"Amazing." Garry stepped back with a small, less brilliant smile, absently rubbing the back of his neck. "You're amazing."

The tension in Eve's chest unfurled, somehow seeping out into the atmosphere. An awkward silence descended.

I'm amazing.

"Say, Eve... Have you heard of macarons? They're these pastries shaped like hamburgers."

I'm amazing.

"And just the other day, I had one at a café, and it was sooo tasty!" He chuckled.

That's it? Amazing?

"...No, wait."

Garry stopped grinning, sobering up for a second.

"We will be going there!" The grin returned full-force. "And we will get out! I promise!"

The man flounced off, apparently deciding the vase off to the right needed inspection.

I suppose I should be glad he thinks positively of me. But somehow, I feel... disappointed.

Why is that?

Eve shook her head and let out an exasperated huff. Precious time was being wasted by her standing there.

Hopping into the small pit with a little flourish of the skirt, Eve cast a glance at the doll sitting on a log, then followed its unnerving gaze towards... a pocket in the wall. Perhaps it wanted to be over there?

The brunette strolled over and wrapped a hand around the critter's torso (hoping it didn't attack her the moment she laid a finger on it), only to be met with resistance when she pulled back. Puzzled, she added her other hand into the equation and tugged with all her might...

Eve released the doll from her grip and stepped back, mind racing to come across an alternative solution. She'd probably have to-

"Eve?"

The woman in question looked up and met the curious gray eyes of her comrade. In answer to the unasked question, "I figured we need to get this doll to the gap in the wall over there." She pointed towards the pocket she'd found. "But I can't-"

"Why don't you just pick it up?"

"You can't jus-"

"Here, I'll get it."

"No, Garry-"

He dropped down into the pit with her and grabbed the doll's torso as she had a moment ago and found that he could not remove it. Eve, in a flustered state, uselessly flailed her hands before crossing her arms and watching the man struggle with a raised brow.

"Urgh..." He pulled with both hands, positioning his feet against the block in order to get better leverage and gritting his teeth resolutely. Eventually, he let up on the small entity with a huff and ran a hand through his hair, turning to Eve and shrinking back at her irked visage.

"You done?" She asked with a hint of sarcasm.

"Yeah."

Even though she was slightly irritated by his (attempt at a) show of authority, an amused smile made its way across her features. "Well, like I was saying, you can't just pick it up. It must be attached to the log it's on, so I think we might have to push the log itself into the exit by rearranging the others and making a clear path. What do you think?"

Garry worried his bottom lip, reflecting on the situation.

"One second." He held up a finger.

Climbing out of the hollow, he stood over the puzzle to get a bird's-eye view of the puzzle, then most likely came to the same conclusion as he nodded in agreement.

"Should we switch positions so you can work out the puzzle and I'll push the logs?" He offered.

"No, you're already there, so just tell me what to do."

He shrugged. "Okay."

Gray eyes flickered over wooden logs and blue doll as red eyes gazed patiently at the owner of the gray eyes. After a moment's hesitation, Garry pointed towards the log nearest the exit.

"Push that one down?"

Eve acquiesced, tugging the surprisingly light block into the position Garry wanted, then stood by and waited for his next order. She could almost see the gears in his head turning as he contemplated the next move.

He looks so adorable, all concentrated and stuff.

She smirked.

Like a puppy trying really hard to figure out how it's supposed to execute a new trick.


After numerous other moves in which Garry messed up the puzzle ("I thought it was solved! I really did! If that one log wasn't in the way, we'd be done here."), the two decided that Eve needed to be up top to unravel the puzzle and that Garry needed to be the one to do the grunt work.

"Alright, now that we've got this back into its original position," Eve mock-glared at Garry, who laughed nervously, "put that block all the way up."

He moved the selected object accordingly, wordlessly obeying her each and every order until the doll was shoved into the opening in the wall. At once, the still-until-now doll rose to its feet, causing Garry to jump back.

"Eve!" He squeaked, eyes wide with terror.

As the doll turned to face Garry, Eve dropped down into the pit, interlocking her fingers with Garry's without a thought. Her gaze fixated on the plush.

"Thanks, Garry!" A huge, blood-chilling grin split its face. Eve repressed a shudder at the sight of its jagged teeth, but it seemed that Garry was not as strong because she could feel him trembling beside her. Unconsciously, she stroked his hand with her thumb.

The dark blue animal stepped backwards, moving towards the newly-opened entrance of a small tunnel. Eve almost let out a sigh in relief, thinking that it was about to leave, but her breath caught when the jet black pupils trapped her in their unblinking stare, piercing her soul. Her mouth ran dry and it felt as if every hair on her body was standing on end, but damn it all, she would not let this doll spark fear in her. She was not afraid of a tiny, stupid doll.

Standing straighter and swallowing back her unease, Eve looked down at the threat, its red eyes boring into her own. After what felt like an eternity, the beaming doll raised a paw and waved excitedly at Eve.

"Hi again!"

"...Huh?" She stared blankly. "What do you mean, 'again?' We've never... met..."

In the corner of her eye, Eve could see Garry's head tilt downwards to look at her. Now all eyes were anchored on her and waiting for her reaction...

"Yes, we have, silly!" Giggled the doll.

Eve was thoroughly confused. When had she ever met this... creature?

Unless it was the same one she'd found in the beginning that held a key... No, that one donned a pink dress. This one wore a deep green dress.

"I gave you a key!" At Eve's ever-growing silence, the doll's bright smile began dissolving, morphing into a displeased frown. It was even more macabre than the grin, chilling the brunette to the core. "Don't you remember?"

She shook her head. "I'm afraid I don't."

The frown deepened. Oh god, had she chosen the wrong answer? Her grip tightened on Garry's hand as she anticipated an attack...

"I've gotta go now. Bye-bye."

Without another word (and to Eve's relief), the dark blue doll vanished into the tunnel.