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Of Malice And Men

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The room was pitch black. The walls, floor, ceiling, Phillip could see nothing. Nothing except his own yellow pajamas and a prancing mass of bleeding limbs by his side. The knife in his hands flashed, blood crawling down the shaft and dripping silently to the smooth ebony floor. He looked over at the odd creature beside him. It was covered in blood too. Had he created it? Hold on, how could the knife flash if it was completely dark? Nothing was making sense.  

The black gave way to white as words filled the air, floating translucent and backwards in front of Phillip's eyes. He could not read them. It was then that another mass approached, much larger this time, and with it brought a plethora of headache-inducing neon colours stretching as far as the eye could see.  

It was taunting him, challenging him. The bloody creature charged, and Phillip could feel himself running after it; advancing toward the newfound foe. Bringing the knife up in a wide arc, the blade flashed once more and Phillip saw his own reflection as the blood seeped down towards the edge. The world became enveloped in black once more.  

"Motherfuckerrrr!!" 

Phillip awoke with a start the minute he felt a wet tongue attack his face. He opened his eyes to find his retriever Sandy's dark orbs staring into his own, mouth agape and tail wagging. Petting and coaxing her, he looked over at the alarm clock across the room and found the display flashing. Great. A power outage had cancelled his alarm and he overslept, plus no one had fed Sandy yet. Too tired to even care, he picked her up and carried her downstairs, still in his pajamas. 

He put her down in the middle of the kitchen and filled her bowl as his parents talked very quietly at the table. He then snagged a piece of toast and shoved it in his mouth, looking for the peanut butter. "Phillip." His rushed routine was interrupted by his father, who cleared his throat and motioned to the clock on the stove. "I think you should go." 

And go he did. Horace was waiting. The older boy always insisted on being chauffeured to school by Phillip, who never complained or said much of anything. He didn't want his friend to be mad, even though that seemed to be his general state of existence. 

"You're late." 

Phillip looked at his shoes apologetically. 

"Although I suppose I can't blame you, due to the power failure. Not everyone has three backup generators like my family does." Horace came from a really rich family, and owned the biggest property in the region. He certainly never turned down an opportunity to boast about it. 

"Dag says we should start taking a taxi to school as opposed to walking all the time, due to the recent attacks in the area. Although I seriously doubt whether those pathetic buffoons that let themselves be killed are in the same league as you and I. I bet the two of us could take on the half-witted sadist and win. Everyone around here is so weak and pitiful. Especially you. Come, Phillip! We have arrived!" He marched tall and proud up the front steps and into the doors of the school, Phillip closely following. They quickly reached the locker hallway, and Horace dumped his books into Phillip's arms. "Hold my shit, will you?" 

Phillip barely heard him. His mind was a million miles away. There was beautiful music coming from the room across the hall. It brought all his emotions to surface yet calmed him at the same time. Phillip had never felt this way before. He didn't know before that the school had put in another music room, so he went to go take a look inside. 

Noodle-encrusted soundproof walls greeted him, the colour of blanched ash, and a simple tile floor was smooth under his soles. It was mostly empty, which drew attention to the mahogany grand piano off next to the wall and the student playing it. 

Deathly pale cheekbones shined in the dull luminescence of the light, hooked nose in the air as slim fingers flew across the keys. Pointed teeth flashed in a bright grin as he saw Phillip approach. His dark hair, swept back with a widow's peak, accentuated his lustrous eyes and mirrored the dark passion that seeped through the keys and filled the air. The warm chuckle that left his throat brought only one word to Phillip's mind. Senpai. 

"Greeting, greetings! You are the great Phillip, are you not? I have been ever so eager to meet you, my boy." 

Phillip started at hearing his name spoken. "A-ah! Hello...er....." 

"Vladmir. But call me Dracula, dear boy, everyone does." 

"Oh, hello Dracula! H-how are you?" he asked shakingly, unused to using his voice. 

"Very good, very good. Nothing like a shot of vine in the morning coffee, hahahaha!" 

"What do you do, Dracula? Do you play piano?" Phillip cursed himself. Idiot! What sort of a question was that? Who would even bother- 

"Vhat do I do? Vell, not so much play as make it up as I go. Sheet music is just not my thing, per se." 

Phillip was in awe. "Y-you can play all that without a sheet? That's incredible, your music is so beautiful, senpai!" 

"Hahaha! Many thanks, my boy!" 

"Do you smoke weed?" He deadpanned again. Where the hell did that come from?! 

"Hahaha, very good, yes! I smoke the veed! Vould you like some?" 

Uh oh. Didn't expect that. "Uh, I..." 

"Phillip! Who told you to leave? You've still got my stuff, fool!" Horace burst in, slamming the doors. All the grace and subtlety of a train wreck, as usual. 

"Oh, a friend of Phillip's?" 

"Horace Femurson. None of your damned business." 

Phillip was, although grateful for Horace interrupting that awkward question, appalled at how Senpai was being treated. Before he could speak, however, one more person barged into the previously peaceful room. This was starting to become tiresome. 

A tall teacher stood, hands on hips, eyes giving a death glare down on Phillip and the relatively short Horace. A large blue apron splattered with neon paint covered most of her clothes, with fiery blood-red hair framing her grimacing face. "Get out, you little shits. It's class time. You shouldn't even be in here." 

"Hold your horses a minute, Ms Moon. I have things to discuss with Vladmir. Phillip, go on ahead, I'll catch up later." 

Having been dismissed, Phillip slowly inched his way around the teacher, who was still blocking the door. Not wanting to provoke her wrath, he quickly made his way down the hall and up the stairway. 

Ms Moon turned to glare at the two remaining boys. "What are you still doing here? I thought I said to get out." 

"Actually, Miss," Dracula said softly, "I've got a spare this period, and the kind janitor gave me the keys to this room and gave me permission to come and stay vhenever I vant." 

"Tch," she spat, "Only cause you gave him drugs. He needs it too, the old fart. Dissing my graffiti projects." She turned to walk out the door. "You got thirty seconds, Femurson." With that, she left swiftly, wedge heels getting quieter and quieter as she stormed through the now-empty hallway. 

"Alright, first things first, how the devil did you do that." 

"Vhat, convince the instructor? Man, that's the-" 

"No, not that, you imbecile! Phillip, you got him to speak. Out loud. He never talks, not even to me. Only brief responses to direct questions." 

"Vell that's surprising to hear. I vouldn't have expected such a sveet boy to be so shy." 

"Oh yeah, and stay away from him. Both you and the weed. I need him functional." 

"Come now, Horace, there's no need to lose your head." A swift kick to the shins shut Dracula up effectively. 

[Space Funeral and all things related belongs to thecatamites. I own nothing.]