posted by Sallytheragdoll
thiz story isnt mine so i cant take the credit so here. It was cold in the lab as Dr. Finklestein studied his current specimen. A snail, injected with just a hint of zombie blood. Previously a dark brown colour the creature had turned bright blue all over, soon crawling around its jar at a speed unlike that expected for such a slow creature. "Very interesting," the scientist muttered, recording his observations in a black journal.
"Master," came a voice from behind him. "Master, there is a visitor here to see you."
He turned his wheelchair around to see Igor, his hunchbacked assistant. The dimwitted creature wasn't exactly Dr. Finklestein's greatest creation to date, being little more then a general nusiance. But he served his purpose around here, which was basically to do whatever he was told to. Make supper, fetch plans, do little meaningless tasks...anything to keep him out of the way.
"Who is it, Igor?" he sighed now, not happy to put off his experiments. "If it's another salesman, tell him to go away."
"No master, it's not...it is Jack, the Pumpkin King."
A cough. "Then why didn't you tell me that, boy? Hurry, out of my way." He wheeled himself from the room to find Jack standing at the head of the stairs. A skeleton of hardly believeable proportions he was; surprisingly tall and rail thin, the envy of many men in Halloween with his ability to charm the women with one graceful move. At over 500 years of age, though, the King hadn't moved to accept for himself a queen. That was a detail that drove everyone in town crazy, simply because so many ladies were constantly drooling over him.
"Hello, doctor," he smiled now. "I've come to speak with you about the holiday."
"Ah, yes, my boy. Please, come this way and we can make ourselves at home." He headed over to a ramp, making sure the King was on his tail. "Would you like some tea? Something to eat perhaps?"
"No thank you," came the reply. "I shouldn't be very long here."
"Quite the pity." After reaching the lower level they headed for the living room. It was small and not very cozy, but pretty good for someone like Dr. Finklestein who hated having company. He just liked to put on a good show for the King. "Come now, sit down. What's on your mind?" Jack took a spot on a old sofa. "First of all, my good man, I need to know how you're doing with your Halloween assignment."
"Oh, wonderful. I've started creation of the new Frankenstein monster and he should be ready within a few months."
"Great. We have around 6 months till the big night, so you've got plenty of time. Good, one matter resolved. The next item of concern is regarding the dinner and dance next week for all citizens of Halloween. As you know, we're holding a special function to thank all the people who've helped us so diligently with the holiday over the years...."
"Yes, of course."
"Well, I'm just informing you that each person is to bring one pot-luck dish. Anything you want, but it has to be something."
A nod. "Great. Finally, I need to know exactly how much time you put into making the Frankenstein as soon as he's completed. Then we can calculate the hours total worked by everyone in Halloween in our year-in-review report."
"Oh yes, nearly forgot about that. Thank you Jack for the reminder, I'll work on that."
He smiled. "Wonderful then, I guess I'm done." He rose. "I just wanted to inform you of those few things. I know it gets hard for you to venture down for the town meetings nowadays."
"Indeed. I appreciate your concern, many thanks."
They headed for the front door. "Anytime, Doctor." Letting himself out he gave a little wave, heading back towards Town Hall. A shudder crept down his back as he left the area; that man always sent him a vibe of pure evil; kind of like Oogie Boogie. Difference was, this guy didn't have enough of a backbone left to pull any 'pranks'.
Doctor Finklestein let out a grumble of annoyment as Jack left. That stupid monster he was supposed to be working on was nowhere near the stages of development. The plans were barely in the making. But whatever he needed to say in order to make His Majesty happy.
Without a word the doctor wheeled his chair into the kitchen, where Igor was preparing supper.
"And what's on the menu tonight?" he asked. "I'm quite hungry."
"Fried liver and octupus legs, master."
A shudder. That had to be one of the worst meals cooked by his assistant--who was by no means the Martha Stewart of Halloween. "Wonderful," was all he said though, a cheerful grin plastered on his face. "Sounds great."
"I can't eat this," Dr. F proclaimed as he pushed his plate away 30 minutes later.
"Why not, master?" came the reply. The assistant eyed the scientist with concern.
"Oh, too full," he lied. "Not a big appetite today. Please dispose of this somehow, I'll be heading to complete some work now."
A nod from Igor. "As you wish."
Without waiting the doctor left, wheeling his chair quickly towards his lab. There had to more then this--the mindless conversations with his assistant, the awful dinners, the loneliness...there simply had to be. He hadn't really realized up to this point how sad his life seemed to be. And now that he dwelled on it, he couldn't stand it.
Dr. F shook his head angrily as he thought these things. No, he mustn't start feeling sorry for himself. He never had before, and he wouldn't now.
He was just working on the monster when it struck him--just a name, but the basis for a huge and wonderful project. Sally. Yes, that was it. Sally. A simple yet charming name. The name of his bride-to-be! All he had to do was create her. It wouldn't take much, really; he already was beginning to develope an idea of her in his mind. She'd be someone to converse with, to pass the time with, to cook and clean for him. A wife. The more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea. "Igor!" he called out. "Igor, come here! Now!" The hunchback was there in less then a minute.
"Yes, master?" he asked.
"I have a plan, a wonderful plan. But I need your help."
He sat upright in his chair as he stared at his assistant. "I wanted to create for myself a wife. So I'm putting the Halloween project on hold for a moment. I need you to go down to the graveyard and do what we've done for all our other frankenstein monsters; choose out the neccessary parts for my bride. Do you understand?"
A nod. "Yes, master....I shall go do as you ask."
The doctor grinned devilishly. "Very good, my servant. Choose wisely!"
Igor started with his task, but it was difficult. He was forced to dig up many graves, only to find a great quanitity of them unsuitable. A number were too badly decomposed to be used. It was to his employer's benefit to use parts not too badly rotted. Many were not attractive enough, others didn't look right with the rest. He was forced to use only sections of the bodies; a bit of this, some of that, and so on. It wasn't a surprise to either of them when he returned that night with only enough pieces to build an arm and two legs.
The next day he went out as soon as dawn broke, working quickly with his shovel. It was around midnight when he finally returned, all the required parts in a wheelbarrow.
"Very good," Dr. Finklestein muttered as his assistant spread the collection out upon a large table in the lab. "Lovely...." He examined the parts. "A very nice skull, we should basically only need to do a bit of rebuilding on it. Repair the flesh, affix new skin to it...I see you were able to get hair, lovely brown hair..." He nodded as he continued on. "Her legs should be nice, as her arms. The basic skeletal parts you were able to pick out are well built. Her mouth will require extensive work, but her eyes are perfect. Where did you get those?"
"A fresh corpse, master," came the reply. "Just buried. She was very pretty."
"As she must have been," he smiled. "Well, this is an excellent start for now." A yawn. "We'll get started first thing in the morning. But right now, we should go to bed. It's going to be a big day tommorrow."
Work on Sally commenced early the next day. Many things had to be done, and a set of blueprints would need to be made. Then construction would have to be started on repairing the salvaged body parts, plus efforts would need to be made to keep them fresh. Her skin would need to be coloured and shaped around her bones, plus mended here and there. Her arms and legs would have to be put into their sockets, and her eyes planted into her skull. A million things would have to be done, but Dr. Finklestein would make sure that they did.
He got Igor to start work immediately on the electricity machine, which they would use to send millions of jolts worth of electrical current through his bride to bring her to life. Meanwhile he started making the plans, which he hoped to have done by the end of the day.
After working non-stop for 8 AM to 9 PM Dr. F managed to complete them. But he wasn't done yet. He began work on her limbs, putting them into place. It was his idea to save the work on her skin till last, as it would certainly require the most care.
It was around 12:00 in the morning when he finally turned in. Yet he was up again by 8, to continue his work.
This continued for a number of days, this schedule of his. Always working, no time for anything else. The one time he stopped was when Jack visited to check on his progress. With a smile he made up a quick lie, shooing him away so that he could go on with what he was doing.
Two weeks after picking up his project the doctor was finally ready to start on the skin. First of all he wanted to soften her flesh. He did this by placing her body in a bath of wild herbs and oats, letting them seep into her skin. Upon removal he dryed her off, blotting over her a special chemical mixture he'd prepared. After a while he finally achieved the desired feel he wanted; now to work on the colour of her skin. He composed a blue tinted juice for his bride-to-be, which he rubbed all over her. He then let it sit for two days, letting it soak into the skin while he milled about preparing other 'treatments' for her. This turned Sally a pale blue colour.
All of this had taken a week to achieve, the softness and the colour. Now he needed to repair the flesh in itself, sew up bits that were loose or didn't fit quite right. This wasn't too difficult, just time-consuming. He'd have to pull the skin tight, pinning it in the way he wanted while he sewed it in the right place. At times Igor would need to lend a hand, keeping bits of her flesh from moving while Dr. F sewed it into place.
After a final week, he was completed. His masterpiece was ready to be brought to life. She lay there motionless on the lab table now, her eyes shut as she remained there in all her glory. It was now time to awaken her.
"This is it, Igor," he smiled devilishly as he eyed his work of art. "Soon she'll be alive, and it will be done. All this work, this effort, it will finally pay off! I'll be happy, she'll be happy, and it'll all be perfect!"
"Shall we start now, master? Shall we bring her to life?"
"Of course!" he sneered. "What do you think, I've done all this work and I'm going to put it off another day? Never! Now come, bring her body to the electricity machine."
With a nod Igor placed her body on a metal cart, wheeling her to the huge piece of equipment. It looked rather terrifying, more like a giant ray gun, but that didn't phase Dr. Finklestein in the least. "On that table there," he demanded. "Yes, just like that. Now stand back, put on some goggles. Are you ready?"
"Yes master," came the reply as the hunchback fixed his eye equipment.
"Good. Watch carefully!" With a hideous grin he threw the switch, and the contraption immediately started up. It began making a loud, mechanical sound as small sparks flew around the tip of the gun. "Yes!" cried the doctor. "More, more!" He turned up a dial on the control panel, increasing the flow of electricity. "Quicker now!" The noise was nearly deafening, ringing in their ears as the powerful piece of equipment worked and gained energy. The sparks moved faster and faster, growing brighter as it got ready. "That's it!" yelled the evil scientist. "A bit more!" Igor watched dumbfounded at all this; his master gone hysterical, the motionless girl on the table, the electricity machine gaining energy. "We're ready!" came the loud cry at last from Dr. F. "At last, it's finally time!" He laughed maniacly. "NOW!" He punched a button on the control panel, slamming it with all of his might. Almost instantaneously it caused a huge jolt of energy to fly from the gun, moving so quick it was almost impossible to see it. It impacted with Sally, forcing her small body to jerk upwards as it surrounded her. She remained like this for a moment, suspended in air as she was covered in a purple light. Then slowly it faded, her body lowering itself slowly to the table. The machine died away and all was silent in the lab. Neither Igor nor the doctor moved, wondering what would happen next.
It was blurry when she opened her eyes for the first time. All she could see was some big creature, a type of odd beast looming over her. What was this? Where was she? The creature soon moved and she blinked a little, standing up and looking around.
Immediately her eyes caught sight of a most perculiar looking man, bald-headed and wearing tiny black glasses as he watched her with seeming surprise. "It worked," he said quietly. A chuckle. "It actually worked!" He received only an odd look. "My dear, can you speak at all?" Nothing as she tilted her head sideways. "Hm, I didn't forsee this. You can't speak yet." He waved his hand in the air nonchalantly. "But no matter, you'll learn." A smile. "Now my dear, allow me to introduce myself. I am Dr. Finklestein, your creator and master. You are Sally, my invention, whom I made with my very own hands." She just continued to stare at him, confused. He was slightly annoyed with this. "Okay, let's put it simply then." He pointed a finger at his chest. "Dr. Finklestein." A finger at hers. "Sally."
She was still for a moment, before a huge smile broke out over her face. "Dr. Finklestein," she said excitedly, her voice sounding out like that of angels as she mimicked his hand movements. "Sally!" A triumphant grin.
"Yes, that's right," he marvelled. "Exactly right." The scientist nodded, pleased. "You know, I can tell already that I made a great decision when I chose to make you." He wheeled his chair backwards a bit. "Come along now my dear, and hop off that table. We'll head outside for a bit and show you Halloween Town." A blank stare. He just rolled his eyes, waving for her to follow him. "Come, outdoors."
She paused, but soon smiled and began to climb down from her seat. She was successful in reaching the ground, but staying up wasn't exactly easy. Almost instantly her legs went flying from underneath her, sending her crashing into the ground. "Goodness," muttered the doctor. "Well, don't worry about that, dear. Here, use the table to help you." He caught himself before she eyed him again, pointing at where she had just been sitting. "Table, pull Sally up." He pushed his palms upwards through the air. "Up."
Once more, it took her a while. But when she did, she got the concept well. She managed to haul herself up, until she was standing upright. It was now time to learn how to walk.
"Master, shall I help her?" offered Igor, knowing that Dr. F was unable to do the job.
"Yes, that would be good."
Delighted to be of service the hunchback headed over to Sally, taking her hand. "Let me help you."
A little smile. "Help," she copied. "Help Sally."
"I shall try. Now, this is how you do it...just one foot in front of the other, miss..."
In just a half hour she was carefully skipping around the room, her legs somewhat co-operating with her. Every now and again they'd give out, but that never broke her spirit. She'd always get right back up and try again, to get it right.
When he was confident of her skills the doctor told her to follow himself outdoors. Igor would stay behind, to clean up the lab somewhat. The newly formed woman nodded at this, allowing him to lead her from the room and downstairs towards a large steel door.
"Now," Dr. F told her, "I don't want you getting lost on me here. Stay with me, don't wander off. Go nowhere." She understood, waiting beside his wheelchair as he pushed open the door.
Her eyes instantly lit up as the light surrounded her, enveloping her. She lifted her arms, staring at the world beyond her in disbelief. She dashed from Dr. F's home, running around the yard as he came out behind her. She stopped before a large tree, gazing up at its leaves as she placed her hands on its trunk.
"Tree," the scientist told her.
"Tree..." she in turn said. She bent down, touching the ground beneath her.
"Grass," came the desired word.
"Grass." She pointed up to what seemed to be a burning ball in the sky.
"Sun..." she marvelled.
He smiled gently. "Bright, isn't it? Pretty."
A grin broke over her face. "Pretty. Sun pretty. Grass pretty. Doctor pretty."
"I don't know about that, my dear," came the chuckled reply. "But come, let's continue."
They went on doing this as they walked, Sally touching things at random as he told her the words for them. If he said a sentance she would repeat it, sounding out each syllable in turn. Houses, flowers, gravel..she wanted to know it all. She didn't stop until they arrived at Town Centre, where her eyes beheld a sight she could scarcely believe. Others like herself, walking and running around, talking and doing all sorts of things.
"People," piped the doctor. He spoke slowly. "They're working on the holiday...can you say that? Holiday?"
"Holiday...what a holiday?" she asked.
He was surprised at her ability to ask this. "Well my dear, let me explain it all for you. Our holiday is Halloween. Say that for me. Halloween."
"Yes, that's our holiday. Everyone who works here works on the holiday. That means that they are helping to create it, to make sure everything gets done. For Halloween, we have to make sure that we make October 31st the scariest night of the year and terrify as many humans as possible. It's also our year-round duty to make sure the humans get their fair share of the...the paranormal, you might say."
"October?" she questioned. "Scary? Para...par..."
"Paranormal," he laughed. "You don't have to worry about this now, Sally, I'll teach everything to you later."
A nod. "Not now." They started walking again, towards the fountain in the center of the Square. Here she stopped, glancing inside. "What this?"
"Water," the quick answer came. "It's called water."
No reply as she stared at this substance. She could see another person in there, looking back at her, moving whenever she did. Confused she dipped her hand in, pulling it back quickly.
"Wet, isn't it?" Dr. Finklestein laughed.
His invention frowned. "Bad wet."
"Not a good first encounter, I suppose." He looked into the fountain. "Your reflection is in there," he told her. "See? That's you. That's Sally."
This truly shocked her. "Sally?"
"It surely is."
A broad smile now as she looked back in, studying herself carefully. She saw the light blue skin, the long brown hair, the stiches. She saw the brilliant violet eyes and the tiny mouth. Touching her cheek she couldn't help but sigh. "Me." Carefully she dipped a hand into the water, allowing the liquid to fall through her fingers as she lifted it up. This fascinated her, inspiring her to do it again to produce the same results.
"Having fun, my dear?"
She giggled. "Fun!"
"Well, who's this?" came another voice suddenly. They both spun around to see two little women there, wearing pointy hats as they grinned devilishly at them.
"Hello, witches," sighed Dr. F.
"Hello, yourself," sneered the larger one. "What's your name there, girl?"
"Her name's Sally," he told them. "She can't say much yet, she's just learning."
"Just learning?" squealed the little witch.
"Yes, she's my latest creation. She's coming along very well so far."
"Yeah, she's so talkative," muttered the larger of the two. She only received a glare.
"Now don't be like that. I think I did a very good job on her. And besides, she'll get the hang of things eventually."
"Sally can talk," declared the insulted invention. "Sally understand. Sally learn."
"The word is I, darling, no need to refer to yourself as Sally all the time." She gave him an odd look. "Trust me, dear, that's just the way things are."
The witches couldn't help but snicker. "Yes, vast improvements," chuckled the little witch. "Sure. Honestly, Dr. Finklestein, sometimes you get the strangest ideas."
"There's nothing strange about my ideas," he protested. "Making Sally was a fabulous concept, and I'm happy with her. I have a companion. Now if you'll excuse us, we'll be off now." He turned his chair, hurrying away as Sally jogged along beside him.
"So long!" cried the larger witch with a cruel laugh. "See you round!"
"Stupid old hags," he simply muttered. "Ought to mind their own business..."
"What wrong?" asked the worried young woman.
An encouraging smile. "Nothing, dear. Let's go home."
That night he showed Sally where she would be sleeping; a room of her very own, with a bed and everything. She was delighted, hoping under the covers and pulling them up close to her chin with delight. After bidding her goodnight he turned out the light, closing the door and heading towards his lab.
It was here that he started pondering.
"What should I do about this?" he muttered to himself, sitting in his wheelchair as he gazed out the window.
"About what, master?" came the voice. He glanced to see Igor, cleaning out a shelf of assorted brains. The scientist just sighed.
"Sally," he answered. "The witches have gotten me thinking, and I've decided on something. From now on, I think I'm going to keep Sally from wandering around outside. With or without an accompaniment. I don't want people thinking and saying things about her."
His servant tried to remain humble and dignified. "But master, she should have freedom..."
"Yes, I know but....I just want to protect her. Know what I mean?"
Igor was smart enough not to try and argue. "Yes, master, I do. It is a good idea, to keep her away from the others."
"It is, isn't it?" Dr. Finklestein smiled. "Yes, it is.
The doctor did not make his plan known to his creation, nor did he mean for her to find out. Instead he simply kept her busy around the home, showing her how to do tasks like cooking, cleaning, and sewing. Sewing she quickly caught on to, as she was frequently required to repair the stiching that held her together. The other chores took a little bit longer to master, but she got the hang of them within the week.
During the days now Dr. F would busy himself with various projects and tasks, such as the Frankenstein he'd been assigned to build for Halloween. When he wasn't working he'd give her speaking lessons, or get Igor to do it. Other times he'd turn on the radio for his dearest invention and let her listen to it, watching with delight as she mimicked the words they said.
Within two weeks she could speak very well, and had a very good understanding of what the words meant. Not only that, but she was highly intelligent. With all of the radio she'd tuned in to and the many times Dr. F had simply prattled on about various things while working, she now had a very vast knowledge. Science, history, mathmatics, geography; she excelled within them all. She lived to learn, asborbing information as if she were a sponge soaking up water. This delighted her creator, who would hand her thick textbooks to read on concepts that most would shudder at dwelling on. She would just accept them, though, downing the content until she came back looking for more in a couple of days.
Life went on like this for nearly two months. They stayed at home, and Sally never questioned why they never went outside anymore. She cooked and cleaned as the doctor said she was supposed to, spending her free time reading and doing crossword puzzles.
One particular day her creator went out and bought for her a teddy bear, fuzzy and brown with a black ribbon around its neck. She accepted the gift with great surprise, having never recieved anything like it before.
"Thank you," she said with astonishment as he handed it to her. "What did I do to deserve this?"
"Nothing, my dear, I just thought you might like it. Do you?"
A huge smile spread across her face. "Oh yes, it's lovely!"
"Well, I'm very glad." He grew solemn now; he didn't want anymore of this sweetness, it wasn't like him. "Anyways, my dear, there's some laundry now that's ready to be done..."
She nodded, holding the bear close to her chest. "Yes, doctor, I'll get started on it right away."
"Why don't we ever go outside?" Sally asked a month later. It was supper time, and they were having soup. "Remember the first day I was created? We went into Halloween. We haven't ever gone again since though. Why is that?"
He laid his spoon upon the table beside his bowl, reaching for his glass. "No need to."
"Well, you've gone. Why can't I?"
A sigh. "Sally, Halloween Town is no place for a young woman like yourself..."
"But why not?"
"Because I said so. Now there will be no further discussion on this matter."
She frowned, but said nothing.
By this time the doctor was hard at work on his Frankenstein monster for the holiday. It was 9:00 when Sally came into the lab with some blueprints he had wanted, laying them on a table as she watched him. Currently he was fitting in the eyes, making sure they were even.
"Is that how you made me?" she asked. "A little at a time like that?"
He nodded, stopping what he was at as he wiped his hands in his apron. "Yes, indeed. Creating you was a very careful process, as I wanted you to be perfect."
"And did I turn out the way you wanted me to?"
"Of course you did, even better. Why?"
A shrug. "Just curious." Silence for a moment as he turned back to his project. "Why did you make me?" she questioned at last.
This caught him off guard, forcing him to turn his wheelchair around. "Pardon?"
"What was your reason for giving me life? There must have been some sort of motive to it..."
"My dear, I had no 'motive', I just felt like it..."
She simply shook her head. "No, not a single soul would go through that sort of work for nothing. There must have been a reason."
Nothing for a moment from the scientist. "Well," he responded at last, "the truth is, I created you for a very specific purpose." He stopped. "I created you so that you could become my wife."
This startled her. "I...don't get it..."
"There's not much to get, dear. I was lonely, I wanted a companion...you were it."
"So that's my main purpose?" she whispered. "To marry you? I'm sorry, I...don't know how to take this. I always kind of had this vision of a big wedding and the whole deal..."
He was growing annoyed. "Well don't count on that."
"I know, that's what saddens me. I hadn't thought on this at all, I don't want to get married yet..."
"No-one said you had to, that was only my inspiration for creating you. Who knows what will happen in the future."
She sighed. "Yeah, I suppose." A backwards step. "I'm going to bed now. Goodnight."
"Night, Sally. See you in the morning."
The subject of marriage to Dr. Finklestein haunted Sally, plauging her thoughts and her dreams over the next two weeks. It seemed so strange to her, so foreign. Here she was still adapting to life in itself, and now this suddenly popped up.
The doctor hadn't mentioned marriage since their original conversation, and she hoped it would stay that way. She knew, however, that things could change at any moment. Who knew when he'd decide to finally hold the wedding? It was something she dreaded. She wanted to leave this lab she called home one day, find the love of her life, have his children and live happily ever after. Not rot in this miserable place for the rest of her days!
It was 6:00 on a Wednesday when a knock came at her closed bedroom door. She lept up from her bed where she'd been doing some pondering, hurrying to see who it was. Igor stood before her.
"Excuse me, Sally," he said, "but my master wishes to see you downstairs." A pause. "He says it is important."
A lump of dread formed in her throat. "Did he say...what it was about?"
"He would not say, miss. He awaits you."
"Yes, thank you." She stepped past him, heading down the stairs slowly towards the living room.
There she found him, her maker, sitting in his wheelchair beside the sofa. A nod. "Ah, my dear. Sit down, please." She took a place in a chair on the opposite side of the room. This annoyed him, but he said nothing as he cleared his throat. "Well, I've made a decision at last..."
"Yes," she replied, knowing what would come next.
"I think it's time we held the wedding, Sally."
Nothing for a moment. She simply sat there, staring at the floor as she bit her lip. She knew that had been coming, but that it had actually been said aloud...she didn't know how to take it. Tears formed in her eyes as she shook her head now. "No...no, it can't happen like this...this is not how it's supposed to be..."
"Sally, you have very little choice. I created you, remember..."
"That doesn't matter," she sobbed as she stood up. "I'm still a person, I still have my own rights. I don't want this, it's not fair."
"Life rarely is. But you were created for a reason, and that is what you shall do."
She held her hands to her chest as a tear rolled down her face. "Please, doctor, please change your mind. Think about this for a moment..."
A growl. "I have though, long and hard. and this is what it's come down to. There's no reversing it now, so don't try and influence my decision."
"Doctor, I'm begging you..."
He frowned at her, holding up a finger in a gesture for silence. "No, my mind is made up. You will do as I tell you, or else I will take from you the life I so kindly gave. Now go back upstairs, I don't want anymore complaining from you."
Crying openly she turned now and ran away, her sobs echoing off the bare walls as she ran. He just closed his ears to it all, staring out the window quietly.
A short while later she lay on her bed, weeping softly as the wind from the open window dried her tears. This wasn't the way it was suppose to be, this wasn't how she wanted to live her life. It was cruel and unfair, he shouldn't be allowed to force her into doing this.
Sitting up she wiped her eyes using the back of her hand, staring outside. How great it would be to go out there, to get away from this place. It would be even better to get away for good, to leave forever. Live in a nice home with a wonderful husband and children....all the things she wanted but would never get. Unless....
Standing up now she walked over to the window, laying her hands on the ledge as she glanced down at the ground. It wasn't that far to the pavement, and if she brought along a needle and thread...it could just be possible. She could free herself of this heck hole! It would be dangerous, but she was willing to risk it. Death at this point didn't seem too horrible.
Pushing the window open as far as it could go she climbed upon the sill, standing up carefully. It was a long jump, the impact would be quite hard. But that didn't faze her. Taking a deep breath she closed her eyes, extending her arms as she stepped away.
It all happened in an instant; the wind whipping past her, stealing her breath as she plummetted towards the ground. The feeling of exhileration, the amazing tranquility of the fall. The impact, what felt like a million vehicles slamming into her body all at once. Pain coursed thriough her body, rendering her senseless, unable to speak or move. But she had to get up, she had to be free. That was what she had down this for, and now that she had it, she was going to enjoy it. After a few minutes she willed her eyes to open, allowing them to focus on her surroundings. The lab loomed in the corner of her left eye, it's dark shape appearing menacing in the dark. Before her lay a path heading down the hill and towards town; exactly where she wanted to be.
Letting out a sigh she sat up, to find that her leg had come loose. Pulling out her needle and thread she quickly repaired it, rising up at last. Finally, here she was. In the outdoor world, free to do as she pleased. No-one to stop her or hinder or, nobody to force her into doing what she didn't want to. Just freedom, and the chance to rightfully do as she pleased.
She had barely gotten to Town Center when the realization struck her; what the heck was she going to do out here? She had no money, no place to go, nothing at all. Where would she sleep, how would she earn money and pay for the neccessities of life? Perhaps leaving had been the wrong idea.... it mightn't be too late to go back yet. No, crawling back now would only prove her weakness; she couldn't do it. But still, what was she going to do out here? Oh, stop complaining, her conscience spit at her. Quit worrying and just go enjoy yourself. See things you haven't seen before. The graveyard, perhaps, or the forest. "Hey, that's a good idea," she muttered to herself at that thought. The graveyard...I've been wanting to go there, Dr. Finklestein has said many things about it..." Nodding to herself she decided automatically where she was going, and set off.
Meanwhile at home, the doctor was up late working in his lab. Whenever he was upset or pondering, he usually did this. Tonight he was thinking about the wedding with Sally; obviously she didn't want to go through with it. But he hadn't created her for her opinions; he created her to be his partner. That was all he'd ever intended her to be, and no more.
A sigh escaped his throat. Still though, he'd been awful mean to her. He should at least apologize for his cruel words.
"Igor," he called out. "Igor, go fetch me Sally."
"Master, she is highly angry...I would suggest that you let her be still for a little longer."
"I told you to go fetch her," he snapped. "I don't care whether you think it's a good idea, just do it!"
A quick nod from the frightened assistant. "Yes, I shall go right away..." He disapeared down the hall, leaving Dr. F to sit there and think by himself. "Listen Sally," he rehearsed. "You shouldn't just...no no no, that isn't right..." A sound of him clearing his throat. "Sally, I thought I should say I'm sorry for being so harsh earlier on..." A shake of his head. "No that won't do." A deep breath. "Sally, I know that you're not happy with me, but I wanted to let you know I apologize for my cruel words earlier. That doesn't mean my mind has changed any, but I do wish for you to know that I'm sorry for my actions and also the way you feel right now." A smile crossed his face. "Yes, that's quite suitable. Now all I have to do is wait for her to arrive..."
Igor arrived a moment later, his face pale. "Doctor, there seems to be a problem..."
"Where is she? Where's Sally, didn't she come?"
"No, master...she's gone."
She arrived at the graveyard around fifteen minutes later, after following the road leading to it from Halloween Town. Stepping past the gates she let out a low murmer of astonishment. It was even more wonderful then she'd imagined it would be. Hundreds of tombstones and mausoleums spread out over an uneven terrain, some of them seemingly quite ancient. A pumpkin patch lay not too far away, which she knew was where the yearly supply was harvested. The most wonderous sight though, had to be the spiral hill. It lay in the center of the graveyard, the highest landmark. The moon shone upon it gently, giving it an enchanting feel.
Quite amazed with this sight Sally began to head over towards it, gazing at it as she slowly approached the hill. She stopped, however, when her eyes found that another creature sat there. Not just any creature, but perhaps the most amazing one in all of Halloween Town. A skeleton, tall and thin, standing by himself as he stared at the full moon. He wore a handsome pinstripped suit and a matching bat bow tie, a frayed set of tails finishing the ensemble. She stared at this character now, not realizing that she was staring.
She'd been standing there for a couple of minutes before the skeleton turned around. Unaware that anyone had been watching him he blinked with confusion, before smiling.
"Hello there," he said with a little nod as she grew entranced by his smile. "I didn't even see you standing behind me."
She gave a little curtsy. "I'm sorry, I was just out for a walk when...."
"Oh, don't worry about it," he replied. "Come, join me. Lovely view from up here."
"I...I'd love to." Carefully she made her way to the hill, walking up it so that she now stood by his side. The skeleton presently stood directly next to her, arms behind his back as he focused his sight on the sky. She looked up now as well, to see a million brilliant little shining dots up there. They twinkled gently, their beauty mesmerizing.
"Lovely, aren't they?" he asked. "I always loved the night sky, for years I've simply loved coming up here to stare at the stars..." A little chuckle. "But that doesn't matter. What's your name?"
"My name?" She touched her chest. "Sally."
A shrug as her arms fell to her side. "The doctor never gave me one."
Slight confusion. "The doctor....? Oh, Dr. F! You must be that invention of his the witches were talking about. Well, it's lovely meeting you." He extended his hand.
"Same here." She accepted his gesture of kindness, shaking his skeletal hand. It was quite large compared to her own, producing a laugh from him. "Well, I feel like a monster here!" He released his hold on her. "Well, I don't know if the doctor has told you about me already, but allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jack Skellington."
"The king?" she exclaimed. "Oh, goodness!" quickly she dropped to her knees, staring at the ground. "Your majesty, forgive me if I have in any way..."
"No, no, no, Sally! Whyever should you be sorry for anything, you've done nothing wrong. Please, stand up."
Slowly she did, still looking downwards. "I have been far too forward before the king...."
A chuckle. "Too forward? My dear, you have been anything but. You've simply been a lovely, polite young woman. Don't apologize for a thing." Nothing. He just gave a shrug. "Don't worry about any of it, it's all fine. I'm really quite a casual person."
"Then...I haven't...insulted you?"
"No, of course not!" She just rubbed her arms; it was getting chilly outside. "You getting cold?"
"Yes, just a bit..."
With a smile he removed his jacket, placing it over her shoulders. The fabric felt soft and warm against her skin, giving off a pleasant odor. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder, offering her the heat of his body. The intimacy of the situation was somewhat unsettling to Sally, but she didn't try to free herself from the arms of the King. In fact, there was something she liked about this....
"So why haven't I seen you around town before now?" Jack's voice cut into her thoughts.
"Oh, my creator wouldn't allow it. He said I wasn't ready yet." She lowered her voice. "I ran away tonight."
"But please, don't tell him," she quickly insisted as she glanced at him. "He musn't know...I can't go back there!"
"Don't worry, I won't," came the reassurance. "Tell me though, why can't you go back?"
"I...I can't say," was all she said. "It would be my preference not to."
"Has he been hurting you in any way...?"
Quickly she shook her head. "No, never! I just....can't go into it." Slowly she started to edge from his arms, pulling free as she removed his jacket. "I'm sorry, your majesty, I must go now. I still have to find a place to sleep tonight..."
"You can stay in my mansion if you want...." he offered.
"No, no thanks....I musn't...." By now she was starting to sweat slightly; she didn't like this, any part of it. "I appreciate the offer, but...."
A nod. "Well, at least take the jacket. I don't want you being cold tonight."
This surprised her. "But Jack, I couldn't."
"You have to. Please, if you got sick or something from being out here like this I'd hate myself forever. I have others like it, take it and enjoy it." An idea suddenly came to him. "Hey look, if you want a place to stay, just go to town hall. There's a spare key under the doormat, it's been there for years. It'll get you inside. Stay there for the night, so you don't get ill or anything."
"Well....alright then. Thank you very much." She pulled on the jacket, letting its warmth embrace her. "Goodbye." Before he could say another word she was running down the hill and out of the graveyard, her red hair flying in the breeze as she fled the area.
Sally walked down through Town Center, the jacket pulled tight around herself as a shiver ran down her spine. She didn't know why she'd fled the graveyard like that, and presently she felt like kicking herself for it. There had been something about the situation, the feelings she'd been feeling. A strange flutter had been in her chest, that seemed to come back whenever she thought of Jack. And then there had been the part of the jacket and him putting his arm around her....was it just the gentleman in him, or was it something more? She knew that she had enjoyed it, just thinking about it now thrilled her. But she didn't want to feel that way, over someone she hardly knew. How frustrating this was! How annoying, not understanding these things.
A sigh escaped her throat. Enough of this; she had to get to town hall, find some shelter before Dr. Finklestein sent Igor out to find her. Or else, all of her plans for freedom would be in utter vain.
Jack stood before his bedroom window, hands shoved in his pockets as he gazed at Halloween Town below. A few lights burned still, even at this late hour. Town hall was dark and still; Sally had long ago turned out the one light she'd lit. Yet here he was, still up, thinking about what had happened that evening. He'd truly enjoyed meeting Sally, she was a wonderful woman. But why had she ran away from him like that? Was it something he'd done, something he'd said? Perhaps she hadn't liked the way he'd wrapped his arm around her, or the way he'd offered his jacket. He had just been acting the role of the gentleman, though. It would have been awful of him to let her go away cold.
He looked back down once more at Halloween, before something at town hall caught his eye. If he squinted just right it appeared that he could see an unknown figure, headed for the main door. A few seconds later the being disapeered, and a light inside flashed on. His breath caught in his throat as he turned from the window. Something had to be wrong down there, something at town hall wasn't right. Sally could be in serious danger, danger he himself had placed her in.
Without waiting Jack raced down the stairs and out of his house, racing as fast as he could towards town hall.
As soon as she'd reached her destination and gotten inside, Sally had turned on a light, glancing around the place. Things seemed to be chaotic here even without all the people; evidence of hard work on the holiday lay everywhere, in the form of everything from jack-o-lanterns to cauldrons of unidentified goo.
Yawning loudly, Sally began to take a bit of a tour of the place. She saw the many holiday projects, giving her a better idea of exactly how extensive Jack's job truly was. The stage was indeed a mess, the storage place for many miscellaneous nicknacks. Most of the rooms within the building were locked, but all of the open ones seemed were simply bathrooms and storage cupboards.
After satisfying her curiosity Sally turned out the lights, curling up on a bench in Jack's jacket and falling asleep.
She didn't know exactly what time it was when the light suddenly flashed on. Quite startled she shot up, to find exactly who she'd feared she'd see.
"Igor," she gasped. "What are you doing here? How did you find me?"
"To answer your first question, Miss Sally, I am looking for you. To answer your second one, the witches saw you enter town hall and informed me of your whereabouts."
"Stupid old hags..." was all she muttered.
He ignored her. "Our master insists that you return immediately. He is not pleased that you left home without permission."
She stood up, curling her upper lips. "Well he can bite me for all I care. I'm not going back."
"He says for me to tell you, if you shall not come back he shall only find you later. And when he does, he vows to disassemble so that you cannot play such tricks on him anymore."
Silence for a moment. "Would he...would he really do that?"
A nod. "Yes, miss. He would indeed."
"Oh, why must I be cursed like this?" she wailed. "Fine then, I'll come. I don't want to, but I don't suppose I have much of a choice." A sigh. "Lead the way."
Jack knew he was too late when he got there; town hall was dark and quiet by now, no signs of any visitors. Quickly he headed up to the front door, trying the knob; Sally had locked it up before leaving. Obviously she must have gone willfully, as she'd spent the time to leave the place as she found it. Grabbing the key from under the matt now he let himself inside, turning on the light. No-one was here, just as he'd feared. All he found that indicated Sally had been here was the jacket he'd given her earlier, folded neatly on the back of a bench.
"A very nice try," Dr. Finklestein complemented Sally. She stood, head bent as she clasped her hands together in front of her. "Indeed, a brave and noble attempt at freedom," he went on. "But not good enough. You'll have to do a lot better than that, my dear. Just for that, I am going to make sure that this marriage happens a lot quicker. You have a week to prepare; in 7 days we will be heading to town hall to have the official documents signed. During that time you will be locked in this house, with bars on your bedroom window." A lethal smile. "There's no escape for you, my dear. As long as you're alive, this shall forever be your home. Remember it."
Ding-dong! screeched the doorbell suddenly. He frowned. "Now who on earth could that possibly be, at this hour?" Grumbling to himself he wheeled over to the front door, pulling it open. Sally nearly cried out loud when she saw who was there.
"Jack Skellington?" Dr. F asked with some confusion. "What should the purpose of your visit be, at this hour?"
Jack stood leaning against the doorway, jacket across his arm. "Hello Doctor, I'm trying to locate Sally. Is she here?"
A sigh. "Yes, she is. One moment." He waved her over, shooting her a look that told her not to try and run away again. After quickly nodding she stepped outside with the king, shutting the door behind her.
"What are you doing here?" she asked now as she stood in front of him. "How did you..."
"I had to make sure you were alright," he said. "I knew something had to be up when I saw someone enter town hall. I had to make sure you were okay, it's my job to."
She was surprised. "Oh, I'm fine I suppose....been better in my few days, but what else can you do?"
"Why, what's wrong?" he asked.
A shrug. "Nothing, at least nothing for you to worry about."
"You got caught running away. You sure you're okay?"
"Well, no. But I appreciate your concern, I really do. I wish the doctor could be as wonderful."
He shrugged. "Well, he's always been a bit of a crab." Silence now as they stood before each other. "So...are you...alright? Nothing's going on that you feel I should know about?"
"No, nothing. Please, don't worry about it."
"I can't help it though. As King of Halloween Town, I feel it my duty to ensure that all under my command are in a protected and safe environment. That includes that their personal wants and needs are being met. Something tells me that yours aren't."
"Maybe not," she sighed. "But I don't want you to try and correct things here. It would only make them worse."
"Jesus..." he muttered under his breath. "Fine then, if that's your wish, I'll leave it at that. But I'll be making a visit sometime during the week to make sure everything's alright here. I can cover it over as just a check-up on the doctor's Halloween project if you so desire. But I will be back. Is that okay?"
A nod. "Yes, it's perfect. Thank-you, Jack."
"No problem, I suppose." He looked directly at her now. "I want you to remember, if at any point you feel as if Dr. Finklestein isn't treating you properlly, just come to me. I'll either be at town hall or home, as I haven't much of a social life."
She gave a little smile. "Of course. I'd better be heading in though, he's probably ready to slaughter me by now."
"Certainly." He took a step back. "See you round."
"Yeah," came the reply. "Later."
He left, soon turning around and shoving his hands in his pockets as he headed off. With a shrug Sally turned as well, opening the door and stepping inside
"And what was that supposed to be?" the doctor snarled.
"Jack. He's suspicious of something going on here. He came to make sure everything was alright."
"Go away with you," he jeered as he waved his hands at her with annoyance. "He's just making sure that nothing's going on that could possibly tarnish his reputation as Pumpkin King. No way could anyone could ever be worried about a rag doll like you."
She placed her hands on her hips, glaring at him. "Oh, a rag doll am I? Nothing more then waste, is that what you're getting at? A mistake? Well, doctor, might I remind you that I would be your mistake. There's only one person to blame for my existance, and I'm staring at him."
"Why you little....you little monster!" he cried. "I swear, I'll fit some manners into that brain of your if it's the last thing I do! You, my dear, are nothing more then useless scrap! The only reason I ever created you was out of loneliness, and now I wish I had never done such a thing. Now get any ideas of anyone ever possibly caring for you out of your head, for no creature in Halloween Town would ever come to love you in any way. Your only purpose in life is to serve me, and I intend to keep things that way."
"You...you cruel and horrible man!" she sobbed. "I wish you hadn't created me in the first place!" With that she turned and fled up the stairs to her bedroom, leaving her creator cackling devilishly behind her.
Igor woke her up the next morning, shaking her lightly on her bed. "Miss Sally, our master insists that you get up now."
She yawned, sitting up slowly as she stretched. Flinging her feet over the side of the bed she asked, "what time is it?"
"6 AM, madam."
A groan. "That evil old man. Thank-you, Igor, I'm coming right behind you." Standing up she quickly pulled a brush through her hair before following the hunchback downstiars and to the living room, where the doctor sat. "You beckoned me?" she sneered.
"No talking," he simply snapped. "If I request you to say anything, I will let you know. But until then, no words out of you. Your voice annoys me." She was silent. "It's time that I started using some authority around here, that I showed you who's boss. So from now on you will do exactly what I tell you, when I tell you, and without complaint. I will make sure you are working hard, so you can cause no more trouble." He removed his glasses, polishing them with the sleeve of his jacket before putting them back on. "Now, get to the kitchen and prepare breakfast. You may call me in if you so desire. After that, clean the lab from top to bottom, and then come to me for further instructions. Understand?" A nod. "Good. Now get going." Quickly she headed off, hurrying to the kitchen to do as she had been ordered.
Doctor Finklestein just sat back in his wheelchair, folding his hands as he tapping his index fingers together. What Sally needed most was some discipline, some strict guidance. Unless she learned how to behave now, she could become a big problem in the future. So, he thought, might as well teach her a lesson while it wasn't too late. He would put some sense into her skull, if it was the last thing he did.
The days passed by slowly. Sally did exactly as she was told to, quickly and without complaint. She knew this time that there was no escaping her punishment; Dr. F meant serious business, and he wasn't goiong to let her pull anymore pranks. So she acted as she would instructed to, remaining silent, and playing the role of the obedient little soon-to-be wife. Inside she was slowly becoming more and more weak, losing what little independance and confidence she had. Daily her creator tossed at her insults and critisisms, dousing her dreams and aspiritions a little bit further. Yet despite all this she tried to hold on, tried to maintain hope, her sanity. In a small corner of her mind she knew things would get better, that one day they would change. Maybe not soon, but one day.
Around four days after the night she'd attempted to run away, a knock came at the door. Sally, Dr. Finklestein, and Igor were just dining on a late lunch of Scorpion Claws and Rat Ears when they heard it.
"Count on people to come right when you're trying to eat," grumbled the scientist. "Sally, go get that."
She just nodded, rising and heading over to answer the knock. Unlocking the huge cast iron door she pulled it open, nearly gasing out loud when she saw the visitor.
"Good day, Sally," Jack told her with a smile. "I've come to see how things are doing here. Might I speak with Dr. F?"
She nodded. "Excuse me, doctor? Jack Skellington is here."
Immediately he plastered on a smile, dropping his fork and wheeling over. "Ah, hello Jack!" he beamed. "So nice to see you, please come in!"
He did so. "I've come to see how things are doing here, to make sure they're all coming along well. You know, the project and all...."
"Ah yes, the project. It comes along quite well, the Frankenstein should be ready within a couple of days."
"Superb. Might I see it?"
"Certainly," he grinned. "Just follow me to the lab."
"Very impressive," Jack nodded as he inspected the monster. "Very large size, all the better. You're positive it will work?"
The doctor frowned for a second, annoyed at the king's doubt. He recovered quickly though, smiling once more. "Of course it will!"
"Well, I should hope so at least." He glanced at Sally, who said nothing. "And you, my dear. How are you?"
"Fine thank you," she said quietly.
"I had an assignment for you, you know. One of your very own."
A smile formed on her face as her eyes lit up. "Really? What is it?"
"It's down at Town Hall, we'll have to go get it." He glanced over at the scientist. "I'm certain the doctor would never be enough of an on ogre to forbid you to go down and get it. Such a thing would certainly set him down a level or two in my books."
Inside Dr. F was secretly fuming, but he knew he couldn't say anything now to keep Sally home. "Indeed," he said through his teeth. "A nice little trip for her it'll be."
"Great," Jack smiled. "Come then, Sally, let's head off."
"I thought it might be nice to get you out of the confines of that horrible place Dr. Finklestein calls home," Jack said as they walked. "Allow you to breath easily for a moment."
"Thank you very much," she told him gently. "It's been really hard over the past couple of days..."
He gave a look of confusion. "How so?"
"Well, he's been very strict. I've been working very hard, and I have so many rules to follow now...I can't even speak unless I'm instructed to, Jack. He insults me, tells me I'm nothing, says no-one will ever care about me or love me..." She folded her arms as she blinked away tears. "I can't take any more of this."
Jack stopped walking, turning towards Sally as he graped her arms tightly. "You musn't believe him for a second," he told her. "Because he's wrong, and inside you know it. As for no-one caring about you, that's wrong as well." A little smile. "I care about you."
"But the doctor said..."
"The doctor is wrong, Sally!" he cried as he tightened his hold on her a bit. "Sally, that man is only telling you lies. He doesn't truly care about you, and chances are he never will. If he did, then he wouldn't be saying these horrid things to you." He paused, loosening his fingers. "I want to help you. I want to get you into a safe spot, away from that monster. I can do that, you know, and if you want I will. If you want you can stay in my very own mansion, nobody can harm you there."
She gave a little sigh. "Well Jack, I....I'd love to, but I'm afraid. Afraid of the doctor, of him finding me and then taking me apart. Because he would, I know it...he's threatened to do so before. No, I can't risk it. I thank you a million times over but....I'm sorry."
Though he was angered inside by her stubborness he just nodded, trying to smile as he let her go. "Very well then," he said. "I guess I have no choice but to respect your will. But I'm still quite concerned..."
"Don't be," came her reply. "I'll be fine, I promise you."
"I hope so," he muttered as they continued walking again. Silence for a moment.
"It's certainly nice to be outside once again," Sally commented. "It's so stuffy in that old place, and he won't even let me open a window."
A strange look. "Why not?"
She just shrugged. "He rarely gives reasons for his wishes, and I hardly feel the need to question him. I just do as I'm told."
"Harsh. Whatever, his mind is messed."
"How true," she said with a giggle. "I mean Igor's not bad, in fact he's pretty nice to me. But the doctor is just another story all together." Pause. "So anyways, how goes everything with the holiday?"
"Surprisingly well, actually," he replied. "We're ahead of schedule this year, we might able to make some more improvements before the whole thing is over. Perhaps put in a couple of additional scaring routes or something."
"That's great," she grinned.
"Yeah, it is. The jack-lanterns are all very near completion, they've been put away now into the holding cellar so that they don't go rotten. We'll put them out on the 30th of October. The witches are working on their latest brew, one that turns humans into instant zombies." A sigh. "And then there's Lock, Shock, and Barrel with their pranks...."
"Huh? Who are they?"
"Only the biggest troublemakers in all of Halloween Land," he shrugged. "Horrid little beasts, always into everything. Hiding things, ruining stuff, disturbing folks....they especially like to frazzle the mayor's nerves, they love that.
"Why do they do this?"
A shake of his head. "Who knows? Bad seeds is all I can say. They live with Oogie Boogie, who if you didn't know already, is the resident force of evil. They act as his little henchmen, doing his bidding when he wants them to. Now I'm not exactly sure of what he has them do, but I know he only eats live sacrifices. I suspect human, which is against the law, but I have no evidence to support that."
"Poor kids," she sighed. "What a rotten childhood."
"That's the way it happens sometimes." He paused now, gesturing in front of him. "Ah, here we are. Your task is just inside, where all of the activity is taking place."
Together they climbed up the front steps, the doors opening mysteriously on their own. Sally's breath caught in her throat now as they stepped in; the activity! It was almost overwhelming everything that was going on. Countless people scuttled around, doing this and that, all preparing for the big night.
"Lots going on, huh?" came the voice from beside her.
She was taken aback somewhat by all this. "Yes....it's quite busy...it reminds me of my first day of creation, when the doctor took to town center."
"JACK!" came a sudden voice from behind them. Sally was somewhat startled by this, turning with the king to see who it was.
It was a little man, short and obese, wearing a spider tie and an outrageously tall hat.
"Jack!" he repeated. "Where have you been?"
A little motion towards his side. "Finding Sally here. Here, I don't think you two have met. Sally, this is the mayor. Mr. Mayor, meet Sally."
They shook hands. "Nice to meet you, miss, Jack told me he had an assignment for you."
"Apprantly so, yes."
"Well, I think you'll enjoy it, it suits you." He turned towards the king. "Now, I was going to mention to you..."
A wave of his hand. "Sorry, my good man, can't talk now. Maybe later."
"Oh, right then. I'll speak to you later."
"Sounds great. Come along then, Sal." Without another word he led her over to the stage, leading her up and toward a table on stage left. Here she saw a pile of material laid down, along with a sewing basket. It was at this point she released her hold on him.
"Here we are then. What I had in mind for you to do was just some basic repairs. One of the vampires has a cloak that needs some mening, that's in there. Then there's the clown with the tearaway face, he got a rip in his costume from his unicycle. It needs mending now. And also the witches, a dress of theirs is in ill repair. It's all written down there for you, don't worry." He bustled through the pile, checking to ensure everything was there. "During Halloween, we pride ourselves in having appropriate attire. However, many people cannot afford the time to make the repairs." A smile. "So now, it is your Halloween duty. I know you'll do well with it."
He walked her back home, insisting on carrying the pile himself. When they got there she let them both inside, stepping inside and holding the door for him.
"Where shall I put this, then?" he asked.
"Just follow me." She led him upstairs, leading him to her room. He put the material now on her bed, stretching his arms. "Ah, my limbs were starting to go numb there." A pause, looking around him. "So this is where you sleep?"
"Yes. It isn't much, but it does."
He paused. "Ah, Sally, why are there bars on your window?"
"Oh, the doctor put them out there so I wouldn't get out again."
He frowned. "That is legally not acceptable in Halloween, Sally."
"Yes. But he doesn't care."
A frown. "Then he will. Doctor Finklestein!" he cried now, hurrying from the room. "Doctor, where are you?"
A glance at her. "Sally, unless I do somthing now, I could get in a lot of trouble later on. Doctor!"
"In the lab, Jack," came the reply now. "Is something wrong?"
"Just a bit," he answered as he followed the voice. There sat the scientist at a bench, observing something through a microscope. Jack entered and stood now before him, Sally at his side. "I have been observing this place, Dr. F, and I have come to a number of resolutions I want you to follow."
He frowned slightly. "Which would be?"
"Well for starters, those bars in Sally's room will be taken down. And immediately, mind you. As well, you will give this young woman plenty of time to finish her Halloween assignment. If you are continously overworking her then she will not have an opportunity to complete it, and it will be your fault that Halloween is postponed."
A low growl. "Fine, fine, whatever you say."
"Wonderful then." He took a step towards the door before turning around. "Oh, and doctor?"
"What?" came the heated reply.
"I'd be careful with that temper of yours and this girl. Wouldn't want to spoil your reputation with King Jack now, would you?"
Late that night Docor Finklestein sat in his lab, gazing out the window. From here he could see the Skellington mansion, the enormous building loomingly over Halloween Town.
He was really starting to get up with that skeleton and his foolish medling. Now he was trying to interfere with the way he tried to lead his life. Next thing he'd be trying to kidnap Sally and marry her himself.
In fact, he didn't doubt that from happening at all. In fact, the thought that something similar might occur laid heavily on his mind.
Which is why he knew he had to act on his suspicions; and soon, if he wanted things to go right.
"Sally, I've made a decision," the doctor announced at the breakfast table the next morning. "We will be getting the marriage certificate today instead of later on in the week." A frown. "I don't trust that king...."
"But doctor, so soon?" she insisted. "I...I'm hardly ready...can I at least have one last day to prepare?"
"You've had enough time to adjust to the idea. I'm not putting this off another day. I have my reasons for doing this, and I won't be swayed. We'll be heading into town later on in the day, you can have an hour before we leave to get ready if it makes you feel any better.But we are heading down, so don't try and escape. You know it will only make matters worse for you." A pause. "Do you understand?"
A little sigh. "Yes, doctor. Anything you say."
"So you're sure you're alright?" Jack was asking a vampire. "That human gave you a nasty kick when you tried to bite him, you sure you'll be fine?"
"Of course I will, but thank you for asking," came the reply.
"Great then, but I want you to keep an eye on it. Go see the doctor if anything comes up." He turned to go talk with the mayor, stopping when he noticed two figures heading in his direction. "Why hello Doctor Finklestein, Sally," smiled Jack as the two approached him. He headed to go speak with them. "How good to se