|Book 2: Angleworm||Page 43: Return To Me||
The background is white.
- Panel 1
Zane's head and neck have been sucked completely into the hole, and the fabric of his pajamas bunches up around the hole where his neck used to be. Other holes have appeared in his body. One is in his upper arm, causing his shoulder to bulge out unnaturally as the flesh pulls into the hole, while his hand feels frantically at his chest. Another is in the other arm's forearm, and the third and largest is in his stomach, pulling the fabric in itself and shrinking his waist. The background is mottled shades of white and light blue, and the panel border is black on the left, but fades to grey, then fades out entirely, melding with the panel background and the strip background.
- Panel 2.
Zane wakes up, sweating heavily. His eyes are blank and terrified, and his face is contorted. He is grasping the blanket tightly with one hand, and the other hand is still holding the frying pan. Mercy is perched on his forehead with her wings extended, looking down at him. Short white lines draw attention to her pose. The coloring is back to normal, flat and cartoonish as it usually is, and the panel borders are the usual black.
- Panel 3.
Mercy's head is shown close up and upside down, as if the reader is seeing her from Zane's point of view. She is drawn and shaded in a way that is much more realistic than usual, and the first impression is that she looks monstrous. Her mouth is open wide, forming a dark gash, and her sharp, pointed teeth are visible. Her round, shiny yellow eyes contrast with the dark blues of her face, her nose is wrinkly and snub and her ears seem overly large, nearly demonic. She is colored in dark blue, and there seem to be no clear lines between where she ends and the darker blue shades of the darker room begin, giving her a somewhat ghostly look. Her being upside down makes her look distorted and frightening. She is making an "eeeee" noise. When turned right side up and viewed dispassionately, the picture isn't scary. It's merely a semi-realistic close-up drawing of a bat, and there is nothing wrong or strange about her. However, due to the dramatic shading, the close-up view and the way the mind interprets an upside-down face, the first impression is quite disturbing.
- Panel 4.
Zane sits up with a start, knocking Mercy backwards off of his head. He screams, in large type, "*AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA*." The scream appears to extend past the right and left edges of the panel. He is shaking all over, sweating heavily and crying. His eyes are blank and terrified and his mouth is wide open.
- Panel 5.
Zane is still sweating slightly, and still shaking, but his eyes are back to normal, and he appears calmer. He says "*Mercy* -- I had a nightmare, and I was --" In a second speech bubble, he says in smaller, italic type, "*The bats*." There is no period at the end of the phrase. Mercy, sitting on his lap, says "eee!"
- Panel 6.
Zane opens his eyes wide, and he looks shocked as he says "The bats that night in the *town square*. That's how I *found* you. I *forgot*." Mercy is clinging to his shoulder, looking almost as if she's hugging him. He is still sweating, but is no longer shaking.
- Panel 7.
Zane is neither sweating nor shaking as he says with a surprised look on his face, "But the *nightmare*... The fear... Something about *being afraid made me remember*." Mercy continues to cling to him, and short white lines coming from his head show the impact of this realization.
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