Title: Toxicity

Summary: Vermiform: A monster. Vermification: To become one. Edward and waking darkness.

Disclaimer: I don't own Infinite Undiscovery.

His hand burns.

It's fire flaying the skin, dancing across in rivers of agony, burning, blackening, twisting, cracking, crumbling -

It's acid eating to the bone, dissolving flesh, etching the markings of a god onto his soul with pain, pain painpainpain -

It's pressure like a hammer on an anvil, squeezing, grinding, crushing, bones to dust to dust and ashes to ashes -

It pulls, it twists, like metal to a magnet, like a collar on a dog and Master is calling -

When he was a child, his nurse (never his mother. Noble ladies are too important to raise their own children, Edward) sung him lullabies. The melody has faded, but the words rattle in his brain.

Song of the moon,

Going up in the sky,

As soft as a feather,

Of a lullaby

He chokes, can't breathe, hands curled into claws and they scratch at his neck, get it out, getitout and something is tugging on his hands.

"Edward! Edward!" Michelle calls but she's so far away, her voice wavers, fades in and out, distorted like she's underwater, or like he is. He forces his eyes open but all he can see is a blurred kaleidoscope of colours, pink and blue, like broken glass, a reflection in a puddle, nothing makes an image except the shadows that are everywhere and they are crawling -

The monster was made of shadows, he remembers suddenly. It was invisible at first, then when Capell played his flute, they could see it. Twisting and writhing shadows in a vague human shape, clawed and winged and deformed. Even when the monster had been killed had still been flickering, twisting and burning like black fire.

Those shadows are coming for him. They want to eat him, devour him, take his soul and burn it black, to ash, to shadow, to nothingness-

He is burning, his hands are burning, his glyph is burning, and it is shadows crawling across his arms, his face, he is drowning, he is flying, he is sinking into darkness and he is gone -

Slumber, my dove,

The night is deep,

The dark is a dream,

And sound asleep

And he screams, because the darkness is awake, and it is hungry.