The Jekyll-Hyde Syndrome

I stood in front of the house, watching as the flames set the entire building aglow. The fire danced madly on the roof, broke out of windows, and engulfed the house. I thought of the broken family inside: the insane father, the drunken mother, the annoying anorexic sister, the secretly suicidal brother, and the little baby with cerebral palsy. There was no peace, no order whatsoever. They all deserved to die, all of them needed to burn up into piles of ash, and-

"CONNOR!" I heard the shout coming from down the road. I looked up to see Cora and Jale running full speed to get me.

I twitched, realized my legs wouldn't cooperate.

The two grabbed an arm each and began to talk over one another.

"Connor, you've really lost it this time-"

"Why the hell would you start a fire? Everyone is dead now-"

"Connor, you could get arrested! Do you hear me? ARRESTED!"

"You need to stop-"

"You need to wear the straightjacket again-"

"Are you even listening to me?"

I was shaking my head as I was being drug away from the burning building. I wished I could think my own thoughts. I wished I could tell them why I have been so haywire lately. But I had lost control of my own actions a long while ago. I couldn't stop this monster that had taken me over.

-x-

I guess I should start at the beginning. Usually, people blame something else for their insanity. Usually, it's something completely unrelated to their true problems. I was different. My blame was actually connected to the real problem in some kind of way. My thing I'm blaming?

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

It's such a wonderful story. I bought a special copy of the book, and I read it over and over again all the time. I have it committed to memory, and I could recite the entire thing without even thinking too much about it. The story is so beautiful to me, and it seemed impossible to think of it as fiction. It had to be real. It had to be real. Right?

Either way, I fell in love with the book. And I thought. Jekyll had brought up some important points in his confession. Could it be possible to separate good from evil? I began to form ideas in my head. I also happened to be quite familiar with science and chemicals. Jekyll's formula may have failed, but mine would be different. I would make mine perfect. I knew I could.

So, I began my work. Long story short, chemicals were mixed, formulas were created, and eventually I came to a product that worked. The moment it was done, I felt this wave of pride. I had successfully brought this story to life! I could be famous! I wasted no time and drank the liquid.

I was overcome by a burning sensation in my throat. I couldn't breathe. I fell to the floor, gasping for air. I felt this thing enter my mind, like a virus overtaking a computer. It overpowered me, and I felt like exploding. Then, suddenly, the sensation was gone. I noticed I had this kind of empty feeling in my chest. I tried to close my hand into a fist. That's when I realized the problem.

I had no control of my body.

I couldn't move any part of my body anymore. What had happened? That's when I heard the voice.

"Hello, Connor," it said in a voice that echoed against invisible walls.

"Where am I?" I shouted. I felt trapped by invisible bars, an animal caged in a dark room.

"You're in your mind," it replied. "Well, what used to be your mind."

"Used to be?"

The voice laughed, sending chills down my spine. Was I seriously trapped inside my head? How?

"When you drank that stuff, your mind's barriers broke, and I was let in," the voice explained.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Your darker side," it replied. "That shadow full of cruelty in your head? It was me. I have been wanting out for a while, and now your body is mine."

This was crazy. Unthinkable. Insane. All of this had to be a joke.

Right?

"I'm glad you're happy," I said. "You've had your fun. Give me my body back."

"You and I both know I'm not going to do that."

"You're going to do it! You're not in charge here!"

More laughter.

"I am now. You can't stop me. Now I'm in control."

I was terrified by this point. This seemed so real. But it wasn't. I kept telling myself that the lights would turn on, I would find myself tied up, and one of my friends would be standing there laughing at the joke. When would that moment come? Because I was tired of waiting, and this wasn't funny. This was just a sick, twisted joke that was really scaring me.

I had no control over my actions. A screen appeared from nowhere, and I could watch myself moving like they were my eyes. I could hear things too. I just couldn't move or control my actions and words. It was like a first person movie, and I couldn't do anything.

I left my room, or at least watched myself leave. I went to the living room and into the kitchen where my jacket was on a chair. I put it on. My mom came into the kitchen, and stared at me.

"Connor, what are you doing?" she asked.

The voice took my voice, and began to speak.

"LEAVE ME ALONE!" it screamed, shoving my mom to the floor. "I'm going out! DON'T follow me!"

The door slammed behind me, and I was running down the street, just going around town causing trouble.

The next day of school wasn't any better. I was doing stupid things I would never normally be doing, like hiding Mr. Fleming's wig under the counter and being a jerk to my friends.

Cora and Jale, my best friends, tried to figure out what was wrong.

"Did you have a rough night?" Jale asked, his messy black hair going crazy in the wind.

"Yeah, what's wrong Connor?" Cora asked. She had such kind brown eyes, and they always gave her an innocent look.

I shoved Cora away from me. "Will you quit being a total bitch?" I snapped irritably.

Cora looked close to tears. Jale was scowling now.

"Uncool," he muttered as him and Cora walked away from me.

I was forced to smirk.

That's how it was like the first couple days. I was cruel, always angry, and just the opposite of everything I usually was. I felt completely powerless to my actions, for I no longer had any control. I was always screaming, trying to get my other half to obey me, trying to escape the prison I had been locked inside. It was similar to fighting with a brick wall.

Shadow, as I called the voice, was always cold when he spoke to me. He was an emotionless being with a black heart of stone. He found out quickly he could appear to me in the jail of my mind as a human, so he always did. Shadow did look handsome, I had to admit that. He had long black hair pulled back in a ponytail. He had pale skin and pale blue eyes. A smile was never on his stone cold face. He always wore a black tuxedo and dark dress shoes.

Shadow made me act like a monster, and I hated him so much for it.

After a few days, Cora and Jale dedicated a small portion of their lives to helping me. In fact, a lot of people did. My mom no longer wanted me in the same house as her, and the cops were always getting called all over town because of Shadow's actions with my body. They locked me up in a room with a straight jacket, but Shadow would escape and go on a rampage.

That's what started the mass destruction and murders.

Shadow was out one night, and a little girl was looking too happy skipping stones in the river, so Shadow grabbed her and drowned her in the river. He also destroyed buildings and killed other people.

By then I was too far gone. I escaped my mental jail and took refuge in a land of my own making inside of my head. It was a beautiful meadow filled with delicate paper flowers in all the colors. The sky was a perfect blue, and the clouds were made from whispers of lullabies. I would lay there for hours, praying the silence didn't kill me. It was the perfect world. I was alone, a prisoner in a lost paradise, never again given the chance to see the true sun again. My life seemed so broken, and life was a pointless philosophy by then.

Eventually, I gave up caring what Shadow was doing. Slowly, that little screen that followed me vanished away. I had no control of what he did, so I figured there was no point in watching. I was powerless.

My mind was Shadow's.

Now, I'm 18. I have been living with this monster for 5 hard years. Shadow runs around, causing his destruction, burning homes and murdering for fun. I got my wish to be like Dr. Jekyll, and now Mr. Hyde has taken over. Shadow has won.

-x-x-x-

I sat quietly in my meadow one day, and Shadow appeared over me. I looked up at him and saw a reflection in his eyes. It couldn't be me; my eyes were bright and had a sparkle, and my hair wasn't gray at 18. I didn't wear a torn up gray shirt and ripped jeans. That person couldn't be me, but it was.

"Why do you live?" Shadow asked in a bored tone. "Kill yourself, and then you could get the fuck out of this hell you've made for yourself."

I looked away, across the meadow.

"Look at yourself. You look like crap. You have nothing left to live for," he continued.

"I am already dead," I whispered, my voice sounding empty and cold. "I have been dead for 5 years."

Shadow handed me a knife. "Put yourself out of your misery," he whispered in my ear.

The black blade looked so out of place in my colorful world. I could kill myself right here and end this eternal suffering I had. It could all go away with one action.

My grip tightened around the blade. "I will not throw away everything I have to live for!" I screamed. I thrust the knife into the ground.

Shadow shrugged. Then in a wave of dark smoke, he was gone.

I collapsed to the ground and was greeted with the scent of a fake earth.

Monsters hide within everyone. I learned the hard way you can't get rid of them. And even though I will never be able to escape this world alive, I know that Shadow knows he can't do anything to separate himself from me.

The sun is setting now in my world, a sign of evening crickets and fireflies that aren't real. I smile, letting the darkness fall over me, knowing that I will always have a small bit of darkness in the world I call my home.