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"Hey, Tim! Hurry up with those dogs," Carl's voice bellowed from the back. "Ah, coming boss." The beagle Mobian was in a frenzy as he finished up dressing the chili dogs with relish and mustard. Those family rushes are always such a hassle, he thought, handing, the bag filled with a dozen chili dogs to the rather portly warthog, "Sorry about the wait, sir." The warthog smiled and snorted, "Well, at least you got ‘em done." After handing out the order to a family of beavers, Carl turned to the blonde beagle, who looked rather tired and seemed to have his thoughts elsewhere. "Snap out of it, Tim." Tim shook from his manager's booming, rough voice. "Sorry about that, Carl; just been thinking about the holidays." "Well, you can't go worrying over everything, Timmy, and you really have gotta focus on work." The warthog's eyes shifted downwards. "Sorry about that, I’m just really nervous tonight with… you know… with Beth and everything…." Tim's ears and head drooped as he ground his heels slightly. Carl could only soften his expression, "Look man, you're young. You got all the time in the world to propose to her; she'd understand, she seems like a nice girl." "No, she is, but this is what I want, and you know it's just jitters is all, worried about the future." "Look, Tim, you can't go worrying about all that, I mean... it took me time to figure out what I wanted to do, and look where I am now!" Carl grinned and raised his arms at his establishment. To Tim, it was no more than a greasy hot dog stand; he could only give a puzzled and uncomfortable look on his face. The warthog continued, "Now, I know it's not grand, but it's what I ended up with. Life is how you make it, and whatever you make of it; I know this doesn't seem much to you, but hey, it makes me happy." Tim gave Carl a reassuring smile, "Thanks man, I'm gonna miss this place." As Tim gathered his backpack and headed off, Carl gave out a kind, yet loud, farewell, "Good luck, Tim! Don't forget to bring the pups over here when they're grown!" Tim could only blush and walk faster away from the Hot Dog Stand as people looked at him with giggles and smiles. As Tim walked along the grass in the cold winter night, he noticed a few strange sounds around him. He stopped briefly and turned around… no one was there. "Man, I really got to work morning shifts in my next job," he sighed to himself. As he continued walking, he heard clangs and footsteps, Though he increased his gait, the footsteps drew in closer toward him. He dared not to look behind him and quickened his pace much faster. Tim then heard a loud crunch, causing him to sprint as far as he could. He turned corners around the buildings and businesses, the footsteps getting further away. He then ducked behind an oak tree in the nearest park and slowly peered around him, with only the plastic playground and benches to keep him company. He gasped, his heart pounding loudly in his ears; the faint smell of what could only be motor oil was still in his nostrils. "What… I don't… I don't even want to know what that was…." He could only mutter to himself as he was slowly reassured that nothing was after him, "Maybe that was all in my mind, I mean like a bad dream, right?" The park was still empty with the biting winter cold on his fur; he shivered at the breeze blowing towards him, "Y-yeah, just my imagi- AKH, AAHH, KLAH!!!" A choking pressure was put on his throat. His breaths shortened. As he tried fighting what was assaulting him, he was slowly being dragged away, his windpipe being compressed he was unable to scream for help. The cold embrace from these hands was all he felt before he managed to let out a shrilling cry…. Sonic: Age of Mobius Coming Soon to Free Scribes of Mobius -------