One should never try to refuse the fact that insanity will soon consume their souls.

It was a cold October night. A breeze calmly brushed by, a few leaves fell off a nearly-bare tree. Autumn was here, and it insisted on announcing its presence to the world.

Three penguins shivered in their bunks, trying to get a good night's sleep. The first slept with a glowing unicorn, the second snored as loud as the chainsaw near his feet, the third barked out orders disguised as yawns.

The fourth was elsewhere.

This wouldn't have normally been considered unusual behavior. On a typical night, he might have been up all night analyzing data figures, or attempting to form the 120th known element, or perhaps formulating new laws in physics.

But this was not the case.

The sun rose, and naturally, the group noticed the obvious absence of the tallest. A search over the area of a block was soon put into effect, to no avail. No rock was left to be unturned, no blade of grass was to be left alone. Yet, despite their valiant attempts, nothing was discovered. Not even the slightest clue was left behind.

The search was extended. First the team searched until the next dawn, and when nothing turned up, until the sun set once again, and the cycle continued until any trace was discovered.

After an agonizing sixty-three days of searching, the team had used every last ounce of their energy. Dehydrated, starving, exhausted, on the brink of death just to find their comrade. Not once did any one of them complain, or even utter the slightest hint of a whine. They continued the journey valiantly, determined to find the one who made the group complete.

They'd scoured every square inch of the country, save for a noisy concert hall on the Pacific coast. Despite their apprehensions, they bravely stepped in the building, holding onto a small shred of hope that their friend was still alive.

Horrible music blared out of the speakers, and the singing was the worst they'd heard in quite a long time. The celebrity's dancing made her singing look fantastic, and her costume was one so revealing, the entire group groaned in sheer disgust. They turned to leave, that last sliver of hope torn in half, when Private quickly called out:

"Skippa, Rico! Look, there! It's K'walski!"

The threesome all swiveled around to look where Private was pointing, and he wasn't lying. Kowalski was in the middle of the crowd, dancing and cheering and having the time of the life. The group hurried towards him, determined to get him out the horror show come alive, but the crowd filled with tone-deaf preteens wouldn't let him through.

Finally the song ended, and they managed to get to the runaway, when he screamed out:


The team, now more horrified than confused, grabbed onto Kowalski and began to pull him towards the exit. Determined to see the singer finish her act, he clung to a group of people, yelling as loud as his lungs would allow him for them to put him down.

Yelling and yelling and yelling and yelling and…


The penguin sat straight up, sweat pouring down his feathers, eyes wide as oranges. He breathed erratically for a couple seconds, realized where he was, and gave a content sigh as he slid back down to his pillow.

Private leaned down from his bunk, startled from the terrified scream. "Did you have a bad dream, K'walski?"

Kowalski simply nodded and murmured, "Oh yes, horrifying…"