"Come here Valentine" I say to my dog who is rummaging through the kitchen. Tap, tap, tap, sixteen toenails click against the hardwood floor. With no sense of judgment, Valentine darts into the air landing right on my lap. "Do you hear them too? They are calling my name, I see their shadows. My medicine just doesn't seem to work. What are we going to do Valentine? " I tell the dog as if she could understand me. The room fades to black as the sun hides behind the city that never sleeps. I kiss Valentine between the ears, my chapstick catches her fur. I pick the fur off my lips, and sink down into my cold sheets. I go to sleep, hoping I have sweet dreams.
The morning sun creeps between my lacy window curtains. The TV comes on with the news, it's the same as always. The battle people face with manic depression is being lost every day. Triggers are being pulled, people run out in front of yellow taxi cabs, and jump in front of subways almost every hour of the day just to make the voices stop. What does the government do? They just air it on their sick little news show. I try to ignore it as I get ready for work; I ignore almost everything. The doctors try to shoot every kind of medicine in your veins. the government tries to lock you up in loony houses, and the media just tells you "you are crazy." I just try to refrain from everything.
I say goodbye to Valentine, and shut the apartment door behind me. Stepping into the chilly hallway, I see shadows, but no one is around. I walk faster, and faster down the stairs until I reach the entrance to the evil New York streets. The shadows scream; I frantically run outside, and slam the door. The homeless guy who sits outside of the door looks at me as if I were crazy. I am not crazy.
I hail a cab, and tell the taxi driver to take me to the intersection between 7th Avenue and Broadway. As soon as we arrive, I glance at my watch to see that I'm five minutes early. I stroll to the dressing room, and try on my new stage makeup that is supposed to make me look tan. This is great because I have a big part in a new musical called "Goodbye Hawaii." it's about a Hawaiian native who moves to the cold city Seattle. It's not a very challenging part for me because I've been doing this for 45 years, acting on Broadway is my cure for this madness but, lately madness has been effecting my acting.
"Dress rehearsal starts in five minutes" the stage manager shouts through the dressing room door, everyone hustles around, while I take a deep breath and proceed to the wings of the stage. Soon everyone takes their place and lighting goes up. It’s my que, I feel the sudden rush of nervousness, I love this feeling. I walk out to center stage and glance at the director, he seems frustrated. I say my lines perfectly, but then the voices talk behind me. I ignore it, they get louder, they want me to hear them. I turn around and find two shadows standing right in front of me. I hear the director yelling, but can't make out his words. I step away, but the shadows follow. I am unsure what to do. I know it's all in my head, but how do I make it stop? I keep acting, but those voices are so loud, I can't even hear myself speak. The voices whisper "kill her, kill her, kill her." "Kill who?" I yell running back stage.
I start to wake up on the floor back stage. I don’t know how I got here, but I have people crowding all around me, they are asking me if I am okay, but I don’t really know. The last thing I remember is running off stage. The director tells me I must have tripped over the rug and blacked out. I push everyone away, and get up in a mad rush. I gather my things in the dressing room. and move fast through the crowded New York streets. I ignore the complaints of the typical New Yorker, and rush to my apartment. As soon as I make it through my door, I make sure Valentine is alright. I crouch down, she gives me a big fuzzy hug. I stand up and brush her fur off of my black jacket. I go to the kitchen and grab the pill bottle from the cabinet. I take a sip of water and swallow a big hard pill. A nap might do me well, I think . So, Valentine an I go get into my bed. Fast I fall asleep.
My mind wanders off into a dream. I am at home, and Valentine is barking at something on the wall. I yell trying to get her to be quiet, but she doesn't stop barking. I try to put a leash on her, but she snaps at my hand. I start to move furniture in front of the wall, but she still barks. . I get very angry at Valentine., so I grab a knife from the kitchen. I angrily walk up to Valentine and raise the knife in my hand. Suddenly, I wake up startled, with sweat running down my face, I pat my bed expecting Valentine to be there but she's not. Panicking I get out of bed, and rush to the living room. her I see Valentine barking at the wall. Voices whisper " Kill her." I cry and scream in frustration. My nightmare is coming a reality.
I hear the cops beating on my door. So, I gather myself together, and answer the door. The cops ask what is going on? I tell them "nothing, why are you here?" They reply " Your neighbors reported screaming." It's clear the police see that I've been crying. I'm worried they are going to take me away to the loony house. The police inject medicine into my arm to calm me down. I start to get sleepy, my eyes grew foggy, I collapsed onto the floor.
I barely open my eyes to find bright lights in my face. Everything is white, I hear beeping, and clicking of metal. I try to move my legs and arms, but they are strapped to the table. A doctor covers my mouth with a mask, and I fall asleep again.
I am in a room full of televisions. There are about fifty different shows on. The room is noisy, and bright. The shadows start to appear on the televisions. "You are mine" they yell. One after another the shadows pop out of the television screens. I ball up on the floor screaming and crying "no, don't take me."
I wake up from a nightmare, to find myself still in one. I try to get up, but I am still attached to the hospital bed. I look to my right and see myself in the mirror. They shaved my head, I have stitches across my scalp. There are wires attached to my head. I panic and look on the floor to my side, and find a metal tray with a brain in it. I had a horrified look on my face, I knew it was my brain. The doctors put an electronic brain in my head. I panic and squirm all around ripping the cords from my scalp. My heart was slowing down, my body was growing numb, and I couldn't move anymore. I looked in the mirror and saw my skin fade to a grey. I watched myself fade away.
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