This sufferance, the torture, his pleasure. His origin is unknown to me, but he’s constantly reminding me of this idiotic metaphor: “The birth of madness lives in the mind that functions a home.” What the hell does that mean? Why won’t he just leave and go bother someone else with this crap?
Whenever his presence crept out to my forehead, the feeling was worse than a migraine, my temples throbbing in complete pain. All I did was cripple into a ball, clinching my fingers tightly against the sides of my skull, and with whatever remaining sanity, hoped my eyes didn’t leak blood. There was no need to shriek and scream, but it seemed involuntary, an action I had to do. It was always in the nocturnal illusions that I would see him.
My eyes would open to a sadistic realm, a world of eternal torment, whether it was a graveyard filled with buried-alive near a hot lava pit or a dark corridor that led into several shriek-filled torture chambers. It didn’t matter anyway; before I could even see or feel my pain, I felt something leap at me from the outside, from reality itself. Whenever he was inches from inflicting what I could only assume to be the worst of pain, a presence from the exterior required my attention, lifted me out of my own head.
As I opened my eyes and though my vision was blurry, I saw that it was my adoptive mother Charlene, rushing over, trying to bring me back from the nightmare, pulling my consciousness to the physical realm. If my ears weren’t deceived, she would shout, “Erin! Wake up! Don’t leave me!” Another incident, my eyes and ears identified the individual to be her husband, my foster father Kin, who called out by a different name; “Eld, Eld! Boy, get up! Stop the screaming!” And the names never halted from changing per painful episode: Erik, Earl, Euro, Erek.
Eventually, I was clueless to what my name could be. He had to be erasing that memory, and strangely, that was confirmed one nightmare before entering that… asylum. Finally, he reveals himself before me as well! The beast that had been taunting, hurting me inside my morbid contraptions known as dreams was a dark shadow that resembled some man in a black tee with a bloody M on his chest. His voice was well masculine, deep, as he told me what he had been doing to my guardians.
“Every night, ever since you’ve entered the Calvin household, a demon had been lurking underneath their late son Julian’s bed. That first slumber you told in this very bed was the last dream of happiness you’ll ever experience, for I, now, have control of your psyche. And your parents; I’m more of a contagious infection on your dermis, one that spreads faster than wildfire in a forest on the hot, arid days of the year. See, I, too, have corrupted their minds as well. That’s why they could never remember your real name and constantly identify you by a new alias. Only I know your true one, but it seems a bit too early to say. However, my true identity, the individual that I depict myself as, will lie inside the doors of the nearest mental institution—Harvey Dickens’ Mental Asylum. Don’t even think of escape, boy. The moment you step foot outside that building, I will be there to officially end your life, right then and there and painless to your soul.”
That next morning, I convinced Charlene and Kin to register me as a patient into that facility. For the first few minutes, it actually appeared that they truly wanted to get rid of me. Once we were there and inside, the wife told them everything they needed to know… until they requested for my name. Kin revealed all of the names that he believed to be my own; Charlene told them, “We’ve been experiencing a slight memory loss with this one’s name.” The staff placed the alias Ernst on me for the moment being.
Everything had been in placed, and it was rather quick that I felt some form of solace inside the cold building. He didn’t stop the torture, though. This time, I had a taste of what death might be. My body was strapped on a thinly spiked wall, the needles just a second away from penetrating the skin on my arms, legs, back, and neck. The beast of my illusions stood no more than three feet away, sitting on a table of tools, ready to use on me. A chuckle expelled from his lips before he said viciously, “I wouldn’t even dare use any of these on you. No, no, not yet, you’re not ready. Instead, I’ll poke at your anatomy a bit.”
Every flick of his fingers, a bone in my body snapped. The legs, starting with my left before my right, were the first to go. Though I was strapped to the wall and unable to feel the floor beneath my feet, those fractures were still felt as if I had been standing. Shrieks of pain were involuntary and gave the shadowy man satisfaction. Another flick, my hands were next. I clutched the tightest I could even if I was slowly losing feeling in them. Then the torturer exclaimed, “This is taking far too long!” Pulling out one of the tools, De-Ehka, he called it, the man hammered it against my cranium.
After experiencing these nightmares for months now, I was too gullible and naïve and believed that I officially died at this point. This pain, unlike that of the shattering bones in my legs and right hand, knocked my spirit back to reality. Though my heart had been beating rapidly and my nerves were beyond calmed, my mind felt completed relaxed when my eyes and ears placed me back into the loud, dark hallways of Sector 12. An hour of recollection and relaxation of my system, I turned upward to a corner in my cell for some reason, and with his influence on me, I said to the darkness, “It may be over for me, but he’ll be after you next.”
But even he knew that was a complete lie.