Prompt: You know something, but you do nothing…ever, no matter what happens
Length: Let’s do it between 500 and 1500 words
Style: Noir, psychological thriller, or horror
Deadline: Wednesday January 18th 9:00PM over at Flash Fiction Friday
This piece picks up more or less where The Waitress left off, but there is no need to read the other story to read this one. Unless you want to of course. Just imagine an ordinary human in a cheap room somewhere downtown, doing the horrible things humans do… or he could be something else…
Done. He succeeded.
Licking his fingers absently, he gazed out the cheap apartment window at the wonderful lights. He never tired of looking at them… they were wonderful, they were familiar and comforting. He was not alone.
The body beside him – as dead as it could ever be – twitched a moment, as if to say it wanted to see the lights too.
“You can’t,” He said with sorrow, “they are not for you to see anymore.” The lights of the city continued blinking, oblivious to anything, even itself.
He remembered the last time he looked at them, how much he had wanted to visit them, touch them, make them his own. If he could join with them, no one would ever have to worry about it.
Him. What… what was he called before… I had a name, he thought somewhere in his mind. No, he didn’t have a name. He couldn’t have one— he was different, wasn’t he?
Oh yes, came that other voice, you are very different.
Disappointment came with those silent words. Because then he knew he did have a name. Oh but where was it? Somewhere… in a hidden corner in my mind…
No! You do not have a name!
Here it is. Timothy. Timothy… yes that is it. It used to be me, back then.
Want. You want.
Yes, Timothy thought. I do want. And what do you want?
To help, the voice replied. You know what we must do.
Oh of course. Those poor people, we really must help them. They must never know.
And we can never, ever tell them.
Of course not.
Outside the window, the lights were slowly becoming weaker as the dawn began to frighten them away, threatening to help them too, just like It. Timothy remembered looking at those lights and how much he longed to be with them, how much It desired them.
It was glad Timothy had thought of the lights.
Two new lights came into view, and danced through the window as the car that carried them turned into the motel parking lot. It looked at the reflection of the light on the blue walls of the room It was in, and saw the bed and the nightstand, the television table that was pushed out of the way to make room to help the portly homeless man It had found. Most of the body had begun to rot already, and the room smelled of rotting parsley and fish. But what captured Its attention was the painting on the wall.
Timothy looked at it too. Not that he really had a choice.
The painting was a scene of the sea, with great big waves that spit and foamed pale froth at their apex, while the devil had room to live within the wave’s dark nadir. But in between those two points was something that stirred a new emotion within It, something Timothy had never felt before.
In between the top and the bottom, the wrong and the right, was what was missing, what It could not find. There was a light in the middle of the wave, but not just any light.
The car had parked in front of the room beside Its room, and timothy could hear the goings-on through the paper thin walls.
It was mesmerized. The light in the wave— in the wave was a living light. It had never seen one before. How could this be?
Tell me about it.
Timothy heard nervous laughing from the neighboring room, followed by moans and grunts.
But it is a secret, Timothy thought to himself. I cannot tell you. Can’t tell anyone.
You must tell me. You will tell me.
Silence resonated in Timothy’s mind, as he heard the amorous moans turn to nervous moans again. And then slightly fearful moans.
Perhaps they need help, Timothy thought.
Yes, you are right. We have finished helping this one.
Now the sounds were definitely fearful, a female voice beginning to plead and objects being thrown around.
Thoughts of the painting now put aside, It picked itself up from the floor, unaware of the pieces of rotting flesh that dripped from Its legs. It had not tasted the eyeballs this time, they still stared curiously up at the ceiling, studying the patterns of mould that crept across the cheap tiles.
The air outside was cool as It walked slowly to the door twenty feet away, the sounds of begging being silenced by slaps. It did not knock. Timothy watched as the doorknob turned but the door would not open. It shook the door.
“Help me! Hel— ” A louder slap and a crash.
“Go away dammit!”
I think he needs help, don’t you? Timothy thought.
It broke the door handle and the door swung wide. It looked at the room calmly a moment before entering. The woman, naked and very bruised, her hands attached behind her. The man who stood over her with the short, thin whip did not look powerful, or belligerent, or intelligent. Dressed in a close-fitting business suit (jacket removed) and expensive shoes, his face betrayed his position. A desperate need lived on that face, a need to fill a space that had been taken away, a need to know the secret.
Timothy knew right away the deprived business man would be helped. It would not do for the man to know the secret, his pain would be even worse.
The man dropped the whip in shock as he looked at It, and It looked straight back. The woman did not move or make a sound.
“I— will help you…” It’s words came out clumsily from a throat more used to swallowing than talking.
“Jesus Christ—” And the man bolted.
All It had to do was reach an already bloody arm out and the man was done for. Caught, the man lost all resemblance of evolution and begged, grovelled, and cried to be free.
No one noticed the naked woman creeping away as quietly as her injuries would let her. She had no worries, though, she would not be missed. It was busy, helping.
“It is better for you,” It said slowly and clearly. “I can spare you the pain.” Timothy, for a moment, could feel nothing. The secret could not be that important. Could it?
You know it is.
How can I know that?
The man in the suit began to gurgle. That was a sure sign It would be enjoying a meal in a moment.
How can I know that? Timothy was confused.
You told me the secret. It began sucking lovely warm intestine. You are like me. That is why you took me.
I cannot do this anymore.
Have some with me— he is very good— he is happy now. He never knew the secret.
No— please stop. Let me go.
You took me. You gave me your secret. You have helped me.
I know and I will help you. I must thank you. Every time we help someone, I thank you.
The business man’s last gasp finally came, long after he had been helped.
I couldn’t give you the secret—
But you did. Don’t you remember? Perhaps you need help.
No. Don’t tell me.
Don’t you remember? Mmmmm… fresh eyeballs…
Timothy could not hear this. He could not.
The lights were gone now, the sun had murdered them all once again. Timothy was alone. There was no one to help him.
Give me your secret and I will give you mine.
We will help another then, help them to never find out how they had been abandoned.
How they had not been wanted. If we help them, they will all know they had never been unloved.
Not possible! Untrue!
Timothy knew it was all a lie. He could not be unloved, uncared for. Timothy would make It pay for what It told him.
But we have helped so many not know the pain you had— you should be pleased. Tell my your secret of the water.
Timothy had a different secret, one he had not thought of until now. Until he saw the whip.
What are you doing?
The whip was long and sharp. It would do. How about that for a secret… now you know one.
You can’t do that. No.
You can’t tell me lies like you did. No one was unloved.
The whip will not help us. It is not good to eat—
Oh but you will love it. It will help you. It will help me.