He's a trickster, he's a joker. He's got all eyes on him. He may seem friendly at first but honey, he'll tear you limb from limb.
. . .
Mikey pulled me along through the field of grass and daisies and into the forest, the trees blocking out the sun and casting us in almost complete darkness. Twigs snapped under my feet, but his seemed to make no noise at all.
We walked for about five minutes until Mikey spoke up. "You're being awfully quiet, Frank," he said in his taunting voice. "We're not going to kill you, if that's what you were thinking."
"Then why am I here?" I asked, trying to keep my voice from shaking. If they weren't going to kill me then why was I here? Wait, where is here? "And where am I?"
"I think I'll let Him explain it," Mikey answered, leading me into a clearing in the trees where the light shone through more. A long table was set up here, a white tablecloth covering it. A teapot and several tea cups were set up and a bouquet of black daisies sat in a vase in the center. A man sitting at the far end of the table looked up as we walked into the clearing. He smiled and stood up.
"Ah, good work, Mikey," the man said, the grin never leaving his face. He was a bit shorter than Mikey but a lot taller than me, me being the dwarf that I am. The man had black hair which was slightly slicked back, most of it concealed by a black top hat. He wore a blood red thigh-length overcoat embroidered with intricate golden thread and gold buttons, along with black pants. He had confidence in his walk as he made his way over to meet us. As he drew closer, I noticed that unlike Mikey, the man had gold eyes. But that's not what freaked me out.
As he walked, everything around him seemed to just shrivel up and die. Grass turned from a healthy green to a dead-looking brown and tree branches curled up and recoiled back into the tree. But this only happened around the man, everything within a six foot radius dying. You could say that Death followed him. But everything outside of the perfect circle of decay sprang back to life, turning green and standing straight up again. It was as if Death himself were standing right before me.
When he reached me, a chill ran through me as though I'd just stepped through an ice cold shower. "Hello, Frank," the man drawled. His voice was smooth like honey but just as taunting as Mikey's. The man extended a hand toward me and smiled, showing off a set of pearly white teeth.
Mikey nudged me from behind, so I hesitantly reached my hand out to his. He gripped it between both of his hands and closed his eyes, still smiling. His hands felt like ice.
"Frankie here wants to know what's going on." I could hear the smirk in Mikey's voice without even looking at him.
"Does he now?" The man's voice was sickeningly sweet, like someone had dumped bags upon bags of sugar on his tongue. "Well Frankie, perhaps I should start by telling you my name. I'm known as the Ringmaster around here, but you can call me Gerard." Gerard. Somehow the name fit.
He continued, "You're here because I would like to play a little game."
"A game?" This man, this lunatic kidnapped me and had me dragged to god knows where to play a game? What the fuck?!
"Yes, my dear Frankie. A game. A game of life or death. A game that tests friendship and where exactly people's loyalties lie."
"What the fuck are you talking about?" He was insane. This guy was really insane.
"I'd appreciate it if you didn't swear, Frank."
"I don't give a rat's ass what you'd appreciate! Now tell me what the hell you're talking about!"
He frowned and let out a deep sigh. He pulled a tight smile and said with a slight irritation in his voice, "If you win, you get to go home like none of this ever happened. If you lose, you stay here with me and Mikey forever."
"WHAT?!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. They can't keep me here!
Gerard's smile broadened and he reached a finger out to stroke my cheek, leaving a line of goosebumps. "The game will consist of ten tasks. Complete one task, move onto the next. Fail to complete a task, you lose." He began walking circles around me, like a lion stalking its prey. "Or," he continued, barely a whisper, "you can decide not to play the game at all and stay here." He stopped in front of me and gave me a seductive smile.
Gerard held his hand out and signaled for me to watch. As I did, a deep red rose began to sprout out of his hand. "I can give you anything you want, Frank. Just say it, and it's yours. All you have to do is agree you'll stay." His golden eyes blazed with a mix between anticipation and desire.
"No," I found myself saying. "No, I'm gonna play your game, and I'm gonna win." The desire in Gerard's eyes quickly turned to rage and the rose in his hand burst into flames, reducing to a pile of black ash which Gerard simply threw to the ground.
"Your wish is my command," he sneered. "Mikey!" On cue, Mikey came from another side of the clearing dragging a figure along behind him. That's strange, I didn't even notice he left. Wait, who's he with? At first glance, all I could see was a large shadow hunched over next to Mikey. But as they drew closer, I noticed that the figure had a large mop of hair. RAY?!
"Ray? Is that you?" I whispered as Mikey threw Ray down in front of me. He looked up at me and gave a pained smile.
"Frankie, boy it's good to see you." By now, I noticed the steady stream of blood trickling from a cut on his forehead.
"Well, now that we're done with reunions, I think it's time we get on with the game," Gerard said with a smile the devil would envy. Oh and Frankie, remember you can leave any time. All you have to say is 'I give up.'"
"Wait! Why is Ray here?" I demanded. Why would he drag my friend into this?
"You didn't think I'd make you play the game alone, did you Frank? I'm not that cruel!" He giggled.
The same one I heard in the alley that night.
"Now, on with the game!" And with that said, Gerard, Mikey, and the entire scene around us disappeared, leaving Ray and I in front of an ocean.
"Got any plans?" Ray asked me, staring at the large body of water in front of us.
. . .
*Yay, Chapter 2! How'd everyone like Gerard as the Ringmaster? :3
And before you ask, no, I have no idea what supernatural creature he is. Kinda like a cross between a trickster and a demon. I dunno. :p So uh, please review!*