The following morning, Cadell decided to never go to sleep again. He somehow convinced himself that it would be possible as he cocooned himself under a blanket while sweating profusely. All he needed was a lifetime supply of coffee, loud music and the voice constantly droning in his head.
The voice chuckled in a gravel tone. You amuse me, boy.
"Good for you," Cadell muttered. "No more sleep for us. Nope, none of that."
A man's loud voice echoed around the room "Good morning, Mr Walker. How are you today?"
"Perfect, perfect, perfect!" Cadell rolled off his bed.
"Mr Walker, please can you refrain from hurting yourself?"
"Can someone take this straight jacket off me? I need my arms."
"We will bring someone down shortly to get you out of it. Would you like to hear your schedule for today?"
Cadell groaned. "Go ahead."
"You have a therapy session at eleven and a quick brain scan at one. Elijah will meet you in the evening. He said he would test your abilities and, I quote, make a comic book after you?
"Of course he will."
Cadell spent the next hour with tranquillizers following his every move. One thing became clear to him as he sat on a bed, eating his requested bowl of cereal: these guards did not know the meaning of privacy. A dozen of them formed a perimeter around the room and every few minutes, the woman's voice would ask for his mental status. It was irritating but Cadell understood the precautions. He was a ticking time bomb.
Cadell was tempted to watch the news but decided against it. Something told him it would lead to a mental breakdown.
After taking medication to relieve his headaches, the straight jacket was buckled back on and two guards whisked Cadell down narrow, white-walled corridors to the therapy room. They met brisk walking scientists in lab coats along the way, their weary eyes lighting up at seeing a rare biological marvel. Cadell shook his head with a scowl. Maybe they would think differently of him if they heard what the voice plotted for them.
Just as Cadell entered the therapy room, he began to hallucinate. He knew straight away that it was happening because the voice had stopped ranting mid-sentence. It had taken its shift to ruin his life and tagged in another horror.
The two guards, who were now turning to leave the room, were drenched head to toe in thick blood. Cadell stared at the liquid flowing down their arms and off their fingertips.
Drip. Drop. Drip. The two men left the room.
Drip. Drop. Drip. The sound did not.
"How are you feeling, Mr Walker?" a calm voice said. "My name is Doctor Lunetta and I will be your specialized Psychiatrist today."
Cadell turned away from the open door to a middle-aged woman looking at him.
"Not very good."
The hallucination of the therapist didn't faze Cadell. Not after what he'd already seen. Her jumper and jeans were roughly painted in a blend of grey, black and an ocean blue.
Doctor Lunetta nodded. "That's to be expected. May I call you Cadell?"
"Would you like to take a seat?"
Cadell sunk into a soft reclining chair. "This is really comfortable!" He said in a failed attempt to ignore the room tinting a dark blue.
Doctor Lunetta smiled in a chair opposite. "I'm glad you think so. Let's get started, shall we? First things first, we have produced a practice medication for you. This should be able to take care of those hallucinations you're experiencing right now."
"How did you know?"
"You're looking at everything in this room but me."
"Oh. What do you mean by practice medication? So normal drugs for schizophrenia don't work?" Cadell asked.
"Exactly." Dr Lunetta said. "For over a decade, we have extensively studied the corpses of the crazed and were eventually able to manufacture an anti-psychotic that, in theory, will combat your abnormal nervous system."
"In theory?" Cadell said.
"Yes, you're our first crazed subject so the drug might not work effectively. Plus, there is no telling how your body will react. Be ready for side effects such as constipation, mood swings and insomnia."
"Insomnia? Sign me up."
Doctor Lunetta frowned. "You don't seem to like sleep. Why is that?"
"You already know so why ask that question?"
"I have my guesses but I can't be sure."
"Nightmares," Cadell said.
"Please can you elaborate? You don't have to if you don't want to."
Cadell's whole body tensed. The hallucinations evaporated away and the chilling voice began its invasion.
"Bad nightmares," Cadell said. "I saw what I did to my parents. I saw their cries. Their pain."
Tears welled up in the boy's eyes. They blurred his vision.
"Doctor, why was I laughing that day?"
YOU ARE READING
As a child, Cadell Walker once told himself that having superpowers would be the best day of his life. He couldn't have been more wrong. In a near-future London, eighteen-year-old Cadell suffers from a super-powered schizophrenia which torments hi...