Runt closed his fist around the handle of his dagger. He heard his adversary come closer. Clop. Clop. Clop. The big red shoes caused a haunting echo in the dim alleyway.
“Little booooy. Where are youuuuu?” The fiend finished his inquiry with a soft “hyuk.” Just a few more moments, and he’ll be close enough. Runt’s heart beat at a rapid pace.
Clop. Clop. Now. Runt leapt out of the doorway and slashed with the dagger, aiming for his foe’s vitals. But he missed his mark. The dagger sliced through only a balloon giraffe, which collapsed with a loud “pop.”
Runt was paralyzed for a moment. The dagger clattered to the damp pavement. He stared into Mister Baggy Britches’ face. He stared back out of a pure white face with blue triangles above and below the eyes. His mouth was painted in a crimson rictus of infernal glee.The horror reached out a yellow-gloved hand toward Runt. The boy reflexively drew back, then turned and ran.
The voice echoed behind him. “Wait, liiiiitle booooy. Would you like to see a magic trick?” Runt rounded the corner and dashed down another alley. Hide, I have to hide. He saw a door, and tried it, but it was locked. The boy dashed on.
He saw a garage door slightly open. Runt dropped to his belly and slid underneath it in one fluid motion. He turned and saw a pair of large, bright red shoes walk by. “Liiiitle booooy…”
Runt took a moment to catch his breath. He sat up, then got to his feet. He blinked as he looked around, his eyes adjusting to the dim light. It was then he realized he was not alone.
A figure stood in the center of the large room, directly under the sole light. Dressed in black and white horizontal stripes, the man had a pure white face, like Mr. Baggy Britches, but the colors were only in black and white. Still, Runt’s blood ran cold. A name tag on his shirt read “Theo.”
The man reached his arms out in front of him, and closed his hands on an invisible rope. Slowly, but with increasing speed, he pulled himself toward Runt.
The boy closed his eyes and thought back to what the Old Man taught him. He knew what he had to do. He opened his eyes to see the monochrome monstrosity dangerously close. Runt threw up his hands and pressed against an invisible wall in front of him. The man bounced off of it, and stepped back, rubbing his nose. He then began to feel along the wall for a doorknob, a faint smile on his face. The boy knew he didn’t have much time. He ran to the garage door and slipped under it.
At the far end of the alley was Mister Baggy Britches. The beast chuckled loudly and waved as he started toward the boy. Behind him, he heard the garage door open. He was trapped.
Mister Baggy Britches froze, his eyes fixed just beyond Runt. The boy turned, and saw the figure from inside the garage standing, his eyes fixed on the brightly colored figure past the boy.
They began to inch forward, as if in a trance. Runt slipped into a doorway, trying to stay out of the way. The two met, and stood still for a long moment, eyes locked on each other. The black and white figure began to draw an invisible blade. With deft hands, the colored one fashioned a sword from a long red balloon.
Mister Baggy Britches swung first, but was blocked by the other fiend, who swung his own blade, only to be countered. The two stepped back. Theo stared at the other man, who was twisting his sword into a machine gun. The black-and-white man grabbed an invisible shield and deflected the bullets.
Both combatants were focused on each other, and Runt saw his chance. He slipped from the doorway, inched along the wall, and bolted for freedom. I really hate birthdays, he thought as he vanished into the maze of alleyways.