WIP Wednesdays | Dinner Date Excerpt 4 | 6/21/2023

Ah, murderboy monster brooding POV.

Dee is pretty vulgar, so, uh, watch out for that.

Diederick can’t see, smell, or hear anything but woods for miles. There are definitely, definitely animals and insects and the like, but standing here, he can pretend a fuckton of trees is all there is. The cool wetness that comes with the twilight air makes his skin prickle. He buttons up his jacket. It’s not like there’s anyone around to see how nice his chest looks out here. He surveys the area around the cabin he broke into, trying to see if there are any other dwellings within shouting distance.

He sticks his hands in his pockets, too, and touches the wallet inside the left one with his half-numb fingers. The right one’s just got lint. Neither keeps his hands warm. He shouldn’t have gotten so used to wearing human clothes. If he could just strip down naked and run around like a wild animal, things would be so much easier.

And, well, he could. He just doesn’t want to. He thinks about it, really thinks about it. He ate a wolf’s DNA back in his old life. Older life, now that the phase with that girl is over. It wasn’t the whole wolf, just a little bit of fur that stuck to the inside of the throat of his human form. He could use that now, but the thought of turning into something furry and smelly and asshole-licking doesn’t appeal to him at all.

Besides, humans are the dominant species on this planet. They control everything. Diederick likes control. He likes being the best. He also likes having opposable thumbs. Ergo, he does not turn into a wolf to cavort around the woods. He’s played too long at being a person, or at the very least a person-shaped thing. Mom would be so proud. Or maybe she’d be annoyed that he wouldn’t use his malleable body to its fullest capabilities. The older he gets, the more he realizes he never quite understood her.

He gets tired of looking for people who aren’t there and turns back to the cabin. Outside of it is the battered white Prius that he carjacked and inside the Prius is the trash from a McDonald’s order meant to feed a family or perhaps a single depressed person. The confrontation with the Uber Eats driver he hustled went well, all things considered. He didn’t kill him. That’s a step up. He’s on his way to being a productive member of society.

Inside of the cabin it’s sparse but livable. The view through the front window has a peekaboo view of the ski town at the base of the mountain, desolate in the off-season. It’s perfect for someone who wants to hide. And he does want to hide, he needs to be away from everything and anything, but he’s also so fucking bored. Diederick knocks over a fragile-looking vase on the kitchen counter and is dissatisfied at the way it cracks instead of shattering.

He collapses onto the sofa in front of the fake fireplace, sticks his hands in his pockets again, and continues to run his fingers over the time-softened edges of his leather wallet. Inside is his falsified driver’s license, six dollars, and a crumbling coupon for a Mexican restaurant several towns over he found in the car. His fingertips keep pressing to the hard edge of his ID. On it is his favorite face, the one he wears right now. He has several more IDs in the glovebox of the Prius.

The girl questioned him back when he had her make his last name “Hunt” on a couple of them. She couldn’t possibly know that, by all accounts, it can and should be his last name. Dr. Hunt insisted on him calling her his mother, at least when they were alone. “Mom,” even. He called her “Mommy” to needle her, though he suspected she liked it, except when there were other scientists around. Then it was always Dr. Hunt. She had too many names and titles. Dr. Hunt, Lily, Lilith (she didn’t like that one even though it’s what her nametag said), Ms. Hunt (she didn’t like that one either), and once or twice Ms. Strickland (she really, really didn’t like that one). She explained to him in a moment of uncharacteristic bluntness that Strickland was her ex-husband’s name. At the time, Diederick had no concept of what a husband was, much less an ex one.

All he knew was she had so many names and at the time he didn’t even have one, just a string of numbers: 987. He was so stupid back then. So naïve. So selfish—and, well, he’s still selfish, just in a different way. That selfishness led him not to question for a long time whether or not there was anything or anyone else like him. Whether there were a numbers 1 through 986.

And, well, there was. And some of them are still around. But he’s the only one who matters. The one who got out.

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