On the Couch
Fear was a strange thing to Palmer. He’d never
really thought much about it before other than the occasional sci-fi or horror
story. But now that things had changed he had to deal with this visceral
A part of him, the part that he might once have
called his “duality” or his “id” or one of the other plethora of terms he’d read
in all those off-beat magazines, was fully aware that he was probably going to
die in the next few minutes. That part of him, the part that was Palmer
was afraid. He didn’t want to feel the fire. He wanted to LIVE!
The Other Part however, the part that thought
of Itself as “We,” was already hatching plans to get Them all out of this mess.
He knew It was angry, and he knew that They…”We”…would probably kill some or all
of the men he’d once worked with. Palmer found that really uncool but he
knew it was how it was. A look of resignation crossed his face as the thought
slid through his mind.
Both of Them knew what would happen when the
burning metal came close to Their blood, separated from the Whole. They knew
that the mindless cells would scream for life and in so doing endanger the We.
Palmer guiltily tried to help the We figure out
how to escape. In the fleeting seconds left to him, he thought of everything he
knew about the men who were now his would-be murderers.
He knew that MacReady was the most dangerous, a
rough-and-tumble cowboy at heart…who would torch him, and for that matter the
others if necessary, in a heartbeat and without a second thought!
Then there was Windows. Nice enough guy. But
he knew Windows was scared. As scared as he was, hell maybe more. When the
moment came, Windows was the weak point. Somehow he had to get Windows between
he and MacReady. Even if Mac DID torch them, maybe Windows would catch the
brunt of the fire and allow Them to…do something to get out of this alive.
The test was almost here now. The We was
almost bursting with violence. It wanted to kill them all. Kill them and BE
them. It wasn’t even really hate. It was just a primitive NEED. Palmer wasn’t
sure that It really knew fear, at least like what he was feeling right
now. He knew he wasn’t really Palmer but damn it if he didn’t still
THINK like Palmer!
Mac was heating the metal wire. Any second
now. What the fuck are We gonna do he asked his Thing side? It did not answer
but he felt a sort of internal lurch as It assumed command of every cell in
Their body. Whatever it was, it was gonna be…
SHRIEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!! The blood fled!!
The rapture of the change shocked Palmer with
its violence (and yes, glory) and the last thing he thought, as Palmer
anyway, was just this, “You gotta be fuckin’ KIDDING!”