He could still hear her moving, sense her at his back, but everything felt distanced. Detached. Like it was happening to someone else, because the only thing that mattered was the light. This... was not good. This was like how he’d felt sometimes, years and years back, when they’d given him pills he’d had no choice but to take, because what could a child do with no parents left to shield him anymore? It was like the feeling he’d sought out when the pills and doctors were gone, self-medicating because they’d been right, surely, and he didn’t want to feel anymore. It was all wrong, and Peter tried to fight it... but it was powerful, a siren song, beating out his will.
Then, that question, what is it that you fear the most? came slipping in like a snake. Her voice stirred up a thousand painful memories: fangs and claws gleaming through the dark, tearing into his skin; the taste of blood on his tongue and the bone-deep chill that followed it in; that empty clawing horrible thing taking root in his chest, killing him from the inside out; his mother’s frightened panting, her clammy hands pushing him to the bad of the closet; listening to her scream, to his father scream, to their flesh being torn from their bones and smelling the blood all through the house and that cruel face, smiling down at him and he could fucking feel the malevolence rolling off him and why couldn’t Mum or Dad see it?
Those thoughts, those memories, he didn’t want to voice them. Not to her. But it all still felt so distant, and, shuddering with the horror of his own thoughts, he heard his own voice speaking without meaning to, a hushed, monotone murmur: “That thing. Vampire.”