!!!!! -- Gallifreya
Don't go to the Underground. Bad things happen to you if you go there. Especially if you are the bad thing. It's where the mobster monsters rule the grimy streets.
It's said that they eat human children.
Five had gone into the tunnel to Monster Mountain. None had been found again.
Frisk had run because there was nowhere left to run to. Even the worst of the bullies would not follow. The Underground was a truly terrifying place. Parts of it were freezing. Parts were underwater. Parts were so hot that there were lava flows. And the monsters who lived there liked it that way.
But for Frisk, it was not nearly as terrifying as their foster home.
Starving and cold and frightened, they found an alley, and a place to hide. Behind a trash can (with the rest of the garbage, the bullies would say) under an abandoned shipping pallet. Where Frisk found out that there were other humans who spent time in the Underground. But they belonged there, because they were monsters, too.
The lady didn't last long. The monstrous human made sure she couldn't scream. Then spent the rest of his hours doing horrible things to her until she stopped making any noise at all.
He mumbled, "That's what you get, bitch," as he stepped back from his grizzly work.
New voices. Monster voices. "Well... look what we have here," said one. "Some bozo trespassing on our turf."
"Not even an innocent at that," said the other monster.
Frisk peeked. There were two skeletons. One tall, one short. The tall one filled out his bright red zoot suit with the bulk of invisible muscles. The short one wore a cheap blue suit with an untucked shirt and a loose tie strung sloppily around his neck. His bulk was more... equatorial.
"And you know what we do with guilty people, don't you?" said the tall one.
"How about we show him, eh Pap?"
"Yes, Brother," said the tall Pap.
Trumpets sounded out of nowhere. Bones flew through the air. Blue and white. How the monstrous man managed to escape, Frisk couldn't tell. He must have pulled some trick.
"What a terrible person," announced Pap.
"Yeah. Too bad they got away... and too bad for this poor schmuck."
Frisk didn't want to look at the blood any more. Or to watch the monsters do whatever they did to human flesh. But their movements jostled the pallet, which creaked. Frisk curled in on themself, trying to turn invisible by sheer force of will. A spreading patch of moist warmth temporarily relieved the deadly chill.
"What was that?" said Pap.
"I dunno. Probably a cat," said the short one.
"I'm gonna check it out," said Pap.
No. Nononononononono! Frisk peeked through their fingers, frozen in terror. Watching the tall skeleton man approach and lift up the heavy pallet in one hand.
Desperate, Frisk did the one thing that guaranteed that their foster parents didn't hit them.
Pap blushed and mumbled, "Aww..." and scooped Frisk up into his arms. "There, now, human," he whispered. "We don't hurt innocents." He turned and resumed his normal, boistrous speaking volume. "Hey Sans! It seems we have a witness!"
Frisk learned many things, that night. First, there was a serial killer loose in the area, someone who used the Underground's turf as a combination slaughterhouse and dumping ground. He had killed five children and uncounted adults.
Second, skeletons were warm and friendly and told really horrible puns.
Third, monsters were friendly, generous and kind.
The skeletons, both named after fonts, took Frisk to The Ruins, an otherwise quiet club where the proprietor baked the entire menu herself with fire magic. Monsters came there for rest and respite. And butterscotch-cinnamon pie.
It was there that Frisk got bathed, dressed in clean -if old- clothes, and fed an enormous slice of pie.
"Now, my child," cooed Toriel. "Tell me about the bad man, if you please?"
Frisk started to shiver. This is where they would hate them.
"It's all right, human," said Papyrus. "I, the Great Papyrus, will protect you! He can not harm you here."
Frisk signed, I don't like to speak out loud. I like to use my hands.
"Welp," said Sans, "I'm goin' to Grillby's."
"You... do not talk?"
Frisk shook their head. It makes me tired. Please don't hate me?
Toriel sighed and said, "It will be... difficult. Not impossible. You can point him out in court, should we capture him. Monster testimony against humans is... less valuable than the other way around."
Frisk signed, Sorry.
Toriel gave Frisk more pie, and left the room to talk to Papyrus. "Did he see where you took them?"
"I don't know. He's a slippery snail, that one."
"The child can stay here the night. After that, they'll have to move somewhere. If we can get them to the King's Palace..."
When they returned from their planning, Frisk signed, Please don't throw me away? and forced themself to say, "Mom."
"I know you want to stay, but it isn't safe. You have to keep moving if you want to stay away from the bad man."
Reluctantly, Frisk nodded. It was the beginning of a long and harrowing journey. But on the way, they would make some very interesting new friends. And find a new family.
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