You don't understand.
"You don't understand, you don't understand, you don't understand, you don't understand, you..."
I sighed and pulled the heavy metal door shut, drowning out the frantic mantra.
"This is how you found him, Officer Lucas?"
The policeman shuffled his feet. He was a stout man, balding and gone to seed. A hook nose and eyes fitted too close together gave me the impression of some comic bird. He didn't meet my eyes, instead looking at the cowered man through the window.
"Not exactly, sir. He..." he cleared his voice and fell silent.
"He...?" I prompted.
A visible shudder ran the length of the man. Jesus Christ, I thought. I was told this was a twenty five year old veteran.
"We can talk in my office if that will make you more comfortable."
Lucas smiled, and I could tell that gave him some comfort--to put distance between the suspect and himself. I led him from the solitary cell and toward my office. Again, I noted how nervous he seemed to be, his too-close eyes flitting around to check corners of the sterile building.
"You are safe here."
"Safe," he snorted. "Are you aware of what that man has been accused of?"
Something in his tone made me frown. "Yes, I was made well aware before accepting him to my facility, sir. However, you are out here with me and he is there in that room alone. Therefore, you are safe."
He didn't answer me and continued to glance around.
I couldn't place it--but his mannerisms were making me anxious. Not you too, I scolded. I guess that mass hysteria theory does have some merit. That thought made me chuckle a bit--I was exhibiting the textbook symptoms.
When we reached the door to my office, I attempted a reassuring smile and gestured for him to enter. He hesitated.
He looked at me, and for the faintest moment I swear I saw a shadow in his eyes. Of course, it was nothing more than the result of the poor lighting, but it was unsettling nonetheless. "I have permission to enter?"
What odd wording. "Of course. After you." He smiled and walked past me. I followed and shut the door behind us.
"You understand, of course, why I couldn't give you details in the public eye," Lucas said. He sat down in one of my chairs.
"Of course. Ongoing investigations and all that."
"The media has had a heyday--our department is barely above laughing stock. The vultures are taking plenty of liberties and half-truths and spinning stories."
"So..." I cleared my voice and walked past him to sit at my desk. I turned my tape recorder on. "So, what is the truth?"
"He's nothing more than a madman. I was the one that found him, you know. Me and my partner. All dripping and covered in her blood."
"Did he speak?"
"Not at first, or at least not to me--I think." He shrugged his shoulders. "He was muttering something, speaking so fast that I only caught snatches. He said something along the lines of--and pardon my French, doctor--'Fuck you, Abel, fuck you and your bitches. She's not yours anymore. She won't hurt anybody else.'"
"Who is Abel?"
"Hell if we know. He had his back turned to us, crouched over her body and clutching some sort of leather bound book. When he heard us, he turned around. There was something manic in his eyes, wide and frantic and fighting. I've never seen anything like it."
I took a notebook out of my drawer to write notes. What the policeman didn't understand was that though the chief had asked him to come to give me testimony to help me develop the case for the department--she'd also asked me to evaluate Lucas on a psychological basis. Nothing official--yet--but she'd been concerned.
I saw that. Though I hadn't known Lucas before the arrest two weeks prior, I could at least understand he wasn't acting as a normal individual would.
Jerky, nervous. I wrote. Words are oddly clipped and proper--similar to reading from a script. Voice is flat, nondescript.
"What happened after that?"
"Well, there was a moment where nobody said or did anything. It was strange, you know. Here he was--standing in this oddly normal living room with flickering lights all around him. She lay on the couch, and I didn't think humans held as much blood as what was all over her, the couch, the floor, and him. He looked at us, and he said--'Welcome, officers, to my alter.'. Then he screamed and the whole place went dark."
"That power outage that took the block out? You hear about that?" I nodded. "By the time we got our flashlights out and found him, he was bent over his wife sobbing."
"Did he say anything then?"
To my surprise, Lucas smiled. "He was telling her he was sorry, that he had to, and that they wouldn't understand."
Officer is detached and not displaying proper emotional reactions--symptomatic mental shock.
I didn't ask any more questions, allowing Lucas to piece his thoughts together. I watched him, noting that he no longer glanced toward corners and crannies. He seemed much more calm--confident even.
"You are a very logical person, doctor."
"I try to be, yes."
"What do you make of his crimes, then?" He leaned forward. "Did the chief really let you know what we found at some of the scenes?"
"How about you don't worry about what she has told me. You're here to let me know what happened. If other information is relevant, than you should tell me."
"Thirteen victims before he murdered his wife. Each was ripped apart joint by joint and arranged into various designs. Now--here's where it gets weirder--the coroner has told us that it was these wounds, or amputations, if you would prefer, that were the resulting deaths. No human has the strength to rip individuals apart, but there was no evidence of machines used. In fact, each piece of each body had hand shaped bruises much too small to have been made by your crazy murderer."
Officer has exhibited inappropriate dialogue and misplaced emotion. Excitement and happiness in place of fear. Hopefully, officer is also exaggerating/lying about evidence in case to inflate his involvement in arrest--Hero complex, perhaps?
"What are you implying, Officer?"
He chuckled, and I was struck by the pure oddness of the situation. Not only a half hour earlier, this man had been timid. Now, his voice had force to it. The change was almost mindboggling.
"Not implying--simply speculating. True, I found him with his wife's blood on his hands, but that was different--messy. The other bodies that had been found, now those were had been arranged in a very methodic and symbolic way. No mess and drained of blood. Not to mention the bruises..."
"Lucas..." A knock at the door interrupted me.
"I am sorry to bother you, doctor, but the resident is asking for you."
I frowned at the nurse and tapped my pen against the paper. "He's speaking now?
"I'd hurry, doctor, before he becomes crazy again," Officer Lucas said. "I'm not going anywhere."
No, you certainly are not, I thought as I placed the pad with my notes into my desk drawer. I locked it and slipped the key into my pants pocket. "If you will excuse me, I will not be long."
Lucas didn't answer as I walked out and followed the nurse down the hallway. She glanced toward me and then to the office door I had kept open.
"Sir, are you alright?"
"It's tonight, that's all. We don't always have nights like this." I took a deep breath as I reached my newest patient's door. I will never have been happier for a night to end.
"You don't understand, you don't understand, you don't understand..." It was the same mantra I'd left him chanting a half hour before, but I took another step into the room and allowed the nurse to shut the door behind me.
"Jakob? You wanted to speak to me?"
"You don't understand..."
"You are in a lot of trouble right now, but I can help if you just let me." I took a step closer. The man gave no indication that he even knew I existed. He continued the smooth rocking, his head against his knees.
"You don't understand..."
"The nurse told me you asked for me. Do you want to talk?"
I crouched in front of him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Jakob. Can you hear me?"
There is no way this man asked for me, I thought, weary. It was late--or, in this case, early. I'd seen the day come and go in my facility. This is the last time I do the chief a favor.
I sighed as I stood and turned around to head back to the door. I had taken about three steps when I heard the deep inhalation of breath--a loud rattle that seemed to go through collapsed lungs.
"You don't understand, Silas."
These were new words in a new tone. Jakob was standing and staring at me through a curtain of pale blond hair when I turned to face him. "How did you know my name?"
"You told me."
"No. I told you my last name--I told you I was Doctor Chase. How did you know my name?"
He grinned wide, almost impossibly so. His teeth flashed white. "You told me, you did." He lifted his hand and tapped his temple. "You told me in here."
"Do you know why you're here, Jakob?" I attempted to swallow the lump that was either my adam's apple or my heart. "You weren't safe in the prison."
"Not safe. Not safe. Not safe." He laughed. "I wasn't the one that lacked safety, doctor. They stitched that man together when I was through, they did..."
"I can help you."
"You can't even help yourself." He looked at me past that messy curtain of hair. "You've already been marked by him."
"Let's sit down and talk."
"No need. No need. No need to talk to a dead man." He laughed again.
"I will leave if you don't try to make sense of your words."
"Abel isn't pleased. He only wishes to sacrifice for his God. He's favored you know. Favored for his meat at the alter. Familiar with the story, Silas?"
Cain and Abel. I was familiar with the old Bible story, but I didn't answer. Instead I said, "Why did you murder your wife, Jakob?"
He looked up, parting the hair so that he could look at me directly. Eyes bluer than anything I'd seen looked at me. "You don't understand...she was Abel's Cain. In the end, she begged for it. I tried to fight Abel, tried to save her..." He looked away and whispered "Fuck you, Abel, fuck you and your bitches. She's not yours anymore. She won't hurt anybody else."
I knew those words, and there was something about having them repeated to me verbatim that just...I backed away, keeping my eyes on the weeping, muttering man.
"Check my file, Silas, if you have time before your end. I was a good man, but this is what happens when fighting Abel. He takes you one way or another--flesh and bone, or the mind."
My hand fumbled for the door knob while my other banged on the window as Jakob laughed and mocked and screamed. I stumbled backward as my nurse opened the door.
"Doctor?" She shut the door and cut off the cacophonous ravings.
"Sedate him," I gasped out. I didn't wait for the response, turning immediately to go to my office.
The office light was off when I got there, and Officer Lucas was gone. Just as well, I'd had damn near enough of the freaks involved in the case. I flicked the light on, shut the door. I'm going home. I'll call the chief after I get some rest. That officer isn't fit for work yet...
"Delusional? Hero-complex? Dear, dear, you have a high opinion of yourself, doctor."
I jumped at the voice, stumbling into my coat rack. Officer Lucas sat at my desk, feet propped up. He held my note pad in his hand, thumbing through the pages.
"How the hell did you..."
"Inappropriate dialogue and misplaced emotion. Very, very good! That'll keep me chuckling for the next few centuries." Lucas tossed the pad onto the table and put his feet down. When he stood, he seemed so much taller than what I remembered him being.
"Sorry you have to see me this way." He gestured to his body and frowned. "See, I prefer women, usually. So dainty--it's comical watching the surprise when the first limb is ripped off. I've developed a sort..." he frowned as if searching for the right word "...inappropriate sense of humor."
"I don't understand..."
"That's right, Silas, you don't understand, but Jakob already told you that, didn't he?" He walked around the desk, and each movement seemed jerky and ill-formed. Something seemed to stretch along the officer's skin. I could see bulging movements beneath the uniform, like massive bugs scuttling. Whatever shivered through the eyes of the man in front of me wasn't human. I could see it--whatever it was--surfacing and fighting to maintain control of a body that was never his.
This isn't possible.
"Not only possible, but it's happening right now." He frowned, his head cocked to the side at an impossible angle. I could hear the joints creak in protest. I couldn't look at him directly. There was a haze--akin to sunlight streaking the pavement, or perhaps smog obscuring a skyline. "Don't tell me you hadn't already considered it, doc. But you're a logical man."
I have to get out...
"Do you?" He chuckled. "Humans should learn there is just no fighting Abel. If you were to escape, I'll still have you. I'll drive you insane, be with you forever, like our friend Jakob. In all honesty, it's a much more merciful fate to experience the brief pain my death brings you."
I tried to open the door, but the knob was slippery. My hands couldn't push, couldn't grasp despite my intense efforts. I couldn't stop the tears streaking down my cheeks as I slid down the wall, defeated. "Why?" I whispered, the word twisted and choked in sobs. "Why me?"
"Why anyone? Why the last thirteen this century or the first twenty three eons before?" Smoke, thick and black, hovered around him in a darkened halo. He crouched beside me where I could almost see the officer Lucas screaming in his eyes. "I got a God to keep happy. You just drew a short straw."
Word Count: 2,482
Initially Submitted to: Poison Apple Theater (entered:1/19/15). Prompt:Write a story about possession. No Placing. Link to contest: http://www.writing.com/main/forums/item_id/2014825-Poison-Apple-Theater
Also Submitted to: Boy, Have I Got a Story for You (entered:3/7/15). No Placing Link to contest: http://www.writing.com/main/forums/item_id/1848696-Boy-Have-I-Got-A-Story-For-Yo...
Also Submitted to: Supernatural Writing Contest (entered:4/13/15). Prompt:Write a story involving a supernatural being First Place, Received Black Awardicon Link to contest: http://www.writing.com/main/forums/item_id/1771874-Supernatural-Writing-Contest