Part 1

He peered around the doorframe of his bedroom, watching them come through the front door. His heaving chest pressed into the solid wall. One hand splayed out on the wall beside him, and the other gripped the doorframe. His hands increased in slickness as he watched them.

Strangers. The taller one was gangly and glaring. The shorter one had darker, fuzzier hair.

Simon thought he should maybe go for the smaller one, but the larger one looked nicely chewy. Thinking of the chewing made his mouth water.

"Simon." That one was Louis. He knew the sound of the light-topped one, and he also knew that "Louis" was that one's name. Yes, Louis.

And he was Simon. Louis was calling him to the strangers.

The light-topped Louis one must have brought these new ones here as food. He slunk from his hiding place and out into the wide room. The couch separated him from…

Those ones, who he thought…

He didn't know. Never mind.

"Remember Mick?" said Louis. "Alexander?"

Simon swallowed his drool in reply. He looked between the strangers: Hair sort of his color, and darker. Brains inside. Yummy.

But these must have been the visitors Louis had told him about some time before. Friends, not food.

Simon was disappointed. He had been expecting more pretty nurses, when Louis had said "visitors."

"He looks really out of it," said the taller one. Simon thought maybe this one was mean.

"A little," said Louis.

"Or a lot," said the other visitor, the not-so-mean one.

"He looks really fucked up," said the meaner one. Simon staggered the long way around the couch. That one looked especially lean. Everyone watched Simon as he came to stand next to Louis.

"Hello," said Simon. He had to swallow. His jaw quaked with anticipation. He thought his stomach felt empty, but he was never sure about that anymore.

"Uh, hello," the darker-topped one said. Simon thought this one greeted him shiftily. This one would be easy to knock over. "How are you, Simon?"

"Gud," Simon choked out. Simon then coughed a bit.

"That's good," said the dark-topped one.

There was a quiet space, and Simon began staring at the mean lean-meat one in front of him. The space gave him time to set himself into motion: Push down. Then squeeze his throat closed. And then tear up and eat. Yum.

His hands reached across and landed on the meaner one's chest. Flattened there, he would have shoved, but then the light-topped one pulled him back so fast.

"What the fuck?"

Simon was grumbling at Louis, who was always so fast. Louis held Simon back against his own chest, keeping arms pinned down with wrapping arms.

The meaner one was glaring now, and the other looked surprised. Alerted.

"You know what?" said the glaring one. "Simon's far gone." Simon watched carefully as this one pointed at his forehead. The pointing finger touched his skin, thumb pointing downward. "We could just kill him, Louis."

Simon angled his head upward and tried to bite. But, his snapping jaw would not reach the fingers at his forehead. The meaner one withdrew that hand, yet he remained so close. Nervousness started to overwhelm Simon, and he thought it was because the meaner one was going to hurt him.

He should be aggressive first. Louis' arms were a bar against his, so he squirmed against them. He started to hiss, spitting out his frustration and fear and fury at the mean one.

"Stop it, Simon!" Louis was squishing him closer against his chest.

Simon continued to struggle.

Louis dragged Simon back even while he seized in that one's hold. Simon was shoved and pinned down on the couch cushions. The weight of the light-topped one kept him from kicking, and then Simon was rolled over onto his back.

Unable to move, made immobile, Simon glared back at the visitors, who were glaring back at him.

"I dunt like oo!" Simon told them. "Mm gun ta eat yeh bith!"

"You should go," said Louis. The light-topped one sounded tensed and upset. "He's better than this, I swear."

Under Simon's glare, the mean one stomped out. The other nodded and followed. Louis then lifted his weight off Simon, and Simon realized he hurt.

"Ow," whined Simon. "Urm." Except, it wasn't solely his arm. He felt icky in his stomach and his head ached. Also, he'd made his throat burn.

"You -must have pulled it." Louis' voice sounded upset. "I…guess you weren't ready for them."

Simon missed his visitors, and he felt bad about misbehaving.

"Kin they come back?"

Louis didn't reply right away, and then he didn't answer Simon's question. He instead asked, distantly, "Hungry, Simon?"

Simon wouldn't answer Louis' question, either.