These avian doctors who loom above me are seagulls determined to mark me with their putrid, medical excrements as a foul and demented beast unfit for life. These doomsayer white ravens, with their lab coats flapping, perch upon my bed and screech rank hypothesizes as to the true cause of my malaise. These doctors, loosely called, squawk until they have raped raw my hearing, squawk as if not understanding I know not of their psychobabble. ‘Tis not illness of the mind that plagues me! ‘Tis these posturing and regurgitating owls with their incessant cawing that drives me to the madness they claim of me! I am not mad!
None of these lowly pigeons dare to listen to the truths I have told them; instead, these doctors goose-bobble their heads at one another and are lemmings, lemmings that blindly follow the vilely concocted truths of the ignominious flock to their most pitiful demises. I mean truly, these pompous peacocks believe they know entirely the realm behind the eyes, and they dare to say that all who contradict their judgments are dangerous heretical lunatics in need of burning. Their utter refusal to properly investigate my case stirs my rage into the madness they want of me. Bitterly lashed to this frigid-metal bed my rage simmers, simmers, until my blood threatens to boil over with the heinous outrage of this all. Yes! Admittedly I wish to strangle with my sharp mammalian claws their very disbelief! But! I am not the beast they claim!
I am… not… insane.
Perhaps yes, yes maybe in my excursions into the unknown I left a part of my sanity and better judgment in that veiled realm. But truly, ‘tis this witch’s pricking to uncover the devils mark upon me and to solely prove their point, that drives me to this foolery. They create the very monster they see in me with their instruments of torture, but there is not enough torture and not enough eardrum shattering squawks that will shake from me the truth of what I see. Not enough! I say! Not even near to enough!
Even now as these birds of prey circle, seeking to devour the last of me, I see, I see their grotesque doppelgangers through the shadowy veil behind them. These raven shadows morph into beings of staggering heights; who with revoltingly pale and gangly arms reach forward for the long avian throats of their doubles. My lips pull back in a screeching laughter unrecognizable and haunting to my ears; my laugh is a screech of warning, a warning they do not heed. There is a tone in the warning, a malicious ring that causes even my old bones to grow cold and stiff in my bindings. I do not recognize the familiar sound of my own voice.
It has begun. The invasion of these demonic doubles has begun. Woe to the world that only I can see our foes. Woe to the world that no one listened when I tried to stop the darkness. Woe to the world that only I can see our fate.
My own dark-devil doppelganger was like them… these grotesque shadows…though much shorter, save for an elongated neck that stretched far to far upwards to support his disgustingly bald head. From around that neck a white band sprouted and he would flash to me all the horrid symbols of his demonic faith in an attempt to curse and banish me from his presence. My shadow would bellow at me, hollering at me in a tongue I but vaguely recognized as a form of words, nay, a mindless form of speech. Yes! My midnight bi-pedal serpent would follow me from the bus to my home. Sit across from me… Stare at me… Glare at me and drive me mad with his bead-like eyes. I was profoundly disturbed by his gaze upon me and felt gripped by the very heart of terror. I shudder even now on the cold chill metal slab of my asylum bed in remembrance of him.
It was the tea. With all the marrow in my bones I am positive it was the tea that punctured the veil of reality and thrust me into the darkness of my demon’s world. My world was sound before this green brew’s poison, and I swear upon my life that it was this vile tea that started it all. I had happened upon this demon’s elixir as one would normally learn of a curative tisane. This coyly called green tea. Bah! Demon’s broth, truly! I had but nimbly plucked it from off of my grocer’s shelf, with no more intent or knowledge truly than to enjoy it at my bedside sometime later that evening. Little knowing was I that shortly thereafter making it my habitual companion of my bedside readings, that I would begin to see shapes and images beyond the veil. At first I had thought these images were just the wicked trappings of indigestion but when my demon companion made his presence known… on one of my excursions about town… I quite believed I had indeed gone mad. My doppelganger doubled every dip, dalliance and every action I made. Where I walked forward, he walked with me like a lumbering shadow. Where I ran, he would give chase like I was prey. Forever did these events occur that naught did I receive one ounce of peace! He was always at my side, waiting, blunt teeth gnashing and wanting to tear me with those ghostly arms, limb from very limb. I plagued myself for days for the answer as to the curse upon my eyes to see him. Why? …. My answer?
My answer lay only in the tea and my amateur research into his shadowed realm. I should have left well enough alone! But so aptly punctured was the veil by that green concoction that when the dam gave way I had but little recourse than to be sucked under by the roaring tide. I shake my head against my leather bindings now, for, truly, had I never heard of green tea I would indeed be a healthier being. Or at the very least, I would not be tethered here trying to convince these dabblers of psychoses to get rid of the evil substance! I screech at the avians again but still my voice is hollow and foreign to my ears. If only they would listen! Perhaps they could still be saved!
My demonic visitations increased in such ferocity and intensity that I had forced myself to learn his language. Pfft! Language, language that was more like mindless noise and vile curses than true speech, for indeed I had been right! My demon double, this horrid pink and pasty creature, was cursing my existence, hollering profanities at me until all manners of hour had passed and wishing with all certainty of his being that I would promptly… die. Of course, of course I could not give into his request and saw this loathsome gibbering thing as a challenger to my very world, nay, my very being! No longer could I stand his vile vexation of me and no sooner than I was secure in the knowledge that he resolved to kill me, I thrust my efforts to the means by which to…kill… him.
My plan was flawed.
Quickly I learned that though I could plant suggestions into his mind, he still could take no action that I did not myself take. Even our stroll and my suggestion for him to throw himself down the mineshaft did not work! My double was strong. He resisted all my attempts at ending his life and I fell deeper into depression for my efforts. It wasn’t until entirely by accident I found my salvation! By simple incident of chance while watching intently my prey, I fortunately enough burned myself upon my teakettle and heard my double cry out in pain. Intrigued, I began to test this theory. At great length, with varied implements, I began to beat myself senseless. Admittedly, there was a strange perversion of pleasure from causing him harm but to my delight, each time I struck myself or caused a welt upon my arm; my devil’s mockery would bare a wound worse, far worse than my own. I finally by mere chance had my means by which to kill this pink and hideous monster whose ghastly-denuded form followed me! I was overjoyed!
In short, since my doppelganger bore twice the grievousness of my wounds, I had set aside a night and had chosen an isolated inn to do the deed. By no means was I suicidal. My wounds would be minor in comparison where as his would undoubtedly end his putrid existence. But truly, I resolved to kill him and truly, yes, truly, I was indeed in no danger.
Alas, the avian doctor with whom I had but briefly discoursed upon a metaphysical curative for the demon, thought I was indeed about to kill myself. Valiantly, this fool came to my rescue and barged in unannounced at the very height of my triumph! The very height! I scarce believe it now but it is true. At the very height of my triumph, with my demon double laying unmoving on the floor and the sharp edge of our razor imbedded deep into his flesh, the idiot of doctor dove at me, pinning me harshly to the floor until ‘help’ arrived.
I did not need help!! I was in no danger! And I most certainly do not need to be strapped here and gawked at by goose bobbling physicians who do not know their beaks from their tail feathers. I am not insane! It is these armageddon white ravens who have driven me to the brink of this madness! The humans are real! I did not imagine the shadowed veil lifting for me to see my demonic human double plotting to kill me for my own pleasure and amusement! The humans are real damn it! I do not just imagine the vile loathsome humans! I do not just imagine them standing beside each one of these cawing and revolting avian doctors before me as the doctors again rape raw my ears with their putrid medical jargon! The humans are here! Listen to me!
I roll my mammalian eyes as the osprey fiend Doctor Hesselius perches upon the end of the bed and peers at me, unbelievingly. I wait …………and finally he speaks.
“So how are we today Reverend Jennings?” He pats my foot with a demented wing. “Still thinking we’re a monkey?”
Only the grinding of my teeth is his answer.
Story by E.VA