Hello all! Me here again. I'm working on my other fics so be patient.Just put this up for the Halloween fest, even though this fic mentions nothing about Halloween but that's beside the point. :P This is a bit weird and shall make little sense perhaps, but that's okay. Not scary at all, just suspenseful. Written while I was happy at one point, depressed at another, and just plain weird later on. So this is weird too.All I can say is I hope you enjoy it, and that this starts off a bit abruptly. And the ending sucks but well, I try. So go read! Or you could just look at the computer screen while daydreaming about cookies... whoo.
Should Not Be
All he could feel was the stinging pain in his side. He stumbled on the metal threshold, holding out his hands forward to catch himself. He felt his veins burn so harshly that he could almost feel the fragile blood vessels burn through their material. Everything was growing dark, his vision obscured by the shadows of eternal might.
All because he didn't see the man pull out the needle from his sleeve in time.
Just for one second- one measly second- he let his guard down and already the poison was working in his veins.
Gasping in shock and slow pain, the animal collapsed in a heap, but still had enough strength to glare at the large man who stood before him with a jubilant grin. He would have given anything to rip off that smug face, but his vision kept getting worse.
Distant shouts entered his range of hearing and a flurry of bodies stood between him and the large man. Several hands grabbed him in helpful aid, while others went against the smiling other. More defiant yells until all was quiet and the man disappeared in metal clanking against metal. He knew that he had escaped. The thought made his mouth dry up from rage. He tried to shove away the hands, but the world was spinning while a discordant symphony of voices shouted, "Hang on! It's all going to be okay!"
No… no, it's not… it's not…
He blinked. What was that voice? Who was that voice? It was not his own, yet it resounded in his mind like a foretelling knell. The strong helpful hands carried his useless body, already a sheen of perspiration coating his brow. But the world felt much too cold…
He turned his head and spotted an all too familiar face. The eyes locked into his sight with determination, vigor, and an impenetrable will that had been held in those orbs during such situations.
A sound escaped his throat, only to slowly fade into an inaudible whisper. But the face stayed imprinted in his unconscious memory, and only numbness pervaded his senses.
I'm trying to run…
Opening tired eyes, he tried to make sense of the strange world surrounding him from all sides. Everything seemed unfathomable, all images blurry and surreal like a dream. He was dimly aware of the soft bed holding his battered body. Turning to the side, he winced slightly from a sore ache. Gazing down, he spotted a small but distinct mark on his left side.
Grimacing, he attempted to rise, hanging onto a nearby nightstand for balance. But the world just kept spinning like before, and everything bombarded into his brain like the scream of earth-shattering missiles. Then it got louder, louder, squeezing his brain, shattering the skull.
It wasn't long before he started screaming.
A snake's bite had plunged into his wrist, the poison sliding down his veins, mixing with the life-blood, killing the cells, making him weak. He could see it all too clearly as if he were drowning into that crimson tide, drowning in his red-stained life. He wrapped his hands around his head, trying to curl in upon himself to block out those sights and sounds. He was burning inside, someone was setting fire to his innards, scarring the intestines then pulling it by the roots until they dragged onto the floor with a horrid smear.
Then those hands came again, reaching for him from whatever hell he was sinking into. Their voices gave words of comfort that in reality gave no comfort at all. Their tones were too harsh for his ears, their hands too rough. Shrieking, he pushed them away and barreled through the bedroom door as he searched for the way out of the maze-like house. They were screaming at him once more with those words, "Come back! It's all going to be okay!"
No! No, it's not! It's not!
He realized now that he was screaming that phrase.
Running like a madman, the animal escaped the confining shelter, dashing off as the moon watched in a laughing silence.
What the hell is wrong with me? What is going on? I don't… I can't…
The only answer to all of those questions was actually very simple.
And he followed that answer to the utmost of his ability. He ran, and his legs never tired. The shrieking of the wind blotted out the shrieks of his mind. The concentration he needed to watch for obstacles on the path evaded him from dwelling on the fears of his malady. The exertion given to his rasping lungs took him away from the pain in his side that continually spread through his form.
He had to admit it. He was scared. Scared of this silent killer running inside him, devouring his guts, tearing through him with poisoned claws. The logical thing to do was to have stayed back at the house and let himself be helped by those who knew what aid they could give him. He could recall now the visages of his friends, faces etched with fright and worry as he screamed at them, shouting like a banshee let loose from its prison.
But… it was getting so hard to think now… What was happening to him?
He banished those thoughts and did the only thing he could do now. And that was to run, just enough so that his head was clear once more.
He could find a way out of this. He was Sonic, damn it! He was Sonic the Hedgehog. He had gone through much worse than this, much worse. He would survive this like anything else that had challenged him. All he required now was courage.
He had plenty of that, of course.
Giving a pain-filled grin, he pumped his legs to a faster speed until he became only a blur to the world. This would all work out. He just needed to run, to escape those thoughts that flitted around his ailing skull.
So he ran.
Because it was the only thing he knew what to do at the time.
I'm trying to run…
But my legs won't move…
He shivered in a constant tremor, teeth chattering against each other viciously. The toxin had made its way through him, eating away in a steady cadence that he could almost hear his guts being chewed upon. The thought made him want to wretch.
He wasn't sure where he was now. He could only see a vast expanse of oak trees that stared down at him from their imposing height. For some reason, just the sight of them was making him want to scream. Everything now seemed magnified in his sight that he felt so small and insignificant. Nothing was making sense anymore. Already an uncontrollable fear began to flood his already ill mind. He still kept on running, willing the wind to scream louder so that they could block out the terrible thoughts taking over. His arms and legs struck against low-hanging branches, scratching the flesh, sometimes so deep they created inch-long gashes. Soon he became bathed in the red liquid, warm against his skin.
He suddenly got the idea that if he bled long enough, the poison inside him would drain away. Drip by drip, the substance escaped his weakening body…he could get a sharp enough branch right now and speed along the process, plunging into the fragile skin, spill it all out…and then it would all end…
Wait… No! No, he could not do that! No! What was he thinking? What was… Why?
Frightened by such terrifying thoughts…that…self-mutilation…he ran even faster now, taking more caution as to dodge the grasping boughs that were clawed like a hawk's piercing talons. Because right now he had to run, before he could tire out, he had to run to somewhere.
I'm trying to run…
But my legs won't move…
The voice hit him head on.
He stumbled in his sprint, nearly hitting another branch that reached for him eagerly. The pain in his legs was beyond agony. Unbearable. He screamed in a torment-filled cacophony, his nerves shooting up and down, screaming in the wails of the damned. He nearly fell face down in the grass, just hanging on by one of the branches that had so brutally punished him with their natural viciousness. On instinct, he looked down at his legs.
His eyes shot wide.
What the… no… no…
A sorrowful moan passed his lips.
He didn't have any legs.
Now they were just two bloody stumps, ripped to shreds just below the knee. Tendons hung like tattered rags, trailing their elixir of red in fated drops. Grisly like something that came out of a horror movie. The pain increased ten-fold at the sight. He could feel tears of rage and agony come to his eyes. Looking behind him, he saw the bits of flesh hanging from the branches, clutching the pieces of him greedily. He could have sworn he heard laughing.
I'm trying to run…
But…I don't have any legs…
He fell, and the blood flowed forever like an ongoing river, transforming into an ocean of lost red.
The world was laughing at him and all he could do was scream.
Air entered his lungs in a brutal current, giving the much needed oxygen for him to breathe. He gasped as he was brought awake, eyes shot and red-rimmed as if he had consumed a vast amount of alcohol in his body the past night. He was laying on the grass, limbs akimbo and aching from his throes of the nightmare. The trees still surrounded him in the rural area, but seemed to gaze down at the unfortunate being
Instantly he swerved his glazed eyes below him.
There were his legs; whole and intact, with a few harmless scratches decorating their surface from his previous run. He sighed in profound relief but his mind was not calm until he ran his hands against those limbs to confirm that they were indeed real and not wishful thinking.
He shifted his gaze to his tired body. Couple of bruises here and there, but nothing extreme.
But he was covered with blood not too long ago.
He shuddered with remembered dread, the image of his torn legs rising foremost in his vision. He was on the verge of tears, but he angrily heaved in a deep breath. When did he his imagination run wild like that? Never like that.
Picking his head up, he beheld the sun-dappled forest and for now, the world was beautiful to his eyes, making him momentarily forget the tinges of a frightful nightmare.
He shivered again.
The poison…it was getting worse. What did that fat Egghead put in that injection anyway? It not only messed with his body, it messed with his mind, taking it on shock and thrill rides, taking him up to the pinnacle of madness then plunging him into a crash that may very well end in his death. He could not do this alone, he needed help. He had to go back to his friends. But he could barley remember which direction he had come from. Yet he had to find someone, someone who would banish the images from his head-
The thought struck his mind like chime, interrupting his course of thought. Amy. Of course. She can help him! Yes, yes she can. Somehow, he just felt she could. Yes, that was the solution. The others became forgotten in that moment as if they had never existed.
Feeling his age-old confidence come back, he began a slow jog that gradually rose to a rapid sprint. The wind once again screeched in his ears like a welcome choir. He pictured the young female hedgehog's face and felt his fears dim into those unwelcome shadows of the night.
He was Sonic the Hedgehog. He can… he will overcome this.
He found her immediately. She was outside the same house where he had left so abruptly just the other day. Her quills were ragged as if she was weary beyond her capacity. Every few moments she turned to a direction, as if she had been waiting for someone. Her feet shifted on the ground as that of impatience.
He ran up to her, his legs suddenly so tired, so very tired. Like… they would fall off.
He dissuaded the thought immediately.
"Amy!" he cried out in a broken voice, suddenly so happy to find a familiar face in this strange world. The addressed girl swiveled her pink head to him. The look on her face seemed strange to him. Though there was an obvious relief, there was none of the infatuation or the joyful and rosy love she would always give him when she spotted him near or far. Just relief… that's it.
Huh… why is that? And why did he… suddenly care for it?
Fear took hold of him again. The same fear that gripped him when he believed that he lost his legs.
But he did not dwell on it long as the girl ran up to him, shouting in her pure voice. "Where have you been? We've all been so worried about you! What happened?"
The genuine sincerity of her words released the gates of his soul. Soon in a torrential downpour, he reiterated the images he had been plagued with, the terrible fear and alarm he had experienced. He even told her about the sudden loss of his legs, and running through a world that was no longer familiar to him anymore. All this he said with such feeling until, overcome by his own intensity of emotion, he attempted to wrap his arms around Amy, nearly crying as he felt the fatality of the toxin flood his veins and corrupt his heartfelt tears. He sobbed her name over and over, his barriers breaking down until he was a child once more.
But it was odd…
Amy gently pushed him a little, just enough so that he could face her from a better distance. She was speaking words of comfort, her green eyes with such caring, saying how all would be all right.
But…although there was real care in her face… there was no love…
He panicked, clutching at her desperately, asking her why, what did he do wrong, why is she so distant with him now, why why why did she no longer love him like she used to?
Confusion… all over her face. "What… are you talking about?"
Oh no, oh no, oh no no no…
"Amy!" he cried with more force and passion than he originally intended. He still clutched to her like a lost child. He repeated the questions again. Why was she so distant? Why does she look at him that way? She no longer loves him? Not Sonic? Does she not love Sonic anymore? Don't you love me any more? Why why why?
Now Amy's confusion was replaced by utter fear as she hastily stepped back, leaving him holding onto cold air. There was a great sadness and pity in her emerald eyes as she looked at him. But mostly pity, that was apparent enough. Her next words shattered the fragile madness as the shards pricked his eyes, letting out a confused flow of the heart.
"But…you're not Sonic…"
No holy knowledge of the universe or great philosophical epiphany. He did what most other creatures would do when faced with an unpleasant truth. He ran across the world with only the blurred images of laughing trees and deceptive faces.
What else could he do anyway? She had just said he wasn't Sonic. Not Sonic. Not Sonic. No, not Sonic. You're not Sonic.
Not Sonic? Not Sonic!
He had immediately left after that, eyes enraged in such a horrid fashion that they glared with a frightening light held inside. His breath came out in ragged huffs, a beast trapped in a corner, then doing anything that came to his mind. His broken, saddened mind.
Not Sonic. Not Sonic. Not Sonic.
The branches lashed out at him again with their eager claws, ripping through in perverse jubilation. Oh, he knew that this time it was not a dream. Too real now, because he could not feel any pain as he had before. So therefore, this was real now. Right? Right?
Oh, they were all lying to him, right? Lying to him. Lying to their hero. After all he did for them, for the world, they… she… just flat out lied to his face.
There was a cliff ahead of him hanging over the vast canyon, possibly ten stories high, jutting with randomly placed sharp rocks on its steep climb. Thoughts bounced around his head in confusing patterns, and he did not attempt to even slow down once he reached the precipice. He knew he tripped over the crag, and that the rocks sunk into his flesh every moment or so, and that he was screaming in such ungodly pain and shouting venomous curses that boiled his blood. There was a cracking sound and he envisioned his skull making nice, jagged patterns across its pale, shining surface.
Then a rib shattered in two with the broken end piercing one of his vital organs. Yet it did not hurt, just a discomfort.
No, not like the pain that clanged in his head like a foretelling knell, like a funeral bell. Those god-damned funeral bells.
Not Sonic. Not Sonic. Not Sonic.
Then… who am I?
He thought he heard someone shouting.
With a groggy conscious, he found himself lying underneath a pile of sharp rocks with only his head free from the weight to allow him to breath. His body was drenched in what appeared to be blood and water mixed. A small pool of water held his frame, barely five inches deep, not enough to cover his head and drown his last remaining life. It was like Mother Nature wanted to prolong his suffering and madness a little bit longer.
He blinked at the random notion. Why was that funny? Trapped underneath certain death, not able to move, bones cracked and shattered, so… this was funny?
Yes, it was so damn funny.
But his voice held an ominous tremor that reverberated off the canyon's walls, much like the gibbering bouncing in his skull. His laugh was oddly high-pitched, mocking, sneering, at the events that befallen him, at the pathetic individual that was perched between the barriers of life and death.
And to think this all started because of one measly second, when he finally messed up and the thought to be everlasting luck finally eroded away. What a bitter twist of fate.
He would have kept laughing until Death finally came to slit his throat with the dreaded scythe had he not heard the calls shouting for him. Or… he thought they were shouting for him. Something was not right about it.
A scuffing of dirt against stone and an inhaled breath of exertion commenced before the figure came before him, saying words that were deaf to his ears that the only way he knew the other was speaking was because the lips moved. Hands moved the large rocks off his body, then making their way to grab his arms and lift him from his spot. He could see the lips mouthing in eerie silence, "Hang on. It's all going to be okay."
No…no, it's not.
NO NO NO NO NO!
He was drowning in poisonous waters that flooded his veins, burning him from the inside, roasting his guts in sickening pleasure. There was nothing else he could have done except push the other away and try to rip off that face. Because he stole his identity, the other stole his identity. The faker… THE FAKER!
A kick pushed against his midriff in astonishing force, making him knock against the large rocks strewn across the earthen floor. He growled like a vicious, rabid animal as he made his way to the other again just to be knocked away in repeated fashion. He could detect words of anger and confusion and once again see those eyes full of vigor and strength.
Those eyes should be mine.
Somehow, he fell headfirst into the small water pool, his head drenched in the fluid until he coughed up blood that marred its small depths. Tentatively, he raised his weary eyelids, because in the crevices of his mind he knew what would come next and that his last precarious hold on sweet sanity would loosen, and he would fall onto the jagged spikes that the madness had manifested just for him.
Red…red eyes glazed with lost reason. Quills slightly upturned with midnight black as that of eternal night and the shadows suffocating him, streaks of crimson maiming his frame on arms and legs.
I'm…I'm not Sonic…
He screamed and the only wish he had now was to tear apart the world, bit by bit from its foundations.
WHO AM I? WHO AM!
A blur of cobalt passed by and the trees laughing overhead, next held down by wide-eyed faces, saying those god-damned words over and over and over, a spell cast on him to calm his mind. But all it did was heighten the tension and loose his grip on what was reality. He tried screaming again, bloodlust singing in his veins with the acrid venom of failure.
But there was nothing but darkness within.
Sonic, the azure hedgehog with emerald eyes that shined, paced across the floor of the house with trepidation and confusion. Scratch marks lined his peach arms, and one large, dark blue-black mark maimed the right side of his face from the previous scuffle. Not one given the gift of patience, he anxiously looked toward the door, wondering why it was suddenly so quiet.
Quiet, for there had been screams to wake the dead recently.
He put a gloved hand to his injured face, remembering the visage of pure madness and terror that took over Shadow's bearings. All the time screaming incoherently, his arms brutally riddled with scars, shouting faker over and over like a maddened litany.
He kept saying that he was Sonic, but the moment Shadow saw his reflection in the pool, he screamed in such intense emotion that could not be placed. Only thing that Sonic could do was knock him out to avoid another thrashing from the mad black hedgehog, then carry the burden all the way back home.
Both Rouge and Knuckles ordered the hedgehog to wait outside while they treated Shadow of his affliction. Even though Sonic argued of the fact that young Tails got to stay in the room, only to be countered by Rouge's reason that Tails was smart enough to better understand the situation and he wasn't. (Though he did not like the comment on his intelligence). The two-tailed fox said he could come up with an antidote if given enough time, and for that he needed to examine Shadow for his test. The poison had invaded every artery, flooding his brain with its deadly serum until it could no longer breathe. It had only gone worse with time when he was brought back the first time from the fight. It appeared that Eggman had devised a new type of weaponry. Something that completely erased the victim and left their mind empty of anything.
There was a crash, and Sonic immediately swerved toward the door, but no other sound accompanied it. That only heightened his tension, the seconds stretching thin as he was later able to detect soft mutterings that seemed to come from a certain annoyed echidna. But other than that, nothing.
Her gentle voice parted his worried thoughts, a calm breeze that caressed the face lightly. He turned to find the young pink hedgehog just a couple of feet away from him, tired lines touching her face. She also gazed to the door for a bit, until fully locking her gaze onto his.
"Hey, Amy." Sonic shifted his feet, casting a momentary look to her before going back to the door. The past impatience had slightly faded away now, and a quiet serenity flowed around him as the girl stood by him. They both looked to the wooden barrier of the room, the sounds from the other side getting louder and more adamant.
"He… came earlier today while I was waiting for you when you left to go look for him… I knew when I saw him that something was wrong." Amy spoke abruptly, her mouth forcing out the words in a sort of need. Sonic flicked one ear, indicating that he listened, though his stare was still directed forward. "He even began to talk like you, not in his usual self. Then he started to cry and scream before he ran away… What did Eggman do to him?"
The blue hedgehog sighed inwardly, recalling the earlier mishap of their excursion to the doctor's lair to yet again foil another of his plans for world domination. Shadow had decided to help, just this one time, he said. Just this one time, and he had been a second too late before Eggman plunged the needle in his side, then escaping with his robot guardians.
Sonic never thought Shadow would make such a simple mistake as that, to be just a tiny bit slow. And then seeing the sudden fear in the red eyes that had not been strong enough.
He felt Amy's hand slip silently into his own. He responded with his own grip, feeling a bit more at ease.
Except now there were screams again.
Both hedgehogs blinked at the interruption, hearing Shadow yelling in what could have been called terror, accompanied by large crashes of furniture and the pleas of others in the room. Sonic immediately barged into the room, ripping the door from its lock with a resounding clang, followed by the concerned Amy.
The area was in an uproar, most of the objects that had been flung across the room now laying dejected on the hardwood floors. Shadow growled in primal rage, so vicious were his actions he had been tied to the bed with thick straps fastened tight around his spasmodic body. But already they were snapping off, his eyes shining in pure madness.
"Shadow, please calm down!" Rouge shouted, using her own weight to keep him lying on the bed. Knuckles on the other side of the black hedgehog tried Rouge's same tactic, him having a bit more luck.
"Damn it, we're just trying to help you!" the echidna grunted, already having been socked in the face ten times today from Shadow's unpredictable swings. "Tails, don't you have anything else to help him with? I don't think that drug you gave him is working!"
The two-tailed fox was in safe distance from the pandemonium in the center of the room, searching tiredly through papers lined foreign numbers and syringes filled with unidentified medicines. "I checked his status! That antidote should have cancelled out the poison already! It must be too strong to destroy now!"
Sonic heard the frantic speech of the young boy, then walked up cautiously toward Shadow who had by now flung off the female bat toward the wall. Knuckles was having an even tougher time detaining the hedgehog by himself. Sonic rushed forward, stopping a punch that had been aimed toward the struggling echidna, wrestling with the black hedgehog's strength.
"Shadow! Stop it! You can get through this! It's going to be all right!"
For a moment, the mentioned animal stilled, eyes glazing oddly, teeth bared to reveal sharp canines, quills frazzled from his act. Shadow seemed to have a regained some sense of sanity, but it was soon replaced by his screams as he pushed away both Sonic and Knuckles to the floor. The leather straps tore off completely from his abnormal strength, now getting up from the bed, eyes glinting dangerously.
"No… it's not going to be all right! It's not! It's not!" He was looking at Amy now with an unfamiliar look to his face. "None of you know… none of you… who am I? Who am I!"
"Somebody stop him!" Amy yelled frightfully from her standpoint. Sonic mounted back up, then tackled his dark look-alike in a harsh impact, resulting in a shattered bed.
Shadow collapsed to the floor, trembling from his spot. Sonic stood over him, fists poised for another attack. But the other remained where he was, still trembling, his voice coming out in terrified whispers.
Sonic took a step back, not out of caution for a counter, but of the words he was hearing. Shadow's cheeks became wet with tears as he continually whispered, deep confusion lying in every note, his place in this world now completely gone from memory and soul, devoid of purpose.
Shadow looked up to the blue hedgehog towering over him, spotting green eyes which gave more emphasis to his words again and again. It was a cycle he was trapped in forever, and he despised the one who gave root to this unavoidable madness, until both realized that there was nothing left to salvage in that mind.
I am Sonic. I am Sonic. I am Sonic.
So... how was it? I am aware that the ending is kind of lame, but eh. Out of characterness but I wrote this for fun, so ha. Hope you somewhat liked it. I shall be busy this November! Yep! See ya some other time!