A Mysterious Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This my first attempt of writing a short story about the character of Beth who is a patient at the psychiatric hospital of Volterra.

Submitted: August 13, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 13, 2017





Darkness in the asylum of Volterra invaded the silent corridors as the rooms exhaled a creepy sensation. There was one room that was slightly lit by the shadows of moonlight. Inside the room was a patient named Beth Abbandonato, daughter of an Italian father and a British mother.

"I can't see you like that... Beth" said Nathalie

"What do you mean you can't see me like that? you're the one who made me feel this way!'

"Stop blaming me! I'm just a kid! you can't blame me for what you're going through!" Nathalie's voice was shaking as the words crawled through her throat. Indeed, Nathalie was just a kid and she looked like the infant version of Beth, except she had longer hair. The patient couldn't stand what Nathalie just told her, so she collapsed and her screams echoed the corridors of the hospital. The nurses hurried to calm her down by grabbing her from the wrists and injecting her with needles. Her legs were moving violently but they slowly ceased as the effect of the drug slid through her veins.


In the morning, Beth goes to the park where all the patients gather and she is quite as usual with a blank expression on her face. Today, she notices some different place -an isolated abode- and goes closer to it. Curious, she hurries a little and her eyes slightly sparkle with eagerness. The minute she stands there, a powerful source of light suddenly appears. It looks as though it is dangled from the sky, and, to her big surprise... it spoke! it literally uttered words!

"Hello Beth" it said "how are you doing today?" Beth was staring in silence, she could barely speak.

"You are troubled Beth. It's okay, you do mean something to me"

"Who are you?" Beth inquired. Yet the voice didn't respond "What do you want from me?"

"I'm here to guide you"

"guide me? what do you mean guide me?"

"You are lost. You are lost" its voice was deep and low-pitched and it felt as though it came from the farthest, most profound frontier of the universe but it was high in volume.

"Nathalie is not real" it continued "Do you know that?"

"Then why do I see her? An-and how do you know her?!"

"Your soul is making you see and hear inexistent humans. That is why, Beth, you need to understand that suffering is simply a dystopian part of this world. That way, you will start to have the volition to live"

"You didn't tell me how you know Nathalie"

"That doesn't matter now. Are you willing to listen to me Beth? I can guarantee this will change your life."

"Why do I have to listen to you? I don't even know who you are!"


"Fine I'll just go th-"

"I can answer you questions about yourself"

"How come you know about me and you don't want to say anything about yourself?"

"Because we differ in matter and soul" the Alien responded. Its words confused her but she chose to pursue the conversation:

"What can you tell me about myself?"

"I can tell you everything about yourself" Beth gasped in surprise and wondered: "If that is the case then I have sooo many questions to ask you!"

"Go ahead, the floor is yours" the Alien suggested


The night came by and Beth was in her room staring through the window. She was gazing in a manner that would lead us to assume she was thinking about something that was gone. Beth's attention was drawn to her conversation with the Alien. That's what she called it: the Alien, with a capital A. She felt excited as she was remembering its words that fed her soul. 

The morning Beth was in the park, she first interrogated the Alien the reason she's the only person who can see Nathalie and it replied:

"Your subconscious created her and since no one can access the other's subconscious, it is therefore natural that no one but you, Beth, can see Nathalie."

"But I don't want to see her!'

"There is a desire located within your subconscoius which led to the apparition of Nathalie. Think about your deepest wish."

"Ithink it's..." Beth seemed to be lost in her thoughts while saying this, but she insisted to guess what it is in her mind that made her visualize Nathalie. She was seeking that masked truth inside her. "I think it's wishing to have a peaceful childhood.." she continued "it's wishing to go back in time and start everything from scratch"

"And you know that it's impossible to time travel"

"Time travel? Now that's a brilliant idea! You do seem like a genius who has super powers. After all, you don't look human at all! and you know about me more than I know about myself. Can you make me time tra-"

"It is impossible to go back in time Beth" the Alien interrupted

"But you can do that, right?"

"Time, Beth, transcends us all. It is the most intiguing natural force for humans. No one could ever go beyond it. Not even myself." the Alien explained.

"How is that even possible? b-but you are not human, right?"

"I'm obviously not human, but the System doesn't allow such an activity like time travelling to take place."

"Does that mean I have no hope?" questioned the patient

"The System might block activities that are out of its possibilities, but it is definitely not responsible for the continuation of abstract notions" 

"if the System is not responsible, then who is?" Beth asked this question in a very confident fashion.

"It is humans." As the Alien said this, Beth's expression changed to what looked like a person who has just heard of the death of a beloved one.

"Are you saying that humans are the enemies of values like hope?" the girl's voice was shaking violently

"It is confusing, isn't it? Although humans seem to be seeking security and love, without even realizing it, they are actually the ultimate enemies of such goodness."



The sky was cloudy this morning and Beth was sitting on the bench. The breeze slightly moved her hair that touched her pale face. A sudden but unknown feeling told her to walk through the walls behind the kitchen to go to the place where she first encountered the Alien. She slowed down as she reached the grassy ground and lifted her leg to the hill while breathing a little heavily. When she stepped toward the mysterious abode, she looked everywhere in the hope of finding "it". The sky was even cloudier than earlier and it looked as though it was going to rain, but she chose to wait. After a little moment, she saw a silhouette standing beside the tree in front of her. Beth walked toward it and said:

"What are you doing here?"

"Just staring at your desperate face" said Nathalie while letting out a faint giggle. Beth glared at her in a scornful manner and replied:

"Well, I am afraid to tell you that I'm not desperate." At the moment Nathalie heard the patient's statement, she immediately let out a deafening evil laugh that sounded almost like a scream. Beth couldn't stand this sight and she desperately wanted to run away, but where can she go? There was definitely nowhere to go, nowhere to escape this anguish...



Beth was dining with the other patients when she was abruptly startled by Nathalie's apparition to tell her about the Alien. Her eyes opened widely and as she turned to ask her what she saw, the little girl disappeared again.

After the dinner, Beth was walking along the corridor that was painted with the beams of the setting sun. Her footsteps followed a slow rhythm, which echoed the space.They finally ceased at the entrance of her chamber in a perfect cadence. She noticed a dim light coming out of the door. Her heart skipped a beat as she hurried to open it. And there, a huge figure was standing before her, shining so brightly that one might think would go blind. The patient could barely see Nathalie who was sitting on the edge of her bed.

"You- you came!" she excaimed.

"I never come or go Beth. I am alaways here" replied the Alien

"But I don't always see you!" her shaky voice could be easily discerned, however, her statement invited the Alien to deliver a long speech:

"You are such an intelligent human for constantly attempting to comprehend how the System works. But I must warn you that what you are doing is dangerous for you have no idea of the consequences. The System is a complex and inaccessible energy. That energy transcends your abilities, your history, your existence! Beth... you are playing with the most powerful natural forces. Your intelligence is intense but you cannot let it destroy you."

The patient was listening carefully to the Alien's speech and she was quiet even when it finished talking. There was a brief moment of silence, which felt like a slight pause in a minor sonata. She responded that she is not intelligent and that if she were one, she wouldn't be stuck in this agony. 

"You are stuck in this agony because you do not set limits to your acumen. When something is excessive, it loses its value and purpose. Thoughts can be calamitous to the mind." clarified the Alien.

"So what do you think I should do?"

"Commence your journey by letting go. That is the very essence of living."

"let go?! How is that even possible for someone like me??! Someone who can see and hear what others can't! No way I can let go! That is non sense!" Beth yelled uncontrollably.

"The inability to let go is the inability to live" the Alien's words horrified Beth to the extent that she could no longer protest or even react with a simple gesture.



The clock struck midnight and the Alien slowly started to disappear. Meanwhile, Beth remained stood in the same place and Nathalie was finally visible to her. The patient was now wondering and the questions whirling in her mind could be effortlessly predicted; will she be able to see the Alien again? Wil she be able to let go? What would her destiny be like?...






© Copyright 2018 M.C. Al-Cherif. All rights reserved.

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