"I've met God, he had nothing nice to say about you," Linda Monroe croons, before swiping the boxcutter across Frank Pricely's throat.
He clutches it, dark liquid spurting out, and he slowly chokes on his own blood. Lex screams, horrified, unable to tear her gaze from her boss as he dies painfully. Some of his blood has sprayed against Lex, staining her clothes and skin. Linda doesn't care, smirking at her.
She crouches down, grabbing Lex by the back of the teen's neck and holding the bloody boxcutter to her throat. "You listen to me, you little tramp," she snarls. "Now I know you know where that Wiggly is… I can smell him on you. It's perfume to that trailer trash stench!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Lex lies, thinking of her sister and boyfriend, hoping and praying to whatever God is out there that they made it out of the mall with the doll. Although, if Linda is to be believed about one doll being left… Perhaps there is no God to hear her prayers. "You people are so fucked up!"
"She has the lying tongue of a snake!" a voice cries out from behind Lex, and she turns to see the security officer she's come to know pretty well. She can never remember his name, but he'd always been nice to her and Hannah— Ethan, not so much, but she can understand why.
"I've seen it, brothers and sisters," the security officer continues, and holds up what looks like a VHS tape, "on the security camera footage! This witch stole a Wiggly doll, and put it in the backpack of a little girl with pigtails and a baseball cap!"
Lex shakes her head, already begging not for her own life, but for Hannah's.
"This little girl stands between you and your God," Linda announces to her crowd of followers. "Sally forth, in the name of Wiggly! Bring me the child!"
The crowd cheers, some of them already scrambling around to search for Hannah. Linda turns back to Lex, a scowl on her face.
"You tried to lie to me," she sneers. "I have no use for heretics here— we'll find your precious little brat you call a sister, and the doll you stole. But you? I'm afraid you won't get to live to see her suffer for her sins. You've got to pay for your own now."
She slashes at Lex, once again spraying blood everywhere as the blade makes a not-so-clean sweep across the delicate skin of someone's throat. The teen dies with her sister's name, unspoken, on her lips.
Hannah feels like she's been punched in the gut, curled up in the tunnels of the playplace. Webby whispers in her mind, trying to keep the girl calm, but Hannah can see right through it. She knows the truth, just like she had about Ethan.
She'd thrown the doll aside after Wiggly had tried to trick her in Ethan's form. She hears footsteps echo off the linoleum flooring, and scrambles up to collect the damn thing so the newcomers don't snatch him up. She doesn't want anyone else getting hurt on account of her carelessness.
First Ethan, now Lex…
Hannah knows it's her fault, somehow. Webby had warned her about the backpack, and Hannah hadn't listened. If only she'd done something more earlier, but now it's too little, too late. She knows what she has to do now.
The footsteps stop just outside the tunnel she's in, and Hannah can hear the hushed whispers coming from the pair they'd belonged to. A man and a woman. They seem excited. Hannah wishes she didn't know why.
"Little girl," the woman coos, and Hannah retreats further into the tunnel. "Where are you going, sweetheart? We're not going to hurt you, we're nice people."
"Don't listen to Wiggly," Hannah tells her. "He'll trick you."
"No, it's okay," the man says. "We don't get tricked, we're grownups!"
"He's bad," Hannah insists. "Got Ethan killed, and Lexie…"
The adults pause for a moment. "Lex?" the man asks, although it sounds more to himself than to anyone else.
"My sister," Hannah clarifies. "She and Ethan were supposed to take me to California… away from our mom. But now they're both dead, and it's all Wiggly's fault. Why do all the grownups think that Wiggly's gonna fix all their problems?"
"Look, kid," the man says, getting gruff. "My son wants that doll, and I'm gonna get him that fucking doll, do you hear me?"
"Tim doesn't want the doll!" Hannah cries, echoing what Webby tells her to say. "Tim just wants you! He wants to spend time with the family he has left, that's all!"
That definitely makes the adults pause. "How do you know who my son is?" the man asks suspiciously. "Do you know who I am? Do we know each other?"
"You were Lexie's teacher," Hannah says. "Her favorite teacher. You helped her when no one else would…"
"I—" the man seems to falter, and the woman says something quiet to him, and he replies just as quietly. They start to argue, and Hannah clasps her hands over her ears, the noise becoming too much. Finally, it settles down, and Hannah slowly removes her hands.
"Hannah, right?" the man asks softly, and crouches right where she can see him in the tunnel's opening. "I'm Tom Houston… you're right, about Tim. About your sister. About Wiggly. It's pretty ugly, isn't it?"
Hannah nods, not relaxing yet. The woman crouches next to Tom, putting her hand on his shoulder.
"I'm Becky," she says. "I'm a nurse at the hospital. I'm sorry if we scared you, sweetheart, I'm not sure what came over us there…"
It's okay now, Webby whispers in Hannah's mind. They're safe. Trust them, Hannah. They can help you.
Hannah sighs in relief, and slowly exits the tunnel, still clutching the Wiggly doll in her arms. "Wiggly's bad," she says softly.
The adults both nod. "Yeah," Tom says. "He's real bad… we should get you out of here, kid. There's probably other people who are gonna want that piece of shit— uh, I mean… crap."
"We have to stop him," Hannah insists. "We have to stop Wiggly. Can't let anyone else get hurt 'cause of him. No more bad blood."
"What do you mean, sweetheart?" Becky asks gently, reaching to touch Hannah's shoulder. The nine year old flinches slightly, pulling away, and Becky frowns. She recognizes that very specific kind of fear in the girl's eyes, and quickly withdraws her hand.
"Bad blood— Ethan and Lex," Hannah says. "Have to stop Wiggly. Burn him."
"Okay, so we burn the doll," Becky agrees, not sure why she does. Tom eyes her incredulously.
"Jesus, the kid's a pyromaniac just like her sister," he mutters to himself before sighing. "Okay, let's find a lighter—"
"There!" someone shouts from behind them, coming from the direction of Toy Zone. "There's the little girl, and the Wiggly!"
"She has guardians!" another person shouts, and Tom and Becky both put themselves between Hannah and the cultists, taking up protective stances.
Reach into the Black and White, a voice other than Webby's whispers in Hannah's mind. It's a man's voice, and he sounds important, like he knows what he's talking about. You'll need a weapon to face these enemies, and your sister's lighter. I'm authorizing you to use my firearm.
Hannah closes her eyes for a moment, tucking the Wiggly under her arm and doing as the man told her. She imagines a gun in her hand, and her sister's lighter in the other, and sudden;y they're both there. She can feel them, and she opens her eyes in amazement.
Tugging on Becky's sleeve, she hands her the gun. Becky's eyes just about bulge out of her head, clearly wondering where the weapon came from, but she takes it from Hannah and aims it at the crowd beginning to form in front of them. Tom eyes it from the side, also clearly confused. A mean looking blonde lady— the one in the black cape that not-Ethan had mentioned— steps to the front of the crowd and snickers, beginning to taunt Becky.
"You couldn't even stand up to your disgusting husband," Linda cackles. "Look at you, you're paralyzed with fear!"
"No," Becky says calmly. "I'm just lining up my shot."
The sound of the gun going off echoes across the linoleum and the concrete and glass walls. Hannah climbs onto a nearby bench and holds up the Wiggly doll, flicking the lighter to life in her other hand.
"Abandon your 'God'," she shouts, "or burn with him!" She brings the lighter's flame to the doll, watching in satisfaction as the green fur catches easily. Dropping it to the floor, she makes no effort to move away from the now-spreading flames.
The cultists are howling and screeching, and Tom and Becky come over to Hannah. She tries to fight Tom when he pulls her down off the bench, kicking and screaming that she wants to be with Lex, but he ignores her.
Becky pulls out a syringe from her pocket and injects Hannah with something that makes her fall asleep, tears streaming down her face as she mumbles her continued protests. Webby whispers in her mind, trying to soothe the nine year old. The world fades away.
Hannah wakes up in an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar room, wearing clothes that aren't hers and certainly weren't made for little girls. She squirms, kicking away the scratchy blanket covering her, and stumbles out of the bed and toward the door. Tom is just about to open it, but she gets to it first.
"You're awake!" he says, sounding relieved.
Hannah glares at him slightly, shoving past him to find her way to a bathroom to get some water. Tom stops her, and offers her the glass he's holding. He'd been bringing it specifically for her. She glances between him and it, before reluctantly accepting it and chugging half. He chuckles, watching her.
Becky steps into the hallway from another bedroom, also wearing clothes that clearly don't belong to her. "I'm sorry about earlier," she tells Hannah quietly. "We had to get you out of there, sweetheart."
Hannah doesn't respond, handing Tom the half-empty glass and going back to bed without looking at either of them again.
A few hours later, she wakes up again, and this time makes it to the kitchen, just beyond that hallway, before getting caught. It's neither Tom nor Becky, but an older man with silver hair and a turtleneck. He's making pancakes, and offers Hannah some. She reluctantly accepts, sitting down at the table there in the kitchen just as he serves up a plate.
Two more adults that Hannah doesn't recognize enter the kitchen, as well as a boy her age that she only vaguely recognizes from school. He's the one whose mom died last year, the only one who's ever been nice to Hannah, although they never interacted often. Tom and Becky come in last, and the silver-haired man serves everyone pancakes.
Hannah eats in silence, only half-listening to what the grownups are talking about— the state of the world, post-Wiggly.
"The phones are down," the younger man that Hannah doesn't know says. "I don't even know what time it is… what am I supposed to do without my iPhone?"
"Wear a watch," Hannah mutters, and everyone but the man who'd spoken snorts in appreciation.
"Hannah," Becky says softly. "Where did you get that gun yesterday? You didn't have it when we found you, did you?"
Hannah shakes her head. "Black and White," she mumbles. "MacNamara…"
The adults look to each other in confusion, except for the silver-haired man. He looks as though he's seen a ghost, and Webby quietly tells her that the man, Henry, is another friend. Hannah finds she doesn't really care either way, and excuses herself to go back to bed again.
The next two weeks are more of the same. Sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up.
Sometimes Hannah eats, sometimes she doesn't.
Sometimes she talks to someone— never more than a couple words— but most of the time she doesn't.
Everything feels like a fog, like she's underwater and struggling to breathe. Lex or Ethan could help her breathe, she knows they could. But they can't.
Eventually, Becky sits down with Hannah for a serious discussion. The world is slowly going back to normal— or as normal as it can, given the fact that World War Three has officially been declared. Becky tells her that her and Lex's mother was found dead, just a few days after Black Friday.
Hannah doesn't care, or at least not compared to how she felt about losing Lex and Ethan.
Becky tells her that Hannah has to decide what to do now, and gives her the options. The first is tracking down her father and going to live with him, if he's still alive. Hannah doesn't really want to do that— she has no idea who her father is, and she has a feeling that her mother hadn't really known either.
The second option is going to live with Becky. Permanently.
Hannah picks the second option.
Eventually, a few weeks after all of that is settled and the paperwork is signed and the bedroom is decorated, Becky and Hannah end up moving out of that house anyway, taking all those new decorations with them, and into Tom and Tim Houston's house.
Eventually, Hannah starts to call Becky 'Mom', and forgets what her biological mother had even looked like. She never forgets Lex, or Ethan, but she learns how to breathe on her own again.
Eventually, Tom and Becky get married, with now-fourteen year old Tim as best man and now-fourteen year old Hannah as maid of honor.
And eventually, Hannah grows up and goes to college, all the way in California.