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In the Arms of the Boogie Man

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He was just so scared. Bodies were flying every which way and blood was splattering the sides of the buildings. The monster’s great sword came down in deadly swinging arcs and slaughtered those in sight. The smaller monsters grunted, and groaned, and screamed in pain. The dogs howled and whimpered, trying to cower behind Edward, but Edward was too busy searching for something to hide behind as well. Pyramid Head was in a rage.

 

He slashed, and sliced, and, in some cases, grabbed the smaller monsters and tore their deteriorating skin right off their bones. Some put up a good fight but it was all for naught. They scratched, and bit, and clawed and spit at the great Pyramid Head but he was better, killing them instantly or leaving them to suffer in a puddle of their own foul blood. Edward was so scared.

 

‘Terrified’ was a more fitting word.

 

There was a dead and rotting tree in the park, not far from the gruesome scene of death, and Edward ran for it, two Groaners taking cover with him. When he had first seen them, Edward would have been afraid, but now, hiding behind a tree and whimpering at his feet, he knew they were just as frightened as he was. Edward wished he could cover his ears, but his hands prevented him from blocking out the dying screams of the creatures he had grown to except in his life. He sunk to his knees, a frightened moan escaping his scarred lips. One Groaner climbed into his lap while the other lay next to him and put its flayed head on Edward’s thigh. Edward petted them as best he could without cutting them.

 

More screams. There was so much screaming, so much pain. Edward tried to block it out. He thought back to his lonely castle on the hill. He thought of his garden. The topiaries were probably overgrown by now. This place, this Silent Hill, hardly had any gardens. The ash constantly falling from the gray sky practically destroyed the plant life. There was no beauty here. There was nothing for him to decorate. This place was desolate, with monsters popping out of every corner trying to attack at random. The few ‘residents’ were not much better. They shunned him worse than his old neighborhood had.

 

All except for that Dahlia woman. She was nice. She would talk to him, mostly just about her daughter, but she was someone to talk to nonetheless. The creatures either could not or would not talk - Edward wasn’t sure which - and he was too afraid to go near the other humans. They scared him more than the creatures did. And by now he had gotten used to the creatures!

 

The citizens had readily given poor Edward up to the Darkness when he first arrived. If Miss Dahlia had not found him when she had, Edward thought he would have been dead by now. But the monsters here did not seem to reject him, and they had never tried to attack him. At least, up until now.

 

While the scissor-handed man was lost in his thoughts, unconsciously soothing himself and the dogs with his absent petting, the screams and wails of death died down until they ceased to exist at all. All was silent, as it had been before the Red Pyramid’s rampage. The great monster stood silent and cold as stone, chest heaving imperceptibly, as if he had not just slayed many of his comrades. His massive blade hung heavily in his trembling hand. His anger still burned, but nowhere near as bright as before. The Creepers that liked to follow him started to gather once more at his feet. One crunched loudly under his heavy boot and the rest scattered. Now was not the time.

 

His head turned slowly, glancing over the bodies of his fellow monsters. A single Nurse laid twitching and gasping on the ground, her dress torn and her face much more mutilated than it was before. She was trying to reach for a small shiv not too far away.

 

She screamed as a large boot came down on her arm, snapping it in two. Pyramid Head loomed over her. A strange mix of snarls and whimpers escaped her crushed throat, but she did not move. The Nurse screamed once more as she was lifted in the air by the back of the neck, one arm hanging limp, the larger monster tearing her other arm from her body. She was flung to the side of one of the nearby buildings, head crashing against the wall.

 

She heard the boots coming up on her again. Pyramid Head’s anger burned only for her now. She had been the one that had attacked the newcomer. The strange man had smelled of human blood and she had found that she could not resist trying to kill him. It was the humans’ fault they were like this after all. She had been filled to the brim with the need to kill.

 

She had not realized how high the Red Pyramid’s favor of this one had been.

 

Now she suffered for it. He would kill her slowly, painfully, she knew. The others had tried to protect her, but she knew they would not succeed. Red Pyramid was greater, better, than all of them.

 

Her head was crushed against the brick wall. Pyramid Head’s large hand engulfed the side of her face and pinned it there, slowly putting more and more pressure on it. She screamed. She could barely struggle. The executioner wanted her dead and she would be.

 

He could not feel the weaker creature’s struggles through his anger. He blocked out everything, save for the sounds of her wails. He put more pressure on the Nurse’s bubble head. The bone was starting to give way under the torn and deteriorating flesh. Just a little more and…

 

Splat!

 

A large spray of blood covered the wall, the Nurse’s body slumping to the ground.

 

Pyramid Head pulled his hand away. The bitch’s blood covered his hand and apron, along with the blood of all the other monsters he had slaughtered. He saw no wrong in killing those who had tried to protect her. He felt that they were traitors, all of them. It seemed to him that they had accepted the strange yet harmless man as one of their own; much like the Master’s mother, but here was this bitch trying to kill him. Pyramid Head had never been so enraged; had never even really felt rage until this scissor-handed man came along.

 

Very casually, he shook the gore from his hand, almost as if this was an everyday thing, scanning the bodies once more. Once satisfied that none of them would get back up, Red Pyramid turned his attention to locating the quiet human known as Edward.

 

The wild-haired human captivated him for some reason. Ever since he noticed him tailing Dahlia like the lost pup that he was, he had been interested in him. And not exactly in the same way he was interested in the Mannequins or the Nurses, either. It was something a little deeper. There was a very strong and foreign desire not to harm the man.

 

Edward was nowhere in sight. Anger started to wash over Pyramid Head once more until he caught sight of a dog lying on the ground next to a tree. Curiosity took over. Edward had been playing with two Groaners before the attack. The great monster stalked over.

 

A black leather-clad foot was now visible. Red Pyramid felt a strange surge of relief flow through his muscled body when it twitched. Edward was okay. Slowly and quietly, Pyramid Head laid his Great Knife on the ground and stalked up, peeking around to spot his charge.

 

There Edward sat, one Groaner in his lap, another lying beside him. He had a dazed look on his face and was absently petting the dogs with the palms of his scissor hands. One dog’s ear twitched. It looked up. Spotting the cause of all the violence and distress, it growled, lips pulling back to show its sharp teeth. The other Groaner perked up as well, and like its companion, growled and stood up, climbing off of Edward. What little hair remained on their malnourished bodies stood on end, but their tails were between their legs, announcing their fear of the more dominant being before them. Pyramid Head ignored them.

 

Edward blinked when the dogs moved. He had been so lost in thought, blocking out all the violence, and the screaming, and the horror, that he had not heard it stop. His companions stood rigid and fearful next to him, growling and snarling at whatever monster now stood behind him. The leather-clad man was almost afraid to look. He had been so happy lost in his thoughts of his old home and his brief time spent with the Boggs’. Miss Dahlia reminded him a little bit of Mrs. Boggs, but Mrs. Boggs had been much more cheerful. Kim’s hair had reminded him of the sun. It was long and beautiful, bright and curly, and even if she had asked, Edward would have refused to cut it, unlike all the other women in the neighborhood.

 

There was no sun here.

 

Slowly, Edward turned his head. Pyramid Head was staring down at him. Fear shot through his small body. If one Nurse had attacked him, then what was stopping the nightmare of them all from slaughtering him as well? Edward wanted to run, but he felt himself trapped, caught in Pyramid Head’s gaze, though he could not see the creature’s eyes. The dogs continued to growl and bark, whimpering and looking away when Red Pyramid turned his harsh gaze in their direction. They crawled on the other side of Edward, as if he could protect them from their own kin.

 

Pyramid Head turned slowly back to Edward. Edward finally noticed that the monster’s great weapon was not at his side, where he normally saw it. He was also covered in blood.

 

A large hand reached out and Edward flinched. The Groaners barked. But when he opened his eyes, Red Pyramid’s hand was only extended to him, dark red with blood. Edward stared at the hand and then at his own, then back. He looked away, curling in on himself.

 

“You killed all of them…” he muttered solemnly.

 

The large hand clenched and Pyramid Head’s muscular frame shook, with anger or something else, Edward did not know. The monster pulled his hand back and Edward thought he was going to be struck. He screwed his eyes shut and waited for the blow.

 

Instead, a strong hand wrapped around his arm and Edward was hauled up to stand. The dogs barked angrily, sensing the worse was to come to their harmless comrade. The dark haired man’s eyes flew open, two huge, strong arms wrapping around his tiny frame. His hands hung at his sides. He could feel the blood, mostly still wet, sticking to the side of his face where his cheek was pressed against Pyramid Head’s chest.

 

The Groaners stopped barking when they realized that no harm was coming to their friend. They carefully crept over to stand at the monster and man’s feet.

 

Edward pulled away just enough to stare up at the giant metal helmet, eyes wide and sad. “Why did you kill them? They were only protecting her…”

 

Red Pyramid’s head tilted to the side, large muscled arms pulling the strange human closer. A long tongue rolled out from under the helmet and licked the blood off Edward’s cheek, as if in answer. Edward giggled. The fear was far away now.

 

He was pulled closer to the large monster and just rested his head against the bloody chest. Pyramid Head held him tighter. Edward tried to forget the horror from less than ten minutes ago and focused instead on how safe he felt in the Boogie Man’s arms.