Trapped Within a Dream: Part Seven
Hally was not about to sit idle while the greatest escape
in the history of the Pound went on around her.
Throwing her shoulder against the door repeatedly,
she knew the activity was for naught, because clearly the cages had to be built
to withstand some major trauma, but she couldn't think of anything else to do.
She wasn't thinking much at all, and her mind kept coming back to the same thing.
Dr_Deaths Biography, page 16, paragraph 2, line
"Of course we've had small break-outs, minor
insurrections and the like. The idea of being stuck in a cramped cage for 48
hours with a 50/50 chance of either being adopted by a kind soul or released
into the wild to fend for yourself would prove disagreeable and stressful to
anyone. While the pets under our care are under obligation to follow through
with the waiver they signed, we find that if a pet is determined enough, any
legal obligation will become a non-factor. We are unlikely to have an escaped
pet returned to us, even less likely to ever see or hear from the pet again."
The pets were still coming; older ones plodding
along as fast as they could, the Wocky still standing by the door. Above all
the ruckus, the Wocky was now saying, "Okay, let's keep moving! Go out the door
that's closest to where you're standing right now! The other door's open, too,
you guys. Let's move! Go! Go! Run as fast as you can, don't let anyone catch
Confused shouting, and then the crowd of pets
slowly split in two, feet were stepped on and tails were tangled, and for a
moment it looked like a fight was going to break out between a Lupe and a Blumaroo,
but a petite female Kyrii shoved through and the migration continued.
Hally craned her neck in the direction of the
"front" door, pushing on the broken lock. By now, a large bruise was forming
on her shoulder, and she winced as she fell back, exhausted and frustrated tears
falling from her eyes.
She closed her eyes for a moment, her head spinning,
her ears ringing.
Dr. Death's face was twisted in pain, teeth
clenched as he tightly held his hand against his lab coat, leaving a bright
red stain on the pocket.
"Well, the security alarm. That's something
I... ugh... haven't heard in a while," he sighed.
"The security alarm!" Reynolds screamed, whirling
around. "Oh, no... Hally."
She shot out into the hall, and nearly tripped
over what turned out to be a stream of pets, all of whom were running like the
dickens toward the front door.
"Hey! HEY!" she shouted fiercely, grabbing a
Scorchio by the arm. He didn't miss a beat, whipping around with an indignant
smile on his face and pushing her away.
"You come back here," she cried helplessly.
"ROSE! DAN! Lock the front doors!"
"That's a really bad idea," Dr. Death said,
suddenly in the doorway. "Mob mentality. We lock them in, they take desperate
Reynolds was dumbfounded, and she suddenly heard
a high-pitched female scream. She whipped her head toward the sound and saw
a human man and his young daughter standing in the waiting room. He picked her
up off the floor out of the path of the stampede, and the child was wildly pointing
at pets as they passed by.
"Daddy!! I want that one! Grab it for me, Daddy!
Grab it for me!"
"Uh, sweetie, I don't think that's gonna work-"
"Oooh! Look, Daddy! A Peophin! A Peophin! I
want that one, Daddy!"
Reynolds turned back around and noticed that
Death was shaking his head, walking back into the X-ray lab. She angrily pushed
through the quickly dissipating crowd and burst through the door, leaping over
the few pets that were still in the room. She slammed the door with her back
legs and the pets screamed, turning around and running for the other door.
The Wocky's eyes widened as he saw the enraged
doctor barreling at him, and knowing now was the time to throw in the towel,
he gave a quick apologetic glance to the pets still in the room and began to
run, letting the door swing shut behind him.
Reynolds was hot on his trail, spitting out
angry curses about her lack of opposable thumbs as she flung the door open and
then slammed it shut. By this time, the Wocky was nearly to the back exit, every
few seconds looking behind himself apprehensively.
The black gelert ran in what felt like slow
motion through the corridor, but her strong and swift movements didn't betray
her and in a moment, she was within pouncing distance of the Wocky. She took
a leap and the Wocky collapsed under her weight.
"Don't move. I'll snap your leg in two if you
"Dr. Reynolds, I'm impressed. Is there anything
you can't do?" the Wocky said sarcastically.
"I don't know who you are, or how you managed
"I'm nobody. Just like everyone else you and
this place have killed."
Racing footsteps behind them, and a gasp.
"Dr. Reynolds! Oh my gosh! W-what are we going
to do?!" Rose squeaked.
"How many pets are still here?"
"Oh gosh... I... 10? Maybe 15?"
Reynolds directed her eyes to the Wocky.
"You're coming with us. You'll tell every single
pet that's still here to do what we say, to disregard whatever nonsense you've
put in their heads. If any of my staff or any innocent pets are injured, it's
on your head. Do you understand?"
"I must say, Christine, that you really chose
the wrong career path. Didn't your guidance counselor have any aptitude tests
for 'Sloth Minion'?" the Wocky said.
"Get up. Get up, I said!"
"First, do no harm. Don't you remember taking
that oath?" the Wocky warbled.
"Yeah, you signed a legal contract, too. Remember
that? Get UP."
The Wocky finally obliged her and walked back
toward the cafeteria, his tail proudly flicking. Reynolds stayed right behind
him, and Rose walked a few steps behind her.
"We locked the front doors like you said, Christine.
There's a man and his daughter in the waiting room. Dan had them get behind
my desk," Rose said shakily.
They entered the cafeteria and like a flash
of lightning, a Korbat flew out the door, not looking back. The Wocky turned
around and gave Reynolds a smirk.
"You see what happens under a tyrant's rule?
Once the people decide they've had enough, nothing can stop them."
"You wouldn't know a tyrant if one bit you in
the bum," Reynolds said dismissively. "Say your piece."
There was a Chia in the room, crouched under
a table. On closer inspection, there were also a Mynci and a Flotsam hiding
behind fallen chairs. They tried to make themselves invisible.
"Ahem. My fellow prisoners, please listen to
the words I'm about to say, and know that I speak not of my own free will. The
merciless powers that would sooner send you to your death than lose face would
like you to go back to your cell now. They'd like you to do it quietly, and
Reynolds growled at him.
"What do you think you're doing?" she asked
"I'm doing as you said, Doctor."
"You're trying to provoke them."
"I'm telling the truth."
"Your skewed version of it."
"Skewed? Will you dispute what I have said?
Can you, Doctor? Can you tell me with a straight face that what I said is untrue?"
His voice steadily rose in volume, and the pets looked on apprehensively.
Reynolds didn't say a word.
"What? No threats? No 'if you don't comply,
I'll injure you'? Are you losing your spirit, Doctor? Are you losing your will?"
Rose looked at the two of them with shock.
"Don't tell me that you've finally seen the
light? Don't tell me that all those years of hearing the cries of pets, young
and old, of all species, begging, pleading with you to give them just another
day, another few hours of time... has finally gotten to you? Don't tell me that
your conscience, so neatly filed under 'save for a rainy day', has finally come
out? Don't tell me that you don't cry yourself to sleep every night, trying,
praying that you can last just one more day, just one more minute... just one-"
"SHUT UP!" Reynolds roared, grabbing the Wocky's
left front foot, bending it back and shoving him against the doorframe to the
There was a second of silence.
And the Wocky grinned.
"MOVE IT! RUN!" he screamed triumphantly. After
only a moment's hesitation, the remaining pets bolted for the door. Reynolds'
eyes widened, and the Wocky threw her off of him in a burst of incredible strength.
She tumbled into the hallway, landing on her stomach. She immediately jumped
to her feet, but the Wocky was there with a powerful swipe that sent her reeling.
Rose, meanwhile, was trying her hardest to corral
the pets. A green Quiggle gave her a sympathetic look.
"Don't get yourself hurt, dear. We all liked
you," he said kindly.
The last few pets were now nearly out of sight,
and Reynolds was lying on the floor, covering her face with one paw. The Wocky
prepared to run, but gave her one final look.
"You will be remembered for this," he said quietly,
then gave a wink as he strolled down the corridor.
Rose ran to Reynolds' side immediately.
"Christine? Oh man, Christine, your face. Are
Dan suddenly came running toward them, stopping,
an expression of pure shock on his face.
"Holy moly, you guys! Everyone... I mean...
the whole lot. They're all gone! What are we gonna do?"
Rose looked at Reynolds, who didn't respond.
She frowned and swallowed, then gave Dan as calm a look as she could feign.
"I guess we're going to do nothing. There's
nothing we can do. Keep the doors locked, close up for the day."
"Shouldn't we call somebody?"
"No. No, we can't do that. If word gets out,
who knows what'll happen?" Rose said.
"Yeah, but what about the pets?" Dan asked.
"Forget about them," Reynolds said suddenly.
"I said forget about them."
Dan and Rose were silent for a brief moment.
Then suddenly Dan frowned.
"What happened to Hally?"
To be continued...