By sharilyn

EMAIL: sharilyn

Summary: Tag for Cypher, a mini-Halloween ficlet

Monsters are real...monsters are. They ARE. They do. Exist. He knows this now, in a visceral sense no words could ever adequately describe; he knows, oh he knows about the monsters...the one monster. That One especially--yes, Him. That face, that voice, those hands, so deceptively human and normal in appearance but so unnaturally, so INhumanly, strong. He tried to fight back, he knows he did fight, as hard as he could...but no one can escape that darkness, that indefatigable EVIL, forever. And as he struggles weakly now against the heavy chains binding him hand and foot, he realizes with a distant, fuzzy surge of drugged-out horror that in the end no one is impervious to the monster, no one is safe from the soulless Thing possessed of the uncanny ability to mimic and impersonate its chosen prey. The safety he'd thought would be provided to him in the form of his tough cop roommate was never anything more than an illusion, nothing but treacherous smoke and fog lacking any real substance. But it isn't Jim's fault, there was nothing Jim could do to keep the monster away...please, please let him realize that later, don't let him carry any guilt for not answering his phone, for not being there...

God, it's cold here, so damned cold, and he knows he should be wrestling harder against these damned chains, knows he should be shaking from his muzzy head the last, clingy strands of this drug-induced lethargy and confusion if he's to have any hope, any prayer at all, of survival. He tries to think, tries to figure out why such an evil, unstoppable creature as the one who took him down should even need drugs to assist it in subduing its victims; there must be a vital clue there somewhere in the midst of that particular, dimly-perceived revelation. Surely it speaks of something weak, something flawed, in the general composition of this monster, some achilles heel he might exploit in order to win his freedom and save his own life. But the fear churning so relentlessly, so sickly, inside his chest and belly whispers to him that it's hopeless, that there IS no escape, no way to evade the horrifying fate awaiting him here in this chill, damp darkness. Because everyone knows the monster only LOOKS human, only pretends to be weak and vulnerable; in all the movies, even when the hero kills it, the monster never really dies. And it always comes back more pissed off than before. Inexorable, unstoppable, unkillable.

Jim, he thinks once, brokenly, barely aware of the raw, strangled keening sound that's risen up from his throat only to be absorbed by the dirty, saliva-drenched wad of cloth stuffed so tightly into his mouth. I'm sorry, Jim, I'm sorry for letting the monster take me, for being so weak, for not thinking faster on my feet.

And he's trying now, trying to think, trying to create a plan...but it's too late, too late, he can hear him/it coming, and these chains won't budge, he can't lift them, can barely focus his eyes...and the monster seems so small, so harmless and nondescript but God, the STRENGTH in those wiry arms as it tugs him up into a sitting position and manhandles him over its shoulder, heedless of the extra weight of the heavy chains clinking and scraping with every convulsive, protesting jerk of its prey's tightly restrained arms and legs.

"Time for you to meet my friends, Hairy Blairy," the monster tells him now in animated tones, and the pleased lilt in its deceptively human voice wrings another choked groan of helpless terror from the bound man in its grasp. "Tell me truly now; do you enjoy nice, hot baths? Because I love giving them, I really do. You'll see; I'm very good at it."

And with an affectionate pat to its newest toy's posterior, the monster makes its way up a series of rickety stairs toward the candlelit warren of its hidden lair, deceptively human eyes glinting brightly above the lips that are pursed in a happy, off-key whistle. Real, Blair thinks dully to himself, indifferent now to the pain of cold metal scraping roughly against his wrists and ankles. Monsters are real, I always knew they were; and now--too late--Jim will know it, too.

The End~