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Choose how the story continues

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Sorry for not making a new chapter in a few days, I went through a small bout of depression. I'm aware that this story is very dark and I'm sorry if that bothers you. I got a suggestion to make Milo wake up and realize it was all a bad dream, but that basically disregards everything I've written so far. I'm still open to suggestions though.




Milo rose onto all fours. He was downtown, not far from the bamboo shop. Crickets chirped in the warm night air. When he had been kidnapped it was midday. The street was empty, lights glowing in a few shops that were open after ten o’clock. His memories of what happened replayed over and over but he knew he needed to contact the police and then go to a hospital. The bamboo shop was closed, but he was friends with it’s owner, Samuel, a black and white giant panda. He instinctively felt for the bag around his neck and realized it was gone. They had taken it. All his money, all his paint, gone. His emotions were numbed, all he could feel in the moment was a hollow emptiness.


He walked to the bamboo shop at the end of the block and banged the door knocker three times. A light came on on the second floor which was where Samuel lived. Milo heard him clomping down the stairs. Samuel peered out the window and his groggy expression turned to one of shock as he saw Milo. He opened the heavy wooden door.


“Milo!” He said. “Are you okay? What on earth happened to you?”


Milo stepped into the nice smelling shop with shelves lined with bamboo, a staircase in the corner behind a counter. He buried his face into Samuel’s fur. Samuel took a step back as blood wet his fur, but he hugged Milo, whose emotional barrier melted and he started sobbing. Samuel shut the door and hurried over to the counter.


“You’re bleeding, I’m calling an ambulance.” He said. Milo leaned against the door and nodded. Samuel dialed a number on the telephone. “I’ve got a friend here, he’s bleeding… he looks really bad.” He said. “Please come quick.” After a moment he hung up. “I’ll get a towel.” He disappeared up the stairs and came back moments later to wrap Milo’s arm with a white towel. He wiped some blood off Milo’s face.


“I was kidnapped.” Milo said, his nose running and tears streaming down his cheeks. “Tell the police everything.” Samuel said, his deep blue eyes filled with worry. Milo nodded.


A few hours later, Milo lay in a hospital bed, his arm and face stitched. He told them that he had been knocked in the temple so they examined him for brain injury. They found none, so he was told that he would be released once they examined him once more and made sure they got the story straight. A cat policewoman had asked him what he knew, and pressed him to remember, but the only important detail he could come up with was that the preacher had mentioned “Order of the Red Moon”, which the officer had jotted down. He was offered protective custody, but he declined, disliking the idea of sitting in a small room for days.


Milo sighed, in a room with air conditioner, the flowery smell soothing him. He had requested to be alone, and after an hour he had almost stopped crying. He had asked for something to draw with, and was told not to use his right arm, which was stitched, to draw. He had politely been given some paper and a pen. He would have preferred a pencil, but nonetheless it helped calm him. There was a TV above his bed. He had flicked through the channels and found a cartoon, then turned the volume up as loud as it could go, and for the last hour tried to drown out his thoughts by scribbling faces and shapes.


One memory that recurred the most often was of the scrawny hyena that had had his belly cut open, because of Milo. Milo had caused his death, and the hyena hadn’t actually broken any rule. Milo wondered if he should feel sorry for him, but he couldn’t help it. He remembered the look he had given him.


On the other hand, it was a complete wonder that Milo was still breathing. A tiny phrase in his wording has resulted in him being given a chance to escape. But now what? Samuel had offered that Milo could stay at his house, which Milo took up, afraid to be alone. He had no money, and before he had survived off of donations from strangers watching him paint.


Milo looked up at the screen, watching a cartoon rabbit sticking his tongue out at two brown bears. He leaned towards a table and with his left paw held the pen and drew a dark, menacing figure. Then he quickly crumpled up the paper and threw it across the room.

Heaven if you sent us down

So we could build a playground

For the sinners,

To play as saints.

You'd be so proud

Of what we made.

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