The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Thirty: Three tries

Monty looked from one Darien to the other. They couldn’t possibly all be real, could they? It had to be some kind of illusion.

“What do you mean, ‘you all are’?” Sparky asked curiously.

The Darien directly in front of Monty smiled, closed his eyes, and looked casually off to the side. “Remarkable isn’t it?” He asked coolly, looking back up at him. “You see, these aren’t simply shadows or copies…”

“…Each one of us has their own free will…” Said another.

“…Our own freedom of movement…” Said another.

“…Our own freedom of thought.” Said another.

“And the best part,” said another, “is that I didn’t merely divide myself into seven weaker selves.”

“I multiplied,” Said another “making us all completely equal to the original.”

Monty twitched in fright.

“You wanted a whole pack of us…” Said another.

“…And you got it” Said the first.

Monty simply stared in shock. He had never encountered a situation quite like this before.

“This is bad.” Dale said timidly. “Monty was having trouble with one. How’s he gonna fight seven?!”

“What’s wrong?” the Darien directly in front of him asked slyly. “You look rather pale.”

Monty still remained silent, the look of shock still clinging to his face.

The Dariens chuckled evilly “Didn’t you expect me to have some kind of backup plan?”

“Yeah, but not this!” Monty finally blurted out.

“He speaks.” Said the Darien behind him, causing Monty to spin around.

“It’s impolite not to face people when you are being spoken to.” The Darien he was previously facing said coolly.

Monty spun around again. “HOW CAN I NOT FACE YOU?! YOU’RE EVERYWHERE!” he bellowed, becoming increasingly frightened.

“Quite right.” They all said at once.

Norman eyed his sister wearily. She stood, arms behind her back, as if she were interested to see what he could do. “She’s really not kidding!” Norman thought to himself in disbelief.

“No, I’m not.” Winifred said, causing her brother’s heart to jump.

“Don’t read my thoughts!” Yelled Norman. He had almost forgotten she could do that.

“I’ll read what I please.” Winifred responded with a touch of arrogance.

“Yeah?!” Norman shouted raising his hand over the control panel. With that, he slammed his fist down onto a small, green, square-shaped button. The mech’s hands immediately disappeared back into the cylindrical sockets from which they emerged, only to be replaced by two, twelve-barreled machineguns. Norman roughly flexed his arms. As the mech did the same, the deafening sound of twenty-four gun barrels caulking at once could be heard. He then proceeded to make his hands into fists and direct them towards his sister. “Read this, —!” He shouted, clenching his fists, as the final words of his sentence (which sounded like ‘witch’) were drowned out by the deafening noise of twenty-four, un-silenced machineguns firing at once.

Winifred watched as the cloud of bullets drew nearer. With the reflexes that the tsuyosa potion had given her, they were practically moving in slow-motion. “Enmu Genshi!” she thought to herself. Immediately, her entire form became as white and transparent as smoke. She stood motionless, almost eagerly awaiting the bullets’ arrival.

Norman watched as the bullets flew threw her, leaving almost jet-like, tapering trails of smoke as they passed, distorting her form, filling it with holes… “Wait a minute!” Norman yelled over the din, immediately ceasing his fire. “What the heck is going on?!”

Winifred’s vaporous, distorted form reverted back to its previous shape and color. “Enmu Genshi.” She answered, smiling slyly.

“What?!” Norman yelled, now thoroughly confused.

“Vapor apparition,” She answered, “A spell that temporarily turns its user into smoke. As smoke, I am unaffected by swords, knives, bullets…” her smile broadened. “You cannot hurt me.”

“How-how can you…” Norman stuttered, viciously trying to understand the physics behind this.

“Magic.” Winifred answer slyly.

“Magic?!” Norman yelled, apparently not satisfied with the answer. “That’s a nothing answer!”

“You sound just like father.” Winifred said drolly.

“I do not!” Norman shot back.

Winifred Gazed into the sky, hesitated, and then turned her attention towards the ground. “Father,” she began “if you’re down there listening, be sure to give Norman a good beating when I’m done with him, okay.”

“Shut up!” Norman yelled angrily.

“No,” continued Winifred, “and in case you’ve forgotten, you have two more attempts left. I’m waiting.”

“Well wait no longer!” Norman yelled, slamming his fist down onto a small, blue, square-shaped button. Immediately upon pressing the button, rectangular compartments popped up along the edge of each gun barrel, each containing seven holes. “I’m programming these missiles to target you, and explode upon reaching their destination!” he yelled, moving his hands as if he were typing on an invisible keyboard, the lenses of his glasses flashing as he did so. “That way, even if you turn into smoke again, these babies will blow you away!” Norman aimed his hands at his sister, who remained unconcerned. “Take this!” With loud rushing noises, the fourteen missiles exploded from their tubes, streaking straight towards Winifred.

However, because Winifred had known this would happen five seconds beforehand, she had already decided what to do about them. Quickly, Winifred aimed her hands at the oncoming missiles and shouted, “henjiru fajii saikoro!” She then proceeded to stand with her hands on her hips, mockingly, as fourteen pairs of pink, fuzzy dice bumped into her, squeaking as they did so.

“FUZZY DICE?!” Norman yelled in a frustrated rage.

Winifred motioned at the dice. Each one of them had landed on ‘one’. “One more try.” Winifred said calmly. She seemed to be enjoying this.

“Only one?! Hmm…” Norman said to himself, stroking his chin. “I could use it… But If I do, I’ll be completely out of energy… I have no choice.” He decided firmly.

“What’s wrong?” Winifred asked sarcastically. “Are you out of ideas already?”

Norman smiled deviously. “No, I’ve got one left.

“Let me guess; Tear gas?”

“No,” Norman continued, his smile widening. “This one’s to die for.” quickly, he reached toward the front of the cab, pulled a red lever upward, and slammed his fist on a red button. No sooner had he had done this, then the satellite dish on the side of the mech began to glow green, emitting a high pitch noise as it did so. “Taste the event horizon cannon,” He yelled “At 100%!” with that, a blinding green beam, three meters in diameter, exploded from the dish, firing at Winifred, hiding her from view.

“Game over!” Norman yelled over the din of the laser. “Not even you could survive my event horizon cannon at one-hundred percent!” Norman was about to turn off the laser, when it suddenly dawned on him that for some reason, the targeting system in his glasses still marked a target, infering that Winifred was still there. “Stupid piece of junk.” He muttered, tapping the sides of his glasses. “This is no time to malfunction.” However, tapping didn’t seem to help. “What’s wrong with these things?” He said, peering through the light of the beam. “Why are they saying—” Norman stopped in mid sentence at what he saw. “Nn-n-no way.” He stammered. “That’s… not… Possible…” Although he could just barely make it out through the light, it was definitely there. Exactly ten feet in front of him, his beam stopped, as it clashed with a red beam of equal size.

Winfred stood, twenty feet from her brother, her feet, dug into the floor as if she had been pushed backwards into it by an enormous force. She had extended her hands out in front of her, and emitting from her hands, was a blinding red beam, three meters in diameter; the exact size and magnitude of her brother’s. “I warned you not to underestimate me brother!” Winifred shouted over the din of the two beams’ clashing. “You have fought pathetically, and now you will die spectacularly!” Winfred’s beam suddenly increased in size. Immediately, the point where the two forces collided began to slowly move closer to Norman.

“No!” Norman yelled, “I will NOT lose to the likes of you!” He began furiously typing away at the control panel. “Come on, come on!” He said nervously to himself occasionally glancing up to see how close the beam was. “I’ve got to take from it all; engines, computers, guns, targeting, the AR systems; everything!” Winifred’s beam was now merely a few feet away. “HA!” Norman yelled, slamming his hand down on a red button. The size of his beam immediately increased, as the cannon readout changed from 100% to 132%. The clashing point now began to move towards Winifred as Norman’s beam began to over take hers.

“NO!” Winifred screamed as the clashing point began to approach her. “This can’t be possible! You can’t be stronger than me! NOOOOOOO!”

“Ha ha ha ha haaaaa!” Norman laughed. He had won.

The clashing point was now a mere foot away. “NOOOOooo—” Winfred suddenly stopped screaming, her expression instantly changing from horrified to evil. “Just kidding. HA!” Winfred’s beam suddenly quadrupled in size, completely eliminating the clashing point in-between the two.

“Aaaah!” Norman yelled, jumping out of The Human Hunter 8000, just in time. Winifred’s beam hit the mech head on, completely incinerating it without leaving so much as a speck of ash.

Winfred ceased her fire and grinned at her brother.

Norman now stood before her, completely defenseless. He was not sure what was worse, his greatest creation being destroyed, or the position that he was now in. “I’m-I’m… completely defenseless.” He said nervously to himself.

“I thought you would have realized by now Norman,” Winifred said gently. “You’re no match for me. Not even when using machines, are you a remote match for me. You haven’t been rendered defenseless, you’ve been defenseless all along.”

Norman said nothing.

“Well, if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll bring your little robot back.” Winifred said, snapping her fingers.

Norman looked around. “Where is it?” He asked nervously.

Winifred didn’t answer, but instead, looked up.

Norman did the same, only to see a small speck in the sky. At first, he couldn’t make it out, but as the speck grew, he realized what it was. The Human Hunter 8000 was plummeting from above, heading straight towards him. “Aaaargh!” He screamed, dropping into the fetal position and covering his head. He cringed and waited for the inevitable… but it never came. “…What?” Norman said, looking up to see where The Human Hunter 8000 had gone.

The Human Hunter 8000 was still there, but it was hovering over him, a pair of pink wings flapping behind it. “Hurry!” Came Foxglove’s voice. “Move!” Foxglove had attached her feet to the sides of the cab, and was clinging on to the mech, suspending it in midair.

“You?!” Norman shouted. “But why?!”

“Nobody deserves to die!” Foxglove said. “Now please—”

“…How are you lifting that thing?”


“Did you know that the machine you’re holing weighs over eight tons?”

She didn’t. Foxglove was unable to hold The Human Hunter 8000 any longer, and was pulled with it to the ground. “Noooo!” Foxglove shouted as it landed on Norman with a sickening crunch. Foxglove let go of the sides of the cab and fluttered to the floor. “Please don’t be dead.” She begged as she peered under the wreck.

“Arghhhh.” Came a groan from beneath. Norman was still alive, but it appeared that both his legs had been crushed. He was trapped.

“Hang on.” Said Foxglove “I’ll get you out.”

Foxglove turned around, looking for something; anything she could use to help her. It was then that she became aware of a previously unknown presence.

Winifred grinned evilly. “Hello Foxglove.”

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