The Great Escape

Title: The Great Escape
Time Period: May 16, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Cas' befriended hob helps him to make a dash for freedom.

With no windows in the strange little theatre Cas has found himself in, it's hard to say if it's night or day at any given moment. And with how the toy maker works, it's pretty clear he doesn't know or even care about the time.

But he is still human, and eventually even he has to take a break to sleep for a time. He even wished Cas a good night on his way out.

But it's been some time since then, and the room has been dark, cold and deathly quiet in the absence of the noise from the workbench. It's much more difficult to stay awake with little to focus on beyond the limp bodies around him.

That is, up until a familiar hob pops up, climbing up Cas' chair from the back before it trips and tumbles into his lap. The little creature pauses, waiting to see if he alerted anyone. When he's fairly confident he hasn't, he moves over to one of Cas' arms to start tugging at the ropes tying it to the arm rest.

It's possible Cas fell asleep for a few moments before jarring himself awake— this isn't the easiest situation to stay awake during, dark, quiet and with very little else to do. Even with the pain in his wrists from trying to twist his arm against the bindings and the pain in his leg. Not to mention other things.

"Aaa," is the soft sound he makes by accident as the creature falls, looking down at him and squinting despite the light adjusted vision. He opens his mouth, as if to speak, but then he seems to decide to stay quiet, watching the little hob work at his hand. The piece of fabric is held onto, between two fingers, while he starts to flex them, or perhaps he's trying to wave at the little guy to tell him he's awake— as if the Aaa hadn't done it. Could be encouragement, though, before he twists around some in the seat, to look for movement.

As Cas knows, the ropes are pretty tight, and the longer it takes his little hands to loosen the knots, the more anxious the hob becomes. But once the knot comes undone and the ropes loosen, he leaves Cas to his other wrist and dives down to the floor to start on the ropes around his legs, too.

He glances around, too, a bit paranoid and rightfully so, even. But things seem quiet at the moment. No one charging in to catch them at it. But by the hob's gentle shaking, he's probably not very comforted by that all the same.

Afraid to even whisper much, Cas raises his hand and gives a gesture, that if the little hob knew the signs that Colm and his mother had been teaching him would essentially read as Good job. It's so close to a normal sign for it that it may even translate well.

The piece of cloth is tucked dropped onto his leg for the moment before he reaches with his free hand to pull and twist on the rope to get himself free. It takes a few moments, but once he's done, he grabs the piece of cloth from Mariah's dress and tucks it into the fingerless glove covering much of his right hand, before he leans forward to assist the hob with his legs, silencing a pained sound after pain shoots up from his injured leg upon moving it.

It takes a bit of work, but soon enough, a little teamwork gets him out of the restraints. The hob shove the ropes under the seats before he takes a few steps away. He stops, turning to look back at Cas, gesturing for him to follow as he dances nervously from foot to foot. He's not trying to seem impatient, but he's just a touch frightened.

When he moves again, he hurries down the front row, past the unconscious audience members, each tied into their own seat as well. Along the side, he climbs up a few steps upward, to where a door sits in the wall. Unfortunately, this one has a handle that's too far up from the hob to use himself, so that's where he stops. And, perhaps more unfortunately, as they pass the rows of people who've been here much longer, Cas can see a least a few aren't just unconscious, but have died unnoticed in their seats. Some from wounds far more gruesome than the one on Cas' leg.

Standing is near agony and each step is only a little less painful than that first one. Cas opens his mouth and catches the sound in his throat, as he limps along, hand landing on an arm every so often to brace himself. That's when he first notices that not everyone in the seats happens to be alive.

With his hand resting on a dead man's hand, he looks up at the face for a moment, before grimacing and moving on. The tears on his face may just be from the pain of walking. Maybe.

The last few steps have to be made without assistance, so he stumbles into the door a little louder than he might like, finally letting a small gasp escape from his mouth when he exhales. The little hob is impatient, though, so he offers a pained smile down at him, before he tries to open the door, more of his weight on the handle than he might wish.

The hob doesn't help, with his little alarmed noise when Cas stumbles into the door. But it doesn't seem to all be for the sudden noise, as he comes over to chitter at Cas' wounded leg worriedly.

But when the door opens, he dives through, leaning against a wall to let out a heavy sigh. It's clear he hasn't had a look around, though, since this is not, in fact, the outside yet, but rather a long hallway with another door at the far end. The walls are dotted with alcoves, and in each is a glass case, in each case, an old or particularly ornate toy sits. Prized creations, perhaps.

Once he's through the door with the hob, Cas closes it slowly and quietly again. If only to lean against it, lifting his body's weight off the hurt leg and staring up at the ceiling for a time. There's more gestures, one handed. Time's like this he sees definite advantages to what Colm taught him to do. Even if he's not doing it right, yet. What actually signed was closer to: Me good, little horse.

Horse is one of the ones he knows the best, as he uses it a lot. From him, it's a compliment.

With a deep breath, he pushes away to begin limping along the hallway. Which seems longer with every step— and the toys disturb him more than the bodies did, a glance or two sending a shiver down his back. And makes him forget about putting too much weight on his leg. With a gasping exhale, he is forced to catch himself on one of those glass cases in the alcove.

The hob reaches over to take hold of his pant leg, on the good leg, looking up at Cas to nod at his gestures. Chances are, he doesn't exactly get it, but it's also possible he's used to not quite understanding humans in general. His exposure to them hasn't exactly been the cream of the crop, either.

When Cas hits the glass, the toy's eyes snap open and it looks at Cas like one might an intruder. And before long, he has a toy soldier slamming wooden fists against the wall. Not the glass, to break it and escape, too, but the wall to make a ruckus. And while it's hard to say who might be alerted outside of this hallway, within it, the other toys wake up, too, some echoing the soldier's attempts to raise alarm, but some press against the glass, or bang against it, or cry out for help from the figure who most certainly is not the toy maker who put them there.

The hob doesn't linger behind to distinguish one from the other, his nerves snapping as he makes a dash for the far door.

As the little horse's nerves break, Cas can't help but stand there spinning a bit as he looks from the toy banging on the wall, to all the other toys. For a moment he looks desperate, worried, and then seems to reach a decision. A few limps bring him to a low floor stand for candles, unlit at the moment, but with dripped dried was over the side on the top. High enough to rest his hand under the candle and use it as a crutch, but low enough to not be too heavy when he carries it along.

The little hob may have made the choose to run for it, but Cas has other ideas. Lifting the candle-holder, he first reaches back to swing it at one of the glass alcoves, breaking the glass. Then again on the other side. It seems he's hoping more want help than not, case he uses it as a crutch to get to the next one and does it again. The glass ruins all chance of staying quiet, as did the banging, so he looks toward the hob and says loudly, "Get out of here!" The yell could be meant for the toys too.

Glass shatters, hitting the floor in loud clatters, and many of the toys start to make their way out, the ones who aren't too afraid to move. The hob doesn't run, but he stands by the door, watching him make his way along from display to display as he hops from one foot to the other.

And as the toys that have a mind to escape, too head toward the hob, he gestures them toward him. And while they get the door open and start to file out, the little hob hangs back to wait for Cas.

"I was meaning you too, little guy," Cas says as he gets close enough to the hob, keeping the candle stand for a crutch, and hobbling out the door as well as he can with it, trying to avoid nudging the toys along. "You must really want that hat," he says to the hob, smiling more than he probably should be.

If this ruckus didn't wake the man up, then he'll be very surprised, but it seems he couldn't leave him there without giving them a chance.

When Cas reaches him, the little hob chitters at him, nervous and a little chastising, but in the end he laughs a bit, too. And when they pass out of this door, they step out onto grass and into the chilly night air. And the hob lets out another sigh. Like maybe they just got away with this.

However. It isn't that easy. Out of a high window, Turner leans out, shouting out his own alarm. And at first, this may seem like fruitless anger to fizzle out on the wind, but in reality, he has a plan in place.

That plan show up in the sudden stomp of large feet against the grass, sending a shudder through the ground as a troll circles the building.

"Oh hell," Cas says outloud at the rumbling sound of large feet on grass and the shuddering of the ground. Quieter would have been better, but… "You don't have to stay with me— you can go on ahead," he says down at the hob, even waving his hand so the little guy will hopefully understand. "You helped me get out, but you'll probably be faster without me."

And in likelihood he would be, but Cas still tries, leaving the relative safety of the house and limping away along the edge, with his crutch. Seems he's decided it would be safer against the house than not. At least for the moment.

As the troll comes into view, the toys scatter, dashing as best they can in various directions. With the exception of one small doll, a beautifully crafted porcelain clown with a silky white and purple striped outfit on, ruffs at the neck, ankles and wrists. This toy freezes in place.

It's a bad choice, as when the troll stomps into their side of the building, its large foot lands right on the clown, smashing the delicate creation. And the hob, who just might be better off if he ran, opts to scale Cas again, clinging onto his back with his hands gripping the stable hand's shoulders. The other toys, though, shriek and squeal as they try to find cover for themselves. Cas has a decent corner to squish into, but the troll is taking its time to hunt around.

When the toy freezes and gets stepped on, the sound of the stomp may cover the soft, "No," that Cas lets out. A guilty no. The hob climbing up him gets a look, though, and he reaches up to touch the guy's little hands, turning and twisting to get into the corner, with only the hob and his candle stand with him.

Leaning into the walls and taking the weight off his hurt leg, he lifts the stand as if he might try to use it to bat the troll away. Or at least make him hurt. And he stays in front of the hob, though his hand moves down to touch his shirt, pressing the two pendants he wears against his skin.

The hob hides his face against the back of Cas' neck, his bravery failing him now that there's a troll in the picture. The little catches of sound in his throat may just be his own expression of sorrow for the toy. And guilt, too.

There's noise from above, too, from the window and the toy maker. He, too, mourns the loss of the toy, but it's far more angry than the hob's or Cas'. And the slam of the window can't mean something good.

And while the troll seems to miss them in their corner, at first, it turns to come back when it catches sight of a stuffed tiger toy dashing their way. Perhaps in an attempt to join them in their haven. But it draws the troll's attention their way, and the hob and the stable boy get a view of the troll's great fist aiming to squish the little tiger as well.

With the little guy on his back, Cas spots the tiger in the darkness, now attracting the attention of the troll. "No!" he yells much more loudly this time. Stepping forward, somewhat out of the safety of his corner, he braces his free arm against the wall as he swings his other arm.

The weapon he was going to try to fend the beast off with is launched through the air instead. Too bad it will probably land short— but the candle that dislodges may fly a little further.

The yell gets the troll to pause, looking up from the little tiger just in time to watch Cas throw a large candle stick (or not so large, to it) through the air. It gives time for the tiger to get out of the way, but puts Cas in its sights instead.

The candle holder hits the grass, but that candle that was jerked free flips through the air and pokes the troll right in the eye. He rears up, his hand covering that eyes for a moment, but his other arm swings out, too, not to throw anything, but to smack against Cas' chest. It hurts, especially against so recently wounded ribs, and knocks the stable hand back into the building. That would hurt more, but the little hob takes the brunt of the hit against the wall, and lets go of Cas before he falls down to the grass himself.

The strike hits him hard, throws him back against the wall— and unfortunately the hob. Dazed and in pain, Cas falters and falls down to the ground, stunned to realize his little friend fell beside him. Reaching out, he grabs onto the little hob and pulls him against his chest, dragging his body and his hurting leg and sore chest with him.

His only plan is to stay low and against the building. Even if he's bleeding and in pain. "I'm sorry. I— please be okay," he says to his tiny burden. There's those tears again. But getting away seems to be a big enough instinct to keep him trying to move.

At first, the hob is pretty limp, but it's for being dazed rather than being truly beyond help. As Cas cradles him, the hob reaches a hand to grip weakly onto his shirt, as if just to show him he's still with him. But in pain, so he doesn't move too much.

Troll rubs at its eye, blinking a few times to clear its vision. It gives Cas just enough time to get some hope about getting away. But, just as they reach a corner to slip around, fat troll fingers pick up Cas by the scruff of his shirt. He holds him, and the hob by extension, up at eye level to peer at the stable hand. And growl a little.

The door Cas escaped through opens then, banging against the door as Turner makes his way out. His feet are bloody, like he didn't notice the glass littering the hall.

"Aaaa," Cas calls out as he's hauled into the air. He would kick, but his legs already hurt enough that he's not going to siwng them around too much. Still, there's hints of a struggle, in the form of swaying and twisting, as he wraps his arms around the hob. It's like he's trying to hide him as he looks toward the door that's crashed opened. And the bleeding man standing there.

That's when he stops struggling at all and closes his eyes. Nevermind the tears falling down his cheeks in the darkness.

It's like he expects to get eaten, or something, or perhaps he's just accepted that he can't get away anymore.

Turner looks up at the troll, at Cas, and his arms fold over his chest. What may be the most telling is that he's brought the marionette with him, carved, but still unpainted and dangling lifelessly from his hand.

But for how long.

"Don't eat him," the man says, and he nods for the troll to bring him down. And as the troll lowers, but doesn't let go of, the stable hand, Turner unfolds and steps over to look at Cas' face.

"And to think, I was making you a hat. And this is how you repay me. Breaking my creations! Slipping out in the night like a thief!" And he reaches out, taking Cas' wrist in hand, and not shying away from being rough with it, either. "I have never been so betrayed. I'm afraid I will have to put you where you belong now, my boy, no more tricks." It's an odd sensation as the man speaks, how Cas is in his own body one moment, and then suddenly looking at his own body going limp in the troll's fingers. And the realization that he is not alone up there in Turner's consciousness, but several minds scream out at him in those brief moments before his viewpoint shifts again, to look down at the grass from the eyes of a wooden toy. Joints are stiff, limbs light and too short, but first things first… it's all a little disorienting.

And he has to watch as Turner yanks the hob off Cas' shirt and drop him unceremoniously to the ground before turning to head back into the theatre again.

Eyes had opened in that last moment, trying to protect the hob as much as he could— but as his perspective shifts, everything grows… strange. As the man turns around, the puppet tries to move too, to look back at the troll, the job on the ground, trying to move.

Attempts to yell are all held back, as if he can't find a voice. The puppet's mouth opens and closes as he tries. Wooden hand reaches up, as if to reach out, and then stops, twisting and moving. He may no longer hurt, but the realization is a shock.

And one that keeps him from struggling too much as he's carried away.

Turner carries Cas back over the glass, still seeming to miss it entirely, even as it cuts his feet. Not long behind them are a bunch of hobs carrying his body in behind them. Not his hob, though.

When Turner reenters the theatre, he leaves bloody footprints behind him as he takes the stage again, setting Cas at the center of his table while the hobs get his body set back up in the chair he so recently vacated. They do tend to his new wounds, though, which shows a certain amount of… optimism.

But Turner pulls over a set of paints, apparently determined to finish this puppet now. And angrily.


When the toys were rounded up and carted back inside and the troll returned to his patrols around the workshop, the little hob was left there in the grass under the moonlight.

But he wasn't idle, not once he could get himself moving again. He pulled himself up to his feet, stifling a groan for his bumps, bruises and stiffness. Small feet padded over to the porcelain doll in pieces and he gathered her up to tuck the pieces away into the small pouch at his side. But that bit of respect paid, he had a bigger mission in mind.

It would take a while for his little legs to carry him to Dornie, he knew, especially being wounded as he is, but he set his feet along the path anyway. Determined.