The Height at Five Nights
The Height at Five Nights is a story written by TK Hoshikuzu. It ran in Issue 63 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/342093.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/the-height-at-five-nights/.
Two dummies go camping.
Details I wish had made it into the story:
- Oscar is what you'd call 'fashion-conscious.' Since he can't make his scars disappear, he focuses his outfits and 'look.' He isn't embarrassed by his arms, but he hates the stares and awkward questions. He'd rather receive attention for his overall bearing, which he himself likens to a cross between street/modern with generous amounts of leather.
- Damien also cares a lot about his physical appearance, since he wants to come off as normal as possible.
- Oscar speculated that Damien was a werewolf, but I imagined something more like the skinwalker folklore. Actually Damien is abandoned remnants of government gene experimentation. The desired outcome was natural animalistic camouflage for stealth missions, but most subjects died or were as good as. Out of a group of younger subjects, Damien alone seemed unaffected by experimentation. After depleted funding and changing public opinion, they left Damien in foster care with former lab staff. His childhood was fairly innocuous, since the lab was in a rural area, and as far as he knew, the 'vaccinations' and subsequent fevers/aches were necessary. At age 13, puberty triggered the first change. Out of control and unable to understand what was happening, he killed his caretakers in his new form. Police reports say a wild animal attacked, but Damien had a feeling he was related to their deaths. In his new foster home, he tried to stay outside as much as possible until he could figure out the mechanics of his transformation. The tipping point, where he realized how uncontrollable and dangerous he was, occurred when he ran across a father-daughter pair of campers in the woods. The specifics too tragic to describe, he woke up from his transformation and, to his horror, threw up their remains. He suffers a mix of deep self-hatred and selfish desire for happiness. Subsequently, he believes Oscar is connected to his redemption, so would literally do anything for him.