Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
May all natural or intention of assumptions die here and remain here for as long as I, Holden J., shall live; notwithstanding how short that may be…. I hope that makes it clear straight off that this isn’t going to be some cruddy tea party or some other stupid shit like that. This is going to be nothing but the truth, I swear. You must be thinking that, on discovering this scrawl of text, you’ve stumbled among a prank of a madman. Honestly, you just got to believe me and read what I have to say. I hardly believe it, myself, and I saw it all with my own eyes….
Where it all began, nobody would ever figure. For me, it had just been another stupid and pointless day of “higher education”. Oh, how I remember the sharp dullness in the back of my head as my class discussed the J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Nobody ever gets tired of analysis the hell out of it, sarcasm free of charge. Yes; smart asses, if you couldn’t guess, I’m named after Mr. Angst-driven-gray-haired-protagonist-of-woe, himself.
Now, what was I on about? Oh yeah, the class. They kept going on ‘bout how the ducks were him, how he was the ducks and blah. It drove me downright sick, really. So I just stood up and started for the door. The teacher gave me this funny look, like I’d hit him over the head with a suitcase full of rocks or something. He sounded as angry as a New York cab driver when he yelled where I was going without a pass. Snickering, I gave him my answer.
“Just going to check up the ducks in Central Park; really. Or am I only checkin’ up on myself?”
He sure as hell flew like a bat at me when I said that but a middle age man who’s got a habit of chain smoking that makes his clothes stink like some burnt trash ain’t fast. Not as fast as a slender scarecrow like me. I slipped through the door as I heard him bang against the other side. Must’ve hurt by the sound of it. Like a golden age cartoon. I wanted to laugh but felt bad for the poor guy, really. I knew he’d be alright, he was a retired Marine. Still, when I think ‘bout it, I just can’t help feelin’ bad ‘bout it….
I just had ta stop thinkin’ ‘bout him so I booked up way out of school, via open windows and doors. I’ve never really been afraid of falling or nothing. Been in gymnastics classes before I could say I was 4 ft tall. Ah, and what a New York spring it was. Probably only 45-50 degrees at best! I zipped up my auburn long coat a donned my hunting hat from my pocket. Shut up, it’s nothing like his!
Any who… I reckon it was about 10 minutes before I reached the meadow by the stream near the underpass as I sat down on the discolored and worn bench that had once been dark green in color. There was still a thin layer of ice on the river bed so I picked up a few pebbles as I planned to skip them across. Just as I drew my hand back to throw the first stone, I felt it grasped by a delicate gloved hand.
“Oho? And just what are you planning to do with these stones, Holden Jerome Grinman?”
I knew the voice all too well and could smell the perfume she always wore. Lavender of with some sort of herbal fusion added to it. I could never mistake this girl for any other. A lecture was sure to ensue.
“Shouldn’t you be in class, V?”
“Class is second priority when it comes to my personal matter with you. And for the last time, be formal when addressing me. You know its Madam Violet Rowell.”
I couldn’t help grin when she said that that. Me and V go way back, she was the best girl gymnast in the county. She was better than me at it but she always put hard work into everything she did. She was naturally talented, too, but she felt she always had her family’s name and wealth holding her back. I stood to face her, a white scarf wrapped round her neck, her black coat tight against her frame while I could see she was wearing a medium length checked skirt while her legs wore white ankle socks. Red loafers; how classy. The wind picked up lightly as it blew against her multiple ribbon woven long blond hair as she just stared at me.
“Woah, tryin’ to see into my soul, Miss. V?”
She puffed her cheeks as I stood up standing next to her.
“I told you, Madam Violet Rowell.”
“How’s Miss. Sexy, then?’
“Miss. I’m so sexy hot that I burn the sun?’
She held me in her arms, her face a darker shade of red as he sky blue eyes looking happily at me. She leaned in close.
“You’re a bad boy, Holden…”
We embraced each other, our lips becoming a tangled mess of oneness as our hands interlocked if not traveling widely like worms. It was cute in a way, when she acted like this. But I got this weird sort of hormone-driven idea in my head. I kept thinking about the pattern she must have on her panties. I kept telling myself it must be white with pink bunnies but another part of my mind argued it was inversed. I could go on ‘bout it but I’ll spare you the sexy stuff. Let’s just say I eventually, I don’t know why, settled on tiger skin panties.
We sat down after a few minutes of our embrace as she started talking again.
“Holden, you really shouldn’t skip classes…..”
“I know, I know. It’s not like I do it all the time.”
“You do it enough that Dad is worried about you… That I worry about you….”
I look towards the stream. Had I never know her, I would be homeless. I was homeless. In one night it all happened. All in one night had my family gone from middle class to nothing. In one night did my Father lost his mind and burn our house to the ground. In the rain had I managed to run from it all; blood covered and wild eyed. In the rain had she found me, curled up in a ball by the trash weeping bitterly; like a dog driven insane by disease.
“You two shouldn’t worry about me. I can manage on my own.”
“How’s the essay coming?”
“Hm? Oh, its…”
“You haven’t even started writing it, have you?”
“Just like you. A great writer but you refuse to write because of your own ideals.”
“I just think The Catcher in the Rye is…”
A loud trashing sound vibrates the air as we look at the under pass. A tall man in a dark suite waves to us. I felt uneasy he seemed to be beckoning us to come. We looked at each other unsure but rose, walking slow towards him. The light grew dimmer the farther we went but still pressed on. Oh, what fools we were.
We couldn’t make his face out well because of the light, but I figured he had a sleepy eyed face because I saw nothing in the dimness. His tone was an abnormal one of both oddity and smoothness.
“My name is Mr. Kixxs, pronounced just like kicks. I have called you away from you normal life to ask you a simple question. Can you see the Rye?”
Perplexed by this odd question we looked at each other before saying at the same time rhythmically in tune with one another.
His voice only became the more whisper.
“The Rye. Can you see it? Most folks can’t. Most folks don’t even know it exists but I can show them. I’ve shown it before but I never know what may happen. Sometimes folks feel it and go mad wantin’ to shoot people and other time they just become comatose. So, can you see it or shall I show it?”
We just stood there, at odds with each other. I’m sure she wanted to run like me but we only heard in the dreaded darkness the whispering, almost alien now voice
“So be it, I shall show you.”
Soon the tunneled underpass began to become illuminate as the strange man was making odd gestures on a morbid like motion. With a bright flash was it filled with colors and shapes I had never seen before nor since. I could scarcely describe it for it seemed to transcend my senses. I felt it overlapping my very being. What would had happen should I had remained among that phantasm, I will never know. For the spell was broken by V; pulling on my sleeve as she spoke weakly.
I tuned to her and at once felt a dread worse than I thought I could ever fell. Her body was enveloped in what looked like shadows but I knew it was something viler than my darkest imaginings. Her skin was turning a stone gray, her eyes becoming white as the life seemed to be draining from her in ways of pure terror.
“Run…. Holden…. This thing….. It’s nothing but a living virus… It fooled us…. It’s got me now… I love you….r…u…n……”
Her hand seemed to crumble onto my clothing before I scarily looked upon this monster. The shadows spared my sanity but I could see its arms and legs had been a hoax as they appeared to be lashings hook like tendrils. Face, there was none but a large gaping maw and a single burning eye. Screaming, running, tripping, stumbling, sweating, vomiting, bleeding, all with heart pulsating; I ran. I ran faster than anyone has ever run. I never looked back and never went back, I just kept running.
Life lacks normality and sanity to me, now. All of that died when that thing stole it from me. I scatter this wherever I go, telling what I can of this nightmare in fragments; on the run for my own safety. However, I will tell in this fragment alone that I will say the unsaid. I think a piece of that thing got on me somehow…. I think it’s been changing me slowly… I look in the mirror and I don’t see my face some times…. My hands look like ropey hooks…. I don’t know how much longer I can keep myself together… I…. think… I’m… turning…. into… that……..
Credited to: 1000Masks