Authoritrix Notes: Hope this is good, yes, I spell checked it. Title and Chapter Name are anagrams for Willard's name.

Disclaimer: *Holds up a sign that reads: No!.* I don't own Willard, New Line Cinema does.

Wields Ill Rats

Chapter 1: Stairwell Lids (Willard Stiles)

By- Trsolarcat / RocketSolarcat

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Late at night, Willard Stiles shifted roughly in the dank hospital cot. The creaking springs made an irritable sound as he found a "comfortable" position among the off-white sheets that were twisted around his feet. On his first days here he found it hard to sleep in such a horridly unsanitary place (though his own home was not in grandiose splendor it was much better than this). His own bed much more snug—he would curse at this one ever time he found fault in it.

Things like this would not matter to him if he were anywhere else.

Here he had so much vacant time on his hands he would find problems with everything in his bleak room. The bleached walls with black stains pouring from the corners of the ceiling; the orderly who poked fun at him—calling him Rat-Man—even the food which was brought to him regularly. Everything could be ridiculed.

The one thing he didn't ever complain about was Socrates. The pure white rat that slept in his gentle hands every night he had been in here. Delicate whiskers sniffing his sweaty hands as he curled them around the velvet rodent—he would always whisper to Socrates just before his eyes heavy closed, "Good-night, my one and only friend."

It happened to be that in such a night as this, he had a nightmare. Willard found these common things and they always had the same theme. In some cases he didn't even consider them true nightmares, instead they seemed to be reminders of the free world.

The most popular—and far most frightening was the constant reminder that Ben King of the Rats (or so Willard himself had foolishly named him) might not be dead. As small a chance that Ben had survived Willard's last assault on him—it still bothered him.

In his illusions, that appeared more real than anything else that actually was, he would be searching for his mother. It was that day, that he had found her dead, he remembered calling to her—checking her bed in vain. He went down the loosening stairs, gently pushing Socrates into his pocket, hoping the dusty-haired woman had just went to fix some coffee for herself. Also secretly hoping she wouldn't find any of his friends during the process. Hearing the sound of clamoring dishes he slowly glanced around the corner to see what would surely be his aging mother. Instead he seen nearly a hundred of the gray and brown bodies moving as if they were one mass across the counters—anger nipped at his voice as he yelled, "Out! Out! You aren't supposed to be up here! Basement! Now!"

Pushing at them with his feet as he shoved their bodies towards the basement door.

Then just as he had a thousand times over in this dream—he would find her. Her pale legs over the edge of the stairs, her flannel nightwear ruffled—her still lukewarm body. Eyes open in a sense of shock, as if her dying moment came to her with such fright that it lasted her even in death.

Cold. Willard felt an empty feeling seep inside, whirling around on his feet, as if on instinct he knew what had happened.

On the top of the green cabinet staring at him with placid black irises, smooth arranged brown fur was Ben.

"What are you so happy about?" His voice was cracking, a mixture of hate and fear, "Do you know what will happen, first they'll take her away—then me—then this house—and then you!"

The rodent's response was always the same: a blank, a mirthful feeling seemed to fill his eyes.

Then the nightmare would change, he could hear himself screaming his words of hatred at the brown rodent—as the police neared his home—as Cathryn stood out his doors pondering in nervous confusion. His house was falling around him; Ben's family was surrounding his crawling body as he pressed against the barricaded kitchen door. Socrates was dead; all that surrounded him were evidence of his own betrayal—of Ben, of Martin. Evidence that clawed, scratched, and bit at his cringing writhing body as they ransacked his entire world.

Further still, did this dream push him into his misery—it took him into the place of his last freedom. Up into the stairwells, to the observatory of the gothic house. Where the last battle had taken place—as he fell into the rats below him the world seemed to shatter. His hands twisting through the vermin as they tore at his clothing scratched his face—then he pulled free—grabbing the fire-poker quickly, instinctively. Forcing his exhausted body up the stairs, blood pouring from his cuts blinding his vision. When he stumbled to the top, the poker still in-hand eyes forward as he beheld the loathed creature, sitting in a pool of its own blood. Still as Willard watched Ben murderously he could still feel that the chestnut rat was laughing at him—laughing at him.

Holding the poker as one would a lance, he drove it at Ben—piercing his main body with it—Willard smiled wildly at the feel of the rod hitting warm flesh. This was better than killing Martin—this was more enjoyable.

Again, again—and again!

Until he felt the rodent fall back, certain he was dead Willard relaxed, letting the blood splattered poker fall loosely from his hand, hitting the ground with an irritable metallic noise. In an almost synchronized moment, the police had broken in—guns poised and yelling something Willard didn't quite recall for all he could hear was the ringing in his eyes—as they grabbed his collar, forcing him to the ground he gave no resistance. He let them slip the cuffs over his bony wrist—pulling him up to a stand they began reading the Miranda Rights—another thing he could not remember in clarity. As they pulled his wary body down the black stairs, he noticed the rodent where it lay, blood covered its entire furry body exposing flesh and in places even the irony bone. Yet as he last caught a glimpse of Ben, he could swear the rodent's whiskers twitched and his eyes opened harshly.

"He's alive!" Screaming in terror, he remembered his struggling against the tight arms of the officers that held either of his sides, "I have to kill him—let me go!"

They didn't listen to him; they just pulled him further—until he was screaming in the streets— "He's still alive! He's going to kill me."

Then his eyes would snap open, fear gripping him—as sweat poured down his face. He was looking into the irises of the white rat in which he held. Socrates, who knew his fears, and he said (as he did ever time this dream occurred): "He's still alive, I can feel it."

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Little became of this at first—until the day the detectives came—until then Willard thought it was only his speculation that Ben was alive—beginning to think he was even paranoid (as the doctors kept saying).

The detectives came in, all relaying questions (that had clearly been preset for a sane person who would give answers). They did not realize Willard had not spoken a word to anyone since they had took him from his middle-class house while he was screaming for all to hear— "He is still alive!"

The questions they asked made him ponder, doubting the fact that Ben was dead (as did the dreams he'd had): How easy is it to train rats, Willard? Could someone else do it, Mr. Stiles? What kind of rats did you use?

Did they not understand? It was Ben—only him—no one was behind him. No human force could ever control the Rat King.

Several weeks went by, the detectives still prodding at Willard—in hopes of what? That he would miraculously begin to explain the sudden events; that he would tell them whom this "person" was doing the murders, what did they expect him to say?

One foolish novice detective, in his fury, stormed from the room throwing to the side a pile of manila folders that scattered across the floor. Not quite knowing how to approach this—Willard stayed solidified until he was for certain the doctors or even the detectives wasn't within earshot of him. Gently sliding to the end of the bed, as Socrates noticing the change popped his furry face out from his place within Willard's navy hospital gown, reaching down gently with his stiff fingers he opened the first of the folders.

Crime scene pictures, gruesome ones—the first of a bloody corpse lying face down in a drainage ditch, tattered clothing, appearing to be almost skinned alive. Willard curiously thumbed through the rest of the file, in a detached manner—looking dully at each mauled corpse—when he had reached the end he threw them to the side.

Socrates who had been, the whole time, on his shoulders was sniffing peculiarly at Willard's ears. When he turned to him, the white rat shrank back—rubbing its face, in a near shamed way.

"What are we going to do?" Willard questioned as he retreated back into the safety of the dingy bed, pulling the sheets over his collar. After a moments time, "Socrates!"

He held the rat within his hands—petting it with his index finger he calmly said, "Can you find, Ben?"

The blank expression of the rodent held no answer.

"You can tell him can't you—hold him off for me—tell him I'm in here to pay for what I have done to him." Willard smiled viciously, "Tell him…I'm sorry."

Socrates eyes seemed to grow blacker.

"It's not a lie!" Willard argued in a cynical voice, "I have to think of some way to get rid of him, don't I? Its just a little bending of reason!"

Socrates blinked as his tail began to sway—obviously he didn't believe Willard's apology. Would Ben even take such an apology—the King of the Rats take such a lame excuse to buy time?

It was all Willard could think of to hold off the rats—which in his own head, or perhaps not—were out there waiting for him.

He was the true target of the ill-hearted Rat King; it was only a matter of time before Ben would come after him.

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Authoritrix Notes: I hope I didn't make too many errors in this one, please inform me if I did—or if you liked/disliked it. I'm my own worse critic and I don't like it. o.O Is there any hope for the rest of the world??? I kind of apologize for the comedy at the very last—I felt like it. T.y.