“Monster!” Peter shrieked.
Aunt May had scolded his Uncle Ben for letting Peter watch scary movies, she said that they would give him nightmares, and they had. Only, this was the first nightmare Peter had ever had while he was awake. The werewolf ran toward them, hunched over and long hair covering fever bright eyes that glowed in the street lights; Peter waited for the claws and teeth to come out and render the flesh from his new family’s bones, but they never came. The beast shrunk as he got closer, transforming into a dirty and emaciated teenager who dove for Aunt May’s purse as if it were a lifeline.
Peter shut his eyes and everything became noise; familiar sounds of traffic and city life, uncharacteristic yelling from his aunt and uncle, words he was forbidden to say from the former wolf, and his own pounding heart. Then there was crying. It felt like Peter’s own, so deep he felt pain in his chest, but it was coming from the other boy.
Curiosity won over terror and Peter opened his eyes again.
“Just give him some money,” Aunt May pleaded, all fear from her voice since deflated, presumably when Uncle Ben had subdued the young man by wrapping a meaty fist around his throat.
Peter was well acquainted with that hand. It was incredibly strong and the callouses so thick that sometimes when Uncle Ben would carry him or hold his hand he would feel like razor blades against his skin. Having it wrapped around your throat, and in anger? Peter couldn’t imagine it, but in his attempt to he began to cry as well.
“Ben, please,” Aunt May urged him desperately and took Peter into her arms.
That fucking brat.
Scared shitless and crying into his mother’s arms.
Wade wasn’t the one he should be scared of, the kid’s own father was. Once he isn’t cute anymore the mother will leave and it won’t be homeless kids this dick will be strangling, it’ll be his own son; Wade he knew that from experience.
“You must think you’re pretty tough, preying on defenseless women, scaring children,” The contempt was so familiar that Wade could almost smell his own father’s preferred brand of alcohol.
“Ben, he’s a child,” the woman was rallying for him.
“I’m not a child!” Wade managed to gasp out through his decompressed throat.
“You’re sure crying like one,” the amusement in the man’s voice was worse than Wade’s failed attempt at thievery, the humiliation of being caught, and the inevitable hunger pains that would ensue.
I’m not crying because of you, Wade wanted to tell him, I’m crying because of him.
The small child Wade didn’t see until he was almost on top of him.
Wade never wanted to involve children. They had nothing he wanted he wasn’t particularly interested in giving some innocent kid unnecessary baggage, but this one was so small and tucked so deeply within his mother’s skirts that it would’ve been impossible for Wade to see him.
Wade cried because the woman hovered over her son protectively, shielding him from danger much like Wade’s own mother did, before she left, when his own father got two drunk; only, in this scenario Wade was the monster. The child’s words, not his.
Wade had finally become the monster and it was all thanks to that fucking kid.
“Get out of here, and don’t do anything like this ever again.” The iron vise around his throat fell away and Wade didn’t hesitate to escape, running as far and fast as he could. Running away from the child that had made finally made him a monster in name if not yet in deed.