Your worst nightmare. Can you wake up before its too late?
Fatality is like ghosts in the snow and you have no idea what you’re up against.
Because I’ve seen what they look like.
Becoming perfect as if they were sterling silver chainsaws going cascading.”
Gerard looked out at the sea of fans before him. The mosh-pit was a rolling, surging mass of black. But they were ‘The Black Parade.’ It would be right any other way. It was the final European show, and My Chemical Romance wanted to go out with a bang. No one expected any less. As they blasted their way through their latest album, the crowd went wild. The album had been out for three months already. That was plenty of time for those in the audience to learn every lyric off by heart.
This was what he lived for, what they all did. The thousands of screaming fans, telling them that they had achieved something. And after the show, hearing the cries of “you guys saved my life,” they realised they were making a difference. That was why they did it.
Lights flashes and flames roared behind him. An awesome pyrotechnics display setting the scene as Gerard screamed into the mic. “These bright lights have always blinded me!”
He turned his back on the crowd and looked at his fellow band members. Frank and Bob were playing their hearts out, completely lost in the music as it flowed through them. No one could beat their dedication.
He looked to his right. Ray was powering through another amazing solo. Gerard thought he was the best guitarist in the world, although Ray was too humble to admit anything of the sort. Gerard could see his passion for the music. The way he carefully crafted the riffs, it was truly amazing.
Standing slightly to his left, was his little brother, Mikey. He was so talented, more then he gave himself credit for. Gerard remembered their time spent at the Paramour Mansion while they recorded The Black Parade. Those times had not only been hard on Mikey, who had been on the point of suicide, but also Gerard and the band. It was terrible, watching your brother go through hell, and not being able to help him.
Mikey noticed Gerard looking at him, and he flashed him a reassuring smile. Mikey had recovered somewhat, with the aid of a variety of anti-depressants, but he wasn’t clear yet. He needed a break.
They finished the song, and Gerard said farewell to the crowd. ‘The Black Parade’ had finished, but My Chemical Romance was on next. “If you’re into that kinda shit” Gerard added before turning to leave. They’d make a quick change out of their Black Parade jackets, and reappear again as My Chemical Romance for a final few songs.
Mikey turned to leave also, but as he did, Gerard saw him falter. He stumbled, and then doubled over like someone had punched him in the stomach. Gerard moved forward to help him, but Frank held him back. Mikey collapsed onto his knees, and made retching movements. A thick black liquid came out of his mouth. Gerard was really worried now, but Frank still held him back. Gerard tried to pry is hands off his shoulders, but Frank wouldn’t let go. Ray and Bob came over and held his arms back.
“What are you doing? Let me go!” he shouted as Mikey continued to vomit the black liquid onto the ground. Like ink, Gerard thought. No, thicker.
The black ink appeared to be moving. More of it came out of Mikey’s mouth and ran down his chin. It seemed to gather itself together and flow back towards Mikey.
After staring in horror for several minutes, he realised it was moving. It snaked over the stage, up his legs and over his back. In a few minutes his caves were completely covered in the oozing black mess. Gerard could see Mikey was crying, his face twisted in pain. The tears that ran down his cheeks were as black as night. Dark tears of ink.
Gerard glanced over his shoulder at the crowd still out there. Why wasn’t anyone helping him? Gerard’s eyes widened in horror when he realised that the sea of black clad bodies had become a swirling ocean of ink.
“Are you happy now? You got what you wanted.” A voice beside Gerard’s ear made him turn his head away from the scene behind him. He came face to face with Frank, but there was something wrong. Frank’s eyes were black orbs. He looked at Bob and Ray; their eyes were the same empty orbs. Gerard felt bile rise in his throat. His knees buckled and he sank to the ground like his brother. Frank came with him so he could whisper in Gerard’s ear. “Did you get what you deserve? Is this what you wanted? It is isn’t it?”
“What?” Gerard screamed. “I didn’t want this!”
“Oh but you did” Frank said grinning. “You asked for this. Deep down, you know the truth. You’re enjoying this, it’s exactly as you wished it.” He laughed.
“No, I never did! Why would I?” Frank’s laughter got louder. Gerard struggled against Ray and Bob, trying to free one of his hands so he could rip Frank’s lying tongue out of his mouth.
As his struggles ceased, his head dropped. “It’s not true, it’s not true” he muttered to the floor. “It’s all a dream, it can’t be real.” But the hands gripping his arms were painfully real. Frank’s laughter grew in pitch and volume until it became the laughter of a madman.
Gerard lifted his head and looked at his brother. The ink now reached up his neck. It already covered his whole body. Mikey turned his head towards Gerard and he gasped at what he saw. The ink covered the top of his head and small tendrils reached over his chin. But it was his eyes that had caused Gerard to gasp. It was so terrible he could not tear his own away. Mikey’s eyes were milky orbs; there was no iris or pupil. They stared at Gerard as if pleading for help. Mikey’ mouth opened and closed silently, but all that came out was more ink. It flowed out of the corners of his mouth, where it joined the approaching darkness. The ink was consuming him. Eating his baby brother. Gerard screamed.
Gerard screamed and shot upright in his bunk, hitting his head on the roof. He fully didn’t know where he was, but he knew his hands were free and Frank was leaning over him.
“You bastard!” Gerard yelled before launching himself out of bed, his hands wrapped around Frank’s neck, and he tackled him to the ground.
There were cries behind him, and he once again felt Ray and Bob restraining him. They hauled him off Frank and pinned him against the wall. Gerard struggled against them, before receiving a blow to the face.
His head flew back, and he saw stars. He looked around to see who had hit him, and he saw Mikey standing, with his fists clenched, in their dark tour bus. Relief flowed through Gerard when he saw that Mikey was safe.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” yelled an angry Mikey.
“You’re okay!” exclaimed Gerard. He wanted to hug his brother, but Bob and Ray were still holding him back.
“Of course I’m okay! What’s gotten into you?”
“You were… the ink… I couldn’t help…” he stuttered.
“What ink?” Frank asked getting up and rubbing his neck. “What the hell are you on about, and why did you try to kill me?”
“Mikey… he was covered in ink. You tried to stop me helping him, you told me I asked for it. Your eyes… his eyes.” Gerard shuddered at the memory of the lifeless eyes that had replaced his brothers hazel ones. He closed his eyes and took several deep breaths.
“You were dreaming” Ray said. “You were tossing and turning and whimpering in your sleep. You woke us up. When we went to see what was wrong, you screamed, and tried to strangle Frank.”
“It was a dream?” Gerard said like he didn’t fully understand what Ray had just said. “But it was so real. I’m sorry for attacking you Frank.”
“Don’t mention it.” He was still rubbing his throat. “Just don’t try to do it again either.”
They let Gerard go, and he ran his hands through his hair.
“Was it… like, a night terror?” Mikey asked cautiously. Gerard had had a bad experience with them when they were recording The Black Parade.
Gerard shook his head. “They were different. Like, I knew the night terrors were… I couldn’t wake up. This was different... Real.”
They all looked at him concerned. Gerard didn’t notice. He was staring at the floor, lost in thought. The memory of the dream was still vividly clear in his mind. He thought it might fade with time. Like time fades everything.
“Why don’t we sort this out in the morning” Mikey suggested. He others mumbled their agreement, and went back to their respective bunks.
Mikey’s bunk was opposite Gerard’s. “You scared me Gerard” Mikey said lying down and looking at his older brother.
“I scared me too” Gerard said before pulling the curtain shut and blocking his brother from view. He couldn’t sleep though. He lay awake listening to his sleeping friends, knowing they were safe, as long as he was awake.
Authors Note: Has anyone seen the movie 'The Tattooist?' This story was inspired somewhat by that. Here's a link to the movie's official page: http://www.thetattooistmovie.com/home.htm Watch the trailer to see what the ink looks like. Click on 'Video.' I enjoyed that movie. I think some of it may be lost on anyone not from New Zealand (where the movie is set, just like Lord of The Rings) or from Samoa, which is where the word 'tattoo' came from. Its a good movie though. A horror movie that actually has a story line.