[[cw: claustrophobia; also egregious liberties taken with formatting]]
I know it all. I know everything:
the little secrets that you keep.
I'm gonna haunt your dreams at night;
you'll have to hide those kitchen knives.
I̻͙͛ ̞̰̋ͦ̋̚s͖̮̯t͂̍í̗͉̮̼̻̊̑͒̔ͦl̤͌̓l̻ͣ̾̿̆ ͎̯̑g̫̠̈̀̏͒̊et̠̦͔͈̓ ͋̽n͍̱͖̠̥͋ͫ̓i̪̜̩̝̱ͣͫͪ͛̂ͨͬğ͙̝͊ͧͮ̚h̲̹ͣͭͣͣ̚
Johnny's running, it doesn't matter what from, only that he keeps
running, doesn't stop, doesn't look back, Orpheus and Eurydice but she's not a longlost love she's a m͖͉͖̏͒̽̂̓͒̚ọ̜͕̖̰̝̹̏͋ͪ͛́̂͆ṇ̝̲̫̱̯͇s͎̱ͯte̦̙͉̻͚͎͍ͭ̐͛̆͆r͉̙͔͖͇͇̋ͦͪ̐ͧ
and she's coming for him.
̺͇͍ ̮̱e̗̪̥̍ͩ̅̋̄v̹̪͍̪͓̤̗͌̈́e̪ͯ̌͐r̥̝̭̪͊ͨ̃̒ ̮̮̩̠r̤̺̖͚̰͚͂̓͗͋e̻̭ȁ̑̐̿ͣl̼ͣ̑͊ͥ̏ly̬͐ͮͮͧ̽̾
̘̞͇̻̮ ̎ͩg̯͇͇̲̰̙ͧͩ̾̉ͬē͕̗̣̪͙͖̙ͭ̐̇ͧt͖̅̏͗s̔̾̌̒̎ ̟̖̝͓ͩ̆̄̊ŭ̬̞̰̣̽̉̓ͫs̋ͬ̎̓ͪ̑̊e̠͚̭̼̎͂dͭ̃̒͊̿ͪ
̹̙̇ ̦͓͕̻͈̟͑t̩̮̺͙ͯͧ͐͒͂ͅó̤̤͎̭ͪ̄͒͐ ͉̦͕̣̮̯̂̽ͯͣn͚͍͛i͈̻ͦ̔̚g̬̟̤͖̺̿͋̏̆̾h̗͍ͦ̓̂͗ͨ̚
Echoes bouncing off the walls. The tunnel warps around him, dirt, brick, vile rotting wood, bending and creaking and twisting to narrow the passage up ahead, making it harder to move, forcing him down, hands in the dirt, crawling now, scrambling and desperate. She's very, very close.
F̟̹̙ͅͅȏ͇̙̈̈͐r̰̓ ̮͖̺̩̻̠͗ͨ̈͗ă̝̬͍͔̾́ ̉̉͋w͎ͭ̇h̼̟͉̠͕̻̲͑̽̾̓͗i̳͎͚̹͎̎͑ͪͯ̽ͫͫl͔͉͙̽̓̏
̥̦͓̖ ͎̠͇̬͈̤̲ͮI͓̳̞͛̾̔͌ͅ ̝t̅͑̓̾̑̏ͣr̬̻̐i͙ͯ̂̽̆̇̒e̩̻̩̦̘̪ͮ́͛d̞͗̌͂ͥ̒̒͊ ̻͇̥̖͓̘͉̄͐̍̏͊̌̔ẹ͎̠̼̫͇̥̏͐ͣ̆v̼͙̐̓ͣe͕͕̞̋̀ͦͭ
He's heard this refrain before, or maybe seen it? Typeset before him from his very own fingertips. That stupid story he never should have told. It keeps catching up to him. Again and again. Can't get away from it. It's in him now. The house
, the abomination of it, it's in his blood and bones, the tingle in his hands when he reshapes architecture like a goddamn monster, exactly like the thing that is chasing him, chasing himself. It's an ouroboros and there's no escape, inevitably, that's the way the thing works, after all. Escape would defeat the purpose. Maybe dreams are punishment for his lifetime of fuckup. Maybe they're reminders that nothing will ever change. Maybe maybe maybe.
̳̮̯̋̐i̳ͤͫ̂n̘͙̜̘͕͍ͥg̃͋͗̾ ̥̾m͈̭̳̗͇̓ͬ̈́̄ͅe̘̫̣̽̾̍̑ͫ ͧͬ̔̓ͣf̠̞͚̽̍̃o̤̩̩̓ͣr̹̩ͬ̍ ̠̣̩̣̙̌̽͐̔͒tͪͨ͋̍ö̭̼̝̪́͊̃o̫̯̞̾ ̗̻͎ͬ͐̔̋̀̓̑l͇͓ͬo͕͖̼̤̹̜͊ͦͮͯ̇nͦ͊g̬̤̪̪̝͕̊͂̄͋
̲ ͙͕̥̣͗t͔̤̦ͦ͑̑̉ͤ̚o̳̖̞̣ͦͭ̄̆ ͈̊́͒r͕̭͉̝̹ͭ͛̓ͭe̒ͩ̑ͣm̠̲̤̪̯̄̌ͩ̉̒̃e̘̜̦͔̪͈ͅ
writhes in the dirt, the corridor so tight now that it's pressing around him on all sides, oh god oh god, too small, too close, can't get a hand free to change it, can't breathe at all.
But still here. Still alive, for a certain definition of life. Dreamed up life. Pinioned and trapped in his little enclosure, worm on a hook, fly in a web, the tail of the snake. Devouring himself.
Things settle. He's scared, but not panicking. He's not sure he's still being chased. Maybe he's already caught. Maybe she wasn't behind him so much as all around, housing
him. Now she's trying to crush him. He's still breathing, in fact his breath is all he can hear now, hot and loud and heavy, but he can't shake the sensation of being smothered, wrung out.
And there's something else now. Something familiar. A little shift in the atmosphere. Hard to parse. Everything's more tangible now. Not a proper dream. He recognizes it all too quickly, too easy with all the traces left in him, sense memory lighting him up like a goddamn beacon. Oh no, no.
This is not better.He's here.