Author: Raven's Hymn PM
If someone sees something no one else does, are they crazy? Charlotte "Charlie" Gramm says she isn't, but are the things she sees all in her head? Or is everyone else blind?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Mystery/Suspense - Chapters: 6 - Words: 10,600 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-16-13 - Published: 01-24-13 - id: 3095006
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Hanna came to my room the next morning. She told me that my therapist, my jailor, has called off work for an extended vacation, one that she is not sure when will end. That means Erato has already sunk her fangs and claws into his delicate flesh and is tormenting him with thoughts that are no doubt plaguing him right now. The good news is that she will leave me alone for a while, and that I may not have to deal with another mental case trying to fix me.
"I hope you don't mind having a few days off of therapy. I'm sure one of our other therapists won't mind subbing in for Dr. Harrow for a few days, or until he gets back. I'll just see if there are any that have the time. I just wanted you to know so you won't freak out about having a change in the schedule."
I'd rather like to get out of here, since I'm not crazy.
Hanna left then, allowing me some privacy before my scheduled time in the courtyard. Not much will happen I assume, just a bunch of my fellow inmates doing their thing while I wait until it's time to go inside. I really wish I had a violin to practice with, but I'm sure the people here would be worried about the strings being used for strangulation or some other violent activity. With my history, I'm sure any activity meant to draw blood is best to be avoided.
As soon as I'm released into the wild with the rest of the insane, I sit down on a stone bench and look at everything around me. Leaves are green and flush with life, trees are strong fortresses standing guard over my fellow prisoners, and flowers envelop themselves within their petals, not yet ready to embrace the warmth of the sun. Spring is almost here, but my spirits are not with the slowly awakening flora. No one believes in my innocence, deeming me either a monster or a mental case. I am no longer human by the world's high standards, nor am I fit to live in society. The world knows nothing of what I suffer through every single day of my life: visions of the day that changed everything, the voices that whisper in my ears as I try to fall asleep, the people and the images that I see that no one else seems to. Everything and nothing is against me, and there is nothing I can do about it.
A single feather lands on the tip of my nose, then gently descends onto my lap. I pick up the feather and watch as the colors glisten off of the light of the sun. It's a small peacock feather, not something one would see in a place like this.
I smile only slightly and look up. There, on a branch above my head, sits a thin, gangly sort of man with jaded golden hair reaching his boney shoulders, rosy skin glowing with luminescent rays of sunshine, and a fancy suit threaded with pieces of a peacock's feathers. Actual feathers are twisted within his hair like vines bearing spring blossoms full of color and light. His indigo eyes hold the light of the sun and the moon, golden flecks glistening with mischief of the lightest kind.
"Hello Jest," I say. "It's about time you found me."
"Well, you can blame Erato for that. That woman, or whatever she is, does not like anyone she sees as competition for your esteemed attention."
"Is Phantom coming? I know I'm not allowed to play music at the moment, but maybe he'll finally give me some singing lessons. I've been lost without some way to get out all of my frustrations."
"I believe he is merely a day away, so don't you worry that pretty little head of yours. Speaking of which, how have you been treated so far?"
"Other than my jailor trying to break me, quite well."
"I take it Erato has already started to torment him? Since I haven't seen her yet, I can only assume she's found another play thing."
"Oh, she has alright. He's taking a vacation for an unspecified amount of time."
"It's always the weak ones that suffer the worst."
"Have you heard about someone coming for me? Erato said something about it, but I haven't been able to get anything else out of her besides a lot of things I don't want."
"Oh yes, that person. Tell me, dear Charlie, have you ever heard of The Storyteller?"
"Not really. Who is he?"
"A serial killer who has been on hiatus for a very long time. He likes to write stories using his victims' blood, but no one can make heads or tails about anything he says in them. No one has heard about him since his last victim, but things are changing, I can feel it in the wind. He's coming back, and he's looking for something, something that he wasn't able to get last time."
"But what does this have to do with me? I'm stuck here, and there is no way that I will be able to help the police even if they wanted it."
"Leave that to dear old Jest, and maybe a little help from Phantom, and maybe Erato if she ever gives her newest toy a break."
"I would prefer that you and Phantom help without Erato getting involved. Besides, how are any of you going to allow me to help out the police with this monster?"
"We know people, and once we lead them here, just a whisper about a pretty, misunderstood young girl living here will be all the push they need."
"I just hope it works. Sure, I'm not one for society's rules and lifestyle, but if it helps people, I'm in."
"I'll have Phantom send over some written copies of the stories from his murders. I'm sure you'll be able to crack any codes he's placed within them. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a wedding that is begging for me to crash it."
It's been two days since they performed at the club, and still no offers had come in. Which means Denise is still his girlfriend. Not to mention his parents are just dying to meet her. Great.
"Hey Robin," said Crow, "do you have any room at your place?"
"Seriously man, what's with the whole avoiding your parent's thing you've got going on? Trying to get them used to not seeing you once we start touring?"
"No. They've got this family dinner thing going on tomorrow, which they've never done before. This means they're trying to tell me something like, say, 'invite your girlfriend over so we can meet her.' Like that will ever happen."
"So you're going through with it? You're finally breaking it off with Denise? It's about time. The chick is a whole lot of crazy and jealousy. Sure she's cute, but not cute enough to have her stick around when we hit the big time."
"Say what now?" responded Sparrow. "Is she finally gone?"
"No," responded Crow. "She's not gone yet. I can't seem to find the right time to break up with her without losing a girlfriend and gaining a stalker."
"Just tell her you're not going to be able to keep in contact when we get signed," responded Robin, "or when you go to college. You do have a few out of state colleges you've been waiting to hear from."
"Forget that," said Sparrow. "Just dump her and get on with your life."
"You do remember that she is all sorts of nuts, right? Remember what happened just last week with that groupie? I thought the cops were going to show up."
"True. So, when exactly are you going to cut the cord?"
"I guess I have to tell her about going out of state for college before the dinner," Crow responded, "and hope she doesn't kill me."
"If you need any witnesses," responded Sparrow, "we'll be there to pull her off of you before you get strangled."
"Thanks guys. Now I think we should start rehearsing. We have a big gig tonight and I don't want us to screw up on getting our big break."
Everything was ready by the time they were coming up with a list of songs they were going to perform tonight. The morning newspaper was lying on the coffee table unread. Crow decided to let his friends and band mates decide the songs while he looked at some of the articles. Maybe there would be something interesting in the news.
He was looking at the list of the most infamous crimes of the last two decades when his blood ran cold. One name stood out amongst the rest, one that he never thought he would see again. He tried to read the paragraph that talked about the killer and her victims but his hands were shaking so bad that it was difficult for him to see the words. As he got to the end, which talked about where the killer was now, his heart stopped beating for what felt to Crow like hours.
The killer in that particular case was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and has completed their sentence early due to good behavior and the age of the killer when the crime was committed. With the promise of several years of treatment in a private facility, the particular location yet unknown, they were allowed to walk with the rest of society once more years were spent locked away. A free girl. His girl. The one he let go. The one he couldn't save.