Bubble Boy – 21 –
… and he ran and ran until most of that oppressive, so unpleasant feeling had vanished. And when he couldn’t run anymore, he stopped and fell asleep on the ground.
But not long after that, he suddenly woke up, even more scared than before. He had had a horrible nightmare: Barbra had appeared to him as a gigantic, naked skeleton who tried to bury him alive into the sand! It’s no wonder that Bub awoke in such a mess, isn’t it?
Scared to death, he rummaged around in his pocket to check if the bottle was still there and the tiny creature still inside of it. Of course the bottle was still there, and Barbra was still a tiny little Witch in her purple gown and green hat! Our Bub had no idea that nightmares are not real, and often only the mirror of our most terrible fears. But well, real or not, the fact is that they can scare the pants off us!
As Bub took the bottle out of his pocket, he was stunned to see that Barbra was really still inside of it, still as tiny and fleshy and clothed as before, and apparently sleeping, He had no idea what it was all about, understood though that things around him seemed to be different when his eyes were closed or open. But he was too exhausted to think further and tried to sleep again.
But he couldn’t anymore… I suppose he was much too scared to meet the giant skeleton again! So he got up and walked all the way back to the crossing.
In the distance he could already see Tiwoo sitting on the pole. She had been so terrified by the bones and the skull in the desert that she had flown directly back to the crossing, without even casting a glance behind her and noticing that Bub had fallen asleep to the ground! But as she saw Bub now, she flew to meet him with hysterical screams of happiness
Bub was quite surprised about such a friendly reception. It was the first time in his life that somebody seemed to enjoy his presence and a warm feeling for the owl invaded his heart.
Well, judging by her reaction to the skull in the desert, I suspect that Tiwoo too had had these kind of bad dreams which scare the pants off one -even though an owl doesn’t wear pants, the feeling is surely all the same- and was simply overjoyed not to be alone anymore!
Now there was only one direction left. This meant that theoretically Bub would find at the end what he was searching for all the time… supposing of course that there was something to find! And what if there was not? This question slowly and painfully entered his mind, and the feeling connected with it seemed to live very close to all the other feelings of hope and nostalgia he had experienced since he went on this way through Barbra’s Land..
He was struggling in his mind with these kind of thoughts as he noticed, that the air went darker and darker, Not like in all the 3 other directions, where at least some nice light had arisen from behind the horizon or some pleasant smell was hanging around,. Not even the pale moon was to be seen up there in the sky! To tell the truth it had become in the meantime total darkness around him! He started worrying, and feeling very uncomfortable, as he suddenly heard a scream in the distance:
WOO OOH WOOH WOOH TI WOOH!
A scream which quite sounded like the ones of the owl, but much more mysterious, and somehow they were sounding as if thousands of owls were screaming at the same time!
Bub thought that he couldn’t be right here. More than that: he had the feeling to go always further away from what he was searching for. But he knew too that he had no more choices, now, and well, sometimes in life appearances are misleading, aren’t they? Anyway, Bub decided to go further, somehow he could not accept, or didn’t want to accept, that he had gone all these ways for nothing, and even worse, that this something he was searching for didn’t exist and was only something like the apparition of the giant skeleton, not really real!
Tiwoo in the meanwhile had become very cheerful and was flying big circles above his head, often flying a big distance away, then flying back, screaming impatiently all the time as if she wanted to tell him he should hurry up!
But Bub was really not impressed, and in fact he went slower and slower as the screams from the East came closer and closer until he finally stopped. It was not even that he wanted to stop, he just couldn’t go on anymore, as if a mysterious, invisible force was retaining him.
The thing was that horrible figures were standing in front of him, much uglier than the Witch Barbra as she was angry and full of hate. Figures as big and scary as the skeleton of his dream, but these were really there! And they stared at him with so much more hate than even Barbra did as he locked her up into the poison bottle… surely you understand what I mean!
This is why he decided to run back to the castle as fast as possible and never to leave it again!