way,' Grace thought with a sigh. 'As much as I like being in new and strange places and having adventures, I think I've had quite enough for tonig…Where's my flashlight?'
Grace had reached for her flashlight before noticing it was missing. Forcing herself to stay calm, the six-year-old looked around her. Almost immediately, a glint in front of her caught her eye.
Looking up, Grace's eyes grew wide with terror, her heart nearly coming to a stand-still.
She found her flashlight. Or to be more precise, what was left of it. During the fall, the device had flown from her hands and smashed into a tree.
Fearing the worst, she threw her arms over her head and shut her eyes tightly, waiting for the sound of wings flapping and the feeling of talons sinking into her small arms and shoulders.
She didn't know how long she kept still and held her breath, but Grace couldn't stay curled up like this forever. Her legs and left side were starting to cramp. Cautiously opening one eye, Grace took a look at her surroundings. The full moon emerged from behind the clouds, casting its glow over the area and giving the small witch some light to see.
There was nothing. There were only trees and no grass.
And no owls.
'What? Where are they?' she thought. 'My flashlight's broken an' I'm by myself. I'm a perfect target.'
Slowly standing, the witch viewed the woods around her with curiosity. Some of the trees in this forest were quite thin and the grass wasn't the only missing greenery in the area. There were no bushes or leaves on the ground or trees.
"If it wasn't for the trees, I wouldn've thought of this as a forest." She said to herself, deeming it safe enough to talk.
In front of Grace were seven thick trees in a circle. Before she can take in anymore of the area, her hat suddenly flew over to the circle. Still on her guard, the girl reached toward her belt and pulled out a small dagger.
Even though she was only a child, Grace had gotten herself into situations that would have normally ended her young life if she didn't have her powers. Because this, one of her guardians gave her a knife two months earlier, after pounding how to use it for defense only and not to use it unless necessary into her head.
Holding the small blade up, Grace scanned all around for anything that might have knocked her hat off. After a moment, she lowered her hand, now convinced it was just the wind.
"What is with this bloody wind anyway? It's usually not this strong in this world."
Putting the thought aside for now, Grace sheathed her dagger and ran after her hat, spotting it resting at the base of one of the wider trees. 'There you are,' she thought. 'I wonder if Da…Robin's hat ever gives him this kind of- -What in the world. . .?'
There were pictures on the trees with small objects at the bases.
"What is this?"
A heart, a four leaf clover, a painted egg, a turkey, a decorated tree, a jack-o-lantern, and a firecracker was carved and painted on one tree each. A small grin crept across her face as she pointed to each one. "Valintine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, and the Fourth of July. . . these're all holiday pictures. But who put them here? Maybe I'm in a different world again. Oh right, my hat."
The hat landed at the base of one of the trees. Grace picked it up and was about to put it back on before she nearly let out a yell of surprise. The eerie grin of the jack-o-lantern was only mere inches away from her scarred face.
'Okay, calm down, Gracie. It's just a painting.'
Trying to slow her already racing heart, the six year old took a better look at the painted tree.
The nose seemed a bit. . .off. It was sticking out like a door handle. Now that she thought about it, Grace took a closer look at the other trees. They all had the same thing. "These are all doors. But to where?" On a whim, Grace grabbed the nose and pulled.
The 'painting' swung open much to the child's shock and delight. Curiousity overruling common sense again, Grace leaned into the opening and looked around. Much to her disappointment, there was nothing.
Grace sighed and placed her hat back on her head, figuring she needed to head back anyway. She was about to walk away when she noticed the door was still open.
"I guess I should close that." She reasoned. Grabbing the door handle, the girl decided to look through it again, just in case she missed something. Grace must have leaned too far because the next thing she knew, her hand slipped from the wooden knob as she was free-falling into the darkness.
Her screams echoed briefly through the empty woods before fading into the night. With no gust of wind or a slight breeze, the jack-o-lantern door slammed shut.
Sorry for the delays folks.
Grace: 'Sorry'?!? Now you have me fallin' through some dark pit to God-knows-where!! If you're trying to get me to earn the 'World's Most Traumatic Childhood' award, you're doing a hell of a job!
Get over it, there are people who have it worse. And watch your mouth! This is a K+ fic!
Grace: Right. 'K+' meaning I can swear a little bit. As long as we both know the limits.
Good. Now could you do me a favor and…
Grace: Yeah, yeah. Please chick the li'l green button right there and give us a review. Reviews make Hawky over there happy and hopefully get me through this mess faster. In other words, up-date quicker.
If I can find the time to between my job and other stories.
Grace: You'd better!
I make no promises.
Grace: How'd you get back inside, anyway?
Grace: Where were your keys this time?
Grace: What was that?
Grace: (stares at Hawklover for a moment) I'm telling the others.
You do an' Bart finds out who ratted him out about the bridge incident.
Grace: You wouldn't dare.
Both: Until next time, everyone!