Seeing as the Megaleioths was going to force me back to my room whether I liked it or not, I decided not to resist. It wouldn't do Paul any good. I could hear the wind howling
and the rain attacking the outside like a large group of killer bees. Thunder had finally made it's presence, but it seemed Zeus was holding back on the lightning bolts for the moment.
My bed was a cozy as ever, but it didn't feel right, laying there while Paul was most likely dieing a few floors above me. I did eventually fall asleep, but it was a restless sleep, full of nightmares. The one I remember most vividly is this:
I was back in my old neighborhood, though the same raging thunder heads rolled above me. The background was fuzzy, just as it always is in dreams, but I could see my childhood home almost clearly. There was the same unmowed grass and broken water hose that lay like a dead snake across the sidewalk. The same trees with gnarled branches that looked like fingers coming to grab me.
And there, standing on the porch, was my sister. Patricia looked across the lawn at me, as if shocked at my sudden appearance. Without a word she leaped effortlessly off the wooden railing of the porch and ran towards me, her arms outstretched.
Time slowed a little. I couldn't move, but I had no desire to anyway. She was coming closer, with the seconds dragging on and on. Finally, she was only a few feet away from me, and I found I could reach my nine-year-old arms out just enough to embrace her, when there was a sudden noise, almost like a popping sound.
Blood sprouted like a rose from my sister's head, and I though for a crazy moment of Daisy-Head Mayzie. She tumbled to the ground before me, one eye rolling back into it's socket while the other, the one on the side with the blood, appeared to have disappeared entirely, replaced by a black hole leaking blood and a white fluid. I could actually hear her skull cracking as it struck the pavement, sending shattered pieces of bone into her already useless brain.
I mildly took a step back as the rest of her flopped to the ground like a dead fish. My arms were still out, waiting for the hug that never came. Blood and bits of gray matter were lapping at my blue shoes, turning them a morbid violet. I was much shorter in this dream, due to the age difference, so I had no trouble picking out every detail of the hole in the side of Patty's head.
"You killed her." Rodney was there, though he hadn't been before. His eyes, brown like our father's, were now as red as the blood. "You killed her and now everyone's going to die."
I tried to explain to him that it wasn't my fault, that I'd only wanted to hug her, but I knew it was a lie. In my dream, I had killed her, and somehow by doing so I had doomed everyone.
"Gonna start World War III doing shit like that." Gary, who I hadn't known at that time, was there too all of the sudden. "Gonna start World War III and then what? Everyone gets cancer that's what. You can't cure cancer, nobody can!"
Yes I can! The words wouldn't come.
"You're a criminal and She hates you for it." Rodney jeered. Who was 'She'? I knew it would do no good trying to talk to either of these ghosts, and that was what frustrated me. I bared my teeth, a glare in my eyes.
"Yeah, why don't you get mad, bro? It makes it so much easier." Gary smiled with a mouth full of shark teeth. "It tenderizes the meat."
I awoke screaming. I didn't fall this time, but I might as well have. My back ached for no good reason and I must have hit my head on something because it hurt like a mother fucker. Pardon my french.
I could hear the lightening now, hear it slicing through the air and igniting everything it touched. An endless stream of thought
(No no no no no no no no no no no no no no-)
ran through my head like a freight train. I needed to get to Paul, immediately. The Megaleioths must have heard me or something, because it took forever just for me to get out in to the hallway. The lights had taken the night off and it felt like the temperature had dropped at least fifty degrees. I bumped my knees on everything within reach and somehow managed to nail my crotch with an end table by the couch.
Pain coursing through my body, particularly from my elbow (which I had nicked just in the right spot) and my balls, I escaped and went for the elevator. Of course, I remembered only when I got there that the power was off, and I had to run to the other side of the building. I didn't trust the stairs, but there weren't many options left, seeing as I didn't have a grappling hook or a pair of plungers at my disposal.
I decided on my way up the endless steps that I was going to start working out. I looked pretty pathetic as I reached the 13th floor, holding my elbow and shuffling like a cripple down to room 124. The Boss seemed to grin at me as I turned the door knob. Not for long. I tried to push the thought away, but it stayed, laughing and dangling before my eyes.
The first thing I heard was the breathing. Or, rather, wheezing. The light of the lamp was gone, though the flashes of lightening from the window were all I needed to see. Paul was on the floor, face down and covered in shattered bits of glass. He'd knocked over the lamp on his way over, apparently busting the bulb as well.
"Paul!" I rushed over to him, kneeling by his side.
He looked up at me, that same wide grin on his face, though there was a touch of sadness to it. His eyes were losing their icey stare, and they were beginning to look like marbles. He reached out with a slow, steady hand, grasping mine and holding it tightly, like a life-line.
Unlike all the other important moments in my life those past few precious days, time didn't slow down. I could feel his pulse kicking and then finally fading as he smiled at me. Just like in my dream, I was frozen. This was it, the end of the ball game. For Paul Moore anyway.
He covered my hand with his other one, unmistakable pride in his face. "Almost makes me wish you were my son."
Then he was gone. I held on to him for a just a minute longer, mentally begging him to come back, willing it to not be so. But it was so. Paul, the owner of Heisenberg Laboratories Inc., everyone's best friend, Annie's adoptive grandfather, the man you trusted with your life, the closest thing I ever got to a father figure, was dead.
(A/N: ...I liked Paul...)
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