32,016 / 50,000
Poor Jay. We've all heard the phrase describing someone as screaming like a little girl, and at that moment, Jay was the epitome of such a sound. I would have been hard pressed to come up with an example of a more girlish scream, if I wasn't shrieking myself at the sudden voice behind us.
If I could have, I would have leapt straight up off the couch and grabbed onto the ceiling. So many things were wrong about that situation. What we had just finished watching had us on edge, literally, as Jay jumped forward off the remainder of the couch, and tripped over the coffee table, spilling magazines and books everywhere across the floor, and some landed on top of him, like birds with flat, bright, multicoloured wings. The video had our emotions running high, in anger, fear, shock and sadness, and then that voice speaks right behind us, a voice we knew all too well, and knew what it meant the moment we heard it.
The monster we had come to fear, to hate, was there, right behind the couch, standing in exactly the same way it had looked on the videotape before the door to the restroom shattered it into a cloud of black dust. The only difference was that it had resumed wearing the sunglasses I had worn that evening.
Blood still stained the trenchcoat it wore, paining it more red than black, somehow still remaining wet, and fresh, when it should have dried into the fabric of the long garment, and darkened to the point of blending in, if not just making the black of the jacket even darker.
But no, it remained just as fresh as it had been spurting out of Heather's skull. Even the stench still remained; a thick, coppery smell hung in the air. It was as if the creature had stepped from the videotape and straight from there to the space behind my couch. Even its hands, still streaked with blood, except for the fingers on its left hand, which were partially cleaned off, blending the pink of her flesh, and the faded red left behind from when she licked the blood from them on the tape.
I could see specks of blood even dotting the eyeglasses, smattering the lenses like someone had flicked a paintbrush full of red paint at her face, even adding more, increasingly macabre freckles to her face, when I took a closer look.
"I do so hope you enjoyed it," it spoke, that leathery whisper increasing in volume so she could be heard, and almost sounding normal, if not for that underlying sound of leaves rustling along the ground in a stiff breeze.
"You were right, Siobhan." It grinned down at me, both of us easilly within each other's reach, as it stood just behind the couch, hands almost reaching out to lean against the back of it, but staying at the creature's sides.
"That was all done for your benefit. Every moment. Where I am from, we can see through the veil of time more readily than your kind can. Just one of the many advantages of my people. I knew you would see that tape. I could have hidden from it. But know the pain it would cause the both of you, watching as I squished the small orbs in dear Heather's head. Oh, it was such fun. And the screams. Such a shame you could not hear them."
I found myself longing for the days when this thing was cryptic and vague.
From the floor, I could hear the rustling of magazines as Jay shifted around. I couldn't tell what he was doing though, unwilling to move my eyes from the doppleganger. It had proven itself to be, if not exactly unpredictable, than at least mischievous, although it could still manage a surprise here and there. Like appearing behind already rattled people.
It smiled, tilting it's head to the side, watching me curiously, almost like a cat watching its prey. Which I suppose was an accurate analogy. This phantom was pretty confident, and didn't really expect to lose in the end, so it could afford to toy with its meal.
"You surprise me. While your friend did the expected, you actually have the gall to try and stare me down. That is most commendable. Many others of my kind have struck down those of yours, and they cowered the entire time. They were no fun. But you...oh, you make for good sport. You may not be much of a challenge, but you are certainly going to be entertaining. You already could be the most amusement a fetch has seen in many an era.
"Does this please you, to know that your final moments shall bring such joy to such monsters?"
I said nothing. This thing wanted entertainment, and I wouldn't give it the satisfaction. I hardened my eyes, staring at her with cold, hard detachment, as best as I could manage after what it had done, and the taunting. And that it stood there, with my face, my form, and covered in the blood of my friend.
Sadly, I knew this still filled it with whatever this creature felt for joy. It was a lose-lose situation for me, really. If I curled into a ball and gave up, well...I gave up. It won by defauly, and my life was forfeit, remanded into the claws of this creature. And if I fought back, then I was little more than entertainment. Fortunately, the confidence it exuded could be used against it, I hoped. I had no idea how to fight it, let alone hurt it, but overconfidence was always a potent thing to use against one's enemy.
The sound of flesh smacking against a hard, wodden surface almost jolted me enough to turn around, jarring me from being so deep in thought, that I almost suspect there was another doppleganger of myself now behind me, and soon I would be surrounded.
My eyes remained on the fake Siobhan standing there behind my couch, but did twitch to the side at the sound, as I forced my head to continue looking foward. I needn't have been so worried by the sudden noise, as it was simply Jay crawling out from the wreckage of the magazines, and helping his feet find purchase in the rather slippery, glossy mess.
"Uhh, Jay?" I motioned with my hand, my eyes forever remaining stuck on my own dark shadow. It looked like I was trying to shoo away a pesky insect, or close a door I couldn't quite reach. I could hear the anger in Jay's voice, and I knew this was going to be bad if I didn't stop it.
"Stay out of this, Siobhan."
That did it. I wrenched my head away from the doppleganger - what had it called itself? A fetch? Why did that ring a bell? - and shot a dark glare at the guy standing amidst a pile of magazines. "Excuse me? If you didn't notice this is rather my problem here. Now sit down, before this gets any worse."
"This monster killed Heather!"
"And if you remember what I told you, we can't touch the bitch unless she wants to be touched. Now get down, or away before it hurts you, or worse!"
I turned my angry eyes back to the creature and while Jay and I had been yelling at each other, it had crossed its arms, more than content to wait for our bickering to end, even if it did look rather perturbed at the focus being drawn away from it. It certainly wasn't in any hurry, but it did seem to love attention, and with the focus shifting from it, while the monster itself was in the room, it did not seem to like that one bit.
"No, child, let him come. He was going to be next anyways. Now is as good a time as any. And right here in front of you, not hiding in some filthy bathroom. You'll have a front row seat as I tear out his neck. The screams, you can definitely hear them this time, Siobhan."
I wanted to be right there next to Jay, ready to charge this foul creature, as little good as it would do. It knew just the right buttons to push, which wasn't surprising, since it knew most of what I knew, but still it was hard to fight down those urges. Fighting this thing now was futile, and I sensed that it just wanted to taunt us for now, although killing Jay wouldn't be against anything in its plans either.
That cheshire grin this thing liked to affect, a twisted visage of my one wicked smile I flashed when I was being mischievous, broke open upon its face again as it regarded the two of us. One calm, but bubbling with anger on the inside, and the other coiled like a snake and ready to pounce, giving in to that self-same rage.
"Oh, my dear friends. You look absolutely precious ready to do something you'll regret. Even you, Siobhan. You're fighting against those urges, but I can see how much you want to give in to them, how easy it would be to tip you over the edge."
Surprisingly, that smile somehow grew even wider. It was like a row of shark teeth infesting my mouth, wider and whiter than should ever be possible.
"Tell me," it said, and reached up to the sunglasses covering her eyes, and pulled them off. I steeled myself against seeing those black, empty holes, like twin mouths where eyes should be, ready to devour all they fell upon.
"Do you like my new eyes?" I had been so ready for those holes, to see those black, empty sockets, that when she pulled those darkened lenses away from her face, I'd prepared myself so mentally for them, that I was nearly floored, and almost let out another cry of fear and surprise when I saw nothing more than two perfectly normal, bright blue eyes revealed underneath. No darkness, no blood-rimmed pits of emptiness, just two twin orbs, looking as if she'd been born with two blue eyes.
"I couldn't go around causing such a stir everywhere I went, if anyone saw me, every time I removed a pair of shades now, could I? These will do until I have taken your life from you, made it mind, and truly transcend my reality, merging fully with this plane of existence, and casting off my shadowy limitations."