Who: Jonah Keller What: Waking up after this little escapade. Where: His apartment on Fremont Street. When: This evening. Warnings/Rating: None really. Some self-inflicted terror.
It was nearing eleven o'clock in the evening when Jonah finally woke up. He had a pounding headache that made him feel as if his entire being might split in half with any stimuli, and so even after he regained consciousness he simply lay there for a while. He mentally ran through a checklist of all his limbs, wondering how they could all seem to be attached and intact if he felt this awful. He wiggled his fingers and toes, and verified that they were all in working order. Cracking one eye open, he gazed around blearily without moving his head and ascertained that, yes, he was in his own bed - sort of. His head and upper body had made it onto the mattress that he kept on the floor, but his legs hadn't quite managed to follow, almost as if he'd passed out while standing upright and sort of fallen half onto his bed. At least he knew that he was in his own apartment.
When he eventually attempted to sit up, the throbbing pain in his skull seemed to multiply itself by roughly four hundred percent. He settled instead for rolling onto his back so that he was gazing up at the stark white ceiling above him, closing his eyes halfway against the brightness that pierced his vision. He began to count slowly, telling himself that when he reached one hundred he would sit up. One hundred passed. Then two hundred. Finally, by three hundred and twelve he got up the nerve to haul himself into an upright sitting position.
Huge mistake. Jonah's vision swam before his eyes and he almost threw up. Tiny pinpricks of light danced before his eyes. Everything hurt. He remembered… nothing. No, that wasn’t quite true – he remembered the sound of someone else’s laughter in his head, mad and cackling and absolutely terrifying. He remembered hearing that voice from a distance, and being trapped inside his own mind while someone else controlled his body like he was some pathetic little marionette. At least he was directing his own limbs now. Either sleep had refreshed him enough that he’d regained control, or else the laughing clown in his head was satisfied for the time being and laying low.
Jonah glanced down at himself and didn’t recognize the suit jacket that he was wearing. He searched the pockets until he found his phone, but the battery had died and he’d have to find the charger and plug it in before he’d get any answers as to his whereabouts the previous night. He kept searching, and pulled out something that was less familiar and quite a bit more dangerous. It was cold and made of steel, heavy in his hands, and after a few moments of fiddling he recognized it as a butterfly knife. He did remember this thing after all, because he had a vague notion of stopping in a sketchy pawn shop just off the strip and paying the man at the counter in cash for one of the weapons that he kept hidden in a back room. He’d made the purchase in one of his… hazy periods.
Back to the pockets, pulling out crumpled old receipts and ticket stubs until his hand bumped against something hard and encased in plastic. He pulled it out. It was another phone, but not his and not one that he recognized. He fumbled with the buttons until he found the unlock button for the screen, and saw that this one at least had a little battery power left. He opened up the photo album app, wondering if perhaps he would be able to recognize the phone’s owner from a photograph. What he found instead was very unexpected, and made his stomach churn.
The man in the photo looked familiar, yes, but it was how he looked that was horrifying. He looked half dead, covered in blood with cuts all over his chest, and his hands tied up above his head. A sickening sense of déjà vu washed over him, and his hands began to tremble violently until he could barely hold onto the phone. He dropped it in his lap, and for the first time since waking up his gaze was drawn down to the rest of his clothing.
Blood. Dark red stains that had dried to a crusty red, and since Jonah didn’t think he had any injuries that meant it had belonged to someone else. He scrubbed at the shirt with his hands as if hoping he could make the stains magically disappear, and that was when he noticed his fingers. The pads were a little bit discolored too, stained the same shade of red – but worst of all were the undersides of his fingernails, which were caked with dried blood.
This time, Jonah did throw up. He barely made it onto his hands and knees in time, watching his sick splatter against the bare wood floor. He retched, and retched, and choked and coughed and cried hot angry tears that tasted bitter and burned his cheeks. He emptied everything from his stomach and even then he continued to gag, dry heaves wracking his entire body while ragged sobs echoed around the bare walls of his bedroom.
He’d lost. He’d battled against that wretched voice in his head and he’d lost, and someone else had gotten hurt. He’d fucked up.
No, we fucked up. We.
The voice was little more than a whisper in his head, but Jonah started to scream.