December 22, 2021
“This’ll help, sweetie. Dr. Andrews is the best hypnotherapist this side of Chicago. He’ll take care of you and help you to get rid of these demons inside of you,” she says, rubbing her hand on mine. Every time she speaks, it excites me. It’s just something about that accent…she could talk me into anything. Give her the obligatory nod, and then look over at Dr. Andrews.
“This ain’t gonna work, doc. I’m too headstrong for this…they…they won’t let you in,” I say, trying to reason with the unsuspecting doc. He blows me off with a smile and leans forward in his chair.
“Give it a shot, baby,” Constance says.
I’ll do it, but only for her.
“Break out the watch doc, I’m getting very sleepy,” I say, clearly mocking him.
He scoffs at me with a big smile.
“I get it, Steven. But that’s not quite how it works. Right now, I just want you to listen to my voice. I want you to relax, Steve. Sit back in your chair…and relaxxxxx…..”
His voice is deep, calm and soothing. He hangs on to the words just right, and almost immediately I find myself in a trance. I feel Constance’s soft hand on top of mine, gently caressing and squeezing.
“I want you to imagine that you’re standing in front of a house.”
I’m there, in an instant, I’m there.
It’s the dead of night and it’s raining. The house is almost completely dark, only lit by the old porch light. The house is in serious disrepair. The paint “it chipped, the roof is falling apart, and the yard is extremely unkempt and mostly dirt.
“I want you to walk up to the house.”
Slowly I make my way to the porch and up the creaky steps. I stand in front of the door, staring at the peephole. The dark peephole and windows let me know that it’s dark inside of the house. I reach for the doorknob,
“Now I want you to open the door, and go inside.”
I hesitate, but then suddenly all of the lights in the house turn on. I’m briefly blinded by the light from the windows on either side of the door. I grab the doorknob and push the door open. It slowly swings open, the hinges creak like they’ve been rusted shut for years. I don’t step inside, instead I just stand out front, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the light.
“I want you to step inside of the living room, Steven. This room is completely blue. The walls, the carpet, the ceiling, everything is blue.”
There’s nothing in the room. It’s empty. I take one step inside and I hear the door close behind me.
“This room is peculiar, Steven. There is only one piece of furniture in this room; a white chair in the exact middle of the room.”
I look to the middle of the room, and there’s the chair. A small wooden chair, in the middle of the room. I walk up to the chair and briefly examine it.
“I want you to sit down in the chair. Lean back, and relax.”
I sit in the chair, and do just as he tells me. I lean back as much as the wooden chair will allow, close my eyes, and relax. I can feel a chilled breeze on my arms.
“This room, Steven. This is Logan Tyler’s room. This is where Logan Tyler lives.”
I immediately tense up, gripping the arm rests on either side of the chair with both hands as hard as I can. I can feel him in the room. I can feel his presence, but I dare not open my eyes. I don’t want to see Logan.
“I want you to open your eyes, Steven. I want you to see Logan Tyler. Embrace his presence.”
I open my eyes, and there’s Logan. Sitting on the floor, three feet in front of me. His knees are up and he’s wrapped them with his arms. He’s buried his face between his legs. I can feel myself shaking wildly as I stare at him.
“Logan is there, Steven, and he wants you to go with him.”
Logan stands up, but he never looks at me.
“He shows you the doors, Steven.”
He points across the room. At the end of the room there are two doors. One on the far left, and one on the far right.
“One of the doors is red, and the other is yellow. He’s pointing at the red door.”
Logan does as expected, and points over to the red door. He never looks at me, not once.
“Go to the red door, Steven. When you leave this room. You’ll never see Logan Tyler again.”
Suddenly, I feel Logan grab ahold of me from behind. I shake violently trying to break free, thrashing left and right. I can hear his cries.
“No, don’t leave me!” Logan cries out, sobbing and snorting.
“I love you, Steve! Please, don’t leave me!” He pleads and pleads through a river of tears.
“I need you to be stronger than him Steven! Get to the red door!”
Using all of my strength I push forward, but Logan grabs ahold of my ankle and flattens himself out on the ground.
“Logan will go with you to the next room, Steven. Whether you want him to or not.”
I drag the little psychopath all the way across the room. He screams and shouts, sobs and cries, and repeatedly he tells me that he loves me. I reach out and grab the doorknob.
“FUCK!” I shout out and yank my hand back. The doorknob is hot, and immediately burns a round floral pattern into the palm of my right hand. Steam emanates from the would.
“Stay focused, Steven. You’re almost there. Open the door.”
I reach out and tap on the doorknob, testing it. It’s no longer hot, so I grip it firm and open the door. Logan reaches out and tries to push the door shut from the ground, but I hold the doorknob tight and keep the door open.
“Walk into the room, Steven. The room is dark. A single red light in the middle of the room dangles from a chord in the ceiling, illuminating only a few square feet. Underneath the light is…”
Dr. Devastation. His painted smile, black eyes, and green pigtails give it away instantly. The red light swings from side to side. Dr. Devastation appears and disappears as the light swings, until suddenly…he’s gone.
“He’s not gone, Steven. He’s hiding. Walk through the room, past the light and find the yellow door against the wall. Go, quickly.”
I try to scuffle through, but Logan continues to hold my leg, and I’m forced to drag him with me. I can feel his trembles as Dr. Devastation’s evil laughter echoes in the darkness. I can feel his breath on the back of my neck; it sends a chill down my spine.
“Go through the door, Steven. The other two will follow you.”
Suddenly, I find myself up against the wall, sliding my hands all over the place searching for the door knob and then suddenly, it’s in my hand. Logan screams out in terror as I twist the doorknob. I tell him to be quiet, and I look over my shoulder to see Dr. Devastation standing there…still and silent.
“Go through the door. He’s waiting for you, Steven.”
I pull the door open and standing in the middle of the room is Shawn Kutter. I walk through the door, Dr. Devastation in tow and Logan Tyler screaming and sobbing as I drag him through the doorway. The door slams shut behind me.
“Do you see him, Steven? It’s Shawn. He’s been waiting for you. It’s time to reclaim your life, Steven.”
Shawn stands there with a blank look on his face; he doesn’t say a word. I look down at his right hand, and in that hand is a machete that’s about 24 inches long. He rotates his arm side to side, reflecting the light from the room onto the machete. Logan screams out, nearly causing the room to shake.
“He’s got a knife…a…a…machete,” I say, outside of my hypnosis.
“A knife?!” Dr. Andrews asks in a shrill that sends a shiver down my spine. “Steven, listen…I’m going to need you to wake up.”
He speaks as fast as he can.
“When I reach the count of three, I want you to wake up! ONE TWO THREE!” He shouts the numbers, and they echo in my dream, but I don’t wake up.
Shawn suddenly begins marching in my direction. He reaches back with the machete, ready to swing and I close my eyes and shield my face with my forearm. I hear the frightening sound of the machete striking and cutting into flesh. But it’s not mine.
“ONE TWO THREE!” He tries again, but no result.
A thud on the ground makes me open my eyes. I look down.
I see him.
Shawn wasn’t swinging at me, he was swinging at Dr. Devastation.
“ONE TWO THREE!” The hypnotist continues to try and snap me out of it. He claps in my face, counts to three and snaps…all attempts result in nothing.
A pool of blood forms under Dr. Devastation’s head and Logan let’s out another girlish screech that pierces my inner ear. He lets go of my leg, and jumps to his feet. He scrambles as fast as he can for the door, but he’s too late. Shawn has plunged that machete right into his left shoulder blade and out of his chest. Shawn guides Logan around with the machete and Logan looks me into the eyes.
“I love you, Steve,” Logan says, in his last words. He drops to his knees and then face first on the ground.
Shawn stares me down as he pulls the machete from Logan’s body.
“It’s just us, Steve. You and I. Forever,” Shawns says from behind an evil grin.
I wake up suddenly from the hypnotic state. Out of breath and scared. I feel Constance’s grip on my hand loosen. She gets up from her seat and backs away from me. Dr. Andrews’ face is pale white, like all the blood has been drained from his head. His bottom lip trembles, as he stares at me with a look of shock.
“What? What is it?” I ask, panicked and wanting answers.
“What do you remember?” The doc asks.
“Shawn killed them. He killed Logan and Dr. Devastation. They’re gone,” I say quickly, stammering on my words.
“No, Steven,” Constance says in a soft, yet terrified tone. “You..you killed them. Look at your hands.”
I look down at my hands and see that they are completely covered in blood. But who’s blood?
That’s when I feel the warm liquid on my chest.
“You need to get to a hospital, Steven. You need a doctor now,” Dr. Andrews – not a medical doctor – says. “You stabbed yourself in the neck, Steven. In an unconscious effort to rid yourself of your three alter egos, you stabbed yourself.”
“That can’t be right,” I declare, jumping to my feet.
Suddenly, I’m dizzy and then the room begins to close in around me. My vision goes dark and without warning I faint…face first into the green carpet in my fucked up living room, in my fucked up house.
Three Hours Later
Fountain Valley Hospital
Fountain Valley, California
I slowly begin to fade in. That feeling of waking up from true unconsciousness is the absolute worst. Feels like you got kicked right in the dick with a steel toe boot on a cold day.
“He’s awake,” her familiar voice calms me immediately.
I slowly open my eyes to see Dr. Andrews outside of my room talking with a physician. They look at me, and then back to one another.
“What’s going on?” I ask Constance.
“Nothing, sweetie. We’re trying to do what’s best for you,” she says.
“Best for me? What the fuck does that mean?” I ask, laying the attitude on pretty fuckin’ thick.
“Look, hun…what you just went through…that was insane. I’ve never seen anything like that before and Dr. Andrews is concerned about your safety,” she explains.
“You do know that I have to be in fucking London in 24 hours! I have a flight that leaves at 9pm!” I shout.
“I know, sweeti…”
“What time is it?” I ask, panicked.
“Six-thirty,” she answers, looking down at her gold watch.
I roll my eyes and yank the IV right out of my arm. The physician and Dr. Andrews come rushing into the room.
“Steven, calm down,” Dr. Andrews pleads, holding both hands out in a defensive posture.
“Get the fuck out of my way doc! I got a fat-fuck to fuck up!” I shout at the top of my lungs. The physician darts out of the room calling for security.
“SECURITY!” She shouts down the hallway, running as fast as she can in her pink Crocs.
“Steven, I don’t think this is a good idea,” Dr. Andrews insists.
He doesn’t want me to leave this hospital, but I’ve got to get to London. I’ve got an eGG Bandit to send straight to the unemployment line.
“What’d I say?” I ask, staring directly into his eyes, my teeth clenched tightly like I’m fuckin’ Ice Cube.
He moves out of the way, slowly as I stare him back into a corner.
“Sweetie, ple…” Constance tries to reason with me, but I cut her off.
“Shut the fuck up with that sweetie shit. You absolutely loved it when I was Shawn Kutter. You were all over me. So you, sweetie, have no leg to stand on here.”
I look into the mirror and see the gauze over the wound in my neck, a spot of blood right in the middle. I shake my head and look over to Constance.
“You and that fuckin’ quack did this to me. It’s your fuckin’ fault if I lose to Bobby Dean on Sunday!”
I walk out of the room and down the hallway searching for the exit as the scene fades to black.