A/N: Angsty little fragment/vignette from way before the book/movie. I don't actually mean to imply that Tyler is some kind of demonic force- I just think that's the way a scared kid would conceptualize him. If you like this or any of my other works, and you feel like it, leave me a comment. It makes my day, and I'm way more likely to write more if you do.

This was a freewrite, which means it probably sucks. You were warned.

Work Text:

'The world says I need some help

I'm floating on a big white cloud

I guess you'd say I'm not myself

Somebody called it all shook out.'

-Monster Magnet, "All Shook Out".


He laughs in my head and I'm picturing a razor.

The skies are clear and cool and my hands are jammed in my pockets, curled and shaking and hungry for warmth, but the laugh is like a cool palm against my forehead. It's high and clear and cold, that laugh, and in it there is not one single shred of warmth or love or foregiveness. His eyes boring through me have the pale antifreeze emptiness of a flowing stream where all the fish have flopped up on the shore to die.

I tell him, my parents love me. I gulp the chilled morning air and tell him, my mom doesn't understand. I say how they never ever meant to do this to us.

Tyler's lip curls and he sucks in air like smoke, and he says, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. Good parents, they'd notice if something like this happened to their kid. They'd notice if all of a sudden their kid was someone else.

Of course, it was over almost as it began, but for that one frozen moment all the lights went out and I was nowhere. My name, my face, the precious inscape I've cobbled together, they slipped through a hole in the world and I just wasn't anymore. I blinked on and off like one of those buzzy flourescent lights.

For one golden, terrible moment, I ceased to exist.