“Where the hell could they even be?” Cry wondered as they wandered the first floor.
Jack shook his head. “Got me,” he sighed. “Ah, fuck. We still have a bunch of floors upstairs to check too.”
“Yeah. Man...this house is way too big,” Cry agreed, watching as Jack wandered over to the door at the back of the entrance hall. “Uh-we checked that one already, remember? It’s locked. And we don’t have a key.”
“There is still a chance that Tyler and Ethan found one. God-there’s so many opportunities they could’ve just passed us by and we wouldn’t even fuckin’ know,” Jack pointed out, reaching over to try the door. To their surprise, the door swung open but…
Noises of badness.
The two exchanged uncertain glances but then a strangled cry reached their ears. Sounded like-
“Tyler?” Jack called, hurrying forward without hesitation. Cry was close behind, practically on his heels when his companion yanked the shouji door open to some sort of dojo room.
The sight that greeted their eyes…
Ethan sprawled out across the floor, a thick red puddle of blood pooling out around him and only growing larger every second. Cry started to take a step forward, but was stopped by Jack’s arm in front of him. Right as a demand of ‘what the hell’ was about to slip his lips, his words dropped off at the sound of a heavy creak nearby. He took a step closer to the center of the door, seeing what the paper door had blocked from his view: the monster-no. A monster several feet from Ethan. A monster, because this one was different, slender and lithe with curved, wiry limbs, fingers long and curved and sharp like scythes.
And on one of those scythe-like fingers was Tyler.
Pierced through and hanging by his throat.
Jack’s voice-quiet, low, and unusually calm-is what broke him out of his shock.
Cry looked over at him and stared for a second. The look on his face wasn’t shock or horror, no. It wasn’t hysteria or even panic. It was-
If he’d ever seen a look of total disappointment and despair…
Cry shook his head. “Jack, we’ve gotta do something-”
The Irishman was stiff, almost frozen, but then a hard look came over his face. The moment he snapped out of his trance, he grabbed Cry’s arm and pulled him back behind the paper wall next to the door. “We can’t,” he said shortly, voice remaining quiet but unusually harsh. “Look, Cry, it might not even matter at this point but I don’t want it getting you too. I don’t want to have to watch that-” But then he fell silent, becoming almost uncomfortable with the pair of eyes on him. Finally he made a face and looked away, swallowing hard. “Fuck.” He blinked hard a few times, silent before finally looking over at Cry. Finally, “...I might still be able to save Ethan.”
His voice was strained with reluctance and doubt. Cry wasn’t even sure what the hell he meant -how the hell was he going to save him? But hey, this place was weird and-why not? He’d take whatever ‘saving’ they could get.
“Okay. What do we have to do?”
“You. What do you have to do,” Jack corrected. He inhaled, but the exhale came out shaky and he blinked hard a couple times. “...I need you to draw it away.”
“ What?! ”
“I need you to get it to chase you. Look, I get it if you don’t want to, but- I mean-” Jack glanced back at the door. “It’s either this or Ethan dies. I can’t get to him otherwise-” He then shook his head, clearly losing his nerve. “You know, actually, nevermind. It’s a stupid plan-”
Cry found himself moving past Jack and to the doorway of the dojo before he himself even knew what he was doing. Trying his best not to look at his fallen friends and think hey, this could be me in five minutes , he instead focused in on the monster.
The monster whipped around to face him, letting Tyler slide limply to the ground with a dull, sickening ‘thud’.
“YOU WANT SOME OF THIS?”
The monster took a step towards him, to which Cry took a step back in almost complete synchronicity.
“FINE! THEN COME AND GET ME!”