Surprise, surprise. I am running a bit behind this week, but here is the next installment of the story. As always, you can catch up to where we are now or refresh your memory of what is going on by following the links in order.
Fear and Confrontation
Eddie couldn’t describe where it started but a feeling came over him. Something that felt a bit different than anything he had felt in the past. It began with a jitter that pulsed through his body and with it he could sense something else behind the door.
It didn’t move, didn’t give any indication of life. At least nothing he could sense through the closed door. But there was something about it that set off an alarm in his mind. His body tensed at the thought of it coming through the doorway. Still he could see nothing. Through his eyes all he saw was a murky blackness.
He reached down to the sides of the mat and tried to push himself up from the edge. Though he could still feel them, his hands didn’t connect to the mat the way he expected them too. It was different. In his mind he could see it, see the strange situation his arms and hand had become. An outline in the murky darkness had popped into the space where he would have seen his hands. They weren’t hands anymore. They had become long and thin, like the blade of short sword. Their edges had grown out to roughly a foot or so beyond where his hands should have ended.
In his mind he could still the clench of his fist, the opening and closing of his fingers, but it didn’t match the reality as he could sense it. His body had changed, had been changed, to something from a horror show. Even his eyes, he realized, he could no longer see the way he had always seen the world. His vision was something else entirely, like a form of radar he could sense the world around him and his brain interpreted it as if he had actually viewed his surroundings.
He twisted and spun, searching the room around him. He could only sense the one exit, through the door that contained the thing he didn’t want to find.
The footsteps above his head had moved toward the direction of the door. He felt them as they descended stairs further into the other room. Each step formed a pattern and echo in his mind that filtered into the vision in his mind. A single form descended the stairs. The footsteps light and soft, it had to be the younger of the two women of the house. The movements of the older one had stopped, he could not place where she was anymore.
He wasn’t afraid. He had no reason to be. The rage and aggression that had filled him before had come back, a fuel that sustained him as he anticipated the door opening. If need be he would fight past the girl and run, run up the stairs and out into the world again.
But even then he felt like his mind had split. Two voices, both his own, fought to talk over each other in his mind. The calm, rational voice that he knew to have always been his own worked feverishly to form a plan to escape the basement and then the house. But the other, a new version of himself, fueled by the rage, fueled by the aggression that consumed him, it called for him to crush and destroy what lay beyond the door. Only through force would he win his freedom again from those who kept him locked away in the house.
A soft knock broke the silence around him. Her picture filled his mind. Her steps, her movements, created echoes to tell him who and what she was. She pushed the door open and slipped into the room with him before she closed it again with a soft click.
“Don’t speak,” She said. Her voice had been little more than a whisper. “We don’t have much time.” She didn’t approach him, stood off to the side of the door.
He rushed forward without a word and pressed her against the wall with the blade of his right arm. He hadn’t been prepared for how sharp it could be. Though he restrained himself, he still sliced into the flesh of her throat, not enough to do permanent damage but blood trickled down her neck and along the edge of his “hand.” He wanted to scream, wanted to throttle her, wanted to do anything that would show the pain she had put him in, but the voice, that second voice in his head, talked him down. He couldn’t do it, couldn’ t push himself to cause her any more distress than what he had already done. “Why?” The only sound that passed his lips. A single word that carried the weight of all he had been through.
“We can go through this now,” she said. “Or you can trust me, at least for now, and we can get you out of here.”
Like the way he could “see” the area around him, an image formed in his mind of her heartbeat and pumping blood. She wasn’t lying to him. But there was something else. She was afraid, terrified, but he wasn’t the source.
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