A chill gripped his spine and would not let go. The squelching sound of a gnashing mouth and the shrill screeching of nails digging into the hell made his stomach turn. Dread was weighing him down.
The primal, authoritarian pressure and heat Ira exuded was of a superior predator on the hunt, making prey submit to the eventuality of their demise. Prey exposing their bellies so she may feast.
This pressure, coming from this thing, made him ill. The chill it gave him felt akin to a fever. It was a somber dismay that came from being afflicted by a plague.
Tristan was not sure which one scared him most.
When she finally released his head, he almost slipped onto the floor. He shifted backwards, away from the thing, only for Ira to slam onto his back with the tread of her boot, shoving his chest onto the ground. Tristan grunted, discombobulated and counting the stars that twinkled in front of his eyes and made him burn.
He hated to admit that he welcomed the inconvenient arousal. It distracted him from the horror that shambled in the shadows.
Even if it came from the horror that held him down with her foot.
Ira lifted her head from her beloved, leaving him splayed under her boot before speaking to her deformed guest, “Well, well, Mr. Mackie. Do you enjoy the change of scenery?”
Tristan's eyes widened, and he tried to lift his head, gazing towards the shadows. Slowly, the thing stepped out, knuckles dragging against the ground. He could see ivory and rusted stained bone jutting out from open wounds. As the creature moved closer, Tristan’s mouth hung open, his chin trembling as he looked over that elongated and expanded torso with legs that seemed too small to offer any support. He swore he could see the over sized outline of its heart, thumping against spiked ribs that protruded from the thing’s chest. However, what made him pale in that sinking pit of dread was its face.
A familiar face that stared at Ira with only one eye.
The other just a gaping hole.
“Er-Eric…” That name choked itself out of him.
He knew that Daniel didn’t have the strength to hurt his friend.
He did not know that Eric’s fate was far worse that the splattering that befell Daniel.
“You fucking bitch!” The thing known as Eric roared, his eye honed in on Ira, “I’m gonna kill you, you whore!” He slammed his torn, over sized fist onto the ground, the floor cracking from the impact. He howled in agony, his bones protruding through his dark, blotchy skin, cracking.
That monstrous strength and horrific presence was so similar to Ira.
Yet there was nothing to admire here.
What Eric had become was a monstrosity to pity. A rabid creature alive for far too long.
Why did she keep him alive?
Ira watched as Eric flailed, chuckling and getting off of Tristan, “You really want my head, don’t you? Even after my offer yesterday?”
Tristan lifted his body onto his forearms, looking towards Ira, grinding his teeth.
What was this bitch planning?
Eric roared again, lunging towards Ira.
Before his eye went wide and his body slammed down to the ground by a sledgehammer of pressure and heat. Not even he was immune to Ira’s primal authority, “You crazy whore…!” He tried to lift that ungainly body, but with a a quick tilt of Ira’s head, he slumped down again, his bulk upper body straining on top of his forearms.
A demented mirror image to Tristan.
“You’re angry. Upset. You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last.” Ira looked at the nails on her right arm, resting the elbow on her steel prosthetic, “I put you through so much shit.” She chuckled, showing no empathy or guilt. She looked down at the beast, looking at him like a child would look down at an ant, cooking under a magnifying glass, “However, I had my reason for it.”
Eric croaked, his bulgy throat expanding like a frog, “My freedom, right? One more thing… and I can get out of here.” He paid no attention to the state he was in, focused only on hope, “What do I got to do?!” Calmed down by that hope, he pulled his chest upright, “What do I got to do to get free, instead of ripping you apart right here, right now!”
Ira scoffed softly, “Do you recognize my guest?”
A lump formed in Tristan’s throat, clamping away any sound he could make as that one eye shifted from the woman at fault for both of their predicaments to him. That brown eye squinted slightly, before widening, “The pretty boy.”
She nodded, her curls bouncing up and down, “Yes. The pretty boy. The one who took your eye.” She stepped closer to Eric, ignoring Tristan’s hand reaching out to her, “The one I killed Danny for. The reason I brutalized you.” She grinned, emboldening the sickly fiend, “He’s the reason you’re here.”
What the fuck?!
That lump hit the pit of his stomach and he lurched forward, a wave of nausea shoving him over. He covered his mouth, staring at the ground and forcing the chunky bile back down to his stomach. His skin crawled as he felt an overwhelming emotion radiate towards him.
The acrid hate was coming from Eric; the rancid stench permeated through the air. Tristan felt that bulging eye focused on him and he slammed his palms down to stop himself from collapsing. He jerked his head upwards, towards Ira.
She looked down at him, her lips curled in a knowing smirk.
His bottom lip quivered as her silence offered no respite. She just let her words sink in, tainting the air, her prisoners filling in the gaps.
Tristan spoke first, his voice hitched, “E-Eric, I had no idea. I didn’t know what she was planning! I thought…” He gulped, “I thought you were on the run, or-or dead.”
Eric only stared, that bulbous, bloodshot eye twitching, “Pretty boy, I ain’t dead. I’m your…” He snarled, drool down his chin as he bared his yellow, blood stained teeth, “‘Welcoming gift’. Just like the bitch said.”
Tristan shook his head, swallowing heavily, “I-I don’t know what’s going on…” He looked up towards their captor, his heart pounding against his ribs, “Ira, what the fuck are you planning?!”
Ira rolled her eyes, “Isn’t it obvious?” She walked to the center, exactly between the two experiments, “You both have thrown tantrums, demanding your freedom.” She glanced at Tristan, before turning her attention to the abomination known as ‘Eric’, “Here’s your chance!”