Your Bundle of Fear

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The cabinet in question was little more than a small, square, black box with gold filigree along the edges. Sadly, it did not look “antique” so much as it looked “plain.” If it weren’t for the filigree and the small gold latch and turnkey on the right side of it, Annie would have passed it by altogether. In fact, it was barely more than a square foot in size…

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Next to that wall was a rusty metal chute jutting from the floor like an Industrial-Revolution-era machine pillar. Someone had spray painted a large orange #13 across the front of it, and that should have given the chute a sense of normalcy, but this did not ease the feeling of dread that seeped into him. He could sense a heat from the old chute, but that heat made him feel cold after a few seconds, a chill that went right down to the marrow of his bones…

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The first sign was all white with the figure of “Fancy Joe” on the left side of it.

Fancy Joe was a cartoon man in a dapper black tux and red bowtie, his short-cut blond hair slicked up and back in that iconic ’50s style, his dress shoes a gleaming black in the late-day sun. The words “Do you know Joe?” were doled out in a curvy red font right next to him…

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“Subject 13” was a young, skinny, Caucasian girl with long, straight, brown hair, a wafer of a girl with slender arms and legs. She was dressed in a private-school uniform, that uniform complete with a white dress shirt, a dark-blue vest jacket, and a dark-blue skirt. She wore white ankle socks with small black dress shoes, and she was sitting in a simple wooden chair in the middle of the room, another agent staring down at her in solemn silence…

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There was an eye drawn in white ink upon the countertop, probably with some kind of marker, but where one could get a white marker was a mystery in itself. The eye was drawn in the most basic style, just a circle within lids, lines like lashes extending out from it, something even a child could do in terms of artistic quality…

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Moving through the trees was a lithe but massive shape, a beast that vaguely resembled a tiger, but one twelve-meters-tall and twenty-five-meters-long, a gargantuan shape with flames rippling across whatever it had that passed for skin…

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This little blonde thing had pale peach skin, skin painted over with a light brush of peach upon alabaster, and she possessed ruby red lips and striking green eyes, an eye color that was rare in combination for a natural blonde. Her adorable face was settled within a circlet of blonde ringlets, a face that was both cute yet disturbing in its…well…adorableness, and combined with her antiquated clothing, her very presence unsettled Lorena, if only because the girl looked like a walking and talking porcelain doll made flesh…

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