1 You were gone so long. I was worried. I had to go all the way to that goddamn gourmet deli. But you got them? - A dozen. - Good. Good. Nah, they're too damn small. Not like the ones we got from Gottlieb, may he rest in peace. Maybe we should order from that French butcher again. No way! Always asking questions, making jokes... These are beautiful. Beautiful. Oh, he'll love them. Puny little things, way overpriced. God, I miss Gottlieb. Are you coming now? - I'm going to feed him. - In a minute. He's going to be so excited. Aylmer, din-din. What? What? - He's gone. - No! - Oh, my God. - He's gone! He's gone. 'Brian? Hello, Brian.' 'Are you asleep?' 'Brian, you're supposed to be getting ready. We have to leave soon.' 'Brian? Brian? 'Brian?' Aylmer? Where are you? - He's still asleep? - Yep. Afraid so. Brian? Brian? Brian? Come on, Brian. We have to leave here in a few minutes. You look awful. I feel awful. - Are you sick? - I wasn't before. Just laid down for a quick nap, and all of a sudden my head is spinning and I'm too dizzy to move. I dunno, maybe there's something going around. - Yes? - Hi. We're the Ackermans, the couple down the hall. I'm Martha. This is Morris. - Could we see your bathtub a minute? - My bathtub? - Yes, please. You see... - Hey! What's wrong? What's he doing? What the hell is going on? Sorry. Our mistake. Have a nice day. "Have a nice day"? Well, you're certainly in no shape to go out tonight. "Out"? I can't even stand. Poor baby. Wait a minute. There's no reason you shouldn't go. - I don't want to go without you. - Go with Mike. - No. No... - Why not? You've already got the tickets. Hey, Mike! Come here! - He'd love to go. Ask him. - Hey, what's up? Do your brother a favor and take her out tonight. Want to go to the Syd concert with me tonight? - Brian can't go. - Sure. I'd love to. - You don't mind? - Of course not. Okay, great. Thanks. You sure you'll be okay? I just need some sleep. I'm going to be fine. - I hope he's okay. He never gets sick. - You know Brian. - He'll be a new man in the morning. - I sure hope so. Shit! Shit! Shit! What the hell's happening to me? Okay, okay. I know there's someone else here. I don't know who you are and I don't know what you are, but I know you're in here. So you may as well come on out. Come on out and let me see you. Hi. This is the start of your new life, Brian. A life without worry or pain or loneliness. A life filled instead with colors and music and euphoria. - A life of light and pleasure. - But who are you? - What are you? - I am you, Brian. I'm all you'll ever need. - I don't understand. - You will, Brian. From now on, your life will take on a whole new light. And all you have to do is look into the light and listen. Listen to the light, Brian. - Just listen to the light. - Yes. Yes, I'd like to again, but... I don't see it now. Then I'll make you a deal. I'll show you the light if you'll take me for a walk. "A walk"? Where? Anywhere you like. I'm hungry. Wait, wait... I'm confused. I'm not following any of this. Then don't worry about it. You don't need to worry about anything ever again. I'll do all your thinking for you. Just put me on the back of your neck and everything will be fine. My neck? Oh, you mean the hole. I... Wait... I don't know. Trust me, Brian. Trust me. I just want to check on him. Make sure he's okay. - Okay. - Shh! Brian... Guess I shouldn't have worried. Maybe he just went out for something to eat. Yeah. Right. Can I take you home now? Sure. Why not? Oh, wow! Oh, my God, wow! This is fucking great! Yeah! This is absolutely fucking great. 'Listen, Charlie, I want you and One-Shot to come on home, 'or I'll fire both of you.' 'I'm not coming home, and neither is One-Shot. Goodbye.' Freeze, asshole. - All these colors. - Shut the fuck up, asshole. Lie on your stomach and don't make a fucking sound. What the fuck is that? Roll over. What the hell is that? Wow! Hey, wha... what's going on? What are you doing? Is he okay? Not bad. A bit underdone. Let's go. We better get out of here. Hey, could you juice me again? The colors are starting to fade. - You've had enough tonight. - Oh, come on. Just a little. Oh, all right. Just a little. He's in the bathtub. He's been in the bathtub for the last three hours. - Jesus! - He's like a completely different person. I don't even know him anymore. What is going on? I don't know. I've tried to call him, but he's never home. Oh, he's here. He just doesn't answer the phone anymore. Well, he finally answered it last night, but all he did was giggle. You know, I don't even think he goes to his job anymore. I don't even think he leaves the apartment. If he's not in his room, he's in the bathtub. Let me show you something. Look at this. That's more than he's got on the front door. Yeah, but he only locks these when he's in here. - Why? What's he hiding? - I don't know. The only thing new are those pails down there. He changes the water four times a day. I'll show you something else. Look at this. He's got the bathroom all bolted up, too. I tell you, he's become a real stickler for privacy. Have you asked him about any of this? Yeah. What'd he say? He says he's been feeling a little bit light-headed. "Light-headed"! Brian, are you clean yet? - Do you hear me? - Huh? It's Barbara. We have a date tonight, remember? Oh, yeah, sure. I'll be right out. Things are getting really weird around here. I'm going through some pretty intense changes, and I need to be by myself for a while. - Why? What's happened? - I see things differently now. - You mean us? - Oh, everything. It just doesn't last very long. See, right now, for instance, everything looks normal. See? No trails. - "No trails"? - None. But sometimes... sometimes I can see completely. Sometimes everything glows with a different kind of light. I can touch an object and listen to the sound of its color. I can hear voices and music in the flicker of a match. I can look into a mirror and see a thousand different faces staring back at me. I can turn night into day or watch the darkness shine, and I don't even have to open my eyes. You're on drugs, right? Nothing that simple. Then what? I'm trying to understand you, Brian. But I feel like I'm talking to a stranger. Two months ago, you wanted us to live together. Now you're telling me you haven't called because of lights and colors, and I just don't understand. Okay, okay, I'll try to explain it, but I doubt you're going to believe me. Remember the night you and Mike went to the concert? Well, when I woke up I... Ow! Um, I don't think I should explain it right now. - Why not? - It won't let me. - What won't let you? - I can't tell you that. It's someone else, isn't it? You're seeing someone else. - Sort of. Ow! - "Sort of"! What do you mean by "sort of"? Look, I got an itch. I can't talk about it right now. It's not fair to keep me guessing like this. If you're seeing someone else, if you want to end it between us, can't you just tell me? Uh, uh, I just need some time. And what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Sit at home and wait for things to get back to normal? Or should I go out and find someone else too? I'm not hungry. - Ten minutes ago you were starving. - Yeah, but... - What are you doing? - I... I don't feel so good. - Calm down, Brian. - I... I gotta go. "Go"? You can't just... Brian! Wait! Great. I need it. I need it now. I need it. Now. Now, come on. Hey! Hey! I love your suit - Wow, you're beautiful! - Huh? - Beautiful. - You're fucked up, aren't you? Wanna dance? # You find your best friend floating in a vat # Down at the sewage plant # It never made the papers, some things just can't... # Other people gotta use it. Let's go! Come on. Let's go. Come on. Come on. Come on, I gotcha. - Uh-huh. - Attaboy! Feels like you've got a real monster in there. Hey. Hey. Don't pass out on me now. Here. Barbara? No, he still isn't in. No, not a word. Well, I don't know. I haven't seen him. Well, I don't know. You tell me what happened in there. I don't know. He's... he's not here. What do you want me to tell you? Good God! What the hell happened tonight? You fool! You're feeding him human brains. You're making him strong. I knew someone in the building had him, but I didn't think it was you. Where is he? Is he on you now? I don't know what you're talking about. Nor do you know what you're dealing with. You're an amateur. It takes years to control him. He'll drain you. Use you till you waste away. Yeah? Then what do you want him for? Because he's mine. Aylmer belongs to me. "Elmer"? You fucking named him "Elmer"? Not "Elmer". Aylmer. A-Y-L-M-E-R. An Old English word meaning "the awe-inspiring famous one". And that he is, indeed. For the Aylmer is a creature of endless histories. A living relic of civilizations long since forgotten. You're crazy. Am I? The Aylmer's origins can be traced back to the Fourth Crusade where he was snatched from the Emperor Alexius during the sack of Byzantium in 1203. It's believed a Venetian mercenary named Matteo Grimaldi brought the creature to Europe, but he had to surrender it almost immediately to a renegade cardinal, a Borgia who wanted the Aylmer all to himself. In 1699, the Aylmer reappeared in the possession of one Don Manuel Perolta, a Spanish viceroy and freelance corsair. He lost the Aylmer to a Portuguese admiral off the Barbary Coast who himself was murdered within days by a young midshipman who fled with his prize to Africa. There the Aylmer quickly fell into the hands of a Mabootoo chief whose tribe placed a deep religious value in the Aylmer's many talents. Then, during the Second World War, a German munitions tycoon bribed a battalion commander to obtain the Aylmer for himself. It didn't work out that way. The Aylmer was brought to Berlin all right, but he passed from host to host for over three decades until I tracked him down. Until I paid for him in both money and blood. Until I made him mine. - You're out of your mind. - Give him to me! He's mine, damn you. Mine! Mine! Mine, mine! Mine! Mine, mine, mine! Brian? Hey, Brian, where were you? Hey, Barbara's been calling. She's called a couple of times already. She's all upset and crying. What happened with you two tonight? What are you doing? Where are you going? We've gotta get out of here. "We"? Who's "we"? Me and Elmer, or Ulmer, or whatever the hell he's called. Who are you talking about? The old man is right. I've got to be in control. - What old man? - I've got to be in charge. Look, Brian, I know this is kind of tough for you, but could you try making sense for just a couple of minutes, please? I've got to sort things out. I've got to be in control. Look, Brian, if you're in trouble, if you need help, talk to me. I'm your brother. I'll help you. Barbara will help you. But we can't help you if you won't talk to us. We can't help you if you're just going to run away. I don't have time. I've got to get out of here fast. And go where? Hey, Brian, hold it. You forgot your buckets. What a nice room, Brian. This is a real classy place. We've got to talk. You've got to answer some questions. - Like what? - Like that old man. Was anything he said true? Aw, stupid old fool. Kept me weak by feeding me animal brains while they drained me like two shrivelled parasites. They kept me weak, but I still left them. Is that what you want, Brian? Want me to leave you, too? - No, no. I just, I just... - Damn right you don't. So what are we doing here? Look, I just want to sort things out. You've got me so I can't think clearly. I can't function clearly. And I thought you were having such a good time. I was, I... I am, but... But I think something awful happened last night, and I can't remember it. I don't remember where I went or who I met or what I did. All I remember is feeling something sticky in my pants and finding them covered in blood. And not my blood. Part of my talent, Brian, is to spare you any unpleasantness. Yeah, but when it comes to blood in my underwear, I want to know how it got there. Well, it's no big deal. Nothing to get upset about. It came from that girl at the club. What girl? The girl whose brains I ate. What? The blood came from the girl whose brains I sucked out. You sucked out her brains? Yeah. Right through her mouth. - Is she dead? - Of course she's dead. What, are you kidding? What are you telling me? That we killed someone last night? You really don't remember any of it? No, no, I don't. How about the nightwatchman? Remember him? - The nightwatchman? - Yeah. Sucked him dry in the junkyard. First night we went out. Oh, my God. - Want to hear the details? - No! You're a wreck, Brian. You've got to relax. Why don't you put me on your neck and calm down? - No way. It's not going to happen again. - What isn't? Killing people. I thought you meant getting high. We can't keep killing people every time you're hungry. Oh, yes we can. We'll do anything I want us to do. You're mine now, Brian. I own you. Tacky, Brian, tacky. Yeah, well, from now on, I'm the one who's gonna be calling the shots. I'm the one who's going to be in control. You're not strong enough, Brian. Your chemistry has changed. Yeah? Well, then we'll stay here until I get strong enough. Till I get your goddamn fluid out of my system. - Then we're going to do things my way. - Just like all the others, aren't you? Maybe I should put you in some kind of container. Oh, don't worry, Brian. I won't bite you while you're asleep. No, no, no, no. I want you to beg for it now. Just like you're going to beg for a brain. Good. A little contest. I don't get a brain, you don't get my juice. We'll just see who cracks first. Yeah, well, we'll just see. What's the matter, Brian? Feeling ill? Shut up! Oh, please, Brian, you're not going to throw up in front of me, are you? I don't want to watch this. Why did you bring me here? Why couldn't you leave me home? I'll tell you why, Brian. It's cos you know you're not going to win. You know you're going to need my juice. Oh... Oh, God. You know the pain is going to get so big that only my juice will stop it. - Make it stop. - Only my juice will help you. You know that, don't you, Brian? Deep down inside you know that. Hey, Brian, why don't we go out tonight and get us some girls? Yeah, that's a swell idea. Let's go up to 33rd Street and get us some hookers. Get ourselves a car and pile them in. Boy, oh, boy, I could eat a million of them tonight. Oh, my G... Uh-oh, Brian, now you're really losing your mind. Oh, my! Well, well! Ready to beg for it, Brian? Ready to crawl across the floor and plead for my juice? No? Not yet? Well... Give it a few more hours, Brian. Whenever you want the pain to stop, I'll be here. Whenever you want to stop hurting, you come to me. When the pain gets so great you think you're turning inside out, just ask for my juice. Come to me when you're ready, Brian. Come to me and get my juice. # Why are the stars always winking and blinking above # What makes a fellow start thinking of falling in love # It's not the season # The reason is plain as the moon # It's just Aylmer's tune # What makes a lady of 80 go out on the loose? # Why does a gander meander in search of a goose? # What puts the kick in a chicken, the magic in June? # It's just Aylmer's tune - # Listen... - Help me. - # Oh, listen... - Please. - # There's a lot you're liable to be missin' - Please help me. - # Sing it - I need it. - # Swing it - Juice... # Any old way and any old time # The hurdy-gurdies, the birdies, the cop on the beat # The candy-maker, the baker, the man on the street # The city charmer, the farmer, the man in the moon # All sing Aylmer's tune # Why, hello, Brian. How are you? How are you doing? Help me. Please, help me. Hey, of course I'll help you, Brian. You and I are pals. I'll be happy to help you. But you'll have to feed me first. You read the newspapers, you listen to the TV news. Talking about nuclear waste, talking about nuclear bombs. Nuclear war. They're crying all over the place. They're crying in America, they're crying in Europe. The whole world's gonna come to an end. If it's gonna go, man, it's gonna go, and I'm gonna enjoy seeing this whole friggin' world blow up. And I'm gonna be smiling while having my beer. And I wanna see this last blast, baby. I wanna see it go. Are you nervous? Hey, man, you new here? You okay? Yeah. Hey, it's cool. No one's going to bother you. What's your problem, man? Huh? Uh, nothing. Everything's fine. All yours. Aylmer? Aylmer? Psst! Aylmer? Aylmer? Psst. Aylmer? Lamont? Lamont, is that you? Asshole! Shh! Someone's gonna hear. Thanks for putting up with me tonight. I really needed to be with someone. I'm glad you called. I only wish there was more I could do. Well, we checked with all his friends. I don't know where else we could look. Yeah, Dad called again last night. He sounded really worried. I didn't know what to tell him. I can't deal with being dumped like this. When you're close to someone, you think you mean something to them. It hurts to be so easily discarded like this. I feel so worthless and shitty. - And stupid. - Stop it! You're a very special lady, and if Brian doesn't see it anymore, well, I do. Don't. Don't... Look, you know how I feel about you. I only stayed away because of Brian, but... if it's really over between you... I mean, if he's really left you... No, don't. Want me to take you home? No. I want to stay. Yoo-hoo, Brian. Brian? Oh, my God, Brian. Where were you? Where have you been? Oh, Jesus, Brian. - You both have to get out of here. - Now, wait a minute. Hold it, Brian, this isn't what you... You both have to be gone when I get back. Goddammit, Brian. You can't just disappear and expect nothing to happen. - You can't expect everyone to just... - He's hungry again. He ate a little while ago, but he's hungry again. What? And when he gets hungry, someone gets killed. - "Killed"? - When who gets hungry? Both of us. He needs the brains, but I need his juice. It's as simple as that. I tried to fight him, but I can't. - I can't. I can't. - What the hell are you talking about? And I can't cope with the killing. I can't cope with knowing I'm going to kill someone. So I'll just take his juice and never have to know. But then I also won't know if it's you or not. If I'm high, I won't know the difference. And I don't want it to be you. Either of you. I don't want it to be you. - Get away from me. - Brian, hold it. Leave me alone! One brain's as good as the next. Brian, you don't have to say anything. You don't have to look at me. But listen to me, please. I know you're in trouble. I know something's happened to you. I know you need help. I just... I just... Jesus, Brian! I thought you and I were having trouble with our relationship. I didn't think you'd be talking about getting killed or killing someone or... I can understand you being upset with me. I realize we have some problems with our relationship. But first, Brian, first you need help. I've never seen anyone change as drastically and as suddenly as you have. You're like a total stranger to me now. I'll be damned if I'm just going to walk off and let you rot away. I can't sit by and watch you disintegrate. Brian, you're telling me you're going to kill someone and you don't even realize you're killing yourself. I wish I knew what to say to get through to you. I don't want anything to happen to you. I was mad before. I was angry. That was because I thought you were gone. I don't want to lose you, Brian. I don't want to lose you. Brian... We want it back. We want it back now. - You can't. He's... - Put your hands up. And get against the wall. Blink your eyes and you're dead. What the hell's going on out here? Move it. Listen, I really need him. I'll get sick. Aylmer. Oh, Aylmer. Oh. Aylmer. Aylmer. Quick. Bring him to me. Hurry. Hurry. - Give him to me, you stupid fool. - No. Oh... Aylmer. Aylmer. Aylmer. No! Oh, Jesus, God, let's get out of here. I'm not finished. I think... I think I'm going to be sick. Okay, hold it. Put me on your neck. Hurry up. Barbara? Brian! We'll do it again.