A Place In The Back Of Your Mind
rating: +9+x

Timothy Price awoke from a dreadful slumber. There was something covering his head, almost grabbing him around the neck. He lifted his arms to loosen it, but he found his hands to be bound. He tried to free them but it was no use.

Suddenly, there was a burning pain in his calf. That was the spark that made him remember; that made him go "oh shit".

Almost immediately after, his wife's blood-curdling screams reached his ears. He had never heard her curse in such a manner before. It was like a trial of pure desperation; that lingering horror in the back of your mind, waving the key to freedom right in front of you. This was their first time being held in that terrible place.

"H-honey…" he choked as he slowly regained his composure.

"Tim?! Tim, where are you?!" Her screams were blurred and distorted due to the swelling bump on the side of her face. An artifact from their departure.

"… Are you, are you hurt? Where are we?!"

"I'm fine, I'm— I-I don't know."

"Alright, just— argh!" Timothy tried to stand up, but a jolt of agony whipped up his body like a wooden stake.

"Tim! Tim, are you—"

"Fine! I'm fine… it's nothing."

"Tim, please, I need to know! Tim, please! Tim… Tim…" she began repeating his name, each distressed echo lobbing another piece of her sanity with it. She wanted so badly to lean against him one last time; to feel his warmth against her. Timothy began to audibly weep with her, expressing the same desires within.

But then, they heard something. A quiet shuffle coming from a few feet forward. Immediately the two stopped crying and lifted their heads.

"Hello?" Penny sniffled. "Who's there?" No answer; only the silence was left, mocking them and teasing the possibility of insanity. It rung in their heads like mad. But after a few minutes, there was a voice:

"Are we done?" It was from a woman, calm and even somewhat gleeful. Like the old woman who runs every orphanage in every movie. The captives wanted to scream at the anonimity, but they couldn't muster up the courage to do it.

Finally, Timothy requested: "Take these fucking things off of our heads you—"

"As you wish," she whispered peacefully, almost kindly. She grabbed the tops of their heads and lifted the thatchwork bags away from them.

A burst of cold, arid wind splashed their skin as the pouches were lifted, reminding them both of the dusty atmosphere of Marshall's office. Their eyes took little to no time adjusting to the light, as the room was somber and drab by default. The walls were made only of dusty stone, with a surprising lack of cobwebs. A wooden door was almost stamped into the wall in the back of the room, and in front of it was a towering character. She was clad in robes identical to those worn by the kidnappers. Several white patterns sprinkled accross it, each resembling a five-pointed star or miscellaneous shape. Her eyes were dim, and almost devoid of color, and her ears…

"You're a fae?" Penny examined with astonishment. The woman, always smiling charmingly, delicately caressed the tip of each ear. They were pointed, stretching out like a butterfly's antennae.

"Why, yes. Is there a problem with that?"

"No, it's just— why do you want the eggs of the thing that—" Penny was interrupted by her giggling. Timothy clenched his teeth, angered by her. How can she be so calm? Does she even know what she's doing?!

"Our mission is not for your ears, Penny. But you do hold a vital key to our conquest," she said, straying closer to Penny and leaning over her.

"What's your name?!" Timothy shouted.

The mysterious woman hummed, still watching over Penny; "You may simply refer to me as Aibreann, thank you for asking." She then ran her fingers through Penny's hair, enraging Timothy.

"Get your hands off her, you psycho!" With that, Aibreann turned to him, her smile instantly morphing into a discontent poker-face. She stood up straight and positioned herself in front of the man. He tried to shout again but, to his fearful surprise, not a word was able to escape his lips. he tried to inhale, but it seemed as if his throat had locked itself shut.

As he began to violently thrash in his chair, frenzied in his need for oxygen, Aibreann said: "You're a bit of a talker, aren't you? Also a bit loud." She smiled, "I like you. Although I fear that you're not necessary for my — well, our — personal quest for information." Penny watched in the background as her husband began to tremble. She knew fae were low-key reality benders, but not to this degree. "Could you stay quiet for a little while? Hm?"

Finally, Aibreann let him gather air once more. He gasped like he had never gasped before. He didn't answer, but only stared at the captor in utter fear. She tilted her head whilst waiting for an answer. Timothy only nodded swiftly, drenched in sweat. After that, Aibreann gracefully hovered back to Penny and loomed over her like a hawk feeding its children.

"Now then, shall we begin?"

"I…" Penny glanced to her right, at Timothy. He still lay floored, but was still shaking his head at her underneath the magnitude of shaking. She then remembered the Hathscorns, and the hatchlings. If the Hathscorns could bring the eggs back to life… "No. Not to you, not to anyone! You are, you're fucking insane!"

Aibreann's expression faded back to pure contempt once again. She was like a condemning mother, only willing to treat others with respect as long as she got what she wanted, and it horrified them.

"Are you sure, love?" Aibreann said with the same delicacy as her better self.

"Yes I—" Penny stopped in the middle of her words. She could still breathe, thankfully, but there was something else: under her skin, something was squirming and writhing. It wasn't breaching her flesh, but it still caused a great deal of pain. The more she felt it, the more she recognized the familiar feeling the "creature" had. It felt like a hand, reaching into the back of her head and stroking her brain. During this, Aibreann was also concentrating on her, tilting her head and narrowing her eyes.

She grinned again. "Are you sure, poppet?"

"D-don't call me— fuck! Don't call me poppet!" she yelped in discomfort. The hand caressed the base of her skull's backmost lobe.

"Oh, tut, tut. No need for such fowl language, dear. How can we make this better for the both of us?"

"Stop it!" Penny screamed, anguish rising in her veins. Timothy could swear he saw Aibreann grin wider.

"… I used to be like you," Aibreann began to monologue. "I lived amongst people; people like you and your dear husband. I thought it quite nice, until —" she pulled Penny closer "— I was given a gift, from the father I never knew: the Undying Fifth. So me and my friends left our normal cities and our normal families. And we were shown the realm of possibilities." Aibreann accustomed herself only inches away from Penny's body, her mouth right next to her left ear. Further discomfort took hold of Penny as the un-physical hand clutched the top of her skull like a basket ball. Timothy could only watch in horror. "And we can take you with us."

"I don't know!" Penny finally screeched, tears forming globs and slithering down her face and neck. Aibreann lifted herself from the distressed girl and took five steps back.

"Is there anyone who might possess the seed?"

"I— Carter knows where they are! B-but I don't know where they—" Penny stops herself. She didn't want to rope in anyone else. But she had already said too much as Aibreann grew more content.

"Do you, perhaps, have his contact with you?"

Penny was silent.


"01-384-2903! Leave her alone!" Timothy shouted from across the room. Aibreann glanced at him and nodded in gratitude.

"Thank you. You have been of great help." She walked to the door and cracked it open, looking back as she did; "We have an important call to make."

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