Chapter 6 "First Encounter"
The memories end as we walk up to my black, 2000 dodge truck and I open the door for you, looking around the parking lot all the while.
“You make yourself look suspicious.” You say as you get in and I give you a dry expression before shutting your door. When I go around and get in my side, I say, “A little mouthy tonight, aren’t we?” I start the engine, thinking over your sly remark. “You know... I think I actually like it.” At that, you choose not to say anything else, but I can hear you thinking ‘I’ll never get out of this. Why does he make me live like this? Like a caged animal? But I... I...’ Now you’re almost changing your mind; ‘No... I belong to him. I shouldn’t feel like leaving. He said I’m not leaving him anyway. This isn’t right. What is wrong with me?’ You don’t like these thoughts. They feel like memories forced into your head; this doesn’t seem like you at all. How—how is that possible? I have to laugh at you.
“What’s so funny?”
“You’re thoughts.” I put the truck in gear and back out of the parking spot.
“My thoughts? ...Where are we going?”
“You will see.” We drive away from the apartment complex and get on the two-lane road.
“...I feel like I’m not alone in my own mind.”
“Oh really? Why’s that?”
“I... don’t know.” You look down. I watch and listen to your inner voice saying, ‘I hope I’m not going crazy.’ You imagine yourself hitting both sides of your head and telling the other voice to get out. You want out. You want that other voice gone, and you want to be free. Would you like to know what it is to feel insane? I know what it is, and I know what will do it for you Addison.
I make you think you’re in a dark tunnel. It’s cold, damp and you hear things at the other end. Things like voices, faint laughter, rocks falling, a person running through puddles... You never see or feel them. They’re coming Addison. What are you going to do? They’re cannibals and they know you’re here. You see sparks of light on the walls and hear scraping noises like knives dragging across them. The cannibals are making clicking, breathy noises as they call your name. They’re getting closer... What are you going to do?
You’re backing up as carefully as you can, and step in a puddle. The cannibals stop moving. It’s quiet. It’s so quiet. Oh no, what now! “GET’ER BOYS! Hahaha! Ahahaha! COME HERE LITTLE GIRL! Hahaha!” their voices echo; you see shadowy people running at you. I appear just behind you, watching them with a blank stare. I start to grin and put my hand over your mouth, causing you to scream. “You’re alone in here with me now.” The shadowy people vanish just before attacking. You jump and writhe in my arms. I burst out laughing and yank your head back. Listen to that delicious pulse! I lunge down to your neck but suddenly your screams nearly shatter my eardrums. I jump away with my hands on my head and you take off running the other way until you’re outside. The pain in my head causes me to lose focus of being there with you. Now, I can only see through your eyes. I didn’t give you an option to escape! I didn’t allow you a way outside! You’re not supposed to go that way!
You make it out onto the grounds of a large dilapidated mental hospital. What is this! I didn’t form this image! People in uniforms are walking around; some are smiling as they push deceased patients on gurneys and in wheelchairs up a sidewalk into the parking area for ambulances, and other employees are staring back at you with dead, glazed—over eyes. They slowly tilt their heads. A few of them have blood and other liquids oozing from their bodies, staining their clothes. You hold your mouth, almost throwing up from fear and disgust overwhelming you. Something on the top floor also catches your attention; a man is standing in a tall window and a female nurse is behind him. He’s wearing a red t-shirt and jeans. You feel your palms getting very sweaty and your mouth has gone completely dry. He screams out; “HELP ME!” And then, he walks off the ledge. It’s almost entirely casual how he moves. Your eyes follow him as he crashes into the pavement, and just seconds later, two smiling employees wheel a gurney up to him.
As they put him on it, haunting sounds of laughter echo throughout the grounds. It’s the nurse. You fall to your knees, tears riding down your cheeks. “Why... why!!! Is this hell...?” Suddenly, you see a windshield, a dashboard and notice you’re in a truck. We’re parked behind a diner now. That was a very interesting moment we had. Most of what we saw was not my doing. I know you didn’t make that up Addison. Who did this? I start frantically thinking of all the possibilities, but you interrupt me by shooting me a traumatized look. I grind my teeth and try to calm my nerves. “Stop looking at me like that. I know what you’re thinking and how you feel. Stop it Addison.” You start breathing fast again and try to get out. I grab your leg, digging my nails into it. You yelp and jerk back, looking at me again. I narrow my eyes at you. “Would you rather go somewhere else?” You stare wide-eyed at me. “Stay put.” I say, letting off your leg.
Who did this... Who manipulated that vision?! That was a dirty trick. I don’t appreciate that one bit. Whoever it is, they have a lot of power. Power beyond my understanding.
I get out and go open your side.
“No, stay away from me!” you attempt to get in my seat. I snatch your waist and flip you over. Looking into your eyes, I say, “I need you to behave while we’re out. Be a good girl.” You shake your head, “Monster...” I inhale deeply through my nose. You spit at me and try to get in my seat again. I wipe it off my cheek with a growl and take a hold of your legs, ripping you out of the truck. You begin to scream as I pick you up and erase the memory of what happened earlier. But as I do this, I can’t take away the vision of the hospital or how you felt about it. I continue to make several attempts to get rid of it but it’s not working. If I do it anymore, I’ll fry your brain. You’re just looking at me now. I blink a few times, both amazed and frustrated. I can’t believe this. Turning my head, I put you down and hold your hand. “...Addison... we need to find who did this.” I slowly glance at you again. You swallow with a little bit of a struggle, your face tense and eyes hopeless and lost. I shut your door and guide you into the place, scanning around suspiciously.
A waitress greets us happily and I comment that I’m surprised they’re open so late. She says, “We don’t close until midnight.” I take a glance at the clock and see it’s 10:30. Unusual for a diner, but perfect for me. “Well... we got here just in time.” She smiles kindly and leads us to a table, sets some menus down and asks what we would like to drink. “I love your shirt!” She says. You slowly look up at her with the same nervousness as you had outside. When the moment becomes too awkward, I laugh softly, “Thanks. I picked it out. Now, I would like a sweet iced tea... and Addison?-What about you?” You’re still staring at her. It concerns her enough she puts her hand on your shoulder and asks if you’re ok. I cough and place my hand across the table to get her attention off you, “She has... episodes.” She sees me frown. I say, “She has a terrible case of PTSD. I figured a nice meal would calm her down.” She also frowns and nods. “Sorry to hear that...”
“Yeah. Me too. Just get her the same thing as me, please.” I tell her. She writes it down, “Ok! I’ll be right back.” She leaves.
I take your hand and rest it on the table, “How about we discuss that hospital—quietly, please.” You finally blink and steady your attention on my eyes. You yank your hand away from mine. “What did you do to me?”
“What did I do to you? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You fucked with my head. Bad. Who do you think you are?”
I sit quietly. A few seconds go by and I slowly fish in my pocket for my pack of cigarettes, “Just explain what happened.” I take one out and light it. Now you’re blaming me? For something like that?
As you watch me calmly blow smoke out, observing you with thinning eyes, the waitress returns to the table with our drinks. We take them and I order steak cooked rare, hash-browns and eggs for us both. She leaves again, waving the smoke out of her face, annoyed.
“How long will I be yours?” You ask.
“I think you should live every moment to the fullest.”
“Oh...” you say, “So that’s it. So while you keep me around, you put me through-” We hear someone open the door and I look past your head. A tall man with wavy blonde hair, wearing a leather jacket, jeans and biker boots is coming in. My muscles tense and my fangs start filling with venom. No... it can’t be him...
You try to turn around but I take your wrist and force you to stay still. You growl at me and I growl back with a deeper, vicious tone. He looks in our direction and smiles warmly at me. The worst thing ever is about to happen to us. He’d better not be the reason things went differently in that vision I gave you.