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Darkest Corners Of The Mind

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August 8th 2013  |  0  |  Category: Horror , Suspense , Thriller  |  Author: neil nedo  |  621 views

In my time I have had patients that I couldn’t help and patients who didn’t want help. Disappointing as that was, I learned to deal with failure. Allan was the only patient who made me wish I never tried to help.

It’s a funny thing, the way we admire athletes who inform us on just how far the body can be pushed. A developed admiration for the comparisons between ourselves and those that set the physical bar. More or less everyone shares the same bodily mechanics and some get a certain charge from this congruity. A drive to seek those extremes for ourselves, even if one can only go as far as a fragment of what is deemed possible. Less common is the biological paralleling of a human’s mind. We see madness and horrible acts of violence as a detachment from the commoner. Its felt to be a mental defect or malfunction that sends man to asylums or correctional facilities and that not every man or woman possesses the capabilities or lack of them, to end up in these places themselves.

It is of my opinion, that it is nurture and not nature which sends a person into madness, however in all my years of schooling and professional study I couldn’t pinpoint a trigger. It was a secret goal of mine to understand what sets reasoning astray so far as to require long term institutionalization. The places we send those we perceive to be mad or violent up in, have a shockingly low rate of rehabilitation and to prevent those individual’s confinement in the first place would be a large step for society’s well being. For example most will encounter depression, mild or severe, at some point in their lifetime and will eventually come out of it. My question is what happens to those who never do.

The case of allan krone was a remarkable one. I was used to getting assigned to patients with severe mental disorders but none who spoke so articulately or with such a colorful past.

He had a long psychiatric and criminal rap sheet. Born to a middle class family in the suburbs of massachusetts. He had both a loving mother and a kind father, neither maintained any addictions or were there any cases of abuse in the household. His grades were above average in school and their was no evidence of bullying. The child seemed to blend into any situation quite well. His parents regarded him as a very calm, intelligent, and thoughtful child until reaching the age of fourteen, this perhaps, is what made his extreme change in behavior seem so dark in contrast to the years leading up to it, and yet give hope that he could return to his original demeanor and conventions.

Allan’s change was abrupt. Prior to the event that led to incarceration to a local mental hospital nobody noticed any angry or aggressive behavior in him, and there seemed to be no build up to his horrid acts, other than waking up screaming the night before he was taken away.

After dealing with the previously mentioned night terror, the morning of his first psychotic episode started like any other according to his parents. He got out of bed at the appropriate time, made himself breakfast and packed up his book bag for school. His mother wished him a good day and he started on the walk he normally made to class. Everything seemed alright, until a teacher noticed his absence and called Allan’s parents as was customary for the school.After the boy’s mother assured the teacher that she had seen allan leave for school, a small town search was underway.

After all main roads were examined the police spoke to the family’s neighbors for information. One hadn’t reported seeing him but added that her dog Lucy went missing that morning. Another neighbor thought she saw him walk down to the walking trail that leads to the stone bridge in the woods.

Police found allan about a half a mile down the trail, he was stained from head to toe in blood with a small pool at his feet. A leash was tied to a nearby tree and the other end was clipped on to the collar of what was left of lucy. He was holding a dripping wet boxcutter and standing over the dog looking a little shocked and panic ridden, as though he hadn’t realized what he had done until presented with an audience . Allan spent the next four years of life in a mental institution specializing in adolescents.

Upon entering the institution, nurses reported him as very shaky and uneasy but his most notable condition was in his sleep pattern.He stayed awake hours later than the other patients and when he did drift off he tossed, turned, and inevitably woke up covered in sweat yelling loudly. Once awake he would run his hands up and down his body as though checking for something.

Initially several of the nurses and staff members expressed how hard it was to act polite with him simply because such a heinous act of animal cruelty is troubling to think about, but over time they learned to tolerate his presence and towards the end of allan’s stay some of the older, more desensitized nurses reported liking the boy. Many described him as fairly charming and witty. He continued his school studies in confinement and though, many of his instructors condemned him for his act, they would be lying if they said he was not an extremely gifted child. He was released back into society at the age of eighteen with plans to attend a community college and begin taking steps toward re-integrating. At the time of his release he appeared to show deep remorse for his previous actions and a drive to seek moral redemption, his time out of confinement was temporary.

A display of aggression was discovered by police a second time, however his second victim was not a pet. A young male only a year older than allan was had been skateboarding after dark at a local middle school making use of the handrails going down the back entrance of the building. The police report explains that allan walked up to the man holding a skateboard talking about how he wasn’t very good and wanted to learn by observation. The skater agreed to show him some of the tricks he knew, and try to give Allan a few pointers. Only five minutes after his arrival, Allan attempted to grab the skater and secure his hands to the rail with a belt. Enraged the boy struggled to fight him off and managed to wiggle his hands free. Once escaped the skater angrily subdued Allan with a blow to the head from his board, ran to a payphone and called the authorities. Whilst the skater made the call Allan regained consciousness, got up to his feet and ran in the direction he had come from. The police found Allan not far into the woods behind the school, carrying a skateboard in one hand and in the other was a book bag. They arrested Allan and took him to the station. When the police searched the bag and found several battery operated power tools, hand saws, files, hammers and kitchen knives. The next ten years for Allan were spent behind bars at a penitentiary.

There wasn’t much record of his time in jail except for one beating by another inmate who shared a cell close to Allan’s. It was documented that one lunch he decided to beat Allan for yelling so loud in the middle of the night.

Upon release he was to be on a probationary period for two years. He was to live with his parents, who were both happy to have their son return, but extremely nervous to be living with him as they knew the level of violence he was capable of. They agreed to house him as long as he was to check in with the state and have me work with him as his personal psychiatric rehabilitator. I met him at the gate and was the first person he saw coming out of jail.

He was a tall man with short buzzed brown hair. He was very pale and had a slender build. His face was long and he had a stern look about him. He appeared very serious and somewhat worried as he walked over. He kept his head down and appeared to be looking at the ground as he approached me.

“Hi Allan, hows things? My names Dave Dittmer, i’m going to be your counselor for a while. I’m just gonna help you sort things out until your back on your feet. Sound good?”

“Yea, nice to meet you,” he said avoiding eye contact

“Nice to meet you too. I know you’re tired and haven’t seen your parents in a long time, but if you don’t mind i’d like to go for a drive to the park so we can sit somewhere and talk in private. I’ll make today’s session short for you.”

“No problem”

I bought him a cab ride and headed over to the park in my car. Nothing in particular jumped out about Allan. He seemed like a lot of my other patients, quiet and antisocial. However he was much more polite than a lot of the others. Most of the patients that committed similar acts always greeted me as though they were the prince of darkness.

We sat on an unoccupied chess table where the seats were facing one another, he seemed reluctant to talk or open up and didn’t say anything to me unless asked a question, so I didn’t pressure him at first. Though he was sent to prison for a good reason, I still know how tough it can be on a person. I offered him a cigarette, lit my own and waited until they burned out to initiate conversation. It was a nice afternoon outside, the leaves were just beginning to turn red and the park was empty beside the few joggers and dog walkers. I waved as they passed our table and Allan just stared at the edge of the table in front of him with a rather calm and focused stare. He didn’t fidget much but he seemed nervous for some reason. His body language didn’t show nervousness but there was a feeling I got just being around him that he was uncomfortable, which in turn, made me uncomfortable. We both finished smoking and I turned to face him with a small smile as to show I was there to help, not judge.

His eyes met mine reluctantly as I said, “i’m just here to help you stay outside those bars, I want the best for you, and I mean that. Theres nothing you can say to offend or disturb me, trust me i’ve dealt with much worse. Feel free to think of me as a friend.”

“Funny, how can I consider a person who clearly has a professional interest in my sanity, a friend? A person so financially tied to my well being is not a friend, rather, a reluctant guardian.”

I was a tad caught off guard by his statement, by both its substance and how articulately it was spoken. The files did mention Allan’s intelligence, but it seemed I had greatly underestimated him.

“I can’t deny what you say, for it is true that this is a job, but you should take more comfort in knowing that a trained professional in these matters wants to work with you. I have spent my life working with those whom society has cast away with much success,” I said

He smirked “I bet you feel very proud of yourself,” he completely dropped his polite attitude and began responding more aggressively.

I laughed as I replied “Oh, come off it. As of right now nobody else is looking out for you, so you have nothing to lose by talking with me. Our communication is one of the parameters set up in order for your home to be your parents house, otherwise you will stay in the mental health facility and neither you or me wants to see that happen. So, with that being said, what is the motivation to hurt?”

“I just wanted to know what it felt like.”

“But why have another living thing suffer. Why do you need to know what its like to take a life? Not to judge but most people shudder at such talk. I mean thats not really a natural curiosity.”

“And maybe I am not like most people. We cherish our own existence so much and we posses such a fear of death and the unknown. Life just doesn’t hold that weight for me, and what little weight it does hold cannot compare to the weight of desire to end it. I like to see the flame burn out.”

“Can you tell me why though? I mean, do you get a rush from it? Does it make you feel powerful? Is it a sexual thing? Or is death something you’re afraid of and it helps to see something else go through it? Thats the case with a lot of murderers you know, that there just afraid and feel they need to experience death vicariously. Theres healthier ways to deal with fears.”

“No I don’t even think I like doing it. I just see no reason not to.”

“Ok well, admittance is a step in the right direction.” I really was disappointed in his answer. I have been able to aid schizophrenics, maniacs, and the emotionally unstable but there’s really no hope for a sociopath. Theres nothing to be done for them but restraint and confinement.

“ Its your first day out and I don’t intend to overwhelm you. Meet me at this spot tomorrow morning around nine. Before I go though, I want you to think about what you would like to tell me. Be honest because the more I know the more assistance I can be. This is my job, true, but theres a reason I chose it, and believe it or not I care deeply for my patients,” I said “Try and get some sleep and i’ll see you tomorrow.”

He got up and left without saying another word and I got in my car and headed home. Feeling defeated I thought a lot about what he said and was sad to know I would have to report his lack of compassion or understanding to the state. I felt bad condemning those kinds of people but I would feel worse if they hurt someone and I could have prevented it. We simply don’t have the tools or the time to look after them. I let him see his parents if for nothing but their sake of being reunited with their child for the night, and I would make my decision as to his long term arrangements after another talk in the morning.

That next morning when I saw him there was something different about him. The cold stare was gone and what replaced looked something like anxiety and desperation. It was very visible this time in his body language and his eyes looked red as though he had been crying earlier. I played it off, simply because he may have fall allergies and crying is extremely uncharacteristic for a sociopath if my hunch about him was correct. His words conveyed his change of mind clearly.

“I was lying yesterday. You will think i’m mad but I need to tell you if for nothing else than not to hold my burden alone.”

Needless to say I was stunned by his change of heart and I had completely believed what he had previously said, to be his true feelings towards others. He must have thought deeply and rehearsed what he was going to say because thats not an organic start to any conversation.

“What do you mean? Was there something you left out?”

“I portrayed myself as a remorseless killer for, it takes the emotion out of what i’ve done. If I didn’t feel shame for my actions they would be easier to bare but thats not the case.” I…

He sobbed and tears were slowly dripping down his cheeks. A hope, a sociopath couldn’t possibly misrepresent himself with such conviction and emotion, I have seen them try and it can reflect on their mental state as to how imagined their tries to fake remorse and sadness seems. They try and portray what’s seen on television and movies but Allan wasn’t doing that at all.

“I experience, what most would consider nightmares. I had experienced nightmares before as a very young child but none like the ones that started the night before I killed lucy.”

“The dog?”

“Yea, they haven’t stopped since. Every time I go to sleep they’re waiting. They take pleasure in torturing me. I wake up unscathed but I can feel the whips and blades in my dreams. The more I scream the more pleasure they seem to get out of it and the longer it continues the more creative their methods get.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but may I ask if that has anything to do with your violence in reality.”

“We have words to describe people who suffer mentally, but nobody understands the pain of the condition based on my personal experience. Everyone acknowledges that there are those who are mentally unwell and yet give little sympathy and expect them to carry on with day to day living as if they are complaining of a hangnail. Its all in their head people say. I was the same way until I had those dreams and then I wanted comradery. I wanted someone else to truly know what I felt. I’m rational enough to know my experiences are mentally conjured but that doesn’t make the pain less real. What I did to that dog leaves me heartbroken, but not so shaken that I didn’t try to repeat the act on another man. I have all my senses awake but any sympathy is overridden by the desire not to experience these horrors alone. I’m a horrible person. A monster, but I don’t want to be, and I wasn’t always this way. It is fear and jealousy for others that drives me most but I have a conscience and personally thats the worst part. I want to die but my living conditions in those prisons strips me of any means to do so and I can’t let my parents be the first to find another disappointment from me.”

“Don’t talk like that!” I replied, “You’re in a position where you can have a new future and I can work with you on those thoughts. Its just a dream and they can’t really hurt you. Like you said, when you wake up you find no scarring. Whatever happens it’s only a dream and there’s people here for you to talk about them.”

“Then you don’t understand.”

“Look what you said to me today was the best thing you could have. We can get you out of this cycle and back to what you were destined to become. You’re condition is treatable and though it will be difficult i’m gonna see that you succeed. Go home and try and do something to take your mind off this. Do something you enjoy, and remember above all else, even if nobody else understands what you’re going through, I do. I assure you i’ve dealt with this before. I understand your pain.”

He looked displeased and left but not before saying, “ I guess i’ll see you later.”

“try and have a good one Allan, i’ll see you tomorrow.”

I left the park that morning feeling good about Allan. I felt I could make some real progress with him, and maybe he could go on to do great things. His level of intelligence applied to the right area could produce great results. It took me the rest of the day to produce a report for the state. I was to let Allan remain in his current conditions and after a couple weeks try to fit him for a job or the training to obtain one. I finished around nine and before bed I tucked in my daughters and had a celebratory glass of wine and a cigar. I caught the end of the news and fell asleep.

I awoke to find it was still dark and tried to sit up when I noticed my arms and legs were restrained. I tried to take analyse the room and caught a glimpse of a dark figure sitting in a chair in the corner, it was Allan. My screams were muffled by a makeshift gag. He saw that I was awoke and moved over to the bed, my heart was pounding. He brought over a small revolver.

He picked up the revolver, “This is for me, but before I say goodbye I wanted to show you how little you know. My pain, my suffering and the pain of all the others you think you know. I’m here to show you that you don’t understand. Before I leave I assure you that you will.

He walked back to where he was sitting and picked up a backpack I hadn’t seen due to the light.

He opened his backpack and I looked away as not to see the tools of my own demise. Before he began I felt fear, rage and betrayal. I used every ounce of strength to break those restrains and when I couldn’t I felt a deep hatred for Allan as he gathered his tools. He was a human abomination. A crazed killer who didn’t deserve help, or life for that matter. A true manipulative monster.

However, in the final moments of my life, I saw exemplified through his tears, how sincere he was in his motive, and oh, how I pitied him.

 

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