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Latchkey Hero

Chapter Text

 

Prelude

 

Dying Light (c) Techland - Cover based on official artwork 

 

They remembered.

He remembered, felt the ebb and flow of who he’d once been wash against what he’d become. They. Them. A lack of individuality. Of anything but the white hot hatred churning within, insistent in its press outward. They— two, not one —screamed much louder than the echo of his name, or the concept of cloth whispering by skin, and the heady rush of his first shot of something tart and sharp.

It’s the end of the world, bro. Bottoms up.

Names.

They’d forgotten those. Much like they’d left behind speech, traded it for an idea of thought roiling between them, dark and slick and oh so angry. 

Their hearts beat with the anger, THUD-THUD inside wide chests heaving with rattling, slow breaths. There'd been a time when breathing had come difficult. Before now. Before then. He'd wheezed and gasped and Forgot your inhaler again? Shit, you're useless. 

Not any more. 

But they remembered. Sometimes better. Sometimes worse. Day and night. Night and day, the toll of bells tearing at the last filaments of their reason. 

The bells were new. Recent. They'd lost the wide open fields, given them up for packed walls and the constant hum of a city that'd forgotten its name too. Here they had insides again, halls and rooms, and stairs to climb. Ways around. Ways through. Outside, the night sat chock full of beasts like them and yet not. 

It was only fair if they opened up the world for them. Cracked the cages around the meat. Made the place home. 

“Did you hear that?”

Prey. Prey still spoke, fitted noise together in a neat string of words, but said so much more with the slight hitch in its voice. The tremble. The cracks under something steadfast.

Fear.  

They’d known fear, he remembered that. More than anything, he felt like it had been the last thing he’d had before he’d forgotten the notion of himself, and that made him furious, so he hacked at the dark with a frustrated growl and earned himself a chiding for their impatience. A notion of it. A snap and a snarl bubbling between hunger and need. 

“Shit— there’s something in here!”

Feet thumped across hard floor.

"Check the lights- They're off- Why are the lights off-" 

Voices stitched themselves together, ripped at the air around them, shrill and hollow. Man and woman, and at some point that had meant something.

You're staying home for prom? You're a loser.

It didn't any more. Wouldn't again.

Chairs toppled.

They remembered chairs. Remembered doors too, and one banged shut at the end of a dark and narrow hall, a single piece of wood that gave way as they slammed into it, and rewarded them with the sharp scent of terror.

“Get out! Getthekidsandgo !”

Their heads cocked towards the noise, and they knew this’d be easy. This’d be quick, because they remembered family.

And how easy it was to destroy.