Thursday, June 18, 2009


An old man is seated in a high leather back chair. I don’t recognize him. He is bald except for the hair that god willed to the side of his head. He has attempted a comb over but it has failed. A well worn suit, it’s frayed slightly around the edges, my mind tells me that it is because it must be one he wears more often than others. He clears his throat, the room is so quite I can hear the phlegm dislodge and rush into his mouth. He chews it back and swallows it with a grimace. “I want you to tell me, what is the first thing you remember?”

My hands move, I hear the sound of my restrains, a chains choir like chorus answering his question. I resist the urge to pull upon them, to draw the chain taught and attempt to break it. My mind tells me it is pointless, but I’ve tried over a dozen times now. I shift in the chair. It’s not as nice as the old man’s luxurious throne. I know why. It is meant to put me into a state of agitation, so I can’t relax and provide answers in a neutral state. I don’t know why I know this.

Only that I do.

I bite my bottom lip as I shift again, feeling the orange uniform the guards force me to wear bind. A size too small, no one cared when I complained. “I’ve already told you.” The old man reaches to an end table position beside him. A folder filled with multi colored notations and page markers is lifted with difficulty. It’s thicker then what most would see, I must be a special case. I don’t know why. I know I’m okay; it is them who don’t understand. I’ve told them what happened; I’ve been over it several times now, with this old man and others. They just won’t believe me. I wish I knew why.

The old man, the doctor as I’ve dubbed him, looks over a pair of gold rimmed spectacles which are perched upon the bridge of his nose. They look in his eyes tells me that he has already formed his judgments about me; I can feel my stomach begin to knot itself. “I want you to go over it again Sebastian, please. This will be the last time.” He speaks with a resonance of annoyance; it does little to help my stress.

Sebastian. Sebastian Roads. That is the name they have been calling me now for more than three months; ever since I woke up. I don’t remember the name. My nose itches and I try to scratch it, the chain linked to the restrains around my feet goes taught. I’m forced to lean forward to relieve it. I sigh as I look back to the doctor; my mind tells me that everything I’ve said has been written down inside that folder. Word for word. “Alright.” I mutter under my breath as the memory slowly begins to form. As I open my eyes the world of the office has been replaced. Instead I’m in my mind. I’m in my memory.
I’m seated in a recliner. I’m slouched forward, hunkered over my knees trying to catch my breath. I’m shirtless, I’m covered in sweat. It feels as if I’ve just run a marathon in record time. I smell soap. Something heavy is in my right hand. As I look down at it I recognize it as the bottom half of a baseball bat, a Louisville slugger, solid wood, hard to break. The splintered end is coated in blood. It’s not dripping though. My mind tells me that it is because it has dried which means it has been there for a while. My first instinct is to take a look around. I’m seated in someone’s living room. It’s a war zone.

Large screen television, brand name, hefty prize, broke now against a hard wood floor. Shards of glass splashed out around the living room, shimmering glass mines waiting for the unexpected traveler. The coffee table has been thrown aside. Magazines and papers strewn about into the corner of the room; there is a dent in the dry wall. Someone didn’t know their own strength. No lights on, the only light is coming through the thin white blinds. Dawn or dusk, I’m not sure. I know I’m alone, no is around. I drop the broken bat onto the floor as I stand.

“Where did you go next Sebastian?”

The house was built with an open concept. As I stand and look about I see the dining room. It was where I went to next. The table was set, fine china, years old, probably passed down in the family. Crystal glasses were set, half filled with red wine. One glass has ruby red lip stick upon the rim. Two pewter candle sticks stood between the two plates. A pair of candles, burned down to the end of their wicks, dark red wax pooled upon an expensive table cloth; ruined forever. The chairs are overturned; whoever was here was interrupted. I touch the food on the plates, long since cold. I feel disappointed but I don’t understand why. My mind doesn’t tell me. I lick the cranberry drizzle from my fingers as I look about the dining room. The feeling that I’ve wasted my time fills me with a sickening dread.

“Then where did you go?”

The kitchen was my next stop. The first thing I saw was broken splinters of wood on a black and white tiled floor. As if someone had set up an impromptu game of checkers. They came from the backdoor which now hung on one hinge. Cold winter air creeps along the floor, numbing my bare feet. Pots and pans littler the counter tops, leftovers for the next few days. I walk towards the door. It would have taken a lot of force to break in the door. My mind points out that it is made of hard wood; it also tells me to look at the dead bolt. Whom ever wanted to get in, wanted in badly enough. My shoulder aches at the thought as I walk back into the dining room. I notice something for the first time there.

Two bullet holes in the wall; I raise my hand and point at their direction. It would have been aimed directly at one of the individuals in the chair. I look down and I see the two shell casings on the floor at my feet. I’m not sure why I didn’t see them when I walked through there the first time. My mind tells me that there are a lot of things going on; it’s only natural to over look the small things. I pick up the shell casings as I walk towards the living room. I take care not to step on the glass mines. The prospect of glass in the bottom of my feet is unwelcomed.

“Where are you now Sebastian?”

I’m standing before the front door, jackets are hanging on hooks. Sneakers and business shoes litter the mat, there are a pair of black high heels amongst them. They are the only pair. My mind is telling me that I should leave, take the leather jacket it will fit, take the black and white runners and just go. It isn’t safe to continue looking. I want to look though. I want to think of what could have happened here, where was I and how did I get here. However, I recall nothing. The pages of my mind are blank. I feel scared for the first time.

I turn and look up the stair case leading to the second floor. Something glints on the fourth step, in the carpet I find another shell casing. Three shots and no blood, whoever was shooting was a horrible aim. As if waiting for the third piece my mind tells me immediately that they belong to a nine millimeter handgun, a cheap and easy model to get on the streets if you know the right place to look. I don’t question why I know this. It terrifies me that I do. I keep an eye open as I climb the stairs. It didn’t take me long to see the bullet hole in the dry wall. I look down the stairs. Someone was running, but they couldn’t get the front door open, they did the next best thing, they ran upstairs.

I’m back in the room; the old man shifting in his leather chair draws me from my memory. “Do you know that for sure Sebastian?” I glace at him before looking back at the restrains around my hand. Idly wondering how many links there were in the chain. “It makes sense; it’s what I would have done.” I close my eye and when I open them again I find myself staring at the bullet hole in the dry wall. I turn to walk down the hallway in my memory.

Three doors; it instantly reminds me of a game show. Choose the right door and you win the grand prize. Cue the music; enter stage right family and friends. Laughter is heard, applause sign blares brightly, streamers fall from the rafters. Tears of joy and happiness are shed, cue credits and fade to black. Ensure sponsors are mentioned. I roll the shell casings in my hand as I look at the three doors, left, right and straight down at the end of the hall. I take a step and a memory rushes forward. A promise, a gentle kiss, a gentle caress upon my face; it comes and goes before I can even understand it at all. The shell casings have dropped from my hands, falling into thick carpet. My mind tells me that I should go left. I listen to it.

Carpeted hallway, my footsteps are as silent as the house. I turn the knob, and push the door open. My senses are overwhelmed by the smell of stale air. The smell of a library, books and knowledge; the walls are filled with shelves. There isn’t a free space, hundreds of novels, textbooks, hardcover, soft cover, binders and files. In the corner of the room is a desk, the filing cabinet beside it has been pushed over. Paper covers the floor around it. A computer on the desk itself is no longer in one piece. I feel sick at that fact. The side has been removed and I can tell that the hard drives have been removed.

I look about the room, giving it another look over. There is nothing else to see in it. As I take a step back into the hallway. I move to the door on the right hand side of the hallway but I take only a step before my instinct tells me go to the door at the end of the hallway. “Did it tell you why?” I shake my head, as I stare at the door to my right. My heart begins to race and my chest feels as if it is being constricted. “No.” I mutter as I turn left and walk to the end of the hallway. Through my focus I can hear the sound of a pencil scribbling away upon paper.

My mind calls him a pretentious jack ass. I shake the thought away as I push the door to the bathroom open. I reach up and flick the lights on. The hum of a florescent is born; it flickers thrice before filling the room with a pure white light. The sink captures my attention first; the white porcelain is stained with blood. A dish cloth and a bar of soap rest inside, both tinted a reddish hue. Someone cleaned up here. As I reach for the light switch again I catch my reflection in the mirror. Someone has smashed it, spider cracks spread out from the bottom right.

I don’t recognize the face staring back at me. “Who am I?” It’s the first point I’ve questioned my identity, my mind doesn’t tell me the answer. I don’t know it. I’m scared for the second time of the night. Soft blue eyes, neatly cropped hair brushed back. Young full face full of youth, clean shaven, no blemishes. I see a scar below my right eye which tells me I must have done something stupid years ago. I can’t recall any memory though. I tilt my head back, looking at my neck. My eye catches the scratch marks, red welts which drag down to the shoulder.

They are sensitive to the touch. My mind fails me again. I’m starting to panic. The questions are coming forward. I see fear in my own eyes. What happened? Who am I? Where am I? Everything rushes forward but no answers are that are given. It is here that I’m told to stop, my mind tells me to take a deep breath which I do. As I let it out I’m reminded that there is still one door left. As I walk out the door I flick the light off, habit I chalk it up to. Whisper quite footsteps take me to the last door.

I want to say a prayer before I enter. I want to hope that god is listening, that he hears my prayer for help, that whatever behind the door is going to provide me the answers that I need. So that when I open the door, the world would right itself. I close my eyes and press my head against the door, I speak but I don’t understand the words that leave my lips.

Emitte Spiritum Tuum et Creabuntur

“Send forth thy spirit and they shall be created.” The old man interjects. “It is Latin.” I have no explanation as to why I know Latin. All I know is those were the words that I spoke before I turned the door knob. I’ve regretted opening that door since that day. I should have listened to my mind, I should have put on those runners and grabbed the jacket and simply ran out of the house. The old man shifts in his chair, I hear the sound of his suit against the leather and it sets my nerves on edge. The chain between my cuffs goes tight. I wish I had a lock pick to remove them.

“What did you see when you entered the bedroom?” He asks; I know he knows the answer. He is following with the other men’s documentations. I close my eyes and let the memory come forth; however I hesitate upon open the door. I know what is waiting for me in there and I don’t want to see it. My mind does not want me to go through it again. “Sebastian, what did you see when you entered the bedroom?” I bite down on the inside of my cheek.

When the door opens I knew god had not answered my prayer. Somewhere along the lines those archaic words were intercepted by the prince of lies. I smell foul death upon the air. It makes me gag as I walk into the room. The room is in immaculate condition, everything was in its proper place. A long dresser has been pushed in an attempt to block the door, it only opens half way. As I push myself in the smell of corruption chokes my sense. My mind is telling me not to look at the bed but my eyes have already located the source of the corruption in the room.

Fiery red hair is splashed about silken sheets, emerald green eyes frozen a perpetual look of horror and shock. Her mouth is hanging open, caught in mid scream, caught off before she could have had a chance to finish. Pale white flesh reflected the light of the sun. Her chest has been caved inwards from a beating. Flesh and muscle lay in tattered ruins from multiple stab wounds; a number I estimate to be in the hundreds. Organs spilt out upon the sheets. I feel the urge to vomit, tears are rolling from my face but I don’t know why.

I hear the sirens in the distance. My mind is telling me to run but I can’t move. I don’t recognize her face; I don’t know who she is. I want to know why. I don’t remember how long I stood there, I don’t know how long I stared at her but I do remember that when I heard the front door break in the light from the sun had grown stronger. Her flesh reflected the light, outlining her in golden light. Someone killed an angel.

I open my eyes and I’m staring at the steel links of my cuffs, my mind tells me that there are twelve links from wrist to wrist. I look up and the old man is nodding his head ever so slightly. His comb over shifts upon his head as he does so; he clears his throat again as he thumbs threw the file on his lap. I can tell he is looking for the right words, how to explain it to me. I know what is going to say, he isn’t the first person I’ve told this story to.

“Her name is Anna McInnis; do you recognize that name Sebastian?” He reaches up and takes off the glasses, folding the golden arms before resting them on top of the folder. I shake my head no. “She was your girl friend of three years.” My mind is silent; I’m staring at the doctor from the corner of my eyes. I don’t have a girl friend. He mutters under his breath, I don’t understand the words once they reach my ears.

“Sebastian, we found a receipt for a diamond ring in your wallet. It appears that you were going to ask for Anna’s hand in marriage. From what the forensic investigators can see from the evidence, she had said no. You got so enraged at her denial you got the baseball bat and broke it when you struck her in the head. You proceeded to rape and then stab her to death with the broke handle. You stabbed her over three hundred times. That is why you were covered in sweat, which is why you felt like you ran a marathon. We found your skin under her finger nails, as well as your blood in the bedroom and the bathroom. “

The fact that he is telling me this turns my stomach, it knots itself over and over again whenever I hear them tell me this story. I repeat myself for what feels like the hundredth time to these people. “What about the shell casings, the holes in the walls? What about the back door?” The old man clicks his tongue against his teeth; the hair on the back of my neck rise. “There were no shell casings in the hallway, no bullet holes at the top of the stairs. The back door was fine when the police entered your home.” He is leaning forward in his chair. “Sebastian, your mind has created those facts. You fractured when you murdered her. You dove so far into your anger and rage that it was so traumatic your rational side created an entire personality where it couldn’t be remembered. Ask yourself Sebastian, can you remember when you were last angry?”

Of course, my thoughts begin to race searching for old memories. Maybe when my parents, no, maybe when I got in a fight with one of my sisters, no, maybe a fight at school; I feel bile in the back of my throat. A memory flashes in my mind, a whisper in my ear, spoken in a language I can’t understand. It’s gone before I can grab hold of it, before I can bring it forward. I stare at the old man and see that the judgment in his eyes is pure damnation.

“I’ve seen only a few cases, when they had asked me to examine you and confirm I believed you were just trying to avoid the death penalty. However if I hadn’t seen it myself I would have never believed it. Sebastian your anger scared your rational mind so badly that it cannot believe that it was part of you, so it jettisoned it and recreated your entire identity.” He is standing, placing the folder and his glasses down on table beside him. “I’m going to have you institutionalized Sebastian, we’ll piece together the fractured parts of your mind. We’ll help you realize what you’ve done. We have to help you.” He mutters under his breath again. I catch the words this time. “We have no choice.”

The room is awash with light as he opens the door, a pair of guards waiting patiently outside. “You can take him back to his room now; I’ll be submitting the report to the judge and the District Attorney first thing in the morning. “ I’m staring past the three men, staring out into the sterile white hallway beyond them. My mind is telling me that are lying, that everything they are saying is lies. There were bullet casings; I held them in my hands. Someone stormed in, someone chased that woman up there, and someone murdered her like an animal.

It wasn’t me.

I know it wasn’t me.

My mind tells me so…

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