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Not Chocolate

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Theo's parents were the first ones on the block to get the moving picture box. The outside was wooden, with a sort of sheen to it that made Ricky think of metal. Ricky loved to watch the gray scale and newly colored concoctions with his best friend, and the same could be said for Theo. You could even say they were film fanatics, always trying to figure out how the directors did it. They would take notes and talk about becoming famous directors when they were grownups. From King Kong to The Blob, they read anything about film-making they could get their hands on. Whenever you needed to know something about a film, they were the kids to go to.

Psycho was always Ricky's favorite, in part because he loved the story, but also because he admired the use of black-and-white to use chocolate rather than blood. It was a clever idea, and it reminded him of how a child would choose to represent blood. His favorite movies were always horror, and this one was no exception.

His favorite scene was the shower scene, where the viewer had to use their imagination to fill in the gap. Ricky thought that the killer stabbed in a different way, speed, and depth every time, and each time he saw the film he felt like he was watching a completely different movie. Ricky and Theodore often spent their nights in front of a television, and more than once they wrecked films by sleeping halfway through them. This was never really a problem, as these movies tended to be romance or educational (not that the movies weren't worth studying, but they could be so dull at times).

One day they were watching Psycho and Theo just couldn't stay up, having gone sleepless the night before. 'Make sure to turn the film off when you... sleep...' Theo mumbled as he drifted off. Ricky looked at him with weary eyes, and then proceeded to move to the television and turn the tape off. There was no way he would be able to stay up for that scene, he thought to himself as he reached for the reel contained within a black box. Theo happily sawed logs as Ricky moved him to the couch and made a makeshift bed with a few comforters and a white pillow. As Ricky faded off, his mind went to the shower scene and the many combinations of knife and skin.

Static buzzed in Ricky's ear.

Ricky slowly opened his eyes, his face instantly moving towards the gritty sound. Static covered the sleek, metal television. He assumed that he just forgot to turn the television off when he was preparing for bed. As it happened, he didn't remember turning the television off. He sat up, annoyed by the sound, and wondering how Theo was able to sleep over this racket. As his hand approached, the static distorted and a hand slammed across the screen, startling poor Ricky.

Ricky looked on in awe at the white palm, distorted among the static, and then changed to fear as the image became clear. There was no color, but the scene was unmistakable. There was Theo, Ricky was positive of that, and that man... no, that beast. That... thing barely qualified. Its smile was pleasant. Its clothing, plain spoken. Its eyes... that was where it all went wrong. They were a dull gray, fleck of gold, and full of... menace. There was no other word for it. He lifted a clawed hand and waved at Theo, aware of the boy on the other side of the screen. Ricky looked behind him, and saw that Theo wasn't there. Ricky looked back with unfortunate timing, as now the... the creature's face covered the screen. Those gold flecks... the only thing colored in this grayscale film.


Ricky remembered that he wasn’t the one in danger... Theo was in there with that beast. Ricky's hands were beating against the screen, yelling for Theo as the flesh on his arms prickled. His mind raced to unplug the television... but what would happen to Theo? His rational mind stayed his hand, even though his emotions screamed for the plug to pull out. The beast smiled. And smiled a bit more, as rows and rows of teeth were showing themselves, each sharper and blacker than the last. As the beast turned around and stepped towards Theo, Theo was caught like a deer in the headlights.

Ricky looked in a sort of.... disgusted awe as the man with the gold flecks pulled out a knife and the view changed to Theo's, with the man with the gold flecks twirling the knife between his fingers. It switched to a side view double shot, showing both of the characters sharing a long stare for what felt like eternity. Then the camera became focused on the shadows, and even though Ricky never saw the actual characters, he watched with a horrific clarity as Theo was stabbed for what seemed like a few hours but was more likely a few seconds. Tears drenched his sockets as the camera moved to follow a dark, milky liquid down the drain...

...and it was not chocolate.

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