Dis ain’t not by me. It are by Raven, Evil Weasel Mistress (firstname.lastname@example.org) More of her stuff is available
at www.fanfiction.net, same pen name.
Dib sighed and gathered his things, slowly making his way out of
Around him, the other students stopped to talk to friends and walked out of the skool smiling in anticipation of another weekend.
Shouts of tonight’s parties and Saturday’s plans flew through the air, each one gently grazing Dib’s skin,
reminding him of the life he would never have. No one stopped to talk to him. Even Zim was busy discussing world domination
with the demented freaks in some shadowed corner of the commons.
Dib, on the other hand, walked home by himself, not bothering
take the bus. All it would mean was more dirty looks from his peers and the jeers of anyone anxious to move up in their
social standing. Besides, solitude was usually relatively comforting.
Unfortunately, the solitude was broken by Gaz, who
came gliding up
to him, hammering away at the buttons of her Game Slave 2 as usual. Gaz had moved up a grade a few years
ago, and the siblings now shared many classes. This only served to make Dib more aware of his sister’s popularity.
creepy was "in."
"Why’re you walking home again? If you think you’ll get in
don’t bother. It wouldn’t make you better liked, anyway."
"Shut up. I just like being alone is all."
do a lot of that at skool."
Dib chose to ignore that last comment and walked faster, hands deep in the pockets of his trench
coat. A chill November wind whipped the coat around his legs, but he was too numb to feel it. Already his glasses had frosted
over, the residue from his last cry hardening and obscuring his vision. He could feel his eyes burning again, and he furiously
told himself not to start again until he got home.
Stupid weak child, he reprimanded himself. You have no reason to
Gaz appeared beside him again, and he started. She just gave him that one-eyed stare of hers and said nothing.
Then the game captured her, and she was oblivious to the world around her.
It was so easy for her. Somehow Dib had always
thought of himself
as the "smart one." Now Gaz had caught up to him, and the way grades looked so far, she would pass
him up by next term. Humiliated beyond belief, Dib had been forced to ask for her help on more than one homework assignment.
as smart as she was, Gaz had friends, more than Dib ever had. She was constantly surrounded by all manner of people, from
preps to goths to nerds to jocks. Her antisocial manner seemed only to make people want more badly to talk to her. The phone
rang off the hook, it seemed, and there was never a weekend where she was not invited to a party or other social gathering-she
never went, but they never stopped asking.
Dib felt his eyes overflow just before he reached the house.
go in and face whomever might be inside, he opted instead to take to the roof and try to calm down. Even in his distress he
had the grace of an animal, and he quickly found himself curled up on the frozen shingles, sobbing.
Damn. Why do I have
to keep doing this? he wondered, gasping for
I’m so weak. I’m not supposed to cry. I’m weak.
The tears froze on his skin, forming a thin shell over his face and
threatening to seal his eyes shut. The
ice burned, but he didn’t
care. More punishment for his weakness. He had to learn to deal without breaking down
"Dib, Dad says you have to come in for dinner!" Gaz called an hour
later, though it was barely four-thirty.
sat up and hastily wiped away all evidence of his breakdown.
"It’s four-thirty, Gaz! Why are we eating now?"
don’t know! Now get down here or I’ll burn your computer."
A small smile crept onto Dib’s face in spite
of himself. Good
old Gaz. He stood, stretched, and dropped lightly down onto the frozen ground. His depression faded slightly,
and he dodged into the house, side-stepping an extremely annoyed Gaz.
His father wasn’t there. He didn’t really
expect to see him,
anyway. Membrane wasn’t the type who came home every night for dinner. In fact, Dib hadn’t
seen his father for a good fortnight. The pre-recorded message must have been set too early. That too had been known to happen.
kids, remember to boil the ramen for exactly FOUR AND A HALF
MINUTES. If you go any longer, the world as we know it will
Gaz went to the stove and dumped the contents of a few packets of
ramen into a saucepan. Five minutes later,
she sighed and looked
"Dad lied to me. . ."she muttered. "The world didn’t end. . ."
her scoop the long noodles into two bowls and pull out
four bamboo chopsticks. An odd tradition, but the chopsticks were
always the best part of eating ramen. He took the bowl she offered, then sat down to eat whatever his stomach would allow.
wolfed her food down so fast Dib barely saw it in her bowl at
all. She gave him her one-eyed glare again and watched him
slowly consume the scalding soup. When Dib put his bowl down after barely eating half of the ramen, she gave a small sigh
and rolled her eyes.
"If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were going anorexic on
me," she muttered, picking
up her GS 2. "You look like crap. Go get some sleep."
Dib’s stomach gave a painful jolt, and he swallowed, hoping
he’d be able to keep at least this meal down. He decided that Gaz’s advice would be best heeded and trudged
up to his room. The solitude would be comforting, at least.
Don’t bother sleeping. Nothing’s going to change
when you wake
Dib shook his head and tried to ignore the voice in his head. A
quick flip of a switch, and his
monitor blurred into life, displaying the familiar UFO desktop and the results of numerous tests he’d done over the
past week. All results were negative, discouraging.
Why do you even bother? Nobody’s going to believe you. No
what proof you find-
If you show them Zim without his disguise, they’d just tell you
to stop making
fun of other people’s medical conditions.
"I said SHUT UP!"
"YOUR VOICE IS STUPID!" came the familiar cry from
Get it through your abnormally large head, Dib. Paranormal
investigation is never going to be a respected
"I’m not listening to you."
Dib turned on his CD player and set the volume as high as it would
Lately, he’d taken an interest in the more hardcore of music. The
louder it was, the harder it was to think. That’s
how he liked it. He smiled, though the facial expression was an empty thing, devoid of real meaning.
Even with the music
on as loud as it could go, Dib still found
himself thinking. What would have happened if he were never born? Would Gaz
have become a different child? More normal, perhaps? Would his room have become hers? Or would it have been simply used as
a storage room? Would they even live in that house?
The thoughts were not so dark as he was used to. Though he found
wondering those things more and more frequently, it wasn’t as if he were thinking that his family would have been better
off without him. What he was thinking was perfectly normal, right?
Come off it, Dib. You want to disappear sometimes, don’t
Everyone feels that way sometimes.
But not like you, Dib.
Dib curled up on his bed, trying in vain
to make his mind be quiet.
Eventually, he found himself drowsy, and the pale, haggard face relaxed. Dib didn’t wake
again until late Monday morning.
A loud crash woke him. Something had fallen off of his bookshelf,
leather-bound tome. Dib sat up and blinked rapidly, trying to dispel the lingering drowsiness. Another book fell off of the
shelf, and Dib quickly replaced the alien bookend on the shelf’s edge to keep any more from taking a dive.
that had fallen were, of course, about aliens, some large
manual for location and retrieval and a smaller one about real-life
encounters with UFOs. Dib set them back on the shelf and looked around.
"Dammit," he snarled, finally comprehending the
immense amount of
sunlight that was flooding into his room. "I’m late."
Then he saw the clock. Half past eleven.
There was no sense in
going to skool now. Dib’s anger began to slip away, and he debated about how he was going
to spend his free time. Maybe he’d go out somewhere, take a walk.
But first he had to eat. Dib’s stomach gave
him an angry reminder
that it needed to be filled. He sighed and went back down to the kitchen, wondering if there was
anything left to eat at all.
A quick search through the fridge informed Dib that Dad hadn’t
gone shopping in
awhile. All that was left was an overripe apple, dark
purple and swollen. It reminded him of a bruise. He pulled a knife
out of the silverware drawer, marveling at its sharpness, the smooth silver sheen of the blade. It cut into the apple, and
for one wild moment, Dib wondered how easily the knife would pierce someone’s flesh.
Don’t do that, he told
himself, and he put the knife away.
The apple tasted sour. Most of it ended up in the garbage, choked
up before Dib
could really swallow it. The small portion that actually
made it to his stomach only served to remind him how hungry he
was. He eventually gave up on eating and wandered out of the house in search of somewhere more pleasant to sit and think for
The park was almost deserted. A few small children played on the Jungle gym, their frozen parents trying to persuade
them to come down so they could go home before somebody caught a cold. Still, it was quiet, and it was peaceful. Dib found
a place to sit, under a huge willow near one of the bike paths, and leaned against the cold bark, trying to figure out exactly
what was happening.
The knife was no coincidence, you know.
What do you mean?
You know very well what I mean.
shivered and pulled his trench coat closer around him, as if by
that action alone he could shut out his own thoughts.
Time slowly passed, and before he knew it, skool was letting out.
"I was wondering where you were, Human."
relatively peaceful mood was shattered by the familiar
taunting voice of his nemesis. He opened his eyes to see Zim standing
in front of him, eyes narrowed.
"I woke up late."
"What are you up to, Dib?"
"Like I’d tell you." If I WAS
up to something, that is.
Zim’s glare narrowed even further, the lavender-lensed eyes
almost closing. Dib wasn’t
affected, and the Irken seemed surprised. He suddenly ceased his intimidation and bit his lip thoughtfully.
"What are you
up to? The gnomes haven’t caught you in quite some
time. Have you finally admitted defeat?" Dib was sure it was
imagination, but for a second he could have sworn that the Irken looked concerned.
"No, I’ve just, er,
been busy. You know, you’re not the only
paranormal case I’ve been following."
"Yes, well, I’ve grown.
. .bored of waiting for you to make
another move. I guess I can just go on ahead with the invasion, then."
and stalked off, his mask of bravado visibly slipping.
A few of his friends, the more terrifying bunch, appeared out of
nowhere and followed him out of the park. Dib watched them go, vaguely envious of even Zim’s social life.
the number of people Zim talked to that claimed to be
vampires, this was even more pathetic.
Dib sighed and stood up,
dimly aware that he was freezing. A thin
layer of frost had coated his trench coat during his reverie, and it cracked
every time the teenager moved. He slowly made his way back toward the house, mind drifting as it often did to what freezing
to death would feel like.
Why bother going inside at all? Isn’t this the perfect time to
find out how freezing
to death would feel?
Go away. I don’t need your whisperings in my ear today.
Just go up to the roof and stay there.
You’ll be dead by
That’s a long time to suffer.
But isn’t that the point?
and walked faster, as if he could outrun the voice.
Even though it was pointless, he felt like he should at least try.
course, the voice just laughed and spoke louder in his mind.
You can’t outrun me, Dib.
I enjoy this game we play.
I’m not killing myself.
Now why would you think of doing a thing like that? Is this
sign of a mental illness, perhaps?
Dib charged in through the front door, almost colliding with Gaz.
She had been going into the kitchen to find some pizza to eat. At the near miss, she let out a growl and went back to
her Game Slave 2. Dib ignored her and flew up the stairs to his room.
There was a girl in his room. She stood by his computer,
to the door. Dark blue hair stuck up in long spikes, perfectly matching the dress and jeans she wore. A small
squeak escaped her when she heard Dib enter, and she turned around, black eyes widening.
"Er, hi," she tittered nervously,
eyeing the windows like a
cornered animal. "I, um, uh, well, the reason I’m in here is-"
"Get out. Now."
ok. Um, I’m Lin, your sister’s friend-"
Lin gave a tiny squeak and bolted, barely avoiding a
Dib. He scowled and locked the door, silently cursing the girl. No one entered his room without permission.
Some of his files were open. Bigfoot, the Mothman, vampire pigs,
and Martians were all at least partially scrolled
through. Another curious student trying to find new material to taunt him with, probably. That was always how
Dib quickly checked to make sure that the files were all
complete, then he shut the computer down, not really feeling
like going online at the moment.
Later, he ventured out of his room to forage for sustenance. He
heard Lin and Gaz
talking in the living room. Dib stopped when he
distinguished his name from the low babble of voices.
up with him?" Lin snorted, taking another slice of
"My big-headed brother is psycho about his room. You go in,
don’t come out. Maybe he let you go because you’re my friend or
"No, I mean what’s
up with the weird stuff on his computer?
Vampire pigs? Bigfoot? That’s all fake, right? So why’s he got all
this stuff on them? And what’s the "Swollen Eyeball" thing that keeps popping up?"
"Dib likes weird stuff like that.
The Swollen Eyeball thing is
some secret paranormal studies organization he joined when he was five."
creepy or bad creepy?"
"Bad. Sorry, Gaz, but the guy looks like somebody that’ll end up
killing you someday if
you get too close."
Dib felt his chest clench painfully. Suddenly, he wasn’t that
He went back upstairs
to his room and settled himself in for another
good breakdown. Ten minutes later, he sat up and wiped his eyes.
are you so weak?
Stop talking to me.
You keep doing this. Every day.
That knife downstairs seem more
No. Go away.
Dib looked over at his computer, the dark screen reminding him of
his own dreary thoughts.
He switched the modem on, but didn’t turn on the monitor until he heard the familiar hum that signaled the completion
of the boot-up process. A flicker, and the UFO-themed desktop lit up the screen.A click brought him to the internet. There
was no new mail, and the Swollen Eyeball website hadn’t been updated from the last week. A quick search revealed no
new results on his search for la Chupacabra, no new sightings of Bigfoot.
Something snapped. Dib was just fed up with
the failure. He stood
up, not bothering to turn off the computer, and he slammed a fist down on his desk. A swift kick
sent the books on his shelf tumbling to the floor, and he thought of ripping the pages out of the tomes just to spite them.
Instead, he opted to tear down the posters from his walls, leaving the glossy pictures of monsters in small heaps on the carpet.
wild look in his eyes, Dib slipped out of his room and down the
stairs to the kitchen. The knife was in the drawer, smooth
and glinting in the dim light. He took it and hid it under his shirt as he crept back up the stairs. The cold metal felt good
against his chest, almost relieving him by the contrast to his burning skin. He hoped that Gaz wouldn’t notice that
he was carrying a razor-sharp carving knife to his room.
The doorbell rang, but Dib ignored it. He locked his door and
brought the knife out, admiring the light reflecting off the smooth surface of the blade. It was almost too perfect to
be profaned with his blood. But he had to get it over with.
Very good, Dib. End it now. Your suffering has reached its
Don’t make yourself go through this anymore. Be at peace.
Dib brought the knife to the bare skin of his
wrist, smiling at the
reflection of it in the spotless surface of the silver. There was a
noise outside his room,
but he didn’t look up from his attempted suicide.
The door opened, and a small gray blur catapulted into the room.
Dib started, and the knife fell to the floor. Zim entered the room and
tried to reign in the hyperactive GIR.
human, I have come to propose a truce."
Dib quickly picked up the knife and held it out threateningly.
"What do you
Zim didn’t notice, or just chose to ignore the knife. "I’ve
grown tired of your meddling. Rather
than destroy you, however, I’m offering you a chance to join me in my quest. If you comply, I’ll allow some of
you humans to escape before I eradicate the remaining life on the planet."
Dib almost laughed. He clutched the knife in
one hand, baring his
wrist again and preparing for the end.
"Not this time, Zim. I’m tired of this too. Unlike
taking real action."
Zim seemed to comprehend what Dib was doing at last. His red eyes
and he opened his mouth as if to speak.
Gir grinned and poked Dib in the side. "Hiya big-headed person!"
grinning stupidly. "Wanna make waffles?"
Dib shoved him away and gently pressed the knife into his wrist. A
imperceptible line of blood began to form around the blade.
"What are you doing, Human?" Zim’s voice rose a good
"What does it look like? I’m going to kill myself."
"That’s just stupid."
his mouth dropping open. "What?"
Zim blinked and stared at the knife in Dib’s hand. "What will
I was under the delusion that you were more intelligent than that."
Dib felt a red-hot fury burning his chest. He snarled,
brought the blade of the knife across his wrist, cutting deep into the
GIR gave a scream
and buried his face into Dib’s pillow. Dib
crumpled to the floor, scarlet flooding the carpet. Zim froze for a second,
then sprang into action.
"You are an idiot, Human!"
He roughly seized Dib and clamped a hand over the teenager’s
wrist, all-too aware of the seriousness of the situation. His eyes darted around the room, and he wrapped strips of Dib’s
shredded posters around the wound.
"You are not going to die on me, you damned-human! GIR! Go get
the Gaz-human. QUICKLY!"
nodded and catapulted back out the door, screaming all the way
downstairs. Zim paused for less than a second before dragging
wounded nemesis out the door.
"Let me go, Zim!" Dib snarled, fighting to break free. "You’re
to make me stay here! I’m tired of it! Leave me alone!"
"Stop your noise-making, Earth monkey!" The spider-legs shot
of Zim’s backpack, and Zim picked his enemy up bodily and raced down the
Gaz had already called
911. She was standing in the living room,
frantically yelling at the operator to "hurry up and get the damned
over here before my brother bleeds to death!" Her Game Slave 2 sat abandoned on the floor of the kitchen, the batteries rolling
across the floor. Lin had gone home minutes before; it was a good thing she wasn’t there to see the collapse of the
Zim carefully set Dib down on the couch, holding the human in place
to that he couldn’t try anything
else stupid. The blood had already
soaked through the makeshift bandages, and Zim snapped for Gaz to bring something to
replace them with. She returned a few seconds later with a hand towel and some string. Zim tore off the saturated paper and
bound the wrist tightly in the cloth, tying it in place with the string. Dib never stopped screaming for him to let him die
Something strange was happening around Dib. His sister was
screaming and crying, something she hadn’t
done since she was a toddler, and his greatest enemy was trying to keep him alive. It was so completely backwards to him that
he wondered if he might be having hallucinations. The room dimmed, and his ears seemed to be stuffed with cotton. The last
thing he saw before his vision went black was the face of his greatest nemesis, both furious and terrified at once.
eyes cracked open. He was in a hospital, that much was
certain even before his vision returned in full. The sharp, sterile
smell and dry air was unmistakable. He took a deep breath, very much aware that he was still alive and not entirely liking
Gaz was sitting on a chair next to the bed, deeply absorbed in her
GS2. She glanced at him for a few seconds before
going back to her game.
"Glad to see you’re still in the land of the living, idiot."
Dib tried to talk, but the
raspiness of his voice made him stop.
"You were unconscious for three days. Drink something before your
glued to the roof of your mouth."
She pointed to a pitcher of water on a table on the other side of
the bed. Dib looked
at it, sat up, and drank straight from the thing. The icy water immediately soothed his dry, raspy throat.
turned off her game. "Why didn’t you tell me you
were going suicidal?"
Dib stared into the pitcher, not wanting
"Dib? Answer me." Gaz’s eyes were filling with tears, a sight
that greatly alarmed her sibling.
. .just didn’t think people would. . .understand. They never
"I would’ve understood, you idiot! And
what made you decide that
killing yourself would make things all better? Didn’t you even think of how your family
would feel? Or were you too wrapped up in yourself to care?"
The words stung as much as any physical attack could have.
still stared into the pitcher, not ready to face the full wrath of Gaz
head-on. He hesitated, then sighed and
"You never had to deal with being so alone, Gaz. After awhile, you
just can’t take it anymore.
I’m. . .sorry I scared you so badly."
"You’re more stupid than I thought."
Gaz made him look
at her. Her eyes burned into his, staring right
into his mind. She took a deep, shuddering breath.
"I don’t like
people. They disgust me. I spend most of my time
alone. I know exactly how it feels to be totally neglected. I just don’t
let it get to me."
Dib fingered the bandages on his wrist, marveling at how close
he’d come to death. Had it
really been what he wanted? What if Zim hadn’t shown up. .
"He left awhile ago. He and I
had a very long talk about the
idiocy of humans. I told him I’d contact him when you woke up. In fact, hold on."
pulled out a cell phone and quickly dialed a number she’d
obviously memorized long before. "Zim? Gaz. The idiot’s
woken up. Yeah. See you. Bye."
"Where did you get that number?" Dib wondered aloud.
"Zim is surprisingly good at videogames."
"Probably not. He wanted me to tell you that the truce is still up
if you wanted to do it. What’s
that all about?"
"Nothing. Just some agreement that allows some humans to escape
Earth before Zim kills everything."
my thick-skulled sibling?"
"Tell Zim I’ll think about the truce, and thank him for me. He.
. .this sounds weird.
Zim saved my life. . ."
"Yes, Dib, he saved your life. Don’t go all weird on me, please.
I’ve had enough
weirdness to last me a long time."
Dib smiled and set the pitcher back down on the table. He laid
back in the hospital
bed, wondering if Zim really meant it when he offered the truce.
And when the time finally came, could Dib really turn
Zim in to the
authorities? Mortal enemy or not, the Irken did save his life. Dib
wasn’t sure anymore, but he
decided that Zim’s actions deserved a break from the plots against him. Dib would leave him alone for a few weeks, maybe
even get to know him. The Irken couldn’t be that bad if he’d saved his greatest enemy from self-destruction.
touched the bandages again, remembering how close he’d come
A shudder shook his frail frame, and he
came to the swift conclusion
that he’s never really wanted to die at all.