Disclaimer in profile. For my sanity, I've named the Ichijouji eldest daughter, middle son and youngest son Rena, Sora and Shu respectively.


Ken stared at the burning vehicle in shock. Everything within was lost to him in an instant.

The Ichijouji family sat in the brand new SUV the head of the household had recently purchased. Detective Ken Ichijouji sat in the driver seat, carpooling his family from the late-evening movie they had just finished watching to their home. His loving wife, Miyako, took the front passenger seat. She was twisted around to try and quiet the two arguing children in the back.

"The movie sucked, Rena, and you know it!" The young boy yelled at his older sister.

"Shut up, Sora!" Rena yelled back. "You're just too young to appreciate a classic series like Toy Story!"

"Maybe, but I'm old enough to know when a movie sucks!"

"Shut up!"

"Be quiet, you two." Miyako hissed. "Shu's trying to sleep."

True to her word, the youngest child, Shu, was nestled into his car seat in a peaceful slumber. His older siblings looked down at him. Moments of silence passed as everyone who had moved out of their comfortable positions slid back into their seats.

"The movie still sucked." Sora muttered under his breath. "Ow!"

Rena slid back into her seat after reaching over her baby brother's car seat to slap her brother on the back of the head. Miyako snapped around again, her face twisted in anger.

"That's enough!" She hissed again. "If I hear another thing out of you two again, you're going to get it and get it hardcore! Do you understand me?"

Neither of the children responded. Miyako huffed in frustration and turned to her ever-loving husband.

"Ken! Say something!"

Instead of answering her, he turned the vehicle into a gas station.

"What are you doing?" She asked as her husband killed the engine.

"Getting some gas, water, duct tape and sleeping pills." He answered as he smiled and opened his door. Rena and Sora's eyes bugged out. "Want anything?"

"A diet soda and a flyswatter, please."

"On it." Ken smirked. He stepped inside the small store next to the gas pumps and quickly collected the items in question (sans duct tape and pills, of course) and approached the cashier. Despite his speed, general patience inside the SUV gradually diminished.

"Where is he...?" Miyako hissed.

"He needs to hurry," Rena added.

"I know that. Stopping wasn't part of the plan." Miyako looked at the watch on her wrist and noted the time. "8:59...hurry..."

Sora spoke up as he looked inside the store. "The cashier's chatting him up."

Miyako looked inside herself. Sure enough, the female cashier attendant shared a joke with Ken that both laughed at.

"We're not going to make it." Rena sang.

"Shut up."

"We're not, and you know it. He's wasting time in there."

Miyako's patience thinned even more. "I said shut up."

"She's right. We won't make it at this rate."

Ken finally stepped out of the store and made his way toward his new SUV. Miyako looked at her watch one more time. 9:00 pm.

"Damn."

A smile ran across Rena's face. "Told y-"

She never finished her sentence. The vehicle erupted in a fireball of flame, glass and steel. Ken, who hadn't gotten to the SUV just yet, was knocked back by the explosion's shockwave. Shards of glass and steel showered Ken, forcing him to shield his face with his arms. Once the shrapnel shower ended, he lowered his arms and slowly rose to his feet.

The SUV continued to burn. Nearby pedestrians slowly gathered at a distance to see the spectacle of death. Emergency response teams quickly made their way to the scene, their sirens unheard by Ken. Despite his best efforts, Ken found himself unable to either hear or move. The shockwave effectively knocked out his hearing, while fear and disbelief paralyzed him.

Ken stared at the burning vehicle in shock. Everything within was lost to him in an instant.


Despite the content in this chapter, I haven't seen Toy Story 3 yet. The first two were great, so if I do see it, it's got some standards to live up to.