Madness has always been something that interests me. I mean, it is the one thing I fear more than anything else, yet at the same time, my curiosity for it is limitless. Often, all I can imagine when someone turns insane is that they begin to think differently than anyone else. Like imagining life after death, I imagine what the mad thinks.
Eventually, my curiosity pushed me into studying medicine. It wasn’t long before my curiosity turned into ambition and I applied to join the Institute of Mental Study. It was the chance of a lifetime to join masses of scientists, experts in the field, lecture me on the nuances of madness. I was ready for this experience, ready to discover how it all works.
“What so many fail to understand is that often a patient has more than one personality,” Doctor Klein explained. “This suppressed personality is often who they were before they became...mentally unstable.”
I wrote down everything that I heard in the lecture. While we listened to the professionals discuss the subject, a large screen behind them displayed footage of the mad man in his room. It was padded with a simple bed and he slept peacefully while the doctors talked.
“I understand that there are cases like this,” Doctor Schultz replied. “It has often been experimented with and suppressed personalities brought to light, but in many cases no second personality is brought to light. The right conditions required, the right parts of the mind stimulated, much like entering in a code into a computer, to reveal this personality. Thus, I propose that everyone has suppressed personalities, but it is the sane people who have too complex of a code.”
“Hmm, I like that idea, that we’re all bordering on madness, but the door won’t open without the right level of stress or the correct stimulation,” Dr Klein nodded. “However, it is our duty to find a way to bring sanity back to our patients and lock away this madness. Now, as you all know, there are very few cases where a subject remains sane when brought sanity. While the success rate for bringing them to sanity is getting higher with our new experiments, the rate of maintaining that sanity is incredibly low.”
“And more often than not, the patient simple reaches a point where they become a great liar,” Doctor Schultz continued. “And are simple faking sanity in order to escape treatment. Now, I would like everyone to view the next sequence of events our patient takes to escape his padded cell, despite being diagnosed as perfectly sane after his treatment. He would have been released two days later after the paperwork came through, but of course, he didn’t know that. He assumed he failed the test and attempted to make his grand escape.”
The video began to play once more and we saw the patient move. While we only saw him from the camera in one corner of the room, we could only see his back and not his hands. However, his movements were noticeable and Klein explained what was happening.
“We believe the movements you see here are him removing his finger,” he told the students and doctors grimly. “He didn’t show pain, he didn’t cry out, he simply mutilated himself and began to remove a digit from his hand.”
Once his hands stopped moving we saw him hold the finger in his left hand, stripping away the flesh and meat with his long nails.
“This next stage was him cleaning the tip of the finger, craving away all flesh and meat till there was only a bone,” Klein continued. “Once this was done he began to use his large toenail and his very teeth to carve at the bone until it resembled a key of sorts.”
I was disgusted by what I was seeing. The horror of this one man as he tore himself apart in order to make his escape, the dedication within him to go that far. Yet, he showed now fear in his face, no urgency, no pain or disgust. In fact, he seemed calm, as if he were carved a chunk of wood into a little figurine with a pen-knife and not his own finger into a key with his teeth. Truly, the mind was scarily focused on one goal and aside from escape, we didn’t know what it was.
“Of course, his brilliance only got him so far,” Klein murmured into the microphone. “He did not know of the camera he had hidden in his cell or he might have ripped it from the wall and used that to create his key, or perhaps he would have continued the act a little longer.”
We watched as the mad man began to jimmy the lock with the bone and to our surprise, it worked. The door swung open and light filled the padded cell. Four security guards flooded his cell and the video paused as the armored men pushed the patient to the ground and restricted him with cuffs.
“The most dangerous people are the ones who go this far to achieve their goal,” Schultz muttered bitterly. “There is no mercy in their eyes, there is no hungry desire. You can’t tell what they are thinking and they will make sure you never get the slightest hint. The patient here has remained in our care and will remain here for the rest of his days.”
“Schultz and I were his personal doctors and despite all our efforts, we failed,” Klein explained. “At this institute we try our best to make further steps into helping the mentally ill, but like all practices, there are chances of failure. I understand that all of you here have the training to continue this research into helping these people, but do you have the heart and dedication? We have seen horrible people, people who have done much worse than this patient here, so are you mentally prepared for this work?”
The question was a heavy one and indeed, it turned most of the doctors away from the institute, all save for three who shook hands with Klein and Schultz. I was one of the doctors, I would be joining the institute to explore this further.
Be sure to follow!