She was falling for what felt like hours, maybe even days. At least, she thought she was falling—she may have been floating. It was so hard to tell. Macy looked around the endless dark void, trying to find the floor, the sky, the walls—anything solid and tangible. But she just kept floating, her body weightless as she hovered in the darkness. Something started scratching against her skull, like a talon grazing her scalp. The young woman huffed and noticed a faint dot several miles in the distance, a tiny blip on a radar. The speck moved around to the left and right, almost as though dust was falling in front of Macy's face. She set her legs down and stood on something solid like a floor. Macy squinted as she reached forward and pressed two fingers together with the speck between both of them. But when she brought her fingers away, the speck still remained and still moved in the distance. Curious, Macy took a few steps forward, the world around her feeling like she was constantly dizzy and disoriented. As she got closer to the speck, she could hear faint voices in the distance.
"…you wanna go? …control…wanna know?"
The red-haired woman sat on the barstool wearing a red dress. She sighed as she ran a hand through her curly hair and spun the glass of sparkling water around on the counter. Her nostrils flared; mixed in with the scent of beer and musk was the perfume she wore. As Macy drank from her glass, the person sitting two stools down from her scooted over and sat next to her.
"Hey," the man asked.
Macy looked at the dark-skinned man and smiled before nodding at him. The man cleared his throat and tapped a few fingers against the bar.
"Bit of a waste there."
"It's a bar lady. Whatchu doin' drinkin' water in a bar? You could just buy a bottle of that in a grocery store."
Macy shrugged and finished drinking the water in her glass. The man sitting beside her snapped his fingers twice and nodded.
"Hey, bartender! Gimme two beers!"
The bartender nodded, while Macy scoffed and rolled her tongue around her mouth.
"So, uh, got a name?"
"No," Macy said, as she got off the stool and grabbed her purse. "'Fraid not."
Macy headed for the bar's exit, ignoring all the other patrons and the dark aura surrounding the building.
The speck had gotten larger. It was big enough for Macy to make out some kind of figure that was stepping around rhythmically, almost as though it were dancing in place. Macy continued to move closer, squinting as she tried to analyze the sound. Something seemed to be whispering behind her, but she couldn't decipher the noise. All she noticed were the words from afar.
"…expected the woooorld. But it flew away from her reeeeaaaach…"
"…Why the fu—no." Macy covered her eyes in disbelief. "I'm dreaming. Why else would I be hearing this?"
"…dreamed of para, para…paradise. Para, para…paradise. Para, para…paradise.
Every time she cloooosed her eyes…"
The red-haired woman sat on the barstool wearing a skirt and blue blouse. She sighed as she ran a hand through her curly hair and spun the glass of cranberry juice around on the bar. Her nostrils flared; mixed in with the scent of beer and musk was the perfume she wore. As Macy drank from her glass, the person standing near the door approached one of the barstools and sat next to her.
"Hey," the man said.
Macy looked at the chubby light-skinned man and smiled before nodding at him. The man cleared his throat and rubbed his hands together.
"Bit late y'know."
"I know," Macy replied.
"So what brings you here? I mean, most people come to bars to drink beers; you're drinking something you could buy in a grocery store."
The man stammered. "It's almost one in the morning. Shouldn't you be at home? Not safe in this part of the neighborhood."
"I needed some time alone."
"Soooooo…you come to a bar."
"Everywhere else is closed. And I like coming here. It's, um…it's easy to think in here," Macy said, before finishing her cranberry juice.
"Think about what?"
"What I want in life."
"And what do you want in life? Someone to hold open the door whenever you enter a building? Someone to cuddle with in bed late at night?"
Macy rubbed her forehead before sighing and shaking her head. "What I want isn't here."
"So back to where this all started. How come you're here?"
Fed up with talking in circles, Macy grabbed her purse as she stood up from the stool and made her way for the exit.
"I'm not," Macy said as she exited the bar.
She could see the figure dancing now, its arms and legs moving gracefully, as if the creature were a ballerina or was moving with the flow of water. A pungent scent filled Macy's lungs, almost making her gag at first. The closer she got towards the creature, the stronger the smell was. But somehow it continued to lure her in, hooking her with its bait.
"Give me time and give me space…give me real, don't give me fake…"
She knew something was off about the whole situation, but she still couldn't help but approach the monster, unable to tear herself away from the creature's melodic voice.
Coldplay…why…how does it know? Why is—what the fuck is happening? Macy kept questioning in her mind.
"And open up your eeeeeeeyyyyeeeeeeeessssss!
Open up your eeeeeeeyyyyeeeeeeeessssss!
Open up your eeeeeeeyyyyeeeeeeeessssss
Open up your eeeeeeeyyyyeeeeeeeessssss!"
For some reason, even when Macy noticed that the figure had dead eyes within its eye sockets, she found herself smiling as she approached the beast.
The red-haired woman sat on the barstool wearing a T-shirt and jeans. She sighed as she ran a hand through her curly hair and spun the can of light beer around on the table. Her nostrils flared as she took in the scent of beer and musk. As Macy drank from her can, she looked around the bar, seeing that everyone was busy minding their own business. Sighing, Macy pushed the can around on the counter a few times, acting as though she was waiting for somebody or had some kind of meeting to attend. But she knew that nothing special was going to happen. She knew that she would be sitting here until the building closed. Looking over her shoulder, Macy checked to see if anyone in the bar was walking up to her or had noticed her in any kind of context. After a long pause, Macy turned back around and finished the rest of the beer in her can. Afterwards, she set her payment down on the bar for the bartender to collect. But even he seemed to disregard what she had done.
Feeling lightheaded, Macy grabbed her can as she stood from the stool and walked into the bathroom. She tossed the can into the garbage pail before stepping in front of the bathroom's sink and mirror, where she washed her hands and grabbed a few paper towels nearby. After drying off her hands and dumping them in the trash can, she stood in front of the mirror again and continued to stare at herself, contemplating if she should leave or not. Instead, she kept standing and staring at her reflection, taking note of her weary eyes and some of the strands of hair that were resting on her shoulders. She stood still for multiple minutes staring at herself and listening to the fluorescent lights buzzing above her. She could see the spider dangling from a thin web out the corner of her left eye. Someone walked into the bathroom texting on her phone for a few seconds before she walked into the stall. When she exited, she walked over to the sink beside Macy, washed her hands, and dried them off. After exiting the bathroom, she resumed using her cell phone. Macy kept staring at herself, her vision blurring as they welled with tears. Several pessimistic thoughts entered her mind as she felt a tear running down the left side of her face.
Another woman entered the bathroom and used one of the stalls. She washed her hands afterwards and exited. Macy scoffed and sniffled as she wiped her face. Seeing no point in staying any longer, Macy exited the bathroom, knowing it was all futile.
She was in front of the beast now, close enough to recognize the entity. It was tall and slender, looking like some kind of reptile or lizard, even though it had no snout or muzzle. The beast had four fingers and toes, all containing talons deadly enough to disembowel her with one slash. Something about its face seemed both mesmerizing and uncanny, like its skull was cracking or someone permanently glued a black spider web to it. Strange frills were lined around the center of its scalp and even around its neck like a collar. It had eyes, but they seemed to be nothing but glowing white specks in the center of its hollow eye sockets. A black and white striped coat covered most of its upper body, looking like it was made of fur and flesh mixed together to create a fine, malleable fabric. The beast was still dancing, sliding its giant feet across the seemingly invisible floor, letting its arms flow around as if wind was guiding it. It whispered something and glared at Macy, turning and splaying all of its teeth.
"An observer. How delightful," it said.
Macy was taken aback by its baritone, the words nearly rattling her bones; she assumed the creature was male. It bowed, letting out a breath as it waited for the human being to speak.
"You were singing Coldplay earlier. How…how'd you know that's my favorite band?"
"I know many things, Macy Kellmin."
"Like my name evidently."
"Yes. Your name."
Macy couldn't move. Or rather, she didn't feel like moving. The beast took two steps towards her, all while black mist formed around his body. The creature growled as the black fumes started to spread around Macy, causing her to cough and cover her nose.
"No worries, Ms. Kellmin. The fumes are harmless."
Macy grunted when the creature lightly grabbed Macy's face and turned it upwards so he could look down at her. As he did so, he opened his mouth slowly, showing off his slobbering serrated teeth. He exhaled, exposing Macy to toxic black breath that swarmed around her face, causing her eyes and nostrils to burn. It almost smelled like someone mixed acid and sulfur together; the fumes made it almost impossible for her to breathe properly.
"That's it…let yourself fall…"
The red-haired woman sat on the barstool wearing a T-shirt and jeans. She sighed as she ran a hand through her curly hair and spun the bottle of beer around on the table. Her nostrils flared as she took in the scent of beer and musk. As Macy drank from her bottle, she sniffled and wiped one of the tears from her face. The man sitting beside her looked at Macy and frowned.
"Hey, ma'am. You all right?"
Macy sniffled again and drank more of her beer. "Fine," she whispered.
"You don't look fine."
"What's it matter to you?"
"Oh, I-I don't mean to pry or anything. It's just…not a fan of crying, y'know. It's always more pleasant to see someone smile."
"…Sometimes crying makes people smile."
The man was about to say something else when he scowled, almost as though someone just passed gas right beside him. He looked around the bar and shouted when he spotted a tall, slender figure with a dark aura hovering around his body.
"Hello," the beast said.
"What the fu…wait…wait-wait. This ain't how this happened. This…this isn't right," the man said.
Stammering, the man looked at Macy and pointed at the beast. "Ma'am, you see this, right?! What the hell's happening?! This isn't how this went—"
The beast latched its four fingers onto the man's head and began to squeeze. He grinned.
The man let out a high-pitched squeal before the slender beast dug his talons into the man's scalp. The human's eyes went into the back of his head, shortly before his entire body disintegrated, turning into nothing but thousands of tiny particles no bigger than dust. The beast absorbed the particles and laughed.
"Perfect. Now then…"
The beast snapped his fingers and—
"Hey, ma'am. You all right?"
Macy sniffled again and drank more of her beer. "Fine," she whispered.
"You don't look fine."
"What's it matter to you?"
"Oh, I-I don't mean to pry or anything. It's just…not a fan of crying, y'know. It's always more pleasant to see someone smile."
"…Sometimes crying makes people smile."
The beast sitting beside Macy nodded and tapped a few fingers on the bar. "You serious? I always thought that crying was, um…well—"
"No, ma'am. Not at all. I'm just wondering what would make someone believe that they can only smile if they cry."
Macy drank more of her beer and let out a long breath. "You wouldn't understand."
The young woman twisted her bottle around a few times as she slouched against the bar. "You ever stare at yourself in the mirror, see your own reflection?"
"Yes, I have."
"Mm. I was told that mirrors are just walls that reflect light back at you. Your brain manufactures what it has been programmed to see. Or some shit like that. And I-I wonder sometimes…when I see myself in the mirror, am I actually there? When other people see me, do they see an actual person? Or is it just a reflection of some object they don't care about?"
"Well, heh, you certainly aren't a vampire. Least you got a reflection!" the beast joked.
"I know that. But do other people see me, or do they see a reflection of what their brain wants to see? Sometimes I'm…I wonder what would happen if I had no reflection. If people weren't able to see what their brains interpreted. Would anyone see me at all? Would anyone care about the actual person in front of them?"
Macy covered her face and sighed for a moment. "Sorry…guess I'm drunk. I-I shouldn't bother you with this. Maybe I should just—"
Macy lowered her hands and raised an eyebrow. "Whuh?"
"Garbage. I lived in an apartment complex for a few years. Every time people walked by the garbage compactor, they complained about the stench. Or they just walked on by. 'It's garbage—course it stinks.' But, err…one day, there were a bunch of police officers crowding the same garbage compactor. Even had a news chopper in the air. And, well, turns out that someone dumped a body down there. Been down there for quite some time. Nobody ever noticed. We all thought it was just trash."
The beast let out a wry chuckle as he stared at Macy. "Perhaps that's why I'm here…I promised myself I would value other people more. Now I say hi to strangers on the street, help old ladies with their groceries, engage in small talk. I know it's, uh, intrusive I suppose. But making another person smile isn't going to ruin any plans I have for the day."
Macy stared at the beast for a long time, unsure of what to say. The lanky creature leaned forward and growled, seconds before he opened his maw and let out a long breath. Macy grimaced and coughed as the creature's black breath invaded her lungs, almost making her eyes tear up again. When the fumes dissipated, she rubbed her nose and saw the monster extending a hand.
"I'm Sol Roth. But my friends call me the Dungeon Keeper."
"Heh. Macy Kellmin."
The two creatures shook hands, while Sol grinned inwardly.
Sol Roth stood in front of Macy, watching as the human being kept rubbing her head and trying to remember what happened.
"Yes…the bar. S'how we first met."
"Of course, my dear."
"But wasn't someone else there? I…I could've sworn—"
"The transition process will distort your memory a bit. It's perfectly natural."
"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!"
Macy rapidly pressed buttons on her control pad. The character she controlled within the game smacked the other player character with a baseball bat, sending him flying across the screen. The young man sitting beside her shouted and tossed his controller on the floor.
Macy looked at the young man with frizzled hair and smirked. "I'm sorry. Did I upset you?"
"'Did I upset yo—' Fuck off, Mace. You only beat me 'cause you picked Kirby."
"So stop picking Fox McCloud! His fat ass makes him drop like a sack of potatoes!"
"I like Fox McCloud."
"There's over seventy fighters in the game. You gotta switch up your tactics eventually, Kevin."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Kevin said, sighing as he stood up from the floor. "I'm gonna go piss real quick. Be right back."
Macy sighed as she rested against the living room couch and kept staring at the video game's screen. She noticed dark shadows coming from the hallway Kevin walked into and frowned. Someone grunted for a few seconds, shortly before Macy heard crackling and a strange pop.
Macy noticed some of the fumes were flowing through the air and into her orifices. She coughed a few times and shut her eyes, waiting for the odor and fumes to dissipate. A toilet flushed in the distance, and Macy heard huge footsteps against the floor.
"All right, I'm back," said Sol Roth, wearing the same jacket as before.
"All right, cool. You gonna pick Fox again?"
"Don't be silly, Ms. Kellmin. I hate Fox. I'm picking Samus."
Macy raised an eyebrow. "You always pick Fox."
"No, Mace," Sol said, letting his foul, black breath flow against Macy's face. "I prefer Samus."
The young woman wiggled her nose for a moment and giggled. "Course you do! Guess I got confused. Coulda sworn you always picked Fox though."
"It's okay, dear. Just a mistake."
"Are you all right, Ms. Kellmin?" Sol asked.
"I don't know," Macy said, her vision becoming blurry as her head started to hurt. "I've got…my head's pounding…something's wrong…"
Macy fell to her knees as she kept grasping her head. Sol crouched down, running some of his fingers through her hair as he continued to exhale and let his poisonous fumes surround her.
"It's all right…be patient. Just keep remembering all your precious thoughts. What's something comforting you can think of from the top of your head? Anything come to mind?"
Macy's eyes shot open when she heard someone exclaim.
"What was that?"
Sol turned around and scowled. He waved his hand at some foreign invader, knocking him away from the void so that he and Macy would be alone again. Once they were, Sol looked down at the young woman and growled.
"Think, Macy. Just think."
She was uncomfortable. So was he. Still, she wanted this to happen. After all the months they spent together, now was the time. Macy slowly got off the bed, only wearing a light blue bra and pair of panties. Sol Roth was still fully dressed in his coat and long pants, looking surprisingly self-conscious.
Macy giggled. "I got it, I got it."
The red-haired woman reached behind as she undid her bra. She let them fall to the floor, exposing her supple breasts to the strange beast. Sol gazed at the woman's body, looking at her shiny skin, smelling the lotion on her body and the fresh shampoo in her hair. He looked at her breasts, admiring how they weren't comically oversized or bloated with implants, yet still noticeably round. He reached forward with one hand and ran a claw against her bare belly, moving it down to her curvy hips and around the waistband of her panties. His other hand grasped Macy's right breast, squeezing it gently so he wouldn't unintentionally scratch her.
Fetid drool descended from the monster's mouth. Sol didn't even notice it until he heard faint trickles on the carpet. He quickly closed his maw and wiped the slobber off, while Macy reached down and removed her panties very slowly. Sol kept breathing deeply, staring at Macy's groin and struggling to keep himself calm. He reached down and ran a finger around her lower body, even groping her plump buttocks and giving them a squeeze. Macy chuckled as she backed away.
"We can't do this if you're wearing clothes."
"Oh. Um. I was…I prefer—"
"It's okay, Sol. It's just me. I won't laugh."
Sol let hot breath out his nostrils before he grumbled and took off his coat. Macy stared at the beast, surprised that beneath his massive coat was a frail, bony body that looked cracked, like someone shattered him and put him back together like a jigsaw puzzle. Most eerie was the gaping hole in his chest where his heart was supposed to be. Nothing was there except for ash and bone fragments. Sol grumbled again as he took off his black pants, exposing his lower legs that seemed to be thicker and fuller than the rest of his body. Macy walked over to Sol and slowly moved around his body, surprised to see that his buttocks were plump and chunky.
"I guess all the fat went back here?" Macy joked.
Sol would've blushed if his scaly body would've changed colors. When Macy walked in front of Sol again, she looked down at his groin, only to find nothing there. There was only a small slit, and the region of his pelvis looked slightly swollen.
"So it's…you're like a reptile?"
"Um…yes. It…it'll come out…oh."
Sol didn't have to say anything else. Macy looked at the slit and saw a phallic-looking organ curling out of it and dripping with fluids. She almost grimaced when she saw the spines on the sides of it, and she noticed a musky, heady odor filling the room. Macy approached Sol and wrapped her arms around him, taking note of a muffled voice in the distance.
"Just say I'm ugly…please. I know you want to," Sol whispered.
"Honey…why would I do that?"
Sol stared down at Macy before he opened his mouth and exhaled in her face again. But she didn't grimace this time. She let all the fumes fill her lungs. What used to be malodorous, repugnant breath was nothing more than a fragrant scent for Macy. Sol backed away, his eyes dimming.
"Look at me, Mace. How could you love something that looks like this? How…how can you procreate with this?"
"You know I don't care about that. I never did."
The two beings kept holding each other, tightly wrapping their arms around each other's warm bodies. Macy rubbed the creature's crackling, chipped back, almost as if she were breaking off tiny flakes composed of bone. Sol continued to massage Macy, moving his big, bony hands around her soft flesh and dragging a few claws around her spine and neck. There was no need for either of them to feel self-conscious now. Not at this point in time.
What was she doing? Why was she doing this? A few moments ago, this creature terrified her. But now here she was, her arms wrapped around the creature's back, her body swaying slowly as she danced alongside Sol, never wanting to let go of him. She pressed her face into the beast's midriff, her nose almost sinking right into his open chest cavity. The young woman looked up at the monster's cracked face, giggling when she saw him smile and show off his nasty teeth. Lackadaisically, Sol lowered his jaw, breathing deeply into the woman's face and letting more of his breath invade her lungs. Macy was stuck in a trance, unable to avert her gaze from the monster's presence. She brought her lips up to Sol's mouth, and Sol responded by lowering his head and pressing his mouth against the human's lips. He had no lips, so Sol resorted to drooling and pressing his teeth and tongue around Macy's mouth, tasting her flesh and slathering his saliva all around her face. When Sol took his maw away, he slurped, letting his serpentine tongue glide back into his mouth.
"Mm…perfect. My dear, sweet Macy…I've something to ask."
"What is it?"
"The Devotees' Cave. It's a special place…just beneath my castle. A place just for the two of us. Would you like to see it?"
"Um…well. Is-isn't this a little fast? I'm supposed to…"
Macy paused. She looked away from Sol, puzzled. She let go of his hands, pondering silently to herself, as if she forgot what she was about to say. Something was on her mind—something on the very tip of her tongue. But she didn't know what it was. Someone shouted something in the distance, causing Macy to turn around. But all she saw was another blip in the darkness gradually moving closer.
"There's not much time, Macy. My powers have been draining; I only have enough energy to take you to the Cave. Do you want to go or not?"
"I'm…there was…wasn't I with someone? …Wasn't there a giant bunny man? Three people like me?"
"Do not be fooled," Sol responded. "That was merely a dream."
"No, I-I swear…I keep seeing him—him and this giant piranha plant thing with a massive mouth. What-what was I doing?"
"Mace…I need you to trust me. What you see before you is all that matters. Just take my hand—AAH!"
Macy's eyes widened when what looked like a massive furry paw latched itself onto Sol's head, and the dark void she was trapped in started to turn white and blinded her. There wasn't enough time—
All three of them shouted as they fell down into the Mad Rabbit's garden with a hefty thud, having practically been vomited out of the ground itself. Grant's eyes widened, the middle-aged man still sitting in the melon patch consuming the blood melon. As the juices spread around his mouth and chin, he looked at the three individuals who erupted from the ground before looking at his nourishment and seeing the fluids dripping from it. He decided it was time to stop eating and tossed it on the ground, standing up and backing away from the trio.
"Uh, guys? Crazy Bun-Bun's back!" Grant shouted.
"…s'Mad Rabbit, human," the Mad Rabbit growled, his face buried in dirt.
Beverly, Lentip, and Mason all sprinted to join them, with Macy grunting and rubbing her forehead as she sat up.
"HUMAN! GET AWAY FROM HIM!" Lentip bellowed.
Lentip sprinted towards Macy and snatched her off the ground, wrapping her around his body using his leaf-like hands. He panted as he clutched her tightly and backed away from the Dungeon Keeper, all whilst the lanky deity snarled and slammed his hand on the soil.
"DAMN IT!" he snarled. "I almost had her…"
"Um. Uh, so—why the fuck is there a smelly-ass skeleton here?" Grant asked.
"He tried to take her," the Mad Rabbit said, rolling over and hopping to his footpaws. "Just like he takes everyone else. Not this time—not this woman! We need her!"
"Need…need me for what?" Macy asked.
"Yes, Mad Rabbit. Why don't you tell her and Grant why you need the four of us," Mason snarled.
The Dungeon Keeper laughed in a raspy tone and let his serpentine tongue hang from his mouth. "This will be fun."
The Mad Rabbit looked at Macy and Grant and laughed. "Oh, you know! No reason! I just need you humans to help me wake up Hryzilli is all."
"The fuck is Hryzilli?" Grant questioned.
"The Satan of Aevum," Bev replied.
"UM! OKAY! BACK THE FUCK UP!"
"Wait a sec—let-let go of me!" Macy grunted as she wiggled herself out of Lentip's grasp. "That's why we're here?!"
"Human, how would you explain to someone that you need them to resurrect Satan in a reasonable way?" the Mad Rabbit asked.
"You see, Mace? You can't trust him. Can't trust any of his 'pets' either. All they care about is feeding themselves. But you saw what I did, Ms. Kellmin. I didn't lie to you. Didn't deceive you. You saw me for who I was, and I you. Is that not what you desire: to be seen for who you are, not what you can do for others?"
"He's a serpent, human! Are you really gonna stand there and lis—"
"EVERYONE SHUT UP!" Macy barked.
Everyone inside of the garden stopped talking as Macy started to breathe heavily. She approached the Dungeon Keeper and rubbed her temples.
"…Which character do you play as in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?"
"Um." Sol gritted some of his teeth together. "Why is this relevant?"
"Answer the question. What character did you play as?"
"Samus. You know that, dear."
Beverly flicked her eyes between the Dungeon Keeper and Macy, raising an eyebrow when she saw Macy chuckle and sigh with relief.
"Shit. You're right—you're right. I'm sorry. It's just…I keep thinking it's Fox McCloud for some reason."
"Did your brother play as Fox?" Bev asked.
"I don't have a brother."
Now Beverly was puzzled. "Yes, you do."
"No. I never—"
"Yeah, you do," Grant interrupted. "I literally said his name about half an hour ago before the bun-bun cut Bev's arm open. Isn't it Kevin or something?"
The Dungeon Keeper noticeably scowled. After seeing his demeanor change, the Mad Rabbit scoffed and folded his arms as he stepped aside. He pointed his ears at the humans and sniffed.
"You wanna tell 'em now, or should I confess for you?" the Mad Rabbit asked.
"Confess what? What the fuck did you do to her?" Grant asked.
"I gave her the happiness she yearned for. My apologies if giving someone joy is immoral," the Dungeon Keeper answered.
"Why can't I remember anyone named Kevin…why can't I remember my ex-boyfriend? Do I even have an ex?" Macy pondered. "Every time I try to think about something that happened more than a month ago, all I see—"
"Is me. And that is all that you need to see. Whatever you think happened before you met me is irrelevant."
Macy kept staring at Sol Roth, taking note of his disgusting smile spreading wider and wider as all of his teeth were exposed. She took a step backwards and shuddered.
"…You son of a bitch."
"Mace. I need you to remain calm—"
"Give 'em back. All of them. Give back my memories."
The Dungeon Keeper exhaled and shook his head, saying, "Sorry, it doesn't work that way."
"Then make it work!"
"Why do you want them back? Do you wanna remember all those times where you sat in the bar by yourself? Do you wanna relive all those moments where you sat at home alone crying because no one ever called you, no one ever visited you, no one ever wanted you? I repaired your past, Ms. Kellmin! You won't reminisce about all those days of loneliness; all you'll remember is me sitting in your bedroom holding you tenderly. You'll remember all those times we sang and played games with each other, laughing and having all the fun in the world."
The Dungeon Keeper grinned deviously and started drooling. "You'll remember all those times you were on top of me. I know you humans could be vocal when the situation called for it—"
"SHUT THE FUCK UP! That didn't fuckin' happen and you know it!" Macy wailed.
The monster shrugged. "Don't matter. And before you humans start spouting the word 'rape' and how 'immoral' it was of what I did…just know she asked for it. Hehe…just know she enjoyed it. I'm not a monster. I could've dragged her into the void and assaulted her twenty times over. But I didn't!"
"No, of course not. You just wiped her memories and threw in new ones where the two of you bang each other consensually," Mason commented dryly.
"We're on the same page. Lovely!"
Panting and feeling her eyes watering, Macy stomped over to Mason and snatched the handgun from his holster. The officer stammered for a moment as Macy aimed the gun at the monster's head with one hand.
"You give me back my memories! NOW!"
Beverly looked at Macy and noticed how she was holding the gun. She walked over to the other woman and adjusted her hand slightly before saying "like that" under her breath. The Dungeon Keeper's eyes rolled around in his hollow sockets.
"You know those bullets won't harm me. And you, Mad Rabbit, know nothing will harm me."
"Nothing here will harm you," the lagomorph explained.
Sol's grin faltered for a moment, but he resumed talking nonetheless. "You can't have them back, Mace. I've fixed you—you need to understand that. You're better off with the memories I gave you. And you all know that none of your inferior weapons can damage me, so stop with this whole act and get rid of your guns. Or better yet…point 'em at the real enemy here. This giant rabbit who 'claims' to be your friend."
"Lemme ask you something," Grant started. "Do you consider humans cattle?"
"Do you eat humans?"
"You gonna help us get home?"
"I am not."
"And on top of all this, you manipulated and violated this woman's mind. How the fuck are you our friend?"
Sol was about to answer when he broke out into a fit of coughing, his black breath and rancid saliva spewing from his mouth. Part of his cracked skin audibly broke, with a few pieces of his skeletal-like body breaking apart as more flakes fell onto the ground. He wiped his mouth off as the Mad Rabbit smirked at him.
"You better go back to your precious dungeon and recharge, Sol. Wouldn't want your body to wither up and shatter. Again."
"Mace…Ms. Kellmin. You want your memories back, yes?"
"How many other ways do I gotta say it?! Do you want me to get on my knees and beg for them?!"
"And you other humans…you want to go back home, yes?"
"No, we wanna stay here getting mind fucked by entities like you," Grant joked.
"I'd prefer being on a planet that I know, yes," Mason replied.
Beverly didn't say anything for a moment. She just looked the other way and held her tongue.
"Good! Then come to my castle! There's a portal there that'll link you to planet Earth!"
"He's lying," the Mad Rabbit snarled.
"Oh, but when you and the Architect and Erihsehc lured these humans here, it was not under a malicious pretense?"
"Even if I was lying about that, I'm not lying when I say that you can have your memories back, Ms. Kellmin. They're sealed away in my castle, and you just have to take them back from me."
"Fine," Macy snapped. "Where's your castle?"
The Dungeon Keeper rubbed his chin and nodded, turning around and taking a few steps away. The Mad Rabbit noticed that black fumes were spreading around his body. Panting, the Mad Rabbit reached into his jacket and pulled out a cylindrical weapon. He gestured for Lentip to alert the other sentient plants while the humans curiously stared at the skeletal figure.
"I see. This is the part where I reveal my evil plan, twirl my non-existent moustache, and just tell you where my castle is so you can storm it and ruin everything, yes?" the Dungeon Keeper asked.
"Usually how this works, yeah," Mason added.
Sol laughed wickedly and let his reptilian tongue slide out of his maw. The Mad Rabbit saw what the beast was trying to do and rushed forward with his weapon, clicking a button on it and causing it to extend into a metallic staff. He shouted as he tried to bash the weapon against the Dungeon Keeper's head, but the monster teleported out of the Mad Rabbit's reach. The Dungeon Keeper snarled in a foreign tongue before he snapped with both of his hands, causing two portals that were almost the size of a bus to open. The portals stayed open for only a few seconds, at which point a colossal creature stepped out of both of them simultaneously.
"NO!" the Mad Rabbit screamed as he lunged for the Dungeon Keeper.
Sol hopped backwards as he avoided getting struck with the Mad Rabbit's staff, while the portals shut after the two monsters stepped through them. The humans stared at the monsters with wide eyes, instinctively stepping backwards after examining both creatures. The monster on the left was somewhat humanoid, with its body composed of gray, sagging skin. But it had four legs—all of which were built side by side—and four arms. The gray beast was grotesquely fat, with rolls of flab hanging from every inch of its body, and a stomach that looked like it was on the verge of popping. The humans were disturbed at the set of teeth protruding from the stomach, and even more disgusted when the belly's maw spread open, showing off saliva and a green tongue. Most of the creature's body was wrapped in chains, some of which were twisted around its head, covering its eyes. The second monster looked like some kind of purple reptilian beast with wings strapped to its back. Its body was fairly humanoid with its two arms and legs, but it was smothered in scales, and it had talons and only three toes and fingers. Its head looked far too big for its body, given how the skull's structure curved backwards. No eyes were present on the head, but when the slit in the center of the beast's chest opened, the humans gasped when they saw a dark green eye the size of a pumpkin embedded into the cavity.
"Tsulkar, Shogthor, you two hungry?"
The bloated, gray-skinned monster nodded, its chains rattling as it moved its head.
"Fresh meat…good," the reptilian purple monster hissed in a feminine voice. "Tired of devouring the ssssscrapsssss you give usssssssssss."
The Mad Rabbit backed away as he gripped his staff, all while Lentip started to amass the other carnivorous, lethal plants in the Mad Rabbit's garden. All the humans slowly took out their weapons and aimed them at the monsters.
"How much ammo—"
"Not enough," Mason said, cutting off Beverly's question.
"Humans get behind me," the Mad Rabbit said, backing away and panting. "Sol's exhausted; his body's crumbling. Eventually he's gonna have to cut his losses and run."
"'Eventually'?" Mason whispered.
Macy stared at all three of the monsters as they drooled and approached her.
"Now Macy," the Dungeon Keeper started as he dug into his coat and pulled out two kamas, holding one in each hand. "When Tsulkar or Shogthor starts sucking all the meat off your bones, just remember…"
Sol Roth, Tsulkar, and Shogthor all stepped towards the four humans and the Mad Rabbit as they began to salivate.
"I gave you a chance."