The Nightmare Web (The Barrowman Remix #2)
I find myself looking at the black obsidian ceiling of a bathroom at Ochre. I am lying down. Why am I lying down? I try to move. But I can’t. Something is holding me down. A force like gravity, heavy and oppressive. On the edge of my hearing I make out a faint sound. It’s a slimy sound, of skin slapping skin, like snakes intertwining. My vision tilt, and looking down I see him. The killer. He is kneeling next to me, and my stomach is open.
Peeled open, like a banana. He puts his bloody hands inside my stomach, and he pulls. I can feel my intenstines being pulled out. I scream. I shout. I scream til I have no voice left. And yet he doesn’t stop. He shoves a blue hand down down my chest, and I think I can feel him grasping my heart.
Black striations, like oil, expand in a web from the hole in my chest. I can instinctively tell that there is something really bad about those veins. I try to get away, get away from them, but I still can’t move. The dark vines cover my eyes and I am in my own personal Hell. I can’t see. I CAN’T SEE….!
I flail and suddenly I fall down on the floor. I blink slowly, looking up at a different kind of ceiling. I am in my room, my house, not one of Ochre’s bathrooms.I put one hand against my right eye, just to make sure that it’s still there. It wasn’t real. I can see. I am whole. I get up and hit a switch. The room is instantly bathed in a well of light. “Pu-uh”, I breath. As I inhale, I catch a scent. I look down on my briefs. I walk up to my bed and I smell my sheets. Now this is embarrassing.
Hmm. I remove the linens from my bed and I put them in a plastic bag usually reserved for my sweaty gym-clothes. I change underwear. I grab a bottle of hair-spray and spray the room, because, you know, I don’t want it to smell.
I exit my room, walk up to the second level, root through an old clabinet and I find my prey; one of Dad’s old sleeping bags. He loved the outlife; hunting, sleeping beneath the stars. Grabbing the sleeping bag and walking downstairs I wonder if I should have perhaps joined him on more trips… If wishes were pennies...
I unroll the sleeping bag on the floor with a flourish. I hesitate and look down. Maybe I should hit the bathroom. Just in case.
Acting on that impulse I drain the snake, so to speak. I wash my hands in hot water, and steam fogs the mirror. I clear it with a hand in an casual movement and I see something that makes the hair on my back stand erect. My lips are blue, close to black. Like the lips of someone who is really cold, except I am hot, almost feverish, now that I think about it.
I stand closer to the mirror, and inspect my lips. I touch them, and they feel cold. Numb almost. I massage them, and some of the numbness is relieved. I can feel a notion forming on my tongue– something about my lips. The color!
Blue! The killer’s arm was painted blue! I run back to my room, scrambling for my phone. After a couple of signals Claire finally answers. “Rune…?” “Yeah you said to call you if there was anything. I just remembered a not-so-tiny detail; the killer’s arm was painted blue. I wasn’t thinking too clearly at the interrogation so it must have slipped my mind.” “Rune, it’s 2 am.” “So?” “Alright. The killer’s arm was painted blue. I am making a note of it on my phone right now. Now.Go. To. Sleep.” Click.
Huh. She sounded grumpy. I wonder why?
I jump inside the sleeping bag. As I pull the zipper up to cocoon myself, I think of the last time I went camping.
“Cmon… just a little more…” The marshmellow, which I have impaled on a stick falls into the fire. “Nooo!” “I told you to be more patient. If you’d waited a little longer rather than putting the marshallow in the fire– well you might not have dropped it.”
Markus Fallowfell, my father, lawyer and all in all smug bastard smiles at me. I glare at him. Looking at the two of us, one could be forgiven for thinking that we’re son and father. Dad is tall, pale, and has hair which is the envy of every middle-aged man in the neighbourhood. I am short, got skin like someone born in the Mediterreanean, eyes like mud and whereas my Dad finds friends wherever he goes, I have only Elena.
He clears his voice. Crap. He only clears his voice when; 1) talk about the Diagnosis( Dad won’t use the A-word), 2) when he wants to make a speech or 3), when he is about to shout. I can guess as to the subject which prompted or little camping trip.
“Son. I know you have problems…. problems with relating to kids your age.” “You mean the fact that they’re stupid and quite immature?” He winces. “Yes, although you shouldn’t say that.” He thinks. “You haven’t said that to anyone?” I shrug, unhappily. “I might have let it slip.” “Geez, Rune, no wonder the other kids won’t play ball. Nobody, nobody likes to be called stupid. How would you feel if they called you stupid?”
“I wouldn’t care. They’re stupid. Stupid people should be ignored.” “Are you even listening to what I am saying?”, Dad says, in a exasperated voice.
“I am trying to grill marshmellows, Dad.”
He frowns at me. “Wait a second. Am I one of those stupid people that are to be ignored?
I smile an angelic smile at him. “Now hold on, one second here…..”
“Dad.” I say the words out loud. “I am not a religious person- I am as ateistical as they come. If there is a ‘Hell’ odds are that I will burn in it. But if you can see me now, Dad, then you’ll see that I have friends. The beginning of friendships. A date.” I pause.” So in the end everything worked out fine. And for the record- I don’t think people are stupid anymore. Or I have gotten better at ignoring it.”
I am going to sleep now. And when I wake up everything will be alright. Everything will be alrighttttt.