Gag missed his mom. He really missed his mom, and his friend, Pal, wasn’t helping the cause. In fact, Gag was still mad at Pal for yesterday. It was very rude of him and he did not deserve a pardon on his behavior. Biting friends is not very nice. It made Gag upset when Pal pardoned himself for yesterday and declared that they were still buddies. Well maybe Gag didn’t want to be buddies with Pal anymore. Maybe Gag didn’t want to see his stupid dumb face anymore or his stupid dumb hair that only grew in one place. He didn’t even wear pants—what kind of guy didn’t wear pants? Gag sighed and continued on into the city to find his mom.
“You know Gag, I’m glad we still are friends,” Pal said.
Gag’s lips formed a tight line as he ignored Pal. It took every nerve in his body for him not to say “I never said we are friends again.” Pal didn’t say a word as they walked through Onion town.
When they reached the city, a friend of Gag’s told him that they saw his mom go into the big night club. Gag thanked the friend and walked there without any hesitation. An older man stopped them.
“Hey buddy,” why did everyone insist on being Gag’s buddy? “You’re going to need a leather jacket if you wanna get in this club! What are you 6?”
Ouch, that was kind of offensive.
“Buzz off, butterball!”
Gag frowned and turned away and headed to the shop. He was not a butterball, if anything his new dad was. Gag hated his new dad, all he did was sit on the couch all day and yell and drink and be violent. His family didn’t need that, it was a wonder why his sister kept running out to some type of clubhouse in the trees. Gag needed his mom.
“Hey, man,” the man behind the counter spoke. He had long hair that covered his eyes, it’s a wonder he could see. “I inherited this shop through my father.”
That was nice, but Gag didn’t really care, he just wanted his mom. He looked at the leather jacket: it was four-thousand dollars. He looked in his hand: he only had $30. There was no way he could get four-thousand dollars in one day, or even in enough time. Tears filled his eyes as he walked out of the store…disappointed. What could he do? He would never see his mom at this rate.
Gag wandered around the city for a few hours, and eventually wandered into Creepy Cloaked Calvin’s house. There, Calvin The Riddler stood prepared with a riddle.
“Hello kid… I’m Calvin,” he said creepily, “Some call me The Riddler.” Gag couldn’t tell if The Riddler was grinning or not because of the cloth over his mouth, but for his sake, he imagined that he was smiling. “Ha HA! Did you come here for a riddle? OF COURSE.”
Gag just smiled an nodded politely as the older man continued to ramble.
“I’ll tell you what, if you win… I’ll give you a Jacket. Fine leather.”
A jacket? Made of fine LEATHER? Boy did that get Gag’s attention.
“But you only get once chance.”
One chance? That seemed pretty hard. Gag had to think for a moment before finally saying “ok.”
“I’ll let you think about this one for a bit,” The Riddler continued, “You come back when you know the answer. HA, YOU might wanna write this down.”
The riddle was this:
What’s close to home yet far away?
A sudden change is not okay.
Which once was here has been replaced.
Your home has grown a different taste.
A familiar face has been displaced.
You feel as if you don’t like this place.
That’s it. Gag thought for a moment about what the answer could be. It could be a tree house, a lost pet, a new dad, or new house. Gag rethought his answers, it definitely was NOT a lost pet or a tree house…and a house did NOT have a face. So it had to be a new dad. Gag frowned and answered with a new dad.
“.. HAHA! CORRECT!”
Gag received a leather jacket from Cloaked Calvin. Calvin wasn’t so creepy after all. Grinning from ear to ear, Gag put on the jacket and thanked Calvin. Then left.
He ran as fast as he could to the club, and then let him in. Wow was he excited! After a weird encounter with a dancing man in a suit, he walked onto the dance floor and spot his mom at the bar. She had been drinking a lot and she took him and Pal to the hotel; obviously wanting to avoid home. They checked out a room and settled in for the night. Gag had his mom and his buddy, but there was one problem: he couldn’t seem to fall asleep. In need of a drink, he left the room.
Gag swore he heard the door lock, but thought no more of it. By the time he was halfway down the hall, he wasn’t really thirsty anymore and decided to go back. The door WAS locked, and Gag got really scared. Why was the door locked? Why would the door be locked if Gag wasn’t in there? He tried the door again. Still locked. Gag ran down the hallway to go to the reception desk so they could unlock the door for him. When he was almost there, Pal appeared out of no where it seemed.
Pal’s mouth was wide open and filled with blood. Could he have…no! Now was not the time for thinking. Gag began to run, he was scared, but was not fast enough. Pal caught up to him. Then