A young woman, Winelde Nogstrof, sits gloomily in her shower, as water pours down on her from above. She twitches uncontrollably as she is bombarded by painful memories of a traumatic childhood event. She runs her hands through her thick, red hair and holds her head, wishing she could pull those memories out and throw them to the floor and watch them disappear forever as they are carried down the shower drain.
The memory flashes intensify until Winelde becomes completely still, staring into space with seemingly lifeless eyes. Her heart rate slowly accelerating with each passing minute.
Thirty minutes elapse and Winelde remains seated in the shower, still motionless.
A soothing lullaby can be heard emanating from a sophisticated looking smart watch on Winelde’s wrist. The sound finally registers, drawing Winelde’s attention and releasing her from her trance.
She looks at the watch and presses a button, abruptly stopping the lullaby.
The display on the watch shows:
Date: 23/08/2018, Time Lost: 30 Minutes
“Fuck!” she exclaims.
She then stretches her hand towards the ledge above her, retrieves a razor blade, and proceeds to cut her wrists. She screams out in pain then glances up to the roof with a disturbed smile on her face.
Tears start to build up in her beautiful green eyes, as a stream of blood is carried down the drain. “Pain on the outside, trumps pain on the inside” she says.
Winelde is braced on a wall in a makeshift dungeon, with one hand chained, motionlessly staring into space. She is wearing a rather colorful shirt with the words ‘Party Girl’ written on it.
“Hey, party girl, snap out of it,” says Mandy, a beautiful red head, also chained and sitting not more than three feet away from Winelde.
“What’s wrong with her? She’s been in zombie mode since she got here,” asks Valerie, another red head, chained on the opposite side of the room, next to another girl, Joanie, who shares her same hair color.
“Its been over an hour, I think something’s seriously wrong with her,” says Joanie.
“Snap out of it!” Mandy screams at the top of her lungs, which causes Winelde to spring to her feet.
“You forgot the flowers!,” she yells out, much to everyone’s confusion.
“She speaks, thank the heavens,” says Jessica, who unlike the others, is restrained at the direct center of the room. Her face bruised and battered; her thick red hair darkened by streaks of blood flowing down her head.
“Where the fuck am I? What the fuck’s going on?” asks a disoriented Winelde.
She slowly looks around the blood-stained room and sees the only means of entry and exit is through a reinforced door affixed with an extravagantly designed keypad system.
She then looks at the helpless women restrained around the room. “Who the fuck are all of you? Is this some kind of sick game?”
“Why yes, it is green eyes, I beat myself senseless then chained myself up in a fucking dungeon, with four women that look like me, just to mess with you” Jessica responds sarcastically.
“Calm down Jessica, she’s just a bit out of it, give her time,” says Mandy.
“Care to explain what happened to you just now? Joanie asks Winelde.
“The fuck do you mean?” Winelde responds.
Valerie looks at her puzzled. “You were staring into eternal nothingness for over an hour babe, that’s what she means.”
Winelde immediately looks at her wrist and quickly goes into a crazed state of panic.
“No, no, no, no. Where is it? Where the fuck is it?” she says to herself.
“Where is what?” asks Mandy.
“My fucking watch. I need my fucking watch.”
“What’s so important about a watch?” asks Joanie.
The question enrages Winelde who charges at her but is quickly, and painfully reminded of her restraints as she is pulled back violently.
“Bitch you better get a grip of yourself, we’re all friends in here,” scolds Jessica. “Now just breath and calm the fuck down,” she continues.
Winelde braces the wall again and rubs her temple.
She tries to breath and compose herself.
“Good green eyes. Now, do you remember what day it is? It’s hard to keep track in here,” asks Jessica.
“August 31st,” Win responds.
“Fuck me!” Jessica exclaims. “I thought I had more time”, she continues, in a softer, frightened tone.
An adorably plump woman in her early thirties, sits at her desk and looks on uncomfortably at Winelde twitching in her seat in the waiting area, as she waits her turn to see the Doctor. The name on the desk plate says ‘Pamela’. She sees Winelde glancing at the many academic certificates and plaques on the wall.
At the center of all the accolades are several newspaper articles encased in a large, beautiful frame which demands attention. Winelde stares at it curiously. The many headlines all hail the exploits of a handsome Detective in his early thirties, Grayson Frost, and renowned criminal psychiatrist, Dr. Walter Fitzgerald, in solving grizzly crimes.
All the articles carry images of Frost and Fitzgerald, always embracing each other. In one article we see a well-built man in the background, seemingly going unnoticed by the world. The article identifies him as Detective Adrian McBride, Frost’s partner at the time.
Winelde continues to examine the articles, which peeks Pamela’s interest. “Those two were the best of friends you know? It’s a shame what happened to them don’t you think?” Winelde gives Pamela an expressionless look, and without responding, returns to examining the articles.
“You know, I wonder how much progress Dr. Fitz has really been making with you these past couple of months, considering your social skills are still shit,’ says an annoyed Pamela.
‘How much longer do I have to wait?’, ‘I’ve never had to wait this long’, Winelde probes.
‘Dr. Fitz is currently dealing with an unexpected visit from one of New York’s finest Ms. Nogstrof, you’ll just have to be patient’.
Winelde stares at the door to the Doctor’s office, as faint murmurs can be heard coming from the other side. “I keep telling you, just call me Win,” she says, as she tries to listen to the conversation taking place behind the door.
On the other side of the door Fitz is sitting at his desk, in his luxurious therapy room; he is clearly doing well for himself, though he has clearly aged from the image we saw of him in the newspaper articles. A few wrinkles here, a few gray hairs there.
Detective Henry Bishop, an African American man in his mid-twenties is standing before him.
“Sorry if I asked this already, but aren’t you a little young to be a detective Mr. Bishop?” asks Fitz.
“Yes, you asked that already, and to answer your question, I had an early start in life, and I guess the department saw something in me. Now can we please get back to the matter at hand?” the young detective replies impatiently.
“I really don’t know what you want me to do detective, you might be jumping to conclusions.”
“Several women have been going missing; they all fit the same description, beautiful red head. We found one of them in a dumpster with her eyes gouged out two weeks ago for Christ’s sake. You’re really gonna sit there and tell me you don’t think it’s him?”
Fitz moves around uncomfortably in his seat. “Detective, everyone knows what happened the last time I got mixed up with that monster, if it really is him, if he really is back after so many years, I can’t be anywhere near it, I have a family now. Their safety is the most important thing to me.”
“Dr. Fitzgerald I know you can help us get this guy, you know how these people think, you know how The Oculus thinks,”
Fitz is visibly angry now and begins to lash out at the young Detective. “Help you get this guy? The police got a detailed description of that bastard’s face from Frost’s daughter. You circulated a sketch and you still came up with nothing!”
Bishop becomes angry now himself and gets animated. He slams his hand down on Fitz’s desk. “If you wanted us to catch the Oculus that badly you wouldn’t have ran. Now you’ve come back here to act like nothing ever happened. As far as I’m concerned, you’re just a coward”
“My days of being a hero are over, just get the hell out of my office!’ yells a furious Fitz.
Bishop angrily leaves the room and slams the door behind him. Fitz throws a glass at the door, causing it to shatter into several pieces.
Bishop glances around the waiting area and sees Pamela and Win looking on curiously after the commotion they heard coming from inside. He makes way to the exit. Pam’s phone rings and she quickly answers it. “No problem Doctor, right away.” She hops out of her seat and makes her way to Fitz’s door. She glances back at Win as she enters. “No worries Ms. Nogstroff, Dr. Fitzgerald will see you in just a few minutes.” she then closes the door behind her.
Bishops’ phone rings and he stops by the exit to take the call. “This is Bishop.” Mumbling can be heard from the other side of the call. “Jesus Christ, another one?”, asks the weary Detective. “Tell McBride I’ll be right there.”
Win watches on curiously as Bishop exits the office.
Win is now seated on the couch in Fitz’s office, holding her head and sniffing, she has clearly been crying. “Why do you do this to yourself?” asks a concerned Fitz.
“Do what?” Win responds.
“You think that long sleeve is fooling me? Show me your wrists.”
Win reluctantly rolls up her sleeves and reveals her wrists, which are both wrapped in dressing; blood can be seen seeping through.
“Jesus Win,” sighs Fitz.
“Don’t fucking judge me. I lost 30 minutes in the shower last night.”
“What about the watch?”
“It was a really bad episode Doc, I would have lost a lot more time had it not been for the watch.”
Win groans in frustration and throws back on the couch.
“I almost went too deep this time,” she continues, smirking proudly. This amuses her for some reason.
“Why?”, asks Fitz.
“You ask me this every time, and my answer is always the same.”
“This pain” --- Win raises her arms in the air and shows off her wounds--- “It takes my mind off everything else.”
“By everything else you mean your mother and what she did to you?”
Win is suddenly afflicted by another series of painful flashes. She stares blankly at Fitz, who watches on intrigued.
Several minutes pass before Fitz decides to get up and move closer to Win in order to bring her back to reality.
As Fitz approaches the motionless Win, her watch begins to loudly play the soothing lullaby.
Win recovers from her episode and is startled by Fitz standing over her.
“What the fuck are you doing?” she asks.
“I lost you there for a few minutes,” Fitz responds.
“Fuck! Sorry about that Doc”
Fitz returns to his seat with a worried expression.
“Win we’re really going to have to dig deeper and work on your issues with your mother. Your mind is attacking itself with painful memories of what she did,” he says.
“It’s less what she did and more what she let happen. She never believed when I told her. She always believed her boyfriends over her own daughter.”
“Yes, but you can’t let those memories haunt you forever; no one can hurt you now. You’ll have to find something other than that watch to keep you grounded.”
“It’s serving its purpose Doc.”
“What if you no longer had it? What if it got damaged, or stolen?”
Win dismisses Fitz’s warnings.
Have you been taking the meds I prescribed?” asks Fitz.
“Who the fuck knows?” says a seemingly uninterested Win.
“Maybe you don’t want to get better.” Fitz responds, triggering Win.
“I don’t have any fucking friends!! I get close to anybody and I freak the fuck out.” ---Win yells in anger, then begins to cry. --- “And you think I want to be like this?”
“Just relax Win, take it easy, I promise I’ll help you through this.”
Win twitches uncontrollably as painful memories once again flood her mind. “Help me? After what happened with that detective earlier, maybe you’re the one that needs help.”
Fitz is clearly caught off guard by this, but expertly focuses on the matter at hand. “You’re deflecting again Win, let’s stay on you.”
“I’m tired talking about me,” says Win.
“That’s what therapy is all about, you pay me tons of money to sit here and listen to all your shit,” Fitz jokes.
Win wipes her eyes and chuckles. Her mood has changed now, and they both laugh. “Now tell me about your day. How’s your boyfriend, Jaimee is it?”
Win laughs, “He’s not my fucking boyfriend,” she says.
Fitz laughs even harder, “I know, I’m just teasing.”
“You fucking asshole,” responds Win, who is completely at ease now.