Breaking Point

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 23, 2017

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Submitted: October 23, 2017

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Breaking Point

 

“This is Arthur Pearce,” a man says. “I must warn you. This is the only way I know how. I’ve, I’ve been stuck here. In the past, and in the future, and in the present, it’s all very blurry sometimes. But, this is my message. Don’t let yourself be tricked...your fate depends on this. There’s no way to avoid it, except to tell you..you need to listen, and stop this from happening...your life depends on it.”

 

****

 

“Today I woke up, the same nightmare as before,” I told my new therapist.

He glances at his notes. Different sets of handwriting are on them, from each one before him. “Does this dream usually say the same thing?”

“Sometimes it’ll talk about a warning, things about the future, things I basically need to avoid. Sometimes I’ll just hear random songs, or noises during these dreams.”

“Ok. I’ve been thinking about you, and I have another idea for your treatment.”

My first session, and he's already trying to get rid of me.

“What’s that?” I asked.

I’d already been through so many people who had tried to help me. I didn’t have any obvious sign of how this happened to me, it just did. I was never a soldier, never in any high-risk job, but they just appeared, like a call for help. For about three years, I’ve had these nightmares. Not about giant spiders, or anything like that, but, well, I wouldn’t even call them nightmares. But, I would see things. Different places, me in them. Sometimes, I would die. Sometimes, even, I would see a blank place, that would sort of be enveloped around me. No place to go. At this point, I was very worried that nothing would ever happen. These dreams had cost me my job, but, now, this therapist wanted me to see Doctor Zander, and he set me up for an appointment some time after this day. I would much rather prefer the dreams over, well, this.

 

When I first met Doctor Zander, he had this trusting aspect with him. Now, I realize, I was wrong.

Later that month, I arrived at Dr. Zander’s office.

“Is Doctor Zander here today?” I asked the receptionist.

“Yes,” she said, “he’s in room number fifteen.”

I walked across the old building to room fifteen. Suddenly, I had a piercing headache as I neared his room. I held my head in my hands until it was bearable. I walked into the small room, looking around. A single window stood in front of me, a table, where Doctor Zander sat, and a chair across from it. I sat down.

“Hello,” Doctor Zander says, smiling.

“Hi.”

“Your Mr. Pearce, right?”

“Yes.”

“Our labs have come up with another drug we call Opmus. This drug activates when the Hypothalamus does, and calms brain waves, allowing you to sleep better.”

“Ok,” I say. I’ve never been one for big words, but I understand what he’s saying. Take this, and everything will be fine.

“We’d like you to be one of the test subjects,” he says. “Are you ok with it?”

“Yeah.” He holds out a vial. Inside, a pack of white, triangle-shaped pills.

“Here,” he gives it to me. “Come back, once a month, and I’ll give you more. This is a week's worth, as a test run. Take one a day.”

So, I take it, and it worked. Suddenly, I was able to climb up the business ladder. It was like some gigantic weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Until, one day, that was. Before, I had only had some slight color blindness, seeing different candy as a different color, but after this point, I never knew what to expect.

I walked into Raymond Inc., where I worked as a project manager in the genetic research department. For six months I was finally able to think. I sat at my desk, worked all day, then came home. Then, at my normal time, I went to bed. As soon as I sat down, I was at there again. It was like I just woken up. At that time, I thought my mind was just wandering. But, it kept happening. Sometimes I would forget my experiences, other times, I could never forget them.

“Hey, Julie,” I said to my coworker as she entered my cubicle.

“Klack!” Julie says.

“What?” I ask her.

“How’s the coffee?” she says.

“Oh, good.”

Things like that kept happening. I kept hearing things that were wrong, but it was always whenever others were talking. I still haven’t worked that one out. Sometimes, I would hear music late at night, but nothing was playing. I kept this in for awhile, thinking it would ride out, until one day during a normal psychotic episode I just stopped. Walking to the subway, I suddenly walked into a white space. Everything around me was just a blank white. I kept walking, looking around. I backed up, trying to get out of it. Then, something even more strange happened.

“Why is this happening to me?” I shout.

Memories start flooding to the present, but then, I felt the future. I felt next year’s winning baseball team, what the rise and fall in stocks would be. I could see it all. Then, it disappeared. And I was on the street, about to get run over. BEEP! BEEP!

 “Get off the road!” a taxi driver says. I walked home, thinking about what happened. The next day I held the white pill in my hands, then put it back down, and walked out the door. I woke up again. By now, I’m used to this. I got dressed for the second time, and walked out, not even touching them. I woke up, again. Finally, I took the pill, and the day didn’t reset. I called an emergency meeting with Doctor Zander.

“So, you keep having these blackouts in the middle of the day?”

“Yes. But sometimes I see things, like the future. This wasn’t a possible side effect, was it?”

“I’m afraid it looked as if there wasn’t going to be any side effects when we made Opmus. I’m going to record this, and take a scan of your brain if that’s ok. I don’t know why this would be happening to you.”

“Sounds good.” We walked to the room, and he set up the machine for me. I lay inside. The inside moves up, going into some type of tube.

“Increased usage of the brain,” he says. “Extreme hypothalamus usage. As well as the Hippocampus. Good.” he finished. The ends of the tube closed me off inside. Clamps come down from the sides and strap me down. A small hole opens from the top. Doctor Zander appears, holding a syringe. The label reads Opmus-12. He sticks it into my arm, and I black out.

“Arthur?” he says. Suddenly, I’m back in his office, ten minutes before.

“I can’t do it,” I say.

“Why not?” he says.

I suddenly forget the experience. “I, I don’t know.”

“Ok, I understand if you’re nervous. Maybe, instead, I could give you a solution that would ease these blackouts, and reschedule the scan.”

“Sure,” I know somehow that I can’t go to the scanning room. “What does the solution do?”

“This serum will stop the hypothalamus from starting whenever you don’t need to sleep.”

“Ok.” He took me to another room, pulling out a syringe. He flicks it, watching as no bubbles rise. He then inserts the contents into my arm. A couple seconds later, reality collapses.

This is where I am now. I see what could be with my life, what could’ve been, and what never would be. I see the whole of my life at my fingertips. My brain is trying to stop the madness, but the madness knows no bounds. I see now, that I was what you would call insane. I was always past my breaking point. But, I can now see a way out. My whole life has led to this moment. In one illusion, I see myself outside Doctor Zander’s door. I’m waiting to go in. I punch the illusion, and he doubles over. I feel the pain of the headache again. A version of myself appears in front of me, a translucent illusion.

“Can you save me?” it says.

“Yes,” I say, unsure how.

“You can tell yourself things, but only after you try.”

“How do I do this?”

“Think of something you need me to do.”

I think of it. “I can tell myself not to come here.”

“That’s right.” The image disappears.

“This is Arthur Pearce,” I say. “I must warn you. This is the only way I know how. I’ve, I’ve been stuck here. In the past, and in the future, and in the present, it’s all very blurry sometimes. This is my message to me. Don’t let yourself be tricked. Opmus makes you dream during the day, it causes more hallucinations that you would’ve ever thought, please listen your fate depends on this. There’s no way to avoid it, except to tell you not to trust Doctor Zander, and stop this from happening to me, well, to us. Your life depends on it, our lives depend on it.”

 


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