It was strange how normal everything felt
The magical power, the talking cat, the porcelain monster
It was like that world of strangeness was the place that I belonged
I probably did belong there
I had just been denying it
Ever since I had practically run away from my parents I had been trying to avoid it.
To live a normal life
Though most people won’t call skipping school with other delinquents normal
To me however it was peaceful
A kind of peace I don’t think I will ever have again
Meeting that porcelain doll, the Elder Darkness, was what really changed me
Those kids that say there nearly motionless set something off inside me
A kind of hatred, a feeling of suffocation
And memories that are better left forgotten
That was probably the reason that everything felt so normal
Because it felt like returning home
Memories of the Star family are not something I try to remember
The winding passage ways, the dark hidden rooms
The blood, horror, and necessity that made up life
Yet that served a purpose, everything in the Star household served a purpose
The porcelain doll and the frozen bear boy
It was just the whims of a terrible evil, something that was not human
Even a human with a pitch black heart would feel something seeing that
It might have been joy but it would still be a feeling
Yet that doll didn’t even have that
Chapter 3 - Inhuman Evil
Luna began taking slow steps toward the table while the bear boy twisted awkwardly and began pouring tea into the cup at the empty table. Then Luna’s bat came down on the cup held by the doll. The tea splattered everywhere. The doll released the broken handle of the teacup and blinked with its solid eyelids and long fake eyelashes. Then they arrived.
There was the shattering of the glass door into the toy store as mannequins stepped into the store. These were real mannequin not the frozen forms of real people, except that real mannequins didn’t move with unearthly quickness or carry an array of dangerous weapons. The mannequins must have visited the cutlery store before arriving because long sharp knives seemed to be the weapon of choice.
The mannequins were racing toward Luna faster then living humans, raising their knives to begin the assault. Yet something welled up inside of Luna Star, a warmth maybe, a desire, a strength. Her bat swung in a long arc, knocking the mannequins away before they could even reach her. The crashed into the nearby shelves of toys which scattered everywhere. With a swiftness that matches the mannequins Luna leapt through the door out of the toy shop and back into the darkness of the hallway. The mannequins began to pull themselves off the floor and began picking back up their knives. Then they turned back to Luna and followed her out into the hallway.
“Good,” Said Luna with a smile on her face. “Now I won’t have to worry about the kids.” That was all the time that she had before the mannequins reached her again. This time however they didn’t stand a chance. Faint white and black runes began to appear on Luna’s bat and when she brought it down on the closest mannequin it slammed down to the floor and its head broke open on the floor showing the emptiness inside.
Expending the effort to deal with one of them however left her open to the other five. A wide swing of her bad managed to keep two of them at bay while her free hand grabbed one of their wrists. She pulled it backward and with an expenditure of effort managed to throw it into the fourth mannequin. It was the fifth one that finally got her however. It sunk the knife it was holding into Luna’s shoulder and Luna screams as she swung her bat forcefully at it, sending it tumbling into the wall with a large crash.
Luna pulled the knife painfully out of her shoulder and tossed it on the ground. It was painful but not as much as it should be. She glared at the remaining four mannequins which were about to renew the assault of her. The glow on her clothing and her baseball bat intensified as she reach out her hand toward the mannequins. Lances of merged black and white energy shot toward them, a mixture of the light from Luna and the darkness surrounding her. Large gapping hole appear in the mannequins when the energy passed through them and moments later it was over.
All that was left of the mannequins was broken parts scattered around the floor of the hallway. Luna sunk to the floor gripping her bleeding shoulder in her hands. She looked back toward the toy shop and saw Blackberry standing on the table near the frozen kids. The porcelain doll was nowhere to be seen.
“What happened to it?” Asked Luna.
“It escaped during the fighting. By now it must have hidden itself. I doubt I can find it again before the sun rises.” Blackberry looked at the kids in animal costumes around him. “However once the sun rises these people should be fine. There will probably be some strange questions that the police will ask but everything should be fine until tomorrow night. We should get ready to face it again.”
“With this shoulder? I don’t know if I will be ready to fight again by tomorrow night.” Said Luna with a grimace.
“It will be fine by then. Just being a magical girl should be enough for your wound to help in a few hours. By tomorrow night you probably won’t even be sore.”
“How convenient.” She sat there in the darkness for a long time. Then she said, “We should find somebody else. There is a limit to how many enemies I can fight on my own. And that… thing I did. I doubt that I would do that more then once at a time.”
“I agree. Your magical power is strong but your control over it isn’t enough for you to single handedly fight that many enemies. I have some leads to check out but you should probably get at least a few hours of sleep.”
Luna nodded and stood up, “Plus if whatever the Elder Darkness did to these people wears off when the suns rises then we should be out of there before then.”
Less then an hour later Luna was laying on her bed again. It felt very comfortable. Her clothing had returned to what she had been wearing before the transformation. While she hadn’t been tired before releasing her magic the exhaustion had rolled over her as soon as she had dropped it. Blackberry had said that was normal and that her magic could keep her awake for days at a time if needed but that normal resting was the best way to recover her magical powers.
A few hours later Blackberry returned. The window had been left open so that he would be able to enter. He jumped up onto the bed and looked at the sleeping Luna Star. To him she basically glowed beneath his vision. Her aura of power was incredible and should she be able control it then she would be incredibly formidable. Maybe even strong enough to beat the Evening Queen or at least he hoped that she would be.
Blackberry curled up next to Luna Star, he could afford to let her sleep a little longer. It was past noon when Luna Star finally woke up. She practically rolled out of bed like usual however this time it was accompanied by a loud cat yowl. She managed to roll over Blackberry in her attempt to make it out of bed. She pulled the sheets off of him and said, “Sorry about that. I’m not used to cats.”
“Easy for you do say. You didn’t just get rolled on.” Said Blackberry. He lifted his paw up and licked it a couple of times. “Here I was kindly waiting for you to wake up and you go and roll all over me.”
Luna shrugged. She had already said her apology. Instead of repeating herself she yawned and exited her room. Lunch and a shower later she returned in better spirits. “Did you find anything? Some new helpless girl you want me to help you bully into assisting me.”
“That is a strange way of putting it but yes I have a couple of leads. The first is probably the best chance because you should be able to help me with it. Yesterday I say you fight a bunch of guys with a gang of girls, do you remember that?”
“You were watching? Sure I remember that, is there another member of the gang who would be suitable?” Then she paused remembering the event. “There isn’t is there. It was the other girl who has the potential to become a magical girl.”
“Exactly, you catch on quick. I initially thought that she was who I was looking for when I watched the fight but when I finally say you then I knew that it was you that I was really sensing. However I wouldn’t have made that mistake if she didn’t have potential too. Since you were there I though that you might know something about her.”
“Sure, although not much. She goes to the same school as me. Her first name is Joy and I think her last name is Lamb. She is a year younger then me so we haven’t really interacted much.” Said Luna.
“I see. Well she had potential, not as much as you but still enough to be a useful ally. We should speak to her and try to get her to join us.” Blackberry paused, “Speaking of students, aren’t you supposed to be at school or something?”
Luna glanced casually at her clock which was showing that it was a little after 1:00pm. “Probably. Although I’m not certain if they will accept my explanation that I was out all night fighting a porcelain doll and knife wielding mannequins.” She waved her hand in dismissal, “Don’t worry about it. I miss school fairly regularly so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Blackberry eyed her for a second and then asked, “How is your shoulder? You have been moving your arm normally.”
She raised her other hand and massaged the shoulder that had been injured. “It is still feeling sore but I checked it while I was taking a shower and it looks like it has already been healed. I’m not sure if I should be glad or worried that it healed so quickly.”
“It is probably the reason you slept as long as you did. Healing wounds with magic is quick but is taxing on your magical powers. I can try teaching you a few tricks tonight if you want. It should help you if you get injured again.”
Luna nodded, “We also need a recruitment plan for Joy. I have a few ideas if you want to listen to them.” Blackberry nodded and they discussed the strategy for a while before they left the apartment.
The bell rang signaling the end of the school day. Joy Lamb smiles and stood, picking up her bag. She spoke with her friends for a few minutes, finalizing their plans for this weekend. Finally smiling she began to head home. When she reached the gates to the school her pace faltered a little bit. There standing on the wall near the gates to the school was a black cat. She looked around at the rest of the students leaving the school. A black cat is a sign of ill omens but she though certainly not for her.
Ignoring it Joy continued on her way home. It became harder to ignore the cat when she realized that it was following her. Maybe it just wanted some cat thing, like a bowl of milk or something. Joy satisfied herself with that explanation and picked up her pace home. Maybe it would get bored and stop following her.