Gotcha

Cast: Mairwen
Date: 5 February 2013

Mairwen really ought to have called for someone to walk her home….


London


It's a couple of hours before midnight, the sky is overcast, but the glow of the moon overhead still visible through the clouds. It's cold enough that everyone is an anonymous bundle of jackets and mufflers, but not cold enough to drive people off of the streets, yet. Having had to stay late at work to finish off a project that was due in the morning, Mairwen faithfully promised her holy escort that she would get one of her coworkers to walk her home, but everyone else left before she was finished. Now, all alone on the slowly emptying street, the fashionably dressed woman is doing her best to stay in the light, but that's almost impossible with the occasional streetlamp that's gone out. She watches the shadows, her sturdy umbrella clutched in one hand and her purse held tightly against her other side, as she quickly walks toward home.

It's a work night, and the streets are emptying rapidly indeed. Mairwen is probably about halfway home, the most direct footpath leading her through a small park and a copse of trees; the more urban path will take her past some not-so-nice sections of town. Either way, it's pretty dark out here, and beyond the occasional whisper of a breeze, it's quiet.

Mairwen doesn't really have any choice: She takes the path through the park. She does her best to avoid walking under the trees, but doesn't have any choice when the path goes through the copse. She pauses for a moment in the brightest spot availible just before she passes into the shadow of the trees, looking back the way she came, "Why didn't I take another route…" She straightens her shoulders and ducks her head a little as she turns and hurries forward, half running to get through the darkness as quickly as possible.

The shadows fall across the copse of trees, half-concealing a flowing and roiling black ooze that looks a little like ink and a little like motor oil, and moves more like the latter. It's sprawled itself across the sidewalk, thick and dark, almost like someone had carelessly dumped their car's old motor oil across the narrow footpath. If Mairwen isn't careful, she'll step right into it.

The Welsh woman is watching for moving shadows, not… oil? Mairwen doesn't notice the ooze until one foot lands in it as she takes a step, making a face at the fact that this pair of pink heels are probably now ruined, "Ugh…" She carefully tries to avoid the spill with the other shoe so that she can find somewhere to sit down and see what sort of damage she's done.

Before Mairwen can set that second foot down, there's that laughter again, dark and evil, and this time with a triumphant note. "Come to me, my pretty." Suddenly, the black ooze takes on a life of its own around her, sprouting tendrils that wrap around her ankles and legs, spiraling up towards her hips. They're strong, much stronger than they look, and if she looks closely, the substance is half ooze and half shadow, as if a shadow was turned to liquid….

"What-!" Mairwen starts when she hears the voice, looking wildly around for the source of the voice, even as the shadow-ooze starts wraping around her legs and up to her hips, "Leave me alone!" She swings her umbrella at the tendrils wrapping around her, hoping that, somehow, she'll be able to knock it loose so that she can sprint for the other end of the copse, "I don't know who the bloody hell you are, but leave me alone! I'm never going to 'come to you'. Get over it and go away!"

The end of the umbrella slashes through the ooze, leaving no trace on the metal tip, but the ooze that was parted by the blow re-forms around the open gash; soon, it's gone as if it had never been. The voice is coming from all around her now; it's almost as if the stuff has a hideous life of its own, grabbing for the end of the umbrella as if to pin and trap it. Curiously, its mass across the footpath has shrunk some, as if it's a living thing that is now converging around the fashionista, wrapping now around her waist and grabbing for her wrists as if to pin them as well. It's warm and cold both in the grip of this thing, and very, very alien.

"Let go..!" Mairwen is on the verge of tears, trying to fight her way free of the clinging tendrils. Her eyes are wide with terror and she grunts with effort to pull the umbrella free when the tip is caught by the shadow, "No!" She's screaming at the top of her lungs, trying to get someone's attention, "HELP! Someone!" She might know that there's not much hope of anyone coming to help her, but that doesn't mean that she's not going to try.

Around her, the sound of laughter becomes stronger, that laughter that's been teasing, taunting and tormenting her for weeks. The stuff is stronger than she might have guessed, but as she works free of one, two more grab her. By now, it's worked its sinister way up to her chest, pinning down her wrists with three or four of these little ooze-tendrils, the main line reaching now for her shoulders.

And … she can't feel her feet. It's as if her sensations stop at about her knees…everything below that is just cold.

"No…" Mairwen's voice is miserable as she struggles with all of her strength against the tendrils holding her captive, "GO AWAY!" She's starting to shiver, the numbness in her feet and lower legs making her even more panicked than she already is, "Go away and leave me the fuck alone!" She tries to wrench her wrists loose, actually crying now, "Let GO!"

"I told you you were coming home," the voice purrs in her ear from around her. Could the voice … be the thing? Or be part of it? It's hard to tell as it continues to slide smoothly up her body, now wrapping around her neck and reaching over her face. "Nobody is coming to help you, you know." It does, however, speed up now, moving to wrap themselves around her nose and mouth. It's suffocating, this ink-like material, and if she opens her mouth, it floods into it like drinking darkness itself.

"No!" Home is a nice little flat where Mairwen goes to practice fencing and brew mead. Home is a place where she occasionally designs some costumes or clothing for friends or as little jobs on the side, "I was already GOING home." The taunt that no one is going to come to her rescue just has her fighting harder; if no one is going to come to her aid, then she's just going to have to save herself! Then the ooze, the living shadow, is covering her face, flowing over her nose and mouth, and she opens her mouth to scream, again, gagging when the substance floods in, choking off her scream.

All Mairwen can hear is laughter as the substance floods over the rest of her, and the sense of cold and not-feeling has now extended up to her waist and is climbing fast. Is this what drowning is like? She can't breathe, she can't even scream…and as consciousness begins to fade, she may be vaguely aware of being dragged … downward, as if into the earth itself.

Mairwen keeps struggling for as long as her strength lasts, fighting to breathe past the ooze filling her mouth and trying to spit it out. She's muffled into silence. Her desperate struggles to finally still as she fades into unconsciousness and is dragged… somewhere else. Her last thought for her parents and how her loss is going to kill them, and to wonder if her brother will even know that anything's happened to her.

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