Chapter 3 – Hallucinating

Basha only vaguely remembered the explosion. He didn’t know he’d been thrown out, and knocked unconscious when the ship had fallen out of the sky. Nor was he aware Hyde had managed to drag him down an abandoned basement, tied him to a ratty bed frame, and was attempting to force its way into his torso.

No. As far as he was concerned, it was the tinkling of music that lured him back from the edge of the void. Warped, and backwards, it played so softly, it wasn’t long before it was drowned out by whispering. The indecipherable words slithered between the quiet notes, and crawled inside his ears, causing his bruised, and battered body to jerk, and convulse uncontrollably. Acrid white smoke wafted up from cracks in the floor; powerless to stop it, it found its way into his mouth and nose, down his windpipe, and settled at the bottom of his lungs like scorching hot lead. When, still thoroughly unaware of what was happening to him, Basha doubled over in a coughing fit, the subtle, burning itch that had been growing in his lower extremities erupted. It raced up his limbs, and upper body, the pain of which nearly convinced him he’d burst into a ball of literal hell fire.

“And would you imagine; you haven’t opened your eyes yet.”

The sudden sound of that… HIS goddamned voice… Sent his mind reeling as the force of gravity threatened to make him collapse under his weight. He pulled his hands up to cover his ears, to no avail.

“Don’t you remember, little brother, all the misery we’ve wrought together?”

The voice kept talking to him. Basha shook his head. He had but barely gotten a hold of his thoughts, and already they were spinning out of his control as the cacophony kept on raging both inside his head, and all around him.

He didn’t know where he was or why. He didn’t even know he’d been knocked unconscious. So, where the actual hell was he waking back up?

“Who ever said you were waking up, Basha?”

His deep and deadly ominous voice was growing, coming closer. Basha slowly, partially, wrenched one eye open to have a peek…. But it was all he could do to stop himself from screaming as he watched his shadow grow three times in length. Wings appeared on his back, while horns sprouted out of his head. His mouth, despite being covered by the palms of his hands, split into a shit devouring rictus. He shuddered, closed his eye again, and prayed it would all go back where it had come from and leave him the hell alone.

“That’s not what you want, and we both know it little brother.” The booming laughter that followed bounced off the floors, walls, and ceilings of the shapeless, cavernous space they were sharing.

There was no fucking way this was happening. This couldn’t be real.

“Of course it is, Basha.”

But of fucking course it was. Fucked up as he was, Basha didn’t need to look up over his head to know what was now looming directly over him. The tense chills of impending dread dripped down his back. The sudden, accompanying silence was brutal, agonizing, and felt like it was lasting an eternity.

“So, tell me, how are you truly feeling, little brother?” The voice returned a soft, barely audible whisper. Basha felt lips behind his ear, and the light brush of razor sharp canines over the skin covering the veins, and arteries in his neck. The hopelessness that had been slowly growing in the pit of his stomach…

The desperate scream that threatened to escape his vocal cord… Was muffled, and then entirely cut off as the Mad Maestro fell upon him like a blanket of ashen snow. Using one hand to grip both of his wrists together, he pinned them behind Basha’s back. The Maestro then stepped in front of the boy, and made a show of slowly licking the blood, dripping down the serrated claws of his other hand, as he dug them into Basha’s narrow cheekbones. Basha, stubbornly refusing fully to open his eyes, struggled to break free, but standing a full head over him, the Mad Maestro had no problem keeping him in his inhumanly strong grasp.

“You left us, my prince. And being away is making you frail.” The Maestro smirked as he moved his mouth down his jaw. He then turned Basha’s head in his direction, drawing more blood between his fingers as he took a closer look at his pale features, “But you’re back here, with me now, and that’s all that matters.”

The Maestro kissed Basha’s forehead, running his forked tongue down the bridge of his nose before biting into his upper lip hard enough to make him wince, “I have a present for you.” His voice sounded as jagged as his teeth as he let go of Basha’s face, “Something for all your pain.”

Basha finally managed to open his mouth to protest, but was far too slow with his words, as the Maestro put a finger over his lips to quiet him. Never letting go of Basha’s wrists, he let go of his face, and turned him the other way, placing his newly freed claws between the boy’s shoulder blades. Basha felt his heart slamming inside his ribcage once, twice. It skipped a beat, and then stopped completely as the bones in his back and chest splintered, and snapped. His knees gave out, his spine buckled, and blood gushed down his torso, drenching the clothes he wore with blood. Nearly blacking out, it was only the Maestro unmercifully holding on to him that kept him upright. Still, Basha failed to open his eyes, see or register what had happened to him.

“He ripped your heart out again, Basha. Look at how beautiful it is.” Said another, yet distinctly female voice. In the state he was in, Basha only recognized Eremis because her tinkling tone nearly matched the timber of her box, the music of which kept playing almost inaudibly in the background. Prying his eyes open, he blinked several times before his blurred vision began to return… And there it was, plain as day, jutting out of the front of his chest, and resting precariously between the Maestro’s fingertips as it kept pumping blood out with a steady rhythm.

His heart. Once more. No longer his.

“Impressive how it keeps beating.” Eremis said.

“… No… Not you too…” He barely muffled a scream as the Maestro pulled his arm back through his chest cavity. He let Basha go, evaporating into the inky black backdrop of their shared delusion, bringing his heart along with him. Basha gasped, teetered, almost fell over, but somehow kept standing.

“Is this upsetting you little brother? It’s not like you’ve ever used it.” It was a stupid question with a dishonest answer, and Basha chose not to dignify it with a response.

“Don’t be rude, Basha. Open your eyes, and look.” With his heart now a toy nestled into the Maestro’s hands, Basha could only do as he was ordered. He dried his eyes, opened them wide, and found himself facing Eremis’ entirely naked figure. Her matted, waist-long, chestnut hair did nothing to conceal what little curves she had, as her glowing, fuchsia eyes seared another hole in his forehead.

“Come closer, Basha…” She beckoned him as the snickering, giggles, and whispers returned. Basha struggled not to slip over his feet as he stumbled forward, taking a step, then another, and a third. It took him a long moment, but the full extent of the horror that had been standing bare alongside him slowly began to register. Utterly speechless, his jaw inches from the ground, Basha wondered if she’d fallen off the deep end, and inflicted her ghastly wounds upon herself as she’d done countless times before… Or if someone else had come around, and again used her for “practice.”

Eremis’ neck had been torn… No… That wasn’t right. It had been completely ripped to shreds, exposing the muscles, tendons, and ligaments still pulsing underneath. Her torso and stomach were also covered in deep bites, long scratches, and multiple stab wounds. Her arms and legs had been slashed down to her bones, plainly visible under her flailed and battered flesh. Worse was the way she’d been… Sown back together… Thick strands of coarse, black threads crisscrossed in and out of her mangled and mutilated flesh in a weak attempt at stitching her back together like a rag doll. Of course, Basha knew Eremis had already lost much of her humanity. The suicidal female had been converted into a mechanical pet against her will before they had met. But here, right at the moment, she was more human than machine, and the result was nothing short of fucking nightmarish.

“Promise, it looks worse than it feels.” She smiled as she came closer, burying her nose in his blood-soaked shirt, and digging her nails into his forearms with strength she shouldn’t have had in the condition she was in. She moved her free arm around his neck, her loose stitches getting tangled into his shaggy, nearly glowing, bright white hair along with her tiny fingers. Basha smelled nothing but vanilla as he unwittingly pulled her close to him, and held her there.

“Don’t forget; Big Brother’s watching.” Eremis whispered as, unbeknownst to him, the Mad Maestro had materialized some distance behind him, Basha’s pounding heart still nestled between his claws as he flicked his forked tongue from between his venomous fangs.

“Don’t forget; Big Brother can fuck right off.” Basha muttered as Eremis removed her hands from his hair, and ran her fingers over the fresh cuts in his face. She pulled his lips towards hers, their mouths melting into each other as her finger traced a path down his chest, avoiding the gaping, bleeding hole there to reach for his leather belt instead.

“… Always happy to oblige, brother…” The Maestro replied, too quietly for Basha to pretend to hear. Eremis had stolen his attention, undoing his buckle, and pulling down his zipper. The boy held on to her small, surprisingly steady frame as she wrapped her frozen fingertips around his rapidly growing inches, making him gasp from both the cold, and the delightfully delectable friction.

“Tell me you miss me?” Eremis asked Basha sweetly as they all watched her fingers play his swollen member like a true organ, sucking on his neck for their Maestro’s pleasure before biting her way down his abdomen. She kneeled in front of him, yanking on his pants until they’d fallen to his knees.

“… No…” Every other word he’d managed to conjure up in his head completely evaporated as Eremis ignored his feeble plea, and placed her full, tender lips on the tip of his throbbing erection.

“Say it, little brother,” The Maestro kept taunting him in her stead as Basha half-heartedly attempted to move his hips away from her mouth. She was drowning him in sensations he’d forgotten he could feel, making him rock to the rolls of her tongue, “Tell us how much you miss us.”

“… I said no…” But Basha was far too gone, and distracted, to care if he’d even spoken the words out loud or not. He couldn’t remember how long it had been since he’d been this aroused, much less able to recall the last time he’d so desperately wished he wasn’t. This wasn’t the place for fucking around, he thought… But the Maestro and Eremis clearly had other ideas.

“You’re so fucking close…” The Mad Master moved away from Basha’s ear as the boy knotted his fingers in Eremis’ hair in turn, gave in, and thrust his engorged cock down her throat. He grunted, his eyes rolling back just in time to catch the Maestro’s face, mere millimetres away from his own, as it spread into another wide, fanatically sadistic grin. He pushed Basha’s heart under his nose, the tender organ beating in time to his throbbing member, very much on the verge of exploding where it rested at the bottom of Eremis’ mouth.

“I know you’re frustrated, little brother. Come now. Let it all out.” The Mad Maestro ordered obscenely when all Basha had left to do was obey. The Maestro’s booming laughter reverberated across the room once again as Eremis swallowed Basha’s grand finale. To add a final insult to his already gaping injuries, the Maestro then crushed his poor, bleeding heart between his claws, ripping the already defective muscle into barely recognizable pieces, and letting them fall through the cracks below, never to be seen again.

Eremis stood up, and wiped her mouth, as the Maestro wiped his hands clean of the bloody mess he’d made. He sneered as Basha’s now limp, and lifeless body crumpled in on itself, and fell to floor in a heap. Then just as quickly as they had appeared, the Maestro and Eremis vanished in a puff of smoke, taking their music, their sarcasm, and their laughter along with them when they went;

“Bye-Bye, Brother.”

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