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Eldritch

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(note that this scene starts off suddenly and without explanation because I didn't write far enough ahead to connect this scene with another one I briefly started writing in my head)

. ...

The creature revolves its head left and right, its eyes unblinking. Manon can’t tell what the thing is thinking or doing but she can sense the bloodlust wafting off it like the scent of a rotten corpse. Finding herself trembling, her gaze darts between the creature and the door. The thing does not remove its gaze from her and, finding safety in the plan she has crafted for herself, she scrambles to a stand. 

She approaches the door to her room and yanks it open without restraint, barreling her way outside. She skids on her feet, her shoulder crashing into a nearby wall as she does so. Manon yelps, hands pushing herself off the white surface as she races down the hallway, bare feet scraping across the wooden floor.

Manon doesn’t stop. She doesn’t stop until she barrels down to the last door in the hallway, disregarding all others as she stops at the faded blue door with the chipped paint. Her hands slam on the door before her, fingers nearly scratching at the wood in desperation.

Something like footsteps sounds from the other side and the door is pulled open to reveal Alan staring down at her with sleepy eyes. The boy is frowning, rubbing at his face as he asks: “Manon? Are you alri-”

She wastes no time leaping forward to bury herself in his chest, crashing the both of them to the floor in panicked tandem. Manon holds to his figure, fingers digging into the silk shirt he wears as she releases a shuddering breath. The scent of dewdrops and pine needles entrances her and she can’t help but cling to the sense of security she feels in Alan’s presence.

“Woah, Manon, woah ,” Alan’s sleepy voice rapidly transitions into one of panic. She feels him stiffen before her, his voice secreting an edge of something she can’t quite catch in her dazed state. All she can think of is safety, safety, safety. “What’s going on?”

Even as Alan’s hands grasp at her shoulders to pry her off, she can’t help the mantra that chants in her head as she keeps her grip on his shirt. Safety, safety, safety. Alan is familiar. Alan is nice and kind and strong. Alan is safety.

“I-” Manon takes in a deep breath. She realize Alan’s staring at her, his inquisitive gaze prodding her for answers. “In my room. It was...it was there. In my room. My room. It was…”

She thinks of the green creature sitting atop her windowsill, thinks of its gleaming, beating heart and the unblinking stare of its eyes. She thinks of its voice crawling around in her head, worming its way into her mind and crowding out all rational thought. She thinks of its weird blob shape and its motionless body and trembles, the beginning of a sob in the back of her throat.

 “Manon? Manon!” The girl feels herself being shook and realizes with a start that Alan is shaking her, his fingers digging insistently into her shoulders. “What happened? What’s going on?”

She thinks of the creature again, the small but malicious creature whose mere presence terrified her to her very core. She feels its bloodlust oozing over her, feels the power it radiated tapping upon her skin like it was still there before her. She wonders if Alan can even match up to such a strange apparition. Mega Charizard was powerful, more powerful than any other Pokemon she’d ever seen, but it simply didn’t compare to the aura of the monster she’d born witness to.

Another kind of fear washes over her. She can see horrific images of Alan’s body splayed indescribably against the floor of her hotel room. She can see his features twisted in horror, can see his Mega Charizard ripped and torn to shreds. The small being inside her room had seemed small and innocent in nature but, somehow, she didn’t think it would make an easy match for the boy who wielded power in his hands.

“You said something about your room?” Alan asks, as quick to the point as always. “Did something happen there?” Manon’s gaze falls from his own, her tongue stilled by the fear of her travelmate being killed by such an anomalous entity. However, upon seeing her silence, Alan stands to his feet and grabs Charizard’s ball from a nearby nightstand, his features twisted in cold confidence. “Wait here.”

“Alan?” Her voice is weak as she calls for him, weak as she watches him get up and walk away. 

Her sense of safety. 

Leaving. 

No. 

Her legs tremble underneath her as she comes to a stand. “Alan? Alan, wait . Alan!”

She hurries after her, eyes burning with the prickling of tears as she pursues Alan. She crashes into the wall yet again but she could care less about the pain in her shoulder. Her travelmate is growing farther and farther away, leaving her alone with thoughts she doesn’t want to carry. She races forward, heedless of the ruckus she is causing, and clutches onto Alan’s arm as it swings back in determination.

The boy pauses, her mere touch making him jolt. He cranes his head to look at her, bright blue eyes gleaming without the fear Manon feels, and there’s almost a silent sense of understanding that dawns in his features. He clasps a hand over the arms around his own, gently shaking them off as he clasps her hand instead. She holds his tight, fingers digging in without regard to pressure. Safety, safety, safety. Hand in hand, they continue forward, moving down the long stretch of hallway in quiet, careful steps.

There’s a moment of hesitation as they come to stand in front of her hotel room. The door hangs open, loosely, shivering at the touch of wind. Manon shrinks away from the door as Alan pushes through it, Charizard’s pokeball readied before him as he steps into her room. 

Creeeeee…

The door creaks open, allowing a sight of uncanny calm to await them. A breeze of wind hurries past, embracing them both, before Manon crumples to the ground. On her windowsill remains her travelpack and items, all right where she left them. The green creature with the hexagonal heart, however, was nowhere to be seen, its physical form no longer present.

But, Manon can sense it. Can sense the malice that exuded off it like heat from a Charmander’s flame. It was still here, still around. She could sense that, could feel it in her bones the same way she could feel the night air on her skin. Her fingers dug into Alan’s hand, knuckles a shade of white as she said, in as low a voice as she could manage: “It’s still here.”

“How-?” 

But there was little time to ask questions. From behind them, appearing in the shadows of the doorway, was the shadow of a creature unfamiliar. Glistening saliva drips from its jaws, white eyes glowing in the darkness of the hallway. Alan was quick, moving with a practiced precision Manon didn’t have as Alan pulls her to the open window with a verbal declaration of his intentions. “Charizard!” He shouts, tossing his Pokeball out the window.

A bright flare of red burns in the night sky and Manon has little time to contemplate as Alan shoves the windowsill open and pushes her towards it. His hand releases hers as he tosses her backpack into her hands. “Run!” He shouts. “Charizard, take Manon and run!”

The orange dragon roars its protest, sharp eyes watching behind Manon’s back. The girl does as Alan has told her to do, scrambling through the window with her backpack pressed to her chest, but she does not run into Charizard’s arms. Instead, she turns around, grabs two items from her pack, and throws them. Out come Chespie and Bebe, both creatures blinking sleepily at their strange surroundings before the sound of Alan’s screams jolt them awake.

“Ches?” Chespie asks, the needles on its head prickling with a sense of urgency.

Her Flabebe presses close to the grass-type Pokemon, holding its flower before it as it glances at Manon, confusion in its eyes. 

Manon bites her lips and tries to clear her mind of thoughts. She’d gotten this far. She could do more, could help Alan. She wouldn’t leave him to be hurt by whatever waited within the realms of darkness.

“Chespie, use Pin Missile!” She shouts, nodding to her starter before looking to Flabebe. “Bebe, use Magical Leaf! Help Alan out!”

The two creatures hurry forward, following her commands with perfect precision despite the fact their trainer could not see into the darkness of the room before her. She hears something snarl, hears the sound of crashing furniture and Alan shouting “Run, Manon!” from within the hotel room. 

Her mind begs her to leave, to retreat, to climb onto Charizard and flee. However, she finds herself rooted in place, unable to leave Alan behind. 

“Chrrr,” Charizard hovers before her, seeming just as panicked as Manon felt. It looked torn, torn between helping her escape and helping its master in the midst of the battle unfolding before it. 

She nods her head at it, communicating her understanding and her intentions to it. The creature flaps its wings, growling softly, before a sudden silence draws their attention. The whirlwind of noises comes to a stop and, with a burst of confidence boosted by Charizard’s presence, Manon shifts forward on careful steps, hands clasped onto the metal band around Charizard’s neck for comfort.

“Alan? Chespie? Bebe?” She asks their names quietly, drifting closer.

“Chrrrrr!” Charizard drew back its lips, suddenly tucking Manon into its arms as it drew her away from the window. A shape burst through, glass shattering behind it as the mysterious entity comes to stand atop the shingles of the rooftop. 

Manon’s gaze follows the movements of such a creature, hopelessly caught up in the terror of its very form. It was nothing more than a shadow in the midst of the night air, but its white eyes caught her own. She sees the dripples of saliva glistening with moonlight, sees the teeth that the creature bares before it turns away and flees across the rooftops, form distorting away into the midnight sky.

Charizard roars, snarling flames into the sky, before it turns its head to the shattered window before them and peers into the darkness. Manon can sense its worry, can sense the way the creature looks for its owner with the start of a whine in its throat. 

“Alan?” Manon asks.

A silence greets her ears before a moment before she hears, pitifully: “Manon?”

There’s the scrabbling of paws on wood and then Chespie and Bebe re-emerge from the darkness, eyes wide and glistening. They gesture furiously at the room, pleading with her to enter into it.

She does so, but does so carefully, crouching down and maneuvering around shards of glass. The girl presses past the windowsill, sinking underneath its shattered frame to creep back into the room. Chespie and Bebe press against her, Charizard craning its neck to watch after her as she slips onto the floor.

Before her, lying ragged on the ground, clothes torn and wet with a thick, sticky substance that coats Manon’s fingertips, was Alan. The boy is breathing hard, a hand clasping tightly onto his shoulder as she approaches him.

“M...anon,” his voice is shaking uncharacteristically, “Manon are you...are you alright?”

A stray beam of moonlight sneaks into the room, lighting up the area previously swathed in darkness. Manon watches it crawl across the floor, watches in horror as it reveals Alan’s features.

Red. Alan, the boy who wore black and blue like a second skin, is covered in red. It runs everywhere, dripping from his forehead, his shoulder, his hands, his arms, his legs. Blood sticks to his skin and slicks his hair, oozing from every place it could possible ooze from. He was bleeding and he was bleeding badly .

“A-Alan,” she takes in a sharp breath at his state of disarray. She turns to the window, turns to where Charizard is staring in horror at its owner and grimaces at its outraged expression. “Charizard, hand me my backpack.”

The creature turns its gaze to her, face uncomprehending, before it seems to reach a realization and obeys without complaint. Its claws gather around the straps of her backpack, sliding it forward until it toppled into the waiting paws of Chespie. The Chespin gave its friend a nod, scurrying forward with the bag clutched in its paws as it hurries to Manon’s side.

“Thanks Chespie,” she shuffles into her backpack, hands digging through her belongings until her skin hits metal. She pulls it out, staring at Alan’s shaking form, before she presses a combination of buttons on its surface. 

Her Holo-Caster rings and rings before a voice emerges from the other side.

“Hello, this is Kalos Emergency Services. How may I help you today?”

She can’t stop her voice from shaking as she blurts: “My friend is dying. Please. Save him!”