Penn Rutherford; What Doesn't Kill You, Still Hurts

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Penn Rutherford; What Doesn't Kill You, Still Hurts

Post  Penn Rutherford on Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:38 pm

Lifting his torso and arms forward the chair shrieked returning to its natural position. He stretched his hands out to his feet, which rested crudely on the surface of the desk. A whining sound in his throat countered the stretch while he removed his hooves. Penn curled his legs and planted himself on the ground.

He could feel the time he spent sleeping in his bones, and heavy lashes fought against his attempts to regain his eyesight. The volunteer office was pretty basic and the lack of entertainment or distraction made it hard for him to keep alert. The smell of jelly doughnuts in a white box on the desk brought a pleasant smell to the normally sterile environment. Thankfully his contribution to the neuropsychiatric center was on a limited basis.

The clock implied his shift was over but he was forced to sit there drumming one foot, waiting to be relieved by the next volunteer. Impatiently he leaned back in the swivel and bent his arms behind his head, fingers laced together. This motion caused him to turn in his seat and a flicker caught the corner of his eye. An old man was wandering around the hall. Based on the jacket her wore there was an empty cell with his name on it. Penn reached for the walkie and brought it to his lips and applied pressure to the “talk” button.

“We’ve got a sleepwalker on the north side corridor.”

The device echoed static and hissed at the release of the signal. All of a sudden he was completely alert, at least now that the night was getting interesting. When no one responded to the initial call or approached the man on his screen he felt a little concerned. Despite his attitude for this job, he still had a bit of compassion for those sick of mind. Most certainly left over from his childhood with Mr. and Mrs. Freud. The scrapping of the door handle turning tugged his attention away from the video screen. A humbly dressed Indian woman entered with a horrible grimace on her face. He imagined there was something wrong with her but quickly realized that was just how she normally looked. Then again most of graveyard shifters weren’t… well… high def-friendly. He grinned ear to ear at his devious thought and completely forgot about the escaped patient.

Penn grabbed his bag and headed to the locker room. His eyes always caught with those of a cartoon character on a poster that had been there since the fifties. Although the color had faded the warning sign weathered the ages. In spite of less than respectful employees (including himself) defacing it with scratches and pen marks. It was a sign about remembering never to leave the room with sharp objects or possibly hazardous materials. For fear that patients would gain possession of said items. The eyes gave him the creeps, and he had a childish desire to scratch them out, but he didn’t give it as much thought tonight. He flipped through his lock combination and placed it on the shelf while unzipping his bag. A doctor came in about this time and began suiting up for his shift. Penn was in his gym clothes and tying his shoes as quick as he could without looking like there was a fire.

About 30/35 minutes later
Runyon Canyon Park

Instead of taking the usual route he jogged through the western trail where he was bound to run into hikers with dogs. There weren’t as many climbing portions to this course, but he wasn’t feeling up to the strain tonight. The dirt was aggravated under his soles, sending arbitrary pebbles out behind his strides. He kept his ipod shuffle low enough to hear any warning signs coming from other runners, but loud enough to escape everything around him. The still shadows covering the path waited for him and as soon as they had him they obscured his form. A brutal scream leapt from the trees and he yanked off his headphones in succession.

A second scream followed this time filled with helplessness as if giving in to her dark fate. Breathing heavily from his jog Penn bolted into the woods, kicking through the dry plants in his path. He could barely make out the forms in front of him, If not for the shine of the iron pick Penn never would have found the dire source. The little beast was rubbing a piece of cloth in her blood when he charged, the fiends size leant a false sense of bravado. He tackled him to the ground away from the woman, and managed to stab the monster with his weapon. Penn lost his upper hand when he revealed the whole appearance of the creature. Moonlight breaking through the leaves and branches illuminated a horrid visage. Shocked and confused Penn took the hilt of the pickaxe in the face twice before snapping out of it. Blood poured from his nose and his perception of the fight seemed to echo.

He threw his fists blindly at the creature and could feel them connect with slimy skin tightly layered over bone. Unexpectedly he heard a slop noise followed by a saw-like yank and sensed the monster’s body fall lifelessly to the side. His face stung and the taste of copper filled his throat. He couldn’t open his eyes and the lull of sleep was whisking him off from this nightmare.

When Penn awoke, he was in his apartment. Lying on the ground by the doorway. His clothes were covered in blood. He frantically examined his face and body in the mirror of his bedroom. Although he was dirty there were absolutely no scars, marks, or bruises. He took to the bathroom the shower door screeched as it rolled along the track. Penn leaned in over the tub and turned on the water making sure the dial was pointing closer to the warm side. He could feel the pinch of agony digging at his skull through the temples. His hand slammed down lazily on the bottle of aspirin, and clumsy fingers fought with the protective lid. As soon as the contents were exposed he chugged what felt like four tablets and tossed the bottle back on the counter. It bounced off the surface and slid in the sink bowl.

Turned to the shower cage he slid out of his dirty gym clothes. The hot steam from the water flowed against his skin. It filled the room slowly obscuring the mirror and glass containment. When he stepped into the shower the water only reached his knees, the hot liquid felt like pins digging at his muscles. He adjusted the sprocket to his height and moved into the line of fire. His once spiky hair matte to his head and he firmly shut his eyes to focus on the water hitting his face. He turned around and leaned his head back, opening his eyes for a second; he jumped out of his skin at the sight of himself. He was face to face with himself, or a clone. It was like a moment from a sci-fi movie, but before he could open his mouth the double grabbed his throat and began choking him. Penn put his hands in-between the clone’s forearms and tried to pull them apart and away from his neck. The strength of the double was superhuman and at the very peak of Penn’s effort they would not move. Following the struggle the water from the shower turned red like blood and the clone switched its grip forcing his mouth open to receive it. The bodily substance was thick and warm and he choked most of it down. Abruptly the doppelganger tossed his frame through the glass and the ground under him changed to grass.

He crawled up on all fours and spit a small amount of blood from his mouth. He barely recognized the woods around him, but the ground gave him a hint that it was where he’d been attacked. He didn’t know what to make of the whole experience and the dried blood on his clothes took away his option to pack it all away under the nightmare category.

(Penn follows in Skeletons in our Closet)
Penn Rutherford

Domain : Conjuration

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