Book One of the series By: Darren Shan (D is for Darren while S is for myself) I do not own any of the characters, story plot,ect.
D: Screaming. Deafening cries. Looking around, wondering who's making such a racket and why they aren't being silenced. Then I realize it's me screaming. In a white room. Hands bound tight by a tight white jacket. I've never seen a real one before, but I know what it is-a straight jacket.
S: I stand up hesitantly, searching the room of my padded white cell.
D:I stumble to the plastic panel on a door leading into the room, there's no light on outside so it's mostly reflective. I look at myself in the makeshift mirror. My eyes aren't my own-bloodshot, wild, rimmed with black circles. Lips bitten to shreds. Scratches on my face, self inflicted. The door opens and I fall back in freight. A large woman comes in and smiles. "It's okay. I'm Leah. I've been looking after you."
"Wh –wh,…where am I?" I gasp. "Some place safe." She gives a smile. "It's all up hill from here." She bends and talks again. "Now that you've snapped out of your delirium, we can work on,…" I lose track of what Leah's saying. Behind her, in the doorway, I imagine a pair of demons-Vein and Artery. The sane part of me knows they aren't real, just visions, but that part of me has no control over my senses anymore. Backing up against the padded walls, I stare blankly at the make believe demons as they dance around my cell, make crude gestures and mimed threats. Leah goes on talking. The imaginary Vein and Artery go on dancing. I slip back into the shell of my nightmares-almost gratefully.
S: I've been like this for who knows how long. Glancing to see if either of the demons are there. If they are, I shiver and cry in fear. If they aren't, I back up to a corner where I think they can't get me. From behind at least.
D:In and out. Quite moments of reality. Sudden flashes of insanity and terror. Time dragging or disappearing into nightmares. No ordinary time. The doctors always stress the importance of time.
S: They set up several clocks in my cell, digital with a children's safety plug of course. They have a schedule for me, when to eat, when to shower, what time to go to bed. But the visions and racking pain never faltered. So they tried something new.
D: Lots of pills and injections. Leah says it's only temporary, to calm me down. The drugs numb me to the nightmares, but also to everything else.
S:I get used to them, since they're put in my schedule, but other than that, I just stare at one of the clocks, and count the minutes until my next pill.
D: Off the pills. Coming down hard. Screaming fits. Fighting the nurses. Craving numbness. Needing pills! They ignore my screams and pleas.
S: Telling them about Vein and Artery. Hoping that they'll see I need them. Doctors shaking their heads. Me groveling at their feet. Nobody believes me when I'm talking about Demons.
Gradual improvement. I lose my craving for drugs, and no longer throw fits. But I don't progress as fast as the doctors hoped. I keep slipping back into the world of nightmares, losing my grip on reality.
S: They tried getting me to open up, but I tell them the same old story they don't want to hear. Demons killed my family, Vein and Artery chasing me, deep thoughts stealing my soul.
D: They don't believe my story, , so they can't truly understand me, so they can't really help me. So I fight them out of spite and fear.
Somewhere in the middle of the confusion, relatives arrive. The doctors think an outside force might help my condition. Aunt Kate's first. She'll latch onto me and weep. Wanting me to get better, asking me to let the doctors help me, so we can live together and be a family. More relatives come. I don't respond to any of them. I do my best to give them what they want – I'd love it if they could cure me – but it's difficult.
S: To take away the Demons and their master from my mind. The masters ungodly smile, Artery's flickering eyes, Vein's blooded human hands. To take it all away would be a blessing, but the only blessing for that is death.
D:The institute. Days-weeks? Months?- Later. Lots of questions. I don't answer or else I grunt in response. They don't understand. They can't. If it was an ordinary illness, they could fix me. But I've seen demons rip my world to pieces. Nobody believes that, so nobody knows what I'm going through. I'm alone. I always will be. That's my life now, that's just the way it is.
The relatives stop coming. The doctors stop trying. I have long periods by myself. Tired most of the time. Headaches. Imaginary demons everywhere I look. Hard to keep food down. Growing thin. Sickly. I draw into myself more and more. Hardly ever speak. Avoid eye contact. Fingers twitch and head twists with fear at the slightest alien sound. Getting worse. Going down hill. There's talk of new pills.
S:Years have passed, I'm still in this little white room I call home. Sanity checks in once in a while, though mostly I lay awake and wait for Lord Loss to come into my dreams, even those were never safe in the end. In the shadows, Artery's eyes fix upon me, the flames growing bright. His smile shows jagged teeth and his head is covered in cockroaches. Vein snarls at the other corner, then laughs as it's master appears in front of my nerve racked form.
"Hello Grubb stitch," It sounded like the pain of all mortals, and the ending of life. I clawed my face and screamed, tears rolled off my face like it was a waterfall. I kicked myself back into the wall and dragged my knees to my chest. They were heavy and my heart accelerated in beating. I twisted my upper half to start ripping off the wall, to find a new way out, to not be any where but near this Demon master and his minions. I actually started making tears in the white fabric, moving faster , my nails dug in deeper.
"Why Mr. Grady, " He acted as if he called on me at school for doing something shocking. "You wouldn't think you could escape me twice, did you?" He advanced, the two long strips of his flesh slowly advanced toward me. "STOP!" I yelled, my voice soaked in horror and fear as the tears came fresh.
"You may have escaped me before, but never again." His mouth twitched into a smile, blood trickling out of the cracks. I sobbed harder than before, if that was possible. "Your ending is here." Closer he came, dragging it out as he slowly crossed the floor. I tried stripping the wall with all the effort I could, even then my nails began to bleed. With every new dig more blood poured out, and the pain I felt was excruciating. I was cornered, like a helpless mouse. Lord Loss laughed. I kicked and swung my arms everywhere I could, trying to hit a target, my only defense. My leg smacked something hard. I heard someone fall. I opened my eyes to see Leah lying on the floor, my pills and water strewn about with her. A doctor and another nurse were in the room. "He's worse than I thought." The doctor said, the nurse nodded in agreement. What I had gone through was just another nightmare.