You Brought this on Yourself
Before the story, I’d just like to explain to those who don’t know that a Tulpa is an entity that is conjured in someone’s imagination, (in this case, Jack’s) and given so much attention that they become real. But when people stop paying attention to them, they fade into nothingness. This is a story focused on an ego everyone seems to overlook.
Marvin was curled in the darkness, cape wrapped around his shoulders and mask broken and cracked in some other corner of the room. If this even was a room, he really couldn’t tell. Darkness extended in every direction, and the air was cold and stagnant. He had been here for months. Maybe years? Time didn’t exist here, at least not as much as he could tell. Every day more of his memories faded from him. He’d even almost forgotten his own name. This was the fate of a Tulpa who’s been abandoned.
Suddenly, he heard footsteps. Was it Sèan? Finally, Sèan had come back for him, just as he’d promised! But no, that hope dissipated as soon as it bloomed. The static crackling in the air was a telltale sign that this was not Sèan.
“What do you want, Anti? What could you possibly want here?,” Marvin croaked out, surprised at his own voice. Is this really what he sounds like? He hadn’t spoken in so long he didn’t even remember.
“Why hello Marvin, good seeing you. Surprised you haven’t disappeared yet, most Tulpas dissipate in a few months after being forgotten. I’m impressed you’ve hung on this long!”
Marvin cringed at the voice, the harsh scratchiness of it sending waves of panic down his spine.
“You didn’t answer my question. Why are you here?” Marvin queried him again. His instincts told him he should be scared, but what could Anti possibly do to him now? He was already half dead, there’s not much more Anti could do to him now even if he wanted to.
“I have a proposition to offer you. Without his fan’s continued interest in you, you are dying. Such is the fate of a tulpa who falls out of public eye. However, I can give you a chance to survive. If you agree to join me, I can give you the power to exist separate from their whims. I can give you the power to enact revenge on the person who cast you into this darkness.”
Marvin knew exactly who he was talking about. Sèan. With those words, a new anger bloomed in his chest. How dare Sèan create him and leave him here to die. How DARE he abandon him like this?! Anti quickly took notice of the new fire in Marvin’s eyes. Exactly as planned.
“So what do you say, Marvin old pal? How about we get revenge on Sèan together? With my power, you’ll never have to worry about appeasing his little cult to stay alive ever again. You’ll be free.”
Marvin knew he shouldn’t listen. He of all the egos knew that anything Anti could offer him would be laced in poison. But yet, it had enough truth in it to make him think. He was on the brink of death. If he didn’t accept this offer, he would die, alone in the darkness where no one would remember him. A primal instinct to survive overtook him. He didn’t want to die. Even if it took joining Anti to survive, he would do it. Marvin took Anti’s extended hand, allowing it to pull him to his feet. Anti certainly didn’t lie about the power. As soon as Marvin grabbed his hand he felt it rush through him. At first it was painful, a burning in his veins that made him want to scream and claw at his own skin. But then, it changed. The pain turned into energy. Strength. He felt better than he EVER had. He felt like he could do anything! With his past pain and weakness gone, he could focus on his anger.
“I’m supposing you’d like to see him?
Sure thing, but just a warning. Don’t kill him. I want him alive for just a little bit longer. Don’t worry, I’ll give you your chance to rip him into bloody pieces, but stay your hand for now.”
With that, Anti led Marvin deeper into the darkness until they eventually came upon a cell. It was huge and near pitch black inside, except for a lone figure hunched against the far wall. The clacking of chains filled the space as the figure shifted, looking up at the newcomers.
“Marvin! Marvin, please! You’re the only one left who can-”
Seán’s pleas died when he saw the figure standing behind Marvin, a protective hand on the magician’s shoulder.
“Wh-why?” Seán croaked out, letting his weight once again sag against the cold stone wall. “Why did you join him?”
Anti unlocked the door, letting Marvin into the cell. He made his way to Seán, crouching down to eye level. It was only then that Seán noticed the slight green tint in Marvin’s eyes.
“Why do you think, Seán? I was a throwaway character. You gave me life then threw me aside to suffer in the darkness. Joining Anti was the only way for me to survive without your little fans’ continued interest. Do you know how it feels to be forgotten? When they forgot who I was, so did I! I became a hollow shell, disappearing into nothingness. The worst part?
IT WAS ALL YOUR FAULT. You promised to bring me back, to put me into public eye again. You lied. Just like them, you forgot about me.”
Seán squirmed under Marvin’s furious gaze. The excitable and passionate magician he had created was gone, replaced by someone he didn’t even recognize.
“I DON’T WANT YOUR WORTHLESS APOLOGIES!” Marvin slammed his hand against the wall to Seán’s right, cracking the stone and sending a jolt of green energy up through the wall into the ceiling. “There is NOTHING you can say to make up for what you’ve done. You’re going to pay with your life.”
Marvin glanced back at Anti before continuing.
“But not yet. Until then, you get to feel what it’s like to be forgotten,” he said the last word with with a sinister upturn that reminded Sèan too much of Anti. Marvin really was gone.
“They won’t forget me, I KNOW they won’t. They’re too observant for that, they won’t fall for your trickery!”
Marvin laughed, the sound echoing against the cell and sending daggers of fear and dread into Seán’s heart. He sounded just like Anti. If Marvin wasn’t right in front of him he might even assume it WAS Anti.
“Really, Seán? Sure, some of them have caught on, but not enough. The vast majority just keep watching like nothing is wrong. Your own girlfriend doesn’t even know the difference.”
At the mention of Signe, Seán tensed.
“What have you done with her!? Leave her alone or I’ll, I’ll-!”
Marvin leaned back on his heels, observing Seán with an almost predatory glare.
“You’ll do what? You’re chained to the wall in a pocket dimension with absolutely no hope of escape. There’s nothing you can do to stop us.” He stood again, leaning against the wall. “But don’t worry, we won’t hurt her. It’s not like she’d notice if anything happened to you anyway. She’s been going along her normal business this whole time, not even noticing she’s living with an imposter. If she doesn’t notice, why would they?”
Marvin was right and Seán hated it. The burst of energy he gained at the mention of Signe was gone, and exhaustion overtook him once more. He let himself collapse against the wall.
“I still have Chase. He’ll think of something. He has to,” Seán’s voice was almost a whisper at this point, his throat too thrashed from screaming for help to conjure anything louder.
“Will he?” This was Anti’s voice now, Seán could tell without even looking up. He did anyway though, only to see a new figure standing near the bars of his cell. It was Chase. He had his hat pulled low against his eyes, but Seán swore he saw tears glistening in harsh light near the bars of his confinement.
“No. Not you too! You were the only ally I had left!” Seán screamed this out with all of his remaining strength, prompting Anti to chuckle slightly at the display.
“I’m sorry, Seán. I had no choice. I was a throwaway character in a parody video nobody asked for. Joining Anti was the only thing that could bring me back into public eye. I had to protect my family, and when given the choice, they come first,”
He turned away from the cell, wiping his tears before following Anti back into the surrounding darkness. Before he left, however, he turned to Seán one last time.
“You brought this on yourself.”
PS: there’s a sequel now!
Welp, here’s the story I promised. It’s just a little thing I thought up while browsing Anti theories, and was mostly inspired by @hufflepufftrax, as well as a few other writers. Also, I’d like to extend a thank you to my cat Olive for her moral support. I felt like people were shifting the blame onto us, and rightfully so I might add, but they forgot about Jack. This is partially his fault too, isn’t it? Who knows, that’s for you to decide. Thanks for reading!