|Erin Ptah (ptahrrific) wrote,|
@ 2007-11-03 01:54 am UTC
|Entry tags:||genre: horror, pairing: gen, series: fake news|
Rating: PG-13 for horror
For the Report characters: They and their universe are property of Stephen Colbert, the other Report writers, and of course Viacom. Not mine. Sue me not, please.
And for the real people, the poem:
Please, make no mistake:
these people aren't fake,
but what's said here is no more than fiction.
It only was writ
because we like their wit
and wisecracks, and pull-squints, and diction.
We don't mean to quibble,
but this can't be libel;
it's never implied to be real.
No disrespect's meant;
if you disapprove, then,
the back button's right up there. Deal.
Summary: Stephen's Halloween vigil is interrupted.
Now with an illustration courtesy of omelton, who is awesome.
(Went to TCR on Halloween. Took lots of notes, with this taping reporT as a result. Also, spent much of the time sorting out this story.)
Nightmare on 54th Street
Stephen was no fan of Halloween. No child of his was going to traipse around the neighborhood begging at doorways. Okay, all of them were, because his wife had insisted. But there wasn't going to be any begging at his door.
For one thing, the door was closed and locked. For another, Stephen was perched in the big tree beside his front walk, sitting on a thick branch and polishing his shotgun.
Just let them try to put a flaming bag of dog doo on his front step now.
However, much to his irritation, nobody seemed inclined to approach the house that always gave out bootstraps and mousetraps. Stephen was considering climbing down from the tree and congratulating himself on a job well done, when he spotted a familiar figure.
The man was wearing a suit so black that he seemed to melt into the night, and a tie that matched. If you didn't count that as a costume (which Stephen didn't), the only effort he had gone to was to stick some kind of horns in his hair, and get red contact lenses.
"Hey, Jon!" yelled Stephen. "What are you supposed to be, a demon? Could've made a little more effort, couldn't you?"
Okay, the contacts were pretty good after all: they practically glowed in the lamplight, and when Jon looked at Stephen through them a chill went down his spine. Stop that, he told it firmly.
"Funny you should talk about effort, Stephen," said the visitor placidly.
"Why is that funny?" demanded Stephen. "I make lots of effort! You think it was easy, getting up in this tree?"
"That's just it," replied Jon. "You make so much effort, all the time, and yet it never amounts to anything."
"That's what I—what?"
"So much effort," Jon repeated. "You pour your whole self into your show, with your little dreams of changing the world, and yet the world goes on regardless."
"The change is coming! I'm making progress! Nancy Pelosi and Wikipedia are running scared, and..."
"...and that's how you validate yourself? You're pathetic!"
"On every measure that matters, you're losing. To me."
"I'll catch up," stammered Stephen, ignoring the new chill. "I've only been on for two years..."
"After you'd been on the Daily Show for two years, I waltzed in and took the host's seat without batting an eye. It took you seven more years to make it to your own show after that, and what has it gotten you? How many Emmys does it have, Stephen?"
"You shut up! I'll beat you next year!"
"That's what you said last year, after you lost to me twice. And what happened this year? You lost to me again."
"I'll catch up. I'll catch up," chanted Stephen...
"You're behind in other awards, too. Who got into the Time 100 first, Stephen? And you're losing the numbers game. Whose show has the bigger audience, Stephen?"
Stephen clapped his hands over his ears as his gun clattered through the branches and dropped into a pile of unraked leaves. "I'm not listening to you any more! La la la la la la..."
"Doesn't matter whether you listen or not." Jon's voice, though low, cut effortlessly through Stephen's overloud singing. "All you have to do is think about it and you'll know."
"I won't! I'm not thinking about you!"
"Well, of course you think about me," said Jon.
Something in his tone made Stephen shut up entirely, staring down at him in horror.
"Or did you think I didn't know?" And then he giggled, Jon's adorable giggle with an edge. "Did you think you could hide it? Oh, Stephen, I know all about your sick little fantasies. I know."
"Don't, don't, please..."
"'Don't', what? This is all in your head, Stephen. It's your disease. I'm only telling the truth about it. Or don't you like Truth?"
Stephen pressed himself against the trunk, clinging to the bark, shaking. "I'm trying to change, I'm trying, I'm trying..."
"How's that working out?"
"Please, please, please—"
And then Jon was in front of him, and it never occurred to him to wonder how Jon was standing on air. "You're trying so hard, Stephen. How's it going so far, Stephen? Is your show doing better than mine yet, Stephen? Can you sleep with your wife without picturing men, Stephen? Does your father love you yet, Stephen?"
"Stop!" It was a shriek.
"You're candy, Stephen," purred Jon, leaning closer. "Tough and hard on the outside, but a puddle of goo on the inside. No nutritional value whatsoever..." He grinned, baring two rows of fangs. "...but oh, so sweet."
Quivering, gasping, Stephen managed a hoarse, dry whisper. "Get thee behind me, Satan..."
"I thought you'd never ask," said the demon, and then it was behind him, hot fingers curling under his waistband, tugging the fabric down.
With a desperate cry Stephen tore himself away, and fell.
The landing woke him up.
When the kids arrived home with pillowcases full of candy, they found every light in the house switched on, and Handel's Messiah playing on the stereo, turned up as loud as it could go.