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Beware the Witch

Boston, MA


a part of Beware the Witch, by CharlotteV.


CharlotteV holds sovereignty over Boston, MA, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

764 readers have been here.


Default Location for Beware the Witch
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Boston, MA



Boston, MA is a part of Beware the Witch.

4 Characters Here

Louis Price [7] "Dead bodies. Dead bodies everywhere."
Atlas Blake [7] "You can't spell 'slaughter' without 'laughter'."
Cassidy Aisling [7] -can't answer cause his mouth is full of bloody hamburger-

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4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Louis Price Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling Character Portrait: Ryder Daniels Character Portrait: Atlas Blake
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Winter in Boston is a beautiful sight. Downtown the snow is fluffy, the streets are twinkling with lights, the stores are still proudly displaying Christmas decorations. Filling everyone with a sense of joy and magic even though it’s almost February and those fuckers should really get their shit together.

On this side of town, things are a little different. The sky is gray and heavy with a threat, the bare trees are all twisted up like skeletal remains from a Tim Burton classic, and the thin sheet of ice covering the ground is seemingly innocent but Atlas is just w a i t i n g for some idiot to take a spill and crack their head open.

He hopes it happens in front of their house. For the aesthetic. He’s nothing if not stylishly inclined.

He’s sitting on the front steps, with a cigarette in one hand and an occult book in the other. Wrapped in a dark fur coat thats authenticity he’s refused to comment on since the day he wore it home. Louis says it makes him look like a douche. Atlas doesn’t take fashion advice from someone who thinks bed head is acceptable in public. Even if it is cute on him.

There’s something inherently wrong about the house on 1648 Tremont St. Something that causes mothers to stand between it and their children when they pass on the sidewalk. Something that causes the delivery people to leave packages at the start of the yard instead of the door. Something that causes the hair on the back of any normal person’s neck to stand on end.

Atlas inhales smoke through his mouth and out through his nose and feels a smile tugging on his lips. He wonders if it’s the old century architecture. If it’s them. Or maybe, just maybe, if it’s the way that at dusk one can almost see a noose hanging off of that old oak tree.

Blink and it’s gone.

Atlas blinks and he can still see the rope pulled taut around Cass’ neck.

Oh, there’s something wrong with him alright. To look at a place like this and see it as home. Supposes there’s something wrong with Ryder, too, who considered it better than a pure Southern upbringing. Or with Louis who had any other option right at his fingertips. Or with Cass, who had a protective older brother telling him no.

He feels the thrum of power in his veins and a shock of warmth that’s misplaced in this weather. Licks his lips and leans heavily on one of the white pillars framing the steps. The wood creaks dangerously but holds stable. He smirks, because he knows the house won’t drop him. It loves him as much as he loves it.

His thumb slides over one of the frail pages of the book in his lap, tracing old latin words they’ve yet to fully translate. His body hums. Greed. Knowledge. The thrill of darkness. He could get off on it.

A ghost of a voice whispers by his ear, a forgotten memory of something he can’t quite understand, no matter how hard he tries to listen. It’s there and not there. Real and not real. The cigarette in his hand goes out and he abandons it in favor of tilting his head towards a sound that doesn’t want to be heard.

A shot cracks through the air and shakes the ground he’s sitting on and Atlas jumps with the forceful shock of it. His fingers curl over the binding of the book, knuckles turning white. What was it Louis always told him when he got angry like this? Count to ten? One... two... thr-- “Goddamn it, Cassidy Aisling!”

He’s on his feet in a second, journal pressed protectively to his chest, and the front door slams open even though he never touches it. He can already picture the blood soaking into his floors. On his walls. For Christ sake.

Louis and Ryder are in the living room when he storms through it and he shouts back in their direction. “I hope you two are good with digging a giant fucking hole tonight because I’m going to bury this little shit!”

He goes up the stairs two at a time and shoves the door to Cass’ room open with his shoulder. There’s blood splattered across his fucking walls like he knew there would be, brain matter splashed on the wooden floor, a dark puddle starting up under brunette curls.

It’s the stuff of a nightmare. This boy, with his soft face and his skewed glasses and the gun resting limply in his hand. Crumpled against the floor like something sad and forgotten. Hole blasted through the side of his head. There’s no serenity in a death like this.

A better man might have felt something. Atlas only feels annoyed. He points a finger at the body by his feet and snaps, “You better take your sweet fucking time coming back because I’m going to kill you. Do you know how hard it is to get all of this blood out you selfish little prick.”

As a thought occurs to him he spins back to the door and sticks his head out. “Hey! Where did this fucker get a gun, anyway!?”

They’re going to have words when he comes back. Which might take awhile, post monster phase and all, but he’s sure he can stay angry long enough.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Louis Price Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling Character Portrait: Ryder Daniels Character Portrait: Atlas Blake
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The feeling of energy, humming under his skin, too raw, too deep, it keeps him from nodding off in the middle of a boring read. The book in question a trivial thing, the cover had drawn him in much alike many random trinkets in his life. From art to paperweights, whether they were of use mattered not. So long as they were aesthetically pleasing.

This book reeks of Goodwill - because that is where he bought it. Perusing the aisles in a bid to find creepy old shit. A common enough pastime to stave off the looming boredom when the others are busy or he's looking to avoid them altogether. It had somehow led him to this awfully pretentious written rendition of every hallmark murder mystery there ever was. All because the cover exhibited the blood-stained visage of a distressed young woman.

He aggressively dog-ears one corner, knowing fully well he will never return to it. Sets it aside with a weary sigh, and sinks deeper into the chair. The quiet of the room stuttering with each breath from him, and from Ryder. The two of them in their own little worlds....

There is a spider inching its way from wall to ceiling. Spindly legs scrambling for purchase on the glossy surface, its fat body too much to hold up against the gravity that constantly brings it back down. Each inch gained is another two lost. Louis reaches forward to it, lets it slide from the wall into his hand. Where it is restrained, patiently awaiting death or salvation. Louis does not have time to play judge, jury, and executioner. In the next second the sound of gunfire cracks through the air.

He sighs, "and so it begins again."

“I hope you two are good with digging a giant fucking hole tonight because I’m going to bury this little shit!” Atlas is there and gone in such a short few seconds that Louis almost thinks he must have imagined him. Were that the case he could have simply returned to the pleasures of torturing the arachnid in hand. But he knows that Atlas would never stay his hand knowing his precious walls have been splattered with brain matter.

The itch to stand and follow is too much, he drops the spider with graceless mercy to the floor, where it will no doubt scurry beneath the furniture never to be seen again. Follows Atlas at a slower pace, casual as can be. Slow enough that Atlas has time to process and peer back out, screams again like he's got authority over them anyways. Maybe he does. Louis doesn't really care either way.

“Hey! Where did this fucker get a gun, anyway!?”

He pauses, not from nerves - he knows fully well wait he'll see - but rather for the purpose of savoring the moment because he knew that there had been a gun involved but the confirmation alone sends a thrill up his spine. Of all the messy (fantastically horrible) ways to go. Willing himself to calm, under the incredible fever of excitement swelling beneath his bones. He lets out a breath, moves forward, and see's Atlas, and his insurmountable anger.

"Probably somewhere shady," Louis answers and then peers past him. Just barely, only enough to be sure.

Something could be said of his morality when his first thought upon seeing the bloody corpse of a friend is -


Even more so, when his second is 'Where the hell did I put my camera.'

Or thirdly, 'Atlas is going to have a coronary'

All factual thoughts right from the brain of Louis Price. Who greedily drinks in the sight of blood as it slowly seeps across the floor, long lines of it dripping like paint from where the spatter has fallen prey to gravity on the walls, much alike the spider from earlier. He looks at Atlas, grins at him, but it's wrong - too many teeth. More like the start of a snarl without sound. If the other were a cartoon there would be steam rising from ears. Backs out of the room, doesn't care that much, he tells himself but he does, he really, really does.

This is a prime opportunity, of course, he isn't sure how long he has but he knows it isn't very. He backtracks down the steps, feet plodding along the floor without a care as to how much noise he's making. There's nobody here who cares to quiet him, one of the many good things about living with the only people who matter in his life, the only ones he cares enough to semi-listen to. Oh sure, for the first few years of his life his parents may have dictated his being out of sheer infantile dependence. However, his tolerance for their ways had waned eventually, and College had taken him far from their pleading grip.

And landed him right into the void that fed his every imaginative whim.


It felt good, even as he slowly moves, he is aware of its fluctuations beneath his skin.

His room is one of many in the house on Tremont St. But uniquely Louis in a way that is saturated with something like death but not quite there yet. A morbid curiosity here and there, strewn haphazardly but sterile in a way that feels oddly natural given the setting. A circus sideshow packed tightly into a square bedroom. The soft reds of random stained clothing, and the blacks of shadows where the sunlight does not quite meet the browns of the floorboards or the off-white that is the walls. It feels like home, more so than the one he grew up in ever did.

Huffing at the mess, he sidesteps over cracked jewel cases of CD's that have no name and rumpled clothes that should be in the hamper - if Atlas came in here he'd probably die of pure shock - there will be time to clean later if he decides to bother with it at all. Searching for his camera amidst the mess, hurried, but careless. Either he'll have the time or he won't. The world does not turn for him - yet. And still, his thoughts just barely scratch the surface of where they need to be. He is a fractured mess, here and there, and everywhere because things will go back to boring soon. soon. soon. And he will go back to wasting away while he dreams up the next few photo shoots he wants to do.

But first.

He finds the Camera in the middle of his bed, he doesn't know why it was there or what his purpose was when bringing it to the bed in the first place. Memories fail him, but they are inconsequential. Much alike many things in life. He grabs it, turns, and heads with a newfound purpose back to the doorway to Cass's room. Back to viewing Atlas, who is still there fuming, and Cass, who is - well, still dead for now.

And like the huge asshole he is, and because he finds so few things in life amusing enough to catch his attention, Louis snaps a picture.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Louis Price Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling Character Portrait: Ryder Daniels Character Portrait: Atlas Blake
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Weird to think that this place is his panacea now. His mother would choke, and Ryder can’t exactly blame anyone for speed walking past the place as if they could feel their childhood swirling down the drain. Probably something to do with the construction, with blood stains in odd places; something about old residencies having no souls even as one reaches around from somewhere behind you just to say your grave is being deforested as you speak.

He’s had a couple moments go without explanation (not one he could take back to the family, at least). Only knew that his skin was stretched spiderweb thin and that sometimes the images and voices reverberating like war bells weren’t exactly his own, but he’d seen equally crazy things back home. Just a different kind of crazy. When the coffee finally finishes he let’s out a noise of relief and searches through the cabinets for a mug, supposes it’s no more suburban gothic than baking brownies and wiping smudges off the refrigerator door while the news drones on about that one homicide and the two missing bodies just a few miles shy of your house.

Only crazy people pretend their life is anything but, and he kinda likes the fact that no one really pays any attention to the things that fall apart - just that uneasy feeling it gives them, an excuse to turn and pretend they hadn’t seen it.

It’s nice up here, though. Once he’s done pretending like there’s an actual choice to be made between the several mugs, each an equally melancholic shade of (you guessed it) black, he pours himself a cup and waits for the caffeine to hit and turn him into less of a monster. It’s a new addiction. Like needing a hoodie indoors. Never really needed it back home, what with the unpredictable - but usually hellfire reminiscent - weather he had to put up with. In all honesty, the only real downside to being up north was just how much it reminded him of being down south. Takes him back to bone-dry Texas heat, back to summer gnawing away at the ends of his t shirt and pulling the handle up and back on a sleek Remington bolt action; the click as a bullet got stripped from the magazine; the feeling of oxhide hands on his collar when he takes yet another shot and still can’t get it right.

Hm. He detests the word damaged. He’s just not a fan of sunburn, is all.

Nope, cats are more his thing. Doesn’t bother to feel embarrassed about how many octaves his voice jumps when his favorite pet strolls in, unperturbed and uninterested in Ryder’s greeting but that’s never stopped him from doting on the apathetic thing like it was the only thing he’d ever know in this world.

Ryder’s got Morty the cat in one arm and his mug in the other when he walks into the living room, grins when he finally see’s louis. It’s gotta be a crime somewhere to have eyes like a marine trench yet hate cats, and some part of him gets off on seeing those blue maze iris’ turn into somethin’ stolen straight from a black and white movie (and he’s startin’ to like the way fear hums in his ear, the way frailty is coaxed out and massacred). Let’s Morty go when he starts squirming and Ryder doesn’t pay any attention to where the animal skirts off to, just collapses onto the couch once he sets his coffee down on the table next to a pack of cigarettes someone left out. Probably belong to the kid next to him.

Lord knows him and Atlas could burn one or several.

“Hey, kitten,” he beams, sinks into the cushions like black water through pine roots, folds an arm behind his head while he inspects the nails of his free hand. Whatcha up to? on the tip of his tongue, almost drawls out like his interest doesn’t loom greater than the apathy he imposes, but one look at the book in Louis' hand and Ryder get’s the gist. There’s a stack of books in his own room he should be reading. The history of colonialism in the southwest. Unabridged. The thought almost brings a twitch to his eye, not necessarily because of the length or content but the fact that it should’ve been done last semester...

The shot catches his attention, but it’s the crack of the front door and Atlas’ signature rage that makes him turn his head, pierces through the nanosecond of stillness like sirens before you step off the edge. He’s yelling something about burying their resident monster in a human mask, but Ryder’s long since sworn off both dirt and digging, almost resides to let this one go. Of course he won't. Not when Atlas is about to give him a free show. Follows Louis up the stairs once he drops his arachnid captive, chews on a thumbnail while he imagines what it’ll be this time.

It’s okay to kill something that wants to die (right?), but that doesn’t keep him from taking a step back when he finally makes it to the doorway. Catches a glimpse of Cassidy oozing like a red sludge fountain when he finally leans around Louis. Remnants of release wrapped between those golden tendrils of curly hair while tragedy hangs in the air like perfume. It get’s considerably easier the more times you see it, that’s for sure. And as much as the image would make for a sick tattoo idea the blood in his body still freezes without his consent, lungs constrict like he’s been tossed outside without a jacket.

It really shouldn’t give him room for pause. Cassidy kind of reminds him of a child, and he’d rather be in the back of a trunk with his fingerprints burned off on his way to hannibal lecter’s basement than deal with one of those (even if Cassidy isn’t much younger than himself). It’s not like he hasn’t seen every Saw movie, or lived in a house with these guys. But everytime he see’s the kid splattered and splayed and hung it’s like watching a puppy run out into traffic and get steam rolled, you know? He feels bad even if Cassidy runs into the street of his own volition just to hear his neck snap.

“Hey! Where did this fucker get a gun, anyway!?”

"Probably somewhere shady,"

The moment passes soon enough and he’s able to offer an, “you should really toss drowning his way. I hear it’s a lot cleaner.”

Ryder makes way for Louis to slip out like the fiend he is as Atlas continues to fume. Looks at the gun in Cass’ hand as his own find a place in the pocket of his hoodie. He’s a spiteful shit before he’s a compassionate one, feels old trauma bubbling up to find a seat next to Cass’. Can’t be that hard to pull a trigger when the target is your own face.

He almost makes a move to go get the bleach for when the kid comes back, but you know what that shit does to dark clothing.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Louis Price Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling Character Portrait: Ryder Daniels Character Portrait: Atlas Blake
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#, as written by Ivisbo

“I’ve found three other houses that are willing to take you, seriously man just let me come help you pack up”.

If Cass had known his brothers spontaneous offer to buy him lunch was going to be another drawn out attempt to get him to move, he’d have said he was busy. Graham had this ability to sound completely sincere and relaxed at the same time, but Cass could practically smell the worry oozing off him. Every attempt to get him to move was entirely within Cass’s best interest and it pained him that Graham’s attempts would never work. After every fucked up thing he’d done at 1648, Cass was forever bound to that house and his room mates, no matter how much it killed his brother to watch. He hated that he couldn’t explain what they had done that night, hated that he couldn’t explain what he had done a week later. Tying that noose, throwing it up over the old tree and testing whether it would hold his weight…

Cass took another bite of the teriyaki soaked chicken and chose to thoroughly chew the food rather then answer. Cooked meat made his throat close up and stomach churn, but he forced it down under the watchful stare of his older brother.

“Answers still the same, I can’t move”, He pointed his fork across the table, “Anyway, you’ll be graduated in a year and I don’t want to get stuck with your friends without you here. And I know they are weird, trust me I know. But it’s a good kind of weird”, He paused when Graham continued to look unimpressed, “Look, they’d never do anything to hurt me, alright?”

Flashes of At’s worried face hovering above him, tear stained and red eyed but still one of the prettiest things he’d ever seen. That tree branch above them, empty ended rope still swinging from the weight of his body. Louis and Ryder further away with terror etched across their faces, breathing like they’d just run a marathon. He rememberd wondering what was wrong with everyone till his gums suddenly itched and he was overwhelmed with the captivating tang of copper.

“It freaks me out more that you have to convince me of that. You shouldn’t have to tell people that your room mates would never hurt you, that’s just a given” Cass rolled his eyes and took another too-big bite of the overcooked meat, letting Graham’s very valid response go unanswered. His brother hefted out a very exaggerated sigh and leaned back in his chair, folded arms keeping him from strangling the younger Aisling, “You realize I could just tell mom and dad?”

He’d used this threat before and had never followed through with it. Cass was sure Graham had a vague understanding that something was Different- his terminally ill brother suddenly never coughed anymore, never called for emergency doctor visits, and no longer carried around an oxygen tank. The explanations had varied between; ‘I’m just feeling so much better!’ and ‘I started a new treatment’, but Cass knew it was inevitable that he would need to explain. And right now, the thought of explaining something to Graham terrified him. The thought of explaining to his parents seemed near impossible.

“Just trust me Graham, they really aren’t as bad as you make them out to be. And its me, seriously, you think I’d let them talk me into anything too crazy?” His cheeks quivered cause if Graham iknew, he'd kill Cass for lying to him. At least he'd never stay dead.


Atlas was on the porch when Graham dropped them off. Above all else, Graham seemed to despise Atlas the most, so of course the cheeky shit saluted his brother with a lecherous grin while they sat idle in the driveway. One of the reasons Cass never held Graham’s negativity towards his housemates against him was shit like this- Atlas could at least try to make his brother not think he was the devil. He got out quickly, eager to get Graham out of there, and headed up the stairs to the house.

“You gotta do that?” he asked as he reached the top step, avoiding eye contact by staring at the cigarette. Of course, Atlas chose that time to take a drag, so Cass ended up getting distracted by his lips instead.

Atlas released the cigarette and let loose a steady stream of smoke, the tendrils curling towards him just enough that he could smell the musty smell of tobacco. He hated that smell, but the image of that smoke coming out of Atlas’s mouth made him think he was going to start liking it soon.

"He gotta look at me like I'm Rosemary's Baby every time he drops you off?" Atlas’s blue eyes were dark in the dim lighting of the porch- with the smoke sliding out of his mouth and that smooth little smirk still in place, Cassidy understood entirely why Graham mistook this beautiful man for a demon.

“J-just, just, I don’t know, behave when he comes around” He’d said that a million times before and he knew repeating it wouldn’t make Atlas act any different. Especially since Cass had lost any ability to look at him- the rough paneling on the side of the house suddenly far more interesting.

“Sure love” Cass’s eyes widen slightly and he looks back at his housemate, his nerves rattling cause he enjoys that word a bit to much on Atlas’s tongue, “I'll try my absolute hardest to be good next time." That cheery smile is turned demonic by the dripping sarcasm, and suddenly Cass is very Uninterested in being anywhere near Atlas Blake. He gives at very momentarily unimpressed glare before spinning on his heel and heading inside.

Ryder and Louis are in the living room, but Cass blows through for the kitchen. He sets a pot boiling as he pulls out a raw steak from the fridge tosses it in the microwave while he gets his tea ready. There’s about one mug left in the cabinet- he’s pretty sure the rest are stacked on his desk- and he briefly considers getting them in order to offer the rest of the house some tea as well. But the microwave dings and his briefly overtook with a bubbly need instead. Microwaved raw meat is never as good as it should be, but the smell itself makes his mouth water and gums itch. Of course, those sharp teeth will never slide through while he’s still alive.

Cass shuts his bedroom door a little too loudly, his movements frantic while he sets down the steaming steak and tea on his floor. His body on auto pilot- cause if he ever stopped to think about this too long, hes sure he’d go crazy. He reaches under his bed and pulls out a shoe box. Inside are a few packets of pills, white powder, and needles procured by Louis (he never asked how), and a gun. He’d been honestly bothered by how easy it had been to find- he’d started off asking around in class, saying he was interested in learning to shoot, and people always seemed to want to help. Especially if he pulled out his old oxygen tank and nose tube. The handgun’s a relatively small Springfield, purchased illegally from some shady dude Cass quickly tried to forget. He’d decided to buy the gun after overdosing on the drugs Louis had gotten him… it had been uncomfortable to say the least and way to many different bodily fluids for him to deal with after. His only issue was the noise, but maybe it wouldn’t be loud enough to hear from his room?

Cass inhaled and once again the coppery warm smell of that steak made his stomach squeeze in on itself. Hungry eyes turned to the steak, then back to the gun, and he released his breath.

The black metal of the gun was jarringly cold against his temple. He tried to ignore the suddenly loud beating of his heart, favoring the smell of the steak instead. Breath in, breath out. People feared death because it was the end, a period on their entire life. But Cass could experience something no one else could; death without an end.

So he pulled back the safety, urged his shaking hand to still, and fired.


Its always a sliding motion, when he comes back. Like his soul was just momentarily misplaced and it took just a little jerk to realigned Him with his body. Except without his human soul, his body shifts to what it would be like if he never made it back. Fingers lengthened into black claws, the charred looking skin eating up to his forearms like he was dipped in black ink. A line of razor-sharp shark-like teeth replace his own, designed for biting and ripping into flesh.


He’s aware of four sources in the room, three of them fresh and pumping and singing to him. He inhales before he opens his eyes and his mind slips again- slides somewhere between his body and wherever else he goes. It moves on autopilot, black eyes opening, already focused on the doorway. He’s aware of those people, his friends, but right now his body sees them as something else.


His claws grow for ripping into that flesh, his teeth exist for dipping into that meat. And above all else his body wants blood, human blood, their blood. He moves blearily fast, the chunks of brain matter sticking to the side of his face and sliding down to his shoulder, and pivots in a crouch to face the three.

Of course, all three of them are entirely unimpressed. If they'd run in fear, he's sure he would have lost control completely and hunting them down. But, there is probably a mere three seconds of danger- this little Ghoul staring up at them with wide hunger filled black eyes, them staring back at him with varying expressions of bored, pissed, or inspired- before Cass grabs his body and yanks his mind back into place. His stance relaxes and he falls back of his haunches onto to the floor, right next to his still-warm steak.

"Ah, sorry guys" His voice is off, rough like is hasn't been used in days and his tongue too thick in his teeth lined mouth. He flashes them an apologetic 'Cassidy Aisling Grin', forgetting that his cheery sun-filled smile is a bit off with a mouth full of razors, "Was a bit hungry"

Then his hold on his body slips minutely, enough that his audience is of little interest to him and the smell of raw steak takes full hold of his attention.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Louis Price Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling Character Portrait: Ryder Daniels Character Portrait: Atlas Blake
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"Probably somewhere shady.”

At slides his gaze Louis’ way and arches an eyebrow. “From you, then?” Though, surprisingly, he doubts it. Louis Price is the first person Atlas would go to if he needed something off the beaten path and sold by the cost of innocence, but a gun doesn’t exactly taste like his friends particular brand of misfortune. Oh, Louis can admire the carnage it’s caused, certainly. But it doesn’t seem like he’d provided it.

No, most likely Cass had batted his pretty eyes and used his sweet smile to his advantage. Manipulative move. Regardless of what Big Brother said, the youngest Aisling was like them deep, deep down. Just a little too selfish. Just a little twisted.

Louis isn’t paying him any mind anyway. His gaze is locked on the mess Cass has created, but he’s seeing through lenses Atlas himself doesn’t have. Art. He’s locked in on the scene like an Italian Renaissance painter with a voluptuous woman. Entranced. Bewitched. Creepy fucker. Louis turns his bright blue gaze on him and his mouth splits into the kind of grin a horror movie director would jerk off to.

Atlas just shakes his head and watches Louis go when he twists away, knowing full well he’ll come back with a camera. Whatever.

“you should really toss drowning his way. I hear it’s a lot cleaner.”

Out of the three of them, Ryder looks the most bothered. Atlas wished it was because of the state of his floors but, unfortunately, no one else seems to share in his burden of having nice fucking things. He wasn’t sure just what about it scraped against Ryder’s nerves. Not the gore. Maybe just the fact that it was Cass?

Honestly, Atlas was surprised he’d gotten used to seeing their friend as a corpse himself. He still had nightmares about the way his body had hung from that goddamn tree; but never about blood spatter or brain matter. Perspective, he supposed. Real versus….well, it was still real, it just wasn’t permanent. That seemed to make a difference.

“I think he’s starting to go for quick over clean.” Not that any of Cass’ attempts so far had been clean per say, but this one is definitely the worst. For fucks sake, the walls were white. At’s probably going to have to repaint and he hates that. It’s a lot of goddamn work.

Louis slides his way back in, camera poised, but Atlas ignores him while he waits, arms folded and anger barely dissipated.

He can always feel it. The moment that Cass’ soul realigns with his body. It’s not exactly something he can put into words, and it’s not exactly comfortable. It makes his fingers tingle with pinprinks, and his ears buzz a little. He’s not sure if power or just. Something dead.

The shift is always fascinating to watch because it’s fluid. Easy to miss, almost, if he wasn’t paying attention. Nails make claws, Cass’ jaw ripples with the addition of new teeth, black slowly takes over the color of his hands, up his arms, seeping into his veins. He’s something more other than them. Something more wrong in the natural state of things.

Atlas thinks it’s kind of amazing.

Thinks Cass is kind of amazing.

He almost forgets for a moment that he’s so goddamn pissed.

Cass’ black eyes open slowly and Atlas feels his back go tense. He never knows how Cass is coming back. In control or not, or something halfway in between. It’s trial and error and they haven’t been doing this that long. Regardless, he’s learned to be prepared in case Cass flies at him. Those teeth are no fucking joke.

Cass is up too fast to be human, dipped in a crouch that reminds Atlas of things he used to see lurking in the shadows as a kid, or smiling at him from under his bed. The curls are still Cass, the nerdy fucking glasses are still him, but there’s Ghoul too. Dark and scary and hungry.

Atlas is aware Cass is deadly like this, but there’s very little Self Preservation warnings going off in his head. He’s not sure why. Rather it’s because he’s an idiot, or because he trusts Cass, or because he trusts himself enough to handle it if it gets out of hand. Either way, between one cold heartbeat and the next, he knows Cass could rip his throat out if he wanted to.

But there’s a shift, a relaxation of his stance into something just a little more human. He flashes them a smile that’s all Cassidy and even though it’s filled with razor sharp teeth it’s still not as dangerous as Louis’ somehow. "Ah, sorry guys.”

“You should be fucking sorry,” Atlas seethes as he drops into a graceful squat in front of the suicidal little brat. “Do you have any idea how long this is going to clean up? You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think I’m going to make you help. Go on, eat Cassidy, because you’re fucking mine when you’re done.”

Cass’ control is slipping, much more interested in the raw bloody steak next to him. At’s not sure he heard one goddamn word. Atlas watches his greedy little fingers dig into that meat and sighs as he pushes himself back up. He throws an arm around Ryder and Louis’ shoulders, dragging them from the room. “C’mon, let’s let the kid enjoy his meal and make an even bigger mess.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Louis Price Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling Character Portrait: Ryder Daniels Character Portrait: Atlas Blake
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“Do you have any idea how long this is going to clean up? You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think I’m going to make you help. Go on, eat Cassidy, because you’re fucking mine when you’re done.”

Louis laughs under his breath, a mirthless thing though it is. A posturing Atlas is an amusing Atlas, and Louis could see the near physical manifestation of control passing over the room between each of them. Carefully placed marionettes tottering along on their strings. A most adequate comparison to the way they allowed Atlas - mostly - to place his expectations upon them; not that Louis cared, nor felt the urging to follow the leader. “C’mon, let’s let the kid enjoy his meal and make an even bigger mess." Louis rolled his eyes, shrugging just as quickly from the arm and turning to cast one last look back at the apparition Cassidy had become. A ghastly sight that would have anyone else heaving, Louis found incredibly fascinating. However, he supposed he could leave Cassidy be for the time being.

"Next time we should get a before and after!" He calls out over his shoulder as they make their exit, leaving behind the blood and gore. He could only imagine the reactions he would get from that one. The looks of abject horror and disgust his classmates were oft to give him.

Louis flickered between thoughts of staying with Atlas and Ryder or returning to his room to get the pictures somewhere safe and sound. The house had a way of screwing with technology, and despite his recent return to the archaic ways of dark room development for his staged photos he found it faster and less of a hassle to capture Cassidy using digital cameras.

His stride back towards his room took him past his formerly forgotten book, where he can see the spider has re-emerged and begun tracking its weary way across the flooring. An inky black spot against the pristine ground. He imagines its panic in those final moments before his foot comes down over it, the shadow of death looming from above, breaking its form into fine smoke before it began to float away in a cloud of fine mist. Never to be seen again, if it ever existed to begin with.

As he reached his room once more a great many things came into sharp awareness.

Foremostly; there were dozens of things that Louis Price could call himself exceptionally talented at - telling time, and recalling when he needed to be somewhere were not in that repertoire. Given the sudden excitement it was understandable that once he spared a glance at his only functioning timepiece he came to suddenly remember the incredibly idiotically scheduled classes he had opted for that semester.

Being late came as easy to him as breathing oxygen so he took his time gathering various materials and stuffing them with no grace into the ratty overworn brown bag he had carried with him since he was a child. Atlas hates it (he hates most of the rags that Louis chose to adorn himself with,) and that's what made it so entertaining to continue using. It may have a hole the size of his fist where one strap used to be and a mysterious black stain that screamed serial killer, but he knew he wouldn't be throwing it away anytime soon.

He paused briefly, wondering if he should be responsible and remind the still human remainders of their quartet about the importance of a well maintained education - then promptly decided he didn't much care or know whether they had similar hours on their schedules. Finally, he turned away without another word and headed for the door. Leaving a quickly disappearing trail of bloody footprints as his only goodbye.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Louis Price Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling Character Portrait: Ryder Daniels Character Portrait: Atlas Blake
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Image Sometimes he feels like his deck’s been coming up awfully short.

It’s a more recent feeling, wedged between all the good shit. Like he bet on a three of kings and lost to a straight flush.

And it’s not so much the fact that he might lose his life to someone who literally looks like the human (human-ish?) embodiment of a pillow pet. All soft curls and warm eyes turned ghoul. Claws for nails. More teeth than a person should really have. Always kinda reminded him of the stories he heard as a kid; dont look outside the windows at night, if you think it’s the neighbor’s kids callin your name it’s not, and don’t leave your car seat empty ‘cause that’s an invitation to all things evil.

Something dangerous hangs in the air like ash when the kid gets going, but he can’t place too much weight on self-preservation, on whether or not his roommates will still be around if Cass decides to go postal. He just see’s those black tar eyes and thinks, im takin everyone to hell if he eats my cat.

His jaw sets. It hasn’t come to that. Doubts he’d really be able to take everyone if it did, even if they’re all kinda built like lithe spaghetti, physically.


An apology creeks out between that razor wire grin, something distinctly human that signals an end to the spectacle. That is, until Atlas goes in. Supposes he can’t blame him, what with the once white walls looking like a makeshift slaughterhouse, prime cuts and spilled brains all inclusive.

"Next time we should get a before and after!" The comment elicits a snort as he watches the enigma that is Louis shrug out of Atlas’ arm and slink away. Probably off to mess around with his photos. Ryder’s briefly entertained by the idea even if it's a joke; they could stick ‘em on the refrigerator with some abc magnets and invite little Cass’ family over, then sit back and wait.

Not really.

But maybe.

Ryder looks back at the ruined floor, gears turning in his head as the kid goes in on some raw meat, already under and over both his suicide and Atlas’ berating. Eyes the remnants of his demise laying on the floor. He could easily see it inked on his skin; the hole in cassidy’s skull, blood leaving trails down otherwise flawless skin like red omens.

It’s an image he doesn’t doubt he’ll see again. Maybe a knife instead of a gun. A noose instead of a knife. The tide could turn a million ways and each one gets him a little excited; there’s just too much empty space to fill up where his skin was concerned.

The first thing Ryder notices once they make it back to the living room is the mug he left on the table. He flings himself back onto the couch before reaching for it, the makings of a scowl tugging at his lips. “Cass, you fucker, if this coffee is cold,” he calls, but a sip tells him it’s tolerable and there’s no longer a reason to send some of Louis’ photo’s to Cass’ family in an envelope. "Nevermind, buddy, nevermind."

It’s relatively quiet when guns aren’t going off. Maybe a by product of the company he keeps; readers, most of them. The remnants of a spider catch his eye while he’s looking around and he feels a little bad for it. Little thing couldn’t help being a fuckin spider, but maybe that’s just the universe having a good laugh at the expense of someone else.

Either way, it reminds him that there are things he could be doing besides laying on the couch. Louis dipping out with his bag only adds emphasis to the point as Ryder watches him leave. “Have a good day, kitten,” he calls after him, bending an arm behind his head and searching for cracks in the ceiling.