JoJo collapsed to the ground, hiding his head. He tried so hard to hold back tears. This was pathetic. The world that he had come from was not safe! He had said over and over again how much he wanted to snap out of it... right?
But… things change. Somewhere along the path, something inside of the young Thinker switched. Some part of him actually started… enjoying it. After what he went through in the Military, the young boy found the darkness and quietness of the forest very peaceful. Even when the Cat came back… things weren't as bad as before.
But that… that was a war. He was in real and terrible danger. JoJo's hand went to the burn one his shoulder, touching it lightly. He had been hurt. He almost died. Surely this has to be better, right? He could go back to his family, school, make some new friends, and still have his Thinks.
Why wasn't he enjoying this?
As he hid his face, a small flash of light appeared next to him. The Cat frowned slightly at the young Thinker. To be honest, he felt a bit sorry for the kid. But only a bit. "JoJo."
"What?" JoJo asked, his one worded answer dripping with bitterness. "What do you want?"
The Cat raised an eyebrow, and looked up to the sky, where the snow was still falling. "I want to… help." The words tasted a bit strange in his mouth. He had always been helping the boy, but he had never really admitted it. To JoJo, or any of his other Thinkers. It wasn't… him. "I can't get you back to your parents, but I can help you find a place to stay."
"I just want to go back, Cat." The young boy said softly, his forehead touching the tops of his knees as he sat. "Can't you bring me back into the world? I don't even care if I've been through it already, or if I don't know where I'm going. I just… I need to go back."
The Think frowned again, and sat next to the boy. "I don't control that, kid. That's all you."
JoJo laughed harshly. "It was never all me." He said, looking to the Cat. "Remember? Resistance is futile and all that. That was you!"
"You created me," the Cat said. "I was made out of your little mind-brain, and then I became myself. You had to create me first, and create the world. I just took what you gave me and made it better."
"Then can I go back?" he asked softly. "Please… tell me how to get back to the world."
The creature was quiet for quite some time before he finally stood. "Welp, let's just try." he pulled the boy up, leading him into the park. "Now… Think. Think of the most wonderful place in that world that you made."
JoJo closed his eyes, his mind already starting to form the colorful world he had known for so long. The Cat continued. "The best possible anything about it. Think of a person, a place, a thing. Anything works… but a place would work best… now think of yourself there." The boy did as he was told, smiling when he saw Horton and the warmth of the jungle started to reach him.
He sighed happily, and opened his eyes. The grey barren park was the first thing to meet his eyes, the Cat's black and white fur being the second. The boy took a step back. "I… but I did it." He said softly. "I did what you told me. I thought of Horton and the jungle, and… why didn't it work?"
The Cat shook his head. "That's for me to know and you to find out!" he said with an impish grin, promptly disappearing.
"Wha- Cat!" he yelled at the empty space. "Come back! You said you wanted to help!"
As he yelled, a couple appeared behind him, walking through the lightly falling snow. Both looked to be about 32-35, and had the peaceful look of a couple with no children and not a care in the world. The woman stopped when she saw JoJo. "Oh my…" she murmured.
"Come back!" JoJo yelled, his voice breaking. "Please! I need you! I need help…" he looked to the ground again. "Please…" he murmured softly, starting to sway back and forth.
The woman broke away from her partner, running over to the boy. "Hey, hey… everything gonna be alright." She steadied him, her hands on his shoulder. "Don't you worry. You'll be fine." The man had joined her at this point, and JoJo, lulled by her voice, put up no fight. "Do you have a place to stay?" she asked softly, kneeling in front of him so they were at eye level with each other.
The boy shook his head, and the man placed a hand on his shoulder. "You can stay with us." He offered. "It's completely safe, I promise. Much better than staying in a park."
JoJo nodded, looking the two of them over. The woman had curly light brown hair, almost a sandy color. She was about average in everything. Her skin was pale, her eyes were brown, she had some freckles… but nothing out of the ordinary. She wore clothes with blue and purple tones. The man, on the other hand, was tall and a bit chubby. He wore mostly grey, with a bit of red, and had dark brown hair and blue eyes. He took off his jacket, handing it to the boy. "Here, put that on." He ordered, but in a nice way. "We don't want you to catch a cold."
"Who…" JoJo shook his head, trying to clear his mind. "Who are you?"
"My name is Henry." The man said. "This is Greta, my wife."
"We'll take you home." Greta decided, standing up. "Oh my, you look like you've been through an awful lot. We have a wonderful guest bed, you need to rest. Take a nap."
"Greta," Henry warned. "Don't take him too much under your wing. This is only if he wants, and only until he's ready to leave."
"I want…" the young man started to say. "I want to go… with you." He trusted them, for some strange reason. Perhaps it was the evenness of their voice, or the odd resemblance to Horton and Gertrude… which was ridiculous, because Horton and Gertrude were animals, and these were real life actual people.
"Then come on." Greta said, standing up. "We'll take you home. It's not that far from here." JoJo nodded blankly, following the two out of the park.
Wow, let's see how long the next update takes.
So I figured out that I really really like the story line for this and that I'm going to try and continue it. I'm still trying to decide what direction I want to take the story in, and this was pretty much pure filler. So bear with me while I decide that. Or don't. I guess.
See you in the next update.