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John Carpenter's

On the Couch


            Fear was a strange thing to Palmer.  He’d never really thought much about it before other than the occasional sci-fi or horror story.  But now that things had changed he had to deal with this visceral sensation. 

            A part of him, the part that he might once have called his “duality” or his “id” or one of the other plethora of terms he’d read in all those off-beat magazines, was fully aware that he was probably going to die in the next few minutes.  That part of him, the part that was Palmer was afraid.  He didn’t want to feel the fire.  He wanted to LIVE! 

            The Other Part however, the part that thought of Itself as “We,” was already hatching plans to get Them all out of this mess.  He knew It was angry, and he knew that They…”We”…would probably kill some or all of the men he’d once worked with.  Palmer found that really uncool but he knew it was how it was.  A look of resignation crossed his face as the thought slid through his mind.

            Both of Them knew what would happen when the burning metal came close to Their blood, separated from the Whole.  They knew that the mindless cells would scream for life and in so doing endanger the We. 

            Palmer guiltily tried to help the We figure out how to escape.  In the fleeting seconds left to him, he thought of everything he knew about the men who were now his would-be murderers.

            He knew that MacReady was the most dangerous, a rough-and-tumble cowboy at heart…who would torch him, and for that matter the others if necessary, in a heartbeat and without a second thought!

            Then there was Windows.  Nice enough guy.  But he knew Windows was scared.  As scared as he was, hell maybe more.  When the moment came, Windows was the weak point.  Somehow he had to get Windows between he and MacReady.  Even if Mac DID torch them, maybe Windows would catch the brunt of the fire and allow Them to…do something to get out of this alive.

            The test was almost here now.  The We was almost bursting with violence.  It wanted to kill them all.  Kill them and BE them.  It wasn’t even really hate.  It was just a primitive NEED.  Palmer wasn’t sure that It really knew fear, at least like what he was feeling right now.  He knew he wasn’t really Palmer but damn it if he didn’t still THINK like Palmer!

            Mac was heating the metal wire.  Any second now.  What the fuck are We gonna do he asked his Thing side?  It did not answer but he felt a sort of internal lurch as It assumed command of every cell in Their body.  Whatever it was, it was gonna be…


            SHRIEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!  The blood fled!!




            The rapture of the change shocked Palmer with its violence (and yes, glory) and the last thing he thought, as Palmer anyway, was just this, “You gotta be fuckin’ KIDDING!”



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