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darkened nights, violent things and violin strings

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- RYAN -

Ryan was an ordinary drummer for an ordinary band. He ate ordinary food, slept ordinary hours, and pet dogs passing him by on the street for ordinary amounts of time.

So why was something so unordinary happening to him?

It all begun after a show in Provo, Utah, less than an hour from where he'd grown up. Being in a smaller band, not many fans stuck around after their show, and he'd already met the few that wanted pictures. As the band's drummer, Ryan wasn't really in the spotlight; not that it would make much difference. Their fans were few and far between, that was all.

So when someone had been following Ryan home, his first assumption wasn't that it was an insane fan. His first assumption wasn't even that he was being followed- There was nothing special about him, other than the bright blue colour of his hair.

Ryan's backpack was slung over his shoulder as he strode down the street, feet pattering against the dark sidewalk. The venue wasn't in a very popular part of town, so most of the light was coming from the odd car passing by, or the colourful neon traffic lights.

Night had cast a shadow on everything, creating a blanket of mystery in every alleyway that Ryan walked past. Not that he minded; he never had been scared of the dark, not even as a little kid. What's the worst that could happen in the shadows- he'd get mugged? It wouldn't be the first time, and his wallet was empty anyways.

He had been staring at his phone mindlessly, concentrating on the tiny map glowing on his phone screen. There were only a few more blocks to make it down before he arrived at the motel he'd booked for the night, enticed by it's dangerously low price.

A metallic rattle pierced the otherwise silent air, making Ryan jolt out of his trance, stopping in the middle of the deserted sidewalk. His eyes darted to a garbage can that was shaking like someone just bumped into it. No biggie, it was probably just the wind.

He continued on his trek, unfazed by the incident. He was in a college town after all, it could just be some student that had a little too much to drink this Friday night. Or maybe it was an animal, skirting around in the darkness of the night. His mother had always said he had a thing with animals, so he wasn't concerned about getting mauled by some angry raccoon.

He was turning a corner when his phone beeped and flashed a low battery warning, the little power icon turning red. Ryan picked up his pace a little bit, not wanting to be caught in this part of town without a working phone. He wasn't afraid of the dark, but he wasn't crazy about being kidnapped either.

Out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of a shadow shifting in the empty alleyway, disappearing immediately when he turned to face it like a cat that got spooked.

Now he was growing a little worried, his stomach uneasy. His tired mind immediately wanted to assume he was being followed, but the rational part of him was calling bullshit. Thankfully, the neon sign of the motel came into view, and he booked it towards the entrance, feet slapping against the cement of the sidewalk.

Okay, so maybe it was two coincidences. Again, it was late at night in the sketchy part of town. Who knew what characters could be hanging around? It was probably a junkie, or a wild animal drawn to his brightly coloured hair and studded leather jacket. Either way, by morning, the two occurrences were completely out of his mind, head fuzzy after such a terrible sleep. Motel beds didn't allow for a luxurious slumber, and after all, he had only paid fifteen bucks for the night.

Ryan knew that he'd have to start getting better sleep soon. Over the past couple of weeks, his heath had been deteriorating slowly, leaving purple bags under his eyes as evidence. Every day he was tired and worn out, trudging from city to venue to hotel to home, an endless cycle of sleep deprived misery.

Speaking of home, that's where he needed to be today. Salt Lake City, to be exact, was where his tiny apartment stood, the only home he'd known for the past couple years.

Ryan slipped on his sunglasses and stepped out of the motel entrance into the bright sun, burning weeds in the sidewalk to a brown crisp. The sky was vacant of any clouds, a vast, blue void that stood above Ryan as he made the long walk back to his car parked at the venue. The motel had been within walking distance, and Ryan didn't see the need to waste gas, especially since he was running out of money.

Other than being their drummer, Ryan wasn't very connected to the band. Sure, his dream was being a professional drummer, and he liked getting paid, but the others seemed so... close. He felt like an outsider most of the time, like he was an old creep lurking around a bunch of kids.

There was only a seven year difference. It wasn't that many years... was it? They were technically all adults... and 25 wasn't very far from 18, right? He was disgusted by the way he was thinking, like a pedophile would to reassure themselves that everything was legal. The kids were assholes anyways, and Ryan would never date any of them, especially because he knew their feelings towards gay people. One practice a few months ago Ryan had let it slip that he had a boyfriend, and they immediately jumped to harass him.

"Fag, homo, queer," They sneered at him when no one else was around, small voices nasally and obnoxious. Ryan hadn't dated anyone since.

So most of the time Ryan let them do their own thing, and they let him do his, disconnected from the rest of the band. It was better than being called slurs at every chance that arose.

The streets were just as bare as they were the previous night, shiny dark boots kicking stray sand around as he marched towards the venue.

The sun was beating down on his head, turquoise hair plastered onto his sweaty forehead. Being a punk didn't accommodate warm weather, so he was sweltering under his black leather jacket, feet aching in his dark boots. He felt like he was walking through a thick sludge, head full of TV static like his connection to the outside world was lost. He'd have to pick up a coffee at the shoddy cafeteria in the venue, and maybe some nicotine gum too. His head was as heavy as a bowing ball, the back of his neck struggling to keep it upright.

"C'mon Seaman, you just gotta get through a few more blocks," Ryan mumbled, thankful that no one was close enough to hear him muttering to himself like a deranged person. He sure felt deranged, like someone fried his brain and made scrambled eggs out of it.

And then, it happened again. He was passing by a alley that was entangled in shadows, almost like they were vines crawling up the brick walls of the buildings. In the middle of the darkness, something sat uneasy, a bright pair of eyes staring at him without blinking.

"What the fuck..." Ryan stumbled back a few steps to get a better look, but the creature was already gone, disappearing into the shade.

"Fuck... it's probably that jackass Ronnie pullin' a prank..." Ryan snarled to himself, dead feet picking up their pace on the dusty sidewalk, jogging past deserted shops with their doors boarded up. The hair on his arms, despite being drenched in sweat, was standing on end, a shiver working its way down his spine. Ryan was sure that there was a pair of eyes following him, a shadow standing there stoically in ever alleyway that flew past him.

Ronnie was the band's lead singer, the ringleader of the asshole circus. Despite only being 18, not only did he have tattoos crawling up his skin, but he had more years in juvie than Ryan had good nights of sleep in the past month.

Without Ronnie around, the rest of the band was tolerable, but his hostile attitude seemed to put everyone in a sour mood, where Ryan was usually the punching bag.

"Jesus christ Sperm Bank, it's called a fuckin' drum, not the guy you were going down on last night," One of them would snicker, eyes flitting to Ronnie, seeking his approval. "Stop banging it like you're fucking someone with those mom hips of yours, huh?"

Ronnie would chuckle darkly, arms crossed as he stared down Ryan, who was cowering behind his drum set. "C'mon fag, you're messing up the rest of the band, it's not that fuckin' hard to hit a drum with a stick."

Finally Ryan's ratty car came into sight, it's puke-coloured paint job sizzling under the torrid Utah sun. It was a horrible car all around; from appearance to miles to driving capabilities, but that's what you get when you buy a car for $100 off a blazed stoner you met at a gas station.

He ignored his boiling car and made his way into the decaying venue, known for its plastic covered seats, linoleum floors and terrible cover bands.

It took all of Ryan's strength to swing open the metal lobby doors, a blast of cool air hitting him as it slammed behind him. If it wasn't for A.C, Ryan would've been cooked whole, his jacket acting as the tinfoil.

The florescent lightbulbs above him buzzed, flickering ominously, good for nothing but to make his headache worst and cast a yellow haze on the crisp air around him.

"Hey, yeah, could I get uh..." Ryan drummed his fingers on the gummy counter of the cafeteria window, a practiced little gesture after years of creating his own rhythms. "-a large coffee and... these." He slid a neon green pack of nicotine gum across the counter, scratched glass covering a number of flashy lottery cards.

The kid working behind the counter looked as dead as Ryan felt, sporting matching bags under their eyes.

"...That's $20." The kid deadpanned, voice cracking the way Ryan's used to when he was that age.

"Oh, you've gotta be fuckin'- here," Ryan scoffed under his breath, peeling a twenty out of his bare wallet and slapping it on the counter.

"Keep the change." He muttered, fiddling with the cardboard package while the teen poured the liquid energy into a cup, sliding a sleeve onto the warm container.

Ryan took a mouthful of the bitter coffee as soon as the kid passed it to him, ignoring the burning of his tastebuds and gulping down the liquid.

The kid watched in awe as he shoved the empty cup into their hand, still outstretched from handing it to him. "Hey, make sure that gets into the recycling, okay?"

Ryan staggered onto one of the plastic benches strewn around the lobby, popping two of the gum pieces into his mouth and chewing fiercely, letting his heavy head loll back against the dirty wall. His mouth was incredibly dry and the heat was starting to creep up on him again, armpits soaked with an unnecessary amount of sweat.

Once enough strength was flowing through his veins and his heart was beating allegro, he made his way back out into the daylight, hand burning on the handle as he threw open his car door. His jeans stuck to the seat, sweat in all his worst places, car about a million degrees hotter than it was outside. Nonetheless, Ryan needed to get home and get a good night's sleep.

The drive to Salt Lake City was a quick one, roads bare of the usual traffic, sun beating down on the disgusting brown car.

Ryan's ass was numb and soaked in sweat after the drive, leather jacket sticking to his skin as he wobbled up the stairs to his apartment. His mind was too overworked to notice the dark figure hiding in the stairwell under him, shadows creeping up the walls around it, coiling around the railings as Ryan skipped two steps and ignored the murky tendrils completely.

The apartment was cramped full, a mix of trashy, torn up chairs and worn bar stools he'd found in a dumpster behind a bar Ronnie insisted on drinking at.

Ryan still remembered the night, how the rest of the band had gotten drunk too easily and insisted on rifling through the garbage bins out back.

Obviously none of them were legal age, so Ronnie always made Ryan order them drinks wherever they went. Ryan wasn't thrilled about breaking the law, but it was better than facing Ronnie's wrath, a mistake he'd made one too many times.

Ronnie had insisted that Ryan go into a drugstore and buy them a pack of cigarettes using his own money.

"C'mon man, you know I'm broke." Ryan tried to laugh lightheartedly, like it was all a big joke, but Ronnie's scowl only deepened.

"Do it fag, or else we'll tell everyone about how your boyfriend gave you aids." He spat, arms crossed across his chest, tattoo sleeve looking even more intimidating in the dim orange light coming from a nearby streetlamp.

Ryan choked on his own breath. "Wh-What? I never got aids."

Ronnie smirked. "Who do you think people would believe, a successful lead singer, or a faggot of a drummer?"

So Ryan sulked into the store and bought them their cigarettes, avoiding eye contact with the worker so they wouldn't notice the fear in them, hands shaking as he threw Ronnie his pack.

"Hey Sperm Bank, next time don't be so bitchy about it, huh?" Ronnie mocked, pawing at the Virginia Slims and gesturing for a lighter. "God, you're such a queer."

Ryan dropped his bag on the floor near the front door and padded towards his bedroom, feet leaving sweat marks on the floor after being trapped in those insufferable boots all day. The air in his apartment was stale and hot, so he turned up the air conditioning before peeling off his jacket and jeans and flopping onto his bed, falling asleep quickly on top of the covers, A.C. blasting on top of him.

He twisted and turned in his sleep, a dream starting to fade into the blank slate of his mind, like a mirage in the desert, shimmering and glistening against the sand.

He was in his shitty apartment, sunlight filtering through his thin curtains. Everything around him was colourless, a world painted in blacks, whites and greys.

There was a sense of impending doom hanging over Dream Ryan, wide eyes darting around his apartment, which looked like something straight of a baroque painting.

All his normal furniture was replaced with antiques that looked like they belonged in a 19th century ballroom, ornate chests and dazzling chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, catching golden light and reflecting patterns onto the tapestry-covered walls. Between that and the sudden lack of colour, his dream belonged in the past, centuries old.

Ryan was standing in his kitchen, a knife in his hand, a horrible screeching noise coming from down his hallway, filling his head until it was all he could focus on. It was as if he was a chess player placed strategically on the board, except that chess was a horror movie, and he was the idiotic protagonist, armed with nothing but a kitchen knife and a sense of urgency.

The end of the hallway was completely dark, shadows on the walls slithering towards him, all coming from the source of the noise. Blood rushed in his ears, his heartbeat now pumping along steadily next to what sounded like the screaming of a thousand souls being tortured, wails and moans filtering in and out of the wall of sound.

All this time, a light, jaunty tune had been playing in the background, composed of mostly violins. As Ryan turned to face the darkness that had overcome the end of the hallway, the violins began to play a faster, sharper tune, one that you might hear in a horror movie. The bows twisted harshly against the strings, a horrid song that only grew more and more taunting with every passing minute.

Dream Ryan started to take small steps towards the black nothingness at the end of the hallway, his hand shaking as he held the knife in front of him in defense, a glint of light getting caught on the sharp blade. The mass of shadows seemed to pull him in, like a black hole did to every star in the cosmos before devouring them.

Dream Ryan did not want to get devoured.

He shuffled his feet forward, the orchestra of screams only growing louder as he put less and less distance between himself and the darkness, watching helplessly as one of the tendrils of shadows wrapped around his leg.

"No, no- please-" Dream Ryan squeaked as the tendril began to tighten, snaking up his leg towards his chest. Another tendril coiled around his free arm, weaving itself in through his fingers, body frozen in place by fear. It was soft against his fingertips, like a kitten's fur, a false sense of security.

Both tendrils began to squeeze even more, another reaching up to ease the knife out of his hand. Dream Ryan watched it clatter to the floor uselessly, bound by the four tendrils wrapped around each of his limbs, another slithering towards his head.

"Please no- stop, help!" Ryan's voice felt hoarse as he cried for help, barely croaking out a sound. The tendril headed for his head slid across his mouth, silencing him, his muffled screams sneaking out around the shadow.

"Oh sweetheart," A hollow, boyish voice rang out in Dream Ryan's head, dripping with sweetness and sympathy, it's inhuman tone echoing around his cranium. "The more you resist, the more you give me darling. I think it would be wise to cooperate right now, hm?"

Tears started to prick Dream Ryan's eyes as he mumbled into the tendril in confusion, a tight grip being kept on his wrists and ankles.

"The more scared you get, the more energy you give me, baby boy." The voice's use of pet names didn't slow the rapid beat of Dream Ryan's heart, the violins' song growing more and more hurried, sharply pulling the bow across the delicate strings so that the rhythm matched how fast Dream Ryan's heart was pulsing. "I think you should just give in, don't you think so honey? Just let me take what I want, and it'll all be over so quickly, doll."

Dream Ryan thrashed against the tendrils tangled around his limbs, screaming helplessly into the one covering his mouth. He wasn't going to let this thing kill him, and if it did, he wasn't going out without a fight.

Through blurry eyes, he could spot the knife on the floor, bent in half by whatever force was holding him captive. He could see the shadows weaved around his outstretched fingers, coiling around his thumb as he struggled to move his hands.

The voice tsked darkly, like this was all but a game for them. "I warned you darling, but now I'm going to have to punish you for making this so hard for me." A tendril started to wrap itself around his neck as the violins began to screech hideously, like with every swipe of the bow the strings were snapping, out of place twangs strewn into the tune. "If only you had listened sweetheart, maybe I would've had mercy and made your death a quick one."

The tendril around his neck began to tighten, squeezing his windpipe tighter and tighter as Dream Ryan took big, gulping breaths, trying to fill his lungs with as much oxygen as he could before he couldn't breathe anymore, choking noises escaping his open mouth. His vision began to cloud as the voice giggled sinisterly, his writhing body going limp as all life drained out of him, everything turning black and-

Ryan jolted up out of bed, drenched in his own sweat, body shaking uncontrollably. What the fuck kind of nightmare was that?

Usually whenever Ryan had nightmares they followed a realistic script, like Ronnie kicking him where the sun doesn't shine, or his mom getting hit by a bus, or ordinary things like that. It was never... whatever the hell he'd just imagined.

Shaken out of his core, Ryan pulled up the blankets around him and buried his face in his pillow, trying to escape the memories of those inhuman screams, the feeling of the tendrils wrapped around his body, squeezing the life out of him. Ryan wasn't going to lie, besides being scared out of his mind, the way he was tied up turned him on the slightest bit, the boyish voice's teasing commands ringing out in his head.

Wait... Ryan had never gone under the covers when he fell asleep that afternoon. Unfazed by the revelation, he shrugged and assume he'd tucked himself in half asleep. He was more concerned about the hard-on he was nursing, his boxers growing tighter as he thought about the voice's sweet names, arms and legs tied up leaving him absolutely helpless. Ryan hadn't had sex in months, and this weird-ass nightmare wasn't helping his case.

Reluctantly, Ryan got out of bed and shuffled towards his bathroom to take care of his situation downstairs. The sun was only beginning to set, a haunting orange glow coming from behind his drawn curtains, peaking out from the cracks in the fabric. Even after sleeping for hours, he still felt exhausted and worn out to his bare bones, joints aching with every step he took towards the bathroom.

The toilet seat was cool against his hot thighs, body covered in sweat, sweltering under his teeshirt. Thankfully his apartment was now chilly, refreshingly cold air being pushed around by a rickety fan in the corner of the bathroom that was creaking with every turn it made.

Ryan began to palm at his cock, growing increasingly hard in his underwear as he thought about being tied up against his will, begging for mercy. The voice had been so smooth, so calm and calculated, like it killed ordinary people everyday. Ryan didn't even know where his mind came up with that stuff.

Soft groans fell past his lips, harmonizing with the white noise of the fan, it's cool air blowing onto Ryan's burning skin, face dusted pink with embarrassment and arousal. He hadn't gotten off in forever, and the fact that he was now because of some creepy dream wasn't very good on his self esteem.

Now flustered, Ryan pulled down his boxers and wrapped his digits around his length, stroking himself as his groans grew more lengthy and guttural. The nightmare had felt so real, the soft texture of the tendrils coiled around his fingers, the upside down gravity that pulled him into the shadow. The tight grip around his wrists and ankles, holding him in place, the voice's teases and sweet names, the whole absurdity of the setting. It must have been the mixture of coffee and nicotine gum that was giving him these visions, or maybe he was sick and it was a fever dream.

Ryan sure felt sick as he sped up, cock leaking precome all over his hand, filthy thoughts floating through his mind. He lazily swiped his thumb across the head, shivering as the coldness of the air started to seep into his skin, images of his own arms tied up and bound filtering through his tired brain. He was panting softly, moans growing louder as his eyes filled with light, gasping as his orgasm took him by surprise.

Fuck, he was pathetic.

Ashamed of himself for rubbing off to an insane nightmare he'd had, Ryan cleaned up quickly and stumbled back into bed, sheets crisp and frigid. He fell back into slumber as soon as his head hit the pillow, mind chasing the sweet relief that came from a good night's sleep.

Thankfully, his mind didn't fabricate any more bizarre nightmares, a sleep void of distractions.


The man was coming.

The man was coming.

The man was coming.

An indescribable emotion bubbled up in Dallon's chest, something he'd never experienced before. So this was what excitement felt like? Dallon liked the feeling, the knowledge that something good was coming. He was going to chase that feeling.

Preoccupied by his glowing brick, the man didn't notice Dallon dash from alley to alley, flawless white eyes glued to his next host. Concerts were great sources of energy, but Dallon preferred choosing one victim to drain, and the tired-looking drummer tucked away in the back corner of the stage was perfect.

Demons were parasitic creatures, leeching energy off of unsuspecting prey, usually younger humans. It was almost routine for Dallon: pick someone, reduce them to a hollow husk and kill them.

But routine was boring the young demon. To follow the same process over and over was monotonous, an uninteresting ritual he was expected to follow, leaving a trail of dead bodies wherever he went throughout the course of history.

Dallon's favourite century had been the 1800s, during the Victorian era. Exquisite balls, ladies dressed to the nines in frilly gowns, appearances trimmed to perfection. Beethoven echoing through empty ballrooms, gaudy golden details crawling up the walls, gothic architecture lining the streets. Class and secrecy seeped out of every flawlessly detailed oil painting hung on the wall, a time of darkness and mystery. It had been the home Dallon never had, a place where he fit right in.

Everything was different these days. Music lacked elegance, clothes lacked lace. Everything was bland and minimalistic, streets dirtied with a surplus of trash, an abundance of people lacking proper manners. Woman weren't dainty, and men weren't chivalrous. No matter where he went, Dallon stood out of place, his lavish outfit contrasted against the blank garbage pile the world had turned into. People shrieked at his appearance, babies cried, and overly brave men attempted to tackle him, anything to be the hero that stopped the hideous monster that people made Dallon out to be.

So, like he had been doing for so many centuries, he hid in the shadows, waiting for the perfect victim to fall right into his hands.

Dallon had been following the man closely all night, attracted to his neon coloured hair. There was something about the man's dead eyes, the straight slope of his nose and the dark, detailed clothes he wore that drew Dallon in, allured by how he stood out from the beige dirt of the town. Tiredness seemed to have settled into his face, emotionless and worn, like a book with faded and frayed pages, and the plum smudges of colour that bloomed under his deep set eyes was the writing.

Dallon was crouched behind an empty garbage can, staring silently at the man, pondering where he was headed, walking so briskly. The demon's tendrils were hanging idly around him, like six extra arms. Dallon had always hated them and how they got in the way of everything, from passing as a human to trying to be stealthy, ghastly tentacles that haunted him no matter where he went.

Sure, he could tuck them away under a layer of skin in his back and pretend he was human enough, a game he played when his self hatred of his appearance grew too bad, but it hurt to keep such strong limbs under his skin for too long. Those were the nights were he'd catch a glimpse of himself in a puddle and break down, thick, black tears slipping down his cheeks, just as disgusting as the rest of him was.

Repulsive. Monstrous. Terrifying.

His brain played those thoughts on repeat, burning a dark hole through his fragile heart. His frustration would overtake him, a deep resentment towards humans making his hands twitch, an ache to murder. He was a monster, just as they'd all said, pointing and screaming. He was the creature of the bedtime stories parents would recite to their children to scare them, a warning to anyone out past curfew.

Dallon despised humans.

The demon's stomach growled, hunger eating him out from the inside. If he didn't get any energy soon, he'd fade away into the pavement, leaving a black stain that would never disappear.

Dallon's sudden excitement at the sight of the man made one of his tendrils jerk forward into the garbage can, shattering the heavy silence, giving away his cover.

What a fucking nuisance.

The demon slipped even further into the shadows, praying that the man wouldn't come to investigate. The moment stretched on forever before Dallon's strong ears picked up the pattering of the man's thick-soled boots, walking further away from him.

He followed soon after, sticking in the shade between streetlamps, slithering closer and closer to the unsuspecting man. His suit vest rubbed up against the cold brick, and Dallon prayed that he hadn't soiled it. Fancy clothes were hard to come across these days, and Dallon kept 'accidentally' splattering blood on every pair of crisply pleated slacks he owned.

The man's glowing brick beeped as he turned a corner, and he picked up his pace, muttering to himself as he tripped over his feet.

Dallon had always been fascinated by the bright bricks that seemed to run purely on magic. Every human owned them these days, and to Dallon's knowledge, they had been hypnotized by its blinking screen, funny little noises and a bizarre type of energy coming off of it, like heatwaves off metal on a warm day.

Dallon started to chase after the jogging man, dress shoes scuffing the pavement as he darted around traffic signs and shrubs.

The demon took a deep breath in, the dusty smell of the street clouding around the scent he was trying to pick up: the blue-haired man's.

He smelled like cigarettes and alcohol, a hint of coconut shampoo hiding deep beneath the fragrance of booze, something he'd sniffed on the breath every person of the rowdy crowd at that dreadful concert.

Dallon couldn't believe what was being considered music these days. To the demon, it was all one loud wall of noise, strangely resembling the screams of his victims before he silenced them. The lead singer had an insufferable voice, screeching into the microphone, unpleasant words being amplified throughout the wide room.

It reduced Dallon to a whimpering nothingness, seeking shelter in the few shadows of the bustling building, the familiarity of the darkness wrapping around him, a comfort. Loud noises hurt his sensitive ears, and frightened him terribly.

From the shadows he'd spotted the drummer, hidden in the shade of the stage, ignored by the rest of the band. Dallon felt for the man, pushed to the back of the stage, shrouded in darkness. They weren't so different, him and that drummer. Of course, one was a broke 25-year-old, and the other was a creature of the night, thousands of years old.

A couple of decades ago, he'd snuck into a rich nobleman's library, riddled with books about religion and mythical creatures. After a few hours of searching, Dallon found a shocking excerpt about himself in a dusty old book, one of stories about beasts and other monsters that terrorized humans.

'The Victorian Demon' , the page was titled, a clever reference to how he usually dressed.

'The Victorian Demon is a grotesque beast that preys on young women and men, most often after curfew. It is said to take appearance of a tall, lanky man with dark brown hair, and is said to have multiple soot-black, gossamer limbs which it uses to strangle its victim. Based on past records of demons, we can assume it uses parasite-like features to fatigue its host before killing them. The demon has only been seen in public three isolated times, and is described to be frightened by shrill noises and threats of violence, despite taking the lives of hundreds of people every year. Eyewitnesses say it's eyes are completely white, and there have been some reports of hypnosis being cast, but these reports have since been disproven. Eyewitnesses are also said to have been repulsed by the demon, multiple instances where witnesses have been sick after being in presence of the creature.'

Next to the block of text, ink smudged where the typewriter had made a mistake, was a crudely scratched drawing of Dallon. It depicted him as a silhouette with white holes for eyes, his tendrils reaching at the viewer as if he was about to suffocate them, two spiky horns curling out of his skull.



Black, inky tears welled up in Dallon's blank eyes, body going cold as he stared at the image. This was how people saw him, an abomination who only cared about taking lives, not a creature punished by god, killing only for food.

His tears started to drip onto the page, leaving dark splotches as the fine paper soaked them up, ruining his portrait. This is what they fucking thought?

"Stupid humans..." Dallon spat under his breath, vision clouding with anger as he tightly gripped the leather bound book, the sketch staring back at him with hollow eyes. "Stupid fucking creatures. They're wrong- they're the f-fucking monsters."

He was so engrossed in the heat of his anger, something harsh and vile twisting deep inside him, that he didn't hear the oak library door creak open, the confused nobleman peeking through.

"Sir, I think you're lost-" He started, taking small steps towards the shaking demon before freezing in his tracks, realization dawning on him.

"This- This is how you see me?" There were jet-black streaks on Dallon's cheeks, tears rolling down his face, splattering onto the floor with the same consistency as paint. "A monster? A disgusting creature that- that makes people sick?"

The nobleman quivered under Dallon's gaze, the demon's breathing growing more ragged, turning into a low growling. "You think I'm hideous, huh? Do you know what's pretty hideous?"

The nobleman held his hands out in front of him, palms facing Dallon as he tried to back away. "I'm- I'm sorry- Please don't kill me, I have a family-"

"Since you didn't answer, I might as well show you." Dallon's tendrils sprung towards the nobleman, first twisting around his wrists, then writhing around his neck. "Dead human looks pretty hideous, don't you think?"

The nobleman shook his head quickly as Dallon began to squeeze, a fury blistering inside him, a thousand-year-old instinct taking over. A small smirk tugged at his lips as the life drained out of the nobleman's blue eyes, the high that came after inheriting so much energy making Dallon dizzy.

He let the corpse fall to the floor, his brand new dress shirt stained with the deep red liquid, hands still shaking. His fists were full of the horrible book pages, shredded apart in his sudden rage, scrawny little drawing ripped apart.

As his breath evened out, Dallon left the soiled corpse on the hardwood and continued browsing, whistling quietly to himself as his slender fingers traced the spines of the books, hands undirtied. He had dropped the remains of the sketch on the body, a warning to anyone who stumbled across it.

Dallon took his pick of books and slipped them into his waistcoat, disappearing silently into the shadows of the wealthy neighbourhood, mind buzzing with how stimulated he was. High off of the nobleman's energy, he decided to walk underneath the streetlamps lining the sidewalk, tendrils surrounding him ominously. It wasn't very often that he let himself go out in the open, but his trembling heart hopped with happiness, a certain bravery coming over him.

His mind had fallen into a haze, completely drunk off of taking in so much energy so quickly. He'd already eaten earlier that day, so the nobleman's death was a surplus, an electric current running through his veins.

Dallon felt invincible, daring the world to bask in his presence, to take in the unholiness that he was, a sinful creature. An open defiance of god, something murderous, not to be angered.

Maybe the book had been right. Maybe Dallon liked being a monster the world feared, a dangerous creature that haunted nightmares, children's and adult's alike.

Clearly intoxicated, he staggered into a shady alleyway and fell to the ground, back resting against the wall, the coldness of the cement bleeding through his waistcoat.

Yeah, maybe Dallon was sick of pretending he wasn't a horror, a twisted beast. Maybe he wanted to scare away anyone and everyone who was repulsed by him and live out the rest of his days in solidarity.

As he was pondering these thoughts, he'd fallen into an energy-coma, crashing off of his sudden high. When he'd wake up, he'd remember none of the revelations he'd had while drunk and continue to be ashamed of who he was, something he couldn't control.

Present-day Dallon was shaken out of his daydream by the sound of a passing car, milky white eyes adjusting to the darkness quickly, noticing that the man was far ahead of him. Shit!

He sprinted to an alleyway ahead of the preoccupied man, something that he rarely did, legs aching as he struggled to catch his breath. The alleyway, unlike most of the trash-filled crevices Dallon lived in, was stripped of any suitable hiding places. The man's footsteps were approaching, so Dallon had no choice but to stand there in the dark and pray that he didn't look over.

Dallon shut his eyes, as they were too bright and would've been a dead giveaway to the fact that someone was watching him. The man's feet puttered hesitantly against the sidewalk as he approached the alleyway, then there was the hard slapping sound of the rigid soles hitting the pavement, running away.

Had he spotted Dallon and been startled? Dallon opened one eye and peeked out from around the corner to see the spooked man enter a second-rate motel, its blinking neon light nearly blinding the white-eyed demon.

The place was well lit and densely populated, so Dallon waited out the night in the bare alleyway, throwing tiny rocks against the stucco walls of the buildings towering over him. Loneliness had settled into the bottom of his stomach, next to a mountain of hunger and a smaller mountain of indescribable emotions he didn't want to untangle. It had been weeks since he'd found a suitable host, someone to leech energy off of, and he was going to wait until the man was less exhausted to have a proper meal.

Dallon had fallen asleep against his own will, head propped up against the frigid wall, snoring lightly. He woke up to the sound of cars passing by, a familiar set of footsteps getting closer, this time slower and more sluggish. Dallon stared at the man as he passed by, murmuring something to himself, looking worse than he had the previous night. They locked eyes for a brief moment, and worries flooded Dallon's head, but the man only shook his own and continued walking.

Dallon followed the man all the way to the concert hall he'd been in the previous night, now deserted of all noisy humans. The man disappeared into the building, giving Dallon enough time to slink into the backseat of his car, heat suffocating him slowly.

Finally, the man returned, seemingly much more energized than before. Dallon uncomfortably hid behind the man, glad he was finally making his way out of that cheap town full of college younglings. It wasn't his first time being a stowaway, trying to flee a town that had been plucked dry of anything interesting, so he ignored the cramps in his long legs and the way his bony shoulders ached.

The man turned off the car and wobbled his way into an apartment building, paint peeling off the walls, red solo cups strewn about the stairwell.

The bastard was too jaded to notice Dallon's tendrils curl around the staircase railings, shuffling into his apartment like a zombie, not even bothering to lock the door behind him.

'This guy has a death wish.' Dallon thought as he prowled through the door, shutting it behind him. He skittered into the bedroom to find the man fast asleep, jacket and jeans thrown on the floor in a heap.

He looked so peaceful asleep, face relaxed, eyelashes twitching as he twisted lazily in the bed. Dallon accidentally let a laugh slip, long hands gaining a mind of their own and pulling the covers up over the man's shoulders. Hey, if this guy was going to be his host, Dallon wanted to make sure he was healthy and full of life before draining him of it.

The demon sat in the room silently for a few minutes before boredom had gotten the best of him, a wonderfully horrible idea hatching in his brain.

Maybe a nightmare would jump-start the man's energy, no? Nothing got people's blood pumping more than when Dallon intervened with their dreams and turned them into something terrible, foreshadowing what he'd do to them later. Why not have some fun with this guy?

Dallon closed his eyes and focused on slipping into this guy's head unnoticed to plant a nightmare, one where he'd get to orchestrate the plot and every twisted event.

Once inside, Dallon decided to make himself unseen, shame of his appearance still pricking at his head. He'd change the apartment into something more era-appropriate, place a good natured tune of violins that could go horribly wrong in an instant, and gave his puppet a knife, something the man could think he would be able to defend himself with. The scene was just missing something... something to make it personal.

Oh, Dallon knew. He warp the drummer's horrible music into what Dallon saw it as- a wall of screeches. All that it needed was it's main character: the bright-haired man.

The man took in his surroundings slowly, staring at the knife with a fascination before turning to the hallway, the trap Dallon had laid out.

Dallon could feel the man's heartbeat speed up, trembling as he slid one foot forward in front of the other, holding out the knife in front of him like that'd do any good. Fear slowly molded onto his face, eyes wide, colour draining from his skin as he stared into the abyss at the end of his hallway. Dallon felt maniacal, skin itching to begin scaring this guy, but he waited until the man's body was on a tripwire, waiting for something or someone to jump out.

Dallon reached out to wrap one of his tendrils around the man's ankle, caressing his leg softly, teasing him. The man's eyes grew bigger, the whites around his irises beginning to show, a plea of help falling out of his mouth.

Dallon grinned darkly to himself, satisfied with how the man was reacting. He spiralled around the man's free arm, intertwining his tendrils through his outstretched fingers, holding the man in place.

Dallon quite liked the look on the man's face, one of panic and disbelief, something that left Dallon wanting more. The demon wasn't one to use common slang other than a few respective curses, but... a word was nagging at the back of his head, a feeling of warmth blossoming throughout his chest, sympathy making its home in Dallon's hollow heart.

The man was cute.

After considering it for a few seconds, Dallon decided he'd have a little more fun with the cute man. Once getting rid of his puppet's weapon and securing him in place, silencing his little whines, Dallon taunted him.

"Oh sweetheart," He cooed, unsure of where the pet name came from. It only made that wonderful feeling in his chest spread more, so he decided to continue with them. "The more you resist, the more you give me darling. I think it would be wise to cooperate right now, hm?"

The cute man's words were muffled by the tendril silencing him, the terrified look on his face everything Dallon ever wanted. Some indescribable emotion was piling up inside Dallon, its intensity growing with every passing moment that Dallon was staring at the man's cute face, his cute body, his cute little tears that clung to his eyelashes like constellations.

Dallon shouldn't be enjoying this as much as he was. It wasn't right to feel this way about a human, especially such an easily frightened one, one that made horrid music that hurt Dallon's ears. But it was snowballing inside of him, growing worse and worse as the man begun to writhe against the tendrils, short little sobs falling from his mouth.

"The more scared you get, the more energy you give me, baby boy." Dallon inwardly cringed at the last two words, ashamed of how good it made him feel. What was this feeling, and why did he feel like his body was on fire? To distract himself from whatever situation was unfolding inside of him, Dallon sped up the violins speed, their dancing tune growing more urgent. "I think you should just give in, don't you think so honey? Just let me take what I want, and it'll all be over so quickly, doll."

God, Dallon wanted to take from this man. He wanted to take and take and take, breaking him down to a bare before building him back up, something fuzzy starting to spread in Dallon's mind as he thought about this. No human had ever had this effect on the demon before, leaving him wanting something more, some weird new feeling making its home in the bottom of his stomach. The entire lower half of his body was tingling, lusting for the wriggling, bound man.

The cute man's neon blue hair was beginning to fall into his terrorized face, so Dallon pushed it out of the way with a tendril, mind chasing the sight of the cute man's beautiful eyes, glistening with tears.

"I warned you darling, but now I'm going to have to punish you for making this so hard for me."

Punish. Dallon wanted to punish the cute man for making him feel this way. He wanted to see him on his knees, begging for mercy, doe eyes sparkling with unshed tears, tied up and-

Fuck, where did that come from? He needed to regain control of his thoughts- he needed to end this nightmare before his brain could produce any more dirty ones.

"If only you had listened sweetheart, maybe I would've had mercy and made your death a quick one." Dallon kept his voice soft as he slid a tendril around the cute man's neck, craving more of the way terror flared inside the cute man's eyes, feeling his clear, salty tears fall into the tendril covering his mouth.

He was his.
He was Dallon's puppet. 
He belonged to Dallon.

Dallon needed to stop this man from making him feel this way, the fuzzy feeling in his head growing against his will. He needed to watch the life fade out of the cute man's beautiful eyes, to put an end to whatever cravings he was feeling. Just as Dallon began to tighten the tendril, blocking the cute man's airway, watching him struggle against his grip, the nightmare cut short. Dallon woke up suddenly under the bed where he'd hid, thrill running through his body at how the man had reacted.

He heard the cute man gasping for air like he was still being choked, bed springs creaking above him, dust landing on the demon's nose. He had to stifle a sneeze, a itch creeping up his sinuses.

While the nightmare had been a success and the man was definitely more energized, Dallon regretted planting it in the first place. His head and chest were a mix of emotions alike, a light protruding through the usual darkness of his mind, something... unusual happening in his lower body.

It had to be a hex, or a spell, or some sort of black magic this man had cast on him. Never before had Dallon felt this way towards one of his victims, longing to run his hands through his hair, to touch him all over, to make him feel good and owned.

What was wrong with Dallon?

The man's energy was turning into something different above Dallon, something much more powerful than fear. The energy followed him to the bathroom, where he sat on the closed toilet seat and began to do something unexpected, fondling himself through his underwear, sounds of pleasure falling out of his mouth.

Dallon was extremely taken back by the cute man's reaction to such a vivid nightmare. Sure, Dallon had seen victims have coitus before, or perform oral acts of sex, of masturbate when they thought they were alone. But... never after a nightmare.

Perplexed, Dallon tried to slip into the man's mind to see what he was getting off to and was surprised to see... the cute man himself, wrapped up by Dallon's tendrils, face hot, his wet tongue lolling out of his mouth.

What the Dickens?

Still starving, Dallon began to take in this new energy the man was giving off, much stronger than his panic had been. It was making the demon dizzy again, a power-high creeping up on him, but he had to resist. The cute man finished with a soft moan, before hurriedly washing up and tumbling back into bed, falling into a deep slumber quickly.

Dallon didn't know what to make of the whole situation. What did that mean? Why was the cute man thinking about being wrapped up in Dallon's tendrils? Why was the energy he gave off while horny so much better than the energy he gave off while scared?

And most importantly, why did Dallon love it?

- END OF ACT 1 -