My original plan was to FINISH this on Halloween. Obviously that did not work out.
Three things I have to address in this:
1. This is dedicated to One Man Writing Games because she is amazing and I posted it tonight for her.
2. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a story written by I can't remember her name but she's a genius and I really really really shouldn't have stolen the concept for this, but just please understand that that was takend from her amazing story and if you haven't read it, do so NOW. I highly reccomend it. It won't really appear in alter chatpers either, so.
3. The painting is based off of a work hanging in my art classroom. I will try to get a picture up somewhere to show you all.
That being said, please enjoy I will love you all forever if you review I swear.
Ps this was totally giving me the creeps when I was writing it so. Keep that in mind. Also the title is BS so please try to ignore that department of fail. I was put on the spot.
"What's Griffin's problem, anyway?"
"Calm down, James, he doesn't have- well, maybe he does, but that's not the p-"
"The point is that Griffin hates us."
"He doesn't hate us, James, he just-"
"Has severe problems with us as a band under his company."
"Shut up, Logan."
"Carl- Is everyone here just to argue with me?"
"No. We're here because Griffin hates us."
Kendall heaves a defeated sigh and throws his arms up in exasperation. His ability to keep the band motivated and optimistic is failing, as it seems. He kind of sort of maybe a little agrees with James in the assumption that Griffin does, indeed, hate them, but that's in the back of his mind. In the front of his mind, an area Logan has recently found interest in torturing into a more logically-thinking sect, there is insightful speculation as to Griffin's ulterior motive, involving a taking enjoyment in tormenting Gustavo to no end until the poor man explodes in the insanity of it all, only succeeding in catalyzing even more suffering for himself. In short: Griffin loves to get on Gustavo's nerves. Messing with Big Time Rush is his way of doing so. Gustavo is frustrated to utter madness. The band, unfortunately, has to deal with the consequence of both.
What is it this time? The boys are required to give Griffin a tri-monthly performance for the mere purpose of reminding him why he continues to sponsor them. Today is one of those days, but again, in an effort to frustrate everyone, he is requiring them to show up at his corporate building rather than he at Gustavo's Rocque Records as per usual. It would be no problem, of course, if it weren't an hour and a half away from Rocque Records and the Palm Woods. Currently the guys are squashed together in the back of a limousine with Kelly as supervision, Gustavo stating clearly with a highly raised metaphorical chin that he was "too superior and amazing to be caught riding with a bunch of raunchy, slobbering dogs." Logan had taken high offense to this claim, but Gustavo hadn't had ears to hear it. A slamming car door was the only answer he'd received. Now three boys and an unlucky record producer's assistant are sentenced to hearing James' unending complaints of unnecessary measures taken by "freak-job rapists" who "don't give a damn about his hard-working money-making singing dancing puppet-monkeys."
"Very eloquently put," Logan comments.
"I thought we were dog-monkeys," Carlos says with confusion.
"Monkey-dogs," Logan corrects, and Kendall shakes his head, casting his eyes to the low ceiling of the car as if asking God in exasperation, why, why would he be so cruel in sticking him with these ingrates, especially for the past ten years of his life?
"Oh, it doesn't matter," he stresses, bringing his gaze back down to hold the attention of the other three. "Complaining isn't going to solve anything, so let's all try to look at the bright side for once."
"Yeah," Carlos pipes up after the short awkward silence of James' and Logan's obvious disagreement. "The world still has kittens."
"And people who kill them."
Carlos is all over James in a second, landing the most efficient punches he can manage any place he can reach and demanding furiously that he take it back as James squalls and screeches underneath him for him to get off, that he's ruining his hair. Kendall rolls his eyes again while Kelly attempts to go about breaking them apart; he has no idea why James is being so pessimistic today- nothing horrible happened this morning, everything was going just fine. The only negative thing in the day is the ridiculously long commute to Griffin's building in the land of far, far away, but James has never complained about that before. They've done it three times now, in their lone year of being together as a boy band. Perhaps it's just anxiety; lately Griffin has been getting more strict about his requirements for Gustavo's latest project, and James sort of does have a point with his claim of Griffin's always trying to find new ways to tear them apart. And maybe his "plans" are working, if they're getting to James this much. Kendall sighs; they're only making it easier for him to win.
Now if only he could find the correct words to relay this to James efficiently.
Finally Kelly manages to separate the two, and she doesn't even have to get out the blow horn- something Kendall is exceedingly grateful for. His poor ears already take daily abuse from Gustavo's lack of self-control, they don't need anything from Kelly, too.
The rest of the trip is filled with epic tales of James freaking out over his hair and how strand number three thousand six hundred eighty-two isn't in the exact position the he spent three hours this morning trying to fix it into, Logan correcting everything anyone says that has even the most remote speck of invalidity, and Carlos animatedly telling Kelly of his enthralling adventure this morning involving Lightning and his BB gun- plus a few corn dogs. Kelly tries to keep up with his rapid, scrambled pace of talking while understanding every word- though even half of his words would be a feat. Kendall wishes his friends would focus so they can nail this; the better they do, the faster they can go home. Jo has the day off today and it's the phenomenal opportunity he's been waiting for for months. If they can just perform so perfectly that Griffin can't criticize them- the man is insane, though, so really, he shouldn't be getting his hopes up in this department- then he'll be able to get straight home for Jo, minus the headache he just knows will develop if Griffin and Gustavo start grinding on each other's nerves. He can feel it even now, just thinking about it. Maybe he should have taken his mom up on her offer of Aspirin before they'd left. Too late now. Besides, he thinks dismissively, working with Gustavo by her side all day, Kelly must have some on hand. His thoughts of impending headache are brushed aside presently.
This is a long drive, he observes. He figures he can just pass the time texting Jo. He whips out his phone and does exactly that. They share many genuine smiley faces and "No, I love you more!"s, James at one point leaning over to see what he's doing only to scoff immediately in disgust and return to his heated debate with Logan about whether snow cones or donuts are better, he favoring snow cones while Logan favors donuts. Carlos favors both, so he is shunned from the conversation.
When they finally arrive to their destination, Kendall decides that he has never been more relieved to get out of a limo. He sends Jo a quick goodbye, to which she responds with a "good luck! ;)", and after stepping out of the vehicle, he stretches his cramped legs, eyeing the ominously tall building before him- it looks taller than it should be, but that could just be Kendall's general impression of most of the buildings here in California; back in Minnesota, most people didn't even know the definition of a "skyscraper." To them it was a mere fabrication pulled straight from those storybooks mothers always read to entertain their children. So no, before coming to California, Kendall had never actually seen a real skyscraper.
Now, looking up at it from where he is, he feels small, insignificant. Like with something like that towering over him, he can simply be disposed of with a snap of the fingers. It's unsettling, but of course, he's being stupid. It's just a building. Plus he's supposed to be leader. What would everyone say if they knew he was scared of a skyscraper?
Not that he is. Just the backdrop of dank, old buildings and that one cloud, the only cloud out today, hovering right over its top. Even perched on the top of the building, pinned to the rough blue of the sky behind it, because they're not called skyscrapers for nothing, are they?
"Alright, stop staring, it's just a building," Gustavo cuts in rudely, apparently able to read Kendall's thoughts now. Kendall shakes himself and follows the producer through the tall glass double doors, the rest of the group trailing behind while Kelly catches up to Gustavo to do her job of keeping him in line.
"What floor is it again?" Kendall speaks out as they head for the elevator. Gustavo throws a nasty glare over his shoulder.
"You're a dog. You don't need to know what floor it is. Just sing and dance and don't mess up." He jams his thick finger into the up button and waits maybe two seconds before sighing in annoyance at its failure to arrive at the speed of light. Kendall rolls his eyes at his boss' self-absorbed demeanor- he's been acting worse today. Maybe everyone's riled up about the performance. Kendall never really thought of it as a big deal, since they've been doing things like this since day one, but after looking at James' and Gustavo's actions today, maybe he should be taking this more seriously. Then again, James has been dreaming about fame his whole life, Griffin being a huge roadblock in that range, and Gustavo has a job on the line. Well- now that he thinks about it, either way he needs to be more focused, if not for Gustavo, whom he still hates for various reasons, then most definitely for James. It would be selfish of him not to do so.
And he was passing the time thinking all about himself and Jo. Shame on him.
Once the elevator arrives, they all pile in- Gustavo and Kelly entering first, of course. Kendall makes sure he gets in before any of his friends. Carlos scowls at him, and he sticks his tongue out in return. This initiates a funny face war- which Kendall owns- until Kelly makes them stop. Kelly kills all the fun.
They literally spend, like, five whole minutes in the elevator, but that might just be because the whole time Kendall is tapping his foot impatiently while uncomfortably noticing the way Gustavo seems to be steadily inching closer to him in the confined space. The elevator's ding signifying their arrival on the... twenty-third floor is like a rush of cool, refreshing air flooding over him, and he cannot get out of the motorized death box quickly enough.
"Sooo... Where are we going again?" Kendall speaks up, mostly just to annoy Gustavo because he knows it will work.
"Nowhere!" comes the anticipated response. "Just shut it and wait 'til we get there, okay?"
Kendall wears a self-satisfied smirk all the way to a room labeled "23L." There he waits patiently like a gentleman for his boss and his assistant to enter first, before heading in after and holding the door open politely for his friends. They all file in with suspicious looks, Logan being last and hissing, "Don't be frivolous," as he passes. Kendall scoffs; he doesn't need lectures on his levity- he can berate himself for that. Always usually mostly works.
His levity disappears when he follows Logan into the room and lets the door fall shut behind him.
Okay, number one- it's creepy. Any normal recording studio might have a few instruments lying around, some chairs at the controls for the booth, pictures of mountain scenery or little woodland cottages hanging on the walls, right? Well, Griffin's is another story- a whole other story; for one, the wallpaper- yes, wallpaper- is ancient and peeling away. The journey to this room was through nice, clean, modern hallways and rooms, shiny and well-kept. This room is just- the epitome of the exact opposite. The wallpaper is a sickly shade of yellow, stained and cracked along the edges, painted with dancing, indiscernible designs that seem to be moving if Kendall looks close enough. When he looks up, the ceiling is low and has only three out of six working lights, and one has just started to flicker. There are countless water stains dampening its appearance, and there are even a few loose tiles hanging dangerously askew from their places.
There are pictures on the walls, but Griffin's choice in artistry isn't exactly common; things that make Kendall think of Edvard Munch's The Scream and scenes from various horror flicks he's seen are pinned up to the sallow walls of the recording room. It doesn't even look like a recording room- more like something pulled out of an old, overdone movie set, but more realistic and set to Griffin's personality as it comes off to others. Because to Kendall, this definitely feels like the kind of place Griffin would be.
There is one painting in particular that catches Kendall's eye, and that is one of a young child, playing in his room with several toys. He looks about six to Kendall; he's blond with a round, boyish face, but it's tilted down so Kendall can't really make out his facial expression. It's not something that particularly matters, though, because the attention of the painting is not meant to be focused on the little boy's expression.
He's holding three toys; one in his right, two in his left. The one in his right appears to be some sort of spinning top, but a different kind- Kendall thinks it's called a dreidel, but it doesn't have those foreign markings on its sides- or at least, he can't see them from this far. The second toy is a wind-up monkey holding cymbals, its grinning face turned horribly macabre in the connotative light of the painting; it sends a shudder up Kendall's spine. The third toy is a wooden airplane model, but it's broken, he notices; the propeller is snapped and one of the wings is crooked. The boy's expression now seems to Kendall more like something of disappointment or sorrow, or even guilt, as if these toys are not appreciated or weren't taken care of enough to stay in better condition.
The real focus of the painting, however, is none of these things, and Kendall has no idea why he noticed them first; there is a great, towering shadow looming up behind the boy, fingers spindly and clawed and glinting in the sharp light of the moon filtering innocently in through the window behind the two. The shadow has piercing eyes like omniscient bloodied rubies, seeming to stare everywhere all at once but mostly at the unsuspecting boy beneath its malice. Again the boy's expression changes in Kendall's eyes, and now he looks scared, or unsettled, as if he somehow knows there's something behind him, but he's too afraid to turn around lest he see just what lies in wait. Kendall shivers as he imagines the story's next turn in the resumption of the silence; the boy slowly, slowly turns, eyes dragging across the dark, indiscernible features of his background, until with a silent lightning scream he gets a flash of razor silver and a glimpse of a wicked, twisted, jagged-tooth-filled grin before nothingness.
Suddenly the room feels about thirty degrees colder than before to Kendall, and he knows that all he wants is to get out of this room as fast as he can. But one look at his friends tells him he can't let this show; James looks unsettled, Logan looks shaken behind analytical eyes, and Carlos just looks freaked out and exactly how Kendall feels. Taking a deep breath and steeling himself to ignore his surroundings as best he can, he matches gazes with Gustavo, who looks blatantly confused, and says, "So this is what Griffin thinks of us?"
"No," Gustavo answers haughtily, glaring back. "It's what I think of you."
"So why are we in this dump?"
"I wouldn't call it a dump," comes a sudden voice from behind, and Kendall whirls around to see Griffin himself standing just in front of the door. Something seems off about him, besides the heart-stopping shock of being surprised like that, and it takes Kendall a second to realize what; where the man is usually accompanied by two of his under-workers, now there is no one standing behind him. He's on his own, and though that should lessen the discomfort of the situation, Kendall finds that it actually intensifies the feeling. He also finds that he wants to be back in that limo more than anything. "More of a unique flare."
"Wh- How th-" Logan makes frantic gestures as he squeaks incoherence, eyes switching back and forth between Griffin and the door. Griffin just stares at him with an almost-grin, eyes alight with some sort of weird dance, before he turns to Gustavo and lets his wide lips stretch into a full smile.
"So I see you brought me your boys."
"They're dogs and nothing more," Gustavo firmly refuses, and Kendall rolls his eyes. Is he ever going to give that up?
"Of course they are. But I'm afraid I have some bad news." And Kendall sees James tense out the corner of his eye. This is what he meant, this is always what it is; Griffin has some sort of problem, and okay, maybe he really does hate them. Or he just wants them gone. Maybe he supports them, just he doesn't want to pay for that support. He would rather see them achieve that longed for stardom under a different company, watch from afar, so that if something goes wrong, it's not his problem. And really, maybe Kendall doesn't blame him. Maybe Big Time Rush is made up of four irresponsible hooligans that could easily destroy a corporate conspiracy plot. The uncomfortable pool in his stomach twinges at the thought. But he's not scared. Never.
Gustavo is obviously both dismayed and frustrated. His fingers clench into fists and his gaze turns harsh. "What do you mean." It's ground out and sounds more like a demand than a question. Griffin's eyes gleam almost maliciously, and okay, maybe Kendall is just a little scared. Griffin's taking delight in the torture of Gustavo sets off an alarm in Kendall's brain that says, "This man is deranged, get away from him now." He wishes he could.
"Well, lately your little band of 'dogs' hasn't been so successful. Ratings have gone down recently, and you're not making the company much money, Gustavo."
"Wh- That's because it's been almost six months since our last tour!" Gustavo bursts out, a little panicked, because when Griffin starts talking bad ratings, you know you're already on the losing side unless you do something fast. Griffin's gaze is unwavering.
"Yes. But no one wants Big Time Rush. The screams, Gustavo. I'm not hearing the screams."
"The demand for more. You have fans, but not fanatics. No one is breaking down your door to get to Big Time Rush. No one is asking for Big Time Rush to perform. As I've always said, Gustavo, the boy band is dead."
"But Griffin," Kendall breaks in, unable to take much more, repressing a shudder when Griffin's gaze turns on him. "We haven't had enough time to become worldwide yet; we've only been here for almost a year. It's not gonna happen right away."
"Yes," Griffin agrees, "but what is going to happen right away is a decrease in money the company is gathering, which means a decrease in funding for each division, which means an upset Griffin, and I do not like to be upset." He turns back to Gustavo. "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to cut this project off right here. And since you were so unappreciative of my generous gifts of departure to you last time, this time you get nothing."
James speaks up. "Griffin, last time you did this, we ended up being really successful. What makes this time so different that we can't raise our ratings again?"
"Because that was your debut concert, and yes, many people liked it. But obviously it wasn't enough."
"We need more time!" Carlos bursts out, beginning to get extremely upset. Kendall looks at him in worry; they're all taking this differently. Kendall himself is both angry and frustrated; won't the record company ever learn? Won't Griffin ever learn? Every time he tries to throw them off, they just come right back around and prove him wrong again and again. Honestly he's not so worried about this, because like always, they'll find a way out of this. James, however, doesn't look as at ease. His jaw is clenched tight, teeth grinding together, and he has a look of such desperate hatred that Kendall almost wants to reach out and put his hand on his arm, if only to calm him down. Carlos is just about freaking out, his eyes wide and betrayed, disbelieving, like he's sharing the other three's fantasies of waking up from this, reality transforming into a dream and springing away in a cloud of dust just like that. Logan seems to be panicking, and Kendall can imagine him quickly analyzing every aspect of the situation in trying to come up with the best possible solution. He doesn't seem to be looking in the past like Kendall did. So... maybe Kendall's wrong?
Griffin's apathetic eyes land on Carlos, and he shakes his head. "No. There are pros and cons to this, and guess which outweighs the other?"
"But it's not fair!"
"Are you trying to tell me that you're not leaving without consolation?"
"We're trying to tell you that we're not leaving at all!" James bursts in, crossing his arms and firmly planting his feet on the floor.
"But you didn't even say thank you the last time," he muses, and Kendall sees his eyes glinting with... amusement? He's actually enjoying this. He knows he's won, and now he's just playing with them. Kendall's teeth clench together the same as James; he does not want to be toyed with like a rat in a maze.
"Griffin, we're not going home, and we're not giving up," he states firmly, glaring at the man with defiance. Griffin's eyes find his, and suddenly he wishes he hadn't said anything, because it's just- stifling. Like he almost can't even control what he wants to say anymore, because all he wants to say is anything that will get him away from those sadistic, malicious eyes. He feels trapped, he feels pinned, he feels cornered. He wants to be free, because while his unwillingness to back down still burns strong withing him (at least he thinks it does), keeping his gaze locked unyieldingly on that burning gaze is draining, for some reason. But he's not scared. He just hates staring contests.
"Fine," Griffin cries, breaking the tension. "You give me no choice, with your pushy demands; I'll give you all something to remember me by."
"But- we don't want-"
"Oh, nonsense, you won't forget anything after this."
"No, I insist!"
"Turn around and look at that recording booth there, will you?"
"What?" But Kendall finds himself spinning on the spot, almost as if against his own will, to look at that creepy booth again, the cloudy glass veiling the room behind it. Furious, Kendall turns back to ask just what he thinks he's doing here, and freezes as a deathly chill comes over him; Griffin is gone.
"What the- Where the hell is he?" James demands, voice high and indignant. "I'll kill him, I swear I will!"
"Oh, no need for that," and in that moment everyone in the room loses the ability to breathe properly. Kendall whirls and sees Griffin standing again behind Gustavo and Kelly, who look- strange to him. Like, they're not moving. For some reason this seems like a terribly bad thing. Almost like time left them behind. Griffin sets a hand on each of their shoulders. "One more thing; these two are coming with me. You're on your own now."
The three melt into the background, blurring and smudging like a frantic artist's work, and when Kendall blinks again they're gone. The old yellow wallpaper is dancing, mocking him, and the overhanging shadow in the painting is grinning morbidly at him. And he feels this insane urge to run away, and never return. He's fairly convinced that the only thing stopping him is the presence of his friends, and no matter what, he has to stay strong for them. Still, he can't stop his voice from pitching high and shaking with the strain.
"Okay," he shivers. "That was insanely creepy."
"What are we gonna do?" James cries, still overly distressed about their loss to Griffin- Kendall almost shudders at the mere though of the man; all he can see is the wide grin of ridicule pasted tightly over his lips, like he's hiding something. But that's ridiculous. Griffin is just Griffin, and nothing else. He is a power-hungry mess of a man, and that's okay with Kendall as long as it doesn't affect them negatively. Which it just did.
"James, calm down, can't you see?" He tries to ignore the twirling figurines on the walls and focuses solely on James' face. "This- it's another test. Griffin is just testing us again. He always does this. He wants to see if we're worth his time and money. And-" They're laughing, painted lips curling up in superiority, eyes slitting in a lash knit as their cheeks rise with scorn. "And he- we're gonna show him that we're more than-" And he can't stop staring. Since when is he staring? He thought he was looking at James' face. In fact, he was sure of it. Now he can't find James anywhere. The world is sallow high cheekbones and deriding eyes, laughing, mocking, and that horrid jagged grin. Wait, that painting isn't there- Kendall knows it's supposed to be behind him. What, is he- turned around? Is that why he can't find James? They're twirling and laughing, whispering to each other, whispering to him, and he wants to hear what they're saying- he has to get closer- and he's just about to do so when-
"Kendall! Kendall, are you okay?"
"Worth his time," Kendall finishes, staring bewilderedly at James' face, which is suddenly right before him again. He glances behind James at the wall; the figurines are still, but they're grinning. Kendall murmurs to himself, shaking his head.
"Kendall, you're scaring me," James states matter-of-factly, narrowing his eyes. "Is there something wrong?"
"No, everything's wrong- I mean fine," Kendall brushes off. But he's still shaken. The painting... he doesn't want to turn around to see if it's behind him again. "James, is there a painting behind me?"
"Yeah, just- Is there?"
"No." James' eyebrows furrow. "Kendall, seriously-"
Kendall turns to look, and James lied.
"James, you asshole, yes there is." It's right there. Grinning at him, smirking. Its teeth are long and jagged and seem to want to gnash out at him. James shakes his head, looking even more confused.
"No, Kendall, what are you talking about?" There may be a note of thawed fear in his voice. "There's nothing there."
"Yes there is," Kendall refuses stubbornly, his spine conducting chills and raising the hairs on the back of his neck. "I'm looking right at it."
"There's nothing there."
"There's nothing there."
"Yes there is!"
"Kendall, we should get out of here."
"No, you know what, we're staying right here until-" And they're dancing again, right in front of his eyes. They're all over, right in his face, at his feet, but they're still on the walls. And that jagged grin stares at him from everywhere. The mouths all whisper soundlessly and giggle, but there is no sound in Kendall's ears. Just... "What are they laughing at?"
"Th- The dancers. What do they want?" He's getting frustrated. He just wants to know why they're laughing at him. "What do they want?"
"Dancers?" James is definitely scared. "Kendall, there's something wrong with you. You're seeing things. We have to get out of here, now."
"No," Kendall refuses, a spark of desperation hitting him. "No, no no, we have to stay, you can't-"
"C'mon, Kendall, we can't- We have to go," he presses, and Kendall definitely hears fear in his voice now, but he doesn't care. He can't leave, he has to hear what the soundless voices are whispering, why they're laughing. They stare out at him through hooded eyes, beckoning, drawing him in, and he starts to take a step f- suddenly a hand shoots out and grabs his arm, and he's brought crashing back.
"No!" he shrieks, wrenching away. "James, no, we have to-" And he stops, staring with horror-wide eyes. "J-James."
"Th-they're all over. They're fucking all over the place, they're crawling onto you, James, they're gonna get you!" He panics and flails out at James, striking him hard in the face where a thin-lipped mouth smirks up at him.
He's not sure where the cry came from, but suddenly there are hands all over him, yanking him away, trying to pull him from James. He yells and panics and lashes out at James again, forcing the hands back and sending the two of them crashing to the floor. Those lips, those painted, laughing lips! The blank, nothing eyes, pupil-less, vacant- lashes turned upwards- bottoms showing through and curving- and Kendall wants it to die.
Vaguely he can hear noise, but it's all meaningless as he attacks the mocking, the ridicule, giving it all he's got, smashing his fist as hard as he can into them, the only thought on his mind that of saving James, his best friend, the blind one. He can't- they can't-
"Kendall!" It breaks through the thick veil of animalistic panic and brings Kendall's vision blanking before starting over, and then he barely avoids throwing up.
James. It's James, the figurines tricked him, they- they're back on the walls now, and the whole time he was hitting James. Kendall feels sick. James' lip is split and seeping blood, flecks of red streaked across his chin. There are angry red scratches striping his neck, his throat. His eyes are squeezed shut, but when Kendall suddenly stops he cracks them open, and the fear Kendall sees in them, the sliced open, autopsy fear, is just- horrible. The worst thing he's ever seen in his life. And it's his fault. James is scared of him.
Kendall is like lightning, retreating as far from James as he can, and Logan and Carlos are crowding James, asking if he's okay, trying to get some sort of answer from him. The shame burns Kendall's face, and his body is shaking uncontrollably. Logan, Carlos and James seem to shrink away from him, like the room between them stretched out suddenly and now they're miles apart. Kendall raises shivering hands, staring down at them in awed horror- have they betrayed him? How could they do that? There's a dark smudge of blood smeared over his knuckle, and he shudders, his hands filled with slight tremors.
"What is wrong with you?" comes a rage-filled voice, and Kendall barely identifies it as Logan. Jolting slightly, he raises his gaze to see Logan glaring fiercely down at him, fingers clenched like he wants to hit him. Kendall flinches and feels his mouth run dry, a taste of bile infiltrating his tongue. "Just what the fuck has gotten into you?"
Kendall can't answer. His face is on fire, and there was never such a definition of guilt as there is now. He looks back past Logan and sees Carlos holding James, comforting him, helping him into a sitting position. His breath catches and his eyes sting but he still can't bring himself to speak. He lowers his eyes again to stare listlessly at his trembling hands, wondering what such monster could have overtook him so viciously. Logan is still yelling at him, but defined words don't reach his ears; they're just loud sounds, angry sounds, scared sounds. And as Kendall thinks back, he realizes something.
He's pressed up against the corner of the room. He's pressed up against the wallpaper.
He goes rigid, absolutely still. His face drains of color, numbs slightly. And he can hear them. He can hear their voices, mere murmurs, whispers, giggles. Chills fly up his spine like nothing else but he can't move.
"Logan." He doesn't have a voice, it comes out as a soundless whistle, a squeak. Logan has stopped yelling, he thinks, and it's almost silent again, but now Kendall can feel tickling fingers beginning to latch onto the back of his shirt, his neck. "Help." Please.
His hands twist and morph in front of him, swimming through his vision, and they're a sickly, sickly shade of y-
Stronger, firmer hands are grasping at his filthy ones, pulling him up, and it's like being pulled through a waterfall. Everything is suddenly cleared.
He grasps onto Logan, depending on him for support, and he's breathing harshly into his shoulder.
"I'm sorry," he gasps, still deprived of a voice. "J-J- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I-"
"We need to get out of here," Logan answers, but another voice stops him in his tracks.
More fluttering chills that threaten to ice his heart over, and Kendall looks. Carlos has the door open, is staring at the void beyond. It is not the place they came from.
It's a nightmare.
And when Kendall blinks once, his vision is erased, and all he sees is a mocking, jagged smile, and three broken toys.
A shadow looms over him, claws wide and ready to snatch him up, and he knows, right in that moment; no one is going to remember him.
There will be more chapters, if anyone was confused.
There will be more chapters, if anyone was confused.