Kris clutched at their chest, hands trembling as they dripped blood unto the carpet. In the back of their mind, they mused that the red liquid would leave stains on the carpet again. Hopefully mom buys the ketchup excuse again.
Eyes glowing, panting, they brandish the knife from inside their sweater and glare at the trembling soul trapped in the birdcage. They couldn’t take it, being controlled. Being used as a pawn in a sick game, a game where nobody knew it really was a game. Unknowingly awaiting the finishing move: checkmate.
A shiver ran down their spine as they felt themselves being…watched. By what, they weren’t sure, but right now they had more pressing matters to worry about. They turned the knife in their hand, swaying in place at the strain of ripping the soul out of their body. That wasn’t theirs. Not anymore, anyway. It floundered like a cornered animal, as if in fear. Their glare hardened on the thing, slowly stepping forward, tightening their grip on the blade. Black lined their vision as they got closer, holding their knife up, ready to finally—!
Then the world was covered with darkness.
“Yo Kris, pass the fries would ya?”
Kris grabbed the plate of fries and flung them down the large dining table, enough to reach the other end towards Susie and Lancer. Susie, waiting with her jaws open, fully took the plate in her mouth. She slowly slid it out, leaving it spotless, as she chowed down the fries with a smirk. Lancer clapped, impressed, while Ralsei made a small face of disgust.
“You know you can move closer to us, right? The table is big enough for all of us…” Ralsei piped.
“Hell no! This is how royals eat! Far away from all the peasants!”
“Yes, beautiful peasants! I am the King now you know!” Lancer proclaimed proudly.
“Did they just call us peasants?” Ralsei asked Kris quietly, but they only shrugged, letting the others have their fun. He chuckled softly.
“Well, alright! Whatever is better for you!”
“Good! Now,” Susie stood, placing her hands on her hips, “how ‘bout we get to business?”
“Royal business!” Lancer added.
“Alright Susie, how about you start off our first official meeting?”
“Uh,” Susie faltered, “I don’t…do that. I kinda leave that job to the people who actually know what they’re talkin’ about. So, take it away, nerd!”
“Oh! Well, okay!” Ralsei stood in his seat, addressing everyone, “Thank you for coming to the first Fun Club meeting! Very happy to see everyone here! Now, as you all may know, we still need to address the situation with the fountains of darkness, as well as the mysterious knight! So any and all thoughts concerning our next steps would be greatly appreciated.”
…The room was filled with silence. Ralsei, chuckling awkwardly, decided to continue, “Well! I believe we should…keep a look out. Maybe Lancer can post sentries at the fountains, and maybe we can interview the former King? I’m sure his time in the dungeon has softened him enough to be able to talk to us.”
“Doubt it,” Susie said sourly, “He was all loyal like he was in a creepy cult, I doubt he’d make a peep unless we forced it outta him. Without hurting him, of course,” she added quickly, causing Lancer to sigh a little in relief.
“Yes, I agree…Dad probably won’t talk on his own…”
Ralsei nodded, “Alright, those are valid concerns! Now how about...”
It all suddenly drowned out for Kris. They could see their mouths moving, responding to one another. But a slow, rhythmic beat started filling their ear drums.
Their breath picked up as a tightness coiled in their soul. Familiar. Unwanted. Their hands twitched, the urge to scratch at their chest growing with each passing moment, but they tapped it down and pretended to listen along to the conversation. Ralsei was now hopping in his seat, rattling off something long winded that had Lancer interested but Susie bored. It was an unfortunate surprise when Susie trained her eyes on them.
“…You okay Kris?”
The others turned to look at them now, eyes widening in concern. Oh stars, have they noticed? They couldn’t deal with this here, in front of all of them. They attempted a nod, hoping that would suffice.
“Kris...” Ralsei said carefully, “you…don’t look very good at all.”
“You look pale blue! Which I think is bad? And shaky,” Lancer added.
“Yea, they’re usually just-”
Kris suddenly stood, their heart pounding in their head. Their breath was slightly ragged as they mumbled an excuse of needing a bathroom before skittering away. They assumed they called out to them, but if they did, it fell on deaf ears. They began to sprint deeper into the castle and bolted into the first room they saw. As they attempted to catch their breath, slowly sliding to the ground, they notice a bike neatly tucked into a bed. Great, Lancer's room. At least it'll be one of the last places they'll check. Bought them some time.
They couldn't do it again. Being in a half conscious state, helplessly watching as a body that was their own, but wasn't, played a role that wasn't their own. It wasn't them, it couldn't be, right? Their soul fluttered as if in confirmation. Something was taking control, feeling as if it was denied it would rip their body apart. They could already feel themselves slipping, fading into the background, but they clutched their head and fought to stay in control. They had to stay in control. Their magic flared, blood red eyes shining in the darkness of the room, as they gasped for air. Too tight, too tight, their chest felt like it was going to burst. They can't, they couldn't, please not again-.
Somehow they heard the timid voice, head snapping up to see Lancer at the doorway. He fiddled with his hands nervously, brow knitted in concern, "A-are you okay?"
They chuckled, gripping their head tighter as their control slipped. They couldn't help it; it was laughable, really. Here they were, on the floor, shaking and fearing for their sanity, and he asks if they're okay?
"You shouldn't be here, Lancer," they heard themselves speak, through no action of their own. It was too late now, they supposed.
"Wh-what do you mean? What's happening?"
They smiled softly, hands falling down to their sides a bit heavily, "Nothing you need to worry about. I'm okay now."
"Are you sure? I can get Ralsei to-"
"No," they insisted, vision lined with black and hands shaking, "It's okay. Let's go back."
Not at all convinced, and confused as to really do, he simply nodded and opened the door. They stood and stepped out beside him, gaze lowered and quiet.
Time to start the game.