Entry: Mikado II:
Today, they performed electroshock therapy on Mikado around ten in the morning. This was the sixth session. Etsuko’s interns strapped him down in the chair and pushed rubber into his mouth. Already, he looked zoned out. Etsuko was the one who suggested this last month. The tadpoles seemed to show progress with this new form of treatment in this project.
“Everything set?” Etsuko asked.
“Yes ma’am,” Yuzuru said.
“Good, good,” the doctor said. She fired up the machine. The electricity ran through the wires to his head.
“Are you alright?”
He opened his eyes and saw a woman dressed in a kimono. She was drying a glass with a rag. Mikado sat with a blank stare. The woman waved her hand in front of his face.
“Hello?” she asked. “Hello? Hello?” A whole lot of nothing. The woman tilted her head and frowned.
“Let’s like I’m going to have to get him back,” she said. The woman disappeared to the back. She returned with a jar of heated red oil. Mikado’s head jerked with the heat filled his nose.
“Gah!” he said. The woman stood with her hands on her hips.
“You’re back, I see,” she said. Mikado blinked at first.
“Oh, Maria-san,” he said. “I didn’t recognize you there.”
“You can’t keep showing up in the bar, you know,” she said.
“It’s not my fault. I just show up here at random.” Mikado rubbed his forehead. He could still feel the shocks they were giving him on the outside.
“Never mind that,” Maria said. “Let me guess, you have no money either.” The boy shook his head. This was turning into a habit. Last time, he ended up in a strange hotel and wandered the hall, trying to find the exit. Every time he came this bar, he didn’t want to go out the door.
“Figures,” Maria said. “You can’t stay here, you know?”
“I won’t cause any trouble,” Mikado said.
“I know won’t, because you aren’t staying here.”
“Excuse me, but have I done something to offend you?”
Maria sighed and folded her arms across her chest. “No.”
“Then why are you so cold towards me?”
Maria leaned forward with eyes that could cut through his soul. “Because you aren’t supposed to be here. This is a place for the dead. You are not to die yet.”
“But why do I keep coming back here?”
Maria turned to her bottles on the black wooden shelves. “That, I cannot answer for you.” Mikado froze when he heard rattling at the door. He looked in the direction of the sound as his stomach turned.
“Oh, there’s something I forgot to mention,” Maria said. The boy turned back to the bar owner with her back to him.
“What is it?” he asked with a trembling voice. She glanced over her shoulder.
“Keep popping up around here and you won’t be able to get back,” she said. “You’ll be stuck here forever.”
“Would that be a bad thing?” Mikado asked. Maria turned around with a curious look on her face. She opened her mouth to speak, but he couldn’t hear her words.
They walked Mikado back to his room. Yuzuru slipped him into his bed and left the room. The patient stared at the wall with empty eyes. Pieces of him had been broken up again. He was in no shape to try and put them back together. Mikado didn’t have the energy to do so either.
Suddenly, a voice filled his distorted head. Strangely enough, it didn’t frighten him. In fact, it felt so familiar. This voice only had one message to give him.
“I am not going to die in this place. And neither will you.”