“Run,” he whispered wildly, desperately, skin ghost-like, almost transparent in the dank, misty light of the forest.
Oh, and to anyone who read the previous chapter within it's first twenty four hours of being posted, I've bettered it quite a lot and changed the last scene- if you wanna re-read, feel free. I think it's a lot better now.
He would never forget the day he discovered the secret that made him fear his own shadow. It was imprinted like an intoxicated, nightmare tattoo into his thoughts, haunting him in his darkest moments, defiling his lightest ones.
It was the one thing he never told her. Knowledge was dangerous, and he was terrified this knowledge was like the trigger to a gun. He kept it inside of him, eating him up, crawling charred maggots under his skin, defiling his thoughts and his imagination and his soul so as she wouldn’t find out, because he was terrified of what would happen then.
But she did find out, and, like ripples in a lake of blood, the events that led to her destruction began to unfold without him even realising.
Perhaps, if he’d never stumbled into the school common room that bleak, rainy Wednesday afternoon, September 3rd, 2006, and been faced with such a deadly secret to know, she would still be alive- and he wouldn’t be running from what he could never escape.
But he had been faced with the secret. She had found out, and like she always had done, she wanted to heal and help and make it all better. He’d been convinced there were things that simply couldn’t be mended- but all the same, he’d followed her advice and tried to help, because it made her happy.
And that had been the biggest mistake of all.
Chapter Thirteen: Collision
When Frank woke up the next morning, the first thing he became aware of was the sound of oblong, pattering rain against a windowpane, and the way the usually lulling, grey noise drilled into his skull. With a small, snuffling sound, he shifted and tried to move away from the noise.
Instantly, the second thing he became aware of was a sandpaper throat of repercussions and a throbbing skull that felt as though it was filled with nothing but swollen splinters that were stabbing aches of consciousness through him; throbbing dully and metallically in his head, making his brain feel like a wrung sponge; drained of all moisture and left to crack in the arid sun.
The third thing he became aware of was the fact that his mouth didn’t taste like his own- apart from being dry and sticky, it tasted lingeringly of alcohol and smoky lemongrass; a strangely unfamiliar combination he was befuddled by- but all he was able to do was lay motionlessly in the airless warmth of tangled, askew bedding that clashed crawlingly with the cold morning air on his face, before finally managing to gingerly turn over onto his side with a small, feeble whimper of discomfort that crumbled the white, rainy silence.
He felt awful. His head pounded like there was an obscene, gorged heartbeat pumping in his skull. His stomach churned emptily and sludgily with the aftermath of a night’s impulsivities. His veins felt dry and papery, clogged up with dehydration. The only time he could remember feeling worse was when he’d woken up, bleeding, on the frosty forest floor after the gig a couple of days ago. At least this time he was at home-
With a jolt of panic, Frank ripped his sleep-sticky eyelids open, wincing as rain-swarming grey light assaulted the sensitivity of his irises and sent a slurring wave of nausea right through him. Blearily, with a weak sigh of relief, he deduced that he was indeed in his own, messy, navy blue bedroom. Upon realising this, he hurriedly shut his eyes again- but the harsh light remained skulking at the back of them, making their sockets ache with the tiniest movement.
Being very careful not to aggravate his throbbing skull, with great effort, Frank tried to push away the stagnant fog clouding up his inflamed brain and remember just exactly where he’d been last night- and why his dry mouth tasted of smoky lemongrass as well as stale alcohol. He vaguely realised that he couldn’t have been with Clarissa or Ray or any of the guys from the homework club, because they didn’t drink- or go out on school nights, which meant it must have been Robbie.
Like a gush of hot, sour vomit with nothing to get rid of, realisation seared through Frank’s porous thoughts and dry veins, searing him awake.
Obliterating the sleepy fog, memories interlinked and woven with the same smoky, lemongrass tang of rebellion that clung to his mouth tipped through his mind like a stale shot, filling his skull to the brim with an overload of memory, and he sat up suddenly in pure, groundbreaking horror, eyes wide, heart skidding to an appalled halt against his ribcage.
He had kissed a boy.
He; hardworking, straight-A student Frank Iero who never did anything crazy or different, had kissed a boy. Not just any boy. He had kissed Robbie; reckless, wise, quirky Robbie with his crazed punk attire and green hair and polka-dot eyebrows. He had kissed the wildest, weirdest rebel in the whole school.
And he hadn’t stopped at that.
His lower belly turned inside-out as he remembered the night with such painstaking, pulsating precision; he could still feel the sweaty slide of someone else’s skin against his; the gasps fraying his throat; the taste of salt and alcohol and elation, moist and hot in his mouth; the tugging crave for contact; the unbearable, amazing pleasure surging and pulsating through him like nothing had before; the thirst; the reckless desire for rebellion and the smoky gratification- the lips and tongues and sweaty hands and gasps and the unknown, amazing feelings it gave him…
Numbed shockwaves of horror drilled into ever blood vessel in his drained body as he realised the most terrifying thing of all- not that he had kissed a boy, not that he’d got off with a boy, not that it was Robbie- it was the fact that he’d loved every second of it.
The mere memory made his heart race and the pit of his belly turn itself inside out in an uncomfortable yet pleasurable way, making sure he couldn’t deny it and put it down to drunken impulsivity.
Trembling, Frank ran a clammy, shaking hand numbly through his tangled hair and blinked, heart pounding groundbreakingly. He didn’t know what to think, how to exist. For several blurred moments, he simply sat, staring with wide, golden eyes at the anguished rain that pattered in long, leaking droplets of grey, sluicing bleakly down the glass. Watching each elongated, graceful dribble of rain hitting the windowpane was like watching a silent enforcement of the groundbreaking fact he was coming to terms with.
His head still pounded, his stomach still swilled sickeningly, his eyes still ached in the dreary grey light, and his throat was still bone dry with dehydration- but he barely noticed any of those things as appalled, ice-cold goosebumps of realisation spread over his skin, numbing him into nothing but the whirl of gasping colour thrusting into his memory and wreaking havoc between the emotions of thoughts and feelings, tampering with the thin, already fraying line between them.
It was as though he’d woken up in someone else’s body and didn’t know how it functioned- his thoughts were all tangled round the heavy, dull pound of his brain, and his devastating emotions hacked undeniably through everything he thought he was.
He couldn’t like boys. It just wasn’t something he was prepared to consider- yet the evidence was overwhelming. Frank couldn’t bear lying to anyone, not even himself. Even when he hated the truth, he was always painstakingly honest. Lies only confused everything and hid things like untold stories that were meant to be heard.
Numbly, in some attempt to escape the swimming horror in his head and return to reality outside his thoughts, Frank turned shakily to look at his bedside clock, wincing as his head twinged painfully at the sharp movement. It was ten past eight. Tuesday morning, October 15th 2011. What should have been just any other boring autumn school morning with the roads awash with bullets of rain and wet, flightless amber and brown leaves that might once have been wings.
But it wasn’t. This should-be normal day was mangled with a huge, poetically morbid tear all down the middle of it, splitting its unfitting skin, making all normality and everything Frank knew was slowly bleeding out.
You can stitch a wound back up- but you can never get lost blood back.
The darkest, most blackened souls don’t pick at the stitching of your choices. They yank and rip at the stitching of who you are, scrabbling at the fraying thread until it unravels completely and is wrenched from you like bloodied intestines.
And they don’t stop unravelling you until the pure red is mottled and infected with oily, black sins- sins that turn everything murky and you’re not quite sure whose sins are whose anymore, because it’s all just stained that same defiled, dark red.
If this had been a normal day, it was nearing the time Frank usually left to catch the bus for school- only he was still hiding under his duvet and listening to the rain, wondering what to do. He felt piercingly alone- a feeling he wasn’t used to. He hadn’t technically lost anyone, but he felt so distant from everyone now- distant from what he’d considered himself.
He wasn’t sure what to do. School seemed so blissfully simple, so far away from everything he was ensnared in. It was only a bus ride away, if Frank could peel himself out of bed, but it seemed light years behind him. The safe, studious little Frank Iero who was in charge of the Homework Club and spent hours revising with his girlfriend was dead, and he knew he couldn’t hang onto him. He didn’t want to hang onto him, but he was scared without him, because he didn’t know who else to be.
He could return to that, if he wanted, and never listen to The Black Rainbow Lies again or speak to Robbie…But he knew that would be the biggest mistake he’d ever make. He needed to go into school, no matter how tough it was- yet when Frank thought about retreating to his social status and sitting on the cheap, synthetic seats in the airless bus, it sent spasms of panic through him.
Running a clammy, trembling hand up through his tangled hair again, Frank stared blankly at the long, soulful droplets of cold rain rolling down the window pane, the panic rising up inside of him like vomit.
He couldn’t face school like this; his exterior smashed into debris spelling out something he couldn’t read yet, his thoughts mangled, his heartbeat clashing with his pulse. He couldn’t face his friends from the Homework Club or Clarissa or Ray. He thought fleetingly of Robbie’s quirky, glittering turquoise eyes and smirk, and knew he especially couldn’t face him; the mere thought sent a gush of terrified shivers right through his gut and turned his blood to stone.
It wasn’t because he thought Robbie would want to continue things or tell everyone or judge him or be snide about things. That wasn’t him, and Frank knew it.
It was because Robbie would understand.
Frank couldn’t face that. It would make the whole thing too real. He knew it was, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to try and ignore it for now. It was too much to process straight away- he needed time to sort the tangled mess that was his swollen head out and figure out what he wanted.
School was too much to ask of himself today.
He guessed his other option would be to stay, cooped up in his uncharacteristically messy room with the navy curtains half-drawn across the bleak, pouring autumn world while his skull throbbed and his stomach churned. The thought constricted his breathing, as though staying in a room that may as well be someone else’s, choked with his avalanche of new thoughts would suffocate him.
It was at that moment one thing dawned crystal clear amongst all the raging turmoil inside of him;
He needed to escape. He didn’t know where, but he knew that much.
Everything else was muddled up and confused and tangled with barbed wire boundaries that weren’t sure where they lay anymore, but that sole thing was blindingly, obliteratingly clear in his mind. He needed to get out of this house where his own skin was slowly suffocating him.
So, ignoring the grinding protest of his dehydrated skull and the nauseous churn of his stomach, Frank threw back his duvet and stumbled dizzily to his feet, lurching towards his closet in blind search for clothes, as a panicked, desperate plan began to piece itself together in his mind.
The scariest things in reality are those you cannot outrun, no matter how hard you try. The scariest things in reality are those you cannot hide, no matter how much you swathe them in lies.
The scariest things in reality are microscopic, twisted little dark-scarlet dust particles contaminating your shadow with bloodied dust. The scariest things in reality are messy streaks of red, staining your footsteps to whorls of black rust.
The secret was the scariest thing in his reality, because it wasn’t just something that rotted his core and wormed bloodless maggots into his soul; it was part of him- a part of himself he loathed and despised and hated, wished he could hack out.
But he couldn’t.
The scariest things in reality are part of you.
Because that is the one thing you can never truly escape.
He was halfway across the chaos of his shadowed room, clean clothes in one shaky hand, schoolbag in the other, when he suddenly caught a flash of something in the mirror on his dressing table and stalled instantly, eyes wide.
The boy in the glass was a smudged, washed out punk. His eyeliner had run, his styled hair now flopped around his face in dark ringlets, shadowing his already swollen eyes and making them look bloodshot and dead. His mangled shirt and velvet waistcoat were crumpled and askew, and his jeans weren’t done up, showing off slightly frayed, stained boxers and a line of pubic hair.
Frank swallowed numbly as he felt hot tears sting and well up in his eyes, a thick lump rising in his throat at he looked at a reflection he didn’t recognise. Lip quivering, he pushed a trembling hand up to his forehead, pressing fiercely at the worry-lined skin as though he was trying to hold together an image that was already dead. He turned away sharply, not able to bear looking at the reflection anymore.
Tears made salty trails down his dirty cheeks as he ransacked his wardrobe for a pair of his usual blue ripped jeans and a baggy black hoodie. Snivelling and trying to swallow down his rising panic, Frank yanked off the outfit Robbie had given him last night in the way one might tear off a skin, and pulled on his own clothes, before glancing back apprehensively in the mirror.
More hot, salty tears spilled down his cheeks then, despair choking him, because the clothes didn’t fit him, they felt baggy and uncomfortable, just like he did. He looked exactly the same as he always had done, only a little more rumpled and exhausted- yet everything was different. So, so different.
His school uniform hung just behind his reflection on the wardrobe; a skin he could never occupy, because it was just an outfit made of expectations that didn’t fit.
Tears blurred the reflection and the lump seared in his throat as, with a stifled sob, Frank bundled a woolly jumper, some books, his iPod and a notebook into his schoolbag, one thing steely and determined in his mind. He needed to run, to leave it all behind and escape to somewhere everything couldn’t torment him.
But it was the one thing he could never truly escape he wanted to the most.
September 3rd, 2006.
The day had been just like any other. It had been raining fiercely all day, the droplets slicing through the cloud and the polluted oxygen like the blade of a misguided knife, and the school corridors had been made darker and dingier than ever from the dullness of the day. There was a muggy, tainted quality to the air, like someone was slowly draining out the oxygen from the greyly bloodstained clouds.
He’d been nervously pacing the empty corridor down towards the common room in the middle of fifth period, jumping uneasily at the way the grimy lights flickered, reflective on the linoleum floor as the rain slashed viciously at the windows. The corridor appeared deserted, but he never trusted the silence. It was deceiving, and the darkest things are always waiting to ambush you when you least expect it. He certainly hadn’t expected there to have been anyone in the common room.
But there was.
“Frank,” Linda Iero said in surprise, looking up from her breakfast as Frank stumbled guiltily into the kitchen, hair all in his face to hide the tearstains and grime, heart beating sickeningly in his chest. He didn’t trust the quaver in his voice to respond to his mother’s surprised and slightly cold greeting.
“I didn’t hear you get home last night…Are you off to school?” Linda frowned, putting down her piece of toast and Marmite and surveying Frank closely. “Are you quite alright, honey?”
Wordlessly, Frank nodded, exceedingly grateful that his father wasn’t in the kitchen and he didn’t have to face the consequences of last night just yet. He still didn’t regret defying him, though. That was one of the few things he didn’t regret.
“Your lunch is on the counter,” Linda told him, sipping from her earl grey tea and returning to her book. “And when you get home, your father and I would like to talk to you about what happened last night.” Her voice hardened at this, and Frank knew he was in for a tough time.
Still silent, he nodded again, not trusting himself to speak. He shuffled across the kitchen, stuffing his packed lunch into his schoolbag before grabbing his set of keys from the bench beside the back door and pulling on his raincoat, as the cold grey rain was still running icily down the windows and creating violent, murky puddles on the yard outside.
“Have a good day,” Linda said a little anxiously, watching Frank’s subdued stature with concern.
“See you later,” he mumbled, nibbling his lip as a pang of guilt shot through him. He didn’t pause before wrenching open the back door and stepping out of the warmth and into the bitter, pouring rain that slashed down on the grey rubble of the farmyard, bouncing with force. With a shiver, Frank zipped up his raincoat and strode across the colourlessly bleeding concrete, hoisting his schoolbag onto his shoulder without looking back. The rain severed into him with its steely coldness, but for once, he didn’t mind. It made him feel more alive.
His heart beat fast in his chest, hot compared to the iciness of the cutting rain as his feet wended the automatic path up into the bare, sodden woodland under the pessimistic, dark grey sky, the waterproof fabric of his cagoule rustling irritatingly as he moved. The sharp tang of rust and the softer, rotting smell of decomposition swirled together in the thin, heartless breeze of pure coldness that rustled the half-soaked leaves on the muddy ground and echoed off the emptiness, and for once, Frank was glad of the lonely feeling. It was safer. Soothing.
He reached the disintegrating fringes of the autumnal forest just in time to see the school bus pull away back onto the road and chug off down the rain-soaked road, windscreen wipers battling the pouring weather. In the backseat, he could see Ray and Clarissa exchanging notes and talking seriously- and then suddenly, Robbie’s face appeared, pressed against the rear-view window, turquoise eyes full of concern. He was making gestures at his phone and at Frank and waving haphazardly, expression urgent.
Then Clarissa’s haughty, pretty face appeared beside his, scowling at Robbie before gesturing incredulously at Frank, half anxious, half furious. With their faces blurred from the glossing of slurred rain on the window, they looked like two ghosts that would always haunt him.
Frank blinked, eyelashes spiked with the icy rain crashing down around him, and watched until the bus trundled around the corner and out of sight, and his heart had sunk like a chipped stone into unending black water.
Robbie’s face remained in his mind a lot longer than Clarissa’s. Those turquoise eyes that had reeled him in last night, blazing and kind and quirky all at once.
Furiously, Frank swallowed and clenched his fists, turning back towards the forest. He wasn’t going to think of last night now. He wasn’t going to think about Robbie or Clarissa or anyone. He was just going to walk and feel the rain running like tears down his skin for as long as he wanted with the illusion of freedom, yet actually making him feel as trapped and edgy as Gerard Arthur Way probably felt.
Gerard Arthur Way. The name shot through Frank’s bloodstream with a jolt, as he wondered where the skeletal, skittish-eyed man who had saved his life was now. Frank didn’t know why, but he simply wasn’t afraid of him. Before Saturday night, he’d have been terrified for his feet to be meandering through the pulse-rusted forest with the wet, scrabbly black branches brushing at his skin and the rain soaking everything, alone. But now he felt sort of…peaceful. Like it was safer than anywhere else.
Frank’s rhythmic footsteps on the mushy ground and his roaming thoughts were slashed to pieces as his mobile started ringing, the tuneless ringtone harsh and unnatural in the peaceful mouldering woods. With freezing fingers, he fumbled in his raincoat pocket and fished it out, heart pounding as he looked at the name that flashed up on the blueish light of the screen, dulled instantly with the slashing, charcoal grey rain that spattered down on it.
Frank let out a deep breath that spiralled out icily into the misty rain around him like his own personal soul-smoke, and put the phone up to his ear, feeling his heart-rate increase dramatically.
“H-hello?” he stammered, voice sounding small and vulnerable in the vastness of the tangled, spindly forest and the cutting rain.
“Frankfurter! What’s going on?” Robbie’s voice was all broken up with bad signal, but even with the distorted crackles and the rain crashing down around him, Frank could hear the concern in the other boy’s voice.
Frank opened his mouth to respond, blinking back the rain coursing down his face, but then he stopped, because he had no idea how to respond. Instead, he sighed and bit down anxiously on his lower lip, tasting blood.
“Frankie? If this is about what happened last night, please don’t stress. We can forget about it if that’s what you want. It never needs to have happened, okay? You don’t need to feel embarrassed or anything.”
Frank swallowed thickly. That was the thing- he couldn’t forget about it. And just for today, he wanted to get drowned by the rain and forget. Tomorrow, he could face it all be embarrassed and shatter his parents expectations, but for now, he just needed to walk in the rain and let its sluicing October tears dampen his thoughts like the rotting parchment bark on the trees and the once fluttering leaves crushed on the ground.
“Please speak, Frankie. I’m worried about you, and I feel really bad, okay? Please just tell me if you’re alright,” Robbie’s voice crackled into his ear.
Taking a deep breath, Frank pulled the phone and Robbie’s smoke-husked voice away from his ear, stared at the luminescent, artificial light of the screen in the dingy light of the bleak forest for a second, and then pressed the end call button. His phone beeped in acknowledgement, but then everything was silent; so deafeningly silent, with the pouring, freezing rain that shrouded the whole countryside in dank, dour mist.
Frank let out a small, shuddery sigh and stuffed his hands in his pockets, tilting his head up to look at the falling needles flowing from the thick, bitter cloud and the gnarly tops of the spindly deciduous trees and soaking into the sunken canopy.
Ravens circled eerily overhead, their black, scraggly wings flapping ungracefully. Their thin, reedy cries sounded through the vast loneliness of the woodland intermittently, echoes lasting in the decomposing silence until the next cry.
The stained silk cloud cried like it could never drown the world in its sorrows enough, tears rolling voicelessly down the stark trees, coating them in colourless knives.
The wind hissed and spun through the spindly trees, snatching at the remaining, wispy rusted leaves and casting them to the floor to rot in silence.
Silence. Just the soulless cry of the ravens echoing off the rain and the hiss of icy moisture seeping into the damp earth. No other pulse, no other heartbeat pumping vivid red in the honeycomb of skeletons and autumn.
He was alone.
September 3rd, 2006.
With the rain pouring down outside and his hand frozen on the door, he saw The Secret for the first time. The secret that would define his entire future, and whose repercussions would rip it to jagged bits of smashed prison bars and spit black blood all over everything that mattered.
But in that split second, if he could, he would have bottled that moment in time, standing agape in the common room doorway- because for a split second, he understood why he was tormented and laughed at and belittled by this twisted being.
It was because they were the same.
For the first time in his life, he felt a pang of empathy for what had made his life a living hell. The explanation- the secret- was right there, staring him in the face, entwined illegally in blood-mottled ecstasy, shocking, terrifying; an image he wanted to be able to cut right out of his own mind, because it crawled repulsively inside and tainted everything. It just stood there before him, screaming out, shrieking, carving itself into his eyes and making the blood from the lacerations besmirch the floor.
It was a strangely satisfying feeling, to know that the thing he was taunted and tormented for day after day was something he shared with the thing he feared most. But he also hated it and wanted to claw it from his innards and throw up until his stomach was bleeding, because it was the one thing that made them alike.
In the end, it wasn’t The Secret that was the trigger on the gun that killed her.
It was him.
But it was The Secret who had turned him into a bullet.
As a kid, Frank had always walked when he was upset; stubborn, stomping little feet unwinding his anger and frustration and all the emotions muddled round it until there was one sole thing left in his mind after all the dead bone was chipped away.
He wanted to say that’s what he was doing now, but he had an underlying feeling of guilt that he was simply running away from what he was too scared to face.
Rain pelted down on his back, thick and cold and grey, tipping from the turbid sky and freefalling to the decomposing, muddy forest floor of mushy leaf corpses and squashed, mouldering red berries. It was as silent as ever, excluding the uncomfortable lullaby of October rain that rolled bitterly down the bleak bark of the naked trees. It was sort of soothing, though- just the sound of his fevered, frantic footsteps stumbling through the pine needles and brambles.
Frank wasn’t sure how long he had walked for by this point, feeling the cold rain on his skin, the wind searing past his face, listening to the lonely, desolate call of the ravens and the hiss of rain seeping, soaking, silently into the ground- all he knew was that slowly, as though part of the rainwater that was chilling him to the bone, he had relaxed a little, the tense thoughts having unwound a little, although there was the underlying, nagging feeling of running away, marring his solitude.
He mulled over the gaunt, green eyes of Gerard Arthur Way, and wondered what it would be like to be constantly running away from something. He wasn’t sure he could do it- but then again, he wasn’t anything like Gerard Arthur Way. Thoughts of the escaped convict kept Frank preoccupied for the next mile or so, as he frowned, trying to uncover exactly what it was about the whole case and those bloodless eyes screaming in their sockets that fascinated him- and didn’t scare him.
The rain was getting thicker as the skeletal trees thinned out and he trudged through a particularly muddy puddle into Sanguine copse. Sanguine meant ‘blood’ in Italian, and Frank had always thought the copse was named that because of the amazing, blood red colour the light would turn in late autumn, when the sun was glittering through the trees, sighing, dying, and turning the dusty floor gold and scarlet from the fallen leaves. It was beautiful- like the sun was melting into the ground.
But it wasn’t warm and fiery now; it was just bleak, cold and bitter; sodden, mottled amber and bleak mahogany and curling browns and rusty oranges, the icy cold rain pouring down, cutting into the bark of the stark trees heartlessly.
With a small sigh, Frank ground to an exhausted halt, slumping down against one of the mossy tree trunks and taking his glasses off to wipe away the flecks of rain and mud from his fierce walking. Despite the heavy feeling in his stomach, he was really hungry from having walked all morning in the bitter coldness, so, with hands raw and red from the skinning October wind, he fumbled with his schoolbag and got out the cheese, tomato and basil baguette his Mom had made for his lunch.
Shivering in his soaked jeans and cagoule, he drew his knees up against his chest for warmth and leant back against the cold, fraying bark of the tree, tentatively chewing his sandwich and watching with great interest the way the rain fell from the stained-silken grey clouds, as though the sky had been grazed and now clear, dancing droplets fell from its wounds, like invisible fireflies.
It was really beautiful. Cold, bleak, dying.
Frank had never really though rain and dingy, eerie mist and dead leaves could be beautiful before, but it suddenly was- more than a perfect summers day with the swallows soaring through the blue canvas sky, because it was all flawed and made up of rotten leaf shards, unique and subtle.
Frank suddenly found himself itching to pin down the untamed beauty of the world around him and swallowed the last bite of his sandwich without chewing it, hunting eagerly in his bag for a pen and paper. He wanted to capture everything- like bottling a memory; the rusty, exhilaratingly dying world with the vivid sunset of leaves oozing eerily into the ground and the rain creating a mist of grey bullet-shells between the sky and the muddy ground.
For the first time in years, Frank put a pen to paper out of freedom and forgot about everything; rain, time, feelings, not feelings. But Gerard Arthur Way lingered in the back of his mind, just like that little itch of curiosity that never left him alone.
October 15th, 2011
Grey bars were now replaced with mossy branches. Airless sins were now replaced with smothering oxygen. Blank walls were now replaced with curdled autumn skies. Confinement was freedom- yet freedom was confinement. The Secret still clawed through his mind and hacked chunks from the truth, tainting everything he knew with rusty, black blood. Instead of running in his nightmares from subconscious demons, he was alive, awake, running through his own pulse for a life that was already dead.
The Secret was always with him. It was as twisted as people believed he was, but he would never put it to words.
The secret was simply the bit of the story no one had- or would- hear, but from which he would always be running, trying to catch, trying to evade.
Frank completely lost track of time as he sat, getting drenched in the icy rain, the rusty smell of autumn a ghostly tang in his senses as he sat, weaving and intermingling words and senses onto the paper, fingers numb with cold, glasses blurred with raindrops. The rain had thickened and the mist was denser and colder when he paused to wipe his glasses clean, but he barely noticed before returning to his words.
Suddenly, his concentration fumbled as the sound of distant barking percolated the porous mist, and he sat up attentively, pen poised over the page, eyes wide as he listened harder, ears straining through the crash and hiss of rain. The barking was getting closer, tearing through the silence, snapping at the wind, sending thrills of adrenaline straight into Frank’s bloodstream.
October 15th, 2011.
He was running again, really running. Sometimes it was temporary things he could escape, sometimes it was things he never could. But there was always something to run from; for his unsteady feet to pound the decomposing forest floor relentlessly, for his breath to snag in his lungs; his chest to burn and his throat to gasp for the air that poisoned it, claw-like branches of autumn grabbing at him, scratching his sin-scrawling skin so as the red dribbled thickly down the canvas, faster, faster, faster….
As the sound got closer, hounding in him, Frank realised his heart was pounding fearfully against his ribs, pulse fluttering and jumping as his ears strained through the thickly falling rain in vain attempt to understand the rapidly approaching horrible, gut-twisting feeling of danger that pelted down his veins more chillingly than the seething rain.
His eyes swept the horizon, but it was clouded with the misty rain and clawed branches that encircled the copse, trapping him in autumnal blindness. The barking was getting closer still, rupturing off the leafless trees and the rain, tearing a gash all the way through the silence, along with the wet rustle of branches and leaves underfoot.
Someone was running- someone was being chased.
Someone getting closer and closer and closer…
October 15th, 2011.
His arms caught on the claw like branches and tangled with the brambles as he flung himself blindly through the rain slicing into his skin and rolling down his skin, washing away any sense, washing away everything except for the thumping adrenaline. He could see the trees thinning out ahead, tapering away into a misty copse, and he made senselessly for it, feet thumping even faster than his heart.
Frank was really scared now; his heart beating hotly and wetly and wildly alive in his chest, just seeming to taunt danger. He was on his feet now, whirling round wildly, desperately trying to see which direction the crashing of branches and the fiendish, echoing barking was coming with, but it was all obliterated with mist and dagger rain and bloodied leaves and he couldn’t see.
The sound was in the copse now, screaming out of the mist and into view in a blur of black and brown and fear and teeth and gaunt, obliterated green. All Frank could hear and feel was the fevered, terrorized pound of his heart as something warm and human shaped slammed into him, gasping.
With a shriek, Frank whipped round and was met with those whimsical, skeletally sin-skinned emerald eyes and nervous, skittish energy. He knew who it was instantly, but barely had time to think, because the barking was homing in on them both and then Gerard’s fingers were suddenly tightly laced through his, long and steely and ice-cold.
“Run,” he whispered wildly, desperately, skin ghost-like, almost transparent in the dank, misty light of the forest- but his eyes were startlingly wide and terrified and screamingly green in his hollowed-out face, holding onto Frank’s as though their lives depended on it.
And then he was yanking Frank through the woods, running and running, the rain and the wind like one giant blade slicing at their skin, slicing right through them as they stumbled through brambles and over ditches, under bushes and round trees, Gerard’s ghostly ice fingers still laced fiercely through his as they ran and ran and ran as if they were never going to stop. They tumbled through all the dead leaves and the stark branches and bullet-shell raindrops and they were running, running, running, through the liquid satin and the firefly corpses and their own heartbeats until Frank’s lungs burnt and his heart screamed and his feet were nothing but a blur beneath them.
Well...there you go- they've finally met properly. Okay, so like I said, I have a really important question I need to ask you about this story. I can't tell if it's just 'cause I'm completely lacking confidence at the moment or what, but I'm not really sure if this story any good. I'm not saying that to be attention seeking or shit- I really mean it. I don't know if it makes sense (although admittedly, the Gerard bits aren't really meant to make a lot of sense yet) or feels real or just...I don't know. I'd really like your opinions on what I should do:
b) Ditch it and write something new.
c) Start re-writing it, and then continue once that’s done.
Honest opinions would be very much appreciated, thank you- and I'd also love to know your thoughts on this chapter if you don't mind...I hope you guys enjoyed, thanks so much for reading, I love you all :'D