For the evulz, of course!
New chapter. Apologies for the length and more liberal use of profanity this time, but I felt they were both somewhat necessary to get across the point
“Wait,” Anderson said, still holding his cross-armed stance. gh, however didn't stop pulling up on the door. “I mean it,” Anderson affirmed, sounding significantly more frantic than usual. “How do you know it's not a trap or something?”
“Bull****,” gh muttered under his breath. In truth, he was almost tempted to believe Anderson. However, when he pulled the door above his head, he was certainly glad he didn't.
Sitting in the storage unit were, indeed, all of the things that gh couldn't take to RAF. An old television, a box full of clothes, a baseball bat, his old guitar amp, and a few other things. This would have served as a pleasant nostalgia trip if gh wasn't distracted by the sight of all of the guitars that he owned. “You gotta be kidding me,” gh muttered, his eyes wide in disbelief. He turned his head to the other RAFians to ask if he was seeing things, but they seemed just as stunned as him. “Lemme just check . . .” gh went to inspect the guitars one by one, spending a considerable amount of time on each.
“Yeah,” he said, shaking his head. “They were here the whole time?”
“gh . . .” Abby said. She looked about as confused as gh was. “You haven't been stringing us along this whole time, have you?”
“What? No, of course not! What could I possibly have to gain by . . .” gh trailed off, noticing Anderson seething out of his peripheral vision. “Excuse me for a sec. I need to talk to the psychotic armadillo that lives inside my head.”
Hunter looked perplexed. “What?”
“It's a really long story,” gh said with a dismissive wave. “I'm not going crazy, I promise.”
“That's debatable,” Xeno mumbled.
“Two seconds.” Either having not noticed Xeno's comment or choosing to ignore it, gh closed the garage door on himself and Anderson. He turned to his alter-ego. “So. Mind telling me what this is all about?”
Anderson glared daggers at gh. Were the circumstances different, gh would have found the role reversal fairly amusing. “You seriously haven't figured it out yet?” gh stared dumbly at the spot where Anderson would have stood, were he material. “I did it, you idiot!”
“. . . You're gonna have to run that one by me again.”
“Seriously, how thick are you!?”
gh held his vacant expression. “We are literally the same-”
“Shut up!” Anderson stepped closer to gh in a fit of rage. “Tell me. What do you think was happening when you blacked out?”
“Something about parking meters and Pepsi?”
“That was me, you idiot! When you black out, I take over!”
“So, you're telling me that you, a talking armadillo that represents my innermost demons, takes over at random times?”
“Yes!” Anderson seemed to get some sort of satisfaction out of gh finally fitting some of the pieces together.
“. . . That's ****ing stupid.”
“It's your screwed-up psyche, genius!”
“There's just one thing that I don't understand, though.” gh took a second to think. “Okay, a lot of things, but one that's really nagging at me. Why is this happening just now? Why hasn't it happened before?”
Anderson slapped his face. “Think about it. What have you been constantly complaining about these past three or four days?”
“. . . Pepsi?”
“SLEEP! IT'S SLEEP DEPRIVATION, GOD DAMN IT!” Anderson let out a guttural sigh. “It weakened your mind - not that there was much there to weaken in the first place, but I wasn't going to waste my opportunity. You stay up for days on end. I come out of dormancy while you're out on a walk and hide your guitars to keep you busy for as long as possible. I come out as much as I can until you're totally consumed by me. That was the plan, at least, until you decide to eat mushrooms that you find in the wild like a complete moron and come by this place in a drug-induced haze. Starting to understand!?”
gh said, moving to take a seat on a box. “That's . . . ****ing devious.” At this point, the reality of the situation was starting to set in. “Oh my god, I really am crazy, aren't I?”
“Bingo!” Anderson moved closer to gh's face. “And you know what the really crazy thing is?”
gh leaned back until his head was almost touching the wall behind him. He could definitely feel a stress headache coming on, along with the constant dull throb that he'd already been dealing with. “Do I want to?”
“Oh, I'm sure you'll love this.” Anderson showed a toothy grin. “It's already too late.”
“What the **** are you talking about!?” At this point, gh was done trying to keep his voice low to avoid making the other RAFians worried. He was scared, and more so, he was angry at himself for allowing this abomination to exist within his mind.
“I'm already a part of you. And I'm gonna keep eating away at your mind like a parasite, until you have no choice but to succumb to me.”
“**** you!” gh yelled. “You're not a part of me, god damn it! I'm stronger than you! I'm not a ****ing puppet to my own anger!”
Anderson backed off, still smiling his trademark grin. “We'll see about that, my friend. . . .”
Anderson faded from gh's view, leaving gh alone in the storage unit. He leaned forward and lifted up his hand to stand himself up, when he noticed he was shaking in fear. Wait . . . was it just fear? gh's eyes widened. “Oh, ****. . . .”
gh's hand hit the cardboard box hard as his body began to shake uncontrollably. These were easily the worst convulsions he's had yet, even more so than when he was at work. They were so bad, in fact, that he didn't even notice the sound of the door opening.
Just as he was about to slip out of consciousness, gh felt something touch his shoulder. Something firm, yet gentle. Slowly, very slowly, gh's convulsions subsided into a small tremble as he was tethered to the real world by this unexpected contact.
gh looked up and saw the face of a gray wolf sitting next to him with his hand on gh's shoulder. “gh,” Hunter said, his voice almost as shaky as gh's hands. “Logan! Say something to me man. Are you okay?”
“Hunter?” For a moment, gh could do little but look at his friend. Soon, what had happened became obvious to gh. Hunter must have heard gh yelling and came in to make sure he was alright. It was a little sweet, when gh really thought about it. And of course, gh would have been lying if he said he didn't find Hunter a little cute. . . .
When he could finally move again, gh threw his arms around Hunter and buried his face in Hunter's chest. Hunter, in turn, rubbed the back of gh's head, comforting him. And for what felt like forever, gh trembled in Hunter's embrace.