Hold Your Ground

Sandy stood alone in front of Hannah. She transformed into Liz right in front of Sandy, casting a shadow upon her. Sandy’s eyes went wide with terror as she watched Hannah grow to full height and reach for her. She screamed just as Hannah grabbed her and lifted up. Her feet left the ground.

You let her go! Gladly. Auuugh! Holy smokestacks!

Sandy sailed through the air and struck something. Her shoulder throbbed in pain as she rolled, which spread to her whole body. Sandy held herself in paralyzing fright on the ground. People were standing all around Sandy, but she was too scared to look up and have it continue.

No no no… How could you?! And to think I felt sorry for you! I did not ask for your sympathy. I desire this watch and you cannot stop me. Sometimes that’s all there is to it!

The world was blurry thanks to Sandy’s fall. She opened her eyes to see a brown blur in front of her, which was slowly forming back into shape. It was Kona’s hand, resting open and motionless. Sandy gasped and sat up from the ground. Kona was there under her. She’d moved to catch Sandy but had been knocked out cold. Sandy reached for her cheek to try and shake her awake.

No no no… … Not now, mom. I don’t wanna go to school today… Have it your way, punk!

A loud crash rang out behind her! Sandy turned and screamed as dishes rained down onto her. Miko crashed into Hannah with a mighty charge and spilled everything from the table just behind her. Miko went wild on Hannah, punching twice before Hannah even knew she was still fighting someone. It looked like it was all over when, at last, Leona had awoken and ran to the rescue. If they could just pin her. Sandy shivered as she stood up from Kona and got ready to jump. All she’d have to do is hold one leg and she could help end this.

No one sucker punches The Great Leona… Hold her, officer! I have just the thing.

Sandy could see Hannah’s face when Leona announced she was coming. She just realized the trap was closing thanks to Miko’s charge. But that’s when she did something Sandy would have never expected. Hannah clenched up, threw Miko to the right and… stuck to her. They rolled like a ball of white just before the mist filled the room again. Leona brought her pan up like a sword, ready to strike and take the fake Liz behemoth down for good.

As the mist cleared, Sandy held her mouth in fright. Two Mikos stood where one was before. And they both parted from one another with equal expressions of surprise.

She’s turned into me! Oh no! Aaah… Uhm. Which do I strike? Take it easy… I’m me, I swear! I… I know what to do! Miko! ?! …? What kind of donut did you order this morning? Uh…! A pink one! The kind with other small treats on them. Yes! That’s… …what? Suffer for your arrogance, doppelganger!

Sandy knew she’d screwed up the instant Leona leapt into action. She brought down her pan on the Miko that hesitated and Sandy’s stomach sank as the other Miko put her hand to her mouth to stifle a laugh. Sandy could see Hannah’s grin the moment it couldn’t be restrained. Miko’s eyes went so wide they looked blank and she collapsed to her knees.

Oh no… No! NO! Aaaah ha ha ha! OH! OOoh… My sides! It’s a good thing I am detail-oriented, ya? What an amazingly stupid question. A dozen times, a hundred times you were in the same room with this overstuffed pillow and I was not. And you pick one of the few times I was discovered on scene! So much for your moment. I will let myself out.

Sandy’s blood boiled! She stood around her unconscious friends. Leona was stunned after she realized what she’d done. Sandy began to breathe so much harder. She stood with her shivering fists growing so tight her knuckles were white. As Hannah turned her back on her to walk away, she took one shaky step forward.

Stop! I said stop right there! …? I’m not done with you! This is new. What’s one more? You sad… arrogant, jerk! You don’t know what makes that woman scary!

Sandy could feel the spark ignite inside her as she yelled at the top of her lungs. As Hannah closed in one more time, she imagined the real Liz’s advice. When people try to take things from you, the fire of your spirit diminishes into a cold little candle. But that’s not who Sandy was anymore. Fable had given her so much more to live for. Her first best friend, the first job to make her happy, and the first fight she’d ever won.

Hannah slid her foot back and brought up her fist ready to deliver the last hit. Sandy looked to the side as the anger exploded within her and consumed everything until there was calm in the chaos. She closed her eyes.

Sandy clenched her butt and threw Hannah a look with all of her fire behind it!

! What the devil…? AND I’M GONNA SHOW YOU! Gyyyulk!

Sandy turned on the spot and kicked upward with absolutely everything she had. Hannah lifted up from the ground, feet sliding out in front of her as understanding dawned on “Liz’s” face. A wave of green light flashed over Hannah’s body and mist blew outward behind her. There suddenly was a much smaller tanuki at the end of Sandy’s leg, rising up on a shoe about the size of her whole torso.


And then she rocketed out through the window with a mighty crash! Wood and glass exploded outward all over the ground. There was an immediate quiet that filled this place along with the fresh air of the outside as Hannah sailed upward, outward, and then down into a rolling heap. 

Hannah was gasping as the watch fell out in front of her. She pawed the ground a few times for it, as if she couldn’t see it. When she found it, she lightly brought it back to her chest and pulled herself up with great effort. Leona’s voice came from behind Sandy somewhere as she watched Hannah run away.

I will… Tend to your friends, I suppose. Thanks. When they wake up, tell them to go to the train. I will. Good luck.

And Sandy ran off after her. Everyone in the crowd got out of her way.