Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
I was awake. Alive, thank goodness. At least, I thought I was alive. I was solid and whole. Except for my head. It felt as though there was a hole there. I couldn’t remember where I was or who I was. Something was coming back. A name. My name I think. John. I tried to recall something else, anything else. I couldn’t remember my past or present. I began to realize that I had no clue where I was. My heart began pounded as my eyes focused on my surroundings. I was in a room. It was pretty much empty besides a small desk and a bed. The walls were made of thick stone, I assumed it was to soundproof the room. As any sensible person would do, I looked for an exit. There was no escape, at least as far as I saw. There was only one thing in the room that really caught my attention. It was a paper, sitting innocently on the ground. I decided to pick up the paper, hoping that it would explain where I was, what was happening, and most importantly: Who I was. The words were notes from a doctor. The paper had two simple sentences on it.
“He is dangerous. I have to take action.” I was even more confused. What? Take action? Dangerous? What had I could have possibly done to deserve being put in isolation? I had so many questions. Only one solution came to my battered head. Escape. I had to leave and find out the answers. I looked closely at the walls. There were inscriptions on the walls. I could only understand one. As I read it my my heart began pounding wildly: “Why can’t death help me” My eyes widened as I realized another terrifying fact. It was written in blood. Worse yet, fresh blood. It seemed as though someone, perhaps the doctor, was bleeding profusely. I felt faint and fell to the floor. I opened my eyes and gazed at the ceiling. It was incredibly close. If I stretched to my maximum hight, I could touch it. I noticed a rope hanging from the center. Curious, I stood and reached my arm out to its utmost length, clasping the rope. A trapdoor opened stairs fell to my feet.
As stairs from the trapdoor descended down to my feet, dust rose in thick clouds making me cough and hack. I was surprised at how easy that was. The note made it seem as though I would never be able to get out. I began to ascend the stairs slowly. I walked into a corridor. I saw a speaker stuck to the wall with several buttons around it. An intercom. I decided playing back recent messages as it might aid me. I pushed a light grey button. I heard a scratchy voice yelling out:
“Machloy’s is out!”
“I know. I have to stop him.” another voice responded,
“Are you insane??? He’s killed 70 people! We can’t lose another honest human!”
“I-I have to. I know I can. Goodbye.”
“NO! Chris? CHRIS TOMLEY RESPOND?! No…”
The recording stopped. I wasn’t anymore informed. I just knew that that man, Chris Tomley, had either succeeded or failed in harming this Machloy. Either way I didn’t want to find out. I kept walking, my feet beginning to burn with each tread. I saw a closed door and I quickly swung it open. It revealed a workspace. This was obviously a closed building of some kind. I saw a computer and my heart lifted. Maybe I could reach someone, anyone. I turned it on and put the page onto Google. I typed in the name Chris Tomley. It took a while, but I soon found him. “Chris Tomley: Father of four. Employed at the Grundle’s Psychiatric Ward. Found dead in his own holding facility. Bled to death. His last act was brutally and heroically taking down the famed Machloy who had been torturing him for a whole week.”
There was a link for the name Machloy so out of pure curiosity, I clicked it. A picture ballooned up in my face. It was a terrifying man. How they got this picture I was uncertain of. But he was real. I could feel it in my bones. I looked at the picture more closely. He was a rugged man, about my hight and build. He carried a large saw and his face was hidden in shadows. He had on the sort of clothing you might see a carpenter wearing. A tool belt was hanging about his gaunt waist. It wasn’t a surprise he could be beaten down so easily. I became more intrigued about his weapon. Though this was an old picture, the saw had a glimmer. It made me want to touch it. Grasp it. Cut something. I couldn’t quite tell where this feeling came from, but it became immense, one might even say overpowering as I gazed at the beautiful, shining…
I shut the laptop immediately. This wasn’t me. So, who was it? What was that feeling, like a monster pushing out of my heart? I wanted to find out more. I decided to roam a bit more. I walked down to one of the patient’s rooms. I looked in. There was a woman sitting there. I breathed a sigh. Maybe she could give me some information.
“Hello?” I began,
“No! NO!!! Stay away! I haven’t done anything!!! Don’t do it!!!” she shrieked and recoiled,
I withdrew as well. I had forgotten that this was a psychiatric ward. She must be crazy. Then I saw that she had a name-tag. It read Juliana. She was a nurse, so why was she acting so strange.
“Listen, I’m not a patient! I just woke up here with no clue who I was or where I was. I haven’t come to harm you.” I tried to make my voice as soothing as possible,
“Please… Please…” she trembled in the dark.
I didn’t understand. I decided to leave her. I saw the last door in the corridor. I swung it open, hoping not to find another question. I saw the blade that was in the picture I saw earlier. I drew closer, feeling like I was pushed toward it. I touched it. The blade was unexpectedly warm… and wet. I took it up and saw a red drop drip from the tip of one of the teeth of the saw. I nearly retched. The saw dropped to the ground. I couldn’t believe that anyone would do that. Who could be driven to that? When I calmed down, I picked up the saw once more. I looked at it. Gazing at the fine blade, and the sturdy handle. I could see the appeal. I felt like two sides of my brain were battling intensely between disgust and almost an admiration at such power in such a skinny man.
I hadn’t found an exit yet, and I was growing desperate. I found myself walking in circles. All I could think of was that woman, yelling at me. I finally collapsed from exhaustion and hunger. When I woke up, I saw a man standing in front me. He was wearing a black, sleek suit. He was rugged and handsome. I looked up at him.
“Who are you?” I croaked, throat dry from lack of water,
He skipped the question and said instead: “You disappoint me John. I figured you would recover easily from a small bump on the head.”
“What?” I asked,
“Amnesia. How pitiful. Have you really not figured it out yet?”
“Figured out what?” I was beginning to get irritated at the pompous behavior that flowed from his face.
“Oh, how do I say this? You. Are. John. Machloy.” he stated each word firmly, “And if you don’t know who that is…”
I was stunned. “No.” I said,
“Oh yes.” he contradicted cooly.
“Well, then how come I haven’t been killing left and right? How come I don’t know where the exit is? How come it took me so long to figure out my name? Who are you?”
Hmm. Those are some of the side effects of amnesia aren’t they? As for who I am. Well, I’m just a little friend.”
“I guess I’ve changed then.”
“Not really.” he smiled evilly.
I was very scared of what was coming next.
The man took out the saw that had been haunting me and my mind.
“This HAS to bring something to you.” he said,
“No.”I lied, shivering slightly. I hoped he hadn’t noticed.
“Liar!” he hissed,
“I’m not him. I’m not a murderer.”
“But you are!” his voice was rising, “You have been ever since your family was taken away from you. Ever since you were alone.”
As he said that, memories flooded into my mind. My family being killed because of false accusations. The pain split my head. They were murdered unjustly, in front of me. I could only escape with my life. I was scarred. And I decided that if my family was guilty and deserved to die, than everyone else did. Morals and logic meant no more.
The blood rushed to my eyes. My heart was pumping. I took hold of the saw, feeling fulfilled. I was back in full. I wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. And I never will.