"Hold that light still!" Peter growled, as he nursed his bruised knee. Whatever happened earlier had knocked out the lights and now he and Carrie were banging around in the dark basement looking for the fuse box.
Carrie adjusted the flashlight so that its beam was directly ahead of Peter while he tried to locate the breaker. She eyed Peter warily, as he muttered yet another curse moments later. He was definitely acting strange – stranger than usual anyway. His typically keyed-up nerves had been slowly taken over by an irascible twitch. Always lacking in the social skills department, he had become just plain short-tempered and nasty over the last half-hour.
"Can’t you hold a single damn light?"
"I’m holding it fine," Carrie snapped back defensively. "You’re the one that can’t seem to walk straight!"
"You, stupid bit-" Carrie’s look quickly stopped him. Turning away, he continued to mutter under his breath and shoot vicious looks her way.
Carrie took a step back and then caught herself in surprise. This was Peter. They had worked together for over a year now. What’s wrong with him, she thought. She had no doubt that there was something different tonight with Peter. She had been willing to accept that the experience upstairs had knocked him for a loop. That experience had shaken everyone’s nerves. But never in all these months had she ever felt threatened by him.
The Peter she knew would never hurt a fly, he was far too timid. Still, as much as she tried to rationalize the situation, she maintained a good distance from Peter.
The light in her hand coughed twice, dimmed and then vanished. Damn! Carrie thought as the service hall went dark. She slapped at it in desperate hope the light would come back on.
"No good to me…you are absolutely no good to me!" Peter screamed to her from out of the black. There was a rush of air as Peter’s hot breath was suddenly in her face, his two claw-like hands choking her throat in a crushing grip.
"Peter!" She croaked, pulling frantically at the hands.
"They’re never any damn good to me!" The voice came out harshly as he shoved her into the wall. It was Peter’s voice, yet it wasn’t. It seemed as if something was merely occupying his voice, using it. At least that is what she prayed. She also prayed that Peter would snap out of it.
Suddenly the dark was palpable, thick and alive, probing at her as she struggled in Peter’s grasp. A low sound, like the buzzing of a thousand flies, seemed to spill over her. The blackness stirred, and she sensed tentacles twisting themselves around her: lifting her hair, brushing her check, touching her legs. Carrie gasped for breath as she felt this living darkness begin to envelope her.
"No!" she gasped as a sudden spasm of terror gave her the strength to ram her knee into Peter’s crotch. As she felt his grip on her throat weaken, she flung herself free. Carrie rushed off into the dark corridor, fumbling blindly. Her head pounded and her lungs burned, but she continued, heedless of the obstacles in her path. Behind her, she could hear Peter screaming strident curses.
"Come back here, bitch!"
"Peter!" she sobbed. "Please, stop doing this!"
"They always talk back!"
She suddenly felt a sharp pain slam into her leg, sending her stumbling to her knees.
"Aaargh! Oh, God! My leg!" Carrie forced herself up and staggered toward the stairs, which led back up to the kitchen. "Oh, God," she whimpered, pulling herself up the wooden stairs, "somebody help me!"
"Noooo caaannnn dooo," a sinister voice sang out from down the hall.
"Help!" she screamed as she reached the stairs. Then she felt Peter pawing at her blouse as he tried to snatch her away from the exit.
Suddenly, the door burst open to reveal the silhouette of Jason Williams.
"What the hell?" Jason reached down and dragged Carrie bodily up the last few steps where she slid across the floor.
"Call for help!" he commanded her. "Peter, what the –"
With a wordless growl, Evans dove at Jason and both men lurched back down the stairs into the abyss. Hitting the stairs hard, the two tumbled down and hit the floor with a shudder. Before he had time to react, Jason felt a fist slam across his face. He automatically swung into the dark where he sensed the other man was and felt his fist land upon a solid mass of flesh. Peter launched himself at Jason and the two fell heavily into the brick wall. Getting a grip of Peter’s wrists, he struggled to hold him off.
"Damn it, Peter! It’s me, Jason!" he called. "Snap out of it!"
"Die, stupid bitch!" Peter cried out in a voice suddenly so alien. "The Rephaim are coming!"