A/N: Takes place in the same storyline as one of my stories (though kind of in an alternate storyline), but you shouldn't need to read the story. Does not take place at Halloween.

Abyss

by purplewowies

****'****

I remember when I fell down here. It was painful, though I don't remember why.

But if you asked me how many days I've been down here, I couldn't possibly answer you. It's so dark down here that it's obscured the passage of time.

All is black. There are no indicators of day or night, and though I do get tired, it's not on any schedule, and no matter how much I want to, I never sleep.

And the monsters. Though I cannot see them and rarely talk to them, I can tell that they are an almost constant presence. Some just prefer to argue with me, while others prefer to get physical. They all hate me and want me gone.

It's torture.

As far as I know, there's nobody here, and I don't like that.

****'****

I sit curled into a fetal position, alone, when suddenly, I hear a rustle. I know I am no longer alone and prepare myself for the attack I know is coming.

I'm not afraid of you, I say, my voice audibly shaking with fear that I hope the monster won't notice. Futile hope.

Zack, I just want to talk, it says sweetly.

An arguing monster.

Well, I don't.

Of course you do. I would not be talking to you otherwise. Its sickeningly sweet tone makes me want to vomit.

What's that supposed to mean?

You know…

I stop to think for a second. What does it mean, "you know"?

I don't think I understand…

No reply.

This is not normal.

****'****

I lay face down in the abyss.

I just can't wrap my mind around what that monster said.

It wants to talk to me because I want to talk to it? Does that mean I control it?

Is this purgatory my own doing?

I stand, suddenly getting the feeling that I'm very unsafe here.

I was right. When I unconsciously back up, I feel the brush of a claw on my right forearm and break into a run.

I've had that happen enough times to know that it's the only warning I'll get before a monster beats me up.

Wait! it calls out.

Feeling compelled to answer it, I scream into the darkness.

Why should I?

I just want to talk.

There it is again. My legs always ache every time I move, but I continue to push myself away from the danger.

That's what they all say! the insanity and despair in my voice apparent as I propel myself in the opposite direction as fast as I can.

No, really.

I don't stop. It speaks again.

You caused this, you know.

I slow.

If you had not been so reckless and hotheaded, none of this would have happened.

I can't remember anything I did to cause this, but I have a strange inkling the monster is right.

I stop.

Okay, explain exactly what's go—

"Zack, I'm sorry."

Cody?

"I miss you, Zack."

Not knowing where my brother's voice is coming from, I hope the monster is also distracted, and I take this as a chance to run away.

The monster begins chasing me again.

You know, your running is futile.

It doesn't matter.

You should just give up.

My mind is growing tired, my legs are on fire, and my body screams the farther I go, but I know I cannot stop. If I stop, he will catch up, and if he catches up, he will devour me.

And I will not be devoured. I will not give up.

I keep running toward the sound of my brother's voice, but no matter what direction I run, it seems to be getting farther away until suddenly, it stops.

No.

No.

No! I exclaim.

Do you not get it? the monster says, growing closer to my person with every syllable it utters.

None of this is real, it continues.

Omae wa mo shindeiru.

You are already dead.

What? I stop cold. Did it really just use an anime character's catchphrase on me? I'd laugh if I wasn't in so much mortal terror.

The monster has caught up with me. It grabs my left arm with both its hands, which are covered in matted fur. I hold in an agonized scream as it sinks its claws into my flesh.

Did you think I was joking?

With a catchphrase like that? I hiss through my teeth, struggling to no avail to free myself from the monster's powerful grasp.

You have made a mistake, Zackary.

With that, I feel a jolt of pain throughout my entire body, then I face something infinitely more terrifying than darkness.

Nothing.

I guess at least I went kickin'.

****'****

A/N: This fic felt like a piece of crap (and it's certainly short), but I thought, "Eh, I'll send it anyway. Anything to ward off Ilsa's wrath." My other story likely would have been better, but alas, 'twas not finished in time due to some real life things and computer problems.