It Came From The Kitchen: Part 4
We didn’t get any sleep last night. Well, I should clarify that. Duo, Trowa and I didn’t get any sleep. Quatre was as wakeable as a drugged hippo, and Heero was... I didn’t know. Duo has tried to talk to him, threaten him, smack him, and even made up a mission to get a response. He just laid there, staring at the ceiling as if he couldn’t hear us.
I couldn’t help but feel that this was my fault. If I didn’t leave Heero alone in the house, I might’ve known what had happened to him. But if I stayed, I would probably be out of it just like him, and there would only be two functional pilots instead of three. I guess I hate myself for being so glad that it was him and not me.
But we will make it through this. We’ve survived too much already. This house was not going to bring us down.
The rain has picked up since last night, turning the field into one great big mud puddle. The atmosphere was more relaxed than last night also. It disturbed Duo and myself that Quatre couldn’t remember anything about last night or what he meant by ‘it’s gone.’ He couldn’t even recall saying it. But Wufei’s confidence was contagious, spreading to the three of us and making us feel more in control and ready.
That was especially important since it appeared that Heero was going to need us. By noon he was functionally. He ate, talked and answered questions, but there didn’t seem to be any true consciousness behind it. It was completely mechanical, as if he knew we were testing him and also knew what to say to pass. But the aspect of Heero that made him who he was seemed to be gone, and I didn’t know what happened to it or how to get it back, if there was even a way.
I didn’t understand what they were talking about, or what I could’ve possibly meant by ‘it’s gone.’ I didn’t take any medication, so I couldn’t say it was the drugs talking. I did feel pretty awful, so I could’ve just garbled out anything because I wasn’t feeling well. Just like when you’re half asleep, and you say things that don’t make any sense. That’s the only thing I could think of.
The one thing I knew for sure was that I was not walking out of this bedroom unless I had to pee, or if we were leaving. I knew for certain something was going on here, and for some reason it had a very negative effect on me. I believed that its presence, whatever ‘it’ was, had made me sick, and made Heero into a walking zombie. If I stayed in the bedroom and it stayed in the kitchen, there shouldn’t be a problem. But somehow I couldn’t help thinking that it wouldn’t work. I should be able to go about as I please, not be holed up in this room for fear of anything other than OZ. And I doubted that the presence would remain in the kitchen because I thought that it should.
Unless it’s not here anymore. Maybe that’s what I meant?
It’s eleven o’clock at night now, or somewhere around there. So far so good, but I was using that very loosely. That noise still hadn’t started, and we haven’t heard a peep since last night. But to make up for that, my shadow has managed to scare the living shit out of me several times. During the day everything was cool and we felt pretty relaxed. Wufei, Trowa and I even managed to take a long nap. But now that it was night, and the storm was kicking some serious ass, the whole atmosphere changed. The air has never felt heavier. I wanted to leave.
Trowa was being alert. That’s all I could tell by his expression, which ain’t news. The boy could face off with a marble statue and win. Wufei was being his usual self, so he seemed alright. Quatre was actually nervous, and I think he spread some of that nervousness to me. I honestly was at a draw as to what was worse; not knowing what you were up against, or knowing what you were up against. Both could be hell depending on how dire the situation was.
Dire. That was my word for the day. Next time I’ll pick a more positive word.
The lightening streaked across the sky and once again I jumped at my own shadow. This really sucked. I swear, tomorrow Wu will never let it go, how Maxwell was afraid of his... where the hell was he going with his gun?
Fuck. This couldn’t be good.
I always kept my gun loaded. Especially in unfamiliar surroundings. All I needed was a few extra clips in case they were necessary, and that was it. All day I thought about how to do this, to prevent us from being ripped apart or whatever other horrific death this thing had in mind. I did not believe in supernatural beings. Such things were meant to frighten children in stories. However, I couldn’t help but think that this was something I could not handle, something that could never be controlled or manipulated by me. There was only one way I knew of to find out.
Either It dies or I do.
I think all of our attitudes changed when Heero headed towards the kitchen with his gun. All of my confidence and surety about us was just destroyed. All four of us looked at each other for the first time in real fear. Heero was unstable in my opinion, and having a weapon in his hand designed for killing made me want to panic.
We sat completely still as we heard Heero enter the kitchen. Silence had reigned for about two minutes, then the sound of feet squishing in mud suddenly started. I glanced at Quatre as he moaned, a deep, guttural moan, as if the pain he was feeling was unbearable.
In that second of distraction a shot was fired and I threw myself to the floor.
I threw myself to the floor as the first shot fired, and saw that Wufei and Duo had done the same. Quatre, on the other hand, had gone berserk. Whatever was happening to him was painful. He gripped and clawed at his heart like he was trying to take it out. He thrashed and was kicking his legs all over the place. But the worse was his scream... I knew that he was literally going to scream himself to death.
The shots rained on as Quatre screamed. Wufei was trying to yell something at me while Duo cursed up a storm. Complete and total chaos ensued as bullets started to come through the wall. Heero wasn’t being too cautious and one ended up whizzing past my ear. Duo, in a fit, threw himself onto Quatre to hold him down. Wufei took the opportunity to render him unconscious by pinching some nerve.
Then it was silent.
I could hear the clip drop to the floor from Heero’s gun, and I could hear as he slid a fresh one in. The sound of feet walking through mud continued, and Heero started to fire all over again. Wufei and I had dropped back to the floor. Duo however, had grabbed what he could within arm’s reach and started crawling towards the bedroom door, dragging Quatre right behind him.
He was right. If we stayed any longer, we’d be killed.
What the hell was wrong with that boy?! Has he lost his god damn mind?! He has to have lost his mind! He was shooting through the wall! He could’ve hit one of us! What do I mean could’ve?! He still could! Okay, I needed to calm down. I couldn’t think if I was upset. Grab whatever’s around you and get the fuck out. That’s right Q, we’re leaving. Fuck this! I’d rather be in an OZ cell than go through this shit! Okay, time to crawl. Crawl, crawl, crawl. Don’t worry Quatre. I know you can’t hear my thoughts, but I got you. I don’t know what the hell just happened to you, but I know it’s because of whatever the hell’s going on.
Okay. Tro and Wu were right behind us. They got some stuff. We just need to get past Heero’s crazy ass. Heero. I see him! He’s standing in the kitchen doorway, firing off into complete darkness! What the hell did he think he was shooting at if he couldn’t see?!
Just as Heero’s clip ran out, Wufei jumped up and hit him at the back of the head. That’s all I saw. I threw Quatre’s arm over my shoulder, got to my feet and hauled ass.
I clasped my hands together and hit Heero as hard as I could at the back of his neck. He dropped the gun, stunned, and Trowa and I took that opportunity to grab his arms. I jumped when there was a loud bang, and glanced around to find that the front door had been opened so hard it had stopped against the wall, embedding itself. Duo and Quatre weren’t anywhere in sight. Ah.
Unfortunately, my blow to his head didn’t render him unconscious and Heero started kicking and screaming, reaching out against us to grab at the walls or anything to keep him from being pulled away. Trowa and I had to grab onto the walls ourselves to help pull him along, and I was totally shocked by his behavior. He has always been in control of himself, and here he was acting like a mother being forcibly dragged away from her child.
No matter what happened next, I swear it couldn’t get any weirder than this.
Heero almost broke our necks. Trying to carry someone down wet, muddy, concrete stairs while they were acting just... insane was not easy, nor something I’d ever care to do again for the rest of my life. But I was able to breathe easier when we made it down and turned west in the direction of the car. Heero then went limp. I didn’t know if he passed out or not, but at least he had calmed down.
Wow. Duo certainly could move when he wanted to. We had some serious catching up to do. He was a good seven yards ahead of us and still drawing away fast. Heh. He was moving like the devil was chasing him.
Perhaps that was the case.
My arm was being strained. That was my first thought.
I cracked my eyes open and had to wait a minute before they could focus. We were outside. I could tell that much. It was dark, the only lighting being lightening. Great. Someone was carrying me. One of the guys I think.
We stumbled. “Shit!”
I struggled with myself, but was finally able to get my legs to work to walk. Duo changed his grip from under my arm to my waist, hoisting me up more but still relieving himself of supporting my body weight. “You alright man?”
“Yeah, Duo,” I whispered. My voice was raspy. “I’m fine, just really sore.”
“You should be. You were in a lot of pain.”
Really? I couldn’t remember anything.
“Duo, what happened?”
Pause. “You don’t want to know.”
I believed him.
It’s not over. It will never be over. But it’s over for us.
Trowa and Wufei drag me along. I could feel the cold mud on my legs as we make our way back to the car. They did this as if I was the one who was dangerous.
But it wasn’t me. It was that thing in the house.
I tried to shoot it but it fought me. Tried to get me to shoot the others.
I didn’t know what it was. I never saw its face, or any part of its body. I will never know either.
All I knew was that it came from the kitchen, and that’s where it will stay.
A/N: Okay, before you all demand me boiled in oil for the ending, let me give you the ‘background’ so to speak. My family lived in this house on the south side of Chicago for twelve years. I shared a bedroom with my brother and sister that entire time. Our bedroom and the kitchen shared a wall, and there was the heating vent that went from my bedroom to the kitchen. With me? Okay.
Now, from the age of seven until I was fourteen, I would hear this noise from the kitchen through our vent. It wasn’t just me either. My parents and siblings heard it, but it could only be heard in my room. It sounded like someone had either mud in their shoes or were standing ankle deep in mud and just kept stepping up and down in it all night. It would happen for a few weeks, then not happen for months. This went on for years until we moved. We had electricians, exterminators, air conditioning people and everybody else investigate what the #*@% noise was. The source was never found. So, since we never knew what it was, the boys will never know either. *shrugs* It just always came from the kitchen.