FALLACY

There is no permanent place in [this universe] for evil… Evil may hide behind this fallacy and that, but it will be hunted from fallacy to fallacy until there is no more fallacy for it to hide behind.

- Thomas Carlyle

Thanks to Rachel for turning the crap I write into something decent.

PROLOGUE

I calmly stepped into the milky white room where Mr. Derk sat in his uncomfortable chair. He greeted me like usual with a warm welcome. To paint the picture here, Mr. Derk was a tall, slim guy with thick glasses always bouncing off his sparrow like nose. The white room was part of the asylum I was in.

He asked me all of the basic questions he had written in his fancy little notepad like the tool he was. Do you like the food here, Jason? Have the others been nice to you, Jason? He always finished his sentences with my name as though my attention could drift off that easily (well to be frank, it usually did but saying my name sure didn't bring me back from the pleasant daydream I was having into the crazy hell I could call my past few weeks). I actually didn't know exactly how long I'd been here. I got what I could from Mr. Derk. But never directly-after all, where was the fun in that? Not to mention it would shatter my dimwitted, broken child appearance and I had to keep that up. It was the one thing I had to look forward to in this crazy house.

To watch him get aggravated when I "couldn't answer the question" was like the moth to my flame. It especially came in handy when he got irritated and lost his calm to the point where his voice started rising. A few incomprehensible mutterings and a distant look over his shoulder and I would be escorted back to my room. But, to get back to the main plot, I sat down in my own chair looking directly at him, defiant.

"I'm going to be direct today, Jason," he told me in his oddly warm voice.

"I don't understand, Mr. Derk," I answered after a brief pause. He always gobbled up the "I don't understand" bit.

"We both know we haven't made any progress these past few weeks, Jason," he said.

"Has it really been that long?" I asked.

"Yes, it has been more than several weeks, Jason. And you have not been cooperative at all."

"But I'm doing my best, sir."

"So you say. But we can see that you're holding something back, Jason. And whatever it is, you need to tell me."

"I'm sorry, sir."

"If you ever want to leave this place you must cooperate!"

He's slipping, I thought. But he's trying to bring me down with him.

"I don't understand, sir." My voice hinted at my amusement.

"I believe you do," he answered, rising from his chair.

Feeling my adrenaline pump, I rose at my turn.

CHAPTER 1

MALUS HILL

Malus Hill-the name said it. It was a small town built upon a giant dung hill. I slowly walked through the steep streets, passing pointless and bankrupt shops, one after the other, their pathetic owners staring at me smiling invitingly with broken teeth. Then Ms. Anderson stopped me in my tracks again asking me if I had seen Finn. There was a time when we were friends, Finn and I, before I realized that he was as green as the pot he was constantly smoking. I gave her my usual answer about how I was sure he would come home tomorrow, and tried to hide my annoyance as best I could. When I finally got to the school yard, the bell rang, the thunder that would announce the arrival of my teacher Mrs. Pricy. I took my usual spot in the far back, the teacher's countless explanations bouncing off me. Then came the final blow to make my day unbearable.

"Ok class, please hand in your sheets," she said in her usual falsely joyful voice.

And I had forgotten again.

"Jason, where's your sheet?" she asked me.

"Well," I said, "if you bend down and shove your hand real up high you're…"

"Jason, I will not be insulted in my own class," she interrupted. "Now, where is your sheet?"

"What's wrong, Jason? Forgot it at your girlfriends house?" sniggered Ramsey.

"Very funny. However, I think I might have left it at your house when tutoring. I must admit my efforts, however, seem as ineffective as trying to break a rock with a spoon," I answered unwisely.

"You feeling brave?"

"You feeling smart?"

"I will not have this in my class!" Ms. Pricy screeched. "Both of you out of my sight!"

We both exited slowly, mumbling. As the door slammed behind us Ramsey spoke:

"Next time, you might want to shut the fuck up."

"And maybe you should wake up and smell the roses, dumbass," I answered with a half-grin. "We're free from this hellhole of a place. She won't even remember our names, let alone where we've gone."

"I could follow you, you know. I could follow you and beat you bloody outside where no one will see."

"Like you have the guts," I mumbled, taking my final steps to the doors.

My step dad was asleep on the sofa by the time I got home. I went in the kitchen to find some cold pop, when I saw that he had left some beer on the side door. A rare sight that I might not see till the next decade.

Take it, avoice mumbled in my head.

But why? I answered.

It's your damn stepdad's beer, you might not be able to drink one for another year.

But why drink it?

To that the voice had no answer… I drank it anyway.