This is a creative response to the movie Twelve Monkeys for my Science Fiction Class. The themes I focused on are the mentally ill VS premonition, and, of course, violence (if that counts for a theme).
The time of day cannot be told from the inside. The corridors are lit with white light and there aren't many windows. Three men wearing white coats are looking through glass into a room where there is a young woman. She is being questioned.
'You ran away from home, isn't that right, Rachael?'
The girl stared blankly at the questioner. The questioner can't be seen through the glass window as they are up against the wall but the voice sounds distinctly female.
'If we get our clients same-sex questioners, it usually makes them feel more comfortable.' One of the men explained to two other men who nodded approvingly. His eyes were glinting behind square-rimmed glasses, 'However, if Ms. Trachelson fails to get anything out of her, I'll be taking her place.'
The tall, burly man on his left turned, 'Yes, we've heard you've got quite a reputation here.'
The other on his left looked grim, 'yet you couldn't save that Patrick from committing suicide, so, Mr. Henderson,' he rolled the name up in his mouth before spitting it out, 'it seems you are not quite the professional as you would seem.'
Mr Henderson's mouth twitched.
'Patrick was disturbed and confused, five or six empty alcohol bottles in his room, none of our staff could have done anything to help Patrick.'
'This sounds serious,' the other man said, 'for your staff to be inefficient enough not to notice the bottles earlier and take note of his increasingly low condition…'
Mr Henderson pushed his glasses up his nose and hushed them, egging them to watch Ms. Trachelson question Rachael, saying that he wasn't responsible for Patrick's demise.
'Rachael?' Ms Trachelson's voice could be heard through the wall, 'why did you run away?'
'Because there's a man who wants to kill me.'
'Sorry, what was that, Rachael?'
'There's a man who wants to kill me!' she said louder. Rachael went into a defensive position; her legs tucked up to her chest, her hands over her ears.
The questioner edged over to Rachael and tucked a strand of dark hair behind the girl's ear, 'why does he want to kill you, Rachael? Do you know why? Can you tell me?'
'No because you don't know or no because you don't want to answer me?'
Ms. Trachelson sighed, 'I know it's hard, but unless you open up to us we won't be able to help you.'
'I can help myself. I knew where to go. I knew where to hide.'
'Where were you going to go, Rachael?'
'The radio station.'
'Because there are different phone channels going through there and so he wouldn't be able to access my tracking chip.'
'Tracking chip… what does it do? Where is it?'
Rachael snorted, 'It tracks things… I thought you were the smart one here.' She pulled back her jumper to show a deep, purple cut along her arm. 'It's in my wrist.'
There was a pause. Ms Trachelson scribbled something on a notepad.
'Please, can I go now? Can I leave? He's going to find me here.'
Outside, Mr Henderson's lip curled, 'She's losing… I don't think she's going to answer anything else.'
'You can't leave until quarter past, sorry Rachael.' Ms. Trachelson explained.
'Let me go! Let me go! Let me go!' Rachael wailed, clamping her hands over her ears.
One of the men outside nudged Mr Henderson who jolted in surprise.
'Why is she in here? She sounds serious about this killer…'
'Most patients do but they are merely delusional. Some of them are manic-depressives, but some of them are delusional to the point where it interrupts their normal life which is what defines a mental illness.' Mr Henderson said calmly, 'This girl ran away and her parents say she kept isolating herself in her room, barring the doors and windows. Clearly she's messed up.'
'She may be mentally ill but I don't think she's messed up.'
Mr Henderson shrugged, 'All mental patients are messed up… that's why they're here.'
Inside Rachael could still be heard yelling, drowning out all noise from singing.
'Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder-'
Ms Trachelson came through the door and shut it, bags under her eyes and struggling to keep composure, 'Mr Henderson, if you could go in there and calm her down.'
'Of course, you just go and rest. You've had a long day.'
He opened the door and walked inside wearing his friendly mask, the one that people liked. He cringed at Rachael's off-key singing and put a hand on her shoulder, 'Rachael…'
Rachael continued singing and did not look up.
'I can help you with this killer…' he suggested, 'What does he look like?'
'Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky!'
'How do you know he wants to kill you? Have you seen him somewhere? Did he say something to you?'
Mr Henderson glanced at the glass though he couldn't see through it; one-way glass was installed in all rooms.
'Rachael!' Mr Henderson's left eye did a nervous dance and his mouth was twitching involuntarily, a vein pulsing in his forehead. 'Rachael! Will you shut up!?'
Rachael continued to sing and Mr Henderson felt his patience snap clean in two. He lifted a hand and slapped the girl across the face.
Rachael hung her head, hair covering her face.
'I had a dream…' Rachael said to the floor, her voice shattering, 'I dreamt about this man who killed me. Then I woke up and found my arm was bleeding. I thought he had put a tracking device in me.'
'Your parents told me you carved into your skin whilst you slept using a Swiss army knife you used to bring to school. Did you know it's illegal to bring weapons like that to school, let alone dangerous keeping in your bed?'
'I wanted to have it just in case something happened.'
'Rachael,' Mr Henderson began, grabbing the girl's face and thrusting it towards him, 'Look at me when-'
Rachael's face had suddenly gone extremely white, her eyes deep, bottomless pits.
'What?' Mr Henderson gaped, the mask he wore melting away like frost on a window.
'It's you! It's you!' Rachael shrieked, pointing at Mr Henderson with a quavering finger.
Mr Henderson's eyes lit up and he ran a hand through his hair, pulling at it. Rachael clambered up and ran to the door hitting it; shouting for somebody let her out.
Mr Henderson cracked.
He punched Rachael in the head, her body flailing to the floor, then he took the girl's head in his hands and smashed it repeatedly into the cold, hard floor. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
The door flew open, ricocheting against the wall. The men stood in the doorway before pulling the crazed psychotherapist back.
'What the hell is your problem!?' one of them cried, 'Calm down!'
The man seethed and shook violently. When he finally stopped quivering he sunk to the floor and stared at Rachael's limp body, blood oozing out of her head and dripping onto the floor, a pool of blood steadily growing larger. One of the men checked her pulse but you only had to look at her to tell she was dead.
'What happened to you, Blair?'
'She wouldn't shut up…'
'SHE WOULDN'T SHUT UP, YOU HEAR?'
The men went quiet and one ran to fetch other staff members to get the place cleaned up and get Blair Henderson out.
'She wouldn't shut up… she wouldn't shut up…' Blair muttered, his eyes screwed up tight.
All the while her song was ringing in his head.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star…