“Alright Sweetie, so ya big old bruiser of a pop’s been hurtin’ ma. Seem’s like he’s been a bit dickish to ya too. Yestaday, ya asked me to help in some way. Ya promised me pretty rich too, being able to feed from tha comfort of me home on the otha side of the closet. Do ya even gots a plan to carry this scheme out? If ya don’t, this is pretty deep water yer treadin’.” Terrance was perched on a bedpost at the end of my bed, his limbs thick set and ropy, a stout neck holding up a broad head with a large toothy jaw. He had no tail to speak of tonight. Amelia knew that she had to move quickly with this plan, as momma was out of the house tonight. With her gone, he was much more openly mean and spiteful.
“I want you to drag him back to where you live. Then you can close the hole to wherever you live. I’m assuming you can do it? I’ve never seen a portal in the closet before.” Terrence looked at Amelia shrewdly and nodded confirmation.
“Simplicious Sweetie, I have a rope that’ll work to keep him in my house, just gotta get ‘im inta the closet.” Terrence waddled into the closet as familiar heavy steps came down the hall. He closed the closet right as the room door was opened.
Heavy set, with a doughy jaw line, Amelia’s stepfather entered the room. Heart racing, she watched him approach, the stench of a night of drinking his special drink floating about him. As soon as he reached the foot of the bed, he pulled the blanket off quickly, despite Amelia’s meek protests. The cold air blanketed her immediately, causing a shake born of both fear and temperature.
“Alright you little cunt. Time to pay me what you owe me.” He raised his right hand, while his left grabbed Amelia’s ankle. The right hand connected with a loud smack to her rear, and Amelia let out a scream of fear and pain choked up by a sob. I reached… SHE reached with her free hand to the closet for help. Terrance’s eye was all that was visible from the crack between the closet door and the wall, watching with a cruel hunger. I remember in that moment, feeling a horrific fear of no one being able to help me…
It wasn’t until her step father had struck her for a third time that he reacted, darting out from the closet, and entwining his body through her stepfather’s legs. He fell down immediately, dragging Amelia with him from the bed. Her head struck the corner of the bedside table, which elicited another cry of pain from her. The stepfather, on the other hand, had reacted with more agility than could be expected from such a heavy set man. He caught himself with his free hand, letting go of Amelia and staggering upright to face the new threat to him.
Terrance wasn’t giving him a chance to level the field, as he was already using his tail to slither up the main door to the room, and launched himself at the back of the stepfather’s head once there was a good enough angle. The largest issue with this entire fight was that Terrance was only half the size of Amelia’s stepfather. Even with Terrance clinging to the back of his head, he was able to stay upright and fight back.
Amelia, sitting up and trying to wipe the blood from her face, the bedside table leaving a nasty cut above her right eye. I realized after a moment of dazed assessment of what was happening, that there was no way Terrance could win this fight. So she threw herself at the knees of her stepfather.
She connected with a loud thud, causing him to stumble back into the hallway. He almost fell, the wall catching him and keeping him upright, Terrance between them, letting out a loud curse. The stepfather swung Terrance into the other way, attempting to use his weight against him. Realizing that he was losing, and quite badly at that, Terrance began to try to squeeze the stepfathers throat even more.
Face turning a beet red, my stepfather grabbed Terrence’s tail, and began to pull forcefully. He managed to tear him from the back of his head, flinging him down the hallway, where he landed at the upper stairs with a loud cursive exclamation.
“Now what the hell is this Ames? You hiding some weird ass alien shit from me? Is that the way I raised you? Ungrateful little bitch, growing up just like your mother.” He grabbed a bottle from the counter in the kitchen at the end of the hall, slowly circling the stunned Terrance, as the monster under her bed tried to steady himself and stand up. The bottle struck Terrance’s head cleanly, and he slumped over silently.
My stepfather raised up the bottle again, and I knew that this blow would kill Terrance, unless by some strange design he was stronger than he had appeared so far. I needed to act, and the only way to stop was to get in the way. In too deep, and desperate to make it stop, I threw myself at my stepfather’s knees again. I managed to land right behind the knees, causing him to fall onto one knee.
This gave Terrance enough of a chance to clear the cobwebs from his head, and he managed to stand up, a thick green liquid oozing from his head where the bottle had struck him. He used his tail to ground himself to the railing of the stairs, and lunged forward to grasp my stepfathers head. At the same moment, my stepfather tried to stand up, and Terrance’s grasping hands threw him off balance. He tried to grab the railing, but the green ooze had leaked down and coated it into a slippery mess.
I remember the moment in near slow motion. He fell head first down the stairs, blood spurting from a cut on his face. He hit most of the steps on the way down, dragging Terrance with him, the rail too slippery for his tail to grasp as well. My step father landed in a heap, with a loud crunch emanating from his neck. The next few moments were in complete silence, with neither bodies at the bottom of the stairs moving at all. Tears fell from my eyes, and I didn’t know what to do at all.
“He’s not breathin’” Terrance’s whimsical voice came up the stairs heavy. “I think ya killed ‘im”
“I didn’t… I did it… to save you.” The words barely escaped my mouth. “And he fell, I just pushed him onto his knee…” Terrance was up, his head cocked in a predatory way, and he climbed the stairs on all four limbs.
“Ya’are quite the broken little ragdollie. Ya deserve what’s comin’. Ya tricked me inta doing yer dirty work.” His eyes glowed a sharp red as he reached the top of the stairs, his words sharp and accusatory as he reared up. “I killed a man, because ya filled me head with yer stupid little plan. I broke tha main rule, I left more than a mark.” He was towering over me now, claws extended and shoulders hunched in rage. “But I’mma not break it again. I’mma take my time, get what’cha owe me. Just ya wait.” He traced his claws gently across my cheek, and the gentleness of it, combined with the rage and hatred in his voice, caused me to shudder with fear. He licked his lips at my reaction, his eyes full of hunger.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
“And he ran to the closet from there. I never saw him again. But he was the one who killed my father. Like I’ve told everyone before, like I’ll keep saying, it wasn’t me who pushed him.”
The room was silent after I finished speaking. Most of the orderlies had left, having heard this story told to other psychologists. None of them cared. No one did really. My mother had a mental break in the months following the incident, not to mention her accusations when she came home to discover his body the next morning.
“You switched into first person near the end of your story. You can’t separate yourself from that moment can you?” The lady in the brown pantsuit brought me back from my reveries. I looked at her, trying to muster apathy, but my response came out quite emotional.
“I really can’t… I don’t know how. I’ve tried, but it’s always there. His hand pulling me from the bed, the blood in my eyes. Terrance’s moment of hesitation, of hunger at my moment of weakness. I shouldn’t have trusted him. Just another monster…” My voice broke, and I began to weep openly, bringing a sympathetic grimace from the psychologist. The director stood still, his face showing flickers of some inexplicable emotion, his eyes boring into my skull with a forced detached observation that brought shudders to my soul. He then spoke for the first time to the lady in the brown pantsuit, the first words I had heard him speak near me in months.
“As you can see Miss Gold, Amelia has had some incredible childhood trauma. It’s not even an issue on what happened on that day at this point. The poor girl is completely unable to reconcile with her reality, unable to exist in this world without some form of imagined comfort. Again, I have to state how impressed I am with your willingness to continue the questioning after the assault. Do you have everything you need?” His hand reached out, grasping at her elbow. Miss Gold allowed herself to be helped up and led out of the room. She turned and gave me a nod farewell, a thoughtful, sympatheti smile on her lips.
“Keep her here,” the director stated to an orderly as he left the room with Miss Gold. “I will be taking her to the solitary wing after, but we need to chat her and I.”
I waited, crying silently to myself, wallowing in fear. I had seen that thoughtful smile. It normally was followed by new ‘groundbreaking’ medication, things that would leave me curled up on the floor at three in the morning, screaming in pain at the side effects. But even worse, was the director’s mention of the solitary wing. Violent patients ended up there indefinitely until they had proven reform. Very few ever came back to the main population.
After some indeterminable amount of time, the director re-entered the room. He dismissed the last orderly, locking the door behind him. It was just him and I. Slowly, his hands behind his back, he walked towards me, his head slightly cocked to one side. Thinking about something that I wasn’t privy to yet.
“Well Ames,” he was acting informal, but the tension he carried in his limbs didn’t match his tone at all. I flinched at the use of my childhood nickname. “You have pretty much wrecked your last lifeline. That poor woman you assaulted was the last one the public help branch was willing to send to assess you. And you struck her, like some… animal.”
He was directly in front of me, tall enough that he was face to face with me, even as I was suspended from the floor in the holding apparatus. I felt fear wash over me again as what he said sunk in. The inexplicable emotion flickered over his face again, making him look very predatory.
“Unfortunately, this leaves me with no choice.” A smile slowly spread over his face as he continued, dropping into a familiar accent. “Ya broke ma first rule, so now ya have ta pay tha consequences, broken little ragdollie.” I began to scream, but he quickly muzzled me, leaving me squirming in my bonds, fighting futilely against the restraints. “Now that ther be no more of dat outside help, I can take ma due.”
A smug smile spread across his face as I stopped fighting, and stared at him in horror. I felt a sliver of cold spreading through my guts, and I shuddered as he got closer.
“Ya just didn’t geddit, did ya? I told you that I’d get me what was due.” He shook his head in a paternal way as he placed a hand upon my shoulder, gripping it a little too tightly. “Ya had to choose between two monsta’s, and ya chose tha wrong one. When thars no marks, it’s hard ta tell who’s worse, but trust me sweet Ames, I’ve been awaiting this here moment fer many’a year.”
He walked around to the rear of the contraption that restrained me, tilting the device back onto it’s wheels, allowing for single person transport of an occupant. With a start, I understood the strange emotion that had flickered across his face repeatedly today, it was hunger. His breath fell hot and fetid on my neck, as his voice dropped to a sing song whisper.
“…So many years, no one hears, now I’ll drink alla Ames’ tears…”