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Light fell through with a sheen of generous grease. Somewhere, the sink was leaking. The bed smelled like mothballs. . . It was the mothballs.
So these are the bounties of freedom, he thought.
The sink was leaking.
He wanted to lie here. He did it every day. Wallow. Wonder aloud. Scream.
Someone was pounding the door. Concentrated blasts, to evoke fear.
He was here.
He couldn’t be. No, no he was gone—wasn’t he?
THUMPTHUMPTHU—it stopped. A slow, whistling began. A call that chilled his blood. Icicles grew on his spine, it couldn’t be.
“Little Pig, Little Pig, let me come in…”, crooned the harbinger in his perverse tone.
He stumbled out of his bed, throwing aside the heavy comforter, a term rather ironic for something of its texture. Tripping, he fell to the floor
“I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll. . . blow your brains out. Heh-hehhaha”, chuckled the monster outside.
He thought of what to do. He knew no escape. A centripetal finality consumed him. There was no escape to know.
When man has woken up enough times, the luxury of it disappears. He looked around. The laptop, half-lit. The—the goddamn sink! Paper plates on the floor. The fear that encompassed the room. His miserable existence.
“Little Pig, Little Pig..”
He was ready. “Better to die a lion, then to live a rat”, he thought. He gulped. Wiped the sweat, the tears off his face.
He walked to the door.
His hands found the chain. There they rested. He was sweating profusely. He dared not look through the peephole, to see who--what awaited him.
Better to die a lion, then to live a rat.
Was it really, though?
“I seeee you!”, teased a voice from outside. Icicles.
The chain slinked to the floor. The door burst open. He fell to the floor, and scrambled to the edge of the room, like the rat he really was.
The shadows rushed to greet the man at the door. Through his scruffy mop a smile cracked through what was best described as frozen tundra, one that contained a true, dark evil. The Mountains of Madness. The smile was a grotesque creature, splintered on its fringes, evoking a fear, a fear that underlined the fire in the man’s eyes. Green, in its rarest form.
Better to die a lion, then—
It was a lie. A lie cast by fickle men, of fickle purposes.
A deep, belly laugh escaped the creature, this “man”. He laughed, a deep thundering boom, of titans stomping and buildings crashing.
He was no lion, nor a rat. He was human. It consumed him, that which he claimed he would not feel. A hot roll over his body, a thump in his ribcage, whirring behind his eyes. This was fear, of death, of its imminent loom. Syntax evaded him. Whimpers drew from his lips. Words were erased. Tears escaped his eyes.
The man smiled, morphing into his true self, his sadistic ego. He reached into his battered coat.
Pleas now, from the rat. Cries. It frothed, bubbled out of his lips.
“Please, please, PLEA-“
The man wrenched the trigger, a harsh, loud explosion.
The rats head thundered back. He flew to the wall, and flopped down amongst his splattered self.
The man smiled with the finality of this deed done, even as its emptiness gnawed at him. There was no luster anymore, just the truth. He left. Flies buzzed outside, sensing what was theirs. Women screamed.