I awoke to the sound of metal clanking together. My eyelids felt heavy, and it was a chore for me to open them. There was a dull light flickering overhead. I turned my head, rolling my eyes around as I attempted to force my blurry vision into clarity.
I saw a man standing to my right, messing with something in front of him. He had his back to me as he fixated on whatever task he was involved in. It was at that time I realized I was bound to a table. Then I remembered Samantha’s friend had stuck me with a needle.
Where was love?
There was no sign of my devious minion. I couldn’t feel him anywhere. I felt only nausea and soreness from the bindings around my wrists and ankles. The man to my right must be the doctor I spoke to, though he didn’t look the same as I remembered.
What kind of doctor is he?
“Finally awake, I see,” the man said, turning his head to look at me. It was the doctor, Gerald. He had a devious smile as his eyes twinkled with excitement. “When I stuck you the first time, the dosage wasn’t right—”
“Where am I?” I barked.
“My lab,” he answered.
“What is this?” I asked.
He turned his body around, revealing he had a large cutting tool in his hand. I could see the table behind him had a tray of utensils that were aimed to dissect me like an animal. My eyes fixed on the tray, and Gerald smiled.
“This is where I experiment on things,” he said. “It’s how I figure out what makes a person tick.”
“Safe and sound at my home,” he replied, stalking toward me. “You need to worry more about yourself.”
I chuckled. “Worry is not something I know,” I said. “And this torture dungeon doesn’t inspire fear, not for someone like me.”
“And what exactly are you?” he interjected, grinning at the possible answe
“Someone you should think twice about—”
“That’s not an answer,” Gerald interrupted, fiddling with the sharp tool in his hand. “That’s a threat, something that means nothing to a person like me in this type of situation. You see, you are my captive, and I am your master, so you need to take this more seriously and answer every one of my questions. Unless you’d like to get to the messy part.”
I figured I’d play along. I wanted to know what was going on. He was a messed-up mortal, addicted to inflicting violence on others, that part was obvious, but I wanted to know more about him in relation to the detective.
“Ask away,” I urged.
“What are you?” he asked again, smiling as he placed the razor-sharp edge of the tool against my arm. Before I could answer him, he pressed the blade into my skin. The flesh opened and sealed itself up with minimal blood loss. He could see I felt no pain, and it was clear to me he had done something like this to me earlier.
“Didn’t Samantha tell you?” I joked. “I’m a god.”
“Oh, and which one of you am I addressing now?” he asked. I squinted at him, confused by the question. He chuckled at my reaction. “I see, so you don’t know what’s going on inside you, do you?”
“That was a rhetorical question,” he interrupted. “When you awoke after my initial sedative, you were completely different from the man I was speaking to prior to administering the drug. You were unhinged, violent, and you attacked me with a ferocity I’d never seen before. Then Sam ran into the room. You sneered and moved toward her like an excited gentleman. I could tell from her reaction to you that she hadn’t seen that side of you before. When she refused your advance to check on me, you grabbed her, kissed her, and spouted some strange sounding poetry that felt ancient to me. When that didn’t work, you became angrier than before, but I was able to sneak over to jab you in the leg with a triple dose of my special sedative. You were still able to kick me in the face before your knees buckled.” He tilted his face into the light so I could see the bruise on his cheek.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around his explanation. It didn’t make sense to me that I would do any of that. I would never dream of being forceful with the detective, and I’m no poet. It was Love.
“Is she okay?” I asked.
“Yes, shaken up, confused by your behavior, but she’s fine,” he explained. “She told me you hadn’t behaved this way before.”
“Love makes us do crazy things,” I said, smirking at the inside joke.
“That isn’t the issue,” he growled. “You’re a schizophrenic. She told me about the things you see and hear, which is why she wanted you to talk to me in the first place.”
“She knows you like to torture people?” I asked, surprised at the notion she would be okay with his behavior.
“Of course not, you goon,” he snapped. “She would never go for someone like me, which is why I’m so confused as to why she’s taken a shining to you. You’re just as much of a freak as me.”
“No, I’m nothing like you,” I interjected. “I’m something a lot more than you.”
“You may think that, but you’re the same as me,” he continued. “You have the same basic wants and desires as me. You’ve been burying that part of you deep inside, and only lately, based on what Sam has said, you’ve allowed that part of you out to play. I tried to open you up and do what I do best, but I can’t. Every incision heals. Why is that?”
“I already told you—”
“Oh my god, you are boring,” he interrupted. “I want the other guy to come back out and play. I want to talk to him. Hell, I’d even be okay with talking to the first person I spoke to when you arrived.” He jabbed me in the shoulder, leaving the tool stuck in my muscle. “I need you to embrace what you are, who you truly are. I know he’s in there somewhere, and that’s the man I want to play with.”
Gerald was drastically different from our previous conversation. He seemed less intelligent and more primal. He reminded me of a child the day before their birthday, excited for the unveiling of presents and joy to come. I knew my personalities had split, and there was more to me than I originally thought, but he was different from any mortal I’d crossed paths with during my travels. He was psychotic, and he knew that but embraced it.
“Let’s find out what would happen if I sawed something off,” he said, plucking a handsaw from the tray. “Would it grow back? Let’s find out.”