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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Crime/Gangster · #2282054
An Experimental Story. I'm not particularly proud of this one
Stalking The Scarlet King Snake

Black leathered hands touched the file folder, gently caressing it before they flipped it open. Thin moonlight filtered in through the cracks between the slats of the blinds. Midnight was hours before him. And hours after midnight would come the dawn. By then, however, he hoped to be long gone.

It had taken him a while to find this particular folder. It was but one of dozens of other open cases for the psychiatric team that wrote it. That held it with all the care given to dozens of other individuals stuck in the round robin of catch and release psychiatry. Those people treated just well enough to get better, before they’re set out again upon the population, where amongst the tall buildings and business meetings and morning vanilla lattes with soy milk and fake sugar, they’ll forget to take their meds again. They’ll refuse treatment again in some form or another, and eventually, end up back here. If they didn’t die or kill someone first.

None of those things mattered to our particular individual however. He wasn’t here out of some sense of selfless duty. There was no statement being made. He was here, he knew, because of HER. The one that got away. The one that remembered everything she was supposed to forget.

Atop the stiff manilla file folder, was a name typed in on a label: Mrs. Johns, Jessica. D.O.B. 29 Apr 04. He opened the folder, then flipped through the first two pages. They would be nothing but administrative stuff, he knew. Who her father was. Who her mother was. All of those things as given by the supposed “Johns, Jessica.” All fake and none of it mattered. Like so much chattering of the angry squirrel in front of the hungry bull dog.

In the middle of the fourth page however, our mystery man found what he was looking for. It was the start of the psychiatrists’ notes. The beginnings of the recent ivy league graduate’s attempts to heal the young girl. Such foolish naivete that only a recent idealistic graduate can have, before life and the world showed them the bloody, ugly truth. Idealistic youths were always the downfall of any society, he knew. Our mysterious intruder had seen so, himself.

“Mrs. Johns,” Grace Chauncer wrote, clearly attributing the appropriate Phd’s atop of the page, ensuring that everyone who read it saw exactly how many degrees she held: the metaphorical dick measuring contest in an ‘enlightened’ form. Competition at its saddest. After all, didn’t it always at the end of every age, person and empire come down to who had the gun at the right time?
He continued reading, going through the entire report. What he read, the vital contents of that report, is written below:

“It was a white house,” girl continued. Her hands shook a bit as she spoke. “White, walls tall and glimmering.”

The prevailing theory had been that she was speaking of one of the buildings that she was found nearby. She had been wandering downtown in New York, muttering to herself, and snarling at just about anyone who came close. Once or twice, she barked, giving her best canine impression. What some attributed to Schizophrenic behavior, I attribute to camouflage. Much like the scarlet king snake, she has all the proper markings of venom, of danger. However, she didn’t have them in the appropriate order.

She continued on, describing the building itself, the plush interior. The chairs, the chandelier that were all attributed to metaphorical hallucinations, brought on by her illness, I believe to be accurate. I believe it’s accurate for one reason: the man in red. “The devil,” Mrs. Johns whispers, “the devil.” She would never say much more than that. When she whispers such horrified words, she has always stared out the window, fearful trembling taking over her body and stealing her voice.

However, I intended to coax more out of her, thus causing the outburst. The day prior, I had noticed one of our nurses was listening to the radio at her station. It was loud enough that those patients in the rec room could hear it. There were about five patients in total at the time utilizing this room. Two was putting together a puzzle on the floor, one was staring out the window at the clouds, one dancing gently to the pop songs. I do not know their particular names as they were not my patients, but the two putting together the puzzle was male and female, approximately eighteen years of age, the one staring out the window a male of near twenty-five, and the one dancing was a female who could not have been older than fifteen.

Mrs. Johns sat in a corner by herself, listening to the radio and playing a game of solitaire with a stack of playing cards that had been secured from somewhere. It was not in our inventory of items, but there seemed to be no harm in her using them. She did not appear to be distressed, and with the staff nearby, there seemed to be no way for her to hurt herself or others with them.

As she flipped up the ace of spades, a news broadcast came over the radio. It was about the current presidential election. A particular name: Senator Michael Jacobs, was mentioned, something about a campaign stop. The news broadcast seemed to be harmless. Though, as the weather report came on, Johns grabbed the Ace of spades and began to chew on it, spitting the wads of chewed paper out. She then began screaming nonsense, accusing the card of being the “father of lies” or “the eyes of darkness.” It wasn’t long before the staff came and grabbed her that she was subdued. Thankfully, her actions that day didn’t set off the other four individuals, who kept right on with their activities as if nothing was happening. Even the dancing girl was unaffected as she attempted to keep dancing to the rhythm of the news report.

That happened yesterday, Tuesday, August 17th. This morning she had been much more relaxed, calm and collected. Eating her breakfast in relative silence, taking her meds, before she came to be sitting in my office, staring out the window and muttering about the white building.

“Jessica,” I asked as she sat in her seat shaking. “What about Senator Michael Jacobs?” She stopped muttering, then stared at me for half a second, surprised. “Red devil!” She began, “devil,” she continued, muttering Beelzebub, and just about every name for Satan she could conjure up, even some that I’ve never heard before: ‘Supreme Demon’, ‘Horned Emperor of Hades’, ‘black toothed monster of the netherworld’, were but some. She began muttering them so fast that I could hardly keep up.

“I know,” I tried louder, “I know Jessica that you have some sort of connection to Senator Jacobs. What is it?” In fact, I did not know. Nothing in her records links Jessica at all to the senator or any congressman, but I hoped bluffing would yield results. However, for a time she continued her litany of names and insults. It was apparent to me that my attempt had failed, and I stood, “I’m sorry for distressing you,” I said, then turned to leave, and to allow the nurses and staff to sedate her.

“He has a birth mark,” she said. “On his inner right thigh. Up near his crotch.”

She looked sullen then, her eyes cast towards the floor. “He prefers his good little girls to call him ‘His Satanic Majesty’. If we’re good, he would shower with us, then let us go. If we’re bad,” She shuttered, and whispered to herself “don’t be bad.” then said no more.

When I tried to ask her about this, a look of shock crossed her face, as if she let something slip. Any other attempts to get more information out of her has failed. She has redoubled her efforts since, attempting to make every meeting, meal, every event a schizophrenic episode. However, each episode appears to be an act of desperation, repeated from other things she has seen. She began to copy Jason Crates, who hears voices coming from objects and images, mostly those of people, like paintings and photographs.

She has sat with Jason many times in the rec room, sitting in her own corner as Jason carried on extended conversations with pictures and images in children’s books. Jessica today during lunch copied the exact same symptoms as him, even running through some of his words and phrases, even asking certain objects to repeat themselves. Only this time, with her spoon instead of picture books or television.”

The report continues, however, our mysterious intruder has seen enough. He closed the report, and turned to the back of the office with a practiced ease, like one who has been in this room a thousand times before. “Can’t matter anymore,” he muttered to himself as he turned the shredder on, then ran the file through it, slicing into ribbons every page in the report, and every other report as well. Even the very folder itself.
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