The paradigm displacement

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Marcus was locked away in the Asylum over a year ago, but is he insane or is everyone else deluded?

Submitted: July 02, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 02, 2012




The year is twenty thirteen. It is the twenty second of March, six thirty pm. The air is filled with the constant babbling and wailings of patients, mumbling broken up sentences and other things to themselves. Scratching at the walls, and speaking in riddles only they themselves could understand. The occasional scream for freedom could be heard. However most patients give up on any hope of escape after the first month or so. The medication is what takes the fight out of them. Dulling there senses and against there better judgement, convinces them everything is going to be ok. 


This is the Asylum. The home for the people who are deemed by society as the 'criminally insane'. They say they are being sent there for 'there own good', when in actual fact, they are sent there in an attempt for society to hush them up. The title of 'Doctor' swiftly becomes a 'get out of jail free card'. In the sense the nobody questions a Doctor do they?. They are given permission to apply whatever drugs they feel fit to the patient, and as long as they state the line "trust me, I'm a Doctor" nobody will object to what they are doing. regardless of wether there treatment is beneficial or not for their patients.


Despite all the treatment the Doctors and Nurses apply to the people in the Asylum, nobody is getting better, nobody is leaving healthy.  This is what Marcus Wright was starting to realise. Sitting alone with his thoughts in his cell, the silence at night to him was defining. He had become so accustomed to the screams of the other patients during day time hours, that the idea of silence had become abnormal, and felt out of place.


He had become incarcerated in the Asylum just over a year ago, for the apparent cold blooded murder of his wife. Stabbed three times once in the lower abdominal region and twice in the chest, causing her right Lung to collapse upon being punctured. What the Courts and Judge failed to acknowledge, or rather, take into consideration, was his wife was cheating on him. Another contributing factor was the fact that, that week he had also just lost his Job. Which left him with numerous bills to pay off. When he arrived Home later that same day, his cheating Wife announcing she wanted a divorce, taking half of what he already owned, before he could pay of any bills he would have to pay.  


Something inside him snapped. The human brain can only endure so much stress. In Marcus's eyes, it was the actions of his Wife that had indirectly led to her Murder. However screaming "She made me do it" does not sit well in Court. So he was deemed   'Insane' and sectioned to the Asylum for what the Judge called "rehabilitation". It was anything but. It was the Drugs, not the Therapy that had made him more socially acceptable. He still had the same Paradigm of the Situation that he had the day he committed the murder. Hew had just learned to stop voicing his opinion so openly, in a place were doing so would end with another injection of anti psychotics.


His Cell Door Opened, a Guard stood there, waiting to accompany him to his daily therapy session. The one hour of the day were you have to smile and say how well your doing. Pretending to have an emotional connection with the Therapist becomes easy after a few sessions. It is almost like your responses become pre determined or scripted. "Yes I'm doing well", "No, I haven't had another Episode". Basically Telling him what he is wanting to here.  


Marcus sighed, and got up steadily, ruffled his black matted hair, and started to walk. He was in no rush to get to were his session was about to take place. walking through the white walled, grey floored corridors of the Asylum, the quitter inmates nodded or mumbled as a sign of recognition to his passing. More often then not there eyes would follow him, with a look of bewilderment upon there faces, so drugged up that they were completely oblivious to there own habitual movements or mannerisms. 


After a a few turns here and there Marcus arrived at the door of the Therapy room. The tainted window prevented him from seeing inside the room, and the gold plaque place under the window read 'Dr. Harry Boston'. He entered, leaving the Guard standing outside the room. This room had always seemed to pristine to him, to official. It almost gave of a condescending Vibe to it. In saying that thought The wasn't much in the room. Two Leather Chairs and a Wooden Desk, with a leather surface. Upon the Desk sat a framed Certificate like a trophy,  boasting a PHD in Psychology. 


Behind the Desk sat the Therapist, Dr Harry Boston. He wore a tailored black suit, had short brown hair  and brown eyes. Holding a ball point pen in one hand and a note pad in the other, he would click his pen every second or so while he proceeded to briefly re cap on his notes before raising his head to acknowledge the presence of Marcus  in the Doorway.


He Greeted Him with a pleasant sentenced dressed in a mocking tone.

"Hello Marcus, how are we felling today?" 

"I'm fine, thanks" Marcus said. That's all he ever said in reply to that question, regardless of his emotional state. He knew that even though Dr Boston professed to be him friend, and that Marcus could be open with him, he was only putting on the mask of friendliness when in reality Marcus was just another patient, who he makes a profit of talking to and pretending to care. Doctor Boston had no intention of seeing Marcus or any patient restored to full health. He profited from there insanity, there need for these therapy sessions. If all these people were in fact cured, Doctor Boston would be out of a job. Hidden or not, everyone has there own incentives. A motive that drives there actions. Marcus had his, when he murdered his wife. Likewise Doctor Boston has his reasons for not wanting Marcus, or any patient for that matter cured. 


"We are going to try something different today Marcus" He stated. "The Science Department have come up with a new method of Therapy. They wish to test it here in the Asylum". He paused expecting a response from Marcus. However as he didn't receive one he continued talking. "It involves immersing the patient in his own subconscious, placing him in a world were his current emotions are reflected in the world around him."  


Marcus was slightly intrigued by this proposition, but also sceptical as it sounded to much like the stuff found in a science fiction novel. 


"Are you aware of Conditioning Marcus?" asked Dr Boston 

"Nope" said Marcus knowing that the Doctor was waiting with anticipation to show of his knowledge about the subject.


"Its is were the brain associates one thing with another due to exposure of the two things being synonyms with each other. For example. If your girlfriend wore the same perfume every time she saw you, whenever you smelt that perfume your would think of your girlfriend. While you are connected to this device, we will  trigger certain images or smells in your brain to in tern trigger certain emotional reactions. This will drastically affect what you perceive as your reality while unconscious." 


Marcus was now paying full attention to what the doctor was saying, he knew he couldn't hide his feelings from himself an at its core thats what this machine would make him do, face himself. 


"So what is it you want me to do when I'm in this reaillty?" Marcus asked the Doctor partially dreading the answer.


"Survive" the Doctor replied "Or to put it a better way, don't let your conscious self  be eaten alive by things exiting in your subconscious. If you fail to do so, it will leave you as a immobilised wreck, witch will have to be fed liquid meals for for the rest of your days spent crying yourself to sleep at night."


Marcus didn't know how to react he assumed the doctor was being over dramatic and so proceeded to ask "so how to i fight whatever is in my subconscious?" 


"You don't fight it Marcus" said the Doctor "because you can't kill or destroy what are simply the embodiment or your emotions. My advice, run. Hide and wait until an emotional shift takes place. Im assuming you won't be attacked when your mind is in a happy state" 


"So how will i know when an Emotional shift is occurring?" 


"Well the environment will start to change, that is the main sign. thats all i know on that matter. so whenever you are ready i will wire you up."


He lead Marcus i into the back room. A space had been cleared in the centre to allow room for an operating table, upon which sat what looked like a black motorcycle helmet. The helmet had a think rope like cable protruding from the back, which trailed along the floor and was connected to some sort of interface. The interface was plugged into a computer via USB.


"Could you place yourself on the operating table and put on the helmet Marcus, then we will start the treatment" 


Marcus proceeded to do so walking over to the table and once lying down place the helmet over his head. The visor blacked out his vision and the helmet slightly muffled the voice of the Doctor, however he could still understand what was being said. 


"We are going to use this device to tap into your limbic system. The part of the brain that controls emotional response. We will the implant certain images into the limbic system to get certain emotional responses from you which will affect your subconscious as your conscious mind wonders around inside it."


"What is the point of this?" Marcus asked the Doctor genuinely curious about the matter.


"To try and get you to come to terms with yourself and see through anything you have fabricated about your life" replied the doctor as he started typing on his keyboard.


"Fabricated?" said Marcus getting angry, did the Doctor think made up that his wife was cheating on him? 


"Yes" said the Doctor in a very monotone way "but that is for you to find out". With that last statement he turned on the machine and the room went silent.


Marcus opened his eyes, to a grey sky. He was lying on his back in the middle of a deserted road. He blinked a few times, not moving his body, allowing his senses to adjust to the new environment. The signs and smells, even the taste of fresh air was a long forgotten sensation. 


After about a minute he sat up, a looked around. The place was a deserted, Dimly lit road, with houses on either side. The Gardens looked well kept despite the apparent emptiness of the area. Marcus stood up and looked around in a proper attempt to take in his surroundings.


Marcus did not recognise this place, he started walking down the road hopping to find a turn somewhere or a sign post. Something to indicate where he was, but found nothing. This one road seemed to go on for miles. and the houses, semi detached lined it all the way down. 


"Hello" he shouted at the top of his voice, hopping to get a response, but to no avail. He approached one of the doors, going to examine it. It looked well polished, and very pristine. Every door was alike in shape size and colour. however when he looked closer at the door he was adjacent to, he noticed a number carved into the centre which read '20/8/98'.


He tried to Open it, but the door was locked, so Marcus, after a brief moment of disappointment decided to try the next door. This door read '19/8/98'. however upon trying to open it realised this door was locked as well. Getting more disappointed he proceeded to try each door he walked past hopping that one of them must be open. 


Meanwhile on his computer, the doctor was reading Marcus's brain waves on his laptop, he was about to experiment with Marcus's emotions. Using an image to trigger a certain reaction from him. The image he had chosen was a picture of Marcus's wife, kissing another man. A photo Marcus himself had taken when he was attaching her, two days before she was murdered. 


Marcus had given up trying the doors, non of them were unlocked, he sat down back pressed against a door, trying to figure out what to do, or even just were to go. This street seemed to have no end.


Then the skies darkened, an it started to rain. The grass in the gardens started to wither and die. he jumped up, he remembered what the Doctor had said about the environment changing, and this emotion, whatever it was didn't look to happy. The door handles started to rust, and the wood in the doors started to splinter. Marcus ran out into the middle of the road to see what else was happening. Everything in the street had started to decay and rot. Marcus ran back up the way he had came, desperately looking for a escape route, even a place to hide. The ice cold rain lashed against his face, he could feel his heart beating faster as he ran. 


Marcus stopped to catch his breath the cold air made it hurt to breath, he looked round i a panic expecting something to jump out and grab him. Then he noticed that on of the doors stood ajar, with a blood stained hand protruding from it. 


Marcus was frozen stiff with the fear of not knowing what was about to come out of that house, but also partly out of needing to know who or what it was also kept him rooted to the spot. The hand pushed the door fully open, the houses looked more decayed by the second, but as soon as marcus laid eyes on the person standing in the door way the glass windows in the houses shattered unanimously, littering the now moss covered pavement with glass. 


There in the doorway stood Marcus's wife, her dress stained in blood. Her breathing was very loud and raspy. He skin had lost all its colour and her eyes were grey, with no emotion upon her face she stared at Marcus. raising her right arm she pointed at Marcus and said slowly  

"you … you, you killed me,I'm … so … hungry". She said the last word as she exhaled. Then she started to advance towards him, snarling, with a ravenous hunger.


Marcus turned on his heals and ran up the street, he could hear his heart pounding in he ears, his wife chasing after him.She didn't seem to tire or slow down, her eyes were fixed on Marcus, wanting to sink her teeth into him. 


Marcus was running out of energy, he new he couldn't run much longer, he knew he wife would catch up with him. In a panic he turned and blindly swung his first hopping it would her something. Luckily the blow connected with her face. He could hear the nose break, feel the bone crack beneath his fist. 


She staggered back, shaken by the blow to her face. However she showed no sigh of pain, no reaction to the breakage of her nose. After a second she turned to face Marcus again an his eyes widened with fear. 


Marcus knew this wasn't going to be a fair fight, and as he had nowhere to run all he could do was fight. Even though he knew he didn't stand much hope of winning against some remorseless and fearless creature, which had no regard for its own safety. All he could hope to do was hold it off until another emotional change took place. However Marcus feared if that didn't happen very soon he wouldn't live to see it. 


Marcus's wife lounged at him, pressing her full force into his chest and shoving him to the ground. It swiftly became apparent this version of his wife out matched him in everything including strength.  


Marcus felt his body hit the wet hard floor of the road. Rain splattering his face, as his wife lunged at him again, her jaws wide, aiming for his jugular she went to take a bite. Instinctively he raised his right arm to protect his face and neck, he screamed in agony as he felt his wife's teeth sink into his forearm, blood running from were the teeth had broken the skin. 


In a dire attempt to get his wife of him, he punched her repeatedly, as hard as he could with his left arm. She let go of his arm, but it had one numb, he couldn't feel any movement in his right hand. She went for another bite, again aiming for the throat. However Marcus managed to throw her of him. 


He staggered to his feet clutching his blood stained right forearm. Breathing heavily he knew this was all going to end very soon he couldn't hope to hold her off with the injury he had just sustained.


"you fucking bitch" he screamed at the at the top of his lungs. His wife raised her hand steadily, holding it at eye level. Marcus looked at it and noticed, she wasn't wearing a ring. Her face started to contort into a twisted grin, Marcus's eyes heavy, his knees buckled and he collapsed. Just before his face connected with the rough gravel upon the damp road, everything went black. He woke up, back in the therapy room. The Doctor had removed his helmet. 


What happened Marcus asked, looking round, checking his right arm, it was fine. He wasn't injured in anyway. 


"your hour is up Marcus" replied the Doctor "I had to unplug you" 


Marcus shook his head and sat up on the operation table. 


"I saw my wife" Marcus stated to the Doctor 


The doctor signed and looked at him then he said with an almost pleading tone in his voice, "She wasn't your wife Marcus. She never was. The woman you murdered had a boyfriend, she was a college of yours. You made yourself believe she was married to you, fabricated the whole thing. then you followed her home and  you murdered her with a knife. When the police came you were screaming about how she was your wife and how she wanted a divorce."


Marcus couldn't believe what he was hearing, this doctor was trying to tell him  that he was never married? 


"No your lying" said marcus shakily "We got married on the -"


"No you didn't Marcus, she wasn't wearing a ring -"


"Because she what ashamed" shouted Marcus standing up starring an Doctor Boston a look of hatred in his eyes. The guard came in, putting a firm hold on Marcus.


"She didn't have a ring on because she was never married Marcus, i was hopping this session would of made you admit that to yourself, apparently it hasn't worked, we will try again tomorrow, goodbye, Marcus"


The Guards Forced Marcus out the Door, back to his cell, and Doctor Boston, closed the Door as he left.


The next day, the Guard opened Marcus's cell door


"Time for your session Marcus" he said 


Marcus sighed, got up steadily, ruffled his black matted hair, and started to walk. 


© Copyright 2020 James Coyle. All rights reserved.

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