by S. E. Mabson
Darien's fractured reality finally shatters. Peter and his minions may not see 2019.
|Word Count: 1291
Prompt: old story not entered made new
Darien Brown, the tech intern, pours himself another glass of punch recounting his plan for the night. He stood by the punch bowl against the wall with his shoulders hunched over, staring into his glass of punch, mumbling about how much he hates his job and all the people in it. Peter McCoy, the sales brown nosing intern, along with Alice, Dave, Mike and Georgia, notice Darien talking to himself. The crew see an opportunity for entertainment. Darien had been their favorite joke since High School.
"Look at him talking to himself again. He really should get a friend." Alice giggled pointing at Darien, while the crew poured themselves a glass of punch.
"Leave me alone." Darien mumbled, still staring into his glass.
"But Darien, we just enjoy your depressing company so much." Georgia stated bobbing her head with a rhythm and rolling her eyes.
"I mean it leave...me...alone," Darien spoke through tight lips. His eyes met theirs but he didn't raise his head.
"Or what?" Peter McCoy took a step closer. "You'll hit me?" Peter leaned into Darien's face searching his eyes for festering anger. Darien's nose flared and he tightened his lips. Peter looked down at Darien's clenched fists and smiled. "He is getting angry guys. Maybe we should leave little Darien alone" Peter teased in a baby tone. Darien breathed hard and fast, gaining the courage to act. He swung his fist at Peter but it was dodged with a shove. Darien hit the wall and fell to the floor. "You idiot."
Darien's eyes grew wide as the words idiot, little, and depressing swarmed him. He swatted at the air trying to make them disappear. The group in front of him looked at each other in confusion and a little bit of fear. "Is he insane? Like for real insane?" Georgia asked watching Darien with a crooked glare.
Insane. Insane. Insane. Little. Insane. Little. Insane. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. Insane. Little. Depressing. Insane. Idiot. Insane. Insane. Depressing. Little. Idiot. Insane. Depressing. The words created a spiraling vortex around Darien. The words jumped out and poked at him until he was in the fetal position covering his head.
"Maybe he didn't take his meds today. He is crazy man." Mike added.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure he is psychotic." Alice said cocking her head to the side scrunching up her face.
Crazy and pyschotic squeezed into the vortex and landed in Darien's face taunting him. The group of interns turned and walked away leaving a tormented Darien crawling on the floor swatting at the air. The party seemed oblivious to his affliction. Well, except for Mary.
Mary ran to Darien and tried to help him up. "Darien! Are you ok? What's going on?" She asked pulling him to his feet. Mary's face seemed to be the best weapon against his attack. He eased up with caution making sure the words were actually gone.
"Peter McCoy happened." He paused smoothing out his clothes. "Him and his minions are going to feel my wrath very soon." He stated with death glares on the parading interns.
"Darien you're scaring me. Are you thinking about bringing a gun here?" She inquired with fear in her eyes. Darien turned his gaze to Mary smiled and shook his head.
"No. No guns. I wouldn't risk you getting hurt Mary. You're the only one here that's nice to me." She smiled at him.
"Happy New year Darien." She hugged him and he returned the gesture.
"New year new me yaaaaaaaaa'll!" A drunk intern blurted out in their faces and stumbled off.
"New year new me indeed." Darien smiled mischievously. "I have to go Mary. Thanks again. Happy New Year." She disappeared into the crowd, he into the shadows.
Darien slipped a note into Alice's hand while Peter was in the mens room and walked away before she noticed him. She unfolded the note and gathered the group to read with her. It read:
'For interns: Alice, Mike, David, and Georgia. Come to my office at the end of the party. There is business to take care of before the new year is in full swing.
The group of interns erupted in victory, assuming job offers were on the way. A silent agreement not to tell Peter was made. They danced until the music ceased to celebrate, freshened up, then made their way up the elevator. Their quiet anticipation quickly turned to fear when the elevator doors opened. They looked at each other waiting for someone else to take the first step, voices trapped, imprisoned by their fear. The flickering lights would freeze on darkness. Flicker. Freeze on darkness. Flicker. Freeze on darkness.
Mike took the first step rolling his eyes, masking his fright with counterfeit bravery. They inched slowly down the hall behind him, Amy clenching his shirt in a fist. Dave nudged Georgia when her feet planted firmly in the middle of the hallway every time the lights flickered off. When they reached the office, Mr. McCain's light was off.
"We must have beat him here." Mike shrugged and walked in, tapping the switch as he went by. Flickering.
Huddled together like they were awaiting an attack, the office lights went off. A shuffling feet sound. The lights flickered on. Dave was gone. Flickered off. Shuffling again. Panting. Lights on. Alice was gone. Lights off. High pitched screams. Shuffling. Panting. Lights on, flickering. Mike was gone. Georgia backed towards the door, panting between screams. She turned to run and bumped into a pale skinned, sharp toothed, black-hooded; Darien? He raised his head and grinned. He took a step forward. Her a step back. Again. She closed her eyes tight for only a second. He was gone. She ran into the hallway and froze in place belting out another scream. Scattered along the hallway were her friends, Mike, Alice, and Dave. She ran to the elevator and pressed the button over and over. The door opened and Darien was sitting Indian style. She turned around and he was behind her. She opened her mouth to scream again and he grasped her head and twisted it so swiftly her neck snapped before the sound could escape. Her body laid limp on the hallway floor with the rest of them. And Darien was gone.
Peter McCoy pushed the key into the lock of his apartment. He threw his coat on the couch, walked out of his shoes, and loosened his tie and took it over his head. A soft wind blew over him. He looked around but no one was there. So, he walked into the bathroom and splashed water on his face. Stripping down into his under wear as he made his way to the bed, he felt a cold breath on his neck. He stood up slowly and turned around. Fierce, intense eyes glared at him.
"Darien? What are you doing here! Get out of my house. Creepy psycho!" Darien turned his back to Peter and stepped towards the door.
"I died yesterday and a friend saved me. Gave me the best gift a man like me could ask for. I almost denied it, but you gave me the courage to unleash my inner beast. Therefore, you get to be my first! The hospital blood bags just aren't going to do it for me." In the blink of an eye Darien had Peter's neck clutched his hand. Darien listened to his quickening heartbeat and heavy breathing, revelling in his fear and anticipation. "Oh how the tables have turned my old friend." He smiled and revealed his teeth. Peter tried to pry Darien's hand from his neck but Darien was too strong. He clamped his teeth into Peters neck until his strength faded and his body laid limp on the floor. Darien was gone