The fire was getting closer.
This is my fault. This is all my fault.
“Time to go.” The police officer looked friendly enough, terrified, but friendly.
My fault. My fault.
The van she dragged me to was plain white with blacked out windows; it was imposing – so many connotations attached to this kind of van. I knew what would be inside: uncomfortable seats, a cage perhaps.
My fault. My fault.
Yes it is…
The malicious laughter echoed around me. Who was laughing? Not the police officer; she was handcuffed to my wrist. Did I simply not notice? No, there it was again. It definitely wasn’t her, but no one else was in earshot. Then who?
Once again, I swung my head round, trying to determine who was laughing. Everyone was gazing at the fiery inferno that was once a house. I did that.
“Are you ok?” the police officer was watching me warily.
“Can you not hear the woman? The one laughing?” I asked, still looking for the source.
“No one is permitted to come near us for their own protection.” Now she looked petrified, finally coming to the realisation that she was attached to a dangerous felon. “Get in the van.” The police officer said while forcefully pushing me into the back.
My fault. My fault.
The attack was over in seconds. I was no longer chained to a friendly looking police officer but to what was possibly her dead body. “No! No! I didn’t- I couldn’t- I… All my fault.” I collapsed, sobbing.
Yes dear, all your fault.
The voice! There was someone else here!
If you count being in your head ‘here’, then yes I’m here.
“In my head? I’m crazy.”
Normally in these situations you would be as the voice in your head would be imaginary, but I am not imaginary. I am very real.
“You can’t be real! That’s impossible!”
Nope. I’m the other soul in your body, you are lucky there’s only one other. You’re in charge at the minute but not for long…
You’re not strong enough to keep me out. Those blackouts you’ve had? That was me. Temporary, but it’s a start.
“You did this! You started the fire!” I shouted.
Technically, yes. But since I reside only in your head, you’re going to get the blame.
“I can explain. Someone will believe me.” Was I convincing her, or myself?
No one will and you know it. She cackled again. The sound reverberated around my entire being. What was happening to me? The van came to a stop and the door flung open. The orderly was obviously new; he took one look at me, clutching my head and sobbing, then the prone form on the floor and ran. Guns appeared a second later. Voices yelling, telling me to get on the floor, put my hands on my head. The police officer hadn’t moved for the whole journey. I didn’t even know her name…
“You did this. You did this. Her fault. Her fault.”
I woke up a while later with my arms strapped to a hospital bed. A doctor stood at the end of the bed, looking over my chart. Would he believe me? “Excuse me, doctor?”
“The psychiatrist will be in soon for your evaluation.” He didn’t even look at me.
No one will believe you.
“Shut up!” I whispered.
Way to show you’re not crazy no. 42: talk to yourself.
“Shut up!” I shouted. Her shrieking cackle once again rang in my ears.
Are you ready to give up yet?
“Never! Get out of my head!” I pulled desperately against my restraints, trying to break free. She laughed again.
How about I persuade you?
My screams attracted the local wildlife and soon an army of medical personnel surrounded me, attempting to pull me back into the bed. “Help me!” I gasped at a nurse. “Please! She’s killing me.” I didn’t notice the prick of the needle in the midst of my agony.
When I woke up again the straps on my wrists were gone and a stern looking woman was sat watching me. She had cold, inquisitive eyes that looked dead – like a shark. “Cassie, I’m Doctor Judith Marshall. I’m your psychiatrist.” I nodded. “Why did you set the fire Cassie?”
“For a little while I had had the thought that I wanted to know what it was like to do that. I never thought I would. I don’t even remember doing it, just running. Please believe me.” She said nothing. “She did it!”
“Who did?” Judith asked.
“What’s your name?”
“Doctor Judith Marshall.”
“Not you.” I snarled at the doctor. “I am sorry, that was rude. Her name is Hael.” Judith nodded again.
“So did Hael tell you to set fire to the house? And attack your police guard?”
“No, she did those things! I blacked out, she took control.” I was getting frustrated. I told you no one would listen.
“Is Hael a side of yourself that you have supressed? Is she you?” Now I was angry. How dare she?
“No. She wants to push me out, take control of my body. She’s so angry at everything.” Judith stood and slowly walked to the machines adorning my room.
“I’m going to increase you chlorpromazine drip. It may make you dizzy or drowsy.” She pressed a few buttons, the beeping annoyed me.
“I’m not crazy! Please believe me.” Hael’s laugh overpowered me and it escaped my lips too. Judith had gone. She was getting stronger. Time for me to take over dear. I wailed in agony. The EKG flatlined and in my head I could see her, smirking at me. She was wearing my face, my body. No. Hael ran at me, her hands outstretched, pushing me down into the darkness. She was taunting me, calling me weak. I could feel her soul replacing mine, the body I knew so well no longer belonged to me.
My eyes opened sometime later. Destroying someone’s soul really takes it out of you. I could feel the power I had, how had that little brat kept me dormant for so long? Life bustled around me; doctors, nurses, none of them realised what danger they were in.
Now this is going to be so much fun.