Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Mirror to the Madness By Ruby Bryant

“As you know, it might be possible, of course, that far from being one, we may possess two selves. You've shown signs of this throughout your life, that’s why you’re here. It’s sort of a...Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde phenomenon but without the physical changes- just psychological ones.”

I don’t remember how I got here or how long I’ve been lost in my own thoughts. Although the room is dim and grey, the light hurts my eyes and make me shrink back into my barely-there body.

“I think so,” Squinting as I look around the room.

“I believe I’m being joined by a new member of your mind. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of your alters be so...tame.” I draw my knees up under my hospital gown, I vaguely recall being in this room before, as if I'd been here in a past life. The room looms over me, making me feel like a child.

“We last injected you with an augmented version of a common fever which wore off within a few days. There wasn’t as much progress as I wanted there to be so this time we will be using sepsis to try and cure you once and for all. I promise you it will be painless; Dr Bennett has dealt with thousands of cases like yours, whenever someone is in pain or dies it is a result of the actual illness not the work we are performing.”

Liar an angry voice shouts into my ear. They know it causes pain, they’ve watched us scream for help for hours on end because of the pain they deny exists. It sounds like a person has joined us in what I can only presume is a doctor’s office. But I know it’s me, just an offbeat me.

“You’re free to leave, join the others in the dining room, they're about to serve breakfast.” the doctor smiles before looking down at the stack of documents before him.

I leave the room slightly disorientated to then be confronted by a long, daunting corridor with a cathedral-like ceiling and matching archways down either side. his door is the only polished one in the building. I press my hand against the cool metal and close my eyes and concentrate on the light pressing on my eyelids and the tremors of the metal beneath my hand. As I open my eyes, I see distorted versions of myself being refracted back as if they're different people. Distracted by the branches of electric blue light elude my fingertips and imprinting on the cold metal, I don’t notice the doctor behind me until he presses a needle into my neck.

---

I wake up in a box made of mirrors surrounded by my counterparts, they smile at me. As I look around, I watch as they press their hands against the glass. I scream as shattered falling glass digs into my skin. I am my own downfall.


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