The idea that Chaos was in grave danger infected his mind like a disease, slowly creeping into his imagination, plaguing him night and day. It began as a nightmare in which she desperately needed him, but he couldn’t quite make it in time to save her life. Laying in the dark, the dream was as real to him as if he had seen the future. At first, Poison had instructed him to write off the figment of his active imagination, however weeks passed without word from the outposts and their minds began to mess with them. No coded notes from Chaos telling them how much fun she is having helping out people who need her, as they were regularly accustomed to. Ghoul missed the private messages coded secretly for him among the other, seemingly arbitrary words; the secret messages to her best friend.
The situation came to a critical point on the night they received a note from the matron of the Tumbleweed Outpost where she last proclaimed herself to be staying at. It said very little, that was the problem. He had asked her if Chaos was still with her, and if not when had she been last and where was she headed. The reply simply said that Chaos had left on Thursday last (nearly three weeks ago by the time the note reached Ghoul’s hands) and said that she had left quickly in the night, leaving a message that she was headed West. He had tossed the note savagely into the garbage and reached for the pink scarf Chaos had left in his closet. It was his only comfort. Poison paced back and forth past the boarded up window where one plank was pried loose to afford a view out onto the street. He looked out at every chance he had.
“Go. It is your only choice. Go after her, into the fray, and we will follow.” Poison said finally, turning to look at the distraught young man on the couch, the scarf feeling the tension and fear of its captor.
“I didn’t want anyone getting involved. It’s my dumb fear, my dream; I’ll put my life on the line and mine only.” Ghoul replied, grimly.
“If she is in a situation that is too complex for her to find her own way out of, she will need all of us; you will need all of us.” Poison returned to the pacing that kept him calm and helped him think.
“You’re probably right on that account, but if she isn’t and we run into more dracks than we can handle, just because we’re so large a group, I’d never…”
“We never travel alone, despite the dracks.” Poison cut him off, not looking up from the dingy green carpeting.
“If she had gone willingly, she would have let us know she was moving. “ Ghoul replied, changing the subject. Poison was in one of his valiant moods and he wouldn’t be shaken out of it for some time.
“You think she was taken against her will from inside the Tumbleweed? You know as well as I do that they are guarded heavily. That is why we pulled strings for her to be allowed entrance, for her safety.”
“I know, but maybe she was out and someone took her hostage…”
“I tend to believe she was deceived. Traveling in the night, no warning, no specific destination, and you remember as well as I how naive she always was with us, to the very last. She never shook the childish trust that nearly got her ghosted in the first place.”
“God forbid. I can imagine some ruffian coming up with some sob story to tempt her beyond the walls.” Ghoul shuddered at the thought and held the scarf more tightly.
“We will leave in the morning. Begin at the Tumbleweed Outpost to ensure that she has not returned, then move west, hitting all the towns and outposts on the way. “
“Only if you’re sure everyone is satisfied with the plan.” Ghoul then stood from the lumpy sofa. He stretched his arms and walked toward his bedroom. As he was closing the door, he saw Poison staring out the window at a spot of orange light upon the sand and pavement below cast by a flickering streetlight.
“You will never be able to take away all our colors.” Poison murmured to nobody in particular.
*(This is the writing of Holly Trott and Holly Trott alone, I did not copy and do not expect to see anyone copying me or they will be the first to be taken down by my alien boyfriend when he takes over the universe.)*