7.1 || N E R D S

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When the medication kicked in that afternoon, Cadell was in his room, three quarters from counting to ten thousand.

Dr Lunetta had decided to end the therapy session after Cadell broke into tears. She had fed him the practice medication and ordered the addition of a notebook, chair, and desk inside his room. The notebook was meant to act as a journal for recording nightmares, but Cadell would have ripped the book in half and ate it for dinner if his hands weren't restricted. He deeply believed that it would be a better solution than writing down his horrors because, at least then, he would be too busy forcing out a chunk of paper out of his asshole to even think about his parents.

And so now, here he was, hugging his knees in a corner. Counting.

Because why the hell not. Cadell thought. Maybe the voice will die of boredom before I do.

"7,501, 7,502..."

Maybe the voice will join me in my count instead of laughing.

"7,503, 7,504."


Cadell's thoughts became cloudy. The voice's booming laugh reverberated in his skull and a familiar feeling of helplessness overwhelmed him. Bracing for loss of consciousness, Cadell continued the pointless count to ten thousand.

"7,505" Suddenly, he shuddered for a few seconds, his eyes flickering a purple before returning back to their natural brown.

"I didn't change," Cadell said. "It worked."

Nothing worked, boy. The voice snarled. You're merely delaying the inevitable. You will turn once more.

"No, I won't," Cadell muttered. "From now on, I'm free so why don't you leave."

"You're a fool, boy! Do you hear me? A fool! Cut, kill, slash! Rip, tear, and laugh with me! Laugh and laugh and laugh-"

"Why is no one saying anything?" Cadell yelled. "I'm talking to myself! Aren't one of you guys going to say something? Is, uh, whatchamacallit, Doctor Jensen there?"

"It's Janice and watch your tone when you speak to me." A woman's voice echoed from a speaker.

"I'm sorry. The drug is partly working. I didn't have the seizure, but the voice is still present."

"Okay, that's good!" Doctor Janice said excitedly. "Have you had any visual hallucinations after taking the medication?"

"No. When will the medication wear off?" Cadell asked.

"The predicted time is twenty-four hours, but for safety measures, I'm afraid we're going to have to keep you in the straight jacket until we know the exact duration of the drug's effects."


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