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Chapter Twenty

Title: The Moment of False

Oh God, Mitchell’s crying in front of me. Again.

He’s never been the type to cry, cold hard strength nothing so human as tears. And yet he’s crying again. I can’t understand him.

It’s not just silent tears, its noisy sobs, howls as he grabs at the coverlets of the hospital bed.

He’s tearing at it, pulling it. I’m certain that the covers are going to rip, I can hear the tension in the material. Creaking in protest at the sheer anger that is being placed upon it. It rips.

Small tears around were his fingers are scrabbling.

He pulls the coverlets down.

And the room is suddenly cold, the slight heat from the covers having been removed by Mitchell. I shiver.

And Mitchell is still howling, hands moving from the coverlets to his face, clawing at his sunglasses, his ears, his hair, his mouth.

The sunglasses are cast aside and his eyes are black. Not just dark, but stark black. The view is frightening.

Terrifying almost.

And his fingers are bleeding.

He must have scrapped his fingers on his teeth. Although the correct word, I know, in this situation would be fangs.

Spots of blood spatter the bedclothes.

And then he’s sucking his fingers, and groaning. I can’t tell if it’s in pleasure or not.

Though all of this I’ve been spluttering my words.

There is nothing that I can say.

He’s broken.

Looking like the creature that he is.

And I can’t stand it.

Mitchell is so… strong.

Not like this.

My hands have been brushed away from his shoulder. So I lie in the bed, arms outstretched uselessly.

And there is a knock on the door.

Brunette, plump, friendly smile, that falls of her face as soon as she sees the scene within the room.

The nurse turns formal, a glaze pressing over her eyes from ‘maternal’ to ‘protect-the-patient’.

Mitchell is still scrabbling.

Between the face and the coverlets it looks like a mental intuition instead of a recovery ward. Room. I don’t know how Mitchell and Annie swung that one. For me to have a private room..

I owe them that though.

They’re trying to help.

And it’s driving Mitchell mad.

And I don’t know what is wrong with him. It can’t be me, I’m not that important. Not to anyway. And certainly not to Mitchell.

The nurse -Maria I think- is talking to me. Sitting in Mitchell’s seat.

Mitchell’s outside now. I don’t know how she got him out there.

Maybe Annie dragged him out there.

There’s this noise. It’s what I imagine mice to sound like. Mice scrabbling inside walls.

“How are you feeling Mr. Sands?”

“I’m… recovering. I think. Thank you.”

I’ve always been polite to a fault. And I just want to get out of here.

Back to the house.

Go home.

“That’s good. Now would you care to explain the situation with Mr. Mitchell?”

I try to repress a shrug. How should I know? Mitchell is a rule unto himself.

“He’s just not coping very well. I suppose.”

It’s the best explanation that I can give.

And there is still that noise, it’s almost rhythmic, it’s got a pattern to it. It’s like scratching.

“Well, I’m afraid that Mr. Mitchell will be unable to continue to visit if his behaviour continues to be disruptive and dangerous.”

Although I am used to Mitchell being described as dangerous, this seems wrong in this sense. He’d never hurt me.

“He’s not dangerous.”

And she nods in such a condescending way.

But I know Mitchell. Even like this, suffering from unknowable demons, he wouldn’t hurt me.

And he’s still scrabbling at the door.

Because that’s what the noise is.

It’s him.

Clawing at the door.

Trying to get back in.


The Human Chronicles

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