Yes, I said Teen Wolf fanfiction. I had a phase, more recently that I care to admit, where I binge-watched the show and started a fanfiction about it. I was planning to turn it into a Gothic novel parody, in which each of the characters embodied some sort of Gothic archetype: the madwoman in the attic, the tortured artist, the imprisoned monster, that sort of thing. I never got past the first chapter of the story, which is what I’m presenting here.
Dreaming. He was dreaming, trapped in a nightmare. He could almost taste the damp, smell the stale air trapped with him down here, feel the thick cold iron wrapped around each wrist, chaining him in the darkness. He could feel walls closing him in, but couldn’t see them, could only see the thick suffocating dark. Stiles’ voice. The only thing keeping him sane was that voice. So loud, like Stiles was there in the dark with him. Oh god no. They couldn’t have imprisoned Stiles too. They? Who were they? He growled and strained and growled again, almost roaring. His rage kept him sane too.
“Scott…Scott McCall…Scottie…Scott my man…SCOTT, WAKE UP!”
The dream broke and shattered. He stirred in its remnants, like a phoenix rising from ashes. Only he felt a whole lot more like hell than a phoenix. Besides, phoenixes—phoenixi?—didn’t drool in their sleep.
“Stiles?” he groaned, trying to wipe his mouth but failing. His hand had fallen asleep and wasn’t much more than dead weight at the moment. “Do you have to talk so loud?”
“Yes, Sleeping Beauty, because you were thrashing around. Did you kill something? No, don’t tell me, I don’t want to have nightmares myself.” He gathered several books off the floor and dropped them unceremoniously at Scott’s feet. Scott must have kicked them off in his sleep.
“How long was I out?” he mumbled.
“Oh, only a couple of years,” Stiles replied. Scott glared at him and he sighed heavily. “What’s going on with you anyway? You almost fell asleep in class, you’ve barely talked to me all day, and now this. Tell me.” He balanced one leg on his other knee and leaned forward, arranging his posture to look like a psychologist. “Tell the doctor, Scottie.”
Scott had been dreaming. Dreaming about a monster. And the monster was him. The dream came rushing back, flooding his head with images. He was no longer the only living being in the labyrinth that had been his nightmare. There were other faces now, unfocused, like he was seeing them through a foggy window. One of the faces abruptly came into focus. It was Lydia.
“Stiles…” he began and licked his lips. “I think something is going to happen. Something that involves all of us. And it’s…it’s not going to be like anything we’ve ever been through before.”
Stiles leaned back in his chair. “Well, that’s just peachy. Great way to spend a sunny afternoon, wondering what out-of-this-world thing is going to happen next. Lovely.” He sucked up the last bit of soda from his to-go cup, being careful to make extra noise, and slam-dunked it into the trash can. He sighed again and ran his fingers backward through his hair. A frown creased his face and he cocked his head to the side. “How do you know all this?”
“I dreamed it,” Scott said. “Just now.” He flicked his fingers outward and looked absently at the claws that appeared there. “But it’s not just a dream. It’s going to come true. And soon.”
“How soon?” Stiles asked in a low voice. The room dimmed as clouds obscured the sun that moments ago had been shining. Not ominous at all. Not a bit.
That question. That was the one Scott hadn’t wanted to answer. All he knew was that his dream, the one in which he, Scott, was chained in darkness that smelled of rot, the one in which the sight of Lydia’s face made him freeze up, that was all going to come true.
Scott took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Tell the truth, Scott. Tell him. He should know.
“In two days,” he said.
He relayed the news the next day. Ten minutes between history and chemistry: not the ideal time, but it was good enough. Jostling among Yoda-sized backpacks and sharp corners of plastic binders, the two of them found Kira. She was taking notebooks out of her locker while cradling a soda in the crook of her arm. She looked hot. In a temperature sort of way, of course. Scott glanced around and desperately hoped no one had seen his eyes glow.
“So, Kira,” Stiles said nonchalantly, which just emphasized the fact that he was feeling far from it. “How’s it going?”
“Hi!” She smiled. Oh god that smile. Then the smile disappeared and a frown took its place. “Okay, come on, you’re not even trying to be fake, Stiles. You know that.”
Stiles threw his hands up and let them drop in defeat. “How is she so smart?”
“Kira.” Part of him wondered why were they making it such a big deal. It was just a dream. Of course he had bad dreams. Their lives had basically been a nightmare for the past few months. But it was so real, so horribly real. It was as if Scott had really been there. Wait…he glanced down at his wrists, covered by his slightly-too-long sleeves. He peeled the ends back.
His wrists were red. No, purple. Purple bands wrapped around them like bruises. What the heck. It couldn’t be. No way. His heart rate sped up. Whatever had happened—and he had no idea what—something like that should have healed by now.
“Stiles…” he muttered, turning his back to the crowd. “Look.” He showed the marks.
“What?” That was from Kira. She looked up at Scott, puzzled. For once, he didn’t register her look. The sounds of the crowd around him started to fade, like his ears were being stuffed with cotton.
“Dude,” said Stiles. Then: “Lydia! Get over here!”
Scott’s heart leaped, then seemed to stop beating, leaving him chilly all over. Lydia. Her face in his dream. Her face in his dungeon.
She headed straight for Scott and grabbed his arm. “Did you get it? Did you get my message?”
He swallowed, trying to get his tongue working again. Seriously, he’d been through way crazier things than just being locked in a dungeon. At least he wasn’t being electrocuted. But he couldn’t shake it. “What—what message?”
She sighed and rolled her eyes, but her face was pale. She locked eyes with him, searching him. “The dream. I sent you my dream.”
“The one with…well, the one where you—”
“Where I’m chained up in the dark, completely alone except for you? Yeah, I got it.” He glanced around nervously. The halls were emptying. They had to get going. “Listen. Something’s coming. I have no idea what, but this is just the beginning—Lydia?”
Her hands were shaking. She held them to her face, smearing her lipstick and not caring. Her eyes focused on something none of them could see, something far away. “When is a door not a door?”
“Oh my god, not that.” Stiles reeled away from the group, clutching his forehead. “There’s no freakin’ way I’m going to be possessed by an evil spirit again. I mean, ADD is bad enough—”
“When it’s ajar,” said Lydia whispered, ignoring him. She looked around at them then, and her eyes were huge. “We’re all going to lose ourselves.”