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MOMENT 00: IT CAME TO ME
Clementine's sister sat across the table, a frown on her face. "Magna-Racha? That's the only name you plan on going by, now?"
I leaned forward on my elbows, chin in my hands. "And you choose to go by Jeanette MCREDDEN."
She mimicked my action. "It's my Private Eye name."
"So we know each other's false names." I smiled. "Now, let's get down to business. Why are you here?"
Jeanette had her dark hair pulled back into a ponytail today. She usually had it down when she came to talk.
"It's your sister." She frowned.
"I've told you the whole story time and time again," I said. "I've told everyone the same thing. Pa-Burger has her. My friends from Strange World crossed the Dimensional Barrier using the Golden Box of Hope to help me find her."
"Their sacrifice?" She raised a brow. "It always requires one."
I sighed and leaned back in my chair. "They said it was something out of Master Snoo's laboratory."
"Fair enough." She shrugged. "The real question is, when are you going to save Kat? Your parents are a mess. They've put off the wedding. I spoke with them, ya know. They don't want to believe you were involved!"
"Because I wasn't!" I narrowed my eyes. "No one believes that."
"The papers saying you had a mental breakdown is the only thing keeping you from being put in an even smaller cage."
"Wolfe Run isn't so bad...but trust me, I want to save her. I've tried many times already."
"What does that mean?"
"Every night when I go to sleep, I return to Strange World. Every single night, I climb the cliff face of Mt. Arkhamm; every stupid night, I get to the ledge at the top."
"HE appears. That jerk, Shaggy. He laughs and stomps on my hands, sending me falling back to what should be my doom, but instead, I awaken here."
"There's a substantial probability those are just dreams."
"Pupper, Inicula, and Pom Pom, don't think so."
"Because they aren't really here, Magna. You have to face it; they aren't. No one from Strange World can come here, Golden Box or not. Look, I need real answers. If you can't give them to me, then I can't help you."
I stood, pushing back my chair. "I don't need your help, Jeanette MCREDDEN."
As I turned to leave, she snatched my wrist. "Magna, it's time to stop living in Strange World and begin residing in this one."
"And as I tell you every week when you come in here, I'm not living in Strange World. This time...Strange World came to me."