Chapter 5: The Plan
Today, Keith woke up way earlier than he should have. When he looked over at the clock and realized what time it was, he closed his eyes and rolled over. But his non-hair puffs got in the way, and he could not lay his head flat. No matter how much he tossed and turned, he could not get comfortable. It was a wonder he fell asleep at all.
He sighed and got out of bed.
Molly was still sleeping. She had transformed into a snake-like creature and was curled into a ball on the couch. The sun was just starting to rise, and birds were just starting to chirp.
He did the same things he did yesterday morning. For breakfast today, he had a bowl of Rice Krispies. It may have been bland to some, but it was his favorite cereal—you didn’t have to wait too long before it became softer.
He looked down at Molly as he passed her by. Her body rose and fell with her breath. He decided it would be better to let her sleep.
He continued to look at her as he walked into the hall. She was annoying, sure, but she was actually kind of adorable when she was sleeping.
Because he wasn’t paying attention to where he was going, he bumped into the wall and hit his nose. He jumped back and shouted in pain, rubbing it to try and sooth it. Why did this keep happening?
He heard the sounds of someone waking up behind him. Sure enough, Molly was rubbing her eyes, changing back to her regular form.
So much for letting her sleep.
Molly was immediately full of energy. “Oh, good morning Keith!” She shouted, jumping up.
“Good morning,” he said half-heartedly. “I already put some food for you in a bowl on the table; help yourself.”
When he went to go brush his teeth, he was once again faced with his reflection. He stared into it for a long, long time, growing more and more uneasy with each second. He didn’t recognize the clown in the mirror. It wasn’t himself.
He rubbed the top of his head. He hadn’t forgotten what happened yesterday. Had it actually happened? He wasn’t so sure.
He stared at his hair—or whatever it was now. He poked and prodded the puffs; they were solid and squishy, and the texture still gave him the creeps.
He opened the cabinet under the sink, and pulled out a pair of cuticle scissors. Maybe he could cut the two puffs off and have flat hair. He attempted to snip the edge of the non-hair puff, but the scissors would not penetrate it. After trying with more force, Keith heard a snap. The scissors had broken in two. And those were his good cuticle scissors!
He brushed his teeth quickly.
He walked back to his room. It was starting to feel like his life was on loop. He did not want to be trapped in his house for another minute, and yet he had no choice. He could not just go outside with his pink cheeks and blue non-hair and unnatural skin; that would solve nothing and attract all kinds of unwanted attention.
He was going to go insane in here.
He crashed out onto his bed, burying his face in a pillow.
Molly followed him inside. “Keith, what does the outside look like?”
Keith looked up and gave her a death glare.
She ignored this. “I haven’t really seen the outside yet, and I wanna know what it looks like!” That was true—she had been in his bag for the entire ride home.
“Molly, you’re not going outside,” he said.
“Because it’s dangerous.”
“Because there’s all kinds of bad people out there!” Keith exclaimed, making grand, spooky hand gestures to scare her. “They’ll snatch you up and turn you into soup… or something like that.” That was what his mom always told him, so he figured it would be an appropriate way to explain it to Molly.
It was not.
She looked up at him in wonder. “Whoa, that sounds awesome! I wanna be soup!” Her body twisted like it did the other day, and she turned into a floating bowl of pink and blue soup. Her eyes were on the sides of the bowl.
Keith sighed. “No, Molly…”
Molly began hopping around his room again, singing about soup. Well, she wasn’t exactly singing; she was really just repeating the word “soup” over and over in a sing-song voice.
He shoved his face into his pillow again. “Go away, Molly,” he said to her.
“Because you’re annoying me,” he said, not picking his face up from the pillow. “Go away.”
He heard Molly hop out of the room.
He laid there for a couple more minutes, before getting bored. He sat up and sighed.
He could feel the stress from the past couple of days built up inside of him. He never asked for any of this. He didn’t ask for an annoying blob to follow him around like a dog; he didn’t ask to be permanently stuck looking like a clown; he didn’t ask for his life to be cut into pieces, put in a blender, and shaken violently.
He needed something to get this all off of his mind.
Something golden sitting on a shelf caught his attention.
He walked over to it. It was a golden notebook with the word “Notes” embroidered into the top. Keith thought it was funny; it was like the notebook was stating its purpose to you.
Inside was a list of all of the shows and movies that he wanted to watch, but couldn’t for whatever reason—perhaps he was too busy, or perhaps whatever he wanted to watch was on a streaming service he wasn’t willing to pay for.
If he was going to spend the rest of his life stuck inside, then he should have plenty of time to binge watch everything.
He closed his eyes and picked a random option from his list. He opened them, to find The Misadventures of Wacky Wally. It was a rather obscure show created in 2018, and despite all the love it got from fans, it only ever got one season. It was available to rent on ViewTube.
He put on the very first episode, and was immediately captivated. It was about a young boy who thrown directly into a world full of cryptids and creatures, and was destined to save them all. It was similar to other cartoons he enjoyed, like Owl Falls and The Gravity House.
Meanwhile, the sounds of screams and swinging knives could be heard from the living room.
He walked out to the living room, to see Molly watching another horror movie with unnecessarily realistic violence. Seriously, how were people allowed to make these? Just a couple glimpses of the movie were going to give him lasting nightmares.
She jumped up when she realized Keith was there.
“Molly, I thought I told you not to watch this.”
Judging by her expression, she was struggling to come up with something to say. “Umm… nuh-uh!”
Keith came forward. “Molly, give me the remote,” he said slowly, his hand outstretched.
“No!” She yelled, pulling it away from him.
Keith furrowed his brows. “Molly.”
In a split second, she darted off with the remote. Keith looked in every direction, initially unsure where she went. To his surprise, she had stuck her self onto the ceiling.
He ran over to grab her, but she dashed again. Each time he would be close to catching her, she would get away. This resulted in a 10-minute wild goose chase all around the apartment. One thing was certain: Molly was not giving up that remote.
With a swift movement, Keith snuck up from behind and snatched the remote away, before Molly could even react. He set Molly onto the couch, who was attempting to claw her way back to the remote.
“I’m keeping this in a place where you’ll never find it,” Keith said. His plan was to put it a locked box in his closet. “You’ve lost your TV privileges for…”
He looked down into Molly’s sad puppy eyes. They weren’t going to work this time. He crossed his arms. “…ever. Forever.”
“Forever?” Molly’s lip started to tremble.
“Okay, not forever, just… a very very long time. You can have it back when I decide you can.”
He saw that she was about to cry, and he sighed. Maybe he should have explained to her why she couldn’t watch it. Why hadn’t he thought of that? “Molly, I’m not trying to be mean,” he said in a gentle tone. “It’s just that… watching too many scary movies isn’t good for you, okay?”
Molly silently nodded.
Now that Molly wasn’t occupied, he was faced with a big problem: the fact that she wasn’t occupied. She was going to annoy him some more if she didn’t have anything to do.
He dashed to his home office, grabbing some printer paper and crayons he always kept handy. Kids liked to color, right? He wasn’t so sure; he wasn’t that good with kids.
He crouched down to her level. “Hey, I’ve got another fun thing for you to do: coloring! You take this crayon and draw whatever you want on the paper.”
Molly immediately forgot about anything that just happened. She took the drawing supplies and looked down at them in wonder, realizing the limitless power that they held.
Before Keith walked away, he added one more thing. “And you can only color on the paper. If you color on anything else, you’ll be in trouble!”
He walked back into his room to continue his new favorite show.
When he had finished episode one, he watched the next episode. Before he knew it, he had spent the whole day watching every episode. He was wrapped up in a blanket, munching on some popcorn (he had made it at some time after the third episode). His eyes hurt from looking at his TV screen for so long.
Keith checked the time left on the final episode. He watched the little red bar drag itself further to the right, and soon the credits began to play for the last time. Keith was left feeling empty; it was the kind of emptiness that always came after finishing a good show. He got up, his joints cracking from staying in one place for too long. He looked over at his wall clock. It was time for him to go to sleep.
He called out to Molly as he walked into the living room “Hey Molly, you—” He stopped himself.
Molly was already sleeping on the couch. This time, she had transformed into a cat—a multicolored cat with extra ears and eyes. She was curled up, her tail over her nose. When she wasn’t being a little rascal, she was actually kind of adorable.
Scattered throughout the living room were Molly’s drawings. He picked them up one by one. The first one had two stickmen lying on the ground in a pool of crudely drawn blood, with a third stickman looming over them with a knife. Why was Molly so fascinated by violence and blood? That was one question he may never know the answer to.
Most of the drawings that he picked up contained monsters or blood. When he was sure he had picked them all up, he headed back to his office; he’d store them there.
As Keith walked into the hallway, though, something on the ground caught his attention. It was a torn and crumbled piece of paper. It was definitely a drawing, but the side with the color was faced down. He checked to make sure Molly was still asleep, then picked it up.
It was a comic, with the word “plan” written on top of it.
The first panel had a stickman with blue hair and a red nose. He had an angry expression on his face, and he was reprimanding a purple blob. The blob was crying.
He second panel showed the blob leaving his house through the window. The third panel showed her outside, smiling again.
Keith looked at Molly, then back at the comic. Was this how she saw him? Had he been too harsh towards her? Had he put to many rules on her?
Tears formed in his eyes. He was so concerned about his own transformation, that he completely ignored Molly. Who knows how long she was trapped in that factory? All she wanted was someone to be her friend.
Keith wiped his tears away. Tomorrow, he was going to make it up to her.
Previous: Chapter 4
Next: Chapter 6