Fun house mirrors and corrective lenses, frames, prescriptions, contacts and polarizations. There is something wrong with your eyes.
You are wild and fun and twirling, a pinwheel in your hand. It flashes bright against the sunny sky, brighter reflections of sparklers later that evening. In the daylight, you(more) see fine.
You are exhausted, you are sick. You are fatigued and wretched and hurling. There is something in you that wants desperately to be out. It will claw its way through you to find freedom, it will shred you in the process. For now, all you can choke out is your food. Your face in the mirror is pale and your lips are shaking. Your night vision is terrible. (less)
crouched somewhere deep in the thickets of grass and ragweed is theo, hunched over, his suit coat tossed aside into the banks of the river while he slowly bleeds through the soft cotton of his shirtsleeves.
"theo?" avery sees the tuft of blond hair over the steep inclines(more) of mud and shrubbery down the side of the ravine, and he follows with a quickened pace to his steps. "theo?"
the boy is curled in on himself. closer up in the waning twilight avery can make out the deep, bruising indents of bite marks still seeping blood through his shirt. they are undeniably human, laying themselves out in no discernible pattern, but brutal enough that they seem to spell out a message.
"don't touch," they say. "not yours."
avery brushes a hand over the boy's forehead, and he's dripping with cold sweat, shaking underneath the gentle caress of his arm.
"who did this?"
one of the lenses in theo's horn rimmed glasses is cracked, spider webbing out to obscure the boy's left eye. he reaches a shattered hand up to brush at it, quivering like a leaf as avery attempts to haul him to his feet.
"Get away from me!" Levi yanks his arm back violently, stumbling backwards and falling against the wall. "Stop touching me! Stop it!"
(more) It's 3 in the morning, Lucy is asleep, and Selmo doesn't know what to do anymore. He'd seen Levi do this before, of course, but this particular hallucination had never been quite this violent.
"Levi, please, relax, it's okay..."
"You're not even real!" Levi's words are venomous, he's glaring daggers, and for a moment it slips Selmo's mind that Levi can't actually see him and know he's physically there.
"Tell me what's wrong, Hummingbird," he pleads. "I want to help."
"Touching me- stop- touching- make it stop!"
At a complete loss, Selmo does the first thing that comes to mind. He pulls the sheet off their bed, draping it around Levi's shoulders so it's covering the man nearly completely. "There, now nothing can get you."
Levi believes it, and Selmo finds himself about to pray to a God he'd long before stopped believing in.
After pulling at the sheet so it was completely covering him, Levi curls up quietly on the floor, shaking hard. He doesn't want Selmo out there alone, he want him safe under the sheet with him, but it takes a good ten minutes before he acts, reaching a hand out from under the sheet. Once Selmo takes his hand, he pulls him down gently until his beloved scientist gets the hint and joins him under the sheet as best he can, clinging to his shirt so he can't leave.
"It's okay, Levi," Selmo hushes, petting his husband's hair. "You're safe, you're safe, we're safe. I promise. This is real."