Behind Closed Eyes, Part I


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Scene Title Behind Closed Eyes, Part I
Synopsis Part of Teodoro Laudani's bargain with the Nightmare Man is paid off.
Date October 7, 2009

Rain is something that can clean, something that can wash away, something that can make the dirty clean again. The cold rain that falls from overcast skies does neither to the broad shoulders of one lone man. Standing on browned grass with his head bowed, William Dean's company is relegated solely to a myriad field of headstones spread out as far as the eye can see, a low-lying ground fog pooling around his ankles, thick enough in some spots to make it look as though the grave markers themselves are resting on clouds.

Rain rolls down Bill's forehead, dribbling off the tip of his nose and the bottom of his chin, it blurs his vision as much as tears do in some ways. Cold fingers tremble at the large man's side, his neck tight with stress and emotion, looking down at the name etched into the face of the headstone he stands in front of. Rolling his tongue over the inside of his cheek, Bill tries to suck up those feelings, draw them in and cut them off like he has so many times before. On this cold autumn afternoon, it simply isn't that easy.

"S'not what I wanted…" His words come out as a mumble, the babble of syllables rolling off of tired lips. "This ain't what you shoulda' had." That cold rain reminds him with pin-pricking chill that he is here, that the headstone he stares down at is real. Though the last time he came to her grave in Sleepy Hollow was so long ago. It almost feels like a distant memory, and the harder he reaches out for it, the more it slips through his fingers.

"This isn't what you wanted?" The voice causes Bill to jerk to attention, awkwardly stumbling towards the headstone as he looks over his shoulder to see a woman's form moving through the low fog. Blue eyes grow saucer-wide as he bumps into the grave stone, staring at the blonde woman approaching him across the dead grass. "You practically begged for this, didn't you?" She is something unfathomably impossible, a gaunt woman with sunken cheekbones and dark circles around her eyes, chin raised imperiously as she stares down her nose at her former husband.

"E— Ev— " Bill's stuttered words come only when he focused on the front of her body, where her clothing is shredded as soundly as her abdomen, a trail of intestines dragging down by her feet, slicked with dark blood that rolls down in thin rivulets along her jeans. "Oh Christ," his jaw trembles, one hand bracing back against the headstone as he freezes, watching her approach. "This ain't happenin'— s' can't be happenin'."

Not faltering for a single step, Evelyn's progress towards her husband is a slow, torturous one, the ragged ends of severed intestines dragging limply behind her like the trail of a bridal gown. "Bill…" she says sweetly, in a small and soft voice, "baby," by the time she's in arm's reach, Bill's body is trembling with fear and revulsion. His stomach turns in knots, and his eyes wrench shut when her warm, wet hands come up to smear her blood across his cheeks in a loving caress. "You did this to me."

"No!" His scream cuts the air like a knife, reeling away from her blood-slicked touch, stumbling head over heels as he tumbles over the tombstone, landing on the damp ground with a squelching noise. The fall knocks the wind out of him, and when his eyes snap open to see where she is, it's bright sunlight that greets him. The graveyard is gone, but the tangle of tomato plants he's fallen into still do nothing to ease his cognitive dissonance. "Wh— what the f— "

It's only on furtive glances when he sees the people approaching him, sees neighbors he remembers from Sleepy Hollow marching towards him with furious looks in their eyes. The shouting finally washes over his ears, as if he'd gone momentarially deaf. The shout, a primal scream comes when one of the housewives picks up a pair of gardening shears and lunges towards Bill's prone form. "Oh God no!" He cries out as his hands come up to defend himself, thick fingers gripping at the fabric of her blouse at the shoulder, another hand pressed to the woman's forehead, holding her backas her mouth opens with stringy strands of saliva rolling out between spread jaws as if she were to take a bite of him otherwise. "Fuck! Oh God no! Stop! Stop!"

Legs kick and thrash, and terror truly sets in when Bill feels hands grabbing at his ankles, dragging him through the garden and away from the woman. One of his arms is snared by another neighbor, held down fast to the vegetable garden he lays in. "Oh God— Oh God— Oh God— S— Stop for the love of Christ!" His voice goes hoarse with the scream, remembering this event from a different perspective. His eyes swivel towards the woman with the gardening shears, sweat beading on his brow as he struggles wildly where he lays. "For the love of God, stop please!"

He's begging now, begging like so many victims of Humanis First have. It's with that thought that he finally makes out what the neighbors are chanting as they draw his limbs out and hold him down. "Freak! Freak! Freak!" Their eyes gloss over, and BIll's struggling — despite his great size — is unable to wrench him free from their grasp. "Oh God help me please, no!" The woman with the shears raises them up into the air, a frenzied look on her face, and behind her with the sun behind her head like a halo, Evelyn watches with a dispassionate stare as the shears come down, embedding themselves in Bill's fat stomach with a rupture of flesh and organs, spewing blood out in a thick drooling pool.

"No! No! NO!"

Kicking and screaming, arms thrashing wildly, Bill's eyes snap open as he feels a fist strike across the side of his face. The sudden and sharp pain sends a jolt thorugh his body, makes him realize how much his chest aches and his throat hurts. He feels hands on his arms and legs, eyes grow wide as he stares up at the face of a young man with a buzz cut in an unbuttoned camouflage jacket. "Fucking calm down you stupid son of a bitch!" The anger in his eyes is palpable, even as Bill stares down at Danny— one of his own men.

Laying on the concrete floor of a warehouse, blankets tangled around his leg and several feet from his cot, Bill is restrained by bruised and cut members of Humanis First. His brow is drenched with sweat, the front of his pants soaked and down one side of his leg. His chest ries and falls in pained breaths, wheezing on the edges as he looks frantically about the room. It's only then that Danny and the others seem to calm down, and Bill's eyes settle on the handgun on the floor nearby to them.

"What the fuck's wrong with you?" Danny shouts, grabbing Bill by the sides of his fat face. Looking over to the coat rack near Bill's cot, he sees the shoulder holster for his gun empty, then snaps his eyes bacl to Danny. "What the fuck is wrong?" When Bill finally stops struggling, his men begint o loosen the grip on his extremities, watching him warily. Bill's exasperated gasp for air comes as his now free hand moves to wipe sweat off of his forehead.

"I— " He can't quite put it into words, looking around at the toppled over folding table and kicked over chairs. "Wh— what the fuck happened here?" His blue eyes snap back to Danny, confusion in them as he swallows tightly again. Danny's head shakes slowly, moving over to pick up Bill's gun and hold it shakily at his side.

"You flipped out." Danny's words are sharp and terse, "You were sound a fucking sleep— " he waves the gun towards the cot, "and then you just started fucking shouting and went straight for your gun. Silvestri was able to get it out of your fucking hands after you fired off a shot at where he was sitting at the table. Took five of us to tackle you to the ground and hold you down, then you just— started crying and pissing yourself."

Bill's fingers curl in the tangle of blankets, pulling them up to cover that obvious shame on his pants. His breath exhales shakily, eyes darting around the room at confused and angry expressions of his men. "It— s'a fucking nightmare," he hisses out between his teeth, the word sharp on the tip of his tongue, "s'just a fuckin' nightmare…"

Staring down at Bill, Danny's expression does little to change the fact that he's so very put off by every single facet of tihs. "You best get your fucking self under control, Bill. Danko's going to be coming here to discuss the plans to get Hunter and tell us how the hit on the mayor's son went." Brows narrow, and eyes assess Bill intently. "You better not fucking crack on us now… not when we're gearing up for what's coming."

Swallowing noisily, Bill nods and wipes his head with one shaky hand. "Give me some fuckin' privacy to clean up…" Bill mumbles out, mortified. Danny just nods slowly, not giving Bill's gun back as he tucks it into the back of his pants. The othe rmen just murmur amongst themselves, suspicious stares given out to Bill as the fog of rage clears from their minds. Had that gone on much longer, they might well have beaten him to death trying to get him to stop.

Watching his men move to the open bay doors of the warehouse, Bill breathes out a sharp exhalation and slouches over to his side, bringing one hand up to cover his face as he falls down onto his shoulder, exhaling a ragged sob that is sucked into a shuddering breath.

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