❯ Supplanter ❯ the end ( Chapter 1 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]

MY EYES ARE OPEN AND I SEE HER MY EYES ARE OPEN AND I SEE RACHEL LOVELY RACHEL SITTING ON THE FLOOR SITTING ON THE FLOOR ACCOMPANIED BY DOZENS OF GASHES IN HER WHITE WRISTS AND SHE'S PAINTING FINGER PAINTING ON THE FLOOR A CIRCLE THREE CIRCLES CIRCLE CIRCLE CIRCLE IN RED BEAUTIFUL CIRCLE IN RED AND SHE SPEAKS TO THE CIRCLES IN AN UNKNOWN LANGUAGE THAT I CAN SOMEHOW UNDERSTAND UNDERSTAND UNDERSTAND SAYING WHAT THE SYMBOL IS REBIRTH IS WHAT I AM IS MYSELF INSIDE THIS BED ON THE ROOF ON THE FLOOR ON THE MIST ON THE AIR ON THE BARREL OF THE GUN POINTED AT MY THROAT.
 
 
And the boat bumped against the dock.
 
The town smiled to itself, pleased and somewhat amused, because it knew he didn't know what he was doing.
 
The image of what she once was, what he had and not what he truly wanted her to be, everything she was, was dead and gone. At the same time, the image was held, nurtured, if you will, in the town's decaying, crumbling womb. The arms were crossed over the chest and the eyes that were not eyes were closed and leaking arid, fluid enmity, and it almost looked like it was asleep.
The form heard YOU YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE NOW YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE OUR ONLY HOPE ONLY YOU CAN-
But it needed another.
So desperately needed another that, without him, nothing would work.
 
Needed.
 
 
He knelt and read strange, alien words to the mount of parched, lifeless mound of mold and grime.
 
He didn't know what he was reading; it was in a language unknown to him.
He didn't care.
He didn't know if this was right, didn't know what exactly would happen, didn't know if this was going to work at all.
 
He didn't care.
 
James read.
 
He read until there was nothing left to do but place the chalice with the white chrism inside of it on top of the pile of decay in front of him. Until there was nothing left to do but cut his palm open with Angela's knife and paint a symbol on the floor. Liquid flames seeped from an unknown source and danced over the cup, and the white liquid caught fire and burned as red as his blood on the floor instead of the usual orange and nothing about this seemed strange at all but the static began.
 
The static began.
 
The static BEGAN BEGAN BEGAN.
 
It burned red and the static began.
 
Static like he had never heard from the radio before.
This sounded different.
Instead of the usual clang and clatter of random white noise, this was a sound that played and repeated itself. A warped, screeching noise, as if a liquid, shuddering gear was trying to be pulled off a wall.
 
A mutated whirling resonance.
Reiterate.
A mutated whirling resonance.
Reiterate.
A mutated whirling resonance.
Reiterate.
 
He looked down at the tiny little radio that had suddenly decided to magically appear in his hand, and then he made the decision to look up as if he wanted to see how the flames were doing and then he noticed that the cup and liquid and pile of filth and orange and red fire and blood were being replaced by something-
 
A female form, nude and curled into a somewhat off-color attempt at the fetal position. Or maybe it had been that way all along.
The cup, liquids, and pile of godknowswhat quietly died away, and the thing faded in.
 
No, James, not 'thing.'
 
Woman.
 
Partner.
 
Lover.
 
Wife.
 
Her.
 
 
YOU DISGUSTING PIG I HATE YOU.
 
 
The town smiled to itself, happy and on the verge of giggling like the impish little child that it was, because it knew he didn't know what he had done.
 
 
"...Mary?"
 
Mary was dead.
Mary lifted its head until its eyes met his and something in his head began to scream.
 
OH GOD WHAT IS THAT IN HER EYES SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH HER EYES THEY'RE DEAD THEY'RE DEAD TH-
 
James unconsciously dismissed the thought.
 
Its knees up to its chest, Mary watched him with the eyes as he attempted to rise to his feet, then changed his mind and simply leaned towards its bent form.
 
His rough, charred hand reached towards the staring face only to come to rest on its left cheek. When flesh came in contact with undecided falsehood, the screaming sound in his head started up again, but only for a second.
THIS ISN'T-
 
He found himself thinking of Maria. Were her eyes brown or white or blue?
The second the word 'blue' entered his mind, an image of his thumb pressing down over Mary's left eye joined it. There was more, but it vanished as quickly as it had come.
 
Its right hand rose and pressed itself down, gently, over his.
The static on the radio got louder.
 
"...James."
 
Mary spoke softly in a voice that had the consistency of dirt.
 
 
The town smiled to itself, in high spirits and starting to titter, because it knew he didn't know what Mary was destined to become.
 
 
They walked towards the car.
It was very cold. He had given it his jacket, but then the noise from the radio wouldn't stop and Mary suddenly began to resemble one of the Patient Demons, so he took the jacket away and wrapped his arms around it instead.
 
Mary sat in silence, staring at its knees as they drove home. The only word it had said was 'James.' It made no other noise.
That night, James rested Mary on the bed and laid down next to it, watching it stare blankly at the ceiling and wondering what it was muttering to itself until he fell asleep, or passed out, rather.
 
OUR
ONLY
HOPE
 
 
He dreamt that he was sitting on a child's bed in a child's room and he couldn't get the radio to shut up.
"Be quiet, radio, can't you see that there aren't any monsters here?" he spoke to the machine as if it was a human being, and it answered him by changing noises.
Before, it was the whirling sound; now it was the usual static.
 
But that meant that monsters WERE near.
 
He looked up and found himself standing in the middle of a horribly familiar fog-covered road. The bed and room were gone.
Staring in the distance, he saw a small child running away into the mist.
 
Staring in the distance, he saw something coming towards him.
 
The shrieking radio got much louder as a large form came closer and closer and closer until James could see the red conical shape on its head.
Dozens of other creatures appeared behind Pyramid Head. James wanted to run, but he could hear Mary's voice saying something over the static of the radio and because of it, he couldn't move.
He noticed that Pyramid Head was sans the Great Knife and spear.
 
He also noticed that Pyramid Head and the rest of the monsters were bowing to him.
 
 
The new swirling noise the radio made woke him up. Mary was still staring at the ceiling.
 
"Good morning," a distant voice spoke, and James was confused until he realized that the voice was his own.
Mary didn't blink.
His hand reached out to touch its face like he had done yesterday. Mary twisted its head in his direction.
Fingertips grazed its face and the picture of his thumb over its left eye jolted into his mind again, but the image went further; now his thumb was smashing through the eye into the skull and Mary was screa-
 
"James," it spoke again, the dirt more noticeable.
 
NO JAMES YOU'RE GOING TO SEE AROUND IT JAMES YOU'RE GOING TO SEE AROUND IT.
 
He hastily detached his hand from Mary's face; he was afraid he'd tear its eye out. Mary turned and stared at the ceiling when it could no longer feel his palm on her cheek. It was as if he wasn't even there anymore, which was partially true.
 
 
Mary could speak, but the only thing he ever heard it say was his name.
Sometimes when he watched it long enough, it started muttering things under its breath, things he couldn't hear. And whenever he asked her, "Mary, what're you saying," it would just look at him with the eyes and murmer, "James," always trailing off at the end as if there was something else it wanted to say, but forgot.
 
"...n...be...n...pl...dnth..."
 
"Mary, I can't hear you."
 
"...James.
 
"...th...seih...ntherh...ldnthn...eitrd..."
 
"...please tell me what it is you're saying."
The hand was on its face again, directing it towards his, directing its eyes towards his, trying to see if there was anything there.
 
HOLLOW SHELL YOU ARE A HOLLOW SHELL FILLED WITH FALSE PSALMS AND LIES AND ASHES YOU CAN'T REALLY BE MY MARY-
 
"James," it said again.
And this time, he saw something.
 
Its eyes. He saw something in its eyes.
 
Her eyes.
 
He also saw the image in his head, and this time he saw himself sadistically wrenching his thumb around in messy circles in the gory, bloody eye socket, tearing beautiful segments of Mary's eye out in the process.
 
He saw something in her eyes.
It was Mary it WAS Mary it had to be-
 
"James," the dirt brought him back to reality.
 
 
Human or not, whatever it was, it needed to bathe. Most things did.
 
Its expression let James know that it probably didn't know why it was being placed in a bathtub. And if it did know, it didn't care at all.
 
"Mary, can you hear me?"
"James."
"I know you can say other things, Mary."
"James."
He reached for the taps and started to twist the cold water one and that's when Mary flung herself against the side of the tub.
 
"Mary?!" James yelled, alarm slathered across his face like blood splattered across a window as its frame jerked again and connected with the other side, its head cracking against the wall and leaving a red spatter there; James' arms shot out and grasped its shoulders to keep it from injuring itself anymore and Mary's mouth opened much wider than mouths are supposed to and released a spray of crimson vomit.
He wanted to get up and open the bathroom door and run away, run far, far away. Instead, he found himself embracing it with his eyes squeezed shut so he couldn't see it, its head over his right shoulder so the blood spilled forth from its lips and down his back onto the floor. He wished he could close his ears so he wouldn't have to hear the horrible strangled gagging noises Mary was making.
 
He wanted to run away.
 
 
He dreamt of a burned little girl being hauled up into the ceiling of his bathroom.
 
 
A part of him still refused to believe that it was her, but the rest of him embraced the idea like he embraced Mary when they-
 
"She is my wife," he kept telling himself, "She is my wife and this is what husbands and wives do. This is the main reason they're husbands and wives in the first place."
 
He stopped after a few times. He didn't like it, didn't like it at all - he always had to leave the room and throw up afterwards. Getting a reaction from Mary was impossible, and after a while he stopped trying to make it feel something and focused on himself.
And when he did that, it wasn't like a husband and wife making love anymore; it was more like necrophilia. Its eyes stared straight ahead and it didn't move at all, during or after. It didn't make a sound.
It stayed as stiff as a board and let him do whatever he wanted.
 
But wasn't that what he wanted the entire time?
 
 
He dreamt of a rusty faucet that dripped just like the crying woman sitting next to it. He tried to reach out to her and she looked up at him and her face fell off.
 
 
"...n...be...n...pl...dnth..."
 
"Please Mary, PLEASE tell me what it is you're saying."
 
"James."
 
"No, what you were saying before."
 
"James."
 
"What you were saying BEFORE."
 
"Ja-"
 
"NO."
 
"..."
 
"Mary?"
 
"James."
 
 
He dreamt of a room with a giant mirror and a bathtub, and Mary was crawling across the ceiling.
 
 
"James."
 
He flipped open the books, went through his old jacket and pulled out papers and articles, and read random lines aloud to it in hopes that it would react differently.
 
"Rain. Stared out the window all day. Peaceful here. Nothing to do."
 
"Still not allowed to go outside," it responded.
 
"...Louise, I'll take care of you four ever."
"It's my destiny."
 
"Speak."
"I am the Crimson One."
 
"Misty day."
"Remains of the judgment."
 
"He who is not bold enough to be stared at from across the abyss is not bold enough to stare into himself."
"The truth can only be learned by marching forward."
 
"Run away."
"Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away!"
 
"Burning man."
"436 people at a recital."
 
"To the right is the lady."
"To the left is the old one."
 
"He's trying to kill me."
"He's trying to punish me."
 
"Pyramid Head."
"Xuchilbara."
 
"I was locked up in the basement's basement."
"It was so small and dark and I was so afraid."
 
"Three different sizes, time on the run."
"Three young men circling 'round the sun."
 
"There was a hole here."
 
"James," it said.
 
 
He dreamt of a shivering figure in a robe dragging a dead girl away into darkness by the ankles.
 
 
"...n...be...n...pl...dnth..."
"Now it begins, people hid night?"
 
"In...thbe...ng...pipl...adnoth..."
"In the best thing, people had not hidden?"
 
"In...thbegin...ng...people...adnothi..."
 
"In the beginning, people had nothing?"
 
It's head jerked upwards violently and, as it stared at him as if he had just grown a second head, began to speak as though it were reciting something that had been in its head forever.
"In the beginning people had nothing their bodies ached and their hearts held nothing but hatred they fought endlessly but death never came they despaired stuck in the eternal quagmire a man offered a serpent to the sun and prayed for salvation a woman offered a reed to the sun and asked for joy feeling pity for the sadness that had overrun the earth God was born from those two people."
 
And it fell silent once again.
 
"...Mary?"
 
"James," its murmured.
 
 
He dreamt of the bleeding woman next to the sink again. As he neared her, he realized that the faucet wasn't leaking water; blood and pus were oozing from the opening. When he tried to turn the faucet off, he only succeeded in making the gore spill faster into the sink. He turned to the crying woman and watched the blood seep from every pore on her body. He tried to hear what she was saying, but the only thing he could make out was a name being sobbed over and over again into the blood-spattered hands that were covering her face in pain and intense grief.
"...Ha...Harry..."
 
 
It couldn't go forever without bathing. It was human.
 
She was human.
 
Mary stared at its knees. James did the same, quite reluctant to touch the taps. Whenever his fingers neared them, its head began to rise until the eyes were staring at his hand and the eyes began to widen. When his hand was taken away, Mary's head went back down to stare at its knees, as if it had absolutely nothing better to do. Which it didn't.
Fingers neared metal, head was raised. Fingers drew away from metal, head was lowered.
 
Neared.
Raised.
 
"...what's wrong with you?" he spoke, more to himself than anyone else, as if he expected an answer.
 
But instead of the usual 'James' retort, Mary's left hand hoisted itself up like a machine in desperate need of oiling until the fingertips were reaching, straining towards hot water tap.
Its mouth opened a little too wide.
"Ahh..."
 
"What?"
"Ahh..." its fingers twitched, its mouth and eyes opened wider.
 
He suddenly looked, panicky, at the hot water tap as if it were a skinned tarantula instead of a knob.
 
"What??" he said again, louder, worried.
"Ahh..." it leaned towards the chrome handle, broken nails brushing against the metal.
 
He did nothing. Mary jerked its body forward; the hand flailed against the handle for a second, then grasped it and began to turn as an idyllic expression oozed across its face.
 
It...
 
"Ahh..." he didn't notice that its eyes were beginning to roll into the back of its head because it...
 
...she looked so happy.
 
Twist.
 
"Mary, do you-"
"Ahh."
 
Twist.
 
Wisps of steam began to rise from the surface of the water.
 
"Mary, you're making the water a little too hot."
"Ahh."
 
Twist.
 
"Mary, stop, it's too hot."
"Ahh."
 
Twist.
 
"I said stop!"
"Ahh."
 
Twist.
 
"Mary, stop!" he made a grab for the hand and was flung across the bathroom like a torn ragdoll when it punched him in the face.
The back of his head connected and left a red-splattered spiral fracture in the wall; jolts of pain shot through his skull like lightning and he screeched through gritted teeth in spite of himself.
He sank to the floor, rocking back and forth slightly, eyes and jaw squeezed shut, hands clenched tightly over the back of his head to try and stop the bleeding, his lower lip gushing crimson and hurting like hell from the impact of its small fist. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't see. Shit - it completely knocked the wind out of him, how on Earth was it that strong...
His eyes slit open and tried to see through the rivers of blood seeping down his face - "My God what did it do to me," - tried to see anything through the film of his own burgundy-
Mary was there, still twisting the handle, the hand it had struck him with splattered with red while the other hand kept twisting and twisting and twisting and it looked like blood was coming out of the faucet it looked like blood it looked like blood James blinked until the red in his eyes went away and it still looked like blood it still it still it still
 
It was.
 
The bathwater was a deep red now, deep red and spilling over the sides onto the floor, running through the cracks in the tiles, then slowly seeping over the borders of that only to crawl up the crevices in the walls, then covering that and twisting in ways no liquid should twist, no liquid should even be able to get itself up a wall like this one was doing to the entire room and the CEILING now, everything was crawling with it except for the two human forms and the bathroom mirror, crawling and twisting and writhing and shivering when the lines all met and joined together as flesh bubbled up out of nowhere - oh God no, it wasn't flesh, it was pus - and slithered over everything along with the blood, making nearly all inanimate object take on the look and feel of maggot infested rotting meat, and Mary kept twisting, the entire time, just kept twisting the handle that now really did resemble a skinned tarantula, and the blood kept pouring out and splashing over and mixing with the rest of it and swarming and creeping, luminous with death, and James was afraid then, afraid for Mary because the writhing decay on the floor was hurting him and Mary was in the middle of it all, and he ignored his head trauma and pulled himself up with the help of the dead sink and the eyes in the mirror caught his for a split second and he turned to look, turned to see his reflection mocking him, turned to the glass and the man looking back at him was Pyramid Head and James was afraid for himself now, afraid of himself now, and James backed away and James stumbled and James tripped and James fell against Mary and James fell into the tub and James fell into the pus and blood and Mary stopped turning the handle because James falling against it had pushed it away from the knob and James fell into the clean water in a clean bathtub in a clean bathroom with a mirror.
 
 
He dreamt of Mary violently pulling a woman into an oval-shaped hole in the ground.
 
 
His head hurt.
It had been doing so for a week now.
James was beginning to find it difficult to see.
 
Mary wasn't allowed to take baths anymore. It didn't need them, anyway. It never changed in any way.
 
It didn't matter.
 
Nothing did now except for it.
 
Her.
 
IT IS IT IS SHE IS.
DON'T LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO HER SHE CAN'T PROTECT HERSELF SHE CAN'T SHE CAN'T YOU'VE GOT TO WATCH OUT FOR HER TAKE CARE OF HER.
 
"Pyramid Head."
"Xuchilbara."
 
"Xuchilbara?"
"James." Mary spoke softly, and this time, it voice didn't trail off. It stopped at the end of his name.
 
 
He dreamt of a corpse's foot growing up a wall.
 
 
James woke up one morning and looked to his left.
It wasn't there.
 
"Mary?" he asked the empty space as if he expected an answer.
 
He went to the kitchen to see if it had gotten itself something to eat. He was about halfway there when he remembered that it never ate.
James looked out the window and saw a bird's nest in a tree. The baby birds were chirping for their mother, who was nowhere in sight. The mother bird had actually been hit by a car and was lying in the street a few blocks away, quite dead, but neither James nor baby birds knew that.
James watched the creatures' mouths gape wide open, letting out an uninterrupted cry, then shutting briefly only to snap open again.
 
James couldn't hear the chirping sounds. From behind the glass, it looked like the birds were screaming.
 
Then he found himself in the kitchen with a knife in his right hand.
 
He blinked once. He and the knife were still in the kitchen when his eyes opened.
 
He looked down at the blade to make sure it was really there, turned it on its side so the light from the stove reflected off the metal.
The words 'Lakeside Amusement Park' popped into his head along with a mental image of a wheelchair on a merry-go-round.
 
James shook his head and the thoughts scattered like brittle leaves being blown away by a damp autumn wind. He remembered that Mary's location was still masked in anonymity. He wanted put the knife down, but didn't.
 
He found Mary lying on the bathroom floor carving into its shoulders with a razor blade. James found himself wanting to help it cut itself.
He left the room and threw the knife from the kitchen down the staircase. It bounced against the rug once and lay there quietly at the foot of the stairs. After returning to the bathroom, he left with the razor blade and threw it down the stairs so it could join the knife and be its friend until it got thrown out.
 
James went into the bathroom again. Mary was standing in the bathtub, the crimson dripping down her arms and hitting the floor of the tub with a soft 'plink.'
 
 
He dreamt of a woman in a dress that was as red as blood. She was seated on a throne of mutilated, decaying monsters. Pyramid Head was on the woman's left.
 
 
"James."
 
He touched its face and watched as it watched as he watched as it watched.
As she watched.
 
She.
 
"Pyramid Head."
"Xuchilbara."
 
"Xuchilbara."
"James."
 
"James."
"Saint."
 
"Saint."
"Jennifer."
 
"Jennifer."
"Death."
 
"Death."
"Beauty."
 
"Beauty."
"Alessa."
 
"Alessa."
"Savior."
 
"Savior."
"James."
 
"James."
"Supplanter."
 
 
He dreamt of Angela lying dead on the burning stairs. A Mandarin was walking away. Her face looked as if a dog had been ripping at it.
 
 
One day he found it locked in a closet drawing circles on the wall with the blood that streamed from its mutilated fingertips.
He brought it down to the kitchen because he didn't like the bathroom anymore. The bandages he brought with him were wrapped around its hands. Constricting. It touched the gauze on one hand with the gauze on the other, almost as if it was confused; but its face showed nothing. He blinked and for a split-second it looked like she had no arms.
 
His brain wanted things to be how they used to be. James tried to convince himself that they were, failing miserably every time it smashed its head through a window or dropped something because it didn't know how to hold things properly anymore and tried to cut its shoulders open with the broken pieces. Every time he touched Mary's face, it didn't look away - that would've been good enough, that would have at least showed him that it knew where it was - it just stared at the wall in front of it or the door or the mirror with the eyes of a dead man and God he hated those eyes, wanted to rip the disgusting, almost sacrilegious things out of its skull whenever he looked at it.
-for much different reasons, wanted to kill it all over again-
 
He still loved the creature, loved it too much to hurt it or help it hurt itself.
 
He walked into the kitchen one day and realized almost instantly that he forgot to get rid of the forks. The knives were all gone; Mary made due with forks on the kitchen floor in front of him.
He messily tore the metal out of its arm, the thing that had been buried up to the hilt in its arm; the fork was bloody like the floor and rutted up little tracks of meat as he wrenched it free.
Mary's glazed eyes turned in the direction of the four deep punctures that now resided in its arm. It tried to force its bandaged fingers into the holes and James struck it in the face.
 
 
He didn't sleep that night.
 
 
END PART 1

Chapter 2
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