Not a question. Desi's response was a flat statement just like Casper's because he couldn't manage a reaction through his genuine bewilderment.
Casper was batshit crazy. He had to be. Or he was just fucking with Desi. But the world had proven so far that it was definitely not just fucking with Desi, and Casper had proven so far to be pretty quick-witted; Desi had no reason to believe that the boy's sense of humor, whether or not it was so cruel set aside, would miss the mark so terribly.
Casper nodded in response, but Desi was still not sure which theory he was confirming.
The breath Desi had been holding released from his lungs and his disbelief spread into a smile that was cover for the boiling under his skin. "Am I in the fucking twilight zone right now? Is this whole town just fucking with me? I didn't sign up for this Truman show bullshit."
Casper rolled his eyes and immediately swung his chair back around to return to his computer. "I know it's hard to believe, but the world doesn't revolve around you, Desi."
Honestly, it was hard to believe, when it felt like literally everyone was out to fuck him over ever since Friday night. How else was he supposed to feel, when his life was flipped quite literally on it's head in the matter of one haze of a weekend?
Ever since finding out about Ashley cheating on him, Desi felt like he was suffering from a bad trip he couldn't quite shake. Not the type that clearly makes its presence known with obvious hallucinations that turn a skinny kid in black into a inky-antlered forest monster, but the kind that creeps in, lingers in the peripherals, turns up into down and shifts around reality just enough to lead to confusion and paranoia.
Desi hadn't had any proper drugs since the weekend but he still couldn't shake this lingering feeling of disbelief. Of skepticism. How could this be real? How was this his reality all of a sudden? Ashley was gone, Nic had betrayed him, he was suspect in a missing person case, and he had a P.I with a name out of a bad vampire movie riding his ass for some kind of evidence.
His tactics of logicing himself out of a trip were not working with this particular three day roller coaster, so what else could he do? What was his last resort when a trip really had it's hooks in?
Ride it out. That's all he could really do. Give into the logic of his new reality and hope he could learn how to play by the bent rules long enough to come out sober on the other end.
"Ok. I'll bite." Desi stated, receiving another eyeroll in response to his still skeptical tone. "What's a fucking wendigo?"
Casper let the question sit unanswered for a moment as punishment for Desi's behavior, only responding when Desi had inhaled to prepare for another annoyed sigh. "Most people who are familiar with it know it's cryptid lore. A mysterious skeletal creature, hungry for flesh but never satisfied no matter how much it eats. In some Native American cultures it was like, a cautionary myth. A man could become the wendigo if he allowed his greed and jealousy to get the better of him, so it was important to never be gluttonous or selfish."
"A cryptid. So you're saying you think Bigfoot killed my girlfriend." If Desi hadn't managed a hopeless laugh, he would have snapped instead.
Casper didn't take kindly to the attempt at a joke. The straight line of his mouth pulled taunt. "It's not Bigfoot. Comparing them only proves you didn't even try to listen. And besides, that's not the personification I'm talking about."
"Ok, so why are you telling me about some dumb creature with the munchies, then? What the fuck does it have to do with Ashley?" And what did it have to do with the fact that Casper had gotten rid of Desi's only saving grace just to keep his own ass out of trouble?
"If you'd stop interrupting me, maybe I'd get to that." Casper's tone shifted a fraction along with his response and it was clear Desi was getting on his last nerve just as much as Casper was getting on his. Despiting waiting desperately to cuss the boy out, Desi managed to keep his mouth shut by biting down on his tongue long enough for Casper to pick up where he left off. "There's another theory, that the wendigo is something closer to a spirit, or a demon. Given the right circumstances it can possess a human and drive them to depravity."
"So you think a demon with the munchies possessed someone and ate my girlfriend." Desi let the comment slip flippantly, hoping to jab at Casper's nerves again, wishing to satisfy the itch of his frustration. But as quickly as the boy had become annoyed, he'd deflated back down, too wrapped up in thought to tell that it was not a serious conclusion.
"It's unlikely, but possible. Generally when it comes to possessive demons they aren't a threat unless they're invited in, or the host has weakened their spirit with so much negativity that the dark energy was able to force it's way in."
"It's a rapist demon also..." Desi sighed and collapsed back into the bed, finding himself decompressing as well now that he wasn't getting the reaction from Casper he was looking for. If it was up to Desi, he'd settle for a screaming match to combat the mess of frustration circling in his skull. He was long overdue for one, to be perfectly honestly. He wanted Casper to know exactly how bad he'd fucked him over now. He wanted Casper to know that he thought his aura and spirits and negativity energy talk was a bunch of bullshit. That it was stupid. That Casper was stupid for believing it. He wanted to hurl insults because in the moment it felt good sometimes to bring someone down along with him.
Ashley would gladly exchanged insults with him whenever he needed a messy, nonsensical argument, but Casper simply wasn't taking the bait.
With a sigh, Casper dropped his shoulders in defeat and turned back to Desi finally. "Listen, you don't have to believe me. I know I've already likely stretched your paranormal tolerance to its limits after last night. The fact is, whether or not you want to believe the wendigo part, something happened to Ashley. And I imagine if you're innocent and you truly want to prove that, you'd want to help me figure it out."
Desi turned his head to meet Casper's gaze, his earnesty the only thing keeping Desi from reminding him that he wouldn't have to prove anything if he just hadn't deleted the damn text messages.
"What do you plan on doing then?" he asked lazily, finally out of fight left to argue or combat the madness of his new reality.
Casper hummed. "Do you have something of Ashley's?"
"Dunno. Maybe in the car." Desi answered. It took a second for him to realize that hadn't answered his previous question. "Why?"
"We're going to find her body." A pregnant pause, and Casper added a grim afterthought, "If there's anything left."
YOU ARE READING
Things really went south for Desi the day his girlfriend disappeared. Being a suspect in a missing persons case meant he was at risk of suspension from school, and having the cops breathing down his neck made it really hard to keep selling the illeg...