(( Note: there are links to pieces of music to help set mood and thought. I'm a heavy metal fan so I hoope it's not too much. It's also an experiment to see how the two work together. ))
Grimaulkin woke up. It wasn't the waking part that was hard, it was the lack of sensation that caused him to wake up. His boddy burned and tingled all over, like when he lay wrong on his arm and cut the circulation off. It was an effort to uncurl from the fetal position he was in and slump up. He fell over twice before he could focus enough to sit. Everything was a grey haze, like dense fog. Through the haze he could discern darker greyish shapes in the grey, but these lacked a distinct shape, and flowed oddly, like a constant re-shaping that pulled drew his eyes to it and at the same time nauseated and disoriented him. He looked down at the grey, up at the grey, and realized finally he was alone in this twisting grey that surrounded him.
(( Play this while reading this nextfew paragraph -
The raucous music jarred him and he found himself on his feet swaying and falling down. His body twitched in time to the music. Not moving per se, but the twitching staggered him across the grey away from his bed, as if pulled by strings. Everything was numb, leaden, and his frustration at being so helpless built up a rage even as the music beat at and through him
“Ooo-ooo woe is me, I feel so bad-ly for you” came a soft, feminine voice with the refrain. Grim looked around for the voice, and the grey seemed to mock him as he searched desperately for the source. A voice meant another person, something other than the nauseating grey. “Down here doofus, look at your feet”. He looked down, and a red-haired girl that looked for all the world like Kate Winslett looking up/down/back at him. This brought home two strong realizations. One, he was totally naked, and two, so was she.
There was a throaty giggle from the Kate, and the mist swirled madly around him. He closed his eyes and tried not to retch as the mist brushed against him with a damp, rotted feel to it. He opened his eyes onto his old bedroom. He was under the sheets, with the Kate sitting on the edge of the bed, dressed in biker chic. Black leather chaps over faded blue jeans, a white tee shirt that clung to her body while a black leather jacket covered her shirt, and her shoulders. The look was completed with a turned up collar and fire red hair in a long pony-tail over her left shoulder that ran down between the edges of her jacket midway to her pants.
“What the hell?!”, Grimaulkin said and scrunched up on his bed. A woman in here?! Where was Bennett? He closed his eyes and focused inwardly, trying to cut through the spell. He knew it HAD to be some kind of spell. Stabbing pain lanced through his arm, and a band of pressure built up around his heart. It felt squeezed empty, he couldn't breathe, then everything lifted, and he was back in the bedroom. “uh uh uh, cutie-pie, you're on the big boys ride, no getting off the ride 'til it's done”, the Kate smirked. Grimaulkin smiled and got ready to try again. No one could make him do what he didn't want to do. He'd win by warping the rules.
(( Here's the second song -
Grim started dancing, gyrating pole-dance style on his own bed as the Kate just laughed and swung her fingers like a conductor as she kept time with the beat. His feet twitched in rhythm with hers, and every gyration she made was mirrored in his own body. He fought it with all his focus, but his body never slowed it's mirror-dance with the Kate. “Hey you got the moves Grimmy, shake that boy booty!” She shimmied suggestively and Grimaulkin mirrored the action yet again. “Enough! You hear me?! Enough!” The Kate pulled up abruptly and Grmaulkin fell to the floor, once again arms, legs, and body feeling burning numb and heavy like lead. He flopped painfully onto the grey, and struggled to a sitting position once more. Hate shone in his eyes, wishing looks could indeed kill. She's manipulating me like a puppet on strings. Wait...
He focused invardly and drew upon the meager power he had left to him after the water Elemental had stripped him. There'll be lines of power. I can see them I can break them. He opened his eyes and stared hard, searching for the links, and was dismayed to find none. There was more finger-snapping by the Kate, and his body rose up once more, and under her control, walked over to the bed and sat upon it. The Kate looked at him and smiled. He felt like he was looking at the jaws of a shark. “So Grimmy, waiting for your patroness to come visit?” the Kate said in a happy, carefree sounding voice.
The Kate laughed like a schoolgirl. “Oh Grimmy, she's not coming, you threw that card away when you let water-baby strip you. Right down to the bone.” She giggled and wiggled her fingers in a coy wave at him. “Nuh uh, don't you worry, we're going to have some alone time.....well not just yet. There's someone you need to meet. They go waaaaaay back with you....waaaaay back. Honestly, they're not all that powerful you know. But I love the way they fly. Fly? There's lots of beings and people I know that can do that. We're the only ones here, so how ... Grim's thoughts were sliced bay a scream of anger.
“StarWyng!?” Grim said just before a winged woman appeared from the fog and arrowed straight at him. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth convinced she was going to dive into him as she'd done before. When the impact didn't come, he listened for a moment and heard heavy steady wingbeats. Opening his eyes, StarWyng hovered above him near the Kate, her eyes burning into him as if she wanted nothing more than to tear him to pieces. She stuttered her wings, then stopped when the Kate raised her hand, settling back into a hover as she watched him with undisguised hate.
“Star, come on, you know I didn't mean for that to happen. I tried to save you. I really di..”, he fell back as she arrowed into him. The winged woman had him by the throat, and pulled him upright. Her voice was a raspy, husky thing that grated on his ears. “I try stop you from hurting others. You hurt self and blame others. You hurt others, blame them for making you. I show you something.”
She placed her fingers over his chest, curling them slightly to place taloned fingernails on the skin.
(( play this here -
He stood up. He looked past StarWyng to see the kate standing up, smiling at him. He saw an eagerness in her eyes, and at the same time, sadness. The Kate started singing, and StarWyng began pressing her talons into his chest. Grim watched the Kate pick up a foot and slide it forward, and he felt his own slide forward as hers did. “Hey, please, whatever I did to you, can we please talk and..” Grim's ribs and sternum broke like gunshots. He screamed in agony, and heard himself singing with the song. The Kate lurched forward, and so did Grim, implaing himself on StarWyng's talons.
StarWyng pushed her fingers in his chest, her talons piercing his heart. He struggled to break free and get away from the searing pain. Her hand on his throat tightened, talons piercing the skin and grasping the trachea. His leaden arms wouldn't obey him, hanging loose at his sides as he screamed out the lyrics. “Think of brother, think of what he feel when he die, think of I feel when I die, now you feel how it like die” She closed her hand and squeezed, crushing his heart in her hand. Grim raged for a moment, hatred blazing in his eyes. StarWyng saw the look and smiled returning it with the same intensity that he gave her, and then she twisted her hand slowly, rotating his crushed heart in his chest and tearing it loose from inside his chest, one snapping blood vessel at a time.
He could see his own hand doing it to Louis, his brother. He heard Louis scream with his voice, and felt it when the aorta finally snapped, the blood pouring into the empty cavity, his eyes misting over grey then black as his body died. There was a flash of light, a pulse like a heartbeat, and it all began again, feeling his heart torn from him. He couldn't accept the pain, no one listened to his pleas or bargains. There were no questions, no hesitations, no chance to even catch the merest respite from the endless fresh agony. His nerves were torn raw each time as StarWyng tore his heart out. He tried begging. He tried accepting. He tried bargaining. It all remained the same. He tried telling himself he deserved this, deserved the pain, and it intensified, his whole body feeling the tearing. The one thing that seemed to provide any solace was the Kate, who sat and watched, and once, shed a tear.
He focused on her as StarWyng began began to tear his heart out once more. The pain still agonized and inflamed his body with pain, but the tear he saw in the Kate's eye caught him. A dark, slow trickle down her cheek that left no trail. Her features blurred for a moment and he saw Dysio, who screamed soundlessly in agony as Grimm looked on, then vanished. He tried to fight back, but his leaden arms would not move and StarWyng never acknowledged him. I can't help them, why can't I help them?! Please let me take their place!, he tried to say, but nothing worked, all he heard were his screams.
(( here's the next song-
This repeated over and over and over, he wouldn't quit trying to help them, and his own helplessness only fueled the pain. Through it all, the Kate watched silently in the background, watching Grimaulkin, and shedding viscous, oily tears. The next face after Dysio was Kalius, whose screams echoed inside his own. Kalius whom he left, for Stefan. Again he raged against his helplessness while his heart was torn afresh from him by StarWyng. He saw the indignations heaped on Kalius, and each flash of anger seemed to cause the Kate to somehow change slightly, making her different in a way he didn't understand. Stefan was battered away by the pain, and Grimaulkin tried to reach, but the leadn arms would not respond, Stefan seemed to reach for Grim, but he felt, rejection in the reach. Stefan dropped his arms and faded up and out from the Kate, then was gone.
He started to see other things. Attacks on people. Magical spells, contracts and bargains. Souls torn loose from the bodies. With every attack, the Kate somehow changed, at times becoming indistinct, other times seeming to strengthen. With every change, came a darkness, her features becoming more indistinct each time. The pain kept his thoughts fragmented. He could catch glimpses of the change, and perhaps that's why he did see it, there being no gradual shift occurring to him.
The faces flashed by, with each time provoking a rage in him, as if his own thoughts were being shown. There was Stefan after Kalius, who appeared and faded almost as quickly. Lue, maddening Lue, appeared over the Kate, and Grim felt an acidic edge to the pain. He started thinking revenge and couldn't hold the thought as StarWyng wrenched his heart back and forth agonizingly in his chest before tearing it out. He couldn't change anything that happened regardless of pleas, screams, threats, or silent acceptance. Each time, each new face, the Kate continued to blacken and lose distinction.
Conan joined the other faces, his last words ringing in Grim's memory, “he's all yours, buddy”. Grimaulkin tried to say something, anything, he was sorry. His heart tore out. He screamed and looked at the Kate, who had darkened to an almost black shadow. Her features were barely present, yet she stayed, not to gloat, not to help, not anything Grimaulkin could understand. Why hadn't she left? Oddly enough, when he looked at how he felt, and why it was his failures, nothing seemed to change, now suddenly he wondered why she was here. What was her part in all this. How was this affecting her.
(( listen as you read the next few paragraphs -
She was being affected, the deepening color was one distinct result. StarWyng began her approach once more, and the same fear and panic absorbed him, with a difference. He wondered what she saw, wondered for the briefest instant, of what forced her to be here, and why she stayed. The tears she shed were more like live coals now, and as he concentrated on her, he caught the faintest whiff of burning flesh, and a whimper of pain from the Kate, and then it was all gone in a searing flash of agony. Something in him remembered though, and as StarWyng came at him again, he looked to the Kate, and he could see her just a little bit more than before. Her tears were burning her face as they fell, and her body shuddered just like his at the instant StarWyng tore his ribs open to expose his heart.
(( Another song here -
He knew he couldn't help her, nothing could. The only choice was for her to help herself. He watched Conan reach from the Kate towards him, then push away from the Kate, and at the same time, him. He left me when .... he lied!, then he screamed again as StarWyng once more began her task. The Kate looked on blackened, searing coals dropping from her smoldering, blackened face. He would normally have raged at her, but this time he watched, and saw the tears fall faster as she watched him.
What is happening to her?
He awoke and lay where he was as his vision cleared. He saw StarWyng fade. “Now I not belong in between, I go fly!”, she said with a raspy scream, and faded completely. He lay in place, not daring to move for fear that StarWyng might come back, then as she didn't and he had time to think, he got up and stood in the grey, and the Kate looked at him with a sad, strange intensity, as if waiting for some signal. He staggered and fell, his legs and arms tingling numb. They obeyed his commands, but barely. The Kate watched him. He looked back at the Kate, then pushed slowly to his hands and knees.
“Are you all right?” were the first words out of his mouth. The Kate stayed in place, but listening, he knew, he could feel. Just as he felt her concern for him. She stood, a black on black person, barely visible, but with less darkness than before. “No, but I'm getting better”, the Kate said. “How?”, Grimaulkin asked her. “What's your name?”, the Kate asked him. He stopped, and stared at her, there was a feeling of being on the cusp of something important. He knew without doubt, that his answer would determine his fate. He looked at the Kate again, and the darkness around her roiled, blurring her outline. “What's your name?”, the Kate said again. She sounded as if asking a normal question of a normal person. She followed it with another, “Who are you?”
“Michael, I'm Michael Labonte”. The Kate smiled, “Hello Michael Labonte.”
(( here's the last song. -