Squee propped his feet up on a chair as he sat on his couch. He hadn't been out of his house for over a week. The only person he had talked to was that little neighbor kid Id.
He flipped through pages of a book underlining here, blacking out there. He had gone through about seventeen pages like that when someone knocked on the door.
"Go away Pepito." He said not even bothering to look up.
"Come on mi Amigo! You should come out here! Let's go out, have some fun! I hear they opened a new dance club down the street!" Pepito said through the door. "You like going through new territory!"
"I'm not coming out." Squee said turning the page. He blacked out three paragraphs with a permanent marker.
"Is this about that girl?" There was a pause from the big-headed male outside. "You like her! I knew it! Ha! In your face Marco!"
Squee quirked an eyebrow at the closed door. "Go to hell Pepito."
There was an amused 'heh' sound from behind the door. "Are you telling the 'Anti-Christ' to go to Hell?" Pepito asked.
"Fine, then go to Heaven." He underlined two words and blacked out around them.
"For shame Todd!" Pepito tapped on the door. "I'll forgive you if you come out and wreak some havoc with me."
"Do I have to remind you about the fact that you would feel pain if I were to stab your head? That is if could get a blade through your thick skull." Squee said turning a page. "Now go away, I'm being reclusive over here."
There was a long pause outside. "No, I'm going to keep bothering you till you come out."
Squee got up leaving his book on the couch. He walked softly to one of the stairways that lead down. He wondered how long Pepito would stand there until he figured out he had left.
He just kept going down till he couldn't hear Pepito ranting anymore. But new sounds came to him.
Screams of his modest collection bellow. He had discovered that at one time there had been a total of three-hundred and forty-five people held here. It was actually capable of holding many more but Nny had been only one person. Squee had only about twelve, but he had time yet.
He found himself in a small brightly lit room with a pink haired girl whos' makeup had dripped off with sweat long ago. She looked up at him with bleary eyes and a whimper.
She had made the mistake of trying to break into his house. Normally he would have disposed of an intruder immediately. But she had slipped as he had struck at her. He had only knocked her out so he had taken advantage of the situation and locked her up instead.
"Hello." He said quietly to her.
She only whimpered again.
"Does so little sleep really hurt you that much?" He asked. "I myself rarely sleep anymore. Nightmares are the only thing I get to see." He crouched down against one wall.
He had left on all the lights, even brought in a few to the room. Every once in a while he'd come down and leave a radio blaring uneven sounds of clangs and screams to keep her up. She'd been like this for over a month now.
"Only one time did I ever sleep without a nightmare." He said with a bit of nostalgia in his voice.
The girl blinked at him. This wasn't the first time he had come in to just talk like this. She thought he was rather well spoken for a homicidal maniac. Three weeks ago she had said just that. His reply had been 'Nny got to be an artist with image, I got to be an artist with words'. Whatever the hell that was supposed to have meant.
"She used to work at a bookstore." He went on. "I don't remember her name but she had this short black hair and a mole on her left cheek. She was so nice to me."
The girl listened without much of a fight. She was near delirium with too little rest. In fact she was starting to hallucinate and kept thinking she saw a thin shadow in the room every once in awhile. Sometimes it was a floating bunny head.
"She let me just pick up a book and read it in a corner. One time she even read to me. 'Jack and the Beanstalk' was what it was. Normally that story would have terrified me. But the way she read it, it was actually kind of nice."
The shadows came back to her. His voice lost meaning and became a steady hum. The thin one flitted around the room, the little bunny head followed it.
Squee sat down on the floor all the way and pulled his knees up to his chin. He could see the girl wasn't listening but it didn't matter anymore. He was remembering someone important.
"I was reading a nice little story called 'The Giving Tree' when I had fallen asleep. Curled up in the chair she had set up for me in the corner. When I woke up I found she had given me a blanket."
The girl turned her head feverishly as the thin shadow took on a human-ish form. She heard the sound of metal on metal. A familiar sound in this little piece of hell. The sound of knives being struck on each other.
"I also remember hearing her humming as she put some books on a shelf. She was an angel. A real person. Not one of those pretend things that walks and talks. But a person." He watched the girl glance around wildly and listened to her quickened breathing. "Now I've seen another one. An angel among the books."
The shadow reached at her. She pulled away and yelped. It was so cold!
"But I can't get close. I'd only break her." Squee said. He was surprised when the girl started to cry.
The shadows eyes glowed white as it finally stood directly in front of her. She cried. It was the only thing she had left to do. The shadow lifted a knife...
"I can only stay away. That's all I have left to do."
She shrieked and struggled against her bindings. Her chair tipped over and she gave a last gurgle sound before she expired.
Squee sat there a moment. He finally stood up and knelt down beside her body. Her throat was bruised on the front, but he had never touched it. He sometimes found them like that. Dead for no reason.
But there was a reason. The house couldn't let go of what it once had. Or if it wasn't the house then 'someone' in the house couldn't let them live for too long. If Squee didn't kill them it would.
It didn't really matter. He had worked some things out and actually felt better. He'd get rid of the body later. He had other things to tend to and hopefully Pepito was already gone.
Comics » Jhonen Vasquez Rated: K+, English, Words: 3k+, Favs: 9, Follows: 2, Published: 6/14/2001 Updated: 6/30/2001}
42 Chapter 3: Part 3