Chapter 6: Have You Ever Wanted to Disappear?
Today was Monday, and Keith woke up a whole lot later than he should have.
At first, he just did the things he would do every morning. He poured Lucy’s bowl of cat food and made himself breakfast—today, it was avocado toast. He brushed his teeth and took a shower. His non-hair puffs did not take in any water or shampooing. He got out and dried himself off.
Only then did he remember the vow he made yesterday night.
But as he became more and more awake, he noticed that the house felt off. It felt quieter than usual.
He peered into the living room. Lucy was sleeping on the couch, her paws twitching. She had a bed, but she refused to sleep on it most of the time. Keith briefly wondered what cats must dream about. Fish? Affection? World domination?
He scanned the living room once more. He listened extra closely this time for the sounds of an annoying voice, but all he could hear was silence.
He brought himself into the room and began to search for Molly. He looked everywhere: underneath the couch, behind the TV, in a closet—everywhere. Exhausted after the extensive search, he sat down on the couch, waking Lucy. She seemed quite annoyed at this, flicking her tail and hissing as she jumped off the couch.
He held his head in his hands. He had looked everywhere.
But as he looked up, something caught his eye.
He approached his fake houseplant, which had a piece of paper obviously tucked behind it. How had he not noticed it?
He unfolded the note. It was a letter, with ample misspellings and a run-on sentence:
You r mean u hav 2 many rulz so i ran away frum ur hous i hope ur happy :)
Keith threw the note down. “What?!” He exclaimed.
His body stretched out as he hovered in the air for a couple of seconds, and he felt the presence of something floating above his head.
It had been so quick that he almost hadn't questioned it. He fell back to the ground.
“Huh?” he muttered, looking up. There was a bright yellow exclamation point above his head, which quickly morphed into a question mark. As he exclaimed "Whoa," it transformed back into an exclamation point.
He looked down at his hands. What just happened? Did I just... do that?
He took a moment to just... take this in. He was just stretched out, floating, and had punctuation above his head.
Just like a cartoon character.
He thought about some of the other strange things that had happened to him, and it made sense—if he had been contaminated with Molly's prototype design, and that design was meant to be entertaining, then it would only make sense that it would have similar abilities to cartoon characters.
But after realizing that he broke the laws of physics, all semblance of sense came crashing down and shattered into millions of pieces.
Whatever had just happened to him didn’t matter right now. A wave of guilt washed over him as he looked down at the note again. How could he be so strict towards Molly? Now she was gone, and it was all his fault. Who knows where she could possibly be?
He had to go find her.
He rushed over to his bedroom to put some clothes on. He had to do everything he could to cover up his clown-ness. He ignored all of the colorful and extravagant clothes that were just begging to be worn, and reached for a grey hoodie. Actually, he grabbed two—just in case.
He found a box of leftover disposable masks from a past pandemic, and lastly, he put on a pair of dark, thick-rimmed sunglasses. He tried to pull his hoods over his non-hair puffs, but they made unusual lumps that would definitely stand out, so he put a baseball hat over it.
He looked at himself in the standing mirror. He looked like a totally normal bystander, and not at all suspicious.
He grabbed his phone, wallet, and keys and shoved them in his hoodie pocket as he dashed out the door.
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Next: Chapter 7