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Chapter 7: Dismal Figures
Waking up the next morning was uneventful. Gerard continued to sleep with his face almost completely smothered in his pillow, as per usual. For a second it looked like he was playing opossum, but I realized his body was too limp to be faking. His breathing was also slow and deep, hardly noticeable to someone that isn't watching very intently.
I decided to make myself coffee and throw a bowl of cereal together. I walked to the living room and curled up on the couch, placing my mug on the coffee table in front of me. I flicked the TV on and groaned in detest. Morning television is always shit, and today it's especially shitty. How are they still running infomercials at this hour? It's 8 am, shouldn't they be showing some reruns of a reality show about housewives or some shit?
I shook my head and muted the television and just watched Anthony Sullivan's lips move as he hocked some product Billy Mays used to scream about. Friendship is great when you can hop in your buddy's grave and roll around in the postmortem props of knowing some guy. People are shit, especially after you're dead.
About two hours had passed with me muttering obscene names at the people on the television as I sipped my coffee. The acting sucked, the dialog blew, and the plot was fuck. That is what I thought when I could actually stumble upon a scripted show. If these people were capable of writing interesting scripts and hire actors that were more than someone you'd use as a cum dumpster, television wouldn't be "Reality TV: The Life You Could be Living, but are Too Stupid To Go Out and Live". Alas, we praise the asshole that looked at some bitch with an orange tan in atrocious clubbing attire and her beefy spray tanned chimp-esque Ed Hardy dildo and said, "let's follow these fucks and people like them around with a camera!"
In the middle of my mental tirade, the phone rang. Gerard still wasn't up, so I approached the phone and stared at the caller ID, confused for a moment.
Gerard was probably still trying to sleep, so it'd be best if I didn't let it ring and be an asshole. I picked up apprehensively, purely out of wanting to be considerate, still not sure what to think about Bob calling my current residence. Or what to do for that matter. I was still debating what to say as I pressed the plastic to my ear.
"Way residence, Frank Iero speaking." I said, straightening up.
"That's not good." He mumbled to himself. "Hi, it's Bob from the building you used to live at. There is a guy at your apartment. I looked up that Gerard guy that you're dating, and figured it would be good if I gave you a heads-up. I know you haven't moved out completely, but this guy looked a little too big to be you, and he's not wearing a uniform or anything. I think he's waiting for you to come around, though."
"Oh, okay. I'll come by and check it out. Thanks Bob." I stopped for a moment, not sure where to go from there. "I guess I'll talk to you later, bye." I said quickly, dropping the phone back in it's place and trying to think a little.
Someone's at my house? Out of all the things someone could to that make fucking sense. Why would someone go there? What's to take?
I grabbed my shoes and threw them in front of the door, and went upstairs to grab actual clothes and get changed. Gerard had not woken up yet, which is unusual because he is generally roused by the smell of coffee. I stepped into the room, creeping over to my boyfriend. I was curious as to whether or not he was okay, because he never sleeps in for this long. He is also usually woken up by me waking up. I pressed my middle and index fingers to the pulse on his neck and was relieved to find his heart was still beating, though he did not stir at the contact. I placed a tender, innocent kiss on his forehead. He was probably tired from yesterday's thaumaturgy.
Moseying my way over to the dresser, I listened to my feet dragging against the soft carpet of the room. I made my way over to the dresser and carefully, painstakingly slow, just so I would not disturb Gerard's rest. Grabbing the first things my hand touched in the wooden drawers, and let them fall to the floor. Upon removing my shirt, Gerard moved. Well, he did a lot more than move, but all I noticed as my back was turned to him was the sound of movement. I turned around, automatically giving him an inquizitive look. He was breathing heavily, and had broken out into a cold sweat. I tilted my head to the side, my brow furrowing as he looked around his person with wide eyes, taking his environment in like he couldn't believe a thing he was currently seeing.
“Gee?” I asked, my voice giving away curiosity to anyone in doubt. His head snapped over to me, eyes still trying to flee his skull. He scared me dead in the eyes, petrified of something he saw in his dreams; worried. Could it have been the lucidity of his dream? "Bad dream?" I persist.
"S-Something like that." He panted, flopping backward and rubbing his eyes.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I questioned, removing my pants and slipping the jeans I had picked out over my legs and up to my waist carefully. I had a habit of keeping discarded, mangled paper clips from work in my pockets. You'd be surprised how easily one of those things will rip your leg open if you're pulling your pants up at the speed of light.
"Nah, it'll be fine. I just need to calm down, breathe a little. Thank you, though." He nodded.
“I’ve got to head down to my apartment quick, Bob said he saw some guy there, so we’re going to check it out.” I said, looking myself over in the mirror, and shrugging. It wasn’t worth it to put on a different shirt for something like this.
Gerard simply nodded, and resumed rubbing his eyes and trying to catch his breath. As I went to leave, I placed a light kiss on his forehead, and we shared a quick I love you. I smiled a little to myself and exited our room.
Upon entering my previous residence, I couldn't help but be a little happy that I had moved out. It was a lot less warm and happy than Gerard's house. It was a lot less like home, though this was the first place I lived in by myself. There was a rumbling sound to my upper left and a cold breeze swept across my face as the old air conditioner coughed to life and partially calmed my nerves, which were for some reason on the fritz. Bob waved once in my direction.
"Hey man." I said. "Thanks for warning me about that, by the way. I really appreciate it."
"Don't mention it." He shrugged. "I think he's still up there, though. You want me to go with?"
I nodded, and started my way up the stairs I had climbed far too many times. As I got closer to my room, a bad feeling began to eclipse my curiosity. The feeling of dread was extremely intense by the time we were on my floor. My legs felt like they were about to give out. I had nothing to be scared of, though. This is probably a panic attack from nostalgia, or something. I brushed my hands against my jeans to lessen the moisture accumulating on my palms.
"Do you feel sick?" Bob asked upon reaching the top of the stairs. I nodded slightly, glad I wasn't the only one that felt as if they were going to vomit. I pulled my keys out of my pocket, trying very hard to actually grasp the ring. I noticed my hands trembling as I placed the tip of the key against the lock, my jittering nerves bouncing the key around.
I took only a second to try and collect myself before easing the door open. I peeked inside, seeing nothing at my first glance. The trepidation still weighed heavily in my gut. Though I must say the wrenching feeling was relieved partially when I nearly chocked out a scream at the sight of what Bob thought was a man in my house.
What Bob saw...
What Bob saw is not a person.
I lurched back, the door hanging open and the grotesque figure rising from his seat on a piece of my furniture. His black, tattered robe fading into a black mist similar to the appearance of the ailments Gerard took away -or in my case, gave. Whatever it was, it did not want me here. Whatever it was, it was on a mission to do something. I did not dare to look at its face again. I only caught a glimpse, but the brief second my eyes lingered over its features was long enough for a life time. I thought my stomach was upset with me before.
I know it’s got piercing white eyes, they feel like they’re ripping right through you. Glowering -though from what I saw, it lacks a face to express much. It was black, whatever it was. Its features are alien. Not in the typical smooth upside-down-egg headed alien with a human body. Not alien in the sense of something that can just be imagined. No features like anything on this planet. Alien. Legitimately alien. The only thing I recognized as familiar was the robe. The thing loomed over to me, and I didn't have to look at its face or read its foreign body language to know it had something sinister in mind. The black mist crept closer, and I heard feet fleeing downstairs. I pushed myself closer to the wall on the other side of the wall, too afraid to stand. Turning my head, I saw I was no longer accompanied by Bob.
God fucking damn it.
My head snapped back forward. It's closer now. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I scooted along the wall to get away from it. Couldn't fucking move. Can't fucking move. Legs aren't working. Fuck. Up. Stand up. Get away. Stand up, run. Go. Move. Shit. I felt something firm press into my back. Corner. I'm cornered. With that -as if on cue, the it hovered over me. My last sound before entering total darkness was a weak, frightened whimper. It’s cold in the umbrage. Like light has never touched this thing. I'm assuming I just entered the belly of the beast, because I was tightly packed in a case of nothing. Black, misty, cold nothing like the tattered ends of its robe, and its fading figure.
I couldn't see a thing, and to describe what I was feeling using the words fear, horror, terror, panic, or fearroric (a combination of all of these things, ha) was an extreme understatement. I felt a cold, boney hand scratch something onto my back. Whether this was just a malicious act or it was marking me, I am not completely sure. One thing I did know; this hurt like hell. If you've ever been clawed by a really pissed off cat, you don't know what this feels like. If you've been stabbed in the back (to the muscle) with a lemon juice soaked knife made of razors by a pissed off cat, you may have a better idea what exactly I'm feeling. The fresh wounds stung and the impaired area of skin got hot as it -I'm assuming, bled profusely.
Something about this hurt more. The stinging and buzzing sensation of my damaged flesh was more intense than any pain I've ever felt, and whatever adrenaline I had running through me wasn't helping. I winced and tried to move my hand in the dark, cramped mess that was the inside of this tenebrous figure and tried to feel my back. My fingers touched the wounds and I could only tell this because my body screamed as I aggravated the wound. I couldn't feel my fingers. I can't feel my arms. My arms are almost entirely numb. Why? I don't know. I don't like it.
My body lolled to the floor and my eyes were heavy. I felt my head smack against the cold floor, and my first reflex to my skull colliding with the ground was to shut my eyes. I struggled to open them back up and my body was fighting my mind to stay awake. My eyelids made the final call, and refused to open. Now that I think about it, I’d really like to rest. Maybe he’ll be gone by the time I wake up. I couldn't have lost that so blood from the wounds that it would be killing me, either. That's really not possible, I'm not bleeding that badly if at all...
Not so cold.
Trying to help?
Warm, not safe.
All his hands.
Head- drums beating.
Back- acid leaking.
Keep it down.
I stepped into the corridor gradually; there was an eerie feel to the verdant state of the once elegant and impeccable hall. I listened to the crunch of dead leaves beneath my heavy feet. I was tempted to break the silence and call for the others; who I knew were here. Somewhere. A light breeze hummed through the windows as I stopped. I turned my head to the left, and right.
“Hello?” I called with a sigh. They always played this game. I sleep, they summon me during my rest, and then make it look like they’re trying to do something important and add effect by making me wait for them forever.
“Gerard.” The booming, yet lyrical voice replied.
“What’s the matter? Why am I here this time?” I questioned.
“It is about the mortal you are accompanied by.” He responded. He was a very masculine figure, though as far as the gods go, there is really no male and female. It was established there was no need for sex, and gender separation. What makes a god a god and a goddess a goddess, is the sex they choose.
“Frank Anthony Iero Junior, yes.”
“What about him?”
“Frank is in danger.” I tilted my head to the side, not completely sure what he was talking about. Frankie was in no danger, especially with me around. I would never let harm come to him. Scion’s face remained straight and completely serious. He stood tall, and took a moment before speaking again. “As you are well aware, danger and evil does cease to exist once in this realm. You are also aware that on a rare occasion, it may escape into the mortal realm. Though, it is always for a reason. Frank has something that Baniss is after. We are not sure what he possesses, but Baniss wants whatever it may be.”
“That’s not possible. Frank is just a normal guy.”
“Or so you think.”
“What would be different?”
“As aforementioned, we do not know. Gerard, you must keep him out of harm’s way.”
“He is out of harm’s way. There’s nothing for someone to be after.”
“Do not be so sure. We understand your feelings for him, and they are preventing you from accepting his possible fate. It would be best if you were to allow your feelings to drive you to keep him protected.”
“He’s not in any trouble.” I continued to protest. Nothing bad could ever happen to Frankie. He’s a normal man. Nothing supernatural about him.
“You will not forgive yourself if he is violated, injured, or even killed in an act of an ill-disposed soul sent to bloody its hands for Baniss.”
“Why would he be?”
“I am telling you for the last time, Baniss wants something from Frank. He is in danger, and we need you to stay focused on your duties. You will not be able to do so if your love has passed away, or is taken from you.”
“What duties?” I demanded. “I’ve got no duties. My only ‘duty’ is to bare the soul of whatever fucking god you decide to inject into me! I did not ask for this, and I’d really appreciate it if you treated me like I’m a normal person, because I am a normal person. Whoever is inside me is the God. I am not. Frank is in no danger because of any of this, and I wouldn’t let it happen if by some slim chance the situation would present itself.” I said, immediately regretting being sassy and acting like an upset teenager to the guy who controls everything that has, currently does, or ever will exist.
“There is far more to the situation than you know, Gerard. There is no possibility of normality for you ever again.” He stated simply.
Suddenly, everything went black. I saw things. Things I can't recall now. Things I know I don't want to recall. I only remember the feeling I woke up with. I only remember being completely horrified. I remember the feeling I got when I finally got a breath of air. I had felt like I was drowning. But I don't remember the things I saw. I don't want to remember the things I saw. Frankie would be okay. He showed me those things to scare me into thinking Frankie would get hurt. He showed me those things to scare me into believing one of those things would take Frank away.