For years I heard voices in my head. I ignored them as best I could when I figured out no one else could hear them. At first, that was okay. But then they began to get louder. Demanding. Bordering on homicidal. I tried prescription drugs I bought off junkies. Mind altering drugs. They only made things worse. The voices started to take control. Making me say things I’d never say.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t care about my pride any longer. I checked into the nearest asylum. I told them about the voices. The nurses put me up for the night and told me the doctor would be in in the morning. While screams echoed the hall and my cott smelled of duty people and I didn’t want to know what, I lay in wait for the first rays of light.
The night was long. The voices got louder than the screams down the hall. My head bounced hard against the concrete wall of the room until I’m sure it started to bleed.
The sun was a welcome sight as the voices faded with the night. I was escorted to breakfast by a burly nurse in black scrubs. The cafeteria tables brought my memory back to high school. I found one abandoned. The top apparently used as a carving post. Words and images covered nearly the entire surface. I sat and looked around the now silent room.
Weariness settled in me. Everyone peered at me with they’re own crazy eyes. Whispers echoed softly but no one moved their eyes from me or turned their head to speak to anyone else.
Choosing to ignore them despite my screaming instincts and voices I nibbled on a piece of bread as I concentrated rather hard on my tray. ‘Show no weakness’ the voices urged.
A heavy thump and the violent vibration of the table alerted me to a rather large presence to my right. I could feel eyes burning through my right temple, but I refused to acknowledge it. I shut down a shutter that wanted to rip through me, causing me to bite down on my lip. Salty iron bloomed in my mouth where the roll I was still chewing absorbed. I forced down the disgusting food while avoiding the gag reflex needing a release.
Wet, foul breath met my cheek before a large inhaling breath sounded in my ear. They were smelling me? The voices went quiet. Almost as if this thing could hear them too and they feared it.
A wood chopping preceded another vibrating of the table. Our of the corner of my eye a beefy hand used a carving tool to scar the wood more. Curious, I shifted my head to watch. His head snapped back to me, his cold eyes freezing my thoughts. The voices ran. I could hear their frightened screams fade
His large, dirty hand slammed onto my tray making me flinch. With his eyes still holding mine I didn’t see the roll he took until he pressed it to my bloody lip briefly then, with my blood visible to me, he shoved it into his mouth. He chewed briefly and swallowed.
No amount of will power could keep the nausea at bay. My hand instantly covered my mouth in attempt to avoid projectile vomit. I rushed to the nearest trash can and let loose everything I had.
A nurse gave me a napkin and proceeded to escort me out of the room. Looking back briefly, the man was now seated in front of my tray. Food in one hand and carving tool in the other.
The walk was a blur as my mind tried to make sense of the crazy man. “Have a seat. The doctor will only be a moment.”
Dazed, I looked around the room. I wasn’t sure I was seeing things right. I rubbed my eyes, hoping the shock from breakfast was making me delusional. While the furniture n albeit a bit dirty, looked normal; the decor wasn’t. Where one would typically see models of body parts for teaching purposes, there were real body parts. Skulls, rib cage, hearts in glass jars that I could swear beat on occasion. Stuffed crows were placed on the end of a shelf as if to balance the death out. I reached out my hand to touch one without realising I had gotten out of the seat. It snapped at my hands and squawked at me. That’s when the voices came back. But not only voices, faces too. All around me I could see who the voices belonged to. Their cries a cacophony of ear splitting noise. In a failed attempt to down them out I pressed my hands tightly to my ears. The only thing I silenced was the sound of the doctor walking in. His hand on my shoulder made me jump in fear that the voices could now touch me. I swung my hands out, hitting the doctor in the shoulder. He grasped my hands in his own until my senses returned and the voices stopped. The faces remained, expressions of fear so clear on their murky faces.
“Please, have a seat.” He said kindly, letting go of my hands. I did as told and took him in for the first time. His hair hung in dark soft waves just below his eyebrows and his eyes shone a light, almost white blue. His full lips curved into a polite smile, undoubtedly perfected over the years to make others feel at ease. He was tall, but not too tall. Fit. Athletic build. Perfect. Too perfect. Even his voice lured you in. I was the fish, and he the unbaited hook. I didn’t want to see that hook baited. I’d lose all my self control.
Wary of this far too pristine doctor I sat in silence waiting for him to speak. What he said frightened me.
“I hear them too.”