Interlude: New Toys
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It had been a dark and bloody night. A veritable parade of horror had descended on a small Midwestern town, led by a shambling, laughing, singing fiend playing a flute made of bone. Now, at dawn, the fiend and his circus of death were making themselves comfortable. Pale figures huddled in burnt out houses; dark figures hid in the brush and in basements; tiny skeletons sat in the sun, murmuring quietly amongst themselves.

The Scarecrow watched the sun rise, scraping shreds of warm meat from his claws. He was quite satisfied with his work, having done his best to make every death quick and terrifying. The Harvest was bountiful so far.

But then he felt unfamiliar eyes on himself. He shook himself out of his daydream and looked around himself, wondering who could possibly still be alive. His gaze fell on a tiny figure, barely a foot tall, peeking out from behind a picket fence. It wasn't a dog, nor cat, because he had made sure to slay everything that he could catch. Everything else had fled far away; what could his little visitor possibly be?

"Whaz all this, then?" Scarecrow muttered as he came to loom over the fence, his horrid platoon of wraiths circling around him. He lightly kicked the fence, and the tiny figure peeked out from behind. It was a tiny teddy bear, with a squished face and black eyes. He crouched down and saw something in those beady little eyes, something that he couldn't quite place. Something innocently evil, something both inhuman and totally human at once.

"Yor a horrid little fucker, aren't you?"

The bear looked beside itself as another figure stepped out from behind the fence. A small figure, perhaps a foot tall, shaped much like the little teddybear - only instead of fur and string, made of human eyes. They all seemed to stare up at the Scarecrow, each meeting his gaze with their own. He stared back, almost disbelieving of what he saw.

For you see, there were few things in this world that the Scarecrow found to be beautiful. One of them was the human eye - such a wonderful, perfect organ. The pure white of an unblemished soul, splashed with the vivid red of lifeblood, each accented by a ring of colour as unique as the person it's cut from. All surrounding a tiny, black void that reflected the Scarecrow's heart, itself black and nonexistent. It was all very metaphorical.

"… Oh," breathed the Scarecrow, his own infernal eyes burning like coals. "Oh I like you. I like you an' I like yor little buddy. I think I'll keep ya." The demon turned, looking over the army of the dead that now entirely encircled him, and pointed down at the teddy bears. "Oi, e'rybody welcome our new friends. Play nice, eh? Take them around an' show em all the nice stuff we do."

The two teddies reached towards one another and held hands, following the Scarecrow's movement as he stood up, looming over them. There was a great cheer as the ghosts and ghouls and skeletons and shadows each cheered, several of the littlest skeletons running forward to cuddle the bears. The Scarecrow stepped over the crowd, smiling to himself, wondering idly what other horrible little things were waiting for him in that wild, wide world.

He looked to the sky at the warm morning sun, spreading his arms to take in the warmth. A fantastically fun night of horror and violence, a wonderful clear morning sky, a new friend or two, and a new day.

And the children were happy, too.

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