Saturday, October 5, 2013

Link and Haddon Chapter 5: You Won't Like Him When He's Angry

Haddon rolled over and scrubbed his hand across his eyes. He peered down the hall at the glow of what he assumed was the television in the living room. He scooted over into the empty space beside him, buried his face in Link’s pillow and breathed in the scent of the man he loved. It wasn’t uncommon for Link to leave their bed in the middle of the night, especially on a night like this, when he’d had nightmares. But something was off. Haddon raised his head and squinted at the light - far too bright to be in the living room, it seemed to be emanating from... From the kitchen? And the burn was steady, not flashing in and out and changing colors like he’d expect from a program switching scenes or back and forth from commercials. Come to think of it, he couldn’t hear anything either. Link never had the thing blaring, but in a house this small, even the quietest sound carried.

He slid from bed, stuffed his feet into his slippers, and made his way to the door. The light only intensified, and he rounded the corner into the kitchen, the sight before him wringing a gasp from his throat. Link stood in the middle of the room, staring at the sink -- at the glow of light, to be more specific -- a smile on his transfixed face. He turned his head then and Haddon gestured him over, but his gaze instead followed something Haddon couldn’t see.

“Link?” Haddon whispered.

But Link just continued watching whatever it was. He laughed and shook his head, muttering to himself about how silly that man was.

Haddon frowned. This must be what had happened the other day, when John and Danny had showed up -- the vision that had led to them calling in a paranormal investigator. His frown deepened. What should he do? Try to wake Link? Was that even the right word? Was Link technically asleep or under some sort of...spell?

Haddon followed Link’s gaze wherever it went, though he could see nothing with his own eyes. Nothing but that glaring light. He couldn’t hear anything, either, and clearly Link could, judging by how he kept reacting to things - laughing or sighing, shaking his head and even letting out a whoop.
That sound must’ve changed something, triggered something. Link’s eyes went wide and he shook his head slowly, taking slow, measured steps backward. He held up his hands, palm outward, toward something. “What...what do you want?” he asked, his voice shaking.

He backed up some more, until he collided with Haddon. He slipped his arms around Link’s waist.
“No!” Link struggled and clawed at Haddon’s arms.

“It’s me! Calm down!” But all his efforts earned him were scratches and an attempt at being bitten.
The light shifted, surrounding them, and flared so brightly Haddon was forced to shut his eyes. Heat radiated in on them, and he ducked his head, trying desperately to escape it while still holding onto Link.

Haddon opened his eyes just enough to navigate the kitchen. He hauled himself and a now kicking and screaming Link toward the door that led to the living room. Two steps away though, he stopped dead in his tracks. A man stood in front of them. Not a man, really, he supposed -- that same strange hot light surrounded the man, and Haddon could see right through him. Right. Through. Him.

“Where is it?” the man asked. His voice came out as a garbled, almost wet sound, as if he’d been asking from under water.

Link slumped in Haddon’s arms, and he struggled under the change of weight. “Where is what?”

“Where is it?” That same question again, and this time Haddon detected an edge of anger in the tone.

He shook Link, trying to wake him, but keeping his eyes on the man. Or rather, the ghost, he reasoned. “Where is what? I don’t know what you’re looking for.”

“Where. Is. It?” With each word he stepped closer and closer, until he was face to face with Haddon, staring down at him, his face twisted by a menacing snarl.

Haddon shook his head. “I don’t know what you’re looking for.” The man’s gaze shifted to Link, and Haddon clutched his lover closer. “Leave him alone!”

The man reached out and Haddon backed them up. If he tried to run, would the ghost follow? Worse, would that make the ghost even angrier? What in the hell were ghosts capable of, anyhow? Could they do any real physical harm?

His question was answered as the man threw back his head and howled, a long, low, mournful sound. It might’ve been a heartbreaking moment, had the gesture not been accompanied by everything in the kitchen flying off the walls and out of the cabinets.

Haddon pushed Link to the floor and hunkered over him as pots and pans, dishes and cans of food rained down on them. A can of baked beans smacked him in the shoulder, and a copper-bottomed sauce pot landed a punch right to the top of his head. “Fuck!”

“Where is it?” the man asked again.

The last of the food hit the floor, and Haddon stood, putting himself between Link and the ghost. “I don’t know what you want from us!”

The man raised his fists and shook them at the ceiling. Around them, a whirlwind picked up, dragging the contents of the kitchen into it, circling them around Haddon and Link like inanimate vultures.

“Stop it!” Haddon reached for the man’s throat, but his hands went right through. “If I could help you, I would! But I don’t know how!” Brute force and threats wouldn’t work -- the ghost probably knew more about, well...ghosts than Haddon did. So he tried another tactic. “I want to help you! Tell me how! Tell me what you’re looking for, and I’ll find it so you can rest. That’s what you want, right? To rest?” He eyed the ever-increasing-in-speed tornado around them.

The man looked down at him, squinted at him and finally nodded. “Find it.”

That was all he said, before he disappeared in a burst of light. The tornado dissolved, leaving Haddon standing in a room full of broken dishes, bent cans, and exploded cereal boxes.

Link stirred. “What...?” He sat up, looking around. “What the fuck?” He looked up at Haddon. “What did you do?”

“Me?” Haddon raised his eyebrow and shook his head quickly. “Oh, no. This was all you.”

“I did this?”

“You triggered it. At least, I think you did. I found you in here watching the...ghosts or whatever they are. They must’ve seen you, and then all hell broke loose. Incidentally, the big man wants to know where it is, and he wants us to find it.”

Link frowned and rubbed his eyes. “Find what?”

“Fuck if I know.” Haddon threw up his hands. “How much longer until that ghost hunter guy shows up?”

“Paranormal Investigator.” Link stood, tip-toeing around a shattered dinner plate. “Two weeks.”

“Two weeks.” Haddon looked around at the destruction and shook his head. Two weeks too damned long.

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