This month's Friday Fright theme is 'Movie Monster Fanfiction'. The characters used herein are not my own and remain the intellectual property of their creators. Said characters are used here briefly in the spirit of fun and admiration.
“Just let me out for a little while.”
I shook my head.
“A one-day pardon?”
“I said no.”
My fist pounded the blotter in frustration, anger seeping into my very attitude, and I prayed my slight fit of temper might be taken as strength and help hide the fear that crawled through my belly at the mere sound of his whispered words.
“No, damn you! You’ll stay right where you are! Now be quiet. I must think, and your insipid prattling will not be of help to either of us.”
“My good man,” he said, his rumbling whisper wheedling despite a voice uniquely unsuited for begging, or even the art of speaking politely, “I can help. That’s all I’m asking to do, to help you.”
My lip curled in disgust at his words, true anger welling within me at his presumption that I was thick enough to fall for his lies yet again. I had learned from past mistakes, mistakes he had taken full advantage of, though he apparently opined that I was incapable of self-education. Either that or he had an overblown sense of his own persuasiveness.
“As if you would ever, could ever, think of anyone but yourself?”
I snatched the paper from my desk, waving it angrily toward the glass as I avoided his gaze, not meeting his eyes as he stared at me.
“It is only through Utterson’s friendship with me that we know of the police investigation at all! Never had I the desire to know what you got up to on your nightly forays, preferring to remain in blissful ignorance of the dark nature of your entertainments, but the girl? And do not deny it! There is evidence there, a doctor’s visit, even a witness! The girl was a mere eight years of age!”
“I did say I was sorry...”
At this I marched around my desk to stand directly before the glass, almost nose-to-nose with him, meeting his small, mean gaze, the anger in his piggish eyes at distinct odds with his begging tone and remorseful words.
“Sorry? You?” I waved a hand in disgust. “Impossible! You lack the capacity! Your words are spawned by fear, plain and simple. Fear at the thought of having to pay for your crimes, that someone will finally hold you accountable for your evil.”
I reached up to tap the glass between us, his eyes widening in fury as I smiled with grim satisfaction.
“Fear that you’ll never again set foot outside of this cell. That you’ll remain forever trapped and controlled by the very man you hold in such disdain.”
His fist crashed against the glass with much greater force than his small frame would have suggested possible, the rage rising up in his vile countenance fueling his muscles almost beyond natural limitations, the sudden, sharp sound catching be me by surprise. I felt my own eyes widen as he bared his strong, square teeth in a snarl, pounding the glass a second time, harder than the first.
“You think you can hold me? Here? You can not watch me every second of every day, dear Henry! You have to sleep sometime, and when you do, when you take your eyes from me for the barest second, I’ll slip out of here and be away to handle everything my way, without all your breast beating histrionics!
Even through the glass the vehemence in his words frightened me. The sheer animal rage in his deep-set eyes lanced out at me as he gnashed his thick yellow teeth and thrust his fist against the pane a third time, with such force I thought it might indeed shatter and release him even as I kept guard. I backed away, raising my hands defensively.
It was the chair that was my undoing. Pushed back and forgotten when I stood, it now caught my ankle as I retreated. I cried out, arms windmilling as I fought for balance, but to no avail. The back of my head struck the edge of the desk as I fell, then there was a second impact as I landed full-length on the floor. The room wavered and spun, and I reached into the air in a gesture of supplication though the only one present to see it merely grinned down at me, pressed close to the glass, the better to observe my distress. His dark, gleeful whisper followed me down as darkness stole the world from me and I lost consciousness.
“Not to worry, Henry, I’ll handle everything...”
~ ~ * * ~ ~
I kicked aside the chair as I stood, benefactor to me though it may have been, and approached the glass from this side. Though its mirrored surface did show my face and form, clownlike in Henry’s too-large clothes, deeper within its surface I could make out Henry himself, still unconscious, trapped within the prison he thought to contain me. Just the sight of his milksop face caused a swell of anger within my breast, and I sprang across the room to the stand beside the door, snatching up a walking stick with a heavy, silver head. Returning to the mirror I lashed out in fury, smashing the looking glass within its frame.
Turning, I lifted the letter Henry had been reading from the blotter. There was a witness, and according to this missive one Gabriel John Utterson knew where he lived. A quick rummage through the desk drawer turned up what I needed in mere moments. I glanced at Utterson’s letter once more, noting the return address before slipping it into my pocket next to the letter opener.
Oh, this lawyer would tell me where to find the witness, and then he would be found himself, stabbed through the heart with the letter opener from the desk of Dr. Henry Jekyll. I laughed at the thought of poor Henry, unable to show his face on the street while I was free to move about as I pleased.
I was not going to hide any longer.
This week's story was a particular joy for me to write. One of my grandmothers was born with the name Stevenson, and if you trace my family lineage back but eight generations in that particular direction you find one Robert Stevenson, grandfather and namesake to one Robert Louis Stevenson, author of (among many other things) the gothic novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Though R.L. Stevenson died without issue and as such has no direct descendants, I am fairly proud to claim him as a great uncle many-times removed.
The connection may seem tenuous to you, Dear Reader, but it has always tickled me something fierce.