Catherine: The Novel - Chapter 7: Vincent IV, Part 6

"This guy, huh..."

Vincent automatically went on his guard. He remembered his companion. He was the worst companion of all. This red sheep had purposely been killing other sheep in the nightmares - not for the purpose of survival, but simply because he enjoyed it.

Vincent remembered clearly how the sheep had gradually lost his mind with each passing night. He had begun to think that if he was going to die, he would at least take someone with him. At first, Vincent had attempted to talk him out of it, but he had soon realised how futile it was. By this point, it was dangerous to even approach the red sheep. He hadn't seen him for a while, but couldn't believe how far up he had made it.

"Yo. Haven't seen you in a while... Though I guess it's only been two days, huh?" the sheep said, its mouth twisting. It must have smiled.

Its fleece had been reddened by the blood of all of the sheep it had killed. Just once, Vincent had watched it bring down that axe from afar.

"Where'd you find that axe, anyway?" he spat, and then realised.

Apparently, their real world traits were reflected inside the dream. Did the sheep possess a similar weapon to the axe in the real world, too? Had he killed somebody with it?

The sheep drew nearer, almost drifting along. "Not many sheep left at this stage of the game. I was just starting to get bored, and then along you came. You get it, right?"

"Shut up. No way I'm playing along!"

Vincent instantly turned around, beginning to retrace the path he had taken to get there. He leapt on top of the cracked block, then dangled from it and checked to see if there was a different cube below him.

"Wait up. Let's have some fun."

He looked up. The dark red sheep was brandishing his axe.

In a panic, Vincent let go. His body fell, followed swiftly by an impact. He felt pain shoot through him, from the soles of his feet to his knees, then his back. Looking back, Vincent saw that the blade of the axe was wedged into the place he had been only seconds earlier.

"A fast runner, are we?" The red sheep planted his foot on the corner of the block and pulled the blade free. "Well, I guess that's why you've survived for this long."

"I don't have the time to deal with you!"

Vincent put distance between himself and the red sheep, descending further. As soon as he landed, something felt off.


The block crumbled. Already having been fragile, stepping on it over and over had left it on the verge of collapse.

Covered in debris, he continued down. Right away, he felt an impact to his backside. The rubble beneath him had left wounds all over his body. The pain made tears come out. Blood poured from everywhere - his hands, feet, thighs and sides.

"Goddammit. Goddammit!"

Hands on his sides, he stood. The rubble that had been holding him up crumbled, and he fell to the ground again. Once more, he cautiously got to his feet. He sensed a presence above, but fell before he could look up, hanging from the cube again. The rubble right next to him cracked, scattering fragments all over.

The red sheep hopped down, simultaneously swinging his axe.

"There's nowhere for you to run now. What're you gonna do?"

"Gimme a break!"

The red sheep wrenched the axe free, then brought it down again. Vincent moved his hands, barely avoiding it. The last swing had missed Vincent's head by a mere centimetre.

"Well, aren't you good at getting outta the way?"

The blade approached once more.

"What the hell are you enjoying so much!?" Vincent said, moving further sideways and using the stacked blocks to put even more distance between them.

The red sheep chased after Vincent, moving to the adjacent block. Again he swung the axe, looking every inch the executioner. Still dangling down, Vincent kept moving sideways. Bending his elbow, he turned the corner of the pile of blocks. He continued his parallel movements, this time turning a sunken corner.

As he moved his hands, although only for a moment, he would end up suspended by one hand alone, doubling and tripling his fear and anxiety - but this still wasn't as fearsome as the axe that followed from above. His hair and boxers fluttered wildly in the breeze from below.

"How about this!?"

Vincent moved around to the inside of the cube. He could no longer see the red sheep. It must have lost sight of him, too... but he could do nothing in this state. He couldn't see any cubes onto which it looked like he could pull himself up. Hiding forever was both physically and mentally impossible. Below him, blocks fell with annoying regularity.

"Where are you? Where the hell'd you go!?"

He could hear the gruff voice from beyond the block. It was fairly close by. There seemed to be only a block between himself and the red sheep.

Vincent held his breath, quietly going back in the other direction. He moved along, alternating his hands. Returning to the cube he had first hung from, he kept going towards the far side.

"Found you!"

He could hear footsteps and heavy breathing. Vincent looked up at the red sheep and cursed. Was the game up? Was he going to be set upon by a crazed murderer and become another stain in his fleece? He wasn't going to accept that fate.

Vincent hurriedly let go. He couldn't see what lay below. He touched down unexpectedly quickly. The force of the impact ran through his heels, and at the same time he felt a stabbing pain.

"It's broken...!?"

Yet again, the block he had fallen onto was about to crumble. But not yet. It hadn't completely collapsed yet.

"Die!" came the direct, more aggressive than ever words.

Vincent looked up. He could clearly see the dull blade. He pulled his head back as a blow from the axe sailed above it. He felt pieces of hair fly off. So what? He could take as much hair as he wanted.

Vincent put his right shoulder to the rough surface of the block, exerting all of his strength and beginning to push in desperation.


He heard a perplexed voice from above and felt him stagger. It looked like Vincent's pushing the cube had caused him to fall on his backside. He could hear an irritated voice, followed by a harsh metallic sound. He seemed to be banging the handle of the axe against the surface of the cube.

The cube with the sheep on top of it came to a halt in mid-air. In the nightmare, the cubes would remain in place if their edges came into contact with those of other cubes.

Vincent went on as though chasing the blocks, applying more force. All of his muscles burned. His vision was tinted red.

"Stop fuckin' around!"

The red sheep tried to stand, but the block continued to slide as Vincent pushed it. The edges separated. The cube with the red sheep on it was completely floating in space.

"N... no way..." This time, there was nothing below. "You ass! I! This! Blood! Flesh!" The sheep's words were devoid of meaning.

The block came to a halt for a moment, then plummeted almost as if being sucked into the void. In a matter of seconds, he could no longer hear the sheep's voice.

Vincent staggered, nearly falling himself, then somehow managed to regain his balance. He crouched on all fours, catching his breath, and threw up a little. In the dream, his vomit was a viscous, transparent liquid.