Chapter Thirteen, Part One: Bad Panda EscapeMature

Jack is running through the halls. 

See Jack run. 

 Jack is running through the halls. 

Wood creaks beneath his naked feet, gripping and grabbing and tearing at his heels and exposed toes. 

Splinters bring up little wells of blood that smear from him onto the floor planks. 

Old boards, dry boards, dismal and wet and dusty and cold and so dry. 

Paradox as foundation. 

His hands reach out wildly to his sides, buffeting screens with grisly tears and little screeches of blood. 

The panda is coming. 

The panda is coming. 

The panda is com… 

His fear reeks from him like a rampaging elephant, plodding nearer with the force of several steam engines and a comely fat goose. 

Terror leads him, feeds him round the spool of another corner, toenails catching, tripping over a body or two. Or three. One is wearing a blue kimono. One is small, wearing a tidy shirt. One is in a pink hoodie. One is all in silver, enshrouded. Embalmed. One or two of them might be his, he realises, as he stumbles away.

The plodding comes, continuing, rain hitting heavy against a flimsy paper parasol. 

Plunt. 

Plunt. 

Thd. 

Plunt. 

Plunt. 

Thd. 

Shraaaaaake. 

Plunt. 

Plunt. 

Shraaaaaaake. 

A fingernail comes off against the rotting, half-eaten walls of wood, and Jack cries out. 

“Igh-ah! Damn it, it’s gonna get… I have to…” 

A soft breeze blows against his ankles from no foreseeable direction, kissing the skin and the bones.

There is a tapestry close to his line of sight, faded and hanging there, prominent and forlorn in the shade of the corridor. 

He can see no door outside, and the panda is gaining. 

The End

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