Theon stared at the rows and rows of costumes. Spiders hung down along cheap webs, plastic gravestones and zombies menaced in between the rows of temporary identities. The eerie soundtrack continually made him jump which set Ramsay off into wild giggles. Like hyenas, the pack following their leader would laugh and catcall.
He flinched every time Ramsay or his boys called him that in public.
Theon would bite his lip then rush to see what was needed of him, anything to silence that word where others hear. If someone asked if this thin, nervous teenager was part of Ramsay's gang, the group would have laughed themselves to death.
Theon knew exactly what he was, as much as the gang did.
He was Ramsay's bitch according to Skinner, Damon has referred to him as "Little Stockholm Boy", Alyn is the politest, he says Reek was Ramsay's property. Dick, Luton and Ben have assured Reek many times that he was simply Ramsay's pet. And Theon used to fight against it. He doesn't anymore, it was easier to be Reek.
But he wasn't Reek enough to stop thinking as Theon any chance that he could get away with it. Never in his wildest dreams did Theon think he would be eager for teachers in school to call upon him until now. Any time in class a professor asks Theon or Mr. Greyjoy a question he has to stop himself from leaping to answer it.
It's the only thing that Ramsay can't control yet. But Ramsay can control Theon's growing fear and aversion to his own name. The last time Theon showed an eagerness to answer to his real name the pack of feral bullies that follow Ramsay beat the shit out of him. Bad enough that he landed in the hospital for three days. Ramsay visited him all cheerful, never mentioning it at all, except to write Reek all over the cast and countless bandages.
Ramsay began to taunt Theon with different kinds of costuming.
"I can't decide between sexy Deadpool or sexy Thor for him. What do you think, Miss?" The boys laughed as the startled sales clerk ran away towards the props. Theon's face burned and he turned away just to lose his breath, giving a croak of terror. A garish, gigantic painted clown mask glared at him with deadly hilarity.
Theon never saw the boys all watch him stare in frozen terror at the mask. Nor did he see Damon grab a red nose and slowly come up close behind him. He did however hear the honk and everyone in the store heard his high pitched scream. Bursting into tears, Theon fled down the aisles followed by laughter.
He crashed into some sort of netting that made him flail uselessly, mindlessly, sinking into panic. Louder laughter surrounded him as much as the netting. Dizzily, Theon looked up into Ramsay's amused, sadistic eyes.
"Now, you've caused a scene and broke this netting. I'll have to buy it and anything else you crashed into. How do you think I'll repay you for that?"
Theon limped out of the men's room at the mall and flinched as Ramsay followed. He had taken the extra time to fix his hair while Theon recovered from the punches to his back and stomach, kicks to his thighs when he fell. The boys already had gotten food and were eating in the cafeteria. Ramsay handed him some money.
"Get our food, Reek."
Nodding, Theon shuffled over towards the counter at the burger station. Ramsay never deviated in his meal, or in Theon's. He ordered a large sized specialty burger with super sized onion rings and soda. Theon then ordered a cheeseburger children's meal with chocolate milk. He carried the tray towards the table when something flickered at the corner of his eye.
The tray nearly slid out of boneless fingers as Theon felt his bladder cramp painfully. Skinner had been chatting to a girl and luckily saw the incoming avalanche of food. He straightened the tray as he looked to see what scared this pussy so much this time.
"You are such a fucking pussy ass loser, Reek. What is it a puppy or....a mime. Hey lady mime, don't you know it ain't Halloween yet?"
Air exploded out of Reek as he quickly walked over to the table. His nerveless fingers dropped the tray with a thump that spilled onion rings onto the paper lining. Ramsay cursed and pinched Reek hard in his side, right in a very new and swollen bruise. A squeak of pain then a muttered apology.
Skinner leered at the mime. She was dressed in tight black leggings and a tight black and white striped shirt. Very traditional, her face also painted black and white. A black wig that was razor straight, shoulder length, he could not tell who this person was. Only the build let him know it was a slender female.
"Are you practicing for a show, honey? Or for a Halloween performance for tips on the street corner? I got a little money if that is what you need. Don't need to resort to penny tips, you know. Can you do contortions? Because I'd pay double for that."
The mime seemed to slowly smile at him even as her eyes stayed blank. She nodded and slowly did a ballerina spin. Then arched backwards, extending her arms until they palmed the floor. As Skinner gasped, her dead eyes fixed upon him, her smile now seemed a frown. She scuttled forward towards him fast, as if a demon intent on dinner. Or a humanoid spider visiting from another dimension to grab some fast food that mistakes Skinner for a spider.
He jumped into the air and screamed high pitched as his hands fluttered near his mouth. Skinner turned and fell over a table to sit stunned on the floor. Everyone was watching the mime and Skinner now and laughter thundered. But it was uneasy laughter, as the mime was still scuttling in her terrifying new form. She headed straight for Ramsay's table. Theon shrieked and leaped into Ramsay's lap. As she got even closer, he climbed over Ramsay in his panic.
Alyn and Damon were on their feet now, along with Ramsay. Theon has now joined Skinner on the floor. The shamed bully immediately whacks Theon and calls him a pussy to reestablish himself. The girl stops only inches before the wall of young men and slowly unfolds until she is standing straight again. There is a moment of silence, they stare and she seems to judge them. Her head cocks and tilts as she studies each one. Then a slow formed smirk and her arm stretches out slowly, almost unrolling somehow. Her hand opened and a bright pink paper folded into a wolf sat daintily upon her open white glove.
Without moving, the mime held out the paper to Ramsay and simply froze, eyes pinning him. It was a clear challenge and it was in public. Ramsay took the paper and cleared his throat uneasily. He opened the paper and scanned the page then smirked back. He made sure his voice rang out clearly.
"That was quite a fucking performance just to give me a haunted house challenge. Kudos for the effort."
The mime held up a folded poster board that none of them knew where it could have fucking come from. She unfolded it then held it over her head so all could read it. Each new impossible fold held this long sentence.
"Extreme Challenge. If the Bully Bolton, his Boys, his Dog and his Whore can make it through our haunt, it will be open and free to the public on Halloween night."
Dropping her arms the mime folded up the entire poster with a dramatic clap of her hands, it was gone. Tilting her head as if remembering something, the mime then nods. She claps again and another poster emerged.
"Do you accept?"
Theon rolled his eyes and whined while Skinner softly whispered that he hoped Ramsay fucking Bolton rotted in hell for accepting the challenge.