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[ fabricated memories of nonexistant touches ]
Ichabod stands, back straight as a board, hands clasped together in what´s meant to be a loose grasp. The knuckles are white enough to give him away, but the room is so dimly lit that the horseman probably won´t notice them. So, Mr-- ah--
The manic smile´s almost enough to make him cringe, but he draws on years of facing judges that would sooner yell at him than listen to reason to keep his face passive. Hessian.
Yes, Mr. Hessian--
No, the man says, those jagged teeth flashing like tiny daggers, each one telling Ichabod run, run, never look back. He ignores them. Just Hessian.
The Constable tries to smile but knows in the back of his mind it´s much more of a grimace. Hessian.
Has a nice ring to it, the horseman says, shrugging and grinning. Means mercenary, you know. Not really my name at all. More of a job title, actually. But I like the s´s. So-- serpentine.
Ichabod finds it hard to breathe. He watches the horseman smile at him, those translucent eyes boring through him even as they twinkle with amusement. He wonders briefly why the horseman´s good humor would make him even more uncomfortable until he remembers that often times killers derive pleasure out of torturing their prey. He fights the urge to vomit.
Hessian, why are you here?
The horseman steps forward, regarding the Constable with a cool gaze, his eyes traveling over his face. You have wonderful cheekbones, Ichabod. You´re a very pretty man.
Ichabod chokes out a laugh, stepping back and immediately regretting it as he hits the wall. Feeling trapped, he watches helplessly as the horseman grins at him with a raised eyebrow. I would ask you to please step back, Mr-- ah-- Hessian.
Oh, the horseman says, taking a quick step back. Do I make you nervous with my proximity? He smiles again and Ichabod wonders if there´s ever been an uglier smile than the one he´s faced with right now. I can´t imagine why.
Why are you here, Ichabod says again, this time much more forceful. His voice warbles slightly, but he hopes it seems out of anger rather than fear. You are not welcome here.
Ichabod, the horseman coos in a low gravelly voice that sends shivers down Ichabod´s spine. I never thought you were so rude.
Why-- Are-- You-- Here?!
Research, the horseman says, his grin widening to showcase more jagged ugly rotten teeth. I know how much you like figuring things out logically. I am here for you to pick my brain.
Ichabod´s face twists up in disgust the thought of that, his mind conjuring up images of scalpels and brain tissue, his stomach lurching. I have no interest--
Not literally of course, the horseman continued, his hands clasped behind his back as he walks around Ichabod´s sparse living quarters, surveying it. Figuratively. I´m here for you to question me.
Ichabod shook his head. I´m afraid I still have no--
I hear you, Ichabod, the horseman said, turning to look at him with a doubtful look. I hear you at night, tossing and turning.
Ichabod´s eyebrows raise, but he manages to keep the panic contained to within in his body. You hear me?
Yes, the horseman says. Why does he do it? Will he stop now that he has his head? Did he actually enjoy robbing people of their heads? Has he passed over or does he still roam the land? Five years, and still you question. The horseman laughs, shrugging again. Though, the answer to the last is clear, isn´t it? I mean-- I´m here, aren´t I?
Ichabod´s shoulders have sagged and he´s leaning against the wall in earnest now. How could you possibly know that? I´ve not said it outloud to anyone.
The horseman steps within a foot of him, bending down so that he´s eye level with Ichabod. We´re connected, Ichabod. You and I.
We´re not, I have no part of you. We´re completely separate entities.
The horseman smiles. You returned my head, Ichabod, he says, laying a cold dead hand on Ichabod´s shoulder. The icy aftermath spreads throughout Ichabod´s body, making him shiver. We´re connected. Forever.
Ichabod shakes his head. No.
The horseman´s smile turns into a leer. I hear your thoughts, Ichabod. I hear the things you wish no one to know. How you think of Katrina´s hot trembling flesh when you´re at work
Ichabod let out a squeak that would have been embarrassing if he´d been less scared, and charges to the middle of the room. Out! Get out of my room! Get out!
The Hessian merely smiles at him, walking closer and closer to him until he is cornered between his desk and the wall. His eyes flick to the side and he sees his dagger laying just near his left hand.
Calm down, Ichabod, the Hessian says, even making words without sibilance rattle with a serpentine sound.
Ichabod lunges to the left and grabs the dagger, pointing it at the Hessian´s heart and stepping forward. Get out or I´ll kill you, he says, his voice almost sounding half-convincing. I swear I´ll do it.
The Hessian laughs, his hand coming up and fingering the blade lightly as he licks his lips and looks at Ichabod. Your mind´s not that feeble, is it Ichabod? You disappoint me. He leans forward, the stench of death reaching Ichabod´s overly sensitive olfactory nerves. No one can kill a man who´s already dead.
Please, Ichabod whispers as the Hessian extracts the dagger out his fingers and discards it to the side, advancing on him again. Please go.
Deathly grey hands pin him to the wall as the Hessian steps forward, leaning into him and smiling in a way that causes a chill to run through Ichabod´s bones.
Ichabod´s eyes widen. What?
Ichabod feels his fingers go cold and his toes go numb. How how did you He pauses and takes a deep breath. He closes his eyes, unable to look into the Hessian´s unnaturally blue ones. How did you say that? Your mouth didn´t even move.
No! Ichabod pushes the hands off of him and tries to step forward, only to be shoved violently back into the wall. We´re not connected! I want no part of you!
Too bad, Ichabod, the Hessian whispers, and thankfully for Ichabod his lips do indeed move this time. You are the one who returned my head, and I am indebted to you.
Ichabod lets out a pathetic moan, his eyes squeezing shut. Stop saying my name like that.
It´s your name, Ichabod. Why should I not say it?
Ichabod fights the chill trembling through him and opens his eyes to glare at the undead thing before him. Because I do not wish to be referred to by name by homicidal maniacs, neither dead nor alive.
Oh, Ichabod, the Hessian hisses, his hand rising to stroke a finger down his cheek. You´re so skittish, and deathly pale. Is it me, or are you always this way?
Ichabod begins to reply but stops when he feels a warmth spread as the Hessian´s hand runs down the length of his arm. What´s more disconcerting is the fact that the hand that it would have been is still within his sight, and still cupping his cheek. He feels the nonexistant hand splay over his hip and his breath hitches, his throat frozen in fear.
Ichabod clamps his mouth shut and shakes his head. No, he says, his voice shaky and uncertain. I feel nothing. You have no power over me. I feel nothing.
The hand moves lower and centers itself over a most inopportune place. Ichabod swallows violently, bile building in the back of his throat as he feels the thing that he can´t possibly be feeling rub his cock. Stop it, he whispers. I feel nothing.
Never! His eyes fly open as the hand clamps harder around, he horrifying realizes, his hardening cock. Leave me alone! Go!
You think no one knows, the Hessian says, reverting back to the conventional way of conversing. You think no one knows what your heart desires, but I do. You think no one notices the way you look at young Masbeth, whom is no longer so young, and is no longer scrawny.
Ichabod´s eyes widen, his jaw going slack. How do you
The Hessian raises his eyebrow again. Need I really repeat myself?
Ichabod shakes his head, lowering his eyes in shame to the floor. I don´t believe you. You´re wrong.
The Hessian leans forward, his tongue flicking out and licking Ichabod´s ear before whispering in it. You think no one knows what you dream of when you must please yourself. That no one knows that the pleasure your wife brings you is nothing in comparison to the pleasure thoughts of young Masbeth do.
Shame washes over Ichabod as arousal dulls his thinking. His cheeks flush as the Hessian lowers his hand, the one of flesh and bone, and replaces the nonexistent one with one of actuality. The Hessian runs a thumb down the length of Ichabod and he curses himself when he is unable to keep the mewl that escapes out of his mouth at bay.
Stop, he whispers, and doesn´t allow himself to question whether or not he means it.
The Hessian laughs, running his jagged teeth lightly over Ichabod´s collarbone. Relax, Constable Crane. This isn´t real. This is a dream. It´s all in your head.
Ichabod wants to believe that, and the swimming in his brain makes him think maybe it´s true. It´s light outside though, and he´s been awake for hours. I thought you came here for me to question you, he manages to get out, his voice hoarse and barely audible.
I´m full of shit, Ichabod, the Hessian says, and Ichabod can feel his smile spread against his neck as his tongue runs up to lick his ear again. Tiny nibbling bites trail his tongue and Ichabod wonders briefly if he´s breaking the skin. The dead aren´t under the same constraints mortals are. We have no conscience. No repercussions.
Ichabod´s moan is distant to his own ears and he feels as if he´s no longer on Earth, as if he´s on in some dreamland that is simultaneously nauseating and arousing. This isn´t happening, he whispers, his hips bucking forward into the Hessian´s hand despite himself. It´s a dream a nightmare some strange sort of sleep-deprived vision I´m having wherein a horseman who´s formerly headless is trying to rape me for some unknown sick and twisted reason that only he knows
Not rape, the Hessian says, pulling back and looking at him. I haven´t the equipment to rape you.
Ichabod frowns, still refusing to open his eyes even though he feels the Hessian´s boring into him. Comforting.
Come on, Ichabod. It feels good, doesn´t it? I can tell. I can hear your thoughts, feel your conflicted emotions. Give in to it. Give in and allow yourself to feel the pleasure.
Ichabod opens his mouth to protest. To finally fully resist and push the Hesisan off of him, and run away if that´s what it takes. Surely the ghost of the Hessian can´t chase him through the streets of New York in mid-afternoon. Instead he moans in surprise as the hand rubbing him increases it´s tempo and his head falls weightlessly back against the wall behind him with a thick thwack.
Stop this stop this right now.
Shut up, shut up, shush
You´re but a boy, Joseph.
No no, I musn´t.
Oh oh, dear God.
Ichabod laughs, his eyes still shut tightly. You can stop using the boy´s voice now.
Ichabod frowns as hands grab his shoulders, his eyes opening and staring into the visage of Masbeth´s fine features. Joseph!
Masbeth steps back, regarding Ichabod with a worried frown. Are you alright, sir? You´re shaking.
Ichabod clears his throat, shaking his head. I´m quite fine, Masbeth, he says, clearing his throat again and stepping around the boy before closing his eyes again and raising a hand to swipe over his face. How long have you been here?
Only moments, sir, Masbeth answers. You called my name, and I came to see what you needed.
A psychological examination, Ichabod mutters to himself.
Masbeth steps before him and places a hand on his shoulder. Sir?
Ichabod tries to smile, shaking his head. Nothing, Masbeth. Go back to your studies.
But you called me.
Ichabod feels his face flush as the fabricated memories wash over him again. Go, Masbeth, he chokes out, walking quickly to the confines of his own room. Return to your studies!
Yes sir, Masbeth says, a smile appearing on his face. But if you need anything
Ichabod lays his forehead against his closed bedroom door, breathing through his nose and cursing himself for the erection that had been reawakened by Masbeth´s touch to his shoulder. I shall, Masbeth. Go on now.
Things were quite unwelcomingly confusing now, he decided.