Dib walked down the sidewalk appearing more disturbed than he had since this had started. The lingering taste of Zim’s blood seemed to keep him in an almost trance like state as he walked almost unnaturally down the sideswalk. Of course, the boy’s unsettling demeanor attracted more stares from the people around him.
People went from being distasteful and scowling at him, to almost frightened and concerned for the boy. He'd been progressing so quickly to lunacy lately that some people believed it was time he saw someone about it.
This thought of going to see someone though seemed to be out of the question in Dib’s mind. He knew a doctor would only blame it on schizophrenia or just plain insanity and not even try to believe that something was actually going on. He would only be prescribed some drug to try and rid him of ‘the images in his head’.
Perhaps that's what he needed to stay sane though; receive some counseling and a bit of medicine, and he could stay alert and at least somewhat sane from Zim. As long as he could out-sane him, he could outlive him.
As Dib approached his home, he made the decision to call his father in another attempt to get him to listen. He knew what Professor Membrane would say, but he couldn’t live like this anymore. Besides, there may be the slight chance that the doctor might believe him, but that was far fetched..
Gaz screamed at the boy as soon as he walked into the door about her mess of a room, paying absolutely no regard to the fact that he was quite marked up and look distressed beyond belief. He didn’t seemed to hear her death threats though as he just walked awkwardly into his room, slammed the door behind him and let himself collapse on his bed with a loud groan.
At least one thing he didn't have to worry about was Zim coming to attack him... maybe. The deranged Irken might find a way to get to him anyway, even in such a critical state. After all, he had saved him, and in doing so expanded his torturous life to suffer on further.
Dib wasn’t sure if he regretted saving the Irken or if he was somewhat relieved by it. He had the chance to end this once and for all but he chose to save him, even if it only provided him with more psychological scars with more to come from future attacks.
After about ten minutes of laying motionless on the bed, Dib pulled himself up and reached for the phone on his nightstand beside him. He dialed his father’s number, but he didn’t bother bringing the receiver all the way up to his ear as he wasn’t expecting an answer. His father never answered his calls.
And, just as expected, the tone rang on for a while before he reached his automated answering machine. He hardly even checked it, just about as often as he actually answered the phone to his son. There were options though through the phone. "Press one if it is urgent, two for business, three for WORLD CRISIS, press five for emergency..." It continued on as such.
Even though the receiver still wasn’t pressed to his ear, he was still able to hear the options. Without a second though, Dib reached over and pressed the number three on the phone beside him since he assumed this would be the only way to get some kind of response.
Surprisingly enough, about five minutes later, an actual voice spoke up. "Hello, yes? This is Professor Membrane speaking!" He spoke, obviously having gotten the memo that there was an emergency.
It took Dib a moment to realize who the faint voice on the other end belonged to and he seemed to snap back to life now, pulling the receiver to his ear now. “D-Dad?” He stuttered.
"..Son?" Membrane spoke up, sounding genuinely surprised by his voice. "Are you miss using the phone again? There are separate lines here for a reason..."
“I know that.” Dib mumbled almost in annoyance, closing his eyes. “I also knew you wouldn’t answer the phone unless I claimed this call was about a world crisis.”
Professor Membrane, however, felt he did not have the time nor patience for this. "I'm far too busy son to be messed with right now if it isn't an emergency."
Dib’s distress seemed to be rising again as his voice started to get a bit louder and shakier. ‘It is an emergency! Some psychotic alien is trying to kill me every fucking day and no one believes me! I am losing my mind but you’re not here to see that!”
There was a stunned silence that followed after his last word echoed in the phone. After about a full minute of quiet, there was a long sigh on the other line. "My poor insane son..." He muttered. "I think you should see a psychiatrist Dib."
Dib grunted as he had expected this exact response from his father. “Could you schedule it then? As soon as possible..” His voice was a weak whisper now.
"Ah, of course son! I'm always happy to try and steer your mind away from those delusional thoughts of aliens and other fake science!" Membrane replied brightly. "I'll schedule it for tomorrow even! As soon as possible!"
Dib’s eyes opened into slits, staring at the ceiling now as he listen to his father speak. “Yeah.. Just.. Let me know where to go.”
"Of course son! The office should call and leave a message for you." Membrane replied, not seeming to notice or at least comment on Dib's strange tone.
Dib shook his head and and grunted in disapproval to the statement. “Yeah.. Bye.” He murmured and slammed the phone back on his desk. He continued to stare at the ceiling above him through narrowed eyes, reaching up to rub his head which was throbbing mercilessly. He was probably going to hear hell and back all night from his sister about her wrecked room. Now all there was to do was pray that Zim would stay away for the night.
Even if Zim stayed away from him, there was no way he could sleep tonight despite how exhausted he was. Even now when he tried to close his eyes and force himself to sleep, his lids would shoot open as if some contraption were holding them that way.
It was destined to be the longest night yet, with anticipations from both his sister and the alien. A little ways into the night, neither of them seemed to appear in his doorway or in Zim's case, the window.
The quiet night did everything but settle him. In fact, he was almost wishing Zim to climb up to his window just so he knew where exactly he was. Dib threw himself into an upright position now, blinking several times as it just now occurred to him that he had left his glasses at the Irken’s house. His impaired vision only caused him more distress since this only made him more vulnerable if Zim were to attack tonight... With that, he began to panic.
The only option would be to try and retrieve them from the house. Maybe the Irken would still be injured and weak, which would allow him to get them back. It was certain by the hour though that Zim was not going to be by for a midnight visit tonight.
Dib whined in agony at the terrible thought of going back, but if he wanted to be able to see clearly he had no choice. He took a minute to wrap his mind around going back to that terrifying house, then slowly raised himself from his bed and quietly tiptoed his way out of room and downstairs toward the front door.
After tripping and bumping into several things, Dib finally made it to Zim’s eerie base. He wondered how he had managed to walk so easily before but now he was having such a terrible time. Perhaps it was because of the darkness of the night now...
After much wavering, Dib forced himself to the front door of the inactive base, slowly pushing the cracked door open as he squinted to see through the thick darkness now.
The Irken was no longer lying on the floor where he had been left. There were bloody hand prints everywhere though, smeared on the floor and furniture where he had surely tried to pull himself up. Where his glasses had been were bloodied up too, absent now as the Irken had surely grabbed them. There was a bloodied trail of both hand and bootprints where he had tried to drag himself, though he was not in sight anywhere.
“Damn...” Dib growled under his breath upon realizing his glasses were no longer where they had once lay. The bloodied prints only intensified the already grim atmosphere as he walked deeper into the house, searching eagerly for his glasses so he could leave without facing another attack.
There were weak sounds of screeches and cries, but were far away from where he was. The Irken hadn't seemed to have sensed his presence either, nor was the computer cold hearted enough to alert the deranged invader of him. There was a door not too far away that had lots of claw marks down it and streaks of blood, both his and what was presumably Dib's, all down the what had been white door.
Though the sight of this door, along with the screeches, gave him undying shivers and heightening fear, Dib was drawn to it. He approached it slowly, running a hand down the marked and stained wood before slowly pushing it open and staring inside through squinted eyes.
The first thing that was noticeable was that Zim was not in this room. That was a small relief for what was in there. Scraps of cloth, obviously from Dib's clothes that could be pieced right back in even with the ripped shirt he wore now, were piled around. Clumps of hair, a chipped tooth, a lost boot, even notes and drawings from Dib's notebook that he had thrown at Zim in later years. The worst part was the smell though; puddles and pools of blood. His blood, enough to assault the senses and, seeing that a lot of the blood was old and dried and mixed in with these, it was almost like smelling his own decomposing corpse; enough to make a person vomit involuntarily. Right there, in all of that mess, the lenses smudged with bloody fingerprints, was his glasses.
The sudden smell was the first thing to send Dib into a daze, almost making him vomit where he stood. He stumbled a bit and backed into the door with his hands over his nose and mouth to avoid getting sick, which he was able to do after a moment of his stomach threatening to do otherwise. After collecting himself, he gazed upon the pile with strained eyes, though it still wasn’t very clear how horrifying it was until he reached for his blood stained glasses and slipped them over his face. With a clearer image, the true grimness of the scene unfolded as he scanned across things that had long been forgotten. He trembled where he stood now, his hand moving back up to cover his nose and mouth as the repulsive stench continued to hit him with a vengeance.
The Irken seemed to have just gathered them up though, as there were his own blood on them as well on each item. Even if they had been kept for studying, they were all now just tossed away into the room. That was his IB room, and by the looks of how many and how deep those gashes on the door were, it was frequently visited.
Dib removed the hand that had been covering his mouth and reached behind him to grab a hold of the door, gripping it firmly as he continued to stare at the haunting pile through strained eyes. Eventually, he was able to pull himself from this room and return the door to the position it had been in before, uncovering his nose and taking in deep gasps of the much more pleasant smelling air. Though, a loud cough from the boy’s throat disturbed the piercing silence in the house now.
There was a sudden shift in the air as the woeful moans and screeches stopped abruptly at the loud cough. Obviously, it had been noticed, and Zim was obviously going to drag himself out to come check it out, even if he wasn't capable of much else.
Dib held his breath now, looking around him frantically for the Irken whom he assumed would be here at any moment. With that he resumed his quiet steps while still holding his breath with hopes that Zim would lose interest after hearing nothing more.
The door soon flung open for him unexpectedly. "He's coming... you have to go.. run... now!" The computer spoke frantically. For once, it was actually being helpful, and only to keep Dib alive a little longer.
Dib paused and blinked, staring at the door almost in disbelief at the computer’s sudden help now. Of course, he didn’t refuse the offer as he sprang forward and ran out of the door and down the street in panic.
There was the sound of the computer slamming the door shut tightly, as if determined to keep the Irken within its confines tonight. For now, he had gotten away without a scratch, this time at least.