Welcome back, my wonderful readers!
So how’d you do with the number three this past week? LOL!
Have Part Two here for you now, and if you missed the first story of substance in this Psychological Horror tale, just scroll on down to find the first.
And now, let’s see how this journey continues to unfold, shall we…?
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As Dr. Russell sped down the streets of Austin he listened to the recorded sessions he had made of him and Sam, while wondering how in the world this could really be possible. Nothing he had ever read, ever studied could explain what was going on. A patient’s psychosis could not manifest into reality, it was that simple. And yet the nose bleeding had really occurred, after being warned by Sam that it would. And to involve his precious children as well?!
Russell fished his cellphone out of his pocket and speed-dialed his wife.
“Sweetie, where are you…?
“Are the kids ok?
“Yeah, my nose has stopped bleeding too. As soon as you get there ask for Dr. Flores. I called ahead, he’s waiting.
“You’re breaking up…
“Look, I’ll call you back soon. Let me know if anything changes.”
His precious kids. How could he let anything happen to them? How could this happen? Had the patient slipped him some kind of drug? That affected the kids too, but not his wife?
It didn’t make sense, no sense at all. Russell went back to listening to the recorded sessions.
“This is a partnership, we’re going to get to the bottom of this together. Now, why the obsession with the number three?”
“I don’t know. My first memory of it was when I was nine. Learning my times tables. Counting on my fingers. Three standing out over all else. ‘Three times three is nine. I’m nine. I’m part of three,’ I would say over and over again. Then the threats would come. If I didn’t finish the math test in three minutes my little brother Kenny would die. Fall from the jungle gym and break his neck. If I didn’t get on and off the school bus three times before it left my dad would die in a car accident. I’d try to distract myself. Use the alphabet instead. But no matter how much I’d concentrate I’d always find the number. Or it would always find me.”
“Did you ever tell anyone about the obsession? A parent? A teacher?”
“I once reached out to my math teacher. Asked if it was normal to think about numbers all the time. She said it was a sign of brilliance. That numbers are all around us. All around us. That just made things worse. I started to draw little faces on my fingers, to show how I felt. How happy I felt when I was able to obey the demand and be spared the pain of losing someone I loved. The sad face telling how I felt inside, the three monster consuming me more and more. And the angry face. The monster that would hurt me, hurt my family, if I didn’t do what I was told.”
“But there had to have been times when you couldn’t do what you were demanding of yourself. What happened then? When reality proved your bad thoughts would never actually come to fruition?”
“It never got to that point. It knew my limitations, since it was me. Is me. If I was close to failing it would give me another chance. Top one three with another.”
“Those around you didn’t pick up on your irrational behaviour?”
“Sometimes I’d get caught in the act, but I’d always dismiss it as some kind of joke.”
“And you say it was getting worse and worse. How did you cope?”
“Distractions. Shifting my focus as often as I could. The trip to Disneyland helped when I was ten. Well, most of it did. But no matter what, three would always end up finding me.”
“Did you ever come across anyone who displayed the same kind of behaviour? Ever feel that this was not a normal way to live?”
“Deep down inside I knew I wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know how to explain it to others. And if I even thought about it, the threats would come so much more. But yeah, I finally learned the name one day while watching an old movie with my dad. The guy in the movie seemed a lot like me, and they called it OCD. I felt like hiding, especially when my dad called him, ‘A fucking retard.’ But I just laughed and kept it inside.”
“Now that you had a name for it, you didn’t try and find out more about it?”
“It really wouldn’t let me. Would threaten that it would get worse, that I’d end up in a place like this if I didn’t let it go. Then it would show me, giving me a taste by torturing me all day by tripling the amount, while at the same time pointing out how in control it was of me. O-C-D. S-A-M. I was now twelve. Four times three. Would never stop.”
“So for the next six years the obsession continues to worsen? This is when you start to have thoughts of hurting your family?”
“I never had thoughts of hurting my family, I already told you this. Just like I told the cops, the other doctors, the judge. I loved my family. Can’t you see, that’s why I kept giving in to the threats. To save them.”
“But clearly you must know now, it was to save them from you. You were the only one who possessed these thoughts. And when your conscious mind finally developed to the point of knowing that one cannot bring about a physical action by mere thought alone, you took it upon yourself to make such disturbing thoughts reality by ending the lives of your brother and father.”
“There was no proof that I killed them, because I didn’t!”
“No, just coincidence. Your little brother choking to death on a piece of toy, your father, a piece of ice, within five minutes of each other.”
“Kenny always had those Legos in his mouth. We warned him so many times. And my dad, he always had a night cap before bed. Like the coroner said, no signs of defensive marks. If I shoved ‘em down their throats, they would have fought me off. I was up in my room all night, trying to distract myself.”
“On your eighteenth birthday, when most kids would have been out celebrating with friends. Wouldn’t that have served as a good distraction?”
“I wanted to be near my family, but…”
(Sam starts to cry.)
“You said your thoughts always gave you a second chance. Why not that night?”
“I don’t know, it felt different. Maybe because I turned eighteen, three times six. Now an adult. Something inside me had changed. The thoughts felt more real. And the second chance, it didn’t come when I thought of Kenny choking on the Lego, and dad choking on the ice. So that’s when I turned up my headphones full blast and screamed into my pillow for three minutes. I gave myself a second chance.”
“What happened then?”
“I felt it in my stomach, it didn’t work. I ran to Kenny’s bedroom, his eyes were open, he wasn’t moving. I could see the lump in his throat. That’s when I tried to get it out, but my fingers were too thick, and it was just pushed deeper in. Then I ran downstairs. Dad was already gone too.”
“There was no defensive bruising, as you point out, but the possibility of you doing this while they were sleeping was raised during the trial.”
“But I was found NOT guilty!”
“Yes, by reason of insanity. So you’re clear. You’re not going to spend a day in prison for this awful event. But in order to get to the core of it, in order to truly face it and ensure that your brother and father did not die in complete vain, we have to properly treat you. But this cannot be reached until you first realize the difference between delusion and reality. And the reality is, action does not come about by mere thought alone. Can you imagine what the world would be like if this were the case? It would be full of utter chaos. It’s just not possible. The human brain is not capable of such.”
(Dr. Russell’s alarm goes off.)
“That’s all the time we have for today.”
“But we didn’t talk about my mom yet. We need to talk about her. I think…”
“Next week. But for now you need to start thinking about reality, and taking responsibility for your actions. I’ll be discontinuing your medication, and we’ll see how you’re doing in a few days.”
“But you said this is a partnership. That means I have some say, right? I need the meds-“
“No, you don’t. You need some time to get a grasp on reality.”
“Please, Dr. Russell, don’t take away the meds. It’s all that’s keeping me from losing control of everything. Don’t you see?! I’m not gonna be able to stop it if you do this! Everyone is going to be at risk! Everyone here, everyone I’ve ever known, ever seen. Even your own family!”
(Dr. Russell picks up his landline.)
“Kristen, send me two orderlies.”
“Doctor, no, please…”
(The sound of two men entering the room, followed by struggle…)
“Doctor, you don’t understand… It will start with the nose, doctor! Bleeding from the nose…!”
To Be Continued…
(Next week, the shocking conclusion!)
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