Troubled Soul

By: Timo Wikström

 

It was a shining Monday morning and every kid was at school. There was a recess at Pokey Oaks Kindergarten and everyone were outside. Blossom and Buttercup were playing American football with other kids, Bubbles was swinging and Timo was sleeping under a tree. Everyone were enjoying the beautiful day. Last week had been such an eventful one, that it felt good to be back in school. Timo had wanted to relax after all those events. He understood the dangers of been a protector of the whole city, but he still enjoyed the life he was now having in Townsville. A ball appeared next to him.

Timo: (notices the ball) Hm?

Buttercup: Hey, Timo! Could you throw it back to us?

Timo: Sure. (stands up and throws the ball) There you go.

The ball flew straight in front of Buttercup's legs and in no time several kids, including Blossom, were on top of her, like in the real football.

Buttercup: (very silently) ... Thank you...

Timo: No problem, Buttercup!

Timo sat down next to the tree again and closed his eyes. He enjoyed the sounds of nature and the sounds of the other children. He felt so peaceful. Amongst the noise, though, he heard something else.

???: (whispering) Timo...

He heard it like it was coming right next to him, but there was no one next to him and he felt that he hadn't heard it by his super hearing. Timo ignored it.

Timo: (thinking) I just heard things... ... although that voice sounded familiar...

He decided to ignore it fully and continued to rest. The school bell rang soon and everyone went inside. Timo looked at Townsville for a moment before going in.

***

It was time for some history in the class. Most of the class were getting bored. Timo wasn't really listening. His mind kept remembering the voice he had heard.

Timo: (thinking) That voice sounded so familiar. Where in the world have I heard it? Where?

Buttercup looked at Timo and noticed, that he wasn't listening at all.

Buttercup: (whispering) Something wrong, Timo? You look troubled.

Timo: (looks at Buttercup, whispering) Nothing... yet.

Buttercup: What is that supposed to mean?

Ms. Keane: Pay attention, class!

Almost everyone sat up straight on their chairs, except Timo.

Ms. Keane: (notices Timo) Timo? Is something wrong? You look like something is troubling you.

Timo: Hm? Oh nothing, Ms. Keane.

Ms. Keane: You sure?

Timo: ... ... No. May I be excused, Ms. Keane? I would like to be out for a while.

Ms. Keane: Okay. But only for 10 minutes.

Timo went outside. The girls were wondering the situation.

Blossom: What's the matter with him?

Buttercup: I don't know, but he didn't pay attention to the lesson, even though he did look at the chalk board.

Bubbles: Is he okay?

Buttercup: I don't know, but something is troubling him. I could see it from his eyes.

Ms. Keane: Okay class, let's continue the lesson.

***

Outside, Timo had flown to the roof of the school. He was thinking deeply. The voice he had heard was troubling him more and more, but he couldn't remember where that voice was so familiar.

Timo: (thinking) Why can't I remember? It hasn't been that long since I came here. Hmm... it is possible, that my mind is playing tricks on me, but... (thinking a little angrily) What am I even thinking? I only heard that voice once and I let it bother me this much. There's nothing I should be worrying about. Nothing at all.

With that in his mind, he slowly went back inside, hoping this wouldn't happen again.

***

No one asked what was wrong from Timo. The girls did wonder the strange behavior, but decided not to ask anything from Timo before school ended. The rest of the school time went uneventfully. The school ended and the girls and Timo were going home.

Buttercup: Alright, Timo, let's hear it now.

Timo: What?

Buttercup: You know. The way you behaved in school. I know something is troubling you, Timo. What is it?

Timo: It's... ... I think it's nothing.

Blossom: Oh, come on! If it wasn't nothing, why did you go out in the middle of the lesson?

Timo: ...  I want to conform something first. After that I can answer to all of your questions.

They arrived home and went in.

Blossom: We're home, professor!

Professor: Welcome home, girls and Timo. How was school today?

Timo: It was good. Umm... professor? May I go to my room and be alone for a while?

Professor: Sure, Timo. Dinner won't be ready for another 20 minutes.

Timo: Okay.

Timo went upstairs and into his room. The girls looked at him with worried faces.

Blossom: Why won't he tell us what's wrong?

Buttercup: Whatever it is, it must be bad.

Bubbles: Should we go and talk to him?

Blossom: No... let's leave him alone. I think even he doesn't know what's wrong with him.

At his room, Timo was lying on his bed.

Timo: (thinking) I don't know why I'm feeling like this. I feel like I want to do something. Something... evil...

Timo fell asleep

***

Timo: Where am I? I don't know this place.

He was inside some kind of ruins There was an absolute silence. Not even wind couldn't be heard. Timo looked around for a moment and then started to fly around. He didn't see anyone in the ruins.

Timo: I gotta get out of here.

He flew higher and started to fly out of the ruins. At the walls, though, he suddenly got pushed back to the ground.

Timo: What the...?

He then heard someone's laugh echoing all over the ruins.

Timo: Who's there? Show yourself!

All of a sudden the ground started to shake and some parts of the ruins got destroyed more. Then the ground started to break from four different parts and from those parts a dark spiral came out.

Timo: What's happening?

The spirals collided with each other and created a pitch black circle on top of Timo.

Timo: (looks at the circle) What is that?

???: Timo...

Inside the circle, a pair of red eyes appeared. Timo's eyes went wide.

Timo: Who... who are you?

There was no answer and shortly after that, the red eyes disappeared.

Timo: Who are you!?

Again there was no answer.

Timo: (angrily) Answer me!

Timo created an ice staff and got ready to fight. But right after he had created an ice staff, a hand appeared and it grabbed Timo, forcing him to drop his ice staff. Timo felt he was been squeezed hard.

???: Come here... come here to the darkness... That's where you belong...

Right after that, Timo was pulled inside the circle.

***

"NOOOOOOOOOO!!"

The girls and the professor heard the scream from Timo's room and hurried there. Blossom opened the door and the girls saw Timo lying on the floor curled up like a ball.

Blossom: What's wrong, Timo?

Timo: (has eyes closed) So dark... so evil...

Professor appeared at the doorway.

Buttercup: What is it, Timo? (goes close to him) Are you okay?

Timo: Cold... I feel so cold.

Professor: I better take him to the lab.

The professor lifted Timo and carried him to the lab. The girls looked at each other, worried and confused.

Blossom: Now I'm really worried.

Bubbles: What did he meant by dark and evil?

Buttercup: Who knows. Maybe he just saw a nightmare.

Blossom: I don't think it is a nightmare. He should be wiser than that.

Bubbles: Then what is it?

Blossom: I don't know, but right now, I think Timo has to explain everything to us.

Buttercup: He has to explain to us. If it's something bad, he should talk to us.

Bubbles: And he was going to, Buttercup.

Blossom: Which makes this whole thing kinda strange. He behaved strange in school, doesn't talk to us, goes into his room and then screams. This doesn't make any sense.

Buttercup: Do you think there's something he hasn't told us?

Blossom: If there is, he at least doesn't know anything about it.

Bubbles: We should really talk to him. I'm sure he will talk to us now.

Blossom: ... That is, if he can now.

The professor came out of the lab. The girls hurried downstairs.

Bubbles: How is he?

Professor: He seems fine, girls, but he still is like he has seen something very scary. Otherwise, he is okay.

Buttercup: Just as I thought. It was just a nightmare.

Professor: I don't think it could be a nightmare. Timo is old enough to realize that nightmares don't hurt and that they aren't real and still something is bothering him. I have now calmed him down and he is awake. You can go see him.

Girls: Thanks, professor.

The girls flew inside the lab and saw Timo lying on a bed, fully awake, and flew close to him.

Timo: (sighs) I'm sorry if I worried you, girls.

They looked at Timo for a moment.

Bubbles: Come on, Timo. Tell us what's wrong.

Buttercup: Yeah. We all want to hear it.

Timo: ... ... Alright. Today at school, right after I had thrown that ball back to you Buttercup, I heard a voice.

Blossom: A voice? A distant voice?

Timo: I didn't hear it normally or by my super hearing. I just heard it somehow. The strange thing was that it sounded so familiar, but I couldn't remember, where have I heard it before.

Buttercup: A familiar voice? Are you sure it wasn't someone you knew before you came here?

Timo: I don't know. It hasn't been that long since I came here.

Blossom: That still doesn't explain why you screamed all of a sudden in your room.

Timo: ... I saw a dream... a nightmare.

Buttercup: I knew it.

Timo: But it was such a strange dream. Let's just say I heard the same familiar voice and then the next thing I was grabbed and taken to the darkness.

Bubbles: Darkness?

Timo: Yes, Bubbles. Before I woke up, I saw something inside the darkness. I don't know what, but it made me scared and feel evil.

Girls: What?

Timo: You heard me. I don't know why, but somehow I feel like doing something evil and I don't like it. Now I'm afraid I might hurt someone.

The girls looked at each other and then at Timo.

Blossom: Have you heard the voice now?

Timo: No... at least not when I was awake.

Buttercup: No wonder you've been acting strange.

Bubbles: Yeah. You've been wondering about that voice all day.

Timo: Yes... I know I've heard it somewhere before. I just don't remember where.

Bubbles: We'll help you, Timo. We'll help any way we can.

Buttercup: Yeah. Now that we know what's been bothering you, we can help you.

Timo: ... Thank you, girls, but how can you help me? We don't even know what's causing this.

Blossom: You said you're afraid that you will do something evil. Now that we know it, we can help you stop from doing them.

Timo: I'm not even sure if I do any. That's the problem... I don't know.

Bubbles: But we'll be there, whether you do or not.

Buttercup: Yeah, especially since this is serious

Blossom: We have to find out what is causing this.

Bubbles: But how?

Blossom: Hmm... you heard the voice in your dream, right? (looks at other girls) Remember the case of the Mayor?

Buttercup: Don't remind me about it.

Blossom: We could go into Timo's dream, see what's wrong and stop it.

Timo: It's worth a try, but what if you also go to that darkness?

Bubbles started to shake a little.

Timo: And I see you're still afraid of the dark, Bubbles.

Bubbles: Yeah. I still haven't got over it.

Timo: It's okay, Bubbles. As long you're with us, you have nothing to be afraid of.

Bubbles: I guess so.

Blossom: We should do this tonight when it's time for us to sleep. That way we can get to your dream quickly, Timo.

Timo: Agreed.

Professor came to the lab.

Professor: Dinner is ready. Are you okay, Timo?

Timo: I'm fine for now. (sits up)

Blossom: We now know what's wrong with Timo and we have a plan.

Professor: That's good, girls. Let's discuss about it at dinner.

***

The girls told everything to professor. With Timo's confirmation of the events, the professor accepted the plan. Timo tried to relax until the night, but he knew there were risks at this whole thing. It made him nervous. Time passed kinda slowly for everyone, but finally the night came and it was time for the girls to sleep. Only this night, they and Timo were going to sleep at the laboratory. Without even changing into their nighties, the girls and Timo lied down on the beds. The professor took out the helmets and put them on the girls' and Timo's heads.

Professor: There. Now try to relax. I'll make some adjustments on the console and we're ready. And it won't hurt, Timo.

Timo: Okay... (looks at the girls) How will it feel like?

Blossom: You won't feel nothing. All you need to do is sleep and have a dream. We'll be inside your dream immediately.

Timo: Oh... ... Girls? I want to thank you.

Buttercup: For what?

Timo: For helping me.

Blossom: It's nothing, Timo. This is what we do. We help anyone, be it a close friend or stranger... or a family member.

Timo: ... (smiles at the girls)

Professor: Alright. The adjustments have been made. You can start to sleep now anytime you want to.

After looking at each other for a while, the girls and Timo closed their eyes. A moment later the line on the console changed.

Professor: Good luck, girls and Timo.

***

Timo saw himself been surrounded by the same ruins he had seen earlier. He didn't see anyone else been there.

Timo: Girls? Girls, where are you?

There was no answer.

Timo: Girls?

Girls: What?

Timo turned around and saw the girls flying in front of him.

Timo: Oh there you are. I almost thought the machine didn't work.

The girls were looking around.

Blossom: Oh, it worked alright. So is this the place where it happened?

Timo: Yes. It's exactly the same ruins.

Buttercup: Which means the same thing will happen again.

Bubbles: Didn't you try to fly away from here?

Timo: I did try that. There's some kind of barrier surrounding the ruins, so we're trapped here.

Bubbles: This place looks scary.

Blossom: A perfect place for ambush, since there's a barrier.

Timo: Any second now there should be...

Right then an echoing laugh was heard all around the ruins.

Timo: ... laughing.

Blossom: (looks around) Where is it coming from?

Timo: Everywhere. Umm... I recommend you girls land now and be close to me.

The girls did so. Soon after that the ground started to shake

Timo: It starts now...

The dark spirals appeared from the four parts of the ground like before and soon after that they collided with each other.

Timo: Prepare yourselves. (creates an ice staff)

Blossom: What's happening?

Timo: You'll see.

The spirals created the pitch black circle on top of them and the red eyes appeared again. Timo was sweating.

???: I see you brought some guests. Now they will see how you truly belong here in the darkness.

Timo: Spread out!

The black hand appeared from the hole, but this time the girls and Timo dodged it.

Bubbles: What do we do?

Blossom: Don't let that hand grab you. If Timo is right, the hand will take you inside that circle.

Timo: How do we fight this thing?

Buttercup: For once I do believe that punches and kicks won't work on this one.

Bubbles: So what will we do?

They all dodged the hand. It moved so fast, but they managed to dodge it.

Timo: We can't dodge this thing forever. We have to find it's weak spot.

Blossom: I agree, but where is it's weak spot?

Timo dodged the hand again, but then attacked it by swinging his ice staff on it. The hand was cut off and it dropped to the ground. The remaining hand went back to the circle.

Timo: ... This... was too easy.

Blossom: (looks at the hand on the ground) True. Was that all it needed? Cutting it's hand away?

Buttercup: No way... (looks at the circle) There's something else. Otherwise the circle would have disappeared.

The red eyes looked kinda angry.

???: You think that was that? I don't think so... I'm gonna enjoy bringing you and your friends into my darkness.

Right then five more hands appeared from the circle.

Timo: Look out!

The hands moved faster than the previous one and now the girls and Timo were dodging the best they could.

Buttercup: What do we do now?

Blossom: I don't think cutting the hands will work.

Bubbles: Then what can we do? If those hands grab us, they'll take us inside that circle.

???: You won't be able to stop me... you little bugs.

Right then two of the hands followed Buttercup.

Buttercup: (looks sides) What the...

She then got squashed by the hands.

Timo: Buttercup!

The hands opened up and Buttercup dropped to the ground unconcious. Bubbles saw this and hurried to take Buttercup, but she didn't notice a hand above her. The hand hit her and squashed her to the ground.

Blossom: Bubbles!

???: As you can see, you can't win.

The hand rose and Blossom saw Bubbles lying on the ground unconcious. Timo and Blossom stopped and so did the hands.

Timo: What do we do, Blossom?

Blossom: I don't know... I really don't know. It seems this, whoever he is, can destroy us easily and we can't even touch him.

Timo: ... I'm sorry, Blossom. I got you and your sisters into this. I shouldn't have let you come with me.

Blossom: (looks at Timo) What are you saying?

Timo: I... I could not forgive myself if you girls would get destroyed because of me.

Blossom: Timo... you know we wanted to help you.

Timo: Even so...

Blossom: This isn't your fault, Timo.

Timo: (looks at Blossom) ...

Blossom: Now what do you say we finish this?

Timo: How? (looks at the circle) We can't... Look out!

A hand grabbed Blossom out of the air. Timo reacted quickly and cut the hand with his ice staff. The hand let go of Blossom, but another hand came from behind Timo and grabbed him. He was again forced to drop his ice staff.

 Timo: No...

???: Come... Let me make you see who you really are.

Timo: No... No don't...

The hand started to pull Timo inside the circle.

 Blossom: Timo!

???: After you've been inside me... I'll have you kill these... girls.

Timo: NOO!

Right then the hand was cut by two lasers. Timo fell down. Blossom looked around and saw Bubbles and Buttercup standing on the ground. The girls went to Timo.

Blossom: You alright, Timo?

Timo: I'm fine. (looks at the circle) We must destroy that thing.

Buttercup: It's very strong. Those hits really hurt.

Bubbles: You telling me, Buttercup. I was squashed like a bug.

Timo: We must... we must attack that dark circle together...

Bubbles: How?

Blossom: (looks at the circle) Hmm... Let's try shooting our eye lasers at it. It cut the hand so let's try it on the circle.

Timo: It's worth a try. Let's do it.

They red eyes looked angrier.

???: Why do you deny, that you belong here, Timo? Don't you see? You are not one of them. You're much more than you think. You are like me.

Timo: (looks directly at the red eyes) You're wrong. Whoever you are, I am nothing like you and I never will be!

With that, Timo shot his eye lasers at the dark circle. The girls did the same. The red eyes disappeared and soon the circle's color started to change into red.

???: You're making a mistake! You will see where you truly belong in time. I will return then... but not in your dreams...

The circle exploded and flames spread everywhere, covering the girls and Timo.

***

The girls awoke quickly in their beds.

Professor: Girls, I'm so glad you're alright.  I was worried there for a moment.

Blossom: We're all okay, professor.

Bubbles: Yeah... We defeated the thing that was bothering Timo.

Blossom looked at Timo and saw that he still had his eyes closed.

Blossom: (little worriedly) Timo? Timo, wake up.

Timo opened his eyes slowly and looked at the girls happily.

Timo: We did it, girls.

Buttercup: Yeah. That thing won't bother you anymore.

Timo: No... not in my dreams anymore... but it will return someday.

Blossom: Well whoever or whatever it is, we will be ready for it.

Professor: Wait a minute. The thing in your dreams told you it would return?

Timo: ... Yes.

Professor: Then that means it wasn't a dream you've seen. It must have been a mind attack.

Timo: A mind attack? You mean one those where a concious attacks another one?

Professor: Exactly.

Buttercup: But then that means...

Bubbles: ...That this thing...

Blossom: ...Truly exists.

Everyone stayed quiet for a moment. Timo sat up.

Timo: Let's not think about it. It's not our problem. Not yet, that is.

Professor: That's true. Let's forget this whole thing for now. It's no good to bother our heads with this.

Timo: Yeah. Although... I'm still wondering why that voice was so familiar.

Professor: You should forget that too, Timo.

Timo: I know. Is it still night time?

Professor: Yes, it is. You all should go to sleep. And this time, Timo, I think you can sleep without seeing any nightmares.

Bubbles: I'm so glad we could help you, Timo.

Buttercup: Yeah. If that thing bothers you again, we will help you.

Blossom: Remember that, Timo.

Timo: Girls... Professor... Thank you.

Professor: It's nothing, Timo. Well, off to bed you all. You have school tomorrow.

Girls: Okay.

The girls left the lab and Timo followed behind them. They went upstairs into their own rooms.

Timo: Goodnight, girls.

Girls: Goodnight, Timo.

The girls and Timo shut the doors to their rooms. Timo relaxed in his room.

Timo: (thinking) Ever since I came here, I wouldn't have imagined that I wouldn't be alone. Now I know... that I will never be alone. Never.

With that he changed into his nighty, went to bed and fell asleep.