For me it does not feel like that. At all. For me it's the feeling of sitting in the blank interrogation room of the police office, about to be questioned. About being asked of the murder of my parents. For me it is the constant noise of the many voices telling me intrusive things under my subconciousness. Every single one sounds more violent than the previous. And for me, it is for sure the shock when I look at my hands - they are still painted red, slowly drying in the air from oxidizing. Thats the moment when my blood freezes. I never killed my parents. But the feeling that I might have is haunting my bones.
You have, you have, you have done . . . something bad! - one of the taunting voices keeps repeating.
I swallow the bitter taste spreading on my tongue. I don't know anymore. I don't know anything. My teeth clatter against each other. I am freezing. You have, you have, you ha- enough! I look around in the interrogation room. It is cold in here. Crammed. It feels like I can't even take a normal breath without having the need to grasp my chest. I can not even move my hands freely, they are put in handcuffs. My nose is runny.
I wiggle in the shackles' grip and bend my head to rub my nose against my jacket. When I straighten again, I see blood seeping into the grey fabric. I can only imagine how the rest of me looks like.
From what I can assume, I probably look like a psycho killer on the run. I do not know if I am lying when I say that I fit the description. I do not know how I got here. I do not know who the blood on my sleeve belonged to.
You have, you have, you have done something bad, Connor!
For my own sake, I can not quiet down these voices.
Instead, I am left alone with my thoughts, although it feels like they are controlled like puppets on a string.
I exhale sharply, the sound echoes through the empty room.
Nobody cares that I have sat here for the last hour, nobody came to check up on me.
But suddenly- The door to the interrogation room gets thrown open. I jump from the sound.
I can't move, my hands are tied to the table in front of me. The handcuffs - too tight handcuffs - start to bother me. The metal scrapes my wrists. I look up to the person who opened the door in the first place.
A police officer stares back at me. His eyes widen for the smallest fraction of a second. Sure, what else did he expect to see? I'm just a seventeen year old teenager. A teenager who supposedly killed his parents.
The officer is silent when he walks over to the table. His face is scrunched up in disapproval. I shift in my uncomfortable chair at his reaction. He slumps down in the chair across me. I only now realize the ill stench of the room. It smells like iron, sulfur and inevitability.
There is no way that I would get out of here without some kind of consequence.
You have, you have, you have done . . . som-
"So, here's how things are gonna go. You stay quiet, answer only when I tell you to. And do hesitate to take your time. I want to go home, it's Halloween after all. This is recorded for your interest, too.", the officer says, brushing a hand over his grey hair. He seems to be in his late fifties. As if his response triggered something in me, I wildly scan the room for any eyes laid on me.
I look at the woman and the other man who also sit in the room, in the corner. I've seen them as I was brought in here in the first place. They seem to be whispering about me to each other.
There is a one-way mirror on the wall across from me. There is probably a mass of officers stood behind it. I do not care. Why would I?
Let them find out I am innocent.
You are not, Connor. You have, you have, you have done . . . something bad!
The sound of paper files being thrown on the table tears me back to the disturbing truth.
"You're gonna name three things you can see, smell and hear."
"What's that gotta do with the interrogati-"
"ZIP IT! "
I pout. A moment of silence.
Three things I can see. "Alright, three things I can see - you, the one-way mirror and the handcuffs you forced on me." A brief nod from the officer.
Three things I can smell. "Three things I can smell are the stench in here, my bloody nose and disappointment." Clearly my last response was not to his liking because he raises his hand and shakes it off in a disgusted way.
Three things I can hear. "And I can hear my heartbeat. Voices. The chain of the handcuffs rattling.", I finish, lifting my hands as high as I physically am able under the circumstances and the chain connecting both halves of the handcuffs indeed rattles. The officer raises one eyebrow.
I shrug. How am I supposed to tell him without coming over as absolutely crazy?
The officer sighs, clearly he expected an answer. One I did not give.
"Okay, what did I do right there? I made you aware of your surroundings. Now answer my questions. What's your name?", he demands, leaning back in the chair so that the backrest squeaks for a moment.
I hesitate. What kind of questions await me after this one? This surely feels like smalltalk for now. I feel suffocated, all of the sudden. My mind goes blank. I can not remember anything, I do no even know my proper name anymore. I am drowning without ever inhaling. Apparently, I have taken too much time to reply to anything.
"Sure thing, take your time. It's not like I want to clock out any time soon. It's not like me and another officer run this place today.", the officer sighs. "Don't worry about the lie detector, too.", he adds, motioning towards something on me.
I inhale and feel pressure on my chest. When I look down, I find myself wired up to a machine connected to a computer, tracking my heartrate and breathing. How come I did not see that earlier?
"Now answer." I nod, again. "What time was it at the incident."
A different question. Perhaps, I took too long with the previous one.
I part my lips, waiting for another order to be barked at, for not being allowed to talk. But the officer raises his eyebrows. "How was I supposed to know? You think I carry a watch around to know when whoever killed my parents?"
The officer nods, not amused.
This man can't be serious. Nobody would carry a watch and look at it on the exact time they discovered a body. Traumatic physical responses would take over first.
"Most people actually do. Your answer was wrong, it was 7:32pm."
If I could look at the lie detector monitor now, I would probably see a skyhigh red line shooting up from calm state, projecting a lie. Two hours ago. My eyes automatically wander to my hands, still stained with the blood of my parents. "With what do you think your parents were killed?"
Is he interrogating me to get answers or is this a BuzzFeed - How to know if you're a serial killer?- Quizlet? I play along with his game. For now.
Don't do it, Connor, don't do it . . .
"There are many ways. Arson. A chainsaw. A knif-"
"LISTEN HERE, BOY. I ASK AND YOU ANSWER WHAT YOU KNOW! DON'T ASSUME!"
I raise an eyebrow at the officers reaction.
"You didn't tell me that at the start." The man bluffs.
"You're short-tempered. Maybe therapy will help?", I tease him.
This has become hilarious within a matter of seconds, from being terrified to an abolute laughable gameshow. The officer is clearly pissed off at my response.
"What. Were. They. Killed. With."
I shrug again. "Dude, I don't know!"
"A . . . car?", I try one last time. It is late, I want to wash off that blood.
The police officer takes his eyes off of me for a second, wets his lips and then stares at me again.
"How about that, you remember every single detail and try to answer then. Your lies will be projected anyway."
I look away.
You did, you did, you have done something unforgivable, Connor.
With a brief nod, the officer motions for me to think. I close my eyes, try to focus on my thoughts, my memories. Weirdly enough, there are people in the hallway of the police office talking, which makes it a bit hard to utterly focus.
Remember, Connor, you have to see the carnage. - the voices in my head whisper.
Of course I remember. Halloween night. I was asleep on the sofa, watching my favorite TV show.
It was dark outside. My neighborhood isn't very common for Trick Or Treating, so nobody was ringing the doorbell. We wouldn't have much candy to give, anyway. But something still woke me up. I rubbed my eyes, sleepily. Calling out for my mother, I struggled off the sofa. But I tripped. I fell all the way. And hit my nose on the coffee table between the sofa and the arm chair in the living room.
It must have been that way, right?
I couldn't hear the crack.
Neither can I remember how else I broke my nose. My nose hurts. I don't know what exactly happened to it. But it must have been broken.
My mom didn't reply. I got slightly scared.
After going to the kitchen, I didn't find her there either. My medicine was still sat on the counter.
My doctor just prescribed me new pills to take and we were all curious how it worked. For know, it seems to fit.
I went upstairs to my parents' bedroom. What I found there was shocking.
I felt sick. What I saw is now a steadily painted, clear image in my mind. My mom laid on the bed, next to my dad. They were spread out like a bug laying on the back. They were stabbed. I saw red marks bleeding through their clothes. I didn't know if I screamed or stayed quiet.
What I do know, was, that I ran out of the house and vigorously rang my neighbor's doorbell.
They opened up. And what I do know for sure, is, that I didn't call the cops. I was physically incapable. Traumatic physical responses took over. It must have been them.
And there were other people in the house of my neighbor. Maybe they were guests. I remember seeing two people.
Yes, I remember. I open my eyes again and inhale. The man and woman sat in the corner nod at me, reassuring. For some reason, I now trust them more than the officer sat in front of me.
Then I tell him exactly what I remember. I can't do anything more than that.
I shouldn't guess or be interpreting things. The whole interrogation takes about fifteen minutes. The chatter in the hallway still doesn't quiet down. My mind seems to be playing tricks with me because I hear the people say things like "kill" and "murder" and also my name.
I swallow hard. But within the next second, the voices suddenly quiet down and another officer enters the room. A female. She nods to me with a forced smile and hands the officer interrogating me a small post-it note. I smile back, like an unconscious response.
I still can smile. That does not mean that I am a psycho killer, right? Then, the female leaves.
The interrogator hands the note over to me. My eyebrows knit together as I try to decipher what's written on it in messy handwriting. When my eyes scan the words, my heart stops for a millisecond.
Physically incapable to rely on memory, therefore sent away for trial in psychiatric institution.
"Sir, what's that supposed to mean? I - I tried my best . . .", I say, my voice trailing off at his eyes scanning me.
"No, yeah, we know that. You couldn't do better. Thank you. Now get up."
I straighten. The officer unlocks the handcuffs from the table, unhooks me from the lie detector and takes my handcuffs in his own hands. He leads me out of the room. On the way, I clear my voice.
"Sir, what if all that I said was just . . . I don't know . . . not real? I keep not wanting to believe myself."
The man and woman from the room follow us in a safe distance, the officer doesn't seem bothered by their presence. In fact, I do not even know if he noticed their presence. The officer shakes his head.
"No, we saw the results. You did the best you could."
I swallow, dropping my head.
You failed, fail and will fail. You have, you have, you have done somthing terrible.
As we walk along the seats in the waiting room, I can feel myself scan the few people sat in them.
The officer harshly pushes me onto one of the seats.
"Wait here until further notice. That's an order." I nod, barely visible. The man leaves.
And then I wait. Like the officer told me to. The woman and man following us from before take a seat behind me. My eyes trail over the faces of the other people sat across me.
I must have not gotten that much sleep, because I can see the face of my younger self staring back at me.
A small boy, about seven years old. The same knock-off adidas shoes I wore back then. And the same neon green shirt. The little boy mouthed a few words in my direction.
I try to understand them. But I can not hear it clearly. "What?", I therefore ask in his direction.
The boy's face grows angry. "Shame on you, it was your fault! If you took your medicine . . .", he suddenly yells to me. I rock back in my chair, taken aback. The chain of the handcuffs around my hands rattles again.
The woman sat next to the boy calms him down and scolds him quietly for yelling at me. I scan the woman's features. My heart drops. My mom. Very well alive. But - but I - I saw . . .
She looks at me for a brief second. A smile. That's all she gives me.
"Mom?", I whisper. She shakes her head. "Not now, Connor." Her voice sounds hollow, like spoken in a long hallway, echoing. I swallow. How does she know my name?
I blink. Once. Twice. My mother. And I rub my eyes that hard that I can see stars in my vision.
But she still sits there. The woman - my mom - reaches out to me, suddenly, and holds the palm of her hand against my forehead. I want to pull back immediately. The touch of her doesn't feel like what it used to. Not the warmth. Not like caring. Not like my mother. It feels more like being touched by a ghost.
"Remember. Connor, you need to remember. I am not scolding you. I don't blame you."
She looks at me, warily. I swear I could see tears forming in her eyes, but that is surreal. It can not be my mom, it should not be my mom. My insides freeze. With that, she pulls her hand back, picks up the little boy - younger me - and leaves the police office. I swallow and try to calm down my racing heart. A man walks towards me. At this point, I am not entirely surprised as I stare into my dad's face.
He parts his lips as if he wanted to say something He also leaves the station without a word.
As he walks out of the doorway, I swear I can see a red mark bleeding though his grey button down on his back. I get shivers. They are alive. How? I saw them murdered. Two hours ago.
The officer who interrogated me earlier comes back. "You do know that the station is empty today. It's literally just me and my co-worker. And you. I thought I told you that already."
I nod, trying to get my bearings. But his words make my stomach convulse. Wait, what?
"So, why were you talking to air then?"
My blood freezes, my heart drops. I realize.
You, you, you - Connor, you did something unforgettable.
The whole world shifts in my view, I don't know where up and down is , nor where I am.
I look over the shoulder of the officer who I can now only see the face of in a twisted and blurry way.
The whole hallway I just got walked along earlier is painted red, it floods towards the doorway my dad just left. It's like a carnage. And my parents lie there. Dead. Their bodies spread out like I saw them earlier this night. And then, the memories come flooding back. It was all different. My heart tears apart.
I stare down at my hands, they are dripping, blood running over them, drying between my fingers. Red.
I feel dizzy. Nauseous. I realize.
You, Connor, did something horrible!
I drop to the tiles of the police office, a harsh, gargled gasp escaping my mouth. My face reflects in the polished texture. I stare back at my face, blood running out of my nose, down my arms, over my cheeks, my clothes are soaked in it. The police officer appears in my view, leaning over my shoulder.
Not an ounce of compassion painted in his features, as far as I can see through my blurry vision.
"Your meds didn't work, did they? We are picking up contact with your doctor."
The only words leaving his mouth. My heart aches. I don't know if I'm screaming, sobbing, shaking, crying or staying completely quiet. All I can feel is my heart hammering in my chest. And tears running down my cheeks, mixing with the blood already on them. I can't. How. How could. How could I be able to do something like this? I now remember it till the finest detail.
Of course I remember. Halloween night. Two hours ago. 7:32 pm. I was sat on the sofa, the TV buzzing in static. The noise got louder and louder the more I focused on my hands, focused on what was on them. It was dark outside.
But I could still feel the stickiness of the blood spread on my hands, drying up between my fingers. My neighborhood isn't very common for Trick Or Treating, so nobody was ringing the doorbell. Why would they? It's a carnage in here. I couldn't open the door either way looking like this. The man and the woman standing in the corner giggled. They got what they wanted. They have been in my ears the whole day.
Telling me. To kill my parents. I didn't pay mind to their giggling now. I was disgusted. At myself.
I did not throw up, pass out, nor did the blood on my hands get any reaction other than staring and silence out of me. At some point, after staring between the man and woman in my living room, I must have been passed out. But something still woke me up. I rubbed my eyes, sleepily. The blood dry on my hands was now in my face too. I remember my mom screaming at me. She was mad. I was even angrier. And once I am, I can't control my actions anymore. And also not with these voices in my head. I become uncontrollable. And that's when the attacks happen. I struggled off of the sofa. I called out my mom's name once, but of course she didn't reply. I remember my mom hitting me square in the face. With the old wooden cutting board.
It broke my nose. I don't blame her. She did that a lot with my attacks, to knock some sense into me. She always apologized after, she didn't want to hurt me. She just couldn't help herself. I couldn't hear the crack. But my nose sat on my face crooked since then. After going to the kitchen, I dropped the bloody knife into the sink. My medicine was still sat on the counter. My doctor just prescribed me new pills to take and we were all curious how it worked. After today, its reaction was clear. It doesn't work. And I was the only one to realize it after. I went upstairs to my parents' bedroom. The scene where I murdered them.
Because the voices told me to. My mom laid on the bed, next to my dad. Like how I found them. They went to bed before me and I did it while they slept. They were stabbed.
What I did. I saw the red marks I caused bleeding through their clothes. Their eyes are rolled back into their heads. For some reason I didn't react. Or I can't remember because my body went into shock freeze after the attack I had ended. I didn't know if I screamed or stayed quiet. What I do know, was, that I ran out of the house and vigorously rang my neighbor's doorbell. They opened up, looking me up and down, thinking I was the victim, not the murderer. And what I do know for sure, is, that I didn't call the cops. I was physically incapable. Traumatic physical responses took over once my shock freeze had settled.
It must have been them. The neighbors. The cops picked me up, getting me to the station.
And there were two other people in the house of my neighbors. They weren't guests. They were the man and the woman who stood in my living room before, giggling. The man and the woman who sat in the interrogation room with me. The people I imagine. Whose voices I hear. The chatter outside of the interrogation room was them talking in my head. The station was empty.
It still is.
The officer told me. I killed my parents. In a haze. My name is Connor. I am seventeen years old.
I suffer from schizophrenia. I take medicine. I am in therapy. I get attacks. I killed my parents. Because I didn't take my medicine today.
Today is Halloween.
Merci pour la lecture!
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