Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trailer Trash

Peter left me a final memento.

My brother Alec had to bring it to me, since it was sent to mom's house. I ripped it open, and it basically said that if I received that letter, ...Peter was certainly, most probably, dead. He then took the rest of the letter to relay to me that he was sorry things turned out the way they did for me, and that he wished me the best. He told me something else, but I am reluctant to share it on this blog, for various reasons. At the end, he told me there was one final thing: something to help me fight against the Fears. He gave me coordinates, and I was able to track down where he wanted me to go. I went to it, and I managed to find it.

It isn't very helpful at the moment, to be honest. But I'm hoping that maybe it will come in handy.

And for now, I am going to take a break from blogging. Norman has asked me and the others to meet with him more often; he is going to teach us how to fend for ourselves against the Dying Man. Hopefully, it'll make a difference. Hopefully, we can make a difference.

Trailer Trash (cover)  
- Jesse Lacey & Kevin Devine

Eating snow flakes with plastic forks,
And a paper plate of course,
You think of everything.

Short love with a long divorce,
And a couple of kids of course,
They don't mean anything

Live in trailers with no class,
Goddamn, I hope I can pass,
High school means nothing

Taking heartache with hard work.
Goddamn, I am such a jerk.
I can't do anything.

And I shout that you're all fakes,
And you should have seen the look on your face,
And I guess that's what it takes,
When comparing your bellyaches.

And it's been a long time,
Which agrees with this watch of mine.
And I guess that I miss you,
And I'm sorry if I dissed you.

I'm sorry if I screwed you up.
I'm sorry if I made you mad.

And you spend your whole life,
looking for the adult that you are
then you spend the rest your life looking for,

looking for the child that you were.

Monday, June 20, 2011

But Breathing II

When I got out of the hospital, I went straight home and told my mother that I was moving out. She screamed. She yelled. She did a lot of things. But I managed to get my shit out of the house, and my grandmother managed to pull up and let me into the car just before my mother could run out and yell at us. She drove off, and seeing that house in the distance as we drove away... I'll never forget it.

My grandmother told me that she would attempt to finally try completely for custody. She said that once she gets custody back, maybe I can try for school again. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'd never be able to go back to school.

Mom tried to come over and pick me up but we locked the front door on her and called the police. She was forced to go home. I felt protected and safe, for once in my goddamn life.

I moved into the downstairs bedroom that we call the little den. It's actually kind of nice. It's very calming to have someplace where I don't have to hear termites continually eating the walls, or my brothers fighting with each other, or my mother... existing. I even have a desktop computer down here! It's kind of cool.

My friends and I hang out often. I've gotten extraordinarily close to Madelyn and Steven. We went to a festival the other day. There were fireworks, and it was gorgeous. I'm having so much fun with them, and I sort of kinda wish the summer will never end. They don't have school anymore, after all, so we can all just hang out whenever we feel like it. Fuck it, you know? 

But despite all of this, I have the emptiest feeling in the world. Was all of this fighting worth it? Especially when you factor in the future... or lack of one. Wouldn't all of this been easier if I had killed myself back in February?

Maybe. But it's too late to think about that now. Now, I can't afford to kill myself. I have responsibilities. I have friends. I have people to protect. I have mistakes to amend. I have things to do and things to experience. I need to keep on living. Even if it's the hardest thing to do.

I can't die yet. I can't. Not until I've stopped Grey.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Since Owen never seems to care to check my blog, I decided to take it upon myself to hack his shitty blog. Hooray. So here I am.

Don't panic. I'm not planning anything dastardly at the moment! Not right now. No revenge. 

See, Owen kind of actually ruined a few things, and he sort of fucked me up a bit. Yes, look at me admitting that! I am proud to say, Owen, that your little group was quite the challenge.

I offer my congratulations to them. You see, because I admire your efforts... I promise a truce! I will not mess with any of you. That's right! Grey's so nice, I know, I know.

I'm serious though. I don't promise any specific amount of time, and I don't promise to lay off the rest of Portsmouth; but I promise to keep this promise. 

I won't hurt any of you. I won't possess any of you. I promise. 

But be ready when I come back. Because there won't be any mercy. 

Owen... next time, you can't have any either. You'll regret letting me live.

Trust me on that. 

With love,

your bestest buddy in the whole wide world.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Showdown at P-Town

I woke up today while walking down High Street. I was entirely dressed, and my body moved on its own. I could not stop. A humid mist clung to the ground. No cars traveled down the road. A harsh silence stopped any sounds, even birds or crickets. The morning sky was filled with gray clouds.

I assumed I was in a dream at first, but that illusion was crushed pretty early on.

"Good morning, Owen! Did you sleep well? I hope so... you're gonna need a lot of energy for today, kiddo! Trust me on that one..."

I said to myself. I figured out, I tried to scream. He didn't let me.

"Nuh-uh-uh! Be quiet, be quiet, shh-shh-shhhhh.... shh, little buddy. Calm it! We're almost there, after all. No sense in bitching and whining now!! So, just sit tight, and relax."

I couldn't move. I could only think and observe. Grey pulled out a cigarette and lit it up in my mouth. He smoked and chuckled.

"How've ya been, buddy? Me, I've been doing greaaaat. Yeah, super great. Not actually though, not actually though. Lemme ask a question: do you know how fucking irritating it is... to be sealed off in a godforsaken, ugly mask? Do you?"

No, can't say that I do.

"Ha! Getting a bit snippy. I like that. I've always admired that. You can be quite snippy if you're in the mood."

He took a long drag from the cigarette.

"Honestly, I told you so. I told you this would happen. You didn't believe me. You tried to stop the inevitable. But here we are! You thought you could stop it all with that stupid ritual. But child... there are cracks under the surface. Superstition isn't going to save you any longer-"

You really like hearing yourself talk, don't you?

"I could ask the same of you, really. Heh."

He threw the cigarette aside and stepped it out.

We reached Churchland Bridge. He walked to the side of it between the two railings, guarding the harsh drop to the river and the highway. He kept walking.

What are we doing here?

"What were you doing here all those months ago?"

It dawned upon me; he was going to kill me. He was finally going to kill me.

"Yes, that is what I'm doing. You really love hearing yourself talk, huh?"

Why now?

"Because you betrayed me. We were going to be together forever. But you said no. You tried to kill me. I'm only returning the favor. Is that really so wrong?"

We were nearing the middle of the bridge, which was the highest point of its curve.

How did you take control of me again?

"I already explained that, remember? Sowing season has holes in it. Though I have nowhere near the degree of control that I used to... but regardless, this is the end."

We reached the middle of the bridge. He stepped on top of the railing. The wind suddenly picked up. No cars, no people. Only us. Everything slowed down. I felt Grey look down at the water nervously.

What happens afterward? How are you going to escape if I die?

Grey pulled something out from under my shirt. It was his mask. He threw it to the pavement.

"That's how. Don't you worry your pretty little head; I've got this all under control."

He looked down at the water again. I could not think of anything else to say to bide time. I tried and tried and tried to take control back over my body. Nothing worked.

I finally just accepted it all. There wasn't anything I could do... and I was going to die.

I was going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die I am going to die I am going to die.

It's alright. I'm ready.

My memories flashed back to February. I stood on top of the railing... the chilled air beat against me. Tears dripped down into the freezing water below. I felt gravity slowly nudging me to take the jump.

It was now on the verge of summer. The river is below. Nothing is in our way.

I was prepared to go. But Grey wasn't. He stood there for a full minute. I could feel his hesitance. I could feel his... something. I couldn't exactly gather what.

But he did not want to jump. And because of that, there was enough time for Steven to pull him off the railing and slam us across the head with a baseball bat.

We fell to the ground. Grey felt all of the pain. I felt none of it.

"What the hell, Steven!? Why would you do that to me, holy fucking shit, agh-"

"Stop that. You and I both know that you're just embarrassing yourself right now."

It was only a distraction, the pain. Steven grabbed the mask. He held it over the water.

"If I drop this... what happens?"

I felt Grey's panic.

"Nothing. Absolutely... nothing."

Steven let it slip a little and Grey gasped aloud. He tried to reach for the mask but Steven pulled it away.

"Let Owen go and I won't kill your precious mask."


I could feel him trying to think of a way out. Any way out. And he might have found a way. But I found the energy to kick his ass straight out of my body before he could pull any tricks.

I fell to the floor. All of the pain from the baseball bat surged into my mind. I grasped at my head. Steven could tell I was myself. He dropped the mask, and knelt down to help me out... just as the Ghoul, carrying a limp body, appeared before us and grabbed the mask. The Ghoul forced the mask onto the body, and Grey fell to the ground. He picked himself back up, and for the first time, I faced Grey off in the physical world.

"Fuck! This body is so weak... couldn't you find anything else!?"

"Focus on these two for now, brother. We will worry about bodies later."

"Right, right-"

Grey cracked his neck.

"There is no more mercy for any of you. I am playing for keeps. Run if you want to buy more seconds to live."

"Ha, as if."

Grey stepped towards Steven. Steven tried to hit him again with the bat. Grey dodged and punched up into Steven's chin. Steven dropped the bat.

The Ghoul attacked me. He pulled out a knife and slashed at my gut. I grabbed his arm and he pushed me into the railing. He tried to stab into me but I held him at bay long enough for Steven to trip into the Ghoul and knock him off. I slapped the knife out of the Ghoul's hands and I punched Grey in the face. Grey laughed, and grabbed me by the throat. Steven kicked Grey in the balls and he let go. The Ghoul ran for the knife. Steven tackled him. I grabbed Grey and I attempted to throw him off of the bridge. Grey jumped out of my arms and landed on the railing. He jumped off of it, landed behind me, and pushed me into it. He held me against the railing, and brought out a knife. He almost plunged it deep into my back.

A gunshot. Grey cried out in pain. He dropped the knife. I looked around and I saw Madelyn near Steven and the Ghoul. The Ghoul backed up, hands in the air, away from Madelyn.

"Get the FUCK away from them!"

"Where the hell did you get a-," Steven started to say, but was then interrupted by Madelyn shooting the Ghoul five times in the chest.

The Ghoul fell to the ground, and stayed there, still. 

"...Fuck that," Grey said as blood spilled from his chest. He grabbed me, and before Madelyn could aim at him, he tossed us both over the bridge. Everything... everything slowed down. Like we were in an action movie. Grey, who apparently recovered the knife or had another one on his person, stabbed me in the abdomen as we fell.

I realized that I was most likely going to die.

I looked down. Beads of blood spilled everywhere throughout the air. The sky was now the watery grave we were falling to. I heard everyone scream my name out.

I made the decision, even if it would kill me... to challenge Grey to a William Tell right then. Grey's eyes widened as he realized what I was going to do. He tried to push away from me, but I grabbed him and hugged him close. I tried, with all my might, to pull us out of reality.

 "I can't believe you actually did this."

I turned around and everything sprung into existence, including Grey. We were on the hill with the tree. The sky was pure blue and it was quite a nice day. Everything fit except Grey. He stood there, clearly upset and past angry. He was ready to throttle me into oblivion.

"You pulled me down in here to fight you. That has got to be the most idiotic thing you've done. And here I thought that maybe, you'd change your mind. But everything's been ruined, and you've pulled us into a William Tell. Why are you so selfish? You know you're going to die. Why don't you stop being afraid, and face death with dignity, instead of continually running away like this?"



"Why should I do that?"

"Because it's the way things are. You need to own up to your mistakes and-"

I stomped the ground and screamed. The entire dimension shook.


Grey backed up a little.

"...But you do. You've ruined countless of lives-"

I rushed Grey and grabbed him by the throat. I threw him to the ground and I began to choke him to death.


He tried to talk but I gripped down harder.

"All my life, I've been pushed around by people who don't know what the fuck they're talking about! I've been told countless of lies, I've been pushed down and beat til I cry, I've never had any guidance and no one can ever seem to tell me why! Well, guess what, I've. FUCKING. HAD IT. I am sick of you, my mother... everyone!"

I punched him once. I imagined him as my father, who left me behind and never seemed to care enough to get me the hell away from here.

I punched him again. I imagined him as every bully I've ever had, from telling me I was just a fucking weirdo, or choking me out in the soccer field.

I punched him another time. It was for the officials, judges, all of social services, for turning a blind eye to everything I've ever suffered through, and for what my siblings have lived through.

I punched him another time for my family turning a blind eye to all of it. It was a half-hearted punch.

And then, I punched him several more times. I imagined him as everything my mother had ever done to me. From the emotional manipulation to the physical abuse to the verbal abuse to every goddamn thing she's ever said to my grandmother.

Grey's mask hid a face which, at this point, had to be completely broken. I felt like I was smashing up raw meat at this point. I felt guilty for letting all of this anger. But then I realized I didn't release even half of it yet.

The final blow... for everything that Grey has ever done to me.

I grabbed him by the throat. I began to choke him to death. I saw the human eyes behind the mask panic and then, cry.

"Pl-...pl...ease.... n-"

I ignored it. I kept choking. But I was not prepared for the next one.

"I'm... s-sor...sorr-y..."

I let go of him. I could not continue. I felt sick to my stomach.

He gasped for breath. He pushed me off of him. He got up slowly. He looked so weak and fragile. He was shaking. We locked eyes.

I don't think I'll ever be able to describe completely what I saw in them. But, for the first time, I did not see malice or hatred or sarcasm in them. For the first time... I saw fear in them. And sadness.

The world began to break apart. We kept our eyes locked as the world shook. Between us, the world split. Grey faded away. I remained.

I had come out on top in the match, but I did not win the William Tell.

If anything, it was a draw.

I woke up to see Madelyn's face above me. I smiled. I felt like... I didn't think I was dead, but I didn't think I was alive either. I just existed, and she just existed, and I was happy for that. But then the rest of the surroundings came into view, and I saw that Madelyn was crying. Steven was beside her, and he was frantically stuffing his shirt onto my wound. Feeling came back to me, and I winced from all the pain. I was so cold, and so wet, and all the blood... I felt faint, and I almost passed out again, but Madelyn pulled me back with her voice.

"Are you okay?"

I laughed.

"I'm probably dead but that's okay I heard heaven has some cool things like Jesus and laffy taffy and I don't fucking know and-"

She put her hand over my mouth.

"Don't overexert yourself, you fucking dork."

I nodded, she kissed me on the cheek, and I don't exactly remember what happened next. They took me to the hospital. They claimed someone attempted to mug us on the bridge, and that I, being the headstrong idiot I can be sometimes, tried to play hero. Because of that, I got stabbed for my troubles.

Disclaimer: if any cop sees this THIS IS TOTALLY A WORK OF FICTION as you can see by all the monster on monster action and like who believes in monsters right haha crazy people that's who haha aha ha...

But anyway. I'm in the hospital right now. Steven's here, watching cartoons on the television with me. Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Haha.

 I feel kind of giddy because of the pain killers I'm taking but otherwise I think I'm feeling okay. I could worry about the Ghoul, as he disappeared when Steven and Madelyn rushed for me, and I could worry about Grey's next move-

But all I want to do is take a goddamn nap. Unfortunately, Steven won't let me kick him out, so he'll just have to nap at the same time as me so it won't be weird.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paper Mario

"I'm sorry, guys.'

Steven and Madelyn looked at me from across the couch.

"What do you mean? Sorry for what?"

"Sorry for fucking things up for you guys... just, for generally ruining your lives."

Steven got up and kicked me. It was a very weak kick, but I said ow anyway.

"You're an idiot. Like, honestly. Do you think we resent you? Dude, you've done everything you can to save us. You've genuinely tried. Why would we be mad at you for that?"

"Yeah. You never had to help us. You could have left us out to dry, you could have said goodbye to it all and run away. But you didn't. You came back to us to help."

I looked away from them.

"But. But listen. Think about it. If I never made the stupid Mythos..."

"Are you serious right now?"

Madelyn sounded actually angry. She moved over on the couch and grabbed me by the chin. She looked into my eyes.

"None of this is your fault, okay?"


I wanted to cry. But I couldn't. I actually couldn't. I tried but I could not conjure a single tear. So instead, I hugged her. Steven put his hand on my shoulder.

And in that moment I realized that I had friends again, and that maybe, we had a fighting chance against everything else out there. After that, we continued playing on Steven's nintendo 64. We fell asleep one by one on that couch afterwards. I was the last one to go.

I felt so safe and warm. I wished it could last forever.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We're all staying at Steven's house right now. Madelyn's parents don't really care and my mom doesn't really give a shit, so no excuses needed. We're not really doing much. Madelyn's sick, really sick, and she's in a lot of pain. Steven's hurt bad too, but he's also a wreck emotionally. I'm... I'm alright.

Madelyn's trying to adjust. She says that she doesn't even remember Steven's possession. She says that the last thing she remembers is going to sleep and having a bad nightmare.

Steven won't stop shaking sporadically. I've wanted to ask him what happened in there, but I'm afraid to. Honestly, if I had gone in there with him, maybe we could have both taken that witch down.

The truth is though, we were absolutely destroyed yesterday. We didn't stand a chance in hell against the Red Cap. We were played by all of them. Maybe even Grey.

I fucked up bad. Really badly. Everything Peter did... gone. I've ruined it. Grey is probably reborn, right now, and he could be hurting someone, anyone. And I know that he'll be leading the charge against us. He'll come back and he'll take me back again. Then, they'll take the Red Cap, and force it inside of Madelyn. We're all going to die, I think.

All because of me, yet again. What's even the point, really?

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Madelyn picked Steven and I up in her car and took us to her apartment. Her father wasn't home, as she said, so we were in the clear. She led us both to her room, closed the door, and she locked it. She had all the materials we needed on her desk.

"So what's going to happen? Am I going to suffer some sort of divine revelation, or?"

She was being quite sarcastic, but I could tell she was a tad scared.

"No. You are going to face the Dying Man piece inside of you, and... well, things might get ugly. Don't worry though. We will be here to support you. I promise."

I sort of awkwardly put my hand on her shoulder and attempted a smile.

"Uhh... okay. Well, that'll be a change of pace... haven't seen the... 'thing' in a while..."

"Whoa whoa whoa.... what do you mean?"

"The Dying Man thing or whatever. She's disappeared."


"Yeah, she... I think they were a she, anyway. And she hasn't really bothered me... I don't know why."

"That's peculiar. She may just be biding her time. Whatever, that doesn't change anything, so don't worry."

Madelyn frowned at me.

"Owen, it's impossible to not worry about this. Let's just get it over with..."

"Yeah... okay, here we go..."

I looked at Steven and nodded my head. He nodded too and we started. We set up everything we needed. When it was time, Madelyn handed me the final piece to her ritual.

"Are you sure this is it?"

"It has to be. It's all she would talk about for a week..."

I held the mirror in my hand and looked into its reflection. A strange, peculiar feeling washed over me. I decided that yes, it had to be it. I put it down at Madelyn's feet while she sat in her chair.

I looked up at her.

"Are you ready?"

"Just get it the fuck over with, dude..."

"Damn Owen, you heard that, let's get started then."


I got up, grabbed Steven's hand, and then held my hand at the center of Madelyn's chest.

It began.

We both dropped straight into some place that was not the River, and just by that I knew; something was up. Steven and I floated down and touched ground in some abandoned courtyard, surrounded by ornate columns and stone benches. Above us, a blood red harvest moon.

"...Where the fuck are we, Rome?"

"I have no clue, but be on your toes..."

I motioned for him to follow me. We found an entrance to a hallway into an ancient building. The hallway was dark as hell. There were slots for torches, but the torches that were in them were quite unlit. We bumped around in the dark until we saw a bright entrance deep into the hallway. We followed the light and emerged in a giant atrium, lit by a giant torch built into the floor of the room. The warmth from the blaze met us as we walked around it carefully.

"This is so weird..."

"Tell me about it. I've never seen anything like this."

There were four entrances in the atrium. We could go three different ways. I noticed symbols above each door. One particular symbol caught my eye... a tear drop, but colored in red.

"I think we should go this way."

"Does it matter, they're all spooky as hell."

I grinned half-heartedly. We went into the new hallway. It snaked its way for quite a while. In this hallway, there were torches. Because of this, we noticed the murals along the walls. I tried to ignore them, but every other glance revealed something interesting.

There were a lot of images and symbols for blood. From more of the bloody tear drops to bath tubs full of it. There were also wiry lines of red that resembled veins and arteries. There were more of these particular symbols the closer we got to the end of the hallway.

At the very end of the hallway, only the veins and arteries remained on the walls, and they all led to the door, which was a scarlet red color with a golden door knob. I reached for the door knob, but I could not make myself grab it. I felt my blood run cold and I could not move anything in my body. I heard, on the other side of the door, a woman softly singing.

At that moment, my body wanted to be miles upon miles away from that singing.

I forced my hand around the knob, and I opened the door. I looked inside, and upon a red throne sat a beautiful woman in white robes, with her legs crossed. She had dark, curly brown hair and she had golden bracelets and large triangular earrings. She was, admittedly, seductively dressed. She was honestly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my life.

But then she opened her eyes, and a scarlet glare fell over us. I fell to my knees and I could not stop shivering. She smiled.

"Good evening, love. What's the sorry face for?"

"Wh-what are you?"

She smirked, picked herself up from the throne, and approached us.

"I'm eternal, I'm powerful, I'm gorgeous, and above all, I'm lovely! What are you, human?"

Steven gulped and spoke up.

"Scared, alone, and kind of nervous, to be honest."

"Ha! I like the honesty."

I tried to get up off of my knees. I could not. It was not allowed.

"Personally, I'm curious."

"Curiosity is one of humanity's greatest assets! It's so beautiful. I've watched it grow over thousands of years and honestly, it never gets old to watch some little pitiful creature question how the universe works. What are you curious of at the moment? Why your limbs refuse to budge? Where you are? Who I am? Go on, tell me!"

"Well, first things first, what are you?"

"Smart human. Well..."

She walked back to her throne. She raised her right hand, and we were suddenly standing up. Two stone chairs rose up from the ground, and we fell into them.

"If you'd like to know what others call me... The Red Cap. But if you want to know the full story of what I actually am, what no name could accurate describe... well. This might take a while. Make yourselves comfortable!"

The atmosphere changed. I was still uneasy, but it was clear she meant no ill harm to us. At that moment, at least.

"Sooo... what does it start with...  did it start with him? I guess it did. Well, our master, dear old fellow he is, arrived onto the planet quite some time ago.... for undisclosed reasons, might I add."

"Master? Who's that-"

"Hush. Don't interrupt me, dear. He arrived. and he discovered humanity, in all of its wondrous beauty. He was so transfixed by humanity's capacity for fear. He studied it, preyed upon it. Eventually, he learned how to manipulate fear. From there, it was only a matter of time before he could take humanity's fear and manipulate it into a material form. That's how the Memetim was born."

She yawned and stretched in her seat.

"I apologize; yacking on about the past gets me so tired sometimes! The Memetim surpassed all of my master's expectations. He was unprepared to deal with such a creature. So, in order to preserve the human race and the planet's future, he destroyed his own creation. The Memetim was obliterated, shattered into hundreds of pieces that scattered throughout the world."

Images began to pop into my head. Images that I could not make any sense of. They morphed into shots of a projectile crashing into an isolated valley. Smoke rose up from the blast radius. A red glow emanated from the crater. Zoomed in to see the silhouette of a woman yawning within the smoke.

"That's me! Wasn't I beautiful even then? Of course, I didn't actually have any physical form, that's just an artistic representation; I was not strong enough yet! I was a widdle babby!"

Thousands of years passed by in a blink of an eye. A structure was built upon the crater. The structure resembled the temple we were inside at that very moment. A young girl, around my age, sat in a courtyard. She had black curly hair, dark skin, and her eyes were a beautiful brown. She sat alone, singing softly to herself.

"She deserved better. I wish she wasn't the first. She was so innocent. But it had to be her."

She stopped singing. She shivered in her spot. She looked at where I spiritually watched from and I could see tears in her eyes.

"It took a single week for me to take her over. Soon, I had the entire temple under control. I used her to command them, lead them, guide them. I became their prized possession, and also their fearless leader. Everyone loved me, everyone wanted me, and everyone served me. I was content with just them. For the first decade, anyway."

The young girl, now controlled by the Red Cap, sat in a stone throne. She had the same smirk as she does in the present. But days passed by, and the smirk faded. She watched from top of the valley.

"I wanted more. But the body I was in... it was far too old to be useful to me. So, I decided to cast it aside in the city. I found a man who told me to call him Dionysus. I seduced him. I took him. I became him."

I saw her wear the skin of this man. He sat on a city corner, and his eyes seemed like a lion's, searching for his next prey.

"I took it upon myself to build up another family. Humans... they fall so easily into temptation. They have no self control! I could restrain myself centuries upon centuries, waiting to taste the human soul, and yet humans... they can hardly stand waiting at all! It's amusing, and yet so easy to manipulate if one knew how to. This man that I took the guise of was only the first. I traveled far and wide, and I studied what made humans wanted. What they lusted after. What they needed more than anything. I am a God, built upon the basis that humans cannot control themselves."

She smirked at us yet again. She tapped her long fingernails against her throne. She looked to the side of her throne, grabbed a bowl of grapes, and feasted upon them in front of us. She kept her eyes fixed on us as she bit into them.When she was done with one branch of grapes, she licked her fingers, put the bowl aside, and walked towards me slowly.

"Let's take a break..."

She began to slowly pull her robes off. As she did this, the throne room melted away. We were now on the shores of a giant ocean. The ocean, instead of dirty blue water, had either entirely scarlet water, or it was actually blood. Her robes fell onto the white sand behind her. I looked around for Steven, but he wasn't there; I was alone. I tried to avert my gaze from her.

She stood in front of me, inches away. I could see her smile in the edges of my vision.

"Stop that. I'm not going to hurt you, foolish boy."

She took my head and kissed me upon the forehead. I felt all my defenses vanish. My arms fell loose at my sides and I stared into her eyes. I felt my inhibitions slowly disappear. I was so goddamn scared.

"You like this. When was the last time someone truly hugged you, anyway? You want this. When was the last time someone really loved you, anyway? You need this. Come on, admit it...."

She embraced me. I felt comfort. And unease. All at the same time. She whispered against my neck.

"We could just take a break... no one would know. Wouldn't that be lovely? Right here, on the sands of oblivion... I know you're a virgin, honey. I can show you things. Or we could just hold each other, for eternity. I'd permit that. I'd allow anything to erase everything that painful woman did to you. She's no mother... She's not anything to you anymore. I can be everything, anything, to you."

She kissed my neck. I was shaking.


"What did you say?"


She put her hands on my cheeks gently. She pulled herself closer to me so that her body pressed against mine. I tried to squirm away but I could not.

"Please no."

"Are you telling me no? Oh honey... tsk, tsk, tsk... she's hurt you so deeply you refuse affection from anyone now. You've closed your heart to me... I cannot help you."

I felt something disconnect in my chest. Something rushed up my throat and suddenly I was spitting up blood.

"Wh-what's ha... aghghh..."

I felt so faint. Blood rushed up from inside of my chest. A deep pain resonated inside of me. I spat up blood everywhere. The Red Cap smiled in my face.

"I'm only doing this because I love you, sweetheart."

She kissed my cheek as she slowly put her hand around my throat. 

I woke up. It was as if she had never moved from her spot. She was still feasting upon her grapes. She put aside the bowl and smirked at us.

"Are you two alright? You both seem so pale!"

I looked at Steven. He was sweating and breathing frantically, just as I was. He looked at me. He mouthed the words "Fucking monster" to me.

"Oh well.... where should I start again... let's retrace our steps. Do you boys know what's so special about me? Well, I'll tell you: I'm a mommy, and you both have met my dear sons!"

She cheerily smiled at us. I felt my stomach churn.

"No... that isn't possible... I created him. I created him through the Fear Mythos."

She shook her head.

"No, boy; you were used to create this universe, you did not create something as complex and beautiful as my son. When the Memetim was split, many of the pieces did not survive their impacts upon the earth. They dissipated, and their energies filtered out into humanity. Some of the pieces were recycled by my master to create new creatures. The other pieces... they survived impact, feasted upon humans, and grew in size. Most of the pieces that grew in size did not do what I did, but some of them, including me, desired to... divide, and discover. It could be compared to the same rush of ego a human gets when they pass their genes upon their offspring. So I did so, and I sent my sons out into the world. My firstborn, is the one you call... Grey, right?"

I could not believe it. Except of course I could, because now it all made sense. But if that was the case....

"Then... how did Grey end up in a pocketwatch?"

"I'm not as polite as my other son would lead you to believe! I don't owe you any answers for that. Besides, that isn't my business; that's the master's business. Now, you're up to speed. How does that feel?"

I felt her control release us. I fell to the ground. Steven did a second later as well. We looked up at the Red Cap. She seemed pleased.

"That should've taken long enough."

I got up.

"What do you mean?"

"What do you think I mean? Did you think I'd chat with you forever just on a whim?"

She snapped her fingers, and I heard some guzzling noise at the corners of the room. I looked at each corner, and I noticed that on the floor, there were these drains. The drains began to spit up what resembled blood... but it was a bit too dark to be entirely blood. It was a part of the Red Cap.

It slowly inched toward us. I ran to the door and tried to open it. The door disappeared.

"Let us out!!"

Steven ran over to the Red Cap in order to hit her but she took him by the neck and threw him at the wall. He hit it with enough force to crack it. He fell to the floor. I ran over to him. The liquid switched direction and slithered toward us.

"This is so sad. You two were so brave! I've watched you both for weeks, and it wast just so fun watching humans try to gain control. You thought you had it all under control. Even when I led you right to my son and let you take him. Even when I smirked at you as Madelyn. You two are both so gullible it's pitiful. And she thought you would notice if she weren't herself! Either she was wrong, or I'm an amazing act-"

"So you've been using her this entire time. I knew something was wrong..."

"Don't make me laugh. You didn't know anything. You played right into it."

The liquid turned into some solid form and grabbed onto my ankle. It twisted around it and traveled up my leg. I tried to kick it off but it constricted around my leg and refused to budge.

"So where's Madelyn now, huh!?"

I felt panic completely break through the restraint of sowing season and take hold of me. I frantically fought against the substance. The Red Cap laughed.

"I think I've done enough yacking for today. Good night, sleep tight, little ones!"

She turned away from us and she almost left out through the throne room door. But... Steven got up, and despite his obvious pain, he screamed at her to stop right there.

She did, but she did not turn around immediately. She slowly turned around as Steven got up. Then I noticed the bloody substance was evaporating. I felt the scenery melt a little. Everything became blurry. I suddenly knew, and I prepared myself-

Steven initiated a William Tell. The Red Cap and him disappeared into a vortex. I held on tight to the reality of the domain. Luckily, I was not dragged along.

I immediately felt bad for my decision. Steven was alone in there with some monster. He could be suffering through anything. But... I had to stay behind so I could find a way out and stop sowing season. Everything was different then Steven and I; Madelyn was completely taken over. I thought it was too late for her. So I had to stop her on the outside.

For the next five minutes, I had to concentrate on ending the ritual. It was especially hard to do, considering I had no idea how to halt it without any results. In the end, I ended up escaping Madelyn's body. I was pushed out and I ended up in an entirely different setting then where we were before.

We were in my goddamn house somehow. And she had the shoebox. The one with Grey inside of it.

"How'd you find that?"

She ignored me. She opened up the shoe box and reached for the mask. I grabbed her from behind and tried to pull her away before she could take it. She stomped my leg and tripped me. I fell against my radiator. She grabbed the mask. I tried to tackle her but someone grabbed me from behind.

It was the Ghoul, in complete physical form. He had been hiding in my closet.

"Hello there. It's been a while."


The Ghoul smashed my stomach. It hurt so bad that I keeled over. I fell to the floor. He stomped my head so hard the floorboard underneath me splintered.

Madelyn tossed the mask to the Ghoul. He caught it.


"Yes, mother."

The Ghoul left my room. I tried to cry out to my family to watch out.

Madelyn, or fuck, the Red Cap, sat down on my bed. She had no smirk. She studied me.

"How's it feel to lose completely, hm?"

"Where's... where's my family..."

"Why do you care?"

"They're my family..."

"Tsk, tsk, tsk. Poor little Owen...."

She grabbed me by the shirt collar and lifted me up a bit just off the ground.

"I feel so bad for you. All that effort an-"

Her eyes widened. She let go of me and turned to look at my door way.

The old man, Norman, stood there.

"You're not Madelyn."

"Surprise, surprise-"

Norman pulled out a taser and unleashed it on her. She screamed and crashed in a heap to the floor. She rolled about as it electrocuted her. She became still.

Norman walked up to her. He shook his head, then looked at me.

"Are you alright?"

"Not really."

"That is alright. Stay down. I will handle the rest."

He sat down upon my bed. He waited. Around two minutes later, Steven appeared out of nowhere beside Madelyn on the floor. He was bloody and bruised up everywhere.


He touched her face. She slowly opened her eyes.


Norman pulled a gun out and held it to her head.

"Don't move."

"But... she's fine, I took care of it..., she's fine,  please stop pointing that gun at my friend!"

"Steven, it's okay... it's okay..."

Madelyn wasn't all together there, even if the Red Cap was gone. What ended up happening was, Norman forced Steven and I to leave my own room. It was sort of awkward, because there's no goddamn door on my room, so we had to go downstairs. He called us back up there later. Madelyn was in my bed. Beside her, the mirror, which was now cracked in a certain spot.

"She's okay now, but she has to take it easy. Steven, you cleared that spirit out of Madelyn-"

"No... no I didn't. She left. On her own. I wasn't strong enough to beat her..."

"Ah, well, that is no surprise."

I looked at him curiously.

"How the hell did you find us here? How did you know what was going on?"

Steven looked at me.

"That's my bad. I told him to be on the look out for us. I guess he saw some suspicious activity and decided to step in."

"Which you are lucky I did."

The old man picked up the mirror and went out my door. He turned to me.

"Owen...you realize that by doing this you've messed things up quite a bit? What did you expect to happen if you casually attempted to play God like this? I don't appreciate this at all. Next time, I might not be around to clean up any messes. I don't know who taught you that ritual, but do not use it again; it brings nothing but trouble upon those who use it."

He left after saying that. I couldn't respond even if I had the time to. I felt... so horrible. Steven's banged up to hell, Madelyn's hurt so much (SHE GOT FUCKING TASED), and...

Grey and the Ghoul are at large. Not only that, there's someone above even the Red Cap.

What have I done? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


What the hell did you to me?
9:43 PM

 What do you mean?
 9:50 PM

 Something feels wrong. I almost feel as bad as when I was possessed. What's happening tome?
9:51 PM

There are unfortunate side effects to the ritual. 
9:53 PM

What the fuck?You never told me that. What kind of side effects?/
9:54 PM

I'm sorry. I was told that it resembles many symptoms of major depression. It also introduces numbness to emotional responses. There are many effects.
9:55 PM

It varies though. It depends on the individual.
9:56 PM

Dude, this is fucked up.
9:59 PM

I'm sorry.
10:00 PM

It's ok. Thanks.
10:20 PM

I don't know what else to do. I feel horrible about all of this. What the fuck else is there to do, though? I'm doing all I can.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today, I got a call from Steven's phone. However, it was not Steven; it was some girl named Madelyn using his phone. I did not answer immediately, I saw the call and hour later and replied then. When she answered, I was struck by the panic in her voice.

"Hello!? Is this Owen?"

"Yeah, uh, who's this?"

"My name's Madelyn, I'm using Steven's phone because- okay, so you know about his... problem, right?"

"You mean-"

"Yeah. The thing."

I sat down and stared at the floor.

"Yes. What's wrong?"

"It's acting up. He needs help. Please, come over and help... I'll send you the address. Just, please. Come."

"Okay. I'll find a way over."

"Thank you so much-"

She hung up and I realized that I didn't have any transportation. I panicked; what the hell could I do? I got up, and looked out the window down to Jeep Liberty in the driveway.

Ten minutes later I was speeding down the street with it. Mom was passed the fuck out on the couch, and her keys were easy to snatch. I looked down at the instructions I wrote down from Google. It was near my old Elementary school, John Tyler. I passed Maryview, John Tyler, and then went down a couple of streets. I found the house, struggled to park the car, parked it finally, got out and ran to the front stoop. I knocked, and Madelyn answered. I realized that she was the girl I saw around the time Grey almost took over completely.

"Hey, he's- he's in the living room, come in."

She led me into the house and into the foyer. She pointed me to the living room and I went inside and I saw Steven shaking in a corner.

"He's been like this for almost three hours- I don't know what to do, the pills they're... not working anymore and..."

 "It's okay."

I knelt down next to him.

"Is he acting up?"

Steven nodded his head. He held an empty pill bottle in his hand. He looked down at it and then angrily threw it aside.

"They weren't working anymore. I took the rest of them all at once. They're hurting me and it. I'm going to hurt it."

"That's dangerous, and there's no guarantee-"

He smiled.

"No, trust me; he's feeling something, alright."

He laughed, and underneath I swore I heard something else. I felt like I should have been panicking. But I wasn't. I was completely composed, and I had an idea.

"Okay buddy, what we're going to do is- we're going to end this. We're going to end this, today."

I offered my hand to him. He frowned.

"Dude... what happened to you? You seem different and I-"

I grabbed his hand forcefully and yanked him up from the corner. I held him up and carried him towards the back door.

"Madelyn, can you grab me a cup of water please?"

She nodded and ran off presumably to the kitchen. I went out back with Steven. I placed him on a lawn chair.

"So what we're going to try here is something I learned while I was away..."

He didn't reply, he stared down at the grass. I approached him and tapped him on the shoulder.

"This is important: do you know where this piece accessed you from?"

"...H-huh... what do you... what do you mean?"

"Do you associate the thing inside of you with any objects or places or people?"

"I don't... I don't know what you mean, what do you mean what do you mean I-"

He had a coughing fit. He didn't know what I meant, and he likely wouldn't ever know. I think what happened with me was a special case...

I took the biggest risk of my life and decided to carry out the ceremony regardless.

I looked around the backyard for something to use. There wasn't anything we could conceivably take. I then noticed the necklace Steven was wearing, with a little Jesus cross thing.

"That. We're using that. Take your necklace off."

"What's- what's happen-"

Steven coughed roughly as he took the necklace off. I took it from him gently. Madelyn rushed out with the cup of water. I took it from her and set it down.

"Candles. Do you have any?"

"Uhhh... shit uhhh-"

She ran into the house. I sat next to Steven and grabbed his hand. I held it.

"We're going to get through this. Don't worry. Don't be scared.'

Steven smiled.

"I'm not worried. I never worry. All things pass. All humans die. I will be here soon. Do not worry."

I let go of his hand and stood up away from him. He grinned and looked up at me.

"Do not worry. Do not be scared. I am not going to attack. I'll be honest; I do not have the energy to attack you. Besides, Owen Norris, I would like to discuss our future together."

I sat down on the grass at a manageable distance in front of the chair. We met eyes.

"What do you mean, future together?"

"Don't you see? You're not done yet. Foolish boy- you think you if you take one piece of the puzzle, it'll prevent the rest of it from pulling itself together..."

"Are you saying, just because I defeated Grey, that there's more?"

He chuckled.

"You think you defeated Grey? That's cute! That's really, really cute. Humans- they're some cute sons a bitches, you know that?"

"They have there moments. But- what do you mean? You seem to be spouting off bullshit to me."

"I could be. Who the fuck knows! Steven doesn't. Steven doesn't know anything right now. I'll tell you what, human- I may not give a fight in stopping you from sealing me up, but I will torment Steven as long as I possibly can. You have my word on that."

"And you have my word that for every moment you hurt him, I'll hurt you just as much."

"Cocky! I like that. Let's see what you got."

Madelyn rushed out. She had the candles.

"What are these for an-"

She stopped dead in her tracks when she looked at Steven.

"That's... that's not. That's not Steven."

"Madelyn, focus, we can still save him."

She gave me the candles and I placed them down. I needed one final thing: a lighter.

"Need a light?"

He threw me the lighter and I caught it. That thing smiled using Steven's body.

"Just being helpful."

I almost began to light the candles, but I remembered you had to pour the water first. I poured it around Steven, then I lit each of the candles. I placed the necklace at Steven's feet.

I took a deep breath and I looked into Steven's eyes. All I saw was that damn demon inside of him. He smiled at me.

"Let's dance, boy-"

I placed my palm on his chest and we are pulled into the oblivion together.

I crashed onto the shores of the River. I rubbed my head as I got up and I prepared to shiver but realized that it felt completely comfortable. The frigid air was replaced by a nice, comfortable air, and the smell of flowers drifted through the air. It was a spring evening against the River inside of Steven.

I wandered down the shores of the River aimlessly. I had no idea what to do. I knew Peter did something inside of me when he performed the ritual. I was just so distracted by Grey that I never noticed. I figured Steven would be the same.

I looked to my right, and just on the other side of a bunch of trees I saw a house. As I walked to it, I noticed how pristine it looked. It didn't look like what you'd expect from a building in the River; it wasn't decaying, it actually looked quite nice and quite lovely.

The door was unlocked. I went inside, and Steven's memories slowly unraveled around me. I saw Steven as a child looking up at two older people. The old lady picked him up, and I realized they were his grandparents. She nuzzled him, and his grandfather teased him. I walked upstairs away from the foyer and entered a dusty bedroom. It smelled so sweet and lovely. Steven ran over to his grandparents in their bed, and he complained about a terrible dream. He said there was a man in his room watching him and that he had sharp teeth and a pale face. He said that the man was a vampire. His grandmother pulled him close and kissed him on the head and told him everything would be alright. He believed her. I backed out of the bedroom and walked across the hall and entered Steven's bedroom. Steven was kneeling down on the floor, praying against his bed. The moonlight fell upon him and tiny tears glistened on his cheek. Then, he was in the bed and he was tossing and turning in his sleep. His grandfather watched for a moment, then woke Steven up.

"It's okay, you're only having a bad dream."

"He won't stop whispering to me."

It was then day time. Steven was looking out the bedroom window down to a car below. The car opened up and Steven softly said, "Mom and dad." He got up and ran downstairs. I watched from the window as he ran out the front door and jumped into his father's arms. His dad swung him around in the air and kissed his cheek and held him close and I felt myself almost feel jealous of it.

The jealousy was pushed away when his father and him were sitting on the bed together and I heard his dad tell him, "I'm sorry buddy, but we just can't right now. Grandma and grandpop are going to take good care of you." He pulled Steven close and hugged him. "One day, we'll never leave you. I promise you that."

I left the bedroom. Steven was standing at the top of the stairwell. He was called downstairs by his grandfather, who was smiling, and was telling Steven something. I could not hear any longer; it wasn't as if I''d gone deaf, but it was more like the world had lost its ability to produce sound. I walked down the stairwell and follow them out the front door and then I'm in the car with them and they're all smiling and then a car crashed into the side and his grandmother is blasted away in a metallic blast and his grandfather screamed and the car tumbled down into a ditch.

Steven was unconscious. The world faded away as blood trickled down his face.

I saw his mother and father at a table talking with hushed voices. They looked past me at Steven. Steven looked so small and fragile in that moment. His mother tried to smile but she burst into tears and that carried over onto the day of the funeral. It was a nice spring day. It was a wonderful day. Too wonderful. Steven felt mad at the sky. It was all cheerful and birds fluttered about but his grandparents were gone and he felt alone.

There were more memories but they're interrupted by someone screaming. It was Steven, current Steven, somewhere within the house. Or rather, somewhere within his memories. I searched all about for him. I tried to follow from where the voice was, and I was led to his closet. I opened it up, and I saw, for the first time, the "vampire." His face was covered by a pale white, ghoulish, with a gaping mouth full of funky teeth. He wore a dark hoodie and torn, ripped jeans.

By just his eyes, I could tell that this imagined monster was now the form of the Dying Man.

At first, I thought he was appearing to me, but he wasn't; he looked through me, and behind me, Steven stood. I turned around and looked at him. He did not see me. Neither of them did.

"Why won't you leave me alone?"

The vampire laughed.

"Why don't you just give in? Because you find that undesirable, just as I find giving up on you undesirable. Does that not make sense?"

Steven slammed his foot on the ground and grabbed the edges of the door frame in an effort to contain his anger.


"Child, I'll comfort you only once; you've done nothing to deserve this. Absolutely nothing."

Steven seemed surprised by the horned man's supposed honesty.

"Then... why me?"

The vampire shrugged.

"Bad things happen sometimes. You of all people should know that, right?"

He staggered towards Steven. I backed away as Steven backed away.

"This is fucking crazy... I...."

"You? Don't you mean we?"

"We're not the same! I'm me, and you're you, and I'm... I'm just me..."

Steven was losing. He sank to his knees. The house began to shake. The vampire approached Steven. He grabbed him by the hair and pulled him off of the ground. He grinned and his teeth suddenly sharpened and he was dangerously close to Steven's neck.

"You were right when you were younger, boy. I am a vampire. I am a vampire and I've been feasting on you for years. Ever since your grandparents died. Ever since your parents took you in. Ever since you were taken out of school and put in home schooling and you said goodbye to all those pitiful friends of yours. Ever since you started taking those pills. And I was there when you began taking those other pills. Now, I've been given life! I've been given life. And now it's time to leave you. I wish there was some other way. I wish your God could save you. I am being honest! I want you to be rescued! But it looks as if you aren't going to be."

He turned, and he grinned at me. I tried to move my legs, but I could not. I was frozen.

"You shouldn't have ever let me in-"

He said as he bit down into Steven's neck. He did not suck; he bit down and chewed upon Steven's neck. I watched blood pour down Steven's side. I watched the life go out of Steven's eyes. The house began to shake and crack and fall apart.

I forced my entire existence to move, in order to save my friend's life.

I tackled the monster off of Steven. I pushed him off and threw him to the ground. Steven's blood splashed against me and I felt queasy. I grabbed Steven and dragged him into the corner. I grabbed a random shirt on the ground and I held it against his neck.

"Just sit tight, everything will be oka-"

I let go just in time to have the vampire scratch me with his claws. I stepped back and then kicked him away. The house continued to destroy itself. The floor below us collapsed, and we fell into the darkness together.

We emerged inside of the still cold River. The monster grabbed at my legs and attempted to drag me down deep with it. I met his challenge and pushed him down together with me into the depths. I punched at his mask. He tried to bite my face off. I dodged his bite but he punched me in the stomach and the water dove into my mouth. I kicked away from the monster frantically.

The River fell away and we were floating in some dark space. I closed my eyes, and imagined a space, and it came true. We fell onto a hill with a single tree at its top.

I gasped for air and rolled up to my feet. I looked around in amazement. How the hell did I do that? I looked over at the Dying Man piece. He seemed pretty shocked as well.

"That shouldn't be possible...."

He laughed and laughed suddenly.

"What's so funny?"

He looked over at me and silenced his laughter, only to begin laughing again a second later.


"Human, you won't get this joke. But what you're doing right now? It's just funny on a level I can't describe to someone so low like you. This changes things up for us. I have to rethink some things. Recalculations must be made. Hmmm..."

He seemed to lose himself in thought. I stomped my foot against the ground as I lost my temper.

"You almost killed my friend; stop ignoring me."

"Ah! Amusing. Alright then. We may talk."

He walked over and sat down on the grass across from me.

"...Human, did you not want to talk? Please, sit down."


I uneasily, slowly sat down.

"You can trust me. Or okay, you can't really, but it would be against my rules to strike you at this moment. Besides, I can't."

"Why not? Weren't you trying to kill me a second ago?"

"No. I am not going to kill you today, Owen Norris."

I scratched my head.

"W...why? Why not kill me? This would be the perfect opportunity to attempt it."

"HA! Attempt. You have good style. I admire that."

"You are also very polite for a Dying Man piece."

"Am I? I do not recognize that. To answer your question, I do not want to kill you yet, because you still have use for me."

"How so?"

"I am polite, but I am not an open book."

"Okay. Then why are you putting on this show? What do you want?"

"All I want is to be united with myself."

"Bullshit answer number one, there we go..."

"Smart and admirable, yet quite the impolite human. I can see how Grey took a liking to you."

"Grey? So you knew Grey."

"I know Grey, correct."


The piece looked down at a wrist as if a watch were there.

"Tick, tock, tick, tock. Why don't you stop dancing around with these questions and ask something actually useful?"

"What do you mean?"

"What is this domain you have created? Do you know?"

"To be honest, I have no fucking clue. I don't know what came over me when I started willing it to life. I thought I was going insane but instinct took over..."

"And you created this place... this place is exactly like the River. It's what many would call a domain. But, it's quite different from the River. The River is what many would consider a Fear's domain. This place... this place is your domain."

"So this place belongs to me?"

"Its appearance does, but it takes on many forms for different people. This place belongs to all of humanity."

"How is that possible?"

"How are we possible, Owen? How do monsters exist? And how do pitiful children who have no idea what the hell they're doing survive those monsters? Like I said earlier... you ask the wrong questions."

"...What are the right questions then?'

"What is this domain for?"

"What is this domain for, then."

He giggled.

"It's for salvation. This is a battleground. Here, this is where humans drag the Fears. Here, this is where men and their Fears meet face to face. And then, they initiate what has been coined by many of your kind as a 'William Tell."

"What exactly is that?"

"Simply put.. a battle for the soul."

"That sounds really stupid. A William Tell? What the hell does that even..."

"We're not the best at naming things. The point is, you almost, unknowingly, triggered a William Tell between us. You almost obliterated yourself with your hubris, boy. Just because Grey can't touch you for however long does not mean you're hot shit. If you want to survive, then I suggest you rethink your suicidal tendencies...."

The creature stood up. The sky cracked and the ground shook as the dimension faded away.

"Wait. What is your name? And are you leaving Steven alone now!? Wait!"

Pieces of the sky fell around us like porcelain.

"My title...  ha, it's been years since I've dusted this one off... you may call me the Ghoul."

The Ghoul smiled, and the last of him I saw was his bloody teeth. The sky fell between us and I found myself back beside Steven in his bedroom. He was no longer bleeding from the throat. Instead, he was in the corner of the room, and he pointed to the other side of the room when I looked at him.

"Look... he's dead now... he's dead now.."

I turned around and I saw the Ghoul, collapsed against the opposite wall. Black liquid oozed from his mask. The mask began to fall apart. It crumbled away, and there wasn't any face behind it. There was nothing, and then his body fell against the floor, limp and motionless.

"Are you okay?"

I put my hand on Steven's shoulder and searched his body for wounds. Nothing too bad, just scratches and scuffles.

"No, I'm fine... we fought a bit and... he talked and... fuck..."

He hugged me all of a sudden and I felt incredibly awkward but then I said fuck it and I hugged him back. The world melted away and we were out in the backyard. I looked over at the porch where Madelyn watched us from.

"Is it over?"

"Yes. For now."

I pocketed the necklace. 

Steven cried. I tried to comfort him. Madelyn did too.

It was weird to see this from the other side. It was weird to have all that responsibility. It was fucking strange to have to fight something that felt so impersonal to me. Did Peter fight with Grey like that? Knowing Grey, he wouldn't of given up like the Ghoul did. That must have been extremely difficult, I realized. I tried to push away the guilt.

"Thanks, man. Thank you for helping me. I can't ever pay you back for something like this."

"You won't have to. Just focus on getting past him. It'll be hard at first. But soon you'll stand up on your own two legs, and you'll be able to fight twice as hard as you did in there with that thing."

He let go of me, and looked at me curiously.

"Fight? No... I'm not... we don't have to, right? What is there to fight now?"

"He's not dead, Steven. He's only sealed away. Besides..."

I looked at Madelyn.

"We have one more to go before we're in the clear, don't we."

We're not sure when we're going to do Madelyn's ritual. I had to take the car home, and Steven's parents arrived so we couldn't jump right into another ritual. We were also very tired.

I am worried. Very worried. Something does not feel right at all about any of this. Maybe it's just me, but everything felt too easy. And I don't mean how the Ghoul let us win. No, that Sowing Season ritual felt too... I felt like I was in control the entire time. Like. I can't explain this?

My anxiety's telling me that just because it seems like I'm able to fight back against these monsters, it doesn't mean anything; maybe they want us to win against them. Maybe they're just letting us win. But if that's the case, why the fuck would they do that? And also, what can we do about it? We can't just sit here and let them destroy us from the inside.

Fuck, I just wish Peter was here.