Logs:PrP Choices : Who We Are Pt. 3
|PrP Choices : Who We Are Pt. 3|
|Dramatis Personae|| |
28 August, 2017
Regan makes the choice, but is it the right one? Only she can know.
House in the Suburbs
Sometimes gallantries make Regan uncomfortable. It suited Doc, an old school gentleman, a European officer whose formalities were nicely complicated by the vicious sadism underlying it all. But with Michael it feels off, like an affectation.
And something about suburbia has always disturbed her to no end. The middle class with their 9 to 5's, 2.5 kids, Toyotas and backyards. She was a girl of extremes. Extreme wealth or extreme poverty, hanging out in the pool house of her family's old mansion, or sitting on a torn sofa in someone's shitty alley, smoking weed. Suburbia felt so tidy, so controlled and contained and dull, dull, dull.
Regan takes another deep breath. Is this the cheese scene where the guy gets his girlfriend out in front of a strange house and then on bended knee asks her to marry him after proclaiming he bought it for her? "I know it looks a mess but we'll fix it up together!" She'll throw up on his shoes...
But no, that's not Michael's style, she's pretty sure of that. Getting out of the car she shoves her hands into the pockets of her third hand coat, missing the warm and luxurious wool one Doc had bought her, that's hiding from moths in storage right now.
"What's this?" she asks.
“You’ll see, come on.” He takes her hand, more pulling her along than he actually does wait for her to take it. He leads her a few houses down, and then starts walking up to a house with the lights off. There’s no ‘For Sale’ sign out front. Yet, he strolls up to it as if he owns it.
”Isn’t it great? Way better than that shit apartment we have?” Yes, Michael is very excited. He pulls out another set of keys and unlocks the door, walking in. If Suburbia was creepy on the outside, and fi Regan follows him in, well there’s just a sense to this house. Enough to send a shiver up ones spine. Nothing’s out of place, yet, it feels off. And there’s a smell, it’s weak, but it’s there. Chlorine and bleach.
Michael doesn’t seem to notice it. He shuts the door behind them, and turns on the light in the hallway.
It is a nice house though. Everything a budding couple might need to make a life, a good first house. It looks lived in. A coffee cup sits on the table, cold and untouched for days, however. Maybe this is his surprise.
He takes off his coat and hangs it up on the coat rack, smiling at Regan. “Well? What do you think?”
For a moment, it's crushing. Her legs feel weak, her insides feel like they're caving in. It guts her. Nothing brings back memories and emotion like a smell.
Unable to force herself back into the blasé state which she always uses to fool Michael, she instead simply tries to get her brain off her pain. It's been months. /When will it stop hurting so much/.
"Uhm, it's great," she says faintly, her eyes roaming over the place without seeing. "We here to feed someone's cat?" “Nah babe, it’s ours.” Well, he did walk in here rather nonchalantly. He seems not at all worried about it. He starts taking her on a tour of the place. He notices the coffee cup. He looks slightly irritated, and he picks it up, forcing a fake smile. Makes his way back to the kitchen and puts it in the sink. As if he had just forgot it one time.
The main floor is toured. As they pass the basement, that smell, the gut wrenching smell from moments ago is a little stronger. Probably where the chemicals are stored, probably. It’s locked though, from the outside, and Michael never takes her down there.
Instead he takes her for the stairs up. A lovely place, a little more modern, with some rustic charm. Everything you’d expect in a neighborhood like this. Everything to make someone feel normal.
For one, he apparently wants her to live in a middle class neighborhood like she's some fucking housewife. A two car garage, three or four bedrooms, and what's that imply, kids? Quaint dinner parties, candlelit dinners when the kids are at a sleepover, a /minivan/?
It's revolting, all of it.
She tries to keep her voice normal. "You bought a house? Ah." It'd be best if she could act thrilled, she's sure. She's probably supposed to. "I...like the wall color." The sickeningly neutral wall color.
And the furniture, the decor...someone else's stuff. "You sure you have the right house?" she asks.
“I’m sure.” Michael climbs the stairs to the top. As his delusion gets deeper, the need for normalcy grows. When she first met him, sure he was more of what she wanted, or thought she did, but he has progressively changed. Seeking in her something and not finding it, just as she is failing now to find it in him. The more something escapes you the more the delusion must take over.
The smell up here is not so good. It catches your nostrils the moment you reach the top. Feces and piss, like someone left an animal in one of the rooms to do as it wished, or worse. At least it doesn’t smell like death. Michael doesn’t even seem to notice it, he’s still smiling.
He goes towards the door on the right, the master bedroom and opens it. Like parading it in front of her. But the moment that door opens, that smell intensifies. It’s got to be coming from in there. “Hey babe, we’re here.” It’s a different tone, a sweeter, honey laced tone than he’s ever used with her. He walks into the room, starting to disappear out of sight.
Not knowing where that sudden gutsy feeling comes from, not knowing it is her geist manipulating her emotions and urges, she suddenly feels mellow. Like she has all the time in the world to think. Like nothing this man can do can hurt her anyway. What's the worst? Rape, torture, forced cannibalism? ok the last would be hard to cope with after the fact but really, what can Michael do to her that's not already been done?
Suddenly, like never before, Regan feels a sense of mastery, of calm. She's 19 and barely has the muscle to bruise him with a baseball bat, but now is her chance to gain the upper hand. To /understand/ him.
She's in a room with ted Bundy during his last spree. He's Dahmer opening his freezer for her. Mary Bell explaining why she hates little boys. He's her very own monstrous enigma to unravel, untouched by cop, psychiatrist, or prosecutor. And he's done something truly horrible.
She follows him in.
Then there is the bed. Tied to his and naked is another familiar figure. Skinny and blonde. There are signs of semen, and defecation, and blood on the bed as well, but that has been cleaned up, so many times that even at that it is stained beyond ever coming clean. Wounds cover her body, but they have all been cleaned and scabbed over. Tended to, despite the ferocity that caused them.
It’s then that Regan realizes Michael is not talking to her. He shifts on the bed and she can see he is petting the girl’s hair on the bed. Talking to this girl like he talks to Regan. Just like he talks to her. “Hey babe, I’m back, did you miss me? It’s Michael.” Her face comes into view. The girl from the locket. She does have a lot of similarities to Regan, a lot. Her lips are chapped to such a degree, that every touching of them must be painful. A gag stopping her from talking. She looks like she hasn’t really eaten much in weeks. Weeks. That’s how long this might have been going on. Tears have stained her cheeks, but seem to lack the fuel to even fall anymore.
Her eyes are half-lidded, but when they spot Regan, there is the briefest moment of hope. She tries to scream, but nothing comes out. Michael pets her face. “Ssh, ssh, we’re all together now.”
It starts to maybe occur to Regan that Michael has a type.
Regan bites her lip. It's not just deja vu. What's deja vu times three? Deja deja vu? Her memories, the geist's memories, the present woman before them, a monster for whom she had feelings, albeit weakened, weakening feelings.
Doc had looked far more dignified, and had taken far better care of her, when she had been his prisoner.
Regan does not react the way the poor girl would have hoped. She doesn't scream or throw her hand over her mouth or turn to flee with a cell phone to her ear. She moves deeper into the room quietly, not looking terribly shocked. She knew, really, didn't she?
Regan has a type too.
"Michael," she says quietly. "That man there...is he dead?" Though she was trying to keep her voice calm, Regan is surprised just how chill she actually sounds. The man’s position hints at what he was there for. To watch. For Michael to take his frustrations out, but mostly to watch. Maybe he just got in the way of Michael’s prize. It’s hard to say. Michael turns towards him, looks past him as if he’s not even there. “Who?” Like he sees no one.
Michael turns to stand and face Regan, after brushing the cheek of the girl on the bed. His gaze is a little wild and dark. He approaches Regan, and puts his hands on her shoulders. Or tries to. “What do you think?” The same question he asked her downstairs. Not clear what he might be hoping she will say. He no longer seems like the overly doting boyfriend before. The hope of normalcy seems gone when he looks at Regan.
What has replaced it, is likely the delusion, a hand rising to go to Regan’s cheek to pet her face, like a doll. “You love it, right?” Even his voice is far more level. Emotionless.
Whether it's the time she spent with Doc, with Michael, with the books on serial killers and abnormal psychology, or the special friend she came back from hell with, Regan can smile about a it all. Not just any smile-- that smile she gives a guy when he's going to get lucky.
She really is that fucked up now.
He smiles back at her. It’s the first time he’s smiled since he came into the room. It’s not a smile she recognizes. It’s different, darker, somehow tainted by its environment. He pulls her by the hands towards the bed. The bed with the bound and gagged girl that looks a lot like her. Michael is pretty strong, he’s in good shape. He pushes Regan roughly onto the bed. She lands right next to the girl. There’s terror in those eyes, like she’s seen this before. The way he pushes Regan, it’s not the same as a lover taking charge, not exactly. It’s got a rougher quality to it.
He stands over her, beginning to remove his clothes methodically. Looking down at her with lust. This is his fantasy. Where he is powerful beyond measure. Where normal no longer matters. It is whatever he wants it to be.
Her breath catches in her throat as he knocks her back and her disgust at the state of the bed is interrupted by the bloodshot whites of the girl's eyes as they desperately meet. There's no time for looks of reassurance-- and Regan's not the type to really offer such anyway. Does she even care about these people?
Turning sharpoly away from the bound girl, she moves to take off her coat, like she's excited too, but as she leans over to put her fingers to the laces of her boot she suddenly arrests herself and sits up, as much concern scribbled across her features as she can muster. "Michael-- what was that?" Oh, did Regan hear a noise? She'll assure him she did, and look terribly concerned.
He moves toward her on the bed, brandishing the knife in front of him. There’s something much darker in his features now. Menacing. Tears, she can hardly spare, start to stream down the eyes of the other girl. But it’s Regan that Michael has eyes for. He shoves her back down on the bed, even rougher. She bounces a little. Mounting her on the bed, pinning her to it. Can he hurt her? Will he?
”I’m so glad you love it.” The knife tip touches Regan’s cheek, leaves a small little trickle of blood, and then trails down to her top. “I will take care of you. I love you.” He whispers it.
The knife starts to tear at her clothing.
She draws in her breath sharply, the other woman's sobs become nothing but background muzak in an elevator as the situation slips through her fingers. Yes, she'll likely survive it. She has that feeling that she will. But she doesn't need anything new to have nightmares about. And she's certainly not in to having to play a victim.
Michael only ever got to hit Regan because she /let/ him. This time, she's not /letting/ him.
She crawls back on her elbows until she hits the headboard, her breast rising only for her to hunch a little to lower herself away from the blade. She still feels that eerie calm, which is the most unsettling thing about all of this, or will be on reflection. Nothing else is that /surprising/. "Michael, that guy's moving," she says, while she grapples with the too many avenues which feel like they are opening before her. Paths, at the end of which hazy futures mature and beckon.
Yet, in the moment, Regan is the victim. Michael is bigger and stronger and has no sentimental feelings for her. Not now. He is drawn only into whatever delusion his psychosis has played out for him. And it strengthens his resolve. Him. He has no care about a moving man. What man? Not in his world. Just Regan. His Regan.
”It’s okay babe, I’ll take care of you.” It’s an eerie, broken record, really. He scrambles with her, on top of her to the headboard, trapping her there. Eyes locked on her. The knife moving again for her top, pressing a little harder, until its sharp blade can be felt on her breastbone as it threatens to drag downward. His free hand lands on her throat, starting to close around it. A little tighter. She needs to open an avenue if she wishes to escape. Escape, or let it happen.
And if someone else has to suffer for it, it's for the best in the end.
If she can slip that knife form his hand, that thing of folded steel and molded handle, it is straight at the heart of the slumped man it will fly. Michael is expecting a struggle. In his mind, in this fantasy, he’s in control, and Regan wants it. Him. Sure, she might fight him for the knife, make him work for it, that’s part of the game. He cuts her, she cries out, her cuts her some more. On it goes, until he gets everything he wants. Which is what she wants also.
What he’s not expecting, however, is a knife to be lifted from his hand without a struggle. Like magic. Or like wisps of plasm only visible to others of Regan’s kind. Little wisps like white smoke originate from Regan and pull the knife free and then fire it across the room. Ka-chunk. It buries itself in the almost dead man’s chest. There’s a gurgle of blood and he falls on his side, nothing holding him up. A pool of blood begins to form. What did he do? He might want to know later.
That’s the thing about being a Sin-Eater now. The dead don’t always go away just because they are dead. She knows that. And they don’t necessarily go away because you ask. She may have a new friend soon, wondering why he had to die, wondering why Regan didn’t save him when she had the power. Maybe.
For now, Michael has no knife. That has an effect of pulling him from his delusion to little more reality. He looks angry. Both hands clutch at Regan’s throat. Choking hard. It’s so hard to breath.
Pull hard enough to lift that dead thing to its feet, for it to reach up with bound hands and drag its bindings down the part of the blade that protrudes and cut itself free.
Once the monstrosity which she created has assisted in getting the concussed Michael into his own car downstairs, she leaves him to rest in the hallway, where anyone peeking through the front fdoor will be alerted to the disaster. Quickly reviewing the scene, Regan can only hope it looks as if the man escaped and was murdered as he pursed his girlfriend's rapist, who, himself had fled after committing these heinous acts. And if anyone spotted a strange car parked on the street? Well that was Michael's too.
Though not the best driver, Regan managed a phone call on the way out into the country, where the abandoned business Doc had left her waits, newly rebuilt and uninhabited. At which point a trusted former associate of her dead lover assists her in getting Michael to a secure location inside. A hefty payout to an already unscrupulous man will hopefully assure his silence, along with an anuity for future services rendered. After all, every girl could use a goon.