It still irks me that in the fever I'd caught, I could actually write out something like this- this is only the smallest part of what I regard as one of the most gruesome ideas for a novel I've ever had. And even as it develops, I keep wondering what prompted me to write it in the first place.
Ficelle‘And here we are, ladies and gents, the Madhouse. As you can see, we have a good collection of patients undergoing extensive psychotherapy.’ The urge to throttle the fat little doctor was bloody uncontrollable.
Drink had dulled my vision to black and white. Everything was surreal, dreamlike, the rare colours so fragmented, yet in stark contrast to the black and white around- isolated and contained.. The pretty redhead secretary beside me glanced at me, a promising look in her black eyes. It was the promise of a pink slip, of trouble to come later. Of the madness that would visit me. Ahead of me, the fat little Dr. Plump adjusted his tiny little glasses with his pudgy fingers, tapping his foot on the floor. He disapproved of my drinking. I sighed and pressed my face to the little slit in the iron door. A man sat inside, staring at nothing. He had ripped off his straitjacket, inspite of his lean frame. He simply sat there, eyes glassy, flies buzzing around his face. I never asked how they got there, in what was supposed to be a fucking asylum. In this madhouse, in this world, whatever wasn’t twisted, was long dead. The world spun around me.
Everything around me had a noir cast- if it had been surreal before, it was ten times so now. All around me the doors opened, as one. Plump adjusted his glasses, and I could see the perspiration on his face, drops of it slipping down to streak his milk-white labcoat with damp stains. I heard him calling security, but my gaze was riveted as one by one, the madhouse inhabitants exited their cells. Many of them were not yet past the fine line to insanity, but they were putting their toes across, testing the green mile. The pretty redhead was snatched away, and in the throng of patients she disappeared. All I heard were unhealthy ripping noises. The fat little doctor seemed to swell with rage at the sight of his secretary’s disappearance, and rushed into the fray. In the middle of it all, a small boy came to me.
He was as pale as everything else in my dementia. I looked into his black eyes, and the emptiness I saw there tugged at my heart. It was the emptiness of insanity. This boy was far gone. I smoothed his hair, and levelled the gun to his neck, pausing to look at the weapon....it reminded me of the film I had seen with my love, when we were still alive, a time and place so distant, past remembering... and a line from that film: ‘a pistol with a single shot’. A single shot, upward into the brain. The boy collapsed, the smile of sweet release on his lips.
One by one, the patients turned to me, their hands outstretched, begging, pleading, the noir world around me coming to its climax. The fancy pistol in my hand fell, trailing gunpowder from the barrel. In seconds it disintegrated. I reached into my coat and drew out a huge barrel. I lit the wick at the end with my lighter, checked the tubes connected to my backpack, and depressed the trigger. The flamethrower hissed to life, and the patients fell, their skin burned to ashes, smiles on their faces. From dust to dust we rise and fall/ so do empires that stand tall/ but if a man ain’t got a ball/ then he ain’t nothing but a doll. It pounded in my ears, again and again.
I never stopped as the tears fell. The pretty redhead lay in the middle, her eyes as glassy as the others, black ichor flowing freely from a dozen gouges. The doctor lay beside her, his hand clasping hers. Even in death, he desired her, it seemed. Their blood mixed into a blacker liquid than anything else I had seen in this noir world of mine; it swirled into a whirlpool beneath me, tugging me in, gently but inexorably. I surrendered to the flow, the release I sought, and closed my eyes, the strings that held me minutes ago breaking apart, so gently, so beautifully, the sound of birds chirping of wind in the trees, of leaves gently rustling. The sound of paradise.
The cell door grated open, and three assistants, their six-foot frames rippling with muscle under their tunics, entered in a triangle, protecting the doctor in the centre. He deposited the bowl of steaming hot soup before the man, and sighed. Every time it was the same. He turned to his secretary, who ran a hand through the cascade of red hair that framed her elfin face. ‘No more fucking straitjackets for this one. He’s already destroyed ten.’ She cast a worried glance to the man, who sat in the corner of the cell, curled into a tight ball. His face was detached, unemotional, and his eyes were glassier than they had ever been.
‘Save your breath, doctor,’ she said, walking toward the man. ‘He’s dead.’ She closed his eyes.