city of Townsville…Buttercup soared through the night sky over the city,
towards the towering monster in the distance.
"Where are the other girls?" she said to herself aloud. "Heh…looks like I'll have to do this by
myself…" She flew into an attack
pattern, circling it around from behind and opening fire with her eyebeams.
monster seemed completely unfazed by the attack, and slammed one of its clawed
hands down. Buttercup barely avoided
it, as it smashed into one of the buildings nearby, completely destroying
it. She quickly flew towards it, ready
to attack by hand, but its other claw had already come about, grabbing her
right out of midair.
Buttercup struggled to free herself, but it was too strong. Watching in horror, the creature lifted her
towards its gaping mouth, lined with razor sharp teeth and dripping with
venom. She panicked, and tried
desperately to break free, but to no avail.
As its teeth started to close towards her, she screamed…
* * *
sat awake suddenly, a scream escaping from her lips. She glanced around in the darkness of the room, and realized
where she was. Oh, wow, she thought. It was only a dream…what a nightmare,
though! She wiped the sweat from
her forehead, and clenched the bed sheets, pulling them back over her
again. She was shaking a little. Oh,
come on, Buttercup, calm down. It didn't actually happen…but…it was so
real…I've never had a dream that was that real before…
cast a glance over at the other girls.
They were still asleep. Well, at least I didn't wake them up,
she thought…although I don't know if I
can get back to sleep myself, now…
Slowly, she closed her eyes once again.
moment, she heard something that caused her eyes to fly open again. Sitting up, she looked over at Blossom, who
was mumbling in her sleep, "…no….gotta stop…can't…no…NOO!!" She sat up suddenly,
sweating and breathing heavily.
Buttercup thought she saw tears in her eyes.
too?" Buttercup asked. Blossom looked
over, and seemed to calm down a little as she realized she had been
dreaming. Buttercup continued, "I had a
nightmare that some giant monster was about to eat me…"
nodded, wiping her eyes, "I-I was trying to stop a plane from crashing in my
dream, but I couldn't make it in time.
Everyone we knew from Townsville was on that plane. I know it was just a bad dream, but…"
was all so real," Blossom said, "I mean, I've had nightmares before. They usually don't bother me…but this…" She shivered, "When I saw that plane hit the
ground and explode, I really thought we'd lost everyone…"
dream felt real, too," Buttercup said, cringing a little, "I could swear I
still feel the claw marks where the monster grabbed me…" She double-checked to make sure that there weren't any claw marks on her, and felt
a little sheepish, since there wasn't.
I guess if we…" Blossom began, but she trailed off as she noticed that Bubbles
was mumbling softly in her sleep. An
instant later, she suddenly stirred, frantically waving her arms and legs
around and screaming. Blossom quickly
shook her, "Bubbles! Bubbles, wake up!" Bubbles slowly stopped struggling and opened
her eyes, blinking a few times. Blossom
continued, "You were having a nightmare…"
examined her arms, and whispered, "I'm…I'm okay? But…the bunnies, they were chasing me, and…"
Buttercup rolled her eyes, Blossom said, "It's okay…everything's fine. We all had bad nightmares, too."
Bubbles asked, glancing at Buttercup, who nodded. "Were there big scary bunny monsters in yours, too?"
we…" Buttercup began, then shook her head, "Look, let's just forget about
it. We can talk about it in the
morning. Right now, let's just get back
sank halfway under the covers and said, "I don't wanna go back to sleep…what if
the monsters chase me again?"
remember, it's only a dream, they can't hurt you," Blossom promised.
didn't seem too reassured. "I'm
me too," Blossom admitted, "but we have
to get some sleep, or we won't be rested enough to fight crime and stuff
tomorrow. That goes for you too,
Buttercup nodded, and tucked
herself back under the covers, as did the other girls. However, she couldn't bring herself to close
her eyes. The thought of the monster in
her dream getting ready to eat her was too frightening. What's
wrong with you? she thought. It's not real… Hours passed, and she remained awake, as did the others…
* * *
The morning sun was up at
last. The girls hovered
downstairs…their hair was a mess, and their eyes showed fatigue. Buttercup rubbed her head, and groaned,
"Ughh…I feel awful…"
too," Bubbles agreed. Her eyes were
clenched shut against the light, and she was feeling her way cautiously down
the steps. She yawned, "I wish we could
stay in bed today…"
floated past her, her eyes also clenched shut.
"We can't be late for school," she said. "No matter how tired we are, it's something we've got t—…" She broke off suddenly as she smacked
face-first into the wall next to the kitchen door, not watching where she was
okay, Bloss?" Buttercup asked.
didn't move, but stayed pressed against the wall, too tired to react. "Mm mky," she mumbled.
made her way into the kitchen and went over to the cupboard. She spotted a box of cereal and took it out,
along with a bowl and spoon. She set it
down on the table and went to the fridge for some milk. Buttercup finally made it to her own
seat. As Bubbles sat down, she picked
up the cereal box and started pouring herself a bowl. Buttercup rubbed her eyes for a second, and said, "Uh, Bubbles…"
she said, setting down the box and pouring the milk over her cereal. Buttercup cringed a little, and glanced over
at Blossom, who had just made it into the kitchen and looked equally surprised.
Blossom said, "That's…err, that's not…"
scooped a spoonful of cereal up and said, "What are you talking about?" She took a bite…and her eyes flew wide open
in surprise. She spit it out…whatever
it was, it wasn't cereal. "Bleah!
"Eech…Bubbles, I know you're tired
too," Buttercup said, "but you really should keep your eyes open."
Confused, Bubbles looked down at
the cereal bowl, and suddenly noticed that it wasn't cereal. It was
flour, all pasty from the milk she poured on it. Glancing at the "cereal box", she realized it really was a bag of flour after all. She felt embarrassed, and said, "But…but I
thought it was…"
okay, Bubbles," Blossom said, hovering over to her chair, "We're all a little
tired. I guess mistakes like that are
understandab—…" As Blossom tried to sit
down, her chair was missing, and she landed on the floor with a *whump* instead. Buttercup tried to restrain herself, but
couldn't help it, and broke out in laughter.
Bubbles giggled at this too.
Blossom was momentarily stunned—the chair was there a moment ago, she could
have sworn it was—she realized how
ridiculous she probably looked right now, and in her tired state, she couldn't
help but laugh along with them.
laughs eventually died down, as Blossom flew over to where her chair really
was, feeling it to make sure it was indeed there. She said, "Heheh…I hope we're not like this all throughout school
Buttercup said, "the other kids probably won't let us live it down." She glanced up as she saw Professor Utonium
come into the kitchen, and said, "Morning, Professor."
and Bubbles glanced at each other, and Bubbles turned back to Buttercup saying,
"Who are you talking to?"
pointed over to where the Professor was, and said, "The prof, who…else…" She suddenly realized he wasn't there. The kitchen was empty except for them. Her jaw dropped a little, and she said,
"Wait, but…but I…"
her head tiredly, Blossom sighed, "This is worse than we thought…we gotta make
sure we get some sleep tonight, okay?
If this keeps up, we won't be in a good enough condition to fight
really," Buttercup said. She took
another glimpse of the area where she had seen the professor. Still not there. Wow, she thought. I
guess tired eyes can really play tricks on you…
* * *
so, if Billy has four pennies, and Susan gives him five more," Miss Keane said,
writing on the board, "then Billy will have nine pennies total…"
class listened to the math lesson…or most of them were, anyway. The Powerpuff Girls, at their table, were
mostly just trying to stay alert.
Blossom whispered to the other two, "How are you holding up?"
tired…" Bubbles said quietly.
this math lesson isn't makin' it any easier to stay awake," Buttercup added.
know, girls," Blossom nodded, "but we can't let this interfere with our
Keane looked over at their table and asked loudly, "Blossom?" Blossom's head snapped up to attention at
the sound of her voice. "Do you have
something you want to share with the rest of us?"
Miss Keane," Blossom said, hanging her head slightly.
maybe you'd like to come up and demonstrate this next problem?" Miss Keane
smiled, and said, "Sure!" Maybe she was
tired, but she didn't want to pass up an opportunity like this. She flew up to the front of the class, picking
up the chalk from the board and examining the problem. 6 + 2,
she thought…Easy. Writing an 8 below the problem, she smiled,
and looked back out at the class.
class started to giggle, and for a moment, she didn't understand. Miss Keane gave a comforting smile, and
said, "Err, that's not right, Blossom…but it was a good try anyway."
right? But six plus two is…" She looked at the board again, and her hands
flew to her mouth. The problem that was
written there wasn't 6 + 2, but rather, it was 5 + 5. As the class continued to chuckle at her, she felt herself
turning a color not unlike her hairbow, and hurriedly made her way back to her
seat. She sat down and covered her head
with her arms in embarrassment.
and Buttercup were the only ones in the class besides the teacher that wasn't
laughing at her. As Miss Keane returned
to writing on the chalkboard, Bubbles whispered to Blossom, "It's ok, we
it's not your fault," Buttercup said.
in a soft voice, said, "It was six-plus-two…I know it was…how could I make a mistake like that? It's not possible…"
hesitated, then whispered, "I'm scared…what's going on?"
don't know," Blossom said, trying to think clearly. "It's like we're hallucinating…"
moment, the hotline buzzed, from its position on the table across the
room. Buttercup frowned, "Well, that's no hallucination!" Blossom nodded in agreement, and flew across
the room to answer the phone.
Mayor?" she said. After pausing a moment,
she said, "We're on it." She hung up,
and said, "The bank's being robbed again.
Miss Keane, may we be excused?"
course," she said. "Hurry back,
said, "Thanks…ok, girls, let's move!"
The three of them immediately crashed out of the classroom through the
roof. Miss Keane winced slightly, but
then casually walked over to the telephone and hit the speed-dial for Marty's
* * *
girls soared over the city of Townsville, heading for the bank. As they headed for their destination,
Bubbles asked, "You know, I don't feel as tired anymore. Must be the fresh air. Guess I just needed to wake up…"
me too," Buttercup said. "Heh…'fact, I
think I'm ready for anything right
warned them, "Don't push yourselves too hard, though. Awake or not, we still didn't get much sleep, so it wouldn't be
good to wear yourselves out, okay?"
no problem," Buttercup agreed.
They spotted the bank down
below. "All right," Blossom
ordered. "Standard plan Beta-Alpha-One. Go!"
They descended towards it in a V-formation, with Blossom in the lead,
and crashed through the front doors.
Landing on the ground, Blossom shouted, "Not so fast, bank ro—…"
They froze…they weren't at the
bank, but rather, a fish market. The
man behind the counter looked down at them in surprise. For a moment, they just stared at each
other, speechless. After a few seconds
of complete silence, the man asked, "Er…can I…help you?"
Blossom smiled, slightly, and said,
"We're…we're sorry…heh…I think we got the wrong place." She took each of the other girls' hands and
flew back out the way they came in, pulling both of them with her.
"What was that?" Buttercup said, as they flew up and away from the fish
"We all saw it was the bank, right?"
Blossom asked. "I mean, we all mistook it, didn't we?"
"Well, I was following you,"
Buttercup admitted, "but…but yeah, I thought that's what it was…"
Bubbles glanced back down at the
shop, and said, "I don't even feel tired anymore…why are we still seeing
Down the street, something else
grabbed their attention. It was the
real bank…the robbers were emerging from the doors, and rushing for their
getaway car. "There it is!" Buttercup
shouted, pointing. "Let's get 'em!"
"Ok, but carefully," Blossom said.
"What if we're seeing things again?"
"What if we're not?" Buttercup
Blossom thought about that, and
nodded, "Good point. After them!" They flew after the robbers, imposing
themselves between them and their getaway car.
As usual, the robbers were stunned, but tried to shoot at them anyway,
to no effect. When they attacked,
Blossom felt grateful in a way that her punches were actually hitting
something. It this had turned out to be another illusion, she thought, I'd probably think I'd gone crazy…it's kinda
good to see that I'm not…
The robbers were dispatched with no
problem. They heard the police sirens
approaching, and left them to be captured.
Flying back on course for the school, Buttercup said, "Ok, let's go over
this again. We were all awake,
right? And all of use didn't feel as
tired as before, right?" The other
girls nodded, and she continued, "So then how come all three of us saw the same thing?"
"We coulda all mistook it…I guess…"
Bubbles said hopefully.
"Maybe," Blossom said, "but if this
keeps up, we gotta stop trying to find a way to explain it off, and find out
what the real reason is. The first thing we're doing when we get home
from school is to have the professor examine us for anything that might be
wrong, all right?"
"Fine," Buttercup replied. "Whatever it takes. I don't think I like hallucinating…I like to
trust my eyes, you know what I mean?"
Blossom nodded, and the three of them veered off from the city, curving
down to head for Pokey Oaks once again.
* * *
lab, the professor shined the light into Bubbles' eyes from an angle as he
said, "All right, sweetie…now, count the number of black lines you see on the
board across from you."
The professor nodded…there were indeed
four lines on the board. He sat back
up, as the other girls looked concerned, and Blossom asked, "So is there
something wrong with us?"
"I tried every test I knew," the
professor said, "and I can't make heads or tails of it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with you
girls. And these hallucinations you've
apparently been having seem to have gone away, so if there was something wrong, it's probably gone away now."
"We were just really tired this
morning," Buttercup pointed out. "Could
that be the problem?
"Perhaps…you are still showing signs of fatigue," the professor said. "I recommend getting a good night's sleep,
all three of you. It's almost 7:30 now;
I think you should turn in early today."
Blossom smiled, "Fine by us. Right?"
"I guess so," Buttercup said. Bubbles nodded her approval.
"All right, girls, off to bed,
then," the professor said, putting his equipment away from the tests he
ran. The girls flew up and out of the
lab, and the professor smiled, saying to himself, "They'll be just fine…"
* * *
and the other girls had barely been asleep for an hour, when they awoke, as the
hotline in their room buzzed. Oh, rats, Blossom thought. I was
really hoping on getting some rest first.
She immediately flew out of bed and picked it up, "Hello, Mayor?"
Girls!" came the Mayor's unmistakably panicked voice, "A giant monster's
attacking Townsville! We need your
be right there!" Blossom promised, hanging up the phone. She turned to the other girls and said, "Giant
monster downtown, let's hurry!" The
three of them changed back into their normal outfits in a flash, and flew out
through the windows, heading for Townsville in the distance.
already visible over the city skyline.
A hideous, fleshy creature with eyes and mouths scattered across it
seemingly at random. Large tentacles
were smashing into buildings as it moved around. There was an awful odor hanging in the air, like rotting
leaves. Blossom said, "All right…it's
covered with eyes, so we can't sneak up on it.
three of them circled around it and fired their eyebeams together. The creature, though, raised its tentacles
up, and deflected the beams harmlessly away from itself. Unfortunately, the beams' new direction
caused it to slice through the sides of a few small buildings in
Townsville. Blossom cringed, and said,
"Ok, bad idea…no more eyebeams! Just
try to hit it with something…"
shouted, "Right!" and flew down, uprooting a tree and heading towards it, ready
to swing the tree like a baseball bat.
In mid-swing, though, a tentacle lashed out, grabbing it and yanking it
away. It was immediately followed by
another tentacle that smacked into Buttercup, knocking her down into the ground
with tremendous force. Blossom started
to fly down to help her out, when she saw the thing toss the tree away…it
impacted into a gas station, which exploded in a massive fireball.
Bubbles, from the air above,
shouted, "Nothing's working! Blossom,
we need a better plan!"
"I know, I'm thinking!" Blossom
said. As she helped Buttercup out of
the crater in the ground, she called out, "Bubbles…grab that power line, and
try to electrocute him with it!"
"Got it!" Bubbles said without
question. She flew down and pulled up
one of the poles supporting the power lines.
The lines snapped away, and immediately, nearly half of the city's power
went out. Blossom thought to herself, Eeep…that must have been a key power line…
Bubbles flew towards the monster
and swung the pole, the cables sparking with electricity. As it connected, the electricity surrounded
the monster, and it twitched uncontrollably, as the extremely high voltage ran
through its system. As it did, though,
the monster slowly started to grow larger…
"Oh no! Bubbles, stop, quickly! You're
just feeding it!" Blossom said, quickly.
Bubbles followed orders immediately and pulled the line away…she wasn't
careful enough, though, and the lines snapped back right into her by accident. The force from the electrocution knocked her
out of the sky, and the lines fell into the park below…they sparked against the
trees, and a huge fire started to burn.
This is a disaster, Blossom
thought. Why aren't any of my plans working?!
Buttercup looked at her and said,
"What now? Hurry, think of something!"
"I…I…" Blossom stammered. She finally said, "Buttercup, just try
attacking it by hand…give it everything you've got!" Buttercup nodded and flew at the creature, dodging her way around
the tentacles and dashing towards the main body, rearing back to throw a punch.
She didn't get the chance, though,
for at that moment, one of the many mouths across its surface suddenly reached
out from the body with a huge set of teeth.
It took her by surprise, and she didn't have the chance to dodge. The teeth clamped down half-way around
her…only her legs were visible, which started kicking and thrashing wildly in
an attempt to get free…but only for a moment, before they tensed up, and fell
Blossom gasped in alarm, and was
about to fly in to try and help her free, but in another quick snap of the
teeth, the monster swallowed the rest of her.
Blossom cried out. Oh no…she can't be dead…please, no…
Bubbles was staring in shock as
well, and shaking with fear, "Wh…wh-what are we g-gonna do?!"
Blossom couldn't stand it…she
couldn't bear the thought of Bubbles getting killed by the monster over one of
her orders as well. "Bubbles," she
said, trying to keep the panic out of her voice, "you'd better get out of
here…I'll take care of this thing myself, I don't want to lose you, too…"
"But…" Bubbles began.
"Just go!" she ordered.
Bubbles swallowed once, and nodded, turning and starting to fly
away. As she gained some distance from
it, Blossom suddenly noticed something lancing out from one of the creature's
mouths…a long, pink tongue, almost like a frog's tongue…it was shooting towards
Bubbles with incredible speed. She was
in the middle of retreating, though, so her back was turned and she didn't see
it coming. "Bubbles, look out!!"
Too late…the tongue struck Bubbles in the back,
sticking to her. She yelped in
surprise, and then was abruptly yanked out of the air. She screamed as the tongue pulled her back
towards the creature's mouth almost as fast as it had shot out in the first
place. Blossom started flying towards
the tongue to stop it, but she could see the awful truth: it was retracting far
too quickly…she'd never make it in time.
"Bubbles!!" she yelled out desperately.
"Blossom!!" Bubbles shrieked, her tears leaving a trail in the air
in front of her, "Help me!!! HELP M--…" Her cries were cut off as she was pulled into the mouth, and it
snapped shut instantly. Blossom stared
in horror, watching for some sign that she was okay…but none came…
no…oh god no…please, not both of them…not like this! Not on my orders! It's
all my fault…if I hadn't given those orders, they'd still be alive…it's all my
fault!! As these thoughts clamored
in her mind, she hovered motionless, unable to move, watching the thing
continue its rampage. I can't stop it…everything I've tried just
makes it worse…I can't do it…I can't do it anymore!!
* * *
eyes opened suddenly. She took in a
deep, sharp breath of air. Her eyes
darted about, and she thought, How did I
get back here? What am I doing in bed? What about the monster?! She suddenly saw something that she didn't
expect…two other forms sleeping soundly next to her. Bubbles and Buttercup.
few moments, she wondered how it was possible that they were still alive…and
then she figured it out. She had been
dreaming again. But…that's impossible! I was so
sure it happened! Everything…the feel
of the heat from the fire, the smell of the monster's stench in the air…it was
all so intense! Not like a dream at
all! Not at all!
faced with the facts, she knew it had to have been a dream. She felt a great surge of relief that the
girls were alive, especially after she was so convinced that they were
dead. But then it left her with a
horrible sense of anxiety…what did it mean?
The thought crossed her mind that maybe the dream was trying to tell her
something. Every choice I made lead to another failure…what if something like that
really happens? What if one day, I make all the wrong
decisions, and I end up leading us and the whole city of Townsville into ruin?
didn't want to think about it anymore, but she just couldn't help it. Lying back down, she clutched the covers and
shook uncontrollably, her eyes clenched shut as she desperately attempted to
forget what just happened. She finally
flipped over and buried her face into her pillow, crying.
nightmares…my god, what's happening to us…?
TO BE CONTINUED…