Author's Note: Hiya guys. This story came to me one day a long, long time ago during school (isn't that where the most inspiration happens?!). It was originally a oneshot, but I decided to make it chaptered to make it easier for my readers. Yes I realize that Walter never/can't visit(s) Henry through the hole, but I guess I made an exception :P . This story contains somewhat graphic man on man lovin', and has brief RELIGIOUS themes. So if that in any way would offend you, I suggest you don't read. Anyway sit back, relax, and ENJOY.
Deliver Us From Evil
Henry did not want to move. Did not want to open his eyes. Didn't even want to breathe. His body ached with each rise and fall of his chest, and his head throbbed.
Each firing neuron felt as if hot nails were being driven into the area just above his eyebrow.
Henry's last run in with that water prison hadn't gone so well. Those.. creatures.. those two-headed freaks had caught him off guard with their bone-crunching swipes that left him sprawled out on the ground before he even had a chance to retaliate.
"Oooh, my God.." Groans, moans, words that one should repeat filled the small area of his bedroom over the last few hours as he tried to position himself just right on the mattress where his good side would be the only thing in contact with the comforter. Needless to say, he was failing.
Don't go out! –Walter (Henry's POV)
This man, this Walter probably couldn't even begin to understand what he was doing to me. Or hell, he probably could. He was.. watching me, as he so eloquently put it, wasn't he? What, was he some sort of sadistic bastard who got his jollies by watching innocent people suffer? No matter, what was I going to do..? I couldn't even move..
Nothing stung more to a man than being completely and totally at the mercy of someone else. I was trapped, trapped like a wolf caught in a snare, only I didn't exactly have the option of gnawing off my own leg to escape. I lay there, staring at the ceiling illuminated by the quickly dying light of the late afternoon sun. Everything looked so normal.. had I not been suffering from intermittent stabs of pain every time I inhaled, I might have even started to believe Cynthia's theory. This was all just a dream.. just a terrible, reoccurring, haunting dream that would eat away at my sanity if I let it.
Your sanity won't last long here..
Evil, distant laughter..humorous in a way twisted way that I might've started laughing too. I concentrated, eyes squinting up at the ceiling fan lazily turning. I heard that laugh.. I know I did. So clearly..
I just wanted this all to end. I just wanted this hellish slumber of mine to finally come to a close, and for me to really open my eyes. Grimacing, I carefully rolled over onto my back, hands draped uselessly on either side of my body. Even they felt heavy.. painful. I felt unbelievably dirty, filthy on a level even I could not comprehend. Yes, my body was wrecked, abused. But this filth was somewhere deeper than that.. it was in my soul which had become so encased in the horrors of the world beyond the hole that I could not recognize anymore. No, I had reached my wit's end. I didn't want to die just yet, but I didn't want to continue on like this..
"Walter.." The word felt like a curse. Really, who was this man? Why was he doing this to me? This ritual, these killings.. none of it made sense. Out of all the people in the world, he chose me.
"Walter…" A little louder this time. I couldn't tell whether or not I was calling to him or if saying his name.. comforted me. The thought of someone else being here with me in this hellhole, that maybe, just maybe, this psychotic man could be reasoned with, this was the only thing keeping me going. Deep down I knew it wouldn't work. I knew that Walter was beyond help.
"Goddamn you, Walter!" I cried, screaming in uncontrollable hysterics. No one could hear me. No one knew that I was trapped within my own home at the mercy of a man who believed it to be his mother. I cursed him over and over, voice breaking with each desperate shriek. I could feel the warmth of burning tears streaming in steady rivulets out of the corners of my eyes and soaking into the dirty pillow beneath my head.
Through the desperation and the sadness, a single, straying thought cut through the pain. I quieted and closed my eyes, inhaling a deep, calming breath through my nose. It was so silly to think that an old prayer could help me now. Wasn't it too late? But I persevered. "Our father, which art in Heaven, hallowed b-be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will.. will be done on e-earth as in h-heaven.." I paused, my mother's soothing voice massaging my tired brain with cherished memories of she and I kneeling before my bed as a child, reciting the very same prayer that I hoped help to protect me now. She'd always told me that He would look after me.. He would protect me from the evils in this world. Walter. "Give u-us our day by our daily bread—"
A loud noise, a bang sounded in the living room and the fear I could only describe as a familiar, sinking terror begin to constrict my chest, and I balled the sheets tightly within both fists. Ignore it.. Ignore it.. Ignore it.. God.. ignore it.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Heavy footfalls sounded abnormally loud against the carpeted floor, drawing closer and closer to the room where I lay prone and helpless. The prayer was getting harder to remember.
"And forgive our sin—right, forgive our sin, for we forgive everyone that is indebted to us!" Abruptly I stopped. On the door to my room, a slam that sounded like an elephant trying to break through the thin wood shook me to my already warped and rattled core.
Where is your god now, Henry..? I couldn't tell if the thought had been my own, but at this point it really did not matter. I was desperate for redemption. Please, save me..
"For we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.." Another bang. And another. "And lead us not into temptation—" The door was beginning to splinter underneath the stress. I wouldn't be getting any divine intervention. It was slowly but surely becoming apparent that my only companion here was the devil himself. I was in hell. God did not save people from hell. But still.. the prayer, I had to finish the prayer.. "Please, God.. please.. Deliver me from evil. Deliver me from evil Deliver me from evil!" My hysteric cries overshadowed the sound of the door finally falling free from its frame.
"Henry.." So musical was the sound, so mocking. I recognized the voice.
Even though I had been addressed, I continued to cry, begging whatever deity above for forgiveness for whatever I'd done to deserve this.
A weight, not much heavier than my own, pressed down on the mattress, and the strong, familiar scent of sweat and blood rose to meet my nostrils. "You're so beautiful when you cry.." I shuddered and started my prayer again, murmuring it almost psychotically underneath beneath my breath, head shaking violently back and forth.
So this was it. This was going to be the death of me. I didn't dare open my eyes.. No, I didn't want to see this person. He held a presence that none of the other monsters even came close to. Though they were terrifying, they were stoppable. Gritted teeth and brute force was all that was needed to put those nightmares to rest. This was different. This was the infamous Walter, wasn't it? How obedient he was if it really was him, for he really was always watching me..
"And give us our day by our daily bread.."
Laughing, the intruder began to playfully recite the words as I did, a surprisingly warm hand wrapping around my wrist, lifting it off the bed. He turned it over on to its pale, veiny underside and I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. I'd done all I could now, and I left my life in the hands of a force that did not truly exist. "And deliver us from evil." I fell silent, chattering teeth and shivering body the only movement in the otherwise still room. An eye forced itself open despite my better judgment, for a felt a something cool being pressed against the feverish skin on my wrist.
All at once, I wish I would have kept my eyes closed. I didn't want to see the long-haired, black-clad, sadistic man sitting before me, wearing the most content of smiles as he traced a line on my wrist with a knife covered in dried blood. His eyes rose and locked briefly with my own, a sheer look of sadistic interest behind those soulless, deep green irises.
"So pretty," He whispered. "Mother must love you.." The tears still flowed, no longer hindered by eyelids. They were tears of fear, of anger. I hated crying. I hated him. I shut my eyes again.
"Open your eyes."
It wasn't a question, nor was it a request. Despite this, I kept them firmly shut, not so much defiant as fearful. I didn't want his face permanently burned into my mind like so many others. He was the last things they saw, too. His other victims. Richard, Cynthia.. it pained me to think about her. At least she'd been a hundred percent convinced that this nightmare was just that, a nightmare. Without a word, I gave my head a brief, curt shake. There was a shudder in the mattress, signifying his approach. I could feel his scentless breath caressing my face. He was close. Too, too fucking close. "It's a shame, you hiding your beautiful eyes like that, Henry." Was this all a game to him?
The coolness touched my cheek, biting deeply into the skin without tearing it. I winced and cried out in surprise, hand rising instinctively to pull the knife away. His free hand caught my futile attempt, hand tightening around it so tightly that I could swear the bone was starting to split. Slowly, carefully, the sharp metal punctured the fleshy part of my cheek, right beneath my eye. It trailed downward in a single, clean cut. Warm was the blood that spilled eagerly forth, and, just as swiftly as he'd done the first one, he repeated the same procedure on the opposite side.
This was the final straw, the ounce of weight that shattered my resolve. Hazel eyes flew over, pupils dilated and eyes bloodshot. I tried to sit up, tried to get up, but the added adrenaline to a body well past its spent point had the opposite effect and this, coupled with the fear, made movement nothing more than a distant promise.
"Tears of blood. So much more befitting of you, my Receiver of Wisdom." The cuts weren't deep at all, more like thin, stinging papercuts. But the blood.. I felt it sliding down my cheeks in thick streams, burning the skin there like acid. I managed to turn again, opposite of him, the same hand that I'd tried to use to prevent this fiasco rising to clear at least a little of the red substance away before it could get into my eyes. But the hand.. so shaky and weak.. I groped at my face for a terrifying moment, feeling blood and tears all mingling in a dreadful cocktail, before Walter's strong grip defeated my own and I found my hand pinned to the mattress.
For the first time, I saw him so, so clearly. I'd seen him before, of course, in the other worlds, but those had only been fleeting glances, horrified, disbelieving looks toward a man wielding a gun or revving a bloody chainsaw. All the while he laughed as he chased Eileen and I, treating our encounters like amusing games of hide and seek. So content was his face, so rational.. if his hair wasn't so dark with grime and blood, this man could very well look like the friendly neighbor that no one suspected.
But I knew better.
I knew I was staring into the face of a person who killed and had killed in cold blood with no amount of regret or remorse. It was as if his victims were simply swine and he was the man who led them all to the slaughter. He felt nothing. He was nothing. "Why are you doing this to me?" A whisper, barely audible above my haggard breathing. The rib I'd hurt earlier positively screamed with pain and protestation at my abrupt movements before.
"Why?" The beast replied, sounding genuinely shocked, no mocking detectable in his tone. He shifted a bit, hovering over me again. His hand rose—open-palmed—and smeared the blood further across my cheeks, dying pallid skin deep red. I shuddered, still indignant and still frightened.. but what more could I do? Despite the cramped area of South Ashfield Heights, my cries fell on deaf ears. They couldn't hear me, couldn't see me.. I was trapped inside of this apartment at the mercy of a man who believed this cheap, disgusting place was his mother and would weather hell and high water to bring 'her' back.
"Why.." He repeated as he casually licked his palm, seeming as if he were simply taking a sip of coffee. "You want this, Henry.. you need me just as I need you. That is why."
For a sliver of a second, my fear simply.. melted away. It was replaced by insane, irrational laughter that I did not have the courage to fully voice. But the incredulous tone was clear in my voice. "Need you? Need you? I don't even know you! I knew you were crazy but how is it possible for someone to be so.. so idiotic. So dense. So—So—"
"Shy little Henry. You remind me of myself sometimes, you know. Before, your life was so mundane. You held no excitement, simply floating from day to day like a kindred spirit. You had nothing. You loved nothing. What is your purpose in this life, Henry? Tell me, what motivates you to open your eyes to another day of nothingness?!" Walter demanded, a mocking smirk drawing his blood-stained lips upward at their corners.
It's true, every word of it. Deny it all you want, Henry.
"I sensed your want of something different. It was fate itself that drew you to Mother, that led you to me. You are a part of something so much more bigger than the existence you were trapped in before. I have liberated you."
I won't deny wanting to try something new.. perhaps move to a nice, large city with lots of people and places to see. I'd dealt with the small-town life and this is what it got me. But to desire abuse and fear..?
"What kind of sick fuck are you?" I murmured beneath my breath. There was nothing else to discuss. No longer would I feel sorry for myself.. Walter certainly didn't. I forced myself up into a sitting position. There was nowhere to run, I knew, but back to Eileen and the hole where danger lurked as well. It was a giant circle of misery and torment, but it didn't matter. I would much rather be ripped to pieces by the creatures beyond the Hole than suffer the psychological pain that crippled my mind as well as my body.
Walter simply watched. "You're so angry. You're going to upset Mother.." His words were spoken as a strange sort of warning, but I ignored it. Legs sliding carefully over the side of the bed, I wobbled on to my feet, groping for the cold, battered piece of steel piping that I'd forgotten existed. Leaning heavily against the wall behind me, I raised the pipe above my head, the metal suddenly weighing a hundred times more than it had before.
After another tense moment, the beast stood, dusting off his jacket as if it weren't already spotted and stained.
"S-Stay away from me!" My voice broke, hardly sounding threatening at all. My hair fell over my eyes, becoming glued to my cheeks via the still-flowing blood, obscuring my vision for the most part.
Needless to say, Walter did not heed my request. He walked slowly around the bed as I'd pulled myself up on the opposite side near the broken door. "Henry, Henry, Henry.." He spoke my name with each echoing step he took. "You're such a pure soul.. so unsoiled despite what you may think. I want to touch it.. I want to taste your innocence…" He smiled again and I flattened myself against the wall, wishing I could melt into the corner in which I'd squeezed myself.
"Leave me alone.. No.. Leave me alone, now!" I held the pipe a little higher in some vain form of warning, but Walter remained wholly unfazed. He came to a stop before me, grizzled face barely inches from my own.
"Do it again, Henry." A drawl, low and deep. He looked even more bestial up close, despite eyes so wide that they feigned innocence. I did not request that he explain what he meant by the statement. Honestly, it didn't matter to me as I tried to will my arm which had become frozen in the air in a statuesque pose, too scared to complete the swing. "Call my name like you did earlier.. cry it, scream it. Let me hear your anguish.." His lips curled away from his teeth in a snarled smile. He knew he'd won. He knew that his efforts were slowly but surely starting to wear away at my defenses.
I didn't want to die like this. Anger surged, writhing up my shivering arm. "Rot in hell, you bastard!" The pipe descended, seemingly on its own. It was hard to tell whether it'd be swung or if I simply dropped it, but it made contact and that was all that mattered. The metal struck Walter's forehead with a loud thump, and in that moment of distraction I slipped past him. Limping, hobbling, breathing reduced to ragged gasps, I moved out of the bedroom and into the tiny hallway connecting the living room to the rest of the home. My road split here into two unsavory paths. I either faced the Hole and return to Eileen who was absolutely useless without my guidance or stay here and.. what? Using the wall as my guide, I moved after the chest swimming on the edge of my vision. Perhaps it was my salvation. Within it I kept holy candles and Saint Medallions.. I had never tested them on Walter but I was desperate.
"Our father, which art in Heaven.." It was an ethereal voice that originated nowhere and everywhere, mocking me with every painful step I took.
"Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come.." Everything hurt.. my legs, my chest, my face. The world was a mere blur of rusted brown now, spinning round and round, and round. Please. I'm so close.
I didn't make it to the chest, or even to the end of the hallway. The blackness of exhaustion slipped into the edges of my vision, its cool, coaxing fingers massaging away all the pain. I slid down the wall, what little strength I'd had in my body slipping out with one final, exhaled breath. My heart pounded, body flooded with adrenaline, but my will had been broken by this place a long, long time ago. I just wanted it all to end. I wasn't a hero. I'd given it all, and that wasn't good enough. Head bowed, I stared into my lap, watching drops of blood splatter onto my jeans. It was quiet. Maybe he'd gone.
"I thought you would have at least made it through the hole. I was looking forward to chasing you there."
No reason to look up.
A strong hand buried itself in my hair and pulled me forcibly upward and back onto my feet. It hurt.. yes, it hurt. But so many other aches kept me blissfully unaware. I stared, no doubt glassy-eyed into the inhuman eyes that belonged to the beast. "Say it now, Henry. Call to me. I like it when you say my name." Even though my weight was mostly focused back on my weary feet, the hand never left my hair.
"Walter." A harsh whisper, a word I wish I'd never learned of. It was like praying to the devil himself. His other hand had risen as well, but this one pressed my shoulder against the wall painfully hard. He moved forward, body flush against my own. At least now I didn't have to stand anymore.
So tired.. sleep, Henry.. sleep.. My mind had entered a state of delirium that hovered on the edge of consciousness and unconsciousness. But Walter would not let me rest, I knew. My eyes lidded, the man before me sliding in and out of blurred focus over and over again.
"No. No resting. Open your eyes." I complied, Walter's face now much, much closer than it had been before. I could see every little detail now, and that fear of having him burned into my memory became a reality in that moment.
"You smell like blood." I don't know why I made such a random observation, but to Walter it was no doubt a compliment. My voice was deadpan, void of any and all emotion.
I suppose he pretended that he didn't hear me as he trailed the hand that had held me in place upward, caressing my still bleeding cheek. "Mother.. She must be so proud of me. Selfishness is unbecoming, after all." I ignored the touch, the words, contemplating a sentence of my own.
"You smell like blood and sadness." I repeated, wincing as his fingers danced back downward, directly over the injured rib. His head buried itself in the crook of my neck, hand in my hair jerking my head off to one side to make room, his skin hot and clammy and sweaty all at once against my own. Hi hair, now parked beneath my nose, held no particularly pungent odor I discovered. Was any of this even real?
Limply I leaned against the wall, breathing as if I'd just run a marathon. So absent was the pain, so far away was the sting I felt associated with the cuts on my cheeks and whatever else he was doing to my neck. Teeth, lips.. lips, teeth..
Never did he bite me hard enough to draw blood. But it was just enough.. just enough to torment me, to make my head fill with misplaced impatience. "Just like b-blood.. an-and sadness.. and insanity.." I could barely hear myself, and I was sure that Walter hadn't heard and if he had it caused reaction.
But at last there was change.
My shirt was being unbuttoned, the place so slow and leisurely that the temptation to merely rip it off was mounted. I did not want to remove my clothing I didn't want to be there beneath Walter, but I just wanted it all to end.
Was it from me? Yes. Walter's teeth had sunk a bit deeper, still not penetrating, but the pain was still there as if he had.
"Are you going to kill me?" I don't why I asked. Perhaps Cynthia was right. This could all be a dream within a dream and the only way out was by death. I could be lying in the real real world right now, trying to be woken up by Eileen or the doctors. Walter actually graced me with an answer this time. His breath was moist and hot against the harassed skin of my neck.
"Twenty before twenty-one." He simply replied, words low and enigmatic.
Eileen. Oh, God.. Eileen. How could I forget about her? She was still in that damned other world, waiting on the other side of the hole for me to emerge. How long had she been waiting? Was she even still alright..? Without me, Eileen would die.
The cold steel again. This time pressed against my stomach, rising upward, tearing the fabric around the still closed buttons of my shirt. I thanked.. thanked God for the undershirt I wore until it became hopelessly clear that was why he'd taken it out in the first place. The harsh metal easily tore through the fabric, right down to the skin. Eventually the weapon came to a stop at the dip in the center of my throat.
The movement was so smooth and absent that he didn't even have to lean back to watch what he did.
I was starting to feel so, so weary. No, I wasn't starting to feel that way, but the weight on my shoulders felt as if it doubled with every excruciating second that passed. I leaned against him. I couldn't help it. I was on the verge of collapse.
"Henry..? Henry, no. Wake up!" He sounded like a child being denied his favorite toy. But of course this 'child' had the strength of a fully grown man and then some. He slammed me against the wall. Hard.
I screamed, stars bursting before my eyes. I'm not sure what happened after that. My eyes slid close despite my protest, but this time they didn't open again.