Chapter 8: Never Look Back

Thunk.

"Did you hear that?" Lulu searched for Blade in the dark, and felt her body relax when his knife gleamed in the moonlight a few feet away from her bed. The puppet nodded, letting out a low hiss.

Thunk.

There it was again! Lulu looked up at her ceiling, staring at her fan. It wasn't turning on.

Thunk.

"Blade, come here," Lulu said, searching the roof as her eyes continued to adjust. She felt a tug on the edge of her nightgown, and lifted Blade onto the bed without looking away. "Something doesn't feel right."

THUNK. Lulu carefully stood up, holding Blade's back close to her chest as she approached her bedroom door, using her free hand to fumble against the wall, trying to find the light switch.

"Hiss…" Blade looked at the air vent, raising his knife in the air. Lulu finally found the light switch, and pressed it.

No lights came on. The air vent started shaking as something hit it. Lulu swung the door open. "Tri! Fringe!"

CLANG! The lid of the air vent fell to the ground in pieces, and Lulu looked at the hole in her ceiling, her pulse pounding in her ears as the killer puppet came into view.

Razor-sharp teeth lined its mouth, and its eyes glinted with what could only be described as pure evil. "Found you!" It cackled, jumping down. "Now, this will only hurt a lot!"

Lulu took a step back, her heart pounding in her chest as Lector cackled again. "G-get away!" She stuttered as Blade stepped in front of her, knife and eyes gleaming.

Lector lunged first, and Blade stepped in the way, using the hook to snag the clown by his legs and trip him over. Lulu quickly grabbed the bat by her bed and swung, tossing the puppet in the air before hitting again, sending him crashing through the window. She dropped the bat and grabbed Blade.

"Let's get out of here!" She put Blade on her shoulder before reaching for the pre-packed suitcase under her bed, and dashed downstairs, ignoring when Blade's hook tore into the neck of her shirt in an effort to hold on. She grabbed the carrying case the other puppets had come in, and swung it open. Blade jumped in. "Guys, hurry! He's coming – Tri, where are you?" She looked around as the others came running into the room, and she packed them one by one, not being quite as careful as she should have. After confirming she'd packed the formula, she looked the case shut as Tri walked in, already dressed and shuffling a deck of cards.

"He's here?"

"He broke into my room and I knocked him out again with a baseball bat!"

"Ah." Fringe jumped down from her shoulder. "So, what's the plan?"

"I'm gonna hail a taxi, get far away from here…" she was scrambling to get the other two bags she'd packed ahead of time – her purse, which also held the will she'd written two weeks before, and a lunch kit, "and when we get far away enough, I'm gonna call one of my dad's friends to get us to the train station!"

"Where are we headed, Forks Washington?"

"I have enough problems without sparkling vampires, don't you think? My dad had an old loft up north." She lifted Ankha from her small throne and jammed her into a side compartment of the suitcase, before whipping out her phone and dialing. "Hello, taxi? Can you come here quickly? … Yes, this is Lulu, the girl who scheduled last week. Thank you." She hung up. "He'll be here in ten minutes."

"Then I'll have to kill you nine!" Lulu looked up just in time to see Lector jump at her from the ceiling fan, and dropped the bag in her hand to jump out of the way. "What's the matter? Are you afraid of clowns?!"

"There you are!" Fringe was immediately behind him with a prod from the fireplace. "I've been waiting for this!" She charged, and jammed the metal piece into his back.

"Augh!"Lector swiveled to look at Fringe. "We meet again, puppet! So nice of you to join us!"

"Who are you calling "Puppet", psycho?" she swung the prod again, but Lector grabbed it and threw it to the side.

"What now, girly? Not so tough without having something to fight with, are you-" CLANG!

"Hey! Beating on him is MY job!" Fringe protested as Lulu tossed the prod aside and lifted the unconscious Lector. "What are you doing?"

Lulu didn't answer, but instead ran to the basement, stumbling around in the dark until she found what she was looking for – an old, but large safe. She tossed Lector inside and slammed the door shut, turning the handle a couple of times for good measure before running back up and grabbing her bags. Tri was already outside, still shuffling cards.

"Oh, you survived," she said without looking up as Lulu and Fringe ran up to her. The taxi drove up a minute later, and Lulu threw everything in the trunk before she got in the back with Tri.

"Step on it!" the taxi took off, and Lulu glanced at her home for the last time as they got further and further away, until it was nothing but a speck in the distance.