Eyes in the Dark Nov 14, 2019 21:59:13 GMT -6
Post by Malcolm on Nov 14, 2019 21:59:13 GMT -6
Malcolm was still clammy and cold with the dregs of the dream when he heard the bell. There was a brief moment of terrible, primal panic as he felt his thoughts starting to fog over--- but then even that was gone.
By the time he recovered himself, he was facing some kind of large reptilian creature. Worse yet, it was speaking to him. Presumably it had called him here. Malcolm felt a chill travel down his spine, and swallowed once, despite his best efforts to marshal his courage. Fear was always the first weakness someone else would jump to exploit. Even beasts knew to press their advantage when they sensed that you were scared.
Still, pretending it away didn’t make it leave his mind. If anything, on this occasion it seemed to come to rest inside him, resonating with each word spoken by the long, sinuous creature. The fear, more than anything else, made him hold his tongue as it spoke its riddles, even as another part of him longed to say something dismissive and side.
And then it was beside him, and he could no longer repress the shudder that went through him as it whispered.
Just as he was collecting himself again, the creature asked him a question. Again the spark of irritation came, and again it was immediately stifled by terror… but as Malcolm thought on the question itself, he also began to realize that the terror felt somehow outside of himself, as though it wasn’t quite his own.
But as soon as the thought came, images replaced it--- violent flashes of things, some familiar and some not: looming figures in the dark; the press of walls around him; the sensation of being watched; the sensation of strong fingers closing around his arm; the dreadful knowledge that he was outnumbered. The barking of dogs, the feel of something warm and wet in his hands; pain and pain and the anticipation of pain, the sick heady rush of adrenaline, his heartbeat hammering in his own ears, and a voice that said, ’I’m running out of patience, street trash…’
The fear wasn’t his, but it was trying to become his, trying to crawl inside and ferret out his secrets. The sensation of it made his skin crawl, worse than anything the grey beast had done since he’d arrived in this strange place.
‘Keep it short’, the beast had said. Well.
“Whatever it is, it's at its wits' end. Like a cornered animal, trying to hide from its own shadow. Miserable little thing, all greys, like the color went right out of it.” The image slowly clarified itself in his mind, and put into words, at first it didn't seem so bad.
He hadn’t planned on saying what he said next--- but it was like the words were being drawn out of him, and he felt his heart rate picking up again despite himself. “What I don’t like is the feeling that it knows me,” he said. “Or that it knows anything. I… need it not to be real. If it’s real, then all I’d want is to run away, and even... even that won’t save me.” He didn’t know if the words were his, or simply the dream speaking through him. He didn’t like the idea that anything the grey beast said was starting to make sense. “I want to stop thinking about it, but I can’t. I can’t stop. It goes on and on, always more, always looking over my shoulder. So many things I know, and so many things I don’t know...”
His breathing had quickened without his realizing it. Malcolm grimaced, closing his eyes against the ghost of those thoughts. When he opened them again, his words were his own. At least, he thought they were.
“It has these big, pale, staring eyes,” Malcolm said. “And… what is that, fur? It’s falling out. Always alert, like it’s waiting for the worst, with all that dread coiling up inside. Maybe it’s dangerous. Everyone’s at their most dangerous when they’re cornered.”
A coin appeared in his hand, and before he comprehended what he was doing, he had thrown it into the pool. He tried to stop himself, but couldn’t--- so many things he was doing against his will today.
It wasn’t something he wanted to get used to.
[Fear; monochrome with mostly greys; fur and scales, whippish, wiry; five toes]