Lien opened the closet tentatively, rifle readied.

But all there was was a stuffed dragon, dangling from the clothes-rack by its neck. It almost looked like it had hung itself.

Lien moved to take it down. Then he realized there were dozens of stuffed animals, all hanging by the neck like some demented medieval gibbet. Some were patched with matted fluff, some had tousled pelts and cracked glass eyes, some were slashed apart, limbs dangling by scattered threads.

He realized that they had spun so that they were all looking at him, their eyes seemingly haunted with pains.

One of them started to speak. It was the original dragon.

"Run, run as fast as you can!" the dragon said in a childlike voice. "Why don't we play a game?"

The shadows seemed to constrict, trying to snare him and drag him down.

He ran towards the door, but it always seemed to be just out of reach.

"All you have to do is stop running… And we can play forever!" said the dragon, who was hanging next to him once again. It slashed the noose around its neck, and slipped after him.

Eventually, he could run no more, and the dragon caught him.

Lien was choking now, as the shadows reached around and dragged him back to the closet, seemingly the same with its rows of hanged toys. He felt the rope around his neck twinge, before plunging with a crack of splintered bone. He felt his skin light with waves of cold and heat, and his limbs twisting and shortening.

"See, look! Now we can be friends forever!" said the dragon, who was hanging next to him. "I always wanted a pet finch."

Then it reached out, slashing his wing(wing? He had those?) nearly off, leaving it dangling by a thread.

Then he swung there for ages, a glass-eyed toy robin with a wing dangling by a thread.

He couldn't move, couldn't sleep , couldn't do anything besides think.

Sometimes the dragon let him down, and he tried to fly away the first seven or so times. Then he just sat there, thinking.

Eventually even his thoughts were shattered, and all he could do was scream into the void of his mind.

"Hmph. You're no fun anymore." said the dragon. "How about I get a new friend, Lien?"