The Shadow Inside

by Amanda Sichter

I've been reading Benway. Things like this happen when I read Benway.

So, this story happened and I toddled home to check out my collection and sadly (for this story) found that the Beast had never been possessed by the Shadow King during the Muir Island Saga. However, I couldn't make this story work with any other character, so consider this as set in a slightly AU where the Beast was one of the ones possessed. Damn the rest of the X-Men for not being literate enough for my purposes!

Disclaimer: I'm still trying to work out why Marvel owns all these fantastic characters and refuses to do anything decent with them. Until they do I'm just going to keep on writing these stories. Not for profit, though. Sadly. Damn.

Deep down at the bottom of the sea, where there is no light, live creatures without eyes, without ears, without mouth, without senses. They do not eat, they do not breathe and there is only darkness and the cold, crushing weight of the world's oceans pressing them down.

I am one of those creatures.

No eyes, no ears, no mouth, no senses, just the dark cold place where I live and where the weight of the Shadow King presses me down and down and down into the dark and the cold and I cannot see and I cannot hear and I cannot feel and I cannot smell and I have no mouth and I must scream and scream and

Polychaete worms. They are mostly polychaete worms. Sedentary. They must be happy, if a worm can be happy. They cling to life, hold fast to it in a place where it can be snatched away simply by an eddy in the water.

I cling to life, cling to the shape of myself in the dark and I know that I can't be all alone, that they must be there out there oh please let them be out there let them hear me oh please hear me charles jean hear me hear me HEAR ME SAVE ME SAVE ME please please save me oh please

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair

Despair. I will not despair. There is always hope. Do you hear me, Ahmal Farouk? Are you listening as you see through my eyes, hear through my ears, whisper with my mouth? Do you know that you cannot make me despair. Cannot.



Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

Last night I dreamt that I had captured Logan and I had strung him between trees so he could not free himself and I sliced him open and cut out his entrails and roasted them on the fire and ate them as I watched him close up and heal so I could slice him open again and again and again - the vulture to his Prometheus, eating his liver day upon day for his sins, for my sins, for all the sins of mankind.

This is the part that the Shadow King takes, the dark part that lives inside us, in dreams, in hateful secret thoughts that scorn ethics and morals and longs only to do what you want, only what you want and to never, ever have to care about anything but pleasing yourself again. This is the part he brings out, that he gives control to, that he frees so it can walk in the world and hunt and slaughter and prey upon the weak and the innocent while the rest of you, the good human most of you, is locked in a small box inside your own head and there is no light and no sound and no escape, no escape, I cannot believe that there is no escape or I'll go mad, mad, insane, round the twist, doo-lally, bananas,

a - first letter of the English and other cognate alphabets, indefinite article

aardvark - South African burrowing mammal

aardwolf - South African carnivorous animal

Call me Ahab.

Call me Beast. Call me Henry McCoy. I am here, inside this box and I will not be crushed, I will not be destroyed, the Shadow King may have my body, but he cannot, will not have my soul, won't touch me, won't break me. I just wish that I could see, I want to see, to see, TO SEE, TO SEE, I WANT TO SEE

Oh, my stars and garters. Jubilee. I'm so sorry, Jubilee. It wasn't me. Do you understand, it wasn't me. It was him, the other him that was doing it, I'm sorry, don't cry, I'll make it better, I promise that I'll make it better if I can ever get out, if I can ever get the Shadow out, the Shadow who can hear me, the Shadow who let me see, didn't you, you evil-minded son of a bitch, because you knew I'd see what I was doing to Jubilee and if I ever get out I'm going to tear you into little pieces of psychic confetti and fling you out over the astral plane so you are never seen again. DO YOU HEAR ME?

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream.

I live for a dream. A Dream. A world in harmony, mutants and humans alike and I won't let you destroy that dream, Farouk. I won't let you have me. Won't let you touch me inside. I won't. I'll hold on as long as I can and I'll say no to you as long as I can.



Hear me. Please hear me. Help me. I don't want to do what I'm doing, I don't want to be the Beast, the Dark Beast that lurks, but the Shadow is inside me and I don't know how long I can hold on to me. Help me please help me.

It is dark and the weight of oceans is upon me.

The End


In the entirely unlikely event that you are wondering, the first lines are as follows:

It was the best of times . . . A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Call me Ahab . . . Moby Dick - Herman Melville
As I walked through the wilderness . . . Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan

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