Friday, September 04, 2009

More than three's a crowd

"There's more of them out there, you know," they said.

He looked up and took his hands away from covering his ears. "They don't let me do that anymore. I'm not supposed to do that anymore."

"Bah." The sound of their scorn was like a slap. He turned his face away.

"They don't understand," they said. "It had to be done. It still has to be done."

He began rocking as he sat on the edge of his bed, his voice a low moan.

"But they told me--"

"Are you going to listen to them?" They sounded angry. "They're the ones responsible. They do nothing. Someone has to."

He stood, swaying slightly. "But why me? Why do I have to do it?"

"Who else will?" they asked. "Who else has shown they could?"

He shuffled over to the wall, running a shaking hand through untidy hair.

"I don't like it here."

He looked around. The room was bare except for a metal-framed bed standing against the opposite wall.

"The light's too bright."

"All the better to see you," they sang. "All the better to find them."

He shook his head violently.

"I can't. I can't. All that blood--"

"That, actually," a new voice said, "was the part I liked most."

His eyes widened. He was there. Him. The one who had done all those horrible things. Sitting, there, on his bed.

"Well," the man continued, his voice soft, "that and their screams."

He whimpered as he looked at the man sitting where he'd been sitting minutes before. 

The man was handsome, though sharp-featured. He was dressed in a business suit, an elegant tie held in place by a diamond stud. He was examining perfectly trimmed fingernails. His hands seemed almost delicate.

The man looked up, the smile on his face that of a predator. 

"There are still more of them out there. Our work isn't finished yet."

"Yes, there's still more to do," the other voices joined in. "Still more to die."

He sank down against the wall, rocking from side to side. "Please go away. Please, please, go away".

The door opened. Dimly, as from far away, he heard someone say "Sounds like Jack needs his dosage upped."

Two nurses led him to his, quite empty, bed. One laid him down while the other prepared a syringe.


  1. But the one on the bed was apart from the others, so maybe he's a separate entity from poor, disturbed Jack. But Kevin will never tell us, will he?
    Great story!

  2. Love this! I've always thought it'd be interesting to "hear" a person with MPD hears in their head. I finished a great book on the subject by Matt Ruff (one of my favorite authors), called 'Set This House in Order'.

  3. Glad you enjoyed it. Jack's broth is well spoiled I think. As to your question, you're correct, I ain't telling :)

  4. I must, someday, write down all the goings on in my own head (maybe not, it'll scare the horses!). Glad you enjoyed the story.

  5. Ooh, wicked. Yes, please, up his dosage. A lot! Very nice (very wrong word there, but you get what I mean) tone for this piece.

  6. Ooooh nightmares from this one, thanks a lot ;-P.
    Awesome story!

  7. Oh my goodness KjM, so very different from your haiku! Not sure I want to know what happens to poor Jack (or if he really deserves any of our sympathy!)
    This sentence was cleverly constructed (to my perspective, good Catholic girl that I was raised to be, always on the alert for other capital "He" and "Him"s):
    "His eyes widened. He was there. Him. The one who had done all those horrible things."

  8. @Jon - understood. Not "nice" in any traditional sense. Glad you liked the tone.
    @2mara - "Nightmares r Us". How may we be of service to you tonight? :) Thanks for reading and commenting.
    @Rose Say - Sorry about that. The Haiku do seem to come from a different place. And no, it's probably best to leave Jack to whatever comes his way. I hope you still, well "enjoyed" may not be the correct term, appreciated - yes, that's better - the story. :-)
    For a more lighthearted #fridayflash from me - try

  9. I liked how this is told largely through dialogue. The back and forth of the voices sets the tone and supports your theme/subject. Good stuff.♦

  10. Wonderfully scary. Psychotic human behavior is much more frightening than any mythic monsters could ever be. His pleading against the voices and knowing he didn't want to do those terrible things really creeped me out. I loved it!

  11. One of my favorite subjects...crazy people. This was especially jarring next to your poetry, yet all the better for it! Nice, I hope Jack can come out and play again. :-)

  12. @dan I tried not to make it dialogue-heavy, but there had to be a certain amount. I think it worked out ok.
    @Chris Creeping out my that what I want to do? Oh yes it is! :-)
    @Shannon Maybe I should do a set of Horror Haiku - would that help? As to letting Jack out to play again, should I? >:-}

  13. You know what, that was wonderful. It shows perfectly how confusing and terrifying it must be to have incomprehensible things going on in your head. I've long believed that most so-called psychotic behaviour is simply a rational reaction to what seem like external stimuli...
    Fabulous, thanks for that.

  14. I'm so jealous! Such a wonderful twist at the end, I had to go back and read it twice to make sure I read it correctly!

  15. Chilling and creepy, just the way I like it!
    Great job.

  16. Had a friend once in medical school. When he studied neurotransmitters, he said he realized "just how thin reality really is." A few drugs here, a little seratonin there, and pretty soon, yeah, I can see it. The little man on the bed says they've all gotta die. Sure. For their own good.
    They're not talking to you again, are they Kevin?
    Nice work.
    Jeff Posey

  17. Awesome story, Kevin. You totally captured the moment here, and I like how you paired the evil with an image that most would think of as professional. It just goes to enhance the fear that you can't always trust what you see. Well done.