Chapter 9 "Enter Insanity"
I come out of the bathroom in a robe, drying my hair after a hot bath and stop at the dresser. I’ve been sulking for the past hour—since I came home—and I still haven’t gotten it all out of my system. Why do I feel so scared and vulnerable? Those things I saw aren’t real. No matter how everything felt when I experienced it, they can’t be. They. are. not. real.
I look up at the mirror on my wall, putting the towel on the dresser, and the sight of how terrified and perplexed I am repulses me so much I break down again. “There can’t be anything wrong with me...” I’ve never been so terrified in my entire life. I’d never imagined seeing such ugly, horrible—looking things—in the flesh—so real and close by. These things would only exist in movies! Why—why can’t I understand that! It feels like it’s still happening; like I’m in two different realities. Stuck in this one, but mentally ensnared in that other evil place. “Leave me... Leave me alone... damn it, go away...! Please, go away!” I wipe under my sore eyes, and when I open them again, I see the walls bowing in, the lights fading in and out at the same time. What the fuck—?! I rub my eyes again and everything is back to normal. Is my mind playing tricks on me?! This paranoia is taking a huge toll on me. I need to find a way to relax. I can’t keep dealing with this! There has to be something I can do. Some pills... Sleeping pills. Plenty of sleeping pills.
I turn around and go get them out of the drawer of the nightstand beside my bed. Two of them would usually put me out. I highly doubt that’s going to happen tonight. I dump a quarter of the small bottle into my hand.
“GET’ER BOYS! HAHAHA! AHAHAHAA!”
“They come out of there when he’s influenced them to a certain point they don’t know who they are anymore and go over to that hellish place!”
I squeeze the cluster in my hand. “Go. Away.”
I throw back three pills and grab a bottle of water off the nightstand, then I put the rest of the pills away and almost go back over to the dresser to get a nightgown, but the faces of all those messed up people and the shadows of the cannibals showing up one by one in my head stop me cold. I frown deeply, turning my head a little while setting the opened water on the stand. As I do this, something catches me off-guard; a strange shadow in my mirror. It moves too fast for me to understand what it is. My imagination immediately forms the image of one of the cannibals hiding somewhere in the apartment. I back up slowly, looking from it to my window. That same shadow zips back and forth in the mirror and vanishes again. Something’s here.
I breathe out slower as I reach behind me and try to open the nightstand’s drawer, then I grab my pistol out of there and make sure it’s loaded. Carefully, I move away from the bed to check the window. No one is out there. Nothing is in the mirror. I then go around checking all the doors and windows. They’re all locked. Everything is perfectly normal. I put my hand on my forehead with a sigh. This is ridiculous.
When I go back to my room, I glance at the mirror again and suddenly jump with a scream; there’s a tall shadow man behind me with a bright light as his face, grabbing both sides of my head. A high-pitched siren is in my ears, making me drop the gun. I quickly whirl around and suddenly the scenery has changed to me standing in a concrete hallway with single doors on both sides all the way down. I glimpse back and see an exit sign over the stairwell down there. All the walls are chipping green and white paint. That man is gone. Ahead of me at the very end, the hall opens to a main hall with windows. I quickly look down to see I’m in a hospital gown. “What-!? No! No I’m not-!” I squeeze the fabric. This can’t be true! I don’t understand!!! I cough and hold my mouth. It smells like death, decay and feces all of the sudden. It’s frigid cold and a little echoic in here. KHHH! “Yes. I’m on it.” The sound of a man talking on his radio makes me jump again. “Miss May... you can’t run forever.” An orderly? It sounds like he’s around the corner farther down the main hall. I need to get out of here! I need to get out of here FAST!
I make a stealthy run for the stairwell. The siren is still in my head but fading in and out and I’m beginning to hear whispers, laughter, pleasured moans from women and malicious growls from both men and inhuman creatures. Within all these noises, I hear a faint baritone voice saying my name like beckoning a child. Why is this happening to me! What is all this!!!
I get to the door and find that it’s unlocked. I don’t understand why it’s unlocked, but I have no choice. I open it and slip through the door. I really hope no one heard me!
As I’m hurrying down, I realize I was on the fifth floor. And as soon as I reach the third floor, I feel like someone has appeared behind me. I shift around, only to find an empty set of stairs. The feeling is getting worse. Slowly, I move closer to the railing and peer down. Empty... from what I can tell. My heart is racing so badly. If nothing is around me... or down there...
My eyes gradually rise in fear. There’s a man with big red curly hair in white patient clothes with dark stains around the neck staring down at me from two floors up. All the air has just left me. It looks like his face was ripped up around the eyes and liquid is oozing from his stitches. The unearthly sight of him has frozen me solid. He’s starting to say something. He’s repeating himself—and he’s getting louder. He becomes so loud that I understand his shaky, rough voice shouting, “I’M HAPPY! ARE YOU HAPPY?!” I let out a bloodcurdling scream and race down the stairs. He smacks the guardrail with both hands, jumping up and down and laughing, and then he takes off downstairs after me. I scream again and almost fall forward but slam into the wall. I push off it to run down the next flight of stairs until I get to the second floor. I swing the door open and slam it shut with my back against it. I look all around, my heart pounding in my ears and my chest aching. The lights are flickering here. It reeks worse than the fifth floor. SLAM! I jump and see that man banging on the door looking out the small window at me, “NO ONE IS HAPPIER THAN ME—BECAUSE I’M FREE! RONALD IS FREE!!!” He yells at me while shaking his head and then he hits the window again, making me jerk again. He steps back and then slowly moves closer to trace his finger in the shapes of letters. His eyes are wide open and lifeless while his mouth is smiling like a glitching robot. I start backing away as I read ‘HLIEH’ on the window. He lowers his head with a slow wicked smile and walks back upstairs. I put my hand over my chest as I try to calm down. What the hell was all that! What is HLIEH? Did he want to kill me?
“Miss Addison,” I hear a woman behind me. I spin around and see her dressed in an old-fashioned nurse uniform. “Finally...” She smiles at me. I back away from her. “You stay away from me. You get the fuck away from me!”
“Oh,” she laughs, “always such a rebellious one, aren’t you? Come now, dear. It’s time for your checkup. Please, sit down in the wheelchair.”
I shake my head disbelievingly. “I don’t understand...” She looks down at my arms and legs, then back up to my eyes. I follow her gaze and an instant surge of fear shoots throughout my body. “WHAT HAPPENED TO MY ARMS AND LEGS?!” They’re burned! BADLY BURNED!
“Miss Addison, please get in the wheelchair.” She says. I shake my head quickly at her, “No, this isn’t right! This isn’t right!!!” I back away from her fast. She moves toward me, still smiling. I spin around and take off for the other end where the windows are. FUCK YOU LADY! FUCK THIS PLACE! I look back and she isn’t chasing me. As I look in front of me again, the sunlight coming in from the windows becomes a blinding white light. The siren is back and the voices are fazing in like raising the volume on a radio playing static. I slap my hands on both sides of my head and scream again. And then suddenly everything disappears from my sight and the noises are gone—like they never existed. They’re replaced by a beeping noise.
It’s my alarm clock.
I blink a few times. Oh... oh my head hurts...
I’m on my bed? The water bottle is on my nightstand with the cap off. Did I dream all this? I don’t remember falling asleep. I checked all the windows and doors, they’re locked, and the mirror...
I get off the bed, looking over at it. The towel is over there. Everything looks just how I left it last night. What... happened to me? In a daze, I go to the bathroom to clean up.
During my shower, I try very hard to understand what really happened. No matter how I think, nothing makes sense. I almost forget... today, I have to work. How am I going to function? God, please help me. I need you right now.
I park my truck outside a large house and go to the door. Two presses of the doorbell and the homeowner answers. “Josephine... hello...” I smirk. She does the same back and invites me inside, “Come in bad boy.” As I walk inside, she smacks my ass. I turn around to her and pull her close, sniffing her strong perfume, “You’re alone... How shall I pleasure you today...”
“Tie me up, and I want you to fuck me just like a real beast with his prey.”
“Alright... Sounds perfect.” I pick her up and take her upstairs.
When we get to her room, I tie her to the bed posts with her belts. “Treat me like a dirty slave whore, Gabriel. I want you to tear me to pieces.” Such interesting taste she has. I smile at her. “Funny you mention me tearing you apart...” I don’t like fucking old women too much. Today, I’m not really in the mood. Josephine... we had a great time. You got what you wanted; I fucked you like I never have before, and though it was quite hard on you, it was something beyond perfect, and now you will pay me quite a substantial amount of money for it. She pants even more, so hard it’s like what I said is true. “The key... the key is in my dresser... you know where it is...” she lays back on the pillow. I nod and get it, then unlock the safe. “You know, these old safes are pretty nice. I love vintage.” I say. Once I’m done collecting many hundreds of dollars, I turn back to her with another smile, “See you next time.”
“Oh yes baby,” she chuckles. I leave her room and go downstairs.
The moment I open the front door, I see Reuben standing there by my truck. I’m shocked. Speechless. I can’t even move. Why is he here? What does he want? The sight of him... I want to completely obliterate him. How much good that would do everyone... Right there, is the key to all of my suffering.
He waggles a finger, “Taking advantage of your elders... isn’t nice.”
“...When I’m really horny, I give her what she wants. But today I’m not as much.” I quietly say. “Ruben... why are you here? Have you come to collect me like you did with Jack?”
“No, no... I’m just watching you Gabriel.”
“Why? Why have you come...? Where is my father?” I ask.
“Between here... and there.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“Patience little one... your time will come.” He smiles and walks into the street, disappearing in plain sight.
This agitates me. Really agitates me. Why won’t he answer me? What does he want! Why is he playing with me? Is he leading me to something? I get in the truck.
I need to hurry back to the apartments. This may have been a sign he’s going there now! I back out of the driveway and floor it. Addison, you had better be home!