Holy heck, I haven't updated this in, like, forever. DDD:


The noise had died down to a more bearable hum when Buzz stumbled back into their company. His first reaction upon seeing the state of the place was of incomprehension. Then confusion, realization, and finally, unmasked horror. There was no mistaking the fallen figure lying motionless in the middle of the room.

He would have doubled over with everything he had consumed since breakfast, if it weren't when a calm, resonate hand emerged from the hidden side of the door, and struck the back of his head with the butt of the sheriff's own gun. The man collapsed to the floor, instantly unconscious.

Woody pushed the rest of the door shut with the corner of his boot before anyone noticed the strange fall of their beloved town sheriff. He secured the lock as well, just in case. But he knew.

He knew that there would be hardly anyone occupying the streets after a row from Sheriff Buzz himself. Therefore, it would make that moment the most perfect opportunity of escape.

Woody pondered briefly over this possibility, but a single glance at his fallen victims was all he needed to make his mind. Rex, Slinky, Hamm, the Potatoheads, Bullseye… all had been taken care of, including, finally, Jessie. All he needed was one more to complete his purpose. And when else would the opportunity present itself like this to end it all with a bang?

He bent down and, with a surprising showcase of strength of just one hand of a skinny cowboy, lifted the space ranger from the red stained floor by the crook of his collar. Time was ticking fast, and there were a couple of things he wanted to set up before his favorite space ranger regained consciousness.

The look on his face was priceless. It filled his entire face not long after the space ranger came to and found himself on the same rigid chair Woody had been forced to just an hour ago. The only difference was that he remained untied. But that precaution soon became irrelevant once he realized just what he held in his arms. He probably would've made the most terrible and agonizing scream, if it weren't for the scarf that gagged him silent.

Standing across with a foot propped on an edge of the overturned table, Woody relished a short while of satisfaction until Buzz recovered enough to notice his persona was still there.

"You should thank me, you know," Woody informed calmly, weighing Buzz's gun on the palm of his hand. "I didn't even get to see Bo after what you did to her. At least I'm doing you the kindness of holding her in your arms one last time."

It seemed as if Buzz tried to scream again, but just like before, no sound escaped from that mouthful of scarf. But Woody remained patient. Eventually, the oppressed settled to an exhausted silence, his dull stare windowing a broken spirit. And only then Woody untied the gag. There was no way a man as wounded as this would have the strength to be any more uncooperative.

"You done?" Woody asked cheerfully. It wasn't really a question. He already knew the answer.

"… You're a monster."

"I'm a fair man," Woody corrected. "I lost a wife and child, so it's only reasonable that you lose yours too. By the way, about your preparation skills…" He tossed the weapon playfully from hand to hand. "You've got to get this thing loaded first if you actually plan to use it in a real life setting, Buzz… Or is it that you never planned on using it on me in the first place? No matter – I still managed to use it somehow in taking care of Jess over there. The butt of your gun's pretty blunt, you know?"

"She did nothing to you," Buzz gasped. "And… what about those other innocents you 'took care of'? They did nothing… Nothing to deserve –"

"Au contraire, my man." Woody waved the gun in his face. "That's what they get for not listening to me. Y'see, Buzz, I've been a really patient guy… but I got to thinking.

"Whose fault is it that we ended up falling into that incinerator in the first place? I sure hadn't taken any measures to kill us all off – heck, if I had my way, we'd all be sitting safe and snug with the Christmas decorations in Andy's attic. Then who in the world is to blame for our unfortunate demise?"

A strange shadow clouded his expression. He pressed the gun to Buzz's cheek. "Simple. It was you guys. All because you never listened to a damn thing I said."

Buzz found himself saying things without thinking. "We respected you, Woody. And we did listen. You were our frie…" He couldn't bring himself to say the last word. Something just stopped him from going any further.

Woody pulled the gun away, irritated. "'Respect'? Don't make me laugh. I was just the bus-driving lackey making sure you kids ended up at the right spot. You put up with me, sure… But when you tear me off my rightful place, and start taking all the wrong roads…"

He knew Buzz would never understand. Two years ago, his so-called 'friends' snuck off to Sunnyside paradise, and from there a series of events led them to what they thought would be their final resting place as ashes in the bottom of a dump's incinerator. That should've been the end of it… until they all woke up in the middle of nowhere of a scorching desert.

And then they would've died again, if it weren't for one person they thought they never thought they'd see again: Mr. Shark. It had been years since he got sold at a garage sale. It was only natural that everyone started rationalizing that they were dead.

"Yer probably right," grunted Mr. Shark (Sheriff Shark at the time). "But afterlife or not, take a good look at yerselves, ladies and gents. Better not go losin' yet parts from now on - we can't have ya'll bleeding to a second death."

It was strange how inconsistently each transformed into their 'real' bodies in this weird afterlife. For instance, Bullseye just became a regular horse, whilst Mr. Shark boasted off his peculiar majestic self as a floating, air-breathing shark. As for Woody, he just became a regular human cowboy. The same went for Buzz and Jessie in their respective occupations.

Woody soon devised a formula. It seemed that he and his fellow toys were transformed into their 'ideal' selves –in other words, the forms they wanted to take if they had never been born as toys. And after observing for a few weeks, it seemed as if all the inhabitants of this entire nowhere had once lived in Andy's bedroom… and suffered their demise one way or another almost immediately afterwards.

But all this guesswork he threw away when Woody found Bo Peep. She never explained the tragic way she died. And never once did the cowboy bother to ask. It wasn't important. All that mattered was that they could start a new leaf, live their lives together again…

But of course, not all good things were made to last. A year since he was obligated to be their town sheriff, the townspeople rose up against him, stripping him of his post and granting it to Buzz. He was no longer sure what caused it anymore – something about a dispute between Hamm and Mr. Potatohead outside the saloon. One thing led to another, and the cowboy was eventually driven out of town, forced to construct his own property in the outskirts instead.

It was by some divine grace that his lovely Bo stuck faithfully by him the entire time, even going so far as to wear her brightest smile and saying 'yes' to becoming Mrs. Woody Pride. And not long after this, Woody found a lost little boy in the open desert, who eventually answered to being their son.

\ He was a sweet lad, but his memory was lost when he arrived in the godforsaken desert. It wasn't odd, though. Out of the five toys that arrived since Woody's own awakening, three forced themselves to forget almost everything in their past, mostly due to the trauma of their own death. Even so, this little boy was a special case. But the Pride couple did not dare speculate any further.

"…When…?"

Woody snapped out of it. "Pardon, pardner?"

Buzz raised his head, his face pale and weak. If one touched him, he looked like to just crumble to pieces. "When did you start… being like this? Didn't you even think of the welfare of your son…?"

"It's because of that kid that I've become what I am now," Woody responded, smiling warmly at Buzz like he just asked a silly question."I realized that when he grows up, would I want him to be treated the same way I was? Call it irony; I was treated like a toy by toys!

"I played my role to the best of my abilities, and then what happens when everyone gets tired of me? You throw me away. By a child, sure I'd understand… but being treated like that by my own people? Do you have any idea how humiliating that was? Now do you see why I had to get rid of the scum that would terrorize my son! Well, Mr. Lightyear!"

Buzz flinched.

"I told you the formality would pack a punch. And again, all because you didn't listen to me…" Woody sighed. "Hmph. I guess none of it matters anymore, now that he's dead and all."

"Do you even have any idea why we took your position away from you, Woody?" Buzz said quietly. "Because you weren't a tool or a driver. You weren't any of those… you were just a plain, old dictator."

Woody glared. "I only thought of your own good –"

"– and never let us think for ourselves!" Buzz exclaimed angrily. His voice had risen for just a brief moment. But in then the next, he looked even worse than before. He held onto the unmoving body of his wife even tighter, as if somehow, someway, it would let him see her bright green eyes smiling back at him.

"Everyone was sick and tired of your attitude… Just because you had been Andy's favorite the longest…" He bent his head, his voice barely a whisper. "We just wanted freedom."

"And it's because of that kind of democracy that we all died in that incinerator," Woody roared. A wild rage, ugly and uncontrollable, blazed through his features. But he made no move to strike Buzz. Instead, he forced himself to speak calmly, his breathing heavy. "Karma. Now do you understand? They deserved it... You deserve it."

Woody had fallen so far into the depths of a darkness that it would be impossible for anyone to pull him out of it. Finally coming to realize this, Buzz closed his eyes. "Fine… Just get it over with already. I can't… go on like this."

There was no response for a moment. Buzz thought perhaps Woody had never seen a respectable grown man crying before. Then to his surprise… the madman began laughing.

"You're expecting me to take care of you with this!" Woody waved the shotless pistol before Buzz's face yet again. "You've got to be… haha, not with this, Buzz!"

An evil smirk stretched the corners of his mouth. "I don't want it to happen slowly – that would just be doing you a favor. Having all your good memories flashing before your eyes and all that nonsense? I'd rather not risk that. No, no, it needs to be fast and as painful as possible – not too fast though, so you'll have time to realize how suddenly everything could change in a single second.."

Silence settled into the room as Woody carefully pondered over his final victim. "The problem is…" He slowly put on that same smile. The smile of long ago. "How'll I go through with this? Got any ideas?"