LOOK WHO'S STALKING
It was a place beyond the boundaries of all that was known.
It was a place where few mortals could or would trespass.
It was a place of savage beauty and beautiful savagery. Of grim
pleasure and pleasant grimness. Of bad metaphors and meta-
phorical badness. Of flights of fancy and fanciful flightiness. It
defied description, as should be apparent from this God-awful
section of prose.
It was a creche (or nursery to those in the USA).
And Baby Adric had been left there for the first time.
The place made Adric nervous. Too many kids, too much going
on, too many things he didn't know about. It was all too new,
too unfamiliar to the Alzarian tyke.
He glumly pulled up his nappy and looked around for some source
of comfort, a familiar face or sight. He didn't see anyone he knew,
and only a couple of children returned his look and tentative wave,
notably an adorable little curly-haired girl who was swinging
around a foam Nerf Mallet and a grim-faced little boy wearing
sunglasses and a bib with 'Lynyrd Skynyrd' on it who was field-
stripping a ping-pong ball gun. The looks these two gave back
were not pleasant.
Then, he saw it. A sight for sore eyes. A wonderful, wonderful
thing, just like the one he had in his playroom at home. An aba-
Baby Adric crawled over to the contraption, carefully avoiding
mallet-girl and the mean-looking boy. Soon, he was lost in the
world of numbers, adding and subtracting like a wild, crazed,
mathematical-thingy. Maybe this place wouldn't be so bad...
A tap on the shoulder brought him back to reality. Turning to
look, he found the curly-haired girl next to him, mallet in hand.
"Whatcha doin'?" she asked.
"Nothin'," he answered. "Just playin'."
"Playin', huh? I like to play, too."
"Uh-huh." Her curls bounced as she nodded. "You wanna play
"Umm, okay. Sure."
"Great! You wanna play Sock?"
Baby Adric scratched his head. "How do we play that?"
"Easy. You close your eyes and count to five..."
"Like this?" He asked, eyes squeezed shut.
"Just like that. Now, you start counting, and while you do..."
"One... two... three... four..."
"...I sock you on the head with my mallet!" This statement was
accompanied by a fierce, but not very painful blow on the head
from said implement.
"Hey! That was mean!" Adric hollered at the girl as she crawled
merrily away, paying his protests no attention. "I'm going to tell
He no sooner got these words out, than a ping-pong ball bounced
off his head, knocking him over backwards.
"Gotcha, Alzarian crumb-cruncher!" he heard the mean-looking
"Why me?" Baby Adric wondered as he lay there.
"NEED SOME HELP GETTING UP?"
"Yeah, thanks, I-- eep." Adric suddenly realized that the hand
holding onto his felt awfully... boney. He looked up to see a figure
in black robes standing over him, a foam Nerf Scythe-o-Doom
propped on its shoulder.
"Wh-who are you?" Adric asked timidly.
"I'M DEATH," the two-foot-tall apparition said. "COME WITH
ME, AND BRING YOUR CARD, IF YOU'VE GOT ONE."
"What for? What are you talking about?"
The junior-sized Grim Reaper looked at him as if he were stupid.
"DON'T YOU _KNOW_?"
"DUMMY. IT'S TIME FOR 'POKEMON' TO COME ON. NOW,
QUIT STALLING AND LET'S GO WATCH. WE CAN USE MY
CARDS UNTIL YOU GET SOME..."