There is someone in my head, but it is not me. Or perhaps it is, but I cannot tell the difference. It is a dark whisper breathing across my mental barriers of protection, a bloody baron twisting my darkness into living shadows.
Shadows, icy and cold and corrosive, that toy with the depths of my mind, caressing its core; a horrendous, monstrous hitchhiker of darkness and pain who lounges at the very bottom of my soul, carving patterns into my sanity and blowing away the debris into the emptiness located around her.
She haunts me with a stare so evil and black that I fear I would lose myself into, choking on terror and guilt.
I roar and lunge toward her taunting grin but as soon as my fist connects with her, she vanishes into a black mist, her spine-chilling laugh echoing within me.
My eyes fly open abruptly, blinking away the guilt and the terror and the horror of my hitchhiker. I can feel her plop back down on her hidden throne, awaiting patiently for my conscience to rest again.
I must have dozed off for a few minutes, stealing precious moments of rest.
Fatigue still coats my limbs from my prolonged sleep.
My body moves instinctually as it flexes its protagonist and antagonist muscles into a sitting position. I breathe deeply, enough to saturate my lungs with oxygen, and shift sideways, allowing my toes to curl at the floor's coldness.
The despair I had felt earlier is completely gone, leaving in its midst a black hole. Unfeeling. Uncaring.
I had known that I was different from Dr. Black from the moment I regained enough consciousness to process the doctor's display of concern during his visit.
Concern. Even then, I knew what it was and now, I understand its definition. I noticed the creases at the corner of his eyes, the slight clench of his jaw, the tension in his lips. Yet, I cannot describe it beyond its physical characteristics because sentiments are foreign to me.
I had discovered, in those first moments, that my mind was incapable of feeling emotion.
Perhaps I can only mirror them.
I have been taught, however, that feelings are weakness and vulnerability. They are a breach in one's abilities, a ward against all excellence and opportunity. I have been taught to never feel, never care, for it would be the end of me.
I do not know who taught me. Where they are. Why they did it.
I do not know whether I should thank them or slit their throats.
The bare, animalistic thought slipped past my mental barriers without restraint. Slit their throats. Kill a person. It is such a dark idea, yet it does not faze nor disgust me. I am surprised how easy the concept was to integrate into my casual thoughts.
As if it was not the first time I ever came to reflect upon it.
Reflect is not the right word; it implies too many thoughts. Killing seems natural, instinctual.
My hitchhiker clicks her tongue with primal pleasure and I shove the graphic imagery out of my mind.
The thought floats away into emptiness, bare and innocent, unaware of its consequences should it ever spring into reality.
I sigh and rise to my feet, testing my equilibrium as I shift my weight front to back, side to side on the balls of my feet. I bring my arms forward, observing their shape and their blemishes in the hope of finding clues about myself.
Aside from the bandage wrapped around my left forearm, I discern nothing unusual. If I had bruises, they no longer show.
I am pleased to suffer no other injuries.
The ability to move painlessly, to think without lead throttling my mind is a blessing. I am grateful to the medical staff for their care, though my instincts do not allow me to relax. I am patiently, coldly, calmly awaiting the moment a soldier will stroll into this room and force a bullet into my skull.
The metallic necklace around my neck suddenly grows frigid.
An army chain with a name engraved onto its surface. It is odd, how it should be around my neck. I wish it had eyes and a mouth to tell me what it knows, who it has met.
Yet it is an object and therefore, mute.
I stand, stride around the room. I stretch my muscles, flex my fingers to coordinate their movement. My eyes send images of objects to my brain as it sorts them through folders upon folders of knowledge. Nightstand. Small lamp. Bedsheets. White pillow. Paper.
I stop. There is a small notepad beside the bed, laying on the small metallic nightstand. The whiteness of the paper reflects the bright, cold lights of the room and I cannot believe how much time it took me to notice it.
The absence of the pen.
My eyes narrow and my back tenses as I look around the room yet again. There are no drawers, no place where I could find a pencil or a pen. There is minimal furniture. In three long, balanced steps, I press my hand against the bathroom button and slip inside before the door completely swishes open.
With deadly calm, I take in everything in the room, from the position of the objects to their shape to the arrangement of the appliances.
I slide the drawers beneath the sink open silently until there are no secrets left hidden from me. I only find an extra roll of toilet paper, a bar of soap.
I straighten and slip back into the main area, at the end of the bed. My gaze inspects the feet of the bed and nightstand, seeing them bolted into the ground. The bolts' heads are still shiny, new. They have been freshly installed.
I realize that there are no sharp objects around. In a regular hospital, this would be standard procedure, for patient and medical staff safety. However, military bases do not treat unstable patients and are generally more lenient.
Lenient enough to leave a pen beside a blank notepad.
Dr. Black had mentioned ordering an encephalocranial radiogram. If my knowledge is exact, the scan is able to predict relatively accurate levels of aggressive and unstable behaviours. If I had tested positive, Dr. Black would not have promised to discharge me.
There would have been more medical workers stationed around my room.
I lick my lips, coming to a simple and dangerous conclusion.
They are afraid.
Afraid that I would hurt someone. Kill someone.
Thrust a pen into someone's carotid artery and watch their life crawl away in a few seconds.
My eyes go still and I let out a slow, steady breath.
The base must have wondered too, then, why I wear an army chain around my neck when there are no files about my existence in this National Area. No DNA, no fingerprint matches where there should have been, since all soldiers are recorded and detained in the system.
So why the chain? Why the bullet wound? Why was I so far out from the main cities, when no traces of transportation have been found?
I swallow. Lick my lips.
Perhaps they never wondered at all. Perhaps they knew exactly who washed up on their shores.
Perhaps a single person knew.
Someone might know who I am. If such extensive measures were taken to accommodate my room, there must be an individual who recognizes my identity.
The entire base could know and hidden the truth.
I wonder if Liam Reed knew. If he lied.
Answers will come. I will be patient until I dig them out of their graves. They will build the foundation of my own identity.
Soft steps echo in the hallway and I shelve my thoughts. My gaze turns to the hallway as Dr. Black steps in with a pleased smile on his features, an expression that widens greatly when he sees me standing.
A/N please let me know if you enjoyed!